AAA had a TV taping on Sunday.
AAA TV (SUN) 03/03/2019 Arena Jose Sulaiman, Monterrey, Nuevo León[AAA, Lucha Central, MedioTiempo, Zocalo]
1) Dinastía b Orquídea Negra, Baby Xtreme
2) Faby Apache & Keyra b Lady Shani & Starfire
Keyra stole the pin on Starfire from Faby Apache (who was going for her first moonsault in a decade.) They argued and fought post match, with Keyra getting the better of it.
3) Jack Evans, Taurus, Villano III Jr. b Golden Magic, Myzteziz Jr., Niño Hamburguesa
Taurus beat Myzteziz. Jack, Australian Suicide and Sammy Guevera formed a new trio after the match.
4) Mamba, Máximo, Pimpinela Escarlata DQ Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana
Maximo faked a foul to draw the DQ.
5) Daga, Sammy Guevara, Texano Jr. b Brian Cage, Hijo Del Vikingo, Laredo Kid
Daga’s return to AAA, as a Perros del Mal with Kahn del Mal. Sammy Guevera replaced Hijo del Fantasma and pinned Laredo Kid after pulling his mask and landing a shooting star press. Post match included Australian Suicide, Jack Evans and Rey Escorpion attacking the tecnicos.
6) Chessman, Monsther Clown, Rey Escorpión b Aerostar, Pagano, Psycho Clown
Monsther beat Aerostar
7) Blue Demon Jr. b La Parka, Dr. Wagner Jr. [Copa Perro Aguayo Jr.]
Rey Escorpion & Texano destroyed La Parka and Demon & Wagner largely wrestled by themselves. Demon (now tecnico) and Wagner (now rudo) switched sides randomly.
I watched this live but distracted and sleepy, so I don’t have thoughts on the quality of matches yet. It overall seemed to be an interesting show and other reviews were positive on it overall.
There was no official turn in the main event and maybe everything goes back to normal next time we see them, but Demon was the bleeding babyface valiantly trying to overcome Wagner in the main event for whatever reason. It was strange, but the crowd liked it. The Demon family has a long history in Monterrey (though they have a long history everywhere.)
AAA, thru La Parka’s record column, mentioned once again that Wagner/Demon will be joined by five other “stellar matches”. A problem with AAA – not with the turnout obviously, but watching it from show to show – is they have many feuds going on, none of them seem to have an endpoint, and anyone who’s watched AAA for the last few years has been educated not to expect anything to actually get blown off. The Rey de Reyes lineup, coming a few hundred words from now, is very clear that almost nothing is getting resolved for now. Perhaps some of those feuds will fill those five spots at TripleMania, but there’s a lot of stuff to get in.
- La Mascara vs Maximo (vs Psycho Clown? vs Rey Escorpion?) in an apuesta match
- Fenix vs Hijo del Fantasma
- La Parka versus Los Mercenarios
- Monsther Clown vs Aerostar in a mask versus mask match
- Sammy Guevera vs Laredo Kid (or Los Guardians de La Lucha vs Jinetes del Aire)
- Lady Shani against Keyra? Faby? Maravilla? Taya?
- A Copa TripleMania
That’s 7 right there, and that leaves out people like Brian Cage and Killer Kross (though history suggests we should assume they won’t have anything to do for TripleMania.) In theory, AAA saying they have five more matches set for TripleMania means they have a master plan for where all this is going. In reality, I’d wait and see.
I do like the Los Guardians pairing – Jack has drifted since coming back and Suicide even longer. Both are useful if given something to do. If this even just a one time set up for a trios title match against Laredo Kid, Myzteziz and Vikingo, that’s plenty good enough. That’s also the sort of match worth offering to AEW for Double or Nothing, though I’d personally want to see Taurus on that show because a minotaur on a AEW show will get over.
A surprise return that turned out to be Daga was hyped up thru the show. This was a good idea because it did not seem like an important deal otherwise; he wasn’t focused on the match and didn’t have much a direction coming out of it in a match where everyone else was going anywhere. It perhaps is because both sides don’t have much of a commitment to each other at this point. Daga’s social media talking point over the last 24 hours is not talking about his return to AAA, but that he’s an independent and not a repentant dog returning to AAA. Fenix got a title match when he returned, Penta got the main event of TripleMania, and Daga got left behind with the angry Twitter trolls.
Daga was also definitely a rudo, in a faction where Taya is definitely a tecnica and Joe Lider is maybe one. And maybe Penta is a tecnico and in the group? I dunno.
Brian Cage mentioned he didn’t arrive until the match before him ended, thanks to flight issues. It didn’t really show, which is a credit to him.
The Keyra/Faby Apache thing was interesting. Keyra disrespected Faby Apache during the back and forth promo. It was totally scripted, but also done in a way to signal Apache was going to attack her and leave her laying. Faby then did attack her, but Keyra won that fight. AAA’s doing well in elevating Keyra and Lady Maravilla into credible characters but it doesn’t work unless people like Faby are willing to buy into it. She did with that segment, and maybe it’ll pay off for her down the road. Faby had a strong 2018 because she had someone new to work with that people took seriously, and those same AAA fans are going to be excited if/when Faby versus Keyra happens because of stuff like this segment. (It stands out very much different to CMLL, where some of the older women appear to be scared of losing their spots to younger women to the point of tearing them down in matches and in promos, but no one’s over as a result.)
AAA English commentary appeared to be done from the AAA offices this time around, instead of at the venue. Adrian Mendoza, part of +LuchaTV, was brought in to work with Vampiro this time. I tuned in just as Vampiro was in the middle of an explanation of how having Adrian there would make sure Vampiro wouldn’t lose his mind during the show. I tuned out when Adrian was setting up the main event, asked a question to Vampiro, and Vampiro said he hadn’t been paying attention.
The English VOD is now behind the $5/month paywall, which is enough to make sure I won’t watch it later. Ideally, the AAA Spanish & English content would be behind the same paywall but I don’t think Twitch makes that possible at the moment. Live viewership remained at that 10% of Spanish level, reaching over 500 people in English to over 5000 watching in Spanish during the main event. It’s about the same for the VOD so far; about 100 people in Spanish and less than 10 in English. Rey de Reyes is going to be the real test for interest level, as it is a bigger show and Fenix & Penta will draw in more English speakers. They really need to find a way to promote to a different audience though; right now, you still only know this is being offered if you’re a person who is already following the promotion in Spanish.
The TV news might not be as bright. CMLL is getting attention for their TV show this, as AAA got a month ago. Of course, another part of lucha libre & major TV network cycle is the TV network being disappointed when the viewership numbers aren’t exactly what they wanted and the show getting moved around as a result. AAA announced they had 4 million viewers for their first show, which seemed good. Maybe they didn’t stay that high. El Planchitas today writes Azteca hasn’t been happy with the numbers the show has gotten and is already considering moving the show. “Later Friday” is an option, which sounds like the late night slot Elite was in which did them no good. There’s also a possibility they’d move to Saturdays, which is the option their fans seem to want on social media and would put them up against CMLL.
This week’s AAA TV episode on YouTube is four matches from Ciudad Madero. AAA TV is going heavy on the Nino Hamburguesa/Lady Maravilla stuff relative to their position. It is weird that is the right call but that is definitely the right call.
AAA TV (SAT) 03/16/2019 Acropolis, Puebla, Puebla
1) Big Mami & Niño Hamburguesa © vs Lady Maravilla & Villano III Jr. [AAA MIXED TAG]
2) Lady Shani © vs La Hiedra, Keyra, Chik Tormenta [Reina De Reinas]
3) Daga, Joe Lider, Taya vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana
4) Drago, Pagano, Puma King vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
5) Laredo Kid vs Hijo Del Vikingo, Jack Evans, Sammy Guevara, Australian Suicide, Taurus, Golden Magic, Aerostar, Myzteziz [Rey de Reyes]
6) Mamba, Máximo, Psycho Clown vs Jeff Jarrett, Killer Kross, La Máscara
7) Fénix & Pentagón Jr. vs Rey Escorpión & Texano Jr. [AAA TAG]
Last year’s Rey de Reyes was built around surprise returns (Mesias!) and a hair match to fill a 9,000 seat building. This year, AAA must feel hot enough they really only are giving away the tag title match as a big drawing card. Maybe Jarrett getting WWE exposure helps brings a little more attention. This has more names than an average AAA TV card and the matches look good but it doesn’t look like one of the five biggest shows of the year.
It would be weird to give Fenix & Penta the tag titles given how tough it has proven to get bookings just on Fenix since he became megachampion. On the other hand, it hasn’t appeared to hurt AAA’s business for their world champion to not be around and the tag titles are even less important. It might also be some good AAA/AEW synergy for the Lucha Brothers to bring the tag belts to Double Or Nothing in a couple of months. The Lucha Brothers have been better at ten minute-ish matches of late, probably a consequence to how much they’re wrestling around the world, and the test of the main event will be how Escorpion & Texano handle working a different way than the usual AAA main events.
Jeff Jarrett will never go away. A team with him and La Mascara is frightening, and not in the ways Kross tries to be frightening.
It is not clear on the lineup and likely won’t be clear until the show day, but I suspect the Rey de Reyes match is either a royal rumble or a nine-man elimination match, not a series of matches for time reasons. It is almost closer to being the return of Alas de Oro than the usual structure. There were strong rumors that Vikingo was, at one point, scheduled to win the Rey de Reyes last year and he looks like a favorite this year. Taurus is the only rudo in the match who I would trust with a sword, the other three will definitely poke their eyes out.
The 3rd & 4th match appear to exist to get people booked on the cards, with the novelty of Perros del Mal being back as a trio. Taya might be around to (again) set up something with Lady Shani. Drago and any one of the OGT spinning out to a singles title match would be interesting but Pagano is probably the actual priority there.
It is nice to see Chik Tormenta back and La Hiedra has been good in miscellaneous duty for the last while – she must feel so betrayed by Villano III Jr. betraying her for another mixed doubles teammate. The Keyra/Shani match has built, as much as it has been build to a direct singles match but the other two should still be fine. The mixed tag title match is probably the best built up match on the same show, and maybe not necessarily the end of that story.
Hijo del Fantasma worked AAA spot shows in Mall this past week, so he’s around even if he’s not on these shows. It feels like it should be an important deal but no one’s talking about it. Perhaps he’ll show up to cost Fenix the main event.