Dinastía beat Octagoncito
(8:49, Spanish Fly, good, Lucha Libre AAA)
Laredo Boy beat Drago Kid
(6:50, springboard moonsault, ok, Lucha Libre AAA)
La Hiedra beat Hades
(6:19, sit down powerbomb, good, Lucha Libre AAA)
Hijo Del Vikingo beat Mamba
(7:40, Cuerno de Vikingo, good, Lucha Libre AAA)
Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Mr. Iguana
(6:35, front slam that’ll we’ll pretend was the Wagner Driver, good, Lucha Libre AAA)
Texano beat Dave The Clown
(6:10, piledriver, ok, Lucha Libre AAA)
Psycho Clown beat Drago
(8:14, sit down powerbomb, good, Lucha Libre AAA)
Lucha Fighter is a limited-run series featuring men’s, women’s, and minis tournaments. The show will include 16 men, 8 women, and 4 minis. Both Wagner and Mamba were surprised. Pagano, Chessman, Nino Hamburguesa, Octagon Jr., Laredo Kid, Myzteziz Jr. and two more yet to be announced wrestlers are left to compete on the male side. Lady Shani, Big Mami, Faby Apache, Lady Maravilla, Keyra and Vanilla are left for the women.
These are believed to be single-elimination tournaments – the idea that the winner would advanced was mentioned after matches – but there was no explanation of the overall concept. (The minis tournament may instead be a round-robin tournament or be just about over, it’s not immediately clear.) There was a lot of emphasis on having fan votes determine the matches. A Facebook poll set the Mamba/Hiedra match and the men’s matches were determined by YouTube poll results through the night.
Dr. Wagner appeared as a surprise at the start of the show, announcing his return to AAA. (He’d been gone 108 days.) Mr. Iguana tried to pick up Hiedra after her win and met no success.
This was the first of four shows from a closed set – a TV set or a warehouse judging from the ceiling. AAA showed the set being fumigated before the show and the ring cleaned in between each match. The two announcers for the show sat at opposite sides of the entrance set. The referees and ringside personal all wore masks and gloves. There seemed to be a half dozen people standing behind the hard camera when that side very occasionally made it on air.
This was a positive show. I’m not excited about these types of shows for both health and quality reasons, but they did as well as possible with both. It did seem as though they took the health concerns as well as possible for something that still is a professional wrestling show. The quality was helped by keeping matches under ten minutes, keeping the show under two hours, and setting up an environment where it felt like the noise was bouncing off the close walls rather than overpowered by the stillness. Nothing was exceptional – a factor as much of the odd matchups as much as the environment – but it was still an easy watch.
Drago & Psycho meshed well despite not having a great dynamic. Psycho was among a few guys who play to the crowd a lot as part of their normal matches and had to adjust. He didn’t have too many problems with that adjustment. (He also was really good at finding the camera to play to it instead; don’t let WWE find out.) I would’ve liked to see Drago in a different match but a tournament of Pyscho Clown singles matches could be pretty fun.
The dynamics between Texano & Dave the Clown didn’t really work. It didn’t work as a hard-hitting enough match to make the rudo/rudo bit work, and neither was much of a tecnico. The piledriver at the end looked bad for old Dave.
A fun thing about this tournament, like the Lucha Capital shows, is it provides a lot of non-tag matches to a promotion that’s 90% tag. There’s going to be twenty-eight singles matches by the end if AAA follows this out in a normal pattern, and it is unlikely there will be 28 singles matches on normal AAA TV the entire year. (There were 18 last year.) Even in a promotion full of singles matches, it’s unlikely AAA would get around to do a Wagner/Iguana match. This tournament gave us that Wagner/Iguana match and so it justified itself. The match was not the greatest match ever and Wagner was a tired doctor by the end, but the rest of the match was everything you’d want out of the matchup. Wagner sold for Iguana for his submissions, Wagner went along with Yeska spots, Wagner generally made Iguana feel like a bigger deal just by being in there with him while still putting him away fairly at the end. Wagner generally did a lot more in this match than he had in his last few AAA matches – I guess you can’t just sell and look at the crowd as much when there’s no crowd – and that might have contributed to the last couple of spots not going well. It was still a fun interaction from two people unlikely to interact even in AAA.
The Vikingo/Mamba clash, but it was really just nice to see Vikingo do Vikingo things again. He was on point, even landing the Cuerno de Vikingo cleaner than usual. Mamba had a lot of size over Vikingo but didn’t really use it during their control part of the match. Mamba wasn’t a negative but didn’t add a lot.
I think Hiedra/Hades have a better match in them a couple of years now if they’re still at it, but this was enjoyable for a random tournament match. Hades and Hiedra messed up the first big high spot they tried, though they got it back a bit with the two dives. Hades still needs the right situations to look good and singles matches may be pushing it. Hiedra impressively destroyed Hades in the end.
Laredo Boy and Drago Kid was rough, though it has some moments. Drago Boy seemed to come short on dives and catching them, and there were some spots that didn’t go well. Laredo Kid versus Dinastia looks like the match of this group. This seems like a decent experience for Drago Boy even if the matches don’t turn out great.
Dinastia & Octagoncito had a lot of spots. It held together well enough for being two tecnicos, but they weren’t really didn’t have any direction. Dinastia is good enough to make Octagoncito interesting, but the best comes out of him with a rudo. Four tecnicos in this tournament is a bit of a limitation in styles.