AAA TV (SAT) 06/18/2022 Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Baja California [AAA, ESPN, ESTO, Lucha Central, R de Rudo, thecubsfan, TJ Sports, Voices of Wrestling, FITE]
TripleMania XXX (Chapter 2)
1) Chik Tormenta & Flammer L La Hiedra, Sexy Star II, Lady Shani, Maravilla, Reina Dorada [cage, losers advance]
23:32. Order of escape: Dorada, Sexy Star, Shani, Hiedra, Maravilla, leaving the others to advance to mask final
2) Niño Hamburguesa b Rey Xolo, Mamba, Mr. Iguana, Dulce Kanela, Abismo Negro Jr., Heavy Metal, Charly Manson, Pagano, Cibernético, Bestia 666, Vampiro, Mecha Wolf [Copa TripleMania]
23:32. This Rey Xolo appeared to be Villano III Jr. La Rebelion ended up taking Wagner and the mystery person’s spot; Damian 666 also interfered in the match. This version of the Copa TripleMania included over the top eliminations, specifically so Pagano & Ciber could do a double elimination. They brawled after the match. Hamburguesa beat Mamba.
3) Fénix b Hijo Del Vikingo, Laredo Kid ©, Bandido, Taurus © [AAA CRUISER, AAA LA]
20:37. Fenix pinned Taurus with a double stomp after much insanity. Laredo Kid lost the cruiserweight championship on his 14th defense attempt, Taurus lost the Cruiserweight Championship on his fourth defense attempt. Fenix & Vikingo faced off to tease a match afterward. Bandido was stretchered out but said to be relatively fine later. Taya appeared in a talking segment after, offering a title match to the winner of the mask match and challenging Thunder Rosa (not present) to a match. Later, Konnan was honored for his years in wrestling and graciously thanked the fans and those who had helped him.
4) Blue Demon Jr. b Pentagón Jr. [ruleta de la muerte, semifinal]
12:03. Demon won via Canadian Destroyer through a table.
5) Flammer b Chik Tormenta [mask]
13:01. Reycko (Chik Tormetna’s husband) and The Tiger (Flammer’s husband) seconded their wives and eventually got involved, as did Vipers Toxin, Latigo and Abismo Negro Jr. Flammer put Tormenta through at able to defeat her. Tormenta is Cristina Azpeita Ramírez, 16 years a wrestler, from Guadalajara.
6) Psycho Clown b Villano IV [ruleta de la muerte, semifinal]
17:19. Psycho Clown finished Villano IV with an Air Raid Crash onto tacks. Villano IV and Pentagon Jr. will meet in a mask match on 10/15 in Mexico City.
7) Dragón Lee & Dralistico b Johnny Caballero & Matt Hardy
13:35. Early, a vignette explained Johnny Caballero was wrestling as Johnny Hardy. He spent a lot of the match doing Jeff Hardy mannerisms but betrayed Matt after they ran into each other by accident. Dragon Lee & Dralistico beat Matt Hardy to win. Caballero attacked Hermanos Lee but Hardy took him out with a Twist of Fate, then shoke hands with the Lee Brothers.
I think this was a strong show. The issues with the show was the build, but the matches they had on paper looked like it was going to be worth watching and those generally exceeded expectations. The reviews of this show were generally positive, though there did seem to be a split based on AAA affinity. People just popping in for this show, mostly English-speaking people saw some good matches, one outstanding match, and enough of the usual AAA chaos to go in happy. Those who follow AAA closely were disappointed with some familiar faces not being part of the show and how some of the matches played out. If you only tune in for TripleManias, you have no strong feelings about Chik Tormenta or Flammer and so having a bunch of people getting involved just felt like AAA. Those who are fans of those two were unhappy they didn’t get much of the spotlight, or that the main event replacement wasn’t a big name.
It appeared AAA did not announce Johnny Caballero as the replacement because they knew it would get a poor reaction going into the show. That might have backfired, because it just gave Mexican fans more time to talk themselves into some big surprise name. (Cinta de Oro, strangely enough, was being reported as ‘definitely’ being the mystery person on Saturday. He was not.) Konnan told TV Azteca that he contacted AEW and their wrestlers and everyone he asked for was unavailable, mentioning PAC, Kingston and Samoa Joe specifically. I heard word of AAA reaching out to people booked on other shows this weekend and couldn’t get it happen. AAA/TripleMania is just not a show most foreigner wrestlers are going to drop what they’re doing to work, even if it’s a main event spot. Caballero played up the Johnny Hardy character as an annoying trait, which would’ve worked better if that match was third on the card and not the main event of the show. AAA’s line was they were giving a fair replacement and moving it down might have been an admission that wasn’t the case.
Dragon Lee definitely worked as if it was both his main event and his AEW audition. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen for him but it won’t be for lack of effort.
Both Villano IV/Psycho Clown and Blue Demon/Pentagon Jr. were at the high point of expectations for both. Villano IV/LA Park was a bigger spectacle, but these makes were better than all other tournament matches from Monterrey. Villano IV makes his matches feel real, probably because some of those punches are very real, and it brings something different from the shows. Demon/Penta, like Dragon/Penta, was laid out to spotlight the veteran with Penta sacrificing much of what he could’ve done in a normal match. That’s a good indication for the final. I have complete faith that Penta/Villano IV is going to be one of the most emotional matches of the year; CMLL’s going to be hard-pressed to beat it for Mexico mask match of the year.
The women’s mask match went well; they picked two good women for it and it came across as meaningful. There was a moment early on where both husbands interfered, then the wives attacked the husbands and told them to stay out of it. Three minutes had passed, and a half dozen people were interfering with the full approval of the women involved. This is the way of AAA; things are done with the sole consideration of getting a reaction in the moment and with little consideration if all those moments hold together as any sort of coherent story. (See all Las Toxicas attacking each other in the cage, or the Vipers fighting in Copa TripleMania.) I think people put off by all the forced drama might not enjoy the match, and I know there were people frustrated that AAA didn’t just let the women have their own solo match. I can sympathize with that frustration but this sort of match should’ve been expected. Tormenta and Flammer at least got to have much more of a starring role in the match than Shani & Purrazzo back at TripleMania, the last women’s singles match of any consequence.
The five-way was as outstanding as everyone knew it was going to be; it’ll be in the hunt for the best match of the year (though I think others with more drama will eventually beat them.) I wish AAA would’ve done a much stronger job of building up fan and media anticipation as much as the wrestlers themselves were excited for the match. (Just saying it’s going to be a five-star match doesn’t seem to get Mexican fans going.) Bandido’s injury looked a lot scarier live than it apparently actually was in reality. He may not wrestle much in the next few months, but that was already the plan with his baby on the way. He did end up missing the Republic of Lucha show on Sunday; they ran Dante Martin against Mecha Wolf instead.
The post-match heavily teased Vikingo/Fenix, leaving only open the question of when. It felt like a TripleMania Mexico City set-up, though that seemed to be the Vikingo/Omega destination long ago. It’s possible AAA could run Fenix/Vikingo earlier (Verano de Escandalo?) or do a three-way in Mexico City, but it feels like AAA’s not holding up their own plans for an unclear return date.
There’s a lot of filler on the show; it ran 4.5 hours and you could cut it down 2.5 easily by skipping stuff that wasn’t interesting or good. AAA treated the first hour like a pre-show, killing about 20 minutes after the cage match (which itself seemed like it went a few minutes long.) Stuff like the flyers over and cheerleader dance routines must come across better live than it does on a stream. Konnan also told TV Azteca Saturday this was originally a 10-match card cut down to 7. I’m not sure I need another match if that was going to make a long night even longer, but cage match->40 minutes of non-wrestling segments->Copa TripleMania was a slow way to get the show going. You can easily skip the first 100 or so minutes of the FITE broadcast.
AAA announced 16,400 in attendance. The current capacity of Estadio Caliente, according to Wikipedia, is 27,333. This has already become the Mexico equivalent of the comments under a WWE/AEW rating post, with CMLL/AAA loyalists on both sides arguing why it actually was positive. (There are also people passing along stories of “thousands” of free tickets; I haven’t seen any sign that’s true, though AAA ‘s 50% discount lasted all the way through the show. I can only say it didn’t seem like 16K or a 60% full stadium from the shots we saw, but also the main shot we see is a giant screen and the very empty seats behind so the impression of the audience size is much smaller.
The video we saw of the stadium did not appear to be 60% full to me. AAA’s hard cameras are pointed at the big screen and the very empty sections behind it, so it’s hard to get a sense of how many people are in the building normally. And it was easier to see the building earlier in the show, when the sunlight was still out and people were will still filling in – it surely looked better later. Still, I would’ve guessed much lower than 16K and have trouble believing that number.
There was a hiccup with the announcing early on – English was playing on Spanish and vice versa. They killed both feeds during the opener to fix it, which wasn’t the greatest timing but we all lived. Otherwise, AAA English commentary continues to be good. I’d be happy if they just existed and were fine and I didn’t have to think about them, but they’re doing better than – I thought they sold the insanity of the five way match and the mask tournament matches really well. We’re halfway through the year and I think they’re getting more comfortable with AAA.
If you didn’t like the lack of good crowd audio on previous shows, you weren’t any happier after this one. I think AAA had someone turning up and down the arena microphones on the English feed (to avoid hearing the Spanish commentary( and they weren’t always on the ball; we missed half of Konnan’s acceptance speech and Penta’s entrance. The other interesting thing is AAA’s in-house music was replaced by the previous ‘real’ songs; Psycho Clown going back to his original theme caught a lot of people’s attention in a positive way. It’s AAA, who knows if that’s a permanent change or if someone just brought the wrong playlist.
I’m not sure if the Cruiserweight & Latin American titles both exist or if one’s going away. AAA immediately took the Fusion belt out of circulation when it was unified with the Cruiserweight title, but previously unified these two belts and then reversed it when Vampiro was in charge. The immediate priority here was for the belts vs mega belt visual and nothing really beyond it. The secondary priority was to get those belts on AEW TV, surely.
Thunder Rosa, watching TripleMania from Los Angeles, accepted Taya’s challenge. That might be a TripleMania match, but that show already looks to be filling up:
- Villano IV vs Pentagon Jr. in a mask match
- Fenix vs Vikingo, maybe
- Cibernetico vs Pagano in a hair match, maybe
- Taya vs Thunder Rosa, maybe
- Psycho Clown vs Andrade seems much less likely
AAA’s not going to do five singles matches in Mexico City.
Taya also owes Flammer a title defense at some point.
Local Facebook site Zona Ruda’s review of TripleMania mentions Tijuana fans had struggles buying tickets, with both the box office and the website having issues. They’re a soccer team that sells tickets to that venue, it’s weird they’d have issues. I’m skeptical we’re going to see another TripleMania in Tijuana in 2023.
Azteca picked two matches from this show to air Saturday night: Tormenta/Flammer and Dragon Lee/Dralistico vs Johnny/Matt. It’s the main event and the biggest stip, it makes some sense. As great as the five way was, it seems way down the list in coverage in Mexican media: the mask semifinals and the moment for Konnan’s rank ahead of it.
Dark Silueta posted a thoughtful positive piece about Chik Tormenta on social media. Tormenta wrestled in Arena Coliseo Guadalajara for a time. That was more a product of Tormenta and Silueta being two of the few full time luchadoras in Guadalajara in the early/mid 10s. Arena Coliseo Guadalajara brought in Tormenta just to feud with Silueta in 2015, Tormenta’s biggest run until she started with AAA. The two kept it up as a touring program that took them as far as Berwyn, Illinois in 2017 for a lucha show I attended. Unfortunately, Dark Silueta works for CMLL and Chik Tormenta for AAA, and it appears CMLL told Silueta to delete the harmless posts a couple of hours later.
AAA’s taping Friday in Madero and Sunday back at the Showcenter. They’re no longer advertising a specific lineup for that Sunday show.
Andrade is not wrestling on AEW’s upcoming Forbidden Door, because NJPW has asked him not to be on the show due to Andrade working with AAA and NJPW working with CMLL. I am reporting CMLL actively persuaded NJPW to get involved, others believe NJPW proactively acted on CMLL’s behalf without CMLL getting involved. It’s the same outcome either way, NJPW is picking its relationship with CMLL over using Andrade (or any other AAA-affiliated Mexican wrestlers.)
Andrade, in an interview with Lucha Libre Online and translated by Fightful, said there were plans for him to travel to Japan to start a feud with Will Ospreay which would carry over to a match to Forbidden Door. If this is correct, these changes in plans must have happened before any of it got on screen; Ospreay’s involvement in AEW seems like it’s naturally proceeded to current Forbidden Door opponent Orange Cassidy, there was never a tease of Ospreay/Andrade and Andrade mentioning it was the first anyone’s heard of it.
Andrade also made it clear he’s not set on working AAA either. He said he committed to work the three TripleMania shows, set aside June 18th for the Tijuana show and never was contacted that he was off the show. Andrade believes that if AAA had instead canceled that June TripleMania date, or if he knew he was off the show in advance to tell people, that would’ve cleared the way for NJPW to allow him to work Forbidden Door. Andrade would like AAA to pay him for TripleMania Tijuana since they failed to announce him out in time. Andrade says he would’ve not agreed to work with AAA if it would’ve stopped him from working with NJPW, though he also acknowledged he knew the CMLL/NJPW relationship prior.
He’s got much more first-hand knowledge of CMLL than I do, but I don’t think Andrade’s was one canceled booking away from getting back in NJPW’s graces. CMLL wants to be the exclusive provider of lucha libre talent to NJPW, so no one in Mexico is going to be able to work NJPW without working with CMLL. Andrade would probably need to cancel all current AAA booking and also convince CMLL to book him to take him back (and probably at a lot lower price than he’d get paid for any other match), and only then might CMLL approve of NJPW using him. I’m skeptical that simply being an unaligned talent or someone who isn’t working in Mexico at all will be sufficient. CMLL wants Mexican exclusivity and it wants it to be clear to their current wrestlers that their hopes of going to NJPW will go away if they lose.
(This is a thing I have trouble getting through to people who don’t follow lucha libre, but most of what appear to be AAA’s top guys are not under contract and are instead under looser per-night deals. As a rule of thumb, if a wrestler is only appearing on TripleMania or similar major events, they’re probably only under agreements covering those shows. Andrade mentioned in the interview he and AAA talks about a contract at one point and it sounded like it was AAA’s decision to go per night instead. Mexican wrestling companies are far more comfortable with those of single-night deals than elsewhere for top guys. I also believe the recent economic history plays a role in it; the pandemic years have been rough for AAA business, and AAA’s probably less eager to make long-term commitments until they’re on stable ground. It certainly appears a lot of people who were under contract – like a Pimpienla or a Poder del Norte – were quietly switched to per-night deals when AAA had the option. Some decided to stick around and others choose to look for work elsewhere. The idea that “because you’re on this TV show, you must be signed for [X] years” just doesn’t work the same generally in lucha libre, and maybe specifically not in this environment.)
CMLL (FRI) 06/17/2022 Arena México [CMLL, Estrellas del Ring, Kaiser Sports, Mas Lucha, R de Rudo, The Gladiatores, The Gladiatores (video), thecubsfan]
1) Hombre Bala Jr., Panterita del Ring Jr., Robin b Enfermero Jr., Nitro, Raider
2) La Jarochita, Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit b Dalys, Reyna Isis, Stephanie Vaquer
16:07. Isis & Jarochita kept fighting after the match and agreed to a mask match. Jarochita, Lluvia and Isis wore Pride Month themed outfits (in a promotion that hasn’t otherwise acknowledged the month.)
3) Titán © b Fugaz [CMLL WELTER]
16:46. 3rd defense, 1st in nearly a year, with a next scheduled defense of tomorrow
4) Gemelo Diablo II & Gran Guerrero b Dark Panther & Niebla Roja [Copa Dinastia, battle royal]
5) Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja b Blue Panther & Dark Panther [Copa Dinastia, quarterfinal]
6) Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero b Gemelo Diablo I & Gemelo Diablo II [Copa Dinastia, quarterfinal]
7) Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero b Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja [Copa Dinastia, semifinal]
7:51. Guerreros face Soberanos in the final next week.
Friday seems very long ago already, but I recall this being a better show than last week. Titan/Fugaz was Titan pulling Fugaz through a BOSJ style match, Chavez/Panthers worked good, Panterita Jr. looked great in his match. AAA is going to hear about how predictable the Psycho/V4 match is for the next few months, but this Copa Dinastia tournament was even more obvious. (The difference is no one cares.)
Isis & Jarochita in a mask match seems a big escalation, though they did make similar challenges back in May. It reads like a random mask challenge that may not go anywhere, but the women were so certain they were doing the match and doing it at the Aniversario that there may be something to it.
I’m not 100% sure if Jarochita & Lluvia’s multicolored gear are Pride Month themed, they could just have picked a confidential time to wear rainbow outfits. Isis has rainbow gear and heart on it, which seems more certain. It’s hard to ignore but CMLL’s announcers seemed to do just that.
CMLL (SAT) 06/18/2022 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Mercurio, Pequeño Olímpico, Pierrothito b Angelito, Fantasy, Pequeño Magía
rudos took 2/3
2) Disturbio, Grako, Inquisidor b Bengala, Leono, Retro
rudos took 1/3
3) Diamond, Magnus, Rugido b Arkalis, Oro Jr., Suicida
Depredadores took 1/3
4) Magia Blanca, Stigma, Volcano b Kráneo, Luciferno, Okumura
tecnicos took 2/3
5) Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr., Volador Jr. b Cavernario, Hechicero, Mephisto
tecnicos took 2/3
I was told this was a good overall show but nothing stood out as a match.
CMLL (SUN) 06/19/2022 Arena México [CMLL, Estrellas del Ring]
1) Cachorro, Sangre Imperial, Valiente Jr. b Apocalipsis, Cholo, Inquisidor
2) Hera, La Seductora, Olympia b La Guerrera, La Vaquerita, Maligna
Rudas took 2/3
3) La Jarochita, La Magnifica, Lluvia b Amapola, Dark Silueta, Tiffany
tecnicas took 2/3
4) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black b Panterita del Ring, Panterita del Ring Jr., Star Jr.
Panterita del Ring Jr. replaced Dark Panther (erroneously listed twice.) OneAtos Team took 2/3.
5) Euforia, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. b Blue Panther, Dark Panther, Terrible
Team Euforia took 1/3, building towards a Terrible/Euforia title match on Tuesday.
That main event is sort of an angle, but for another show. So close.
Puebla tonight has Negro Casas vs Fuerza Guererra and Jarochia & Lluvia defending the tag titels against Metalica & Reyna Isis.
CMLL (TUE) 06/21/2022 Arena México
1) Bengala, Retro, Valiente Jr. vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Príncipe Odín Jr.
2) Angelito, Shockercito, Último Dragóncito vs Full Metal, Pequeño Violencia, Pierrothito
3) Diamond, Magnus, Rugido vs Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr.
4) Dark Panther, Panterita del Ring, Star Jr. vs El Coyote, Felino, Pólvora
5) Terrible © vs Euforia [MEX HEAVY]
Euforia won the vacant title in March, Terrible beat him in his first defense in April and this was the first match since.
IWRG (SUN) 06/19/2022 Arena Naucalpan [Mas Lucha]
Festival de la Mascaras, 2022
1) Sol & Spider Fly b Tortuga Mike & X-Devil
Tortuga Mike (Mr. Mike) replaced Garra Mortal Jr.
2) Black Dragón & Panterita b Death Metal & Tortuga Leo
This is a show of wrestlers using their old gimmicks, but Death Metal announced he’d be using that gimmick for the last time – he was switching to Kundra, one of his father’s old gimmicks.
3) Enterrador, Fantasma de la Ópera, Golpeador b Fantasy, Súper Mega, Ultramega
Super Mega replaced Mega. Cerebro Negro interferred, fouling Enterrador to hep the Megas win.
4) Coco Rojo, Coco Verde, Cocolores b Bombero Infernal, Cerebro Negro, Guerrero Maya Jr.
5) Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. © b Diva Salvaje, Jessy Ventura, Mamba [EdM Trios]
6) Blue Demon Jr. & Zumbido b Cibernético & Konnan Big
Blue Demon was honored before the semimain for 38 years in wrestling.
This was a Mas Lucha Premium show. The idea of bringing back old characters once a year seemed to draw pretty well; I hope AAA finds time to do that sort of show this year.
Mas Lucha confirmed Luis “Tigre” Mariscal passed away back on June 15th. There were reports last week but I hadn’t seen it confirmed (and he’s falsely reported dead past times.) Mariscal was a midcard rudo in the 70s and 80s, getting his first big break in the UWA/Promociones Mora as they started going. His biggest win was taking the national light heavyweight championship from Valente Fernandez in 1986. Mariscal wrestled Perro Aguayo in a hair match on Christmas Day 1972 as they were both on their way up. My understanding through magazine reading is he was a hard-nosed rudo as lucha libre started shifting to mostly masked characters. There are not many of his matches online; a 1992 match where Mariscal is a face in Guadalajara is available.
Dragon Gate’s La Estrella and Takemura Fujiawa made their Mexico debut Saturday – on a WLS show headlined by Travis Banks winning the promotion’s title at small Gimansio Zeus. Welcome to Mexico.
Flamita was said to pick up a shoulder injury in Guadalajara on Friday and was reported back in the ring in Mexico State on Sunday.
Hijo del Santo talks about his father for Father’s Day. He’s asked if he’ll face Blue Demon Jr. in a mask match and Santo says he has no interest and doesn’t believe he should put up his mask again at all.
A Father’s Day article about Toluca luchador Dragon de Fuego.