AAA’s TripleMania press conference today delivered on a promised big surprise. UFC’s Cain Velasquez appears to sign a joint contract with AAA & TV Azteca and announce be on TripleMania. AAA did not announce a specific match and left enough room that they might be able to get out of it, but everyone left the press conference with the idea Velasquez would be wrestling on AAA’s biggest show of the year. Texano Jr., Psycho Clown, and Pentagon Jr. all interrupted the end of the press conference to each challenge Velasquez over his February comments calling lucha libre fake. AAA teased that one of them would be the opponent, though Penta also threw out the idea of a 2v2 tag match. There was no mention of how or when the opponent would be decided.
Wrestling Observer’s story about Velasquez states that Cain’s comments negative about lucha libre part of an angle intended to lead to this point. It did not come as a storyline at a time and they did a good job of it if this was the plan all along. The announcement of Velasquez appearing on TripleMania has gotten a lot of press for the event already. (A lot more than the AEW bit, obviously, though they’re targetting a different audience with each.) It may end up weird – it is AAA, it would be weird if they weren’t werid – but it seems like a success on day 1. Even beyond ticket selling: AAA want to be known as the important wrestling promotion in Mexico and one of the most important ones in the world and this sort of stunt helps get them there.
TV Azteca also announced TripleMania would air live on Azteca 7. The joint nature of the contract indicates Azteca is footing the bill for at least some of this, and this would probably not be happening if AAA had stuck with Televisa. Jesus Zuniga ended the press conference by mentioning AAA would be seen on all their various platforms; if you’ve watched it on Twitch, you’ll probably still be able to see it on Twitch.
It is unclear how UFC feels about all of this. Cain acknowledged he was still under contract to UFC between “2-3” more fights. UFC has an inconsistent policy about letting people under contract participate in professional wrestling, and it may be dependent on what Cain’s actual role is.
Lucha Central reported Monday night that Hijo del Fantasma/King Cuerno, Ivelisse, Thunder Rosa/Kobra Moon, and Joey Ryan have been given their Lucha Underground releases. They’ve all dropped their lawsuits as part of a settlement. Texano Jr. has also withdrawn his lawsuit. It does not appear Texano has been released. Ivelisse, Hijo del Fantasma, Thunder Rosa, and Joey Ryan have acknowledged their releases
These lawsuits were filed just last month, so it could not have gotten too far before both sides agreed on a settlement. You could read that as the wrestlers having a really strong case, the LU side deciding it is not worth bothering at this point, or some combination of both. People leaving seems a bad sign for Lucha Underground’s future, but Lucha Underground’s future has been pretty dim for a while. (This was the moment where I realized I desperately needed to work on an obit because the news could come at any time.) It is interesting that Texano withdrew his lawsuit without getting his own release – perhaps being part of this TripleMania bit was part of his own settlement – but getting a release or not might not matter much longer.
Meanwhile, WrestlingInc had an interview with Jake Strong/Jack Swagger, who expressed the same frustration with the long hiatus between seasons as everyone else. He says he hasn’t heard much from the company since last season’s taping ended. Strong says he’s under the same restrictive contract as others and that his lawyer (his sister) has helped others “straighten out” contract terms. That could mean others in Lucha Underground are taking actions to get out of their contract and we haven’t heard of it, or it could just mean wrestlers in general and not necessarily LU ones.
Monday night, AAA revealed the lineup for their Mexicali taping. This is two tapings down the road, though AAA’s long stretches mean it is still a month away.
AAA TV (FRI) 04/26/2019 Plaza de Toros Calafia, Mexicali, Baja California [AAA]
1) Black Danger & Lady Maravilla vs Big Mami & Niño Hamburguesa
2) Faby Apache & Taya vs ? & Chik Tormenta
3) Golden Magic vs Hijo Del Vikingo, Villano III Jr., Flamita [AAA CRUISER, #1 Contenders]
winner gets a shot at Laredo Kid at some point
4) Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana vs Australian Suicide, Jack Evans, Sammy Guevara
5) Brian Cage & Laredo Kid vs Daga & Taurus
6) La Parka, Psycho Clown, Puma King vs Chessman, Rey Escorpión, Texano Jr.
The show looks good, though with the usual confusing moments. Jack’s new rudo trio finally teams up – against another rudo team. That is assuming Australian Suicide is good to go (the photo on the poster is either a way out of date photo of him or someone else.) The four-way gives Villano III Jr. to get in a normal match for the first time in a while. Taking his place as Lady Maravilla’s partner is supposed to be Black Danger, but Danger showing up in The Crash suggests he’s left AAA – or maybe is just trying to. Black Danger is also on the 04/05 Tijuana taping, so we’ll know by then (and the poster won’t be updated either way.) Chik Tormenta remains in the Faby Apache opposition group; someone thought ahead enough to realize Keyra wouldn’t be at this show and added Tormenta to keep this going perhaps.
This week’s AAA TV on YouTube put some emphasis on the Hijo del Fantasma versus La Parka & son issue from the first taping of the year. That’s obviously not going anywhere now and maybe they’ll shift it over to one of the other Mercenarios in that main event.
On Roberto Figurera’s podcast, Dr. Wagner Jr. said he was planning to retire in two years. I’m not taking it seriously because Alberto el Patron has turned “I’m returning in two years” into comedy; it’s just close enough to seem serious but far enough away not to be bound by it.
There’s an AAA show August 10th in Saltillo. It may be a taping, it is not clear. This article hypes it as a TripleMania follow up show and wonders if Kenny Omega or other AEW wrestlers will be there. I don’t think Kenny Omega is coming to Saltillo but Cain Velazquez is working TripleMania so who knows.
CMLL (MON) 03/25/2019 Arena Puebla [CMLL, Lost in Lucha, Lucha Central]
1) Black Tiger, Fuerza Chicana, Policeman b Astro, Asturiano, Meyer
Rudos took 2/3.
2) Arkalis, Pantera Blanca, Súper Astro Jr. b Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Hijo del Signo
Tecnicos took 1/3. Super Astro’s return from injury.
3) Misterioso Jr., Olímpico, Sagrado b Audaz, Drone, Stigma
Rudos took 2/3. Drone ended up with no mask.
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Valiente DQ Cavernario, La Bestia Del Ring, Terrible
Tecnicos took 1/3. Terrible fouled Angel de Oro
5) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero b Hijo de LA Park, LA Park, Volador Jr.
Rudos took 2/3. Finish saw UG fouled Park, Volador foul UG, and GG foul Volador for a win. This set up a Gran Guerrero/Volador match for next week.
Ultimo Guerrero and LA Park spent the last few minutes fighting each other, and then CMLL took a sudden turn to Gran Guerrero & Volador. That’ll be alright – though Volador on a b-show main event is not a winning formula – but it was a harsh right turn. I had a suspicion they weren’t actually going to give Puebla Ultimo Guerrero vs LA Park. The turnout was noticeably up for the last couple of weeks. I don’t think they’re sticking around next week.
My read on the semi-main finish is CMLL might be doing the missing Angel de Oro/Terrible H2L finish in the form of a singles match in a couple of weeks but maybe I’m overreading it to it.
Tonight’s Arena Mexico show has a few interesting matches. Volador Jr. teams with Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja against brothers Sanson & Cuatrero as well as Euforia. The semi-main – Atlantis, Soberano and Stuka against Mephisto, Ephesto and Hechicero – is the quality of most Tuesday main events. Flyer gets a chance to redeem himself against Titan, and the tercera is not bad either. The show will stream at 7:30 pm local, still one hour later if you’re in Daylight Savings.
Guadalajara has Caristico teaming with Hermanos Lee against Ultimo Guerrero, Gran Guerrero and Cavrenario.
Box Y Lucha 3378 has a cover story on the return of Magia Blanca, who has not yet returned as far as I can tell. Maybe he’ll be back from last year’s knee injury soon.
The Crash 04/13 in Auditorio de Tijuana
The angle at the end of the show left open the possibility it could be Rey Horus in that spot.
IAW announced a 04/27 show in Mexico City’s Gym Hercules. The building held a bunch of shows in 2016 & 2017 before kicking out most wrestling promotions. The only lucha show in the venue last year was over Independence Day.
MexaWrestling & Lucha Memes have announced a “Battle of Naucalpan” show. No date seems to be announced, but tickets go on sale at the Lucha Memes show this weekend. This is a Battle of Los Angeles parody poster, though it is not immediately clear if they mean to do a single elimination tournament.
LuchaWorld has the latest edition of their Podcast.
CMLL (SUN) 03/31/2019 Arena México
1) Magnus & Sangre Imperial vs El Coyote & Grako
2) La Jarochita, Mystique, Skadi vs Amapola, La Comandante, Reyna Isis
3) Shockercito © vs Pierrothito [CMLL MINI]
4) Blue Panther, Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Kawato San, Luciferno, Tiger
5) Ángel de Oro, Flyer, Niebla Roja vs Dark Magic, La Bestia Del Ring, Máscara Año 2000
6) Atlantis Jr., Carístico, Volador Jr. vs Negro Casas, Shocker, Terrible
It does not matter who is the CMLL mini estrellas champion, but Shockericto is around more often then Pierrothito. That match will probably be the best CMLL minis match this year.
IWRG (SUN) 03/31/2019 Arena Naucalpan
1) Latino & Puma de Oro vs Guerrero 2000 & Neza Kid
2) Atomic Star, Black Shadow Jr., Mexica vs Auzter, Ra-Zhata, Shil-Kah
3) Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Eragón vs Ángel Tormenta, Látigo, Mosca
4) Cerebro Negro vs Demonio Infernal
5) Dr. Cerebro, El Hijo De Huracán Ramírez, Internacional Pantera vs Death Metal, Karaoui, Máscara Año 2000 Jr.
6) Aramis, Ciclón Ramírez, Imposible vs Dragón Bane, Eterno, Golden Magic
7) Hijo de Canis Lupus © vs El Hijo del Medico Asesino [IWRG JUNIORS]
first defense, won back in September
It doesn’t matter much who is the IWRG Juniors champion either. Semimain should be good. Nice that Death metal is getting to stay in upper section of the card for at least the moment. Cerbero Negro/Demonio Infernal is probably setting up a title match.