first in a series?
AAA is really good this year. It has the talent to be great. Their strongest ability has been bringing useful talent on board, and they’ve been less impressive in using that talent. AAA cooling their heels while waiting for COVID to clear out has taken energy from the shows, as has the no-fans locations. AAA has a history of getting its own way promotion gets in its own way, and at least it’s still a very watchable product. I would prefer they invest money in a giant portable tent to cover the ring for these outdoor shows rather than outsider talent, but you can’t have everything.
Reviews by tape dates. I suspect AAA’s next two shows will be some unaired matches from these tapings, but this is otherwise everything going into TripleMania.
- Arez vs Latigo vs Aramis [great]: ended up airing on a catch up show, exactly what you’d expect out of these guys in a short TV match. Exactly what you’d expect out of AAA too, with no sign Latigo & Arez are about to become a regular team.
- Dragon Kid & Laredo Boy vs Arez & Latigo [good]: the early matches establishing the Latigo/Arez team were fun
- Aerostar, Mr. Iguana, Niño Hamburguesa vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana [good]: usual Poder del Norte solid teamwork, when they were still sort of feuding with Mr. Iguana.
- Laredo Kid © vs Octagón Jr. vs Aramis [AAA CRUISER, good]: More historically notable because this is where we found out AAA was just ignoring the MLW title change. Lots of action, some actually three-way bits, and Laredo fighting them both off. Plus a silly Destroyer bit. AAA overdid three-way matches during AutoLuchas and I was tired of them here, maybe this works better out of context.
- Arez & Chik Tormenta vs La Parkita & Drago Kid [good]: Arez & Tormenta dominate the minis. La Parkita crashes and burns badly on tornillo, as he does in half his matches. This is the official start of the Arez, Latigo, Chik Tormenta, which goes half the year without getting a name.
- Fénix & Laredo Kid vs Abismo Negro Jr. & Taurus [great]: Fenix is just totally on and he and Laredo Kid are an unfair team. Taurus is great too and Abismo Negro Jr. doesn’t hold the match. As good or better than the AEW matches Fenix was having at this point. It’s too bad this is it for Fenix here until TripleMania.
- Arez, Chik Tormenta, Latigo vs Flammer, La Hiedra, Lady Maravilla [good]: this is not a good moment because AAA booking the two new rudo groups against each other revealed they were using the “CMLL Hat” booking strategy. The two rudo teams do mix well; Latigo & Arez are the right sizes to work against them.
- Octagon Jr. & Laredo Kid vs Abismo Negro Jr. & Taurus: Mostly suffers from being in the shadow of the previous match.
- Rey Escorpión & Taurus vs Laredo Kid & Psycho Clown great]: this didn’t air on space for months, until right after Escorpion/Psycho was announced for TripleMania. Do you give them credit for saving this for when it might matter more, or is it a vote against them for not airing a really strong match for months? A lot of sometimes boring Mercenarios beatdown just works a lot better here, Psycho Clown is great at coming back and Laredo Kid is Laredo Kid. Seems like just a normal TV match and is much better than that.
March 13th (aired out of order)
- AAA skipped over this entire taping when cutting down the lag on the YouTube uploads, so I never put it up on YouTube either.
- Arez, Látigo, Parkita Negra vs Aramis, Niño Hamburguesa, Octagoncito [good]: another one for “Parkita Negra would be considered one of the more exciting rudos in AAA but he’s typecast as a mini and so AAA has little use for him” file. It’s really hard to fit the name on the label. He’s about the same size as his partners and used 1/8th as much. It’s almost like he’d better off leaving AAA but moving to Mexico City, working those indies for a year to build his name, and then hoping they bring him back in a different role. It seems impossible for him to work his way out of the position he’s in.
- Aerostar & Myzteziz vs Argenis & Parka Negra [good]: Parka Negra got a title shot in like his third match and has never done much since. He’s been really good and got more out of Aerostar than most this year.
- Arcano vs Venenoide [good]: the Marvel Lucha Libre stuff is aggressively fine or weird, this was a nice Taurus performance with a few things changed.
- Hijo del Vikingo & Laredo Kid vs Abismo Negro Jr. & Taurus [good]: it’s only in doing a post like this where I really notice how often AAA ran this exact same match with a rotating Laredo Kid partner. Hijo del Vikingo started the year looking off and started to regain his form by this point. Abismo Negro Jr. is more a little more shaky.
- This was the taping where Poder del Norte crossed a very imaginary line; they’re doing the same matches they’ve done well for years, but they’ve stale enough that they don’t feel like going out to watch. They shouldn’t break up or anything, but they need to add some new stuff to their routines. Poder del Norte more need a purpose, they just can’t count on AAA giving them a direction – if they were going to do it, it would’ve happened by now.
March 20th (AutoLuchas)
- Laredo Kid vs Arez [great]: could see it higher, best of this tier at least. Both guys go all out in a situation that didn’t necessarily demand it, with the stage fall Michinoku Driver being one of the AAA spots of the year. Just a completely insane match in the best way, Laredo Kid being the best guy in Mexico and Arez not far behind.
- Poder del Norte vs Faby Apache, Laredo Kid, Nino Hamburguesa [good]: maybe the crowd/honking helped a bit making this Poder del Norte more enjoyable.
- Hijo del Vikingo & Psycho Clown vs Chessman & Parka Negra [good]: Vikingo finds tall thing to leap off among a few other amazing spots.
I actually wrote about the May 1st show because it was Rey de Reyes. The other matches didn’t rate. The trios title match was an underwhelming end to the Jinetes del Aire run.
- Arcano vs Venenoide [good]
- Arcano & Araña Voladora vs Picadura Letal & Venenoide [good]: i’m not good at figuring out double identities but whoever was playing Arcano on this set of shows was doing very well
- Latigo vs Villano III vs Abismo Negro Jr. vs Hijo del Vikingo vs Aramis [great]: this was better than the Rey de Reyes five way but I have trouble giving a fiveway an excellent grade. Vikingo being in this one and just pushing things father made the biggest difference.
- Latigo vs Laredo Kid [excellent]: An outstanding match. They took it from cool matwork early and escalated into big spots later. Probably the best Latigo’s looked in AAA; Latigo’s always good, but this time he came off as an impressive wrestler as he does outside of AAA. Laredo’s Germans looked painful and were a good adjustment for a smaller than usual opponent. There were a couple of spots that didn’t look like they went as planned, though they did such a good job of adjusting that’s it’s hard to be sure. I can’t really articulate why this is higher than Arez/Laredo Kid, which says more about my weakpoints than these guys.
- Vikingo/V3/Abismo might be worth watching if you’re looking for another match from this set; I didn’t feel strongly about it.
- outdoor taping with no covering where it rained and everyone was slipping. Pass on all of this.
July 3rd – Verano de Escandalo
- Kamikaze, Komander, Hijo Del Vikingo, Aramis, Látigo, Toxin [great]: this has Vikingo grabbing the roof and it wasn’t the most impressive spot he did in that 15 seconds.
- Deonna Purrazzo vs Lady Shani [good] – I think think this was good but just couldn’t follow the previous match, but I’m not sure I’m remembering right.
- Komander & Octagón Jr. vs Toxin & Villano III Jr. [good]: Komander had a great day.
- Abismo Negro Jr., Arez, Toxin vs Aramis, Dinastía, Kamikaze [good]: they brought Kamikaze in to get outshined by the regular roster, weird deal but worked out fine.
- Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana vs Hijo Del Vikingo, Lady Shani, Laredo Kid [good]: notable for Vikingo’s antics over the usual Poder del Norte stuff. The three cookie sheet spot was good.
- Octagón Jr., Faby Apache, Villano III Jr., Taurus © for the AAA Latin American Championship [good]: Faby Apache was a positive addition but the Rey de Reyes version of this match stood out more. (This will go up on YouTube this weekend.)
All the ratings in a table