AAA held a press conference for their 2023 schedule, named the Luchando Por Mexico tour. The press conference was streamed on YouTube. This is a public event, but it’s business partners (and prospective future business partners) who are in attendance. A lot of that focus was on impressing those people, either by recapping some earlier news (like the Cancun project, the NWA/AAA show and tomorrow’s Marvel Lucha Libre) with no real new info or showing off past success (TripleMania highlights.) There’s new information in there, but this goal is AAA selling themselves to people with corporate accounts. It’s worth keeping that in mind when considering what AAA talked about and didn’t talk about.
The centerpiece of the presentation was TripleMania as expected. AAA ran three TripleManias last year, they all drew well, and so that was definitely coming back. AAA built those shows around a tournament, so a tournament was also coming back.
This year’s TripleManias will take place in the places as last year. The dates are slightly different:
- 04/16 in Monterrey (baseball stadium – tickets on sale)
- 06/17 in Tijuana (soccer stadium)
- 08/12 in Ciudad de Mexico (Arena Ciudad de Mexico – tickets on sale)
The ticket listing for Monterrey went live on Monday night, announcing that date a few hours early.
The 2023 tournament will be an relevos increibles tag team tournament (“Guerra de Rivalidades”.) There are four teams of ‘rivals’ (using rivals very loosely), and the team that loses the short tournament over the first two TripleManias will meet in an apuesta match in Arena Ciudad de Mexico. Again, it’s losers advance, same rules as last year. Those four teams:
- Psycho Clown & Sam Adonis
- Pagano & Rush
- Pentagon Jr. & Alberto el Patron
- Blue Demon & DMT Azul
It appears the Monterrey first round is in that order – Psycho/Adonis vs Pagano/Rush and Penta/Alebrto vs Demon/DMT – though we didn’t get match graphics so it may not be set. Villano IV was the 100% local loser from the moment of the AAA press conference last year. There’s no one that certain this year, but Blue Demon defeating DMT Azul would be the biggest match, is an existing rivalry, and it’s seemed recently like they expect they’ll do a mask match this year. It would be foolish to rule out Psycho Clown beating Sam Adonis at this point though. It seems a waste for AAA to spend all that time building it up now to actually do it, though I guess you can say that for a half dozen AAA feuds. My gut is just telling me it’ll be DMT Azul getting unmasked in August, but I’m not “Villano IV confident.”
Demon & Azul were the only full team to appear at the press conference and played up their tension big. DMT Azul quit?/fired?/parted ways with AAA after losing the trios titles in August because DMT Azul preferring to work indie shows against Demon was getting in the way of his AAA work. Now AAA’s bringing him back to do that exact feud, and likely giving him the biggest match of their year.
The August TripleMania Mexico City date is where AAA had it prior to COVID. It does compress the Triplemania schedule greatly, down to about four months. That leaves the rest of the year open for other events. Rey de Reyes is February, as is a “Tribute to Troops” style military-only show on 02/11 at a base in Naucalpan. This show will be military and their families only attending; it wasn’t clear if it was meant to be a TV taping.
Nothing was announced for beyond August, though obvious AAA isn’t going to stop then. I expect Heroes Inmortales to return to October, as Dorian Roldan’s been clear that they’d like to bring those sorts of events back. Verano de Escandalo happening somewhere in July fits as well. Acapulco was mentioned as a destination, though vaguely enough that it could either be the December stadium show or another taping earlier.
One other event definitely returning is the Lucha Libre World Cup, last held in 2017. Beer brand Victoria was the big sponsor for those shows, and jersey company Charly appears to be taking over. We’ll at least get some interesting gear out of it.
The Lucha Libre World Cup will take place March 19th, in Guadalajara’s baseball stadium as two trios tournaments. The men’s tournament will include 8 teams: 2 Mexico, 1 US, 1 Canada, 1 Japan, 1 UK, 1 Latin America (South America/Puerto Rico), 1 Rest of the World (which will include wrestlers from Qatar Pro Wrestling.) The women’s tournament will be four teams, one each from Mexico, US, Japan, and “the Rest of the World.” AAA revealed the first Mexico team as Hijo del Vikingo, Psycho Clown, and Alberto el Patron. It’s unknown when the 11 other teams will be revealed, though I expect some of the other TripleMania participants to be included.
Alberto el Patron’s participation is a big talking point here. International fans have an extremely low opinion of Alberto for his various personal issues. Mexican fans are a bit more positive generally, but there’s plenty of pushback there. Nacion Lucha Libre, which was completely built around the idea of Alberto being this great national star, has now failed brutally twice. (AAA included Nacion Lucha Libre in the graphic for Alberto’s announcement.) Alberto has also had numerous public falling outs with AAA, criticizing them loudly and personally. Even if you put all that aside, and want to focus on the art instead artist, his matches also aren’t good.
What Alberto has going for him is he’s a charming person who can look you in the eye, shake your hand, and win you over in a one-on-one situation. He can point to his WWE success in the WWE as proof of his enduring star power (never mind that his run is looked back at as a disappointment if it’s even looked back at all.) He can continue to lie that he was found innocent of his most recent charges, even if there was no actual ruling of innocence (the woman involved changed her mind about testifying.) For sponsors, Alberto plays well – they know enough about him to know he was something in WWE, and they may not care enough to know much more. For trying to sell tickets or build interest in 2023, Alberto is unuseful. File this under another AAA decision that benefits them minimally while doing much more to re-enforce a negative opinion of the promotion.
(Alberto’s including has people understandably wondering if AAA will be booking guys like Marty Scurll and Travis Banks. Hugo Savinovich has been a public supporter of both Alberto and Scurll and has been open about his role in AAA’s creative department, so there’s probably at one voice pushing for it. There is a difference in Mexican sponsors and some Mexican fans seeing Alberto as a star, and the other guys being relative non-entities. AAA knows there’s going to be a backlash on Alberto but decided he’d be worth it. I don’t know if they’d see others the same way. They may, I just don’t know.)
Last year’s kick-off event included mentions of AAA running internationally – to Dallas, to Columbia, to Japan. Only one of those actually happened. There were no international stops mentioned this year. I suspect that means the Los Angeles WrestleMania weekend show is not happening. It’s not a report, and there’s still time for it to change. It obviously would’ve been promoted if it was on, and it wasn’t, so you just have to assume it’ll be another AAA idea that didn’t work out and so will never be mentioned again. Nothing was done in English or for English either; maybe the “Luchando del Mexico” means a great focus on the home country. Or maybe it means nothing at all.