Back on Thursday, AAA held a press conference in Madison Square Garden to announce they will be running a show in the New York City arena on Sunday September 15th. The show is timed with Mexican Independence Day, and tickets will go on sale on Cinco de Mayo. No ticket prices were announced. AAA posted video of the press conference on YouTube and sent out a press release. No matches or full lineup was announced. Blue Demon Jr., Penta, Fenix, Puma, Drago, Aerostar, Taya, Daga, Johnny Mundo, and Tessa Blanchard were wrestlers promoted for the show, with Konnan and Dorian Roldan also representing AAA. Konnan talked about how AAA ran the adjacent smaller theatre and Antonio Pena talking about someday running the arena. Psycho Clown and Lady Shani also did interviews for it in Mexico. AAA stated they’d have more announcements to come, including a show in the Los Angeles area to be announced in the next few weeks.
I was skeptical of this idea when it was obvious it was coming. There’s not much they announced that changed my mind about it working as a draw, but I’m trying to figure out what they’re thinking. Perhaps it’ll be OK financially. I get the sense that someone else this might be promoters paying to bring AAA to the states for a tour similar to the Colombia show or the 2009 AAA tour. That would mean AAA’s getting paid a set fee and they’re not hurt if the shows tanks. It’s just yet not 100% clear that’s the case and it was presented here like this is an AAA run show.
The show concept seems to be presenting AAA as a traditional form of Mexican entertainment – similar to what CMLL does in Mexico – that’ll be a cultural part of the Mexican Independence Day celebrations. It’s tough to get more traditional Mexico than Blue Demon, so he’s front and center on the poster. AAA would like to draw in diehard wrestling fans, the type that went to ROH/NJPW show because they knew it would be a big show, but the main thrust of their effort is drawing in the Mexican and Latin American communities. That means stuff like bringing in AEW (at last report, not happening) or a World Cup might be helpful but not essential to what they’re doing. They’ll win or lose this by the type of inroads they make in the local Hispanic community. That is not impossible – many of us who’ve gone to lucha libre events that have gotten no attention outside of that community, and still have drawn hundred or thousands of people because they still reached the right people. It’s just going to be a tougher task given all the people they need for a Madison Square Garden level show.
That set up means it is going to be really tough to tell from outside of the community if this is going to work. Social media buzz may not be a great indicator. It’s going to be ticket sales and not much else. What they scale those tickets at is going to be a big factor: it’s easier to sell a lucha libre show as a way to celebrate a holiday the cheaper those tickets are, but running MSG and flying all that talent isn’t cheap. It would tremendously help if people in New York could actually watch AAA on a TV network at this point. The Twitch numbers are tiny compared to TV. The YouTube numbers are better but still only reaching people looking around for Mexican wrestling content already.
Schramm Marketing was listed on the press release as a contact. They call themselves a “multicultural marketing group in New York City.” They mention promoting Gold Cub soccer games and Mexico versus Ivory Coast in New York in 2013, so they’ll probably be the key to reaching the intended audience. If they can convince New York an AAA show is akin to the Mexico men’s soccer team coming to the US, then this will be an easy success. People from Oak Venue Group spoke at the presentation. They’re an alliance of different arenas around the US. That includes the Forum in Los Angeles, so that’s the likely location for an AAA show.
I think I’m going to AAA in MSG just to see it happen.
AAA TV (FRI) 04/05/2019 Auditorio de Tijuana, Tijuana, Baja California[Lucha Central, The Gladiatores, Zona Ruda]
1) Cósmico b Skalibur, Kamik-C
Dark match. Jonathan was moved up so this turned into a three way.
2) Genio del Aire b Black Destiny, Drake, Jonathan, Rayo Star, Fantastik
described as a 6 way in the results, originally a trios match. Black Destiny replaced Drake (Las Vegas wrestler), who replaced Black Danger (quit to go back The Crash)
3) Drago © b Hijo Del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr., Aerostar, Argenis [AAA LA]
Originally for the EMW Middleweight title, switch to the AAA Latin America Championship. 3rd defense.
4) Keyra, Lady Maravilla, Villano III Jr. b La Hiedra, Lady Shani, Niño Hamburguesa
La Hiedra betrayed her partners.
5) Mamba, Máximo, Pimpinela Escarlata b Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
6) La Máscara & Texano Jr. b Joe Lider & Pagano
Copa EMW and cage match stipulations were dropped. La Hiedra helped Los Mercenarios and was said to be part of the group.
7) Dr. Wagner Jr. & Psycho Clown b Blue Demon Jr. & Rey Escorpión [cage]
Wagner pulled Demon’s mask.
I’ve seen parts of this show but hardly remember them. I remember struggling to stay awake thru the main event, falling asleep after, and having forgotten everything about it the next day. Perhaps I didn’t make the right sleep choice there. My impression is this was an inessential show as far as storylines with some good matches but nothing you can’t wait to watch. If you missed this live and aren’t on a Twitch subscriber anyway, this is not a show you need to pay for and it’s a bad time to subscribe anyway; the next AAA show isn’t for three weeks. This show still should be on the VOD at that point; it may not be on YouTube for months.
La Hiedra joining Los Mercenarios is the most meaningful bit of the show. It is hard to know if it’ll stick. The last show had Daga ending the Perros del Mal and this show had Joe Lider wearing Perros del Mal gear. Maybe the idea is Lider has decided the group hasn’t ended after all but I didn’t see an explanation. They got rid of the local EMW stuff, which makes it easier to follow. The TV opener was said to be usual Tijuana craziness, with the guy from Las Vegas fitting in well. Black Danger being off here means he’s probably not coming to Mexicali but AAA will still advertise him for the next three weeks. Jonathan is a guy that people in Tijuana have been high on and I believe is under AAA contract, but this is the first time he’s actually been used. I assume Rayo Star moved to Tijuana at some point because he’s only on those shows (and not the Mexico State ones he used to be on.) Latin American title match was said to be good as well.
(Aside: I can’t help but point out that AAA’s stream without Vampiro did better than every stream with Vamprio since they’ve started the English broadcasts. It is probably some momentum – there’s virtually no advertising of it existing so it takes for people to find it – and some attention from the AAA press conference and wrestling, in general, this week but I like confirming my preconceived notions. I don’t think people were so turned off by Vampiro and jumped at a chance to watch English with him gone, I’m just pretty sure that Vampiro is not at all a draw as a broadcaster and a professional broadcaster would be immensely more valuable in the role. I’ve written this a thousand times now, sorry.)
The next taping is in Mexicali, April 26th, 18 days from now. In usual AAA schedule madness, they’ll have that long break without a taping, and then have four tapings scheduled in ten days. I’m not sure if all of those are still on. There should be lineups out for Los Mochis and Hermosillo soon if they’re happening.
MEXA WRESTLING (SAT) 04/06/2019 Arena San Juan Pantitlan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México [Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), Lucha Central, The Gladiatores]
1) Leo, Mike, Teelo b Lunatik Fly, Lunatik Xtreme, Toto
2) Black Danger b Low Rider, Metaleón, Torito Negro, Baby Xtreme
3) Lady Flammer b Sanely, La Magnifica [MEXA WRESTLING WOMEN, torneo]
Sanely & La Magnifica replaced Lady Flammer & Christi Jaynes around 03/30. Flammer faces Quetzal in the final.
4) Virus b Toro Negro
money thrown in
5) Aramis & Látigo b Arkángel Divino & Último Maldito and Dragón Bane & Séptimo Dragón
Aramis replaced Alan Extreme. Money thrown in.
6) Flamita b Sansón
an exchange of fouls for the finish
7) El Diablo Fly Star b Bestia 666
Bestia asked for a rematch in Tijuana
Bestia & Flamita made both WrestleCon and MextaCon. The fifth match sounds like it was the best on the show. The main event looks violent. It seems like they drew well.
I’ll catch up on the Battle of Naucalpan tomorrow because I’m not sure if MexaWrestling forgot to pick yesterday or if I’m missing a pick. If a person who spends a lot of time on keeping track of lucha libre things is finding it hard to keep track of your concept, it probably isn’t working for 99% of people who care a whole lot less.
IWRG (SUN) 04/07/2019 Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, The Gladiatores]
Guerra del Golfo, 2019
1) Puma de Oro b Guerrero 2000
2) Mexica & Saruman b Neza Kid & Toto
Toto replaced Maquina Infernal
3) Eterno, Lunatic Xtreme, Último Maldito b Arkángel Divino, Dinamic Black, Eragón
money thrown in
4) Cerebro Negro © b Demonio Infernal [IWRG IC WELTER]
3rd defense. Money thrown in.
5) Metaleón b Black Danger (Baja California), Súper Nova, Multifacético, Manchas, Capo del Norte, Golden Magic, Imposible [cage, loser advance]
Capo del Norte replaced Rayan. Metaleon lost and moved to the final. For reasons unclear, the order of the cage matches was changed. This was first but called Jaula B
6) Mike L El Hijo De Huracán Ramírez, Séptimo Rayo, Mosca, Hijo del Alebrije, El Hijo del Medico Asesino, Death Metal, Diablo Jr. [cage, loser advance]
7) Metaleón b Mike [cage, mask]
Mike is Hector Eduardo Martinez Sanchez, 25, 6 years a wrestler
Estrellas del Ring has the video of Mike being unmasked. Not sure if IWRG or the wrestlers under the masks, but it seems like someone’s thought the age of the Ninja Turtles has come and gone for a while. It would’ve been more memorable if they just did a big group mask versus mask show instead of slowly having one lose after another. Mike & Teelo are unmasked. Leo & Rafy aren’t around much. This way does create designed losers for the big IWRG gimmick shows.
Tonight’s Puebla show has the usual but of randomness. Old rivals La Bestia del Ring & Diamante Azul are on opposite sides of the main event, which makes it sound a bit worse than it actually is. Caristico & Ultimo Guerrero team with Bestia and Mephisto & Valiente team with Diamante Azul. Last week’s relevos incriebles match set up nothing in particular, but perhaps this will be different.
The two matches underneath look better. Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja & Soberano are going for the national trios title on Tuesday. They warm up on Monday against Templario, Hechicero and Cavernario, a pretty great sounding rudo trio. It could be a better match than the championship one depending on how hard they go. Ephesto, Luciferno, and Misterioso face Fuego, Guerrero Maya and Kraneo should be a fun match. There’s a women’s match and a locals match to open it. Tyson La Besita is back to create more GIFs.
Daylight savings time has hit Mexico! Arena Puebla is back to starting at 9 pm CT. If you don’t know what this is for you, maybe click here. (It’s 11 AM for the rest of the summer for the fine people in Tokyo.) The stream link is already up on CMLL’s YouTube.
One familiar face who will not be seen tonight in Puebla will be Tirantes. He announced on Facebook that he left CMLL on March 29th. He talks about a cycle coming to an end and praised everyone who worked there. He had been with CMLL nine years, debuting as part of the Invasors bit. Tirantes had a role in running the Arena Puebla shows and had also been used as the mean judge for the En Busca de un Idolo contest.
CMLL doesn’t typically get rid of referees. It’s a tenured position where CMLL won’t replace anyone as long as they’re physically able to make three counts. (And even then, they let Tigre Hispano keep going until he got injured during a match and it seemed unsafe.) Tirantes had no obvious physical limitations. He had some behavioral limitations. This would make a lot more sense as a dismissal (or changing his job conditions to the point to get him to quit) rather than both sides walking away from each other. I don’t know that’s what happened but I’d bet on it.
The reaction to this news on Twitter has been amazingly split. Some people hated Tirantes messing with matches and wrestlers for the last few years. Some people seemed to have loved Tirantes being a force of chaos. Whichever way you felt about Tirantes, it was impossible to ignore him. Tirantes had become known for ending matches earlier than planned. Occasionally, it had been because a wrestler just didn’t kick out quite fast enough and Tirantes treated it like it was real instead of holding up. Of late, it had seemed Tirantes was often quick counting people to end the matches early so he could go do anything else. Tirantes had already frequently started doing heel slow/fast counts in singles matches, especially in Puebla where there was no one overseeing him, just to get a reaction from the crowd. It rarely seemed like something planned in advance or meant to help the match. Countless post match challenges on Monday nights included a tecnico asking for a rematch next week “with another referee!” They’d always still get Tirantes, who would then do the same bits. Tirantes was known to enjoy drinking after matches, and there were a few times where he performed in a manner where it appeared he may have started early.
All of these issues had been going on for years and were obvious to all. CMLL could’ve justified moving on from Tirantes years ago; never doing so seemed to indicate Tirantes was just bulletproof or CMLL didn’t care. CMLL did care enough to start keeping him out of the bigger singles matches, especially on Friday nights, but any sanctions or punishments for his behavior were not obvious or known. That makes it hard to figure out what the breaking point finally was to cause him to lose. Tirantes had messed up a match with a quick count the week prior, but that seemed no different than usual.
Tirantes was an original member of AAA, Antonio Pena’s new rudo referee to Pepe Casas’ tecnico referee. He was an integral part of the promotion for the first decade and a half, as well as the local promoter for his hometown of Xalapa. Tirantes left a couple of years after Antonio Pena’s death, among many people leaving over disagreements about changes the Roldans & Konnan were making to the promotion. Hijo del Tirantes, Tirantes son, stayed in AAA. Hijo del Tirantes was a tecnico referee opposite of his father at the time but has switched over into the role his father played for many years. His father would be duplication as an on-screen character now, though that might not matter if AAA believes it’ll he help to bring him back. AAA has also toned down the heel referee character of late, but they switch back from not wanting it all to doing it all the time every six months. Tirantes worked for the Perros del Mal promotion in between AAA & CMLL stints and would figure to at least be used a special attraction for the MDA/KAOZ type mid-level promotions if he’s interested in working independents.
Edgar Noriega has been on the CMLL Puebla shows for the last couple of weeks, so he might be the person in charge there now. It is possible CMLL might hire another person under the age of 70 to replace Tirantes.
Dragon Lee made it from New York to Oaxaca in about 24 hours, to win a tag match with local wrestler Arcanos against Ultimo Guerrero & La Bestia. In the semi-main, Rey Aguila went into convulsions after a top rope move, was stabilized and taken to the hospital.
Dragon Lee is not getting his wish to make his first defense against Hiromu Takahashi. He’ll instead face Taiji Ishimori in a rematch on May 3rd in Fukuoka as part of NJPW’s Wrestling Donatku back to back shows. Dragon Lee will be on the NJPW tour from April 15 to May 4th. The Best of Super Junior tour starts on May 13th, so it’s possible Dragon Lee might just stay over and not be back in Mexico until early June. Dragon Lee’s wrestling on Tuesday in Guadalajara, Friday in Arena Mexico and then we’ll see.
I think Saturday and that last paragraph is the answer to why Dragon Lee never ended up signing with Ring of Honor after the rumors it was happening this year. It doesn’t appear NJPW has given him a contract but he’s obviously a big part of their plans and he’s a big fan of working there.
CMLL’s recap of the NJPW/ROH show mentions Rush, Dragon Lee, Naito, and Matt Taven and no other matches. This is probably the only recap of that show in the world which will mention Taven winning a title and not Okada.
The Best of Super Juniors field will be announced on April 23rd. Dragon Lee will be in it. I expect Bandido will be in it as well. I don’t know if any other Mexicans will make the count. I’d like to see Soberano or Cavernario or Titan or a host of others, but there’s usually not many spots.
Some scattered thoughts about other luchadors around WrestleMania weekend
- Fenix & Penta were literally everywhere. They did end up making all of their bookings, as far as I can tell. They did a speed rush of their singles match on Thursday on the WrestleCon show and it got over well. They wrestled second, were supposed to have wrestled first, and were actually supposed to be in a tag match until about 15 or so minutes beforehand. Flight issued caused lots of headaches on the show, though the big matches still delivered.
- Daga had a great weekend. His match with David Starr on the US vs the World show was strong. I thought he might have gotten knocked out right before the finish but he seemed fine the next day. People were raving about his match with Minoru Tanaka on the first day of the MLW
- Puma did well in the 4v4 on the WrestleCon show. I liked he and Sammy Guevera’s match on US versus the World, but the crowd was sleepy during it and not enough seemed to be aware of their YouTube feud. Puma also made it back to MLW after all, though my impression is that was likely a one time thing. It is ever changing with MLW so maybe it’ll change again.
- Arez did some crazy stuff in WrestleCon three-way with Robbie Eagles and Flamita that made him stand out. I feel like I saw him on another show, but I can only recall a couple of shows where it looked like he might get on and then it got changed. He did learn the important lesson all Mexican wrestlers get taught when they’re brought in for US indie shows; bring lots of Large and Xtra Large t-shirts, not Mediums.
- Flamita seemed to benefit from the Dragon Gate guys getting canceled most of all, weirdly enough and seemed to do well with it. Besides the three-way, I heard the Swann match in Impact was good if not great and his performance in the RevPro four-way was impressive.
- LA Park won MLW’s Battle Riot. I was most concerned with how his match with Masato Tanaka on the Joey Janela show would go, since it was going to start after the ROH/NJPW show and that might be very late, but it sounds like it went well.
- I never saw Bestia & Damian wrestle this weekend – they went on the AIW show before I got there and I wasn’t at any of the other right shows – but I heard they did well.
- Same thing with Mr. Iguana. I think the match on the Joey Ryan show went well and he made it back on to the CZW show, but I really only saw him in passing. I didn’t even remember Rey Horus was there I looked at results. That’s not a shot at them, this thing was just vast this year.
- I was stunned and amused to read that Lucha Underground won the match over Team Impact. This looks like the final weekend ever of Lucha Underground representation but I guess we’ll see.
The indie gossip of this weekend was Arkangel Divino & Ultimo Maldito canceling off an upcoming KAOZ show, saying they’re with PALL and so can only really work for MDA in Monterrey. I guess there’s an idea that PALL said they don’t block promotions from using people, but the entire concept seems to be to help give the promoters involve stars that other promotions won’t have, so blocking people is part of it. There are no heroes here. I believe KAOZ has blocked luchadors from working for other promotions as well – Mexico indie wrestling is nothing but arguing over small turf wars for the sake of doing it. The interesting thing is it would be surprising if Arkangel Divino & Ultimo Maldito were allowed to sign with PALL while under contract to AAA, so perhaps they’re not in AAA any more? Or maybe they’re just making (sort of legal??) side deals since they’re barely being used by AAA?
In other KAOZ news – a promotion I can’t see and barely can find results for – Reina Dorada has apparently joined the CL4N. The feud here is Kaoz created a replacement Klan Kaoz led by Mesias and the originals are going after them.
MicromanFever has a translation of an LA Park interview about his life story. Park claims Antonio Pena originally told him he was going to debut in EMLL in November 1991 under the La Park, but “Pena got fired.” Which is weird, because Pena’s thought to have worked for EMLL up until the moment he quick to form AAA in spring of 1992. There’s a lot of other interesting stories in there.
Texas luchador Brindis del Aire passed away after a motorcycle accident on Friday. He was a tumbling coach in his other life.
In a recent promo, Rayman says Star Black is not a Linares, and is upset he’s playing off the Rayo de Jalisco image without being a family member.
Soccer player Raul Jimenez celebrated using a Sin Cara mask this weekend. They’re friends and talk on Twitter a bunch; Sin Cara sent that mask about a week ago.
Box Y Lucha #3380 has Mr. Niebla on the cover.
Segunda Caida watches a lucha libre cage match willingly.
Super Crazy wants to run a wrestling trainee camp to
Puma King has a video from wrestling in Guadalajara.
The Gladiatores has an interview with Babe Richard.
IWRG (WED) 04/10/2019 Arena Naucalpan
1) Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Eragón vs Avisman, Fulgor I, Fulgor II
2) La Heroína & Quetzal vs Lady Cat & Lilith Dark
3) Fantasma de la Ópera vs Carta Brava Jr. (LLB), Demus
4) Demonio Infernal, Eterno, Lunatic Xtreme vs Karaoui, Mosca, Zumbi
5) Diva Salvaje, Mamba, Pasion Kristal vs Oficial 911, Oficial AK47, Oficial Fierro
6) Hijo del Alebrije, Hijo Del Huracán Ramírez, Máscara Sagrada Jr. vs Máscara Año 2000 Jr., Rokambole Jr., Villano V Jr.
7) Aramis & Imposible © vs Capo del Norte & Capo del Sur [IWRG IC TAG]
This is a benefit show for Hip Hop Man, who suffered a leg injury last month and will be out for months.