TripleMania set for 12/12, FantasticaMania not on NJPW’s schedule, Leyenda de Azul

TripleMania is on December 12th in Arena Ciudad de Mexico

Pretty sure this is correct this time. Space accidentally revealed the date in a Twitter post last night, then deleted it about an hour later. AAA sent out a press conference invite for Monday which listed the date later. AAA publically confirmed the date this morning.

The press conference is listed as Monday at 11 AM (but often starts later than that.) AAA will surely announce a full card and the streaming/television plans, though we can guess a bit.

Space has it as a 7 pm (CT) start time. TripleMania airing on Space means it’ll likely also air on Televisa and be streamed through the internet. AAA’s streamed recent TripleManias on Twitch. They haven’t run a Twitch stream since the start of the pandemic; all their streaming has been on Facebook and there’s a good chance that’s where this TripleMania will stream.

AAA lists Arena Ciudad de Mexico as the location. That is where TripleMania usually takes place and was announced as taking place this year. That’s when AAA (and the building) believed they may be able to bring in fans. That’s probably not happening – AAA would need some special government permission and there’s no indication that’s happening. Arena Ciudad de Mexico is a big building feeling even bigger empty. Running the venue might be best done by hiding the venue as much as possible, which makes it odd they’re running the Arena Ciudad de Mexico at all. (Maybe it’s a great deal, or maybe it’s a bad deal AAA can’t get out of.) WWE has ‘shrunk’ the empty space in an arena by using video screens, as has Ring of Honor to a lesser extent. Maybe we’ll see something like with AAA. It’s also possible that “Arena Ciudad de Mexico” might actually mean a parking lot. The building has run some drive-in movies there, so an AutoLuchas setup might be possible. (My recollection was the parking was mostly underground which Google Maps seems to confirm.)

Running in Arena Ciudad de Mexico is also a minor health issue – AAA fans are going to come to the building anyway just to see their favorite stars – which might have not been an issue if they were taping in a secret TV studio.

Dr. Landru has noted some concern about foreign wrestlers being able to come. That does seem a reasonable concern in the middle of a worsening pandemic. Kenny Omega was recently on Wrestling Observer Radio and talked about the Laredo Kid match as if he is expects it to happen. AAA also continues to promote it. AEW hasn’t mentioned the Laredo/Omega match, but it was hard to hype something without an announced date and they have their own priorities. (A TripleMania on 12/12 would give Omega plenty of time to quarantine and wrestle on a NJPW Tokyo Dome show, should that be a concern.) I assume he’s still good for TripleMania and I have seen nothing to indicate Taya won’t be able to make it, but we’ll know more about AAA’s plans on Monday.

It is worth keeping in mind these are just plans in 2020; between travel issues, governmental restrictions and COVID-19 tests, everyone’s got to hold their breath on about a lineup until they see who can actually make it in the building on the day of the show. I’d guess Chessman & Pagano are going to be heavily encouraged to isolate for the days before the show but a lot of this is just crossing fingers.

TripleMania came up on Mas Luchas’ En+carados podcast around the 1 hour 38 mark. Jose Manuel Guillen said he believed it’d be a no-fans TripleMania. He also said it was December or not at all for this year’s TripleMania; if they couldn’t get it done, they were going to move on.

FantasticaMania 2021 is not on NJPW’s schedule for January

Twitter user JC Vazquez noticed NJPW lists a “Road to New Beginning” tour on the dates usually reserved for FantasticaMania. (You can see the schedule on their English and Japanese sites.) Neither NJPW nor CMLL has acknowledged FantasticaMania’s absence. It is concievable NJPW will run the tour later in the year, but it would probably take the lifting of restrictions (and widespread vaccine availibility) and it’s hard to plan for that without a definite timeline. My guess is it is more likely the tour doesn’t happen at all in 2021 and they restart in 2022.

CMLL was reportedly telling wrestlers Fantastica Mania was still on as recently as two weeks ago. They were lying. It was fairly obviously to anyone following the health situations that Japan wasn’t going to let in two dozen foreigners to travel around their country during this health crisis. NJPW has struggled to get in their regular group of non-Japan regular wrestlers, has not gotten a Mexican wrestler to the ring, and doesn’t appear to have even tried to do so with a CMLL wrestler. This is another lost oppurtinty for exposure and money in a year full of them for Mexican wrestlers.

This tour is valuable to CMLL wrestlers. Wrestlers stand to make a lot of money via merchandise and other fan related activies. It’s also just a big career achievement for a wrestler to say he’s gone to Japan once (not to mention those who keep count of their trips as if they’re title reigns.) The lure of a FantasticaMania trip has kept people from leaving CMLL; on the flipside, Puma King getting his trip and realizing he probably wouldn’t get another any time soon probably was a factor in him leaving CMLL. If FantasticaMania trip was pulled in normal times, I think you’d see some CMLL wrestlers looking elsewhere for work. There is not much work elsewhere right now, so I’m not sure it will have the same effect. It might nudge someone otherwise getting nowhere in CMLL to just step away for now.

It is worth nothing that a fair amount of NJPW fans, more so those outside of Japan, will be fairly positive about this news. Those western fans understandably are hoping for immediate follow up on things they saw at their biggest shows of the year and are instead annual given a two week tour of wrestlers they largerly don’t know or care about. I believe the Mexican wrestlers are actually popular and appreciated among NJPW native fans. I also think NJPW does well finicially on the tour and values having an easy stretch of shows for wrestlers after the stress and punishment of the Tokyo Dome events. I expect NJPW will pick these events back up when they can, but also that you’ll see English language fan sentiment that they prefer the schedule without it.

Other Notes

CMLL Informa has Forastero, Hechicero, Black Panther, Tiger, Princesa Sugehit and Reyna Isis as guests. Everyone but Hechicero has a match on Friday. Hechicero hasn’t been seen since the September 18th Ticketmaster Live show, apparently suffering an injury which will keep him out the rest of the year. Maybe that’ll come up today.

CMLL uploaded the 2006 Leyenda de Azul. This was a sixteen-man single-elimination tournament. It was also a tournament where Dr. Wagner reached the semifinal and CMLL again edited out his three matches. It is hard to imagine how it is possible to follow a tournament when that much is cut out. It also seems fruitless; the video had been seen less than 5,000 times when I checked it midday. Not many people would be seeing Dr. Wagner even if he was included.

All the past Leyenda de Azul tournaments are now available one place or another

The Jalisco governor announced fans would be allow at today’s Chivas vs America game. They’re limiting it to 12% of capacity. Jalisco is in the same orange health code as Mexico City and elsewhere. There’s no sudden medical change explaining this decision, just justifying with the idea that they can safely spread everyone out over a large building for an annually important game. One place allowing it means others hope to have the same permission, so Guadalajara lucha libre fans are discussing the possible reopening of their (much smaller, very indoors) buildings. Arena Coliseo Guadalajara seemed to respond to this by posting a note saying they’d like to return but they’re still unable to until the government gives them permission and aren’t going to endanger their wrestler’s safety. The Jalisco governor is pitching this as a pilot program to see if other states can do it. It may actually signal different states enacting very different polices as seen in the US.

AAA posted a promo with Nino Hamburguesa & Big Mami responding to a previous challenge from T-Hawk and Lindaman of Stronghearts. This all started with a random attack back in January. In normal times, this would suggest a match for TripleMania. No idea right now.

El Sol de Tampico has a useful profile of AAA referee Piero. He was a fan of wrestling since being a kid, especially of the women wrestlers. He traveled to Mexico City at 15 and met Irma Gonzalez & Irma Aguilar, then they convinced him to come with to a show in Tlaxcala. They were missing a referee for the show and, since the kid knew everything about lucha libre, decided to put him in the ring. He was uncertain about it but a friend of his had started wrestling at the age of 15, he went with it. He’s been in AAA for the last 19 years and is 52 now.

Ring of Honor says they’ll announce matches for their 12/18 Final Battle show next week. Rush, Dragon Lee and Mexasquad are scheduled to defend their titles.

Rey Fenix continues to do public service announcements encouraging people to stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19. Fenix & Pac face the Butcher & the Blade tonight on AEW Dynamite.

Penta has opened a wrestling school in Ecatepec. Skayde and Arez will be trainers for classes four days a week.

R de Rudo has a profile of luchador/space alien Tromba.

Arena Lopez Matoes will run their (delayed) 53rd Anniversary show on Christmas.

60s/70s luchador Pokarito Reyes (Homero Cepeda Torres) passed away Sunday due to a heart attack.


IWRG (SUN) 11/29/2020 Arena Naucalpan
1) Cheff Benito vs Komander
2) Sobredosis vs Baby Xtreme [IWRG IC Light, semifinal]
3) The Tiger vs Toxin [super libre]
4) Mexica, Relámpago, Veneno vs Estrella Divina, Karaoui, Tiago
5) Jessy Ventura & Pasion Kristal vs Big Chico Che & Big Ovett
6) Hijo de Canis Lupus & Hijo del Alebrije vs Demonio Infernal & Fresero Jr. and Hijo Del Espectro Jr. & Súper Nova and Fuerza Guerrera NG & Puma King [Relevos Increíbles]

So they’re not doing the tag team tournament final on this show despite having everyone there? I clearly do not understand what is happening here.

Komander returns – maybe. I’m guessing Komander is probably not wrestling an IWRG opener if he’s got a main event booking near home, unless he’s already coming to Mexico City for other reasons.