Mexico broke their record for most COVID-19 deaths in a day Thursday with 1,682. Mexico City says the hospitalization rate has dropped to 77%. They remain overall in red health code for another week but will be opening shopping malls to 20%. They need to get under 66% to get out of red. Mexico State also remains in red.
AAA held a small press event on Thursday to talk more about their slate of shows with the Mexican tourism secretary. This was more focused on the nuts and bolts of the tour, called the “Luchando por la identidad de México” (Fighting for the identity of Mexico). The general scope of the plan is to do the usual AAA set of TV tapings at historic and cultural venues. AAA plans to be taping as often as they did in 2019, typically one location every two to three weeks. The difference, at least based on this first set, is they may be doing smaller single TV show tapings at multiple tourist locations in the same area rather than one longer one that’d air over multiple weeks. Dorian Roldan said these tapings would all follow local and national health regulations, including testing and sanitization. That means no fans at shows until/unless the health conditions improve.
These will be normal AAA shows, with angles and rivalries taking place. AAA intends to have major shows. No dates were announced; Rey de Reyes would normally be six to eight weeks from today. AAA said they are interested in using foreign wrestlers, though it appeared that will only happen on those bigger shows. The Marvel Lucha Libre wrestlers will also appear during the year, with new characters debuting. (These things were said separately but could mean we’ll only see most of them on the big shows.)
An important change for people who follow AAA on the internet is most shows will not be streamed live and will debut on TV instead. Roldan said they’re considering streaming the major shows, though did not commit to it. The potential issues with streaming from remote tourist locations were given as the reason. It could be one of a few reasons. AAA hasn’t regularly run events since their deal with Twitch expired, there’s not been a streaming deal to replace it, it’s unlikely AAA can get full value for such a deal when they can currently only stream in Mexico, so there’s no great incentive to figure out and pay for regular streaming right now. Like fans attending shows, streaming may just be a bit where everyone has to be patient for the conditions to get better. The shows will instead air normally on TV starting at the end of February and then sometime later go up on YouTube and Facebook. It seems like there’s been a larger gap of time between when shows air on TV and go up on YouTube due to the website channel going down – recent shows still have a 2020 copyright – but it’s always possible that gets fixed before the ‘new’ shows start.
Roldan mentioned the line for the first TV show to air, which appeared to be taped Thursday night.
AAA TV (THU) 02/04/2021 Plaza de Toros Jorge el Ranchero Aguilar, Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala
1) Arez vs Aramis vs Látigo
2) Faby Apache & Lady Shani vs La Hiedra & Lady Maravilla
3) Abismo Negro Jr. & Texano vs Laredo Kid & Octagón Jr.
4) Chessman & Rey Escorpión vs Hijo Del Vikingo & Psycho Clown
Dorian Roldan also mentioned AAA would also be taping at a ranch in Tlaxcala. No card for that. Octagon Jr. and Marisela Pena met with the Tlaxcala head of tourism and the mayor to promote these shows.
These functions are permitted by the Mexico Secretary of Tourism, but Dorian Roldan said the government is not paying for them. It’ll be their sponsors and the TV deals paying those bills. Roldan also mentioned AAA is close to renewing their deal with TV Azteca and expects them to remain their home on over the air TV. They’re hoping to get a better timeslot than their current last night Saturday post-boxing airing. The YouTube channel will also remain Mexico only until the current FMV legal situation has been resolved. Roldan mentioned the lawsuit, the first time AAA’s publicly acknowledged it. He framed it AAA having plenty enough business in Mexico that they’ll be able to continue fine while that situation is worked out.
The Durango secretary of tourism says AAA will be coming to Durango in September. The photo they use is an Old West town, originally a backdrop drop for movies and now a tourist stop. Durango knowing they’re going on September means AAA and the tourism group probably have a full year tentatively mapped out.
CMLL put up TV listings late in the wee. CMLL Informa earlier mentioned some matches, and the wrestlers seem to have graphics for their match.
Televisa (CMLL’s YouTube next week)
- Dulce Gardenia vs Misterioso Jr.
- Audaz, Drone vs Okumura, Vangellys
- Soberano Jr. vs Virus
- Terrible, Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja vs Volador Jr., Ultimo Guerrero, Diamante Azul
- Microman & Gallito vs Chamuel & Perico Zakarias
- Nitro & Akuma vs Magnus & Retro
- Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr., Flyer vs Templario, Forastero, Ephesto
- Sangre Imperial & Retro vs Espanto Jr. & Akuma (likely repeat)
- Virus vs Polvora
- Mistico, Atlantis Jr., Blue Panther vs Angel de Oro, Terrible, Niebla Roja (likely repeat)
- Volador Jr., Diamante Azul, Valiente vs Sanson, Cuatrero, Forastero
- Tiger vs Dark Magic (likely repeat)
All the TV shows matches appear to be new matches, which is a big shift from just a handful of new stuff in recent weeks. This is the first time we’ve ever heard what’s airing on Megacable; it looks like a distinct show though showing the same amount of matches from other shows. Fantasy’s appearance on MVS is the first we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic.
Arena Coliseo Guadalajara will indeed open for a one-off no-fans charity show, as teased on social media. The show was officially announced at a press conference Thursday and will take place next Friday. No card was announced beyond Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & Satanico appearing. Mas Lucha says it’ll be 30 wrestlers in total. It’ll air live at 6 pm on TV and on Arena Coliseo Guadalajara’s social networks (probably their Facebook page.) They’re raising money for children fighting COVID-19 and cancer, something the building has raised money for often. The Jalisco secretary of health appeared at the press conference to endorse the show. All wrestlers will take COVID tests.
El Santo was honored for the 37th Anniversary of his death at his statue in Tulancingo today. Hijo del Santo’s twitter posts and photos suggest he did not attend himself.
Last week, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter mentioned Pentagon’s absence from AEW is due to visa issues, not an injury. The Lucha Central Weekly (English) podcast mentioned this week that Pentagon will relocate to the US to prevent having future issues crossing back and forth. There’s no timeline on the move. Fenix moved to the US a number of years ago.
Nacion Lucha Libre, who stopped promoting events in November 2019 posted a photo on Facebook teasing a second season. It appeared they stopped promoting events because they ran out of money, or at least money they were will to continue to pay, leaving some wrestlers unpaid for their matches. The promotion was built around Alberto el Patron (who probably didn’t have those particular issues) and would figure to be again.
MLW announced a Lio Rush versus Laredo Kid “Interpromotional Title Match”. Both titles are on the line. This would normally mean some sort of draw where both men leave with their belts. Laredo Kid is barely pushed in MLW, Lio Rush already works for AAA (albeit as Arcano), Konnan works for both promotions and has expressed an eagerness for co-promotional bits, so Lio winning the AAA championship seems decently likely. This week’s WON also mentions plans for AAA/MLW cross-promotional stuff this year. The obvious issue is MLW has a small fanbase in the US and a non-existent one in Mexico. AAA bringing in Lio Rush is good because Lio Rush will have some good matches, but bringing in “MLW stars” seems unuseful; AAA’s not good at getting over outside promotions and MLW people are unlikely to have a pre-existing fanbase like Kenny Omega in Monterrey. Rush winning the cruiserweight championship would also mean AAA’s top five championships (Mega, Reina, Latin America, Cruiserweight, and Tag) are held by guest wrestlers. At the same time, maybe none of this actually matters that much – AAA’s not a promotion built around title matches and MLW wrestlers in big positions aren’t going to hurt ticket sales when there no tickets can be legally sold. It’s just TV content right now.
Hidalgo Rey Cuervo (Julio Islas Rueda, 56) passed away Thursday due to complications from COVID-19. Cuervo also used the names Sangre Guerrera, Rey Pantera, Taz el Feroz; he was the most well-known trainer from the Tulancingo region. SuperLuchas has a detailed obituary for a wrestler who started in Hidalgo, came to Arena Naucalpan for a time, then took what he learned to go back home and help train everyone there. Cuervo is the brother of Super Crazy, the father of Rocky Lobo, the cousin of Crazy Boy, and the uncle of Dinastia, Lancelot, Pesadilla, and Articuz – he was connected to just about everyone.
A test show will be held in Torreon’s Arena Azteca to see if protocols to safely run lucha libre events work. The show is scheduled for the weekend of 02/19. This show will include a limited amount of fans.
Masked Republic announced they’ve signed Psycho Clown & Brazo de Plata to their Legends of Lucha Libre licensing brand. Legends of Lucha Libre includes other AAA wrestlers, though I believe Psycho Clown is the first AAA gimmick to be signed to an outside licensing deal. Psycho Clown also appeared in a campaign to dissuade youth from alcohol and tobacco use.
NJPW Strong has Rey Horus vs TJP and Misterioso in an eight-man tag tonight.
Rush, Dragon Lee, Bestia 666, and Flip Gordon face Brody King, PCO and the Briscoes on this week’s Ring of Honor TV.