04/29 AAA TV Results (Xalapa) – Pentagon & Texano in Lucha World Cup

AAA TV (FRI) 04/29/2016 Arena Xalapa, Xalapa, Veracruz [AAA]
1) Faby Apache & Mary Apache b Lady Shani & Taya
Taya replaced Keira. Mary beat Shani. Both Apaches asked for a title shot. Taya pointed out they still had not defeated her so no.
2) Averno & Chessman © DQ Argenis & Australian Suicide [AAA TAG]
Dropped to the second match. Challengers determined on 04/18 in Leon. Bengala and Ricky Marvin were seconds and fought at the end, a rudo fouled a tecnico and a tecnico fouled a rudo back to give the tecnicos the win. Copetes, who had started the match and been replaced by Piero, came back out to overrule the result and give the rudos the win by DQ. 2nd defense.
3) Pentagón Jr. b Daga, Joe Lider [Lucha Libre Victoria World Cup qualifier]
Prior to the match, a video aired of Halloween beaten and tied up in the locker room, having been attacked by Taya and Kahn Del Mal (and maybe the other Perros before the match.) Daga beat Lider, then Pentagon beat Daga to take the first spot. Los Fronterizos interrupted the post match and rescued Halloween, who had been left at top of Arena Xalapa.
4) Texano Jr. b Garza Jr., Taurus [Lucha Libre Victoria World Cup qualifier]
Taurus beat Garza. Mesias tried to cost Texano the match, but Garza came back to stop him and Texano beat Tuarus to qualify.
5) Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown COR Damián 666, Nicho el Millionario, Pagano
Los Fronterizos were counted out when the Perros brawled with them. Los Fronterizos were thrown in an ambulance and driven away.
6) El Mesías b La Parka
A earlier Mesias & Cage in-ring bit include the Trump video being shown again. Cage revealed he was injured and unable to wrestle tonight. Texano taunted Mesias into facing La Parka in a singles match instead. (Electroshock went unmentioned, apparently having quit.) Cage was healthy enough to interfere in the match frequently, helping Mesias get the win. Texano made the save after the match, though he and Parka didn’t appear friendly.

Air Date: 05/14 & 05/21

The main event sounds like a little bit of a confusing mess, but it may be partly due to circumstances: Electroshock quit, again. He seemed to briefly quit a few months before coming back, so it’s been on his mind a while. I don’t know how close he is with his brother Sharly Rockstar right now, but Electro showing up in Elite seems plausible. It’s been a strange year and a half of Electroshock, with him disappearing off TV for moments, returning as a depressed drunk, putting together a new trio with Hijo del Pirata and Kronoz, wrestling exactly one match with that trio before Kronoz got hurt, Pirata & Electroshock being booked apart from each other, then doing the break up angle after they’ve already broken up, then the whole thing going nowhere. It’s not like Electroshock was forgotten by AAA, but the payoffs to his stories never happened. AAA seems to be in a rebuilding period and 46 year old luchador doesn’t quite fit in, but AAA was still putting him in the main events of their TV tapings. Losing Electroshock doesn’t seem like a great loss to AAA, though it fits a pattern of people walking away for all sorts of reasons.

The tag team title deal is a less understandable mess and the usual bit of AAA focusing the attention on their referees over their luchadors. They do want to re-enforce the idea of Ricky with Averno & Chessman (a third man on a two man team) and maybe there’s a thought they’ll need to replay the match at Verano de Escandalo with Jack & Angelico currently broken, but the referee reversing the finish after the belts have been awarded is among the most aggravating bits you can do.

The Frontierizos – Pagano, Damian, Halloween and Nicho – getting humiliated in the back and run off in an ambulance would seem like a quick write off to the characters in a US promotion. The AAA recap emphasizes the rivalry will continue, so maybe it’s more about balancing the scales after the Perros have taken the worst of it every time so far.

None of the matches on this show sound particularly worth watching. Maybe the qualifiers. Maybe the opener. Nothing really jumps out.

Running the Lucha World Cup qualifiers meant AAA really needed to explain Lucha World Cup, and so a press release was sent out Friday. The big news is it’ll be two different shows: a June 3rd (Friday) show at a Puebla convention center will have qualifying rounds, and the June 5th (Sunday) final back at Palacio de los Deportes. NOAH, TNA and Lucha Underground were announced as participating. ROH is not back from last year – the word was NJPW as unhappy about their partner ROH working with someone other than their other partner CMLL, which makes it really confusing why NJPW’s other other partner NOAH is participating. Hopefully TNA still exists by June. Hopefully I still exist by June.

Way back in February, Enuhito mentioned it would be a two day tournament and women would be involved. He’s completely correct on the first part, and looks to be right on the second. The press release doesn’t explain it, but the logos for Japanese joshi promotions Oz Academy and Pro Wrestling Wave are on the poster. AAA and Wave combined to hold the 2012 Reina de Reinas tournament in Japan (won by Sexy Star.)  Oz Academy has sent women to AAA in past.

There’s no details on how many teams will be involved, or if the format will be different, or if the show will be on iPPV (though I expect they’ll at least try for the last part.) Tickets go on sale Tuesday, maybe there will be more details then. AAA’s next TV taping is May 14th in Orizaba, and that might also come up with more details. It should at least have a third qualifier if they’re going the trios route again. That lineup should be out no later than Wednesday.

04/18 AAA TV Results from Leon

AAA

AAA TV (MON) 04/18/2016 Domo de la Feria, León, Guanajuato [AAA]
1) Dinastía, Lanzeloth, Ludxor, Venum DQ Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Soul Rocker, Súper Fly
Apache kept up his random harassment of Venum – a chair shot and a mask removal – leading to a DQ.
2) Faby Apache & Mary Apache b La Hiedra & Lady Shani
Mary beat Hiedra.
3) Argenis & Australian Suicide b Angélico & Jack Evans and Daga & Joe Lider and Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Taurus [AAA TAG, #1 Contenders]
Suicide beat Daga to get the title shot in on 04/29 in Leon; they still have issues. Los Fronterizos attacked after the match, tying Lider to the ropes, destroying Daga and saying they were not Perros but really French Poodles.
4) Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, Zorro b Aerostar, Drago, Octagón Jr.
Drago was taken out almost immediately via Xinetez inflicted hand injury, which left the match 3 on 2. Zorro beat Aerostar with a package piledriver.
5) Damián 666, Nicho el Millionario, Pagano b Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown
6) El Mesías & Brian Cage b Dr. Wagner Jr. & La Parka
Mesias & Cage are Team Trump and talked at the start of the show. Texano interrupted their Trump video to say he’d defend Mexicans. Dr. Wagner & Parka shook hands on a momentary alliance before the match. Mesias replaced in the match Texano and Cage & Mesias used fouls to win. They destroyed Wagner & Parka after the match until Texano (in a neck brace) made the save. Cage & Mesias ended up beating up Texano again.

Air Date: 04/30 & 05/07

If Mesias & Cage are Team Trump, they might also be Team USA for the Lucha World Cup. Texano already seems like he’s going to be on the Mexico side, so that’d play into it as well. I have the mindset that Verano de Escandalo is the next show, but probably should switch to thinking about everything building to the Lucha World Cup right now.

Maybe that’s the reasoning behind Suicide and Argenis getting the win? Suicide being drafted onto another Team Rest of the World seems plausible, but this still feels random. Could they just be saving Jack & Angelico’s challenge for a later show? (Can AAA even change these titles without being worried about Averno & Chessman’s status? Is that even a factor?)

The new Los Fronterizos is being booked very strong to start, which makes a lot of sense. I’m still not convinced it’s a faction I want to see. It still bugs me a bit that Pagano and Aereo were on the Juarez show in a TV match, Aereo looked great, Pagano struggled, Pagano got signed and Aereo is still off in the frontier. This seems like a big lesson to offer something no one else is offering – there’s a lot more fewer people like Pagano than there is like Aereo – but it’s a bit of a depressing lesson. It’s been explained in the past that the reason AAA has extreme luchadors and extreme matches is a way to separate themselves from WWE & CMLL, but it’s not cleat that difference means much outside of a small but passionate and loyal group of fans. The underlining idea of the Pentagon Perros proving themselves as rightful holders of that name makes for a decent story, but recent events haven’t made me convinced they’ll be telling that story either.

I hope we get an Apache interview on an upcoming Noti AAA, because I have no idea why he’s stuck on Venum. He does seem to pick random opening match luchadors to annoy every few years.

Pentagon Jr. wasn’t on this show – he’s in Japan now for the Akebono debut show. Their website says he went from Chile to the US to Japan, which sounds like a heck of a day of sitting on planes. Fenix made it earlier.

Next taping is 04/29. That holds the first two Lucha World Cup Qualifiers; it’d make sense if we heard a lot more about the Cup before those took place.

04/08 AAA TV Results (DF) – Juan de la Barrera

AAA

AAA TV (FRI) 04/08/2016 Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal [AAA, R de Rudo]
1) Atomic Boy, Ludxor, Niño Hamburguesa, Venum b El Apache, Mamba, Soul Rocker, Súper Fly
Atomic Boy’s first TV appearance since July 2013 (at least partly due to injury.) Hamburguesa splash on Soul Rocker for the win.
2) Faby Apache, Maravilla, Mary Apache b La Hiedra, Lady Shani, Taya
Faby tried to persuade Mary that her best times were on the tecnica side teaming with her sister. Mary didn’t seem to agree; she beat La Hiedra but refused to celebrate with Faby and Maravilla. The rudas attacked Mary, Faby and Maravilla made the save, and Mary finally made peace with them.
3) Averno, Chessman, Ricky Marvin b Bengala, Drago, El Elegido
Ricky Marvin defeated (the new) Bengala via German suplex
4) Argenis, Australian Suicide, Jack Evans b Daga, Joe Lider, Pentagón Jr.
Angelico returned, helping Jack pin Pentagon Jr. The Perros del Mal regrouped after the match, but were then destroyed by Pagano, Damian and Halloween. The group is going by La Nueva Familia Fronteriza, and Pagano’s tag line is “you can’t have a party without a clown.”
5) Garza Jr., La Parka, Octagón Jr. b Brian Cage, El Mesías, Texano Jr.
Brian Cage was announced for this card on 04/04 and became the mystery person in this match. Texano came out at the start of the show. Mesias confronted him, and wanted Texano to join him in his new found admiration of Donald Trump. Brian Cage joined the segment and allied with Mesias, but Texano didn’t want much to do with him. The issues led to the rudos losing, Texano being beat by Parka. Cage & Mesias destroyed Texano post match, dropping him with a martinete.
6) Psycho Clown © b Dr. Wagner Jr. [AAA LA]
First defense. Mascarita Sagrada and Villano IV, who were the seconds at Rey de Reyes, were the seconds again. Hijo del Tirantes helped Dr. Wagner Jr. thru the match, was knocked out later, Psycho pulled Wagner’s mask, and Piero ran into make the count.

Air Date: 04/16 & 04/23

The standout bit from these shows is the winners from Rey de Reyes both losing. Texano took the loss to La Parka (off all people) and got destroyed by Mesias & Cage. Pentagon took the loss to Jack Evans and was beat up by La Familia (for the second show in a row.) It’s not for nothing – Texano vs Cage (and maybe Mesias) and Perros for La Familia appear to be the big matches for Verano de Escandalo – but it’s a tough way to build new stars. It’s also not so different than what was done in the prior booking regime, where the philosophy seemed to be keeping the rudos as strong as possible in hopes of making it a big deal when the tecnicos finally won. The reaction to Psycho Clown winning in the main event would be a good barometer to how well that’s working now, and I’m not sure how they reacted.

Another thing back: Rey Mysterio. He was announced as returning soon, no date given. My uninformed guess is he’s back at Verano de Escandalo to set up a big match for TripleMania. The substory is AAA, said to be cash strapped recently, suddenly does have money to bring in Mysterio and Cage. Not really clear what changed.

Also maybe coming back soon: Hijo del Fantasma, who was writing himself into the Texano vs Mesias/Cage feud on Twitter last night, saying he’d be back in a few weeks. (With Leon announced, the first show where we might see him is Xalapa on the 29th.) Fantasma was understood to be trying to leave both LU & AAA for WWE, but unable to do so because he signed a 7 season deal with LU. Something obviously changed and it looks like he’s sticking around.

The new Bengala appears to be a shorter than Drago in the photos, which makes him pretty short. No shoulder tattoo. We’ll have a better idea of who he is when it airs in a few weeks. AAA is a little short on people – that’s probably part of the reason Atomic Boy is back around – so it might be someone working double duty. Losing in his first match also might mean it’s a one off Bengala appearance, or someone not expected to be around much.

Next taping is a week from Monday in Leon.

04/18 AAA TV Lineup (Leon)

04/18 AAA

AAA TV (SAT) 04/16/2016 Domo de la Feria, León, Guanajuato
1) Dinastía, Lanzeloth, Ludxor, Venum vs Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Soul Rocker, Súper Fly
2) Faby Apache & Mary Apache vs La Hiedra & Lady Shani
3) Angélico & Jack Evans vs Daga & Joe Lider and Argenis & Australian Suicide and Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Taurus [AAA TAG, #1 Contenders]
4) Aerostar, Drago, Octagón Jr. vs Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, Zorro
5) Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown vs Damián 666, Nicho el Millionario, Pagano
6) Dr. Wagner Jr. & La Parka vs Brian Cage & Texano Jr.

Air Date: 04/30 & 05/07 – they’re building up a bit of some space between taping and airing for the first time in quite a while.

The big news is in that main event: Brian Cage is back. AAA announced he’ll return on the 04/08 card. They didn’t say what he’d be doing, but there’s a mystery spot in the semimain he’d fit in. Cage had been announced as part of the Liga Elite tournament, then was pulled for the show for unclear reasons (but appeared to be LU/AAA pressure.) It’s great to see he’s still getting work in Mexico. Cage spent his last run feuding with Alberto and wrestling a lot with other people who aren’t here now. He didn’t come out of that feud well but maybe being on that level will keep perception of him high now that Alberto isn’t around.

Cage also could be the next Mega challenger. Texano was a patriotic slight tecnico in the main event of Rey de Reyes, and Cage is pretty foreign on the evil foreigner scale. AAA seems to be starting towards Verano de Escandalo on this card, La Parka doesn’t make sense as a title match challenger, and Wagner would possibly still be busy with Psycho Clown. I’m generally confused about Wagner on the tecnico side; he’s been booked as a rudo, but he does act tecnico during his matches. No idea.

I’m all for seeing new names in the semimain. Not quite as thrilled when it’s Pagano and Familia de Tijuana taking on the Psycho Circus. The Psycho Circus and the then Perros del Mal feuded back in 2011, with Halloween, Damian and Nicho losing their hair. I’d guess this might be a win back in the other direction, since the new group is just getting started here. They’re likely to show up in Mexico City on Friday first.

No Pentagon or Fenix on this card, with Octagon Jr. stepping in the latter’s place to team with Aerostar & Drago against the Xinetez. Octagon should be challenging for the Cruiserweight championship, but with Hijo del Fantasma currently MIA (four tapings in a row missed), maybe he gets into the trios title picture.

Four way tag team match means a) Jack doesn’t have to be in a three way tag match! b) I can keep beating that joke into the ground c) Angelico & Jack should probably win anyway. Lider & Daga are going to be busy with the old hardcore guys, and the other teams aren’t likely to be winning a shot on their own. This suggests the Chessman & Averno vs Angelico & Jack match will actually be a one team versus one team match.

First two matches don’t seem to have much significance but could both be pretty good.

Next taping is 04/29 in Xalapa.

04/08 AAA TV Lineup (DF) – Wagner vs Psycho for the Latin America Championship

AAA

AAA TV (FRI) 04/08/2016 Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal
1) Atomic Boy, Ludxor, Niño Hamburguesa, Venum vs El Apache, Mamba, Soul Rocker, Súper Fly
2) Faby Apache, Maravilla, Mary Apache vs La Hiedra, Lady Shani, Taya
3) Bengala, Drago, El Elegido vs Averno, Chessman, Ricky Marvin
4) Argenis, Australian Suicide, Jack Evans vs Daga, Joe Lider, Pentagón Jr.
5) Garza Jr., La Parka, Octagón Jr. vs ?, El Mesías, Texano Jr.
6) Psycho Clown © vs Dr. Wagner Jr. [AAA LA]
First defense. Mascarita Sagrada and Villano IV, who were the seconds at Rey de Reyes, will be the seconds again.

Air Date: 04/16 and 04/23.

Wagner doesn’t have to wait until Verano de Escandalo, getting his deserved title shot right away. The Doctor has gotten the better of Psycho in this feud and that doesn’t seem like it’s changing. It’s weird Murder & Monster aren’t seconds, and probably a set up for a storyline.

Bengala versus Ricky Marvin certainly jumps out. Ricky Marvin was Bengala, then he was back to being Ricky in Naucalpan, but Bengala lives on. It has to be someone new getting a chance with the character, but no idea whom. The photo on the poster is the Ricky Marvin Bengala.

Opener would be Atomic Boy’s first TV match since July 21, 2013, when he, and the Alberije and Cuije of the moment were all added to the Mexican Powers in an angle which was immediately dropped. He’s been spotted rarely since and has alluded to injuries keeping him out of action. Atomic Boy is strangely listed on an 04/03 Arena Xalapa show, and is on an April AAA spot show, so maybe he’ll be back in circulation more.

Or maybe he just made it because Fenix is hurt – he suffered an injury at Lucha Underground which will keep him out of the ring a little while – and Argenis got moved out of the opener to replace him. There’s other seeming replacements on this show. Mary Apache is on TV for the first time in about 10 months, likely taking a spot which would’ve gone to Goya Kong. Soul Rocker, the last Rocker left standing, is the position which often went to Carta Brava.

And then the semimain mystery spot might normally have gone to Hijo del Fantasma, who’s missing in action. (He’d make sense as an Octagon Jr. opponent, who’s much higher here than he has been since his debut.) His only two TV appearances have been the previous show in this venue, and the Rey de Reyes qualifier. King Cuerno was not seen at Lucha Underground the past two weekends – they’re taping out of order enough that he could be added back in later, but it’s not like he’s hanging out in Europe with Angelico. This all fits with the idea Fantasma is the mystery AAA/LU type who’s currently trying to get out of his deal – everyone else has turned up. Maybe the mystery spot will end up being Fantasma if they work it out – maybe they just don’t know yet.

On the other side, Mesias and Texano are back to teaming again, though it may be a temporary situation since there’s no obvious title contender on the other side. I can’t see them doing Texano/Parka and Texano/Garza is a reach unless Verano de Escandalo is in Monterrey.

No sign of the Damian/Halloween/Nicho/Pagano group, though the Perros del Mal match is an obvious spot for them to get involved. No sign of Angelico, who should be back by this point – but maybe he’s needed in Los Angeles early for Lucha Underground.

Next taping would be 04/18 in Leon.

03/23 AAA TV Results (SLP) – Pentagon Jr. wins 2016 Rey de Reyes

Rey de Reyes

AAA TV (WED) 03/23/2016 Plaza de Toros Monumental El Paseo, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí [AAA]
Rey de Reyes 2016
1) Faby Apache, Máscarita Sagrada, Octagón Jr., Pimpinela Escarlata b Mamba, Mini Psycho Clown, Taurus, Taya
Mini Psycho Clown replaced Mini Charly Manson. Octagon Jr. was the surprise luchador and pinned Mamba with a 450 splash.
2) Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, Zorro b Aerostar, Drago, Fénix [AAA TRIOS]
first defense. Zorro beat Fenix with a Canadian Destroyer. Zorro beat up Fenix after the match.
3) Averno & Chessman © b Daga & Joe Lider and Argenis & Australian Suicide [TLC, AAA TAG]
first defense. Argenis replaced Jack Evans (illness). Chessman won after Averno was stretchered out.
4) Pentagón Jr. b Villano IV, La Parka [Rey de Reyes, final]
Blue Demon advanced to final but did not show. Parka beat Villano and Pentagon beat Parka. The Perros del Mal celebrated, but were attacked by Pagano, Halloween, Damian and Nicho who claimed they were the real Perros del Mal.
5) Dr. Wagner Jr. b Psycho Clown
Brawl with blood. Seconds were Mascarita Sagrada and Villano IV, who got involved. Wagner used a foul to win. Wagner demanded a title shot against Psycho Clown.
6) Texano Jr. b El Mesías [AAA HEAVY]
Texano won with a powerbomb to take the vacant championship. He’s the 13th champion, this is his second reign.

Air Date: April 2nd & April 9th.

AAA says they sold the building out and it certainly looked sold out in pictures. The venue is listed as 7000 seats, plus whatever they added on the floor and minus whatever they blocked off for the entrance. The Roldans made a point of showing the full crowd, and there seemed to be a message about AAA still being to do these kind of crowd regardless of who’s left. It’s a bit mitigated by this show being promoted as a special tribute for Hijo del Perro Aguayo and the seeming lack of other AAA shows in big venues outside of Mexico City, but 7000 tickets is 7000 tickets. You can’t argue with a sell out and that’s what they got – and probably at a cheaper cost than they were getting those a year prior.

There was no iPPV. AYM/internet.tv put up a note yesterday that the show was canceled thru no fault of their own. My belief is there was a deal that just didn’t get done in time. AAA never promoted it, and also didn’t say anything when other people found it. It seems like it should’ve, any extra money would’ve been nice, but the last minute and lack of advertising time for it means the only people who knew about it were mostly the people read this site. That’s not that many people. (If it was a straight revenue split, it’s money they passed up. If there was any sort of overhead AAA had to give up before the revenue split, then maybe it was money they saved.) As it is, I wish I was most skeptical of it actually happening as to not get people’s hopes up or worked harder to confirm it was actually happening)- it’s only because we’ve found the iPPV info before it’s was announced in the past that I thought it might be the same this time. Hopefully this can work better next show.

Jack Evans missed the show due to food poisoning.  We knew about Mini Charly. AAA and Blue Demon haven’t explained his absence. It may be a flight issue. Demon also has a reputation of missing shows where he expects to lose, and he probably was going to lose on this show. It hasn’t really occurred to me, since he’s Mexican Hero Blue Demon Jr., but Demon was the last guy getting flown in from the US and probably getting paid US Dollars. It’s surprising given who isn’t around. Demon seems like he opens door for sponsorship a guy like Cage (to pick a name) would not, but Cage probably is easier to deal with and costs less.

(Blue Demon’s only “explanation” is to RT mentions of him also missing Rey de Reyes two years ago. Note to luchadors and luchadors promotions and anyone on Twitter: stop retweeting every mention you get.)

It still feels early on in this new regime, but one booking change that strikes me is there’s less angles on these shows. Wagner talked about matches (and because it’s Wagner, there’s no telling if this is actually a plan or a bit he made up on the spot or if it’ll switch from one to the other along the way) and people had title matches, but the only news it the debut of the Other Perros del Mal. The Pentagon group had been wearing red/white Perros del Mal t-shirts the last couple of days, which had appeared to be simply a new variant of the design for the Hijo del Perro Aguayo one year anniversary. Those who came in after the Rey de Reyes final appear to be wearing the normal black/white shirt, for a color coordinated feud (though I’m not sure how long Damian’s group had the shirts on, since they’re not wearing them in most of the photos.)

The show actually begin with an in-ring tribute to Perro Jr., with the current Perros del Mal members in the ring talking about him and the rest of the roster around the ring. It seemed heartfelt, but it also seems like a designed way to leverage sympathy for Pentagon’s group into the new feud. This angle touched a nerve; Perro being praised on TV is one thing, but his memory and legacy being fought over crosses a line for some. This is not new ground for AAA. The subtext and sometimes actual text of the Roldans/Konnan on-screen was also about who was the rightful inheritors of Antonio Peña’s legacy. (I guess it’s still happening off-screen.) I can’t say if it’s the right thing to do – I don’t know what Perro would want, and I’m not enough in the Mexican culture to tell how they’d receive it.

From a business and aesthetics standpoint, I’m not in favor of it. Pentagon gets the Rey de Reyes win, but adding these guys strongly suggest he’ll still be around the same place in the card. Nicho, Halloween and Damian have had outstanding careers, and are certainly allowed to keep getting paid from lucha libre when those much older and more broken down are getting paid, but are clearly worn down by a long hard career. Pagano is a limited luchador who tries very hard and doesn’t always succeed, and is best keeping focusing at what he does best. This is going to be a lot of extreme matches, a style that’s exhausted my patience. We’ll also find out if Pagano’s indie popularity can translate to a wider audience. If it can, then that’s solid reason to do more of this (which is depressing.) If it can’t, then they’re doing this damage to themselves for no reason.

Pentagon’s post-match interview pointed to a match between himself and Pagano, but the angle suggests a 4v4 match at some point. Who would be Pentagon’s fourth? Kahn and Taya both seem like not great ideas for this match. (Bringing in Keira or Ludark as Taya’s opposite would be a silver lining to this, and give the women’s title a new direction.)

This has some implications for indie promotions, all of whom seemed to be using Pagano at once. If he’s in AAA, his availability will be less and they won’t be able to do matches with him against CMLL guys – exactly what’s scheduled this weekend in Guadalajara. If you’re a fan of indie lucha and not of Pagano, this might be good news, but indie promoters who want extreme style can find others who are willing to do it.

I don’t know. I feel very dispassionate about this whole show. I don’t know if I’m just tired – the upside of no iPPV is I got at least one extra hour of sleep! – or if it’s just not enthralling when you’re only watching results on Twitter and Instragram (but not Snapchat?) AAA did the right thing with Pentagon winning, but it felt like that should be the first step for more. The underlining thought makes sense in that feud – give the Pentagon Perros someone more rudo to feud with to continue allowing them to be fan favorite rudos – but it doesn’t seem like a big step forward. The rest of the shows are wins that are worth mentioning, but everything’s been reset to the beginning and so none of it feels all that important and there aren’t a lot of directions suggested going forward. (They could’ve done the Japan bit of someone coming out to challenge Texano, to at least set up that direction.) Maybe the Zorro/Fenix interaction, maybe the Wagner challenges are going somewhere, but it’s going to take more time to find out about all of it.

The next show is April 8th in Mexico City. No lineup is out – maybe in the next few days.

03/11 AAA TV Results (Naucalpan)

AAA TV (FRI) 03/11/2016 Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, AAA]
1) Mamba, Máscara Año 2000 Jr., Xandåo b Argenis, El Mexicano, Estrella Divina
Los Perros del Mal destroyed both teams after the match. Said to be a dark match.
2) Dinastía, Faby Apache, Niño Hamburguesa b El Apache, Mini Psycho Clown, Taya
Hamburguesa splash for the win. Faby asked Taya for a title match. Taya said no since Faby had not beat her directly.
3) Drago, Fénix, Octagón Jr. b Averno, Chessman, Ricky Marvin
Octagon Jr. was announced as the surprise luchador a few days prior and got a better reaction on this show. Fenix beat Marvin with a huracanrana. Ricky Marvin told the press this was the start of a new chapter in his career. Los Perros del Mal interrupted post match (and may have distracted earlier) to tell Averno & Chessman that Lider & Daga were winning the tag titles at Rey de Reyes.
4) Garza Jr., Jack Evans, La Parka b Pentagón Jr., Taurus, Villano IV
Garza beat Taurus. (Said to be Taurus’ first defeat, but he lost in Rey de Reyes as well.) Pentagon said he’d beat Demon, Parka and Villano at Rey de Reyes, then go after Jack Evans next.
5) Dr. Wagner Jr., El Mesías, Texano Jr. b Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown
Mesias and Texano didn’t get along but it didn’t cost the match. Wagner beat Psycho Clown with a Michinoku Driver, then challenged Psycho Clown for a title match and a mask match. Psycho tried to respond but Wagner took his mask.

Air Date: 03/26. Match one may not air – though since the Perros turned up at the end, maybe they’ll edit it into being the open or something. It could also just be on YouTube.

Appeared to be a sellout, which would be the second in this arena in five days. The Elite card will likely make it three in two weeks. IWRG cards will generally do a couple hundred people. The building isn’t dead, it’s about getting giving people what they want to see.

Though this is a lame duck position, they did do some work to build up the lesser matches on Rey de Reyes. The mixed trios match now has a purpose, Faby’s got to beat Taya to get a title match. There’s at least a little bit of effort into the tag title match. Even the Pentagon/Jack thing, a dropped angle from the fall being picked up, points at a post-Rey de Reyes plan.

Back prior Guerra de Titanes, I argued Psycho & Wagner would win the title shot match because they’d be the best choice to main event Rey de Reyes. They did not win, but it still feels like they’re going to be main eventing Rey de Reyes. They’re definitely the biggest match; whatever they’re doing with Mesias & Texano is not not coming across strongly in results. That title match is only going to get a reaction if it’s a hot crowd or they do some great work in the match itself.

Drago, Fenix, Octagon vs Averno, Chessman, Ricky Marvin sounds like the best match on the show. The comments Mas Lucha got from Ricky made it soudn as if Bengala is a beast of the past.

Garza Jr. told Furia de Titanes that any talk of him going to WWE is simply rumors. I wonder if “rumors” has a different connotation in Spanish than in English. Rumors in English can mean true or false, but every luchador says “rumors” like it’s obviously false. (That’s what Sombra said in the identical situation.) This seems like the English version, but it also seems like the only thing Garza can really say in the situation – neither WWE or AAA would be happy with him saying more. It does seem like AAA can’t be too concerned about him leaving if they’re starting to give him actual wins.

Next taping is 03/23 in San Luis Potosi for Rey de Reyes, which will be their first taping in that venue since Alberto left. This week’s TV show announced a 04/08 return to Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera, which would be the following show. Outside of Rey de Reyes, they’re not venturing too far away from the Mexico City base so far this year. That’s not too abnormal, but shows directly in Mexico City is a bit unusual.

AAA also announced tickets on sale for a 05/14 TV taping in Orizaba. There’s likely two to be announced in between.

03/04 AAA TV Results (Toluca) – Octagon Jr. debuts (again)

Octagon Jr. II
Octagon Jr. II

AAA TV (FRI) 03/04/2016 Gimnasio Agustín Millán, Toluca, Estado de México [AAA]
1) Carta Brava Jr. & Súper Fly b Ludxor & Venum
Bonus match (to add a second week of TV.) Apache threw a drink in Venum’s face to set up Super Fly’s German suplex.
2) Goya Kong, Máscarita Sagrada, Niño Hamburguesa b El Apache, Mini Psycho Clown, Taya
Hambguersa splash on everyone.
3) Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Taurus b Aerostar & Drago
Taurus beat Aerostar with a Michinoku Driver.
4) Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, Zorro b Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown
Scoria beat Murder with a top rope legdrop. The rudos team name is Los Xinetez (altered spelled of Jinetes).
5) Pentagón Jr. b Hijo del Fantasma, Fénix, Octagón Jr. [AAA Rey de Reyes, quarterfinal]
The show started out with Pentagon leading a moment of remembrance for Hayabusa. Pentagon then declared he would win the Rey de Reyes, but was interrupted by the kanji signal for Dragon on the video board. Pentagon was confused. The symbol was revealed to be for the debuting Octagon Jr., acknowledged as ex-Fireball/Flamita. In the match, Fantasma beat Fenix, Octagon Jr. beat Fantasma, and Pentagon beat Octagon with Copetes maybe helping.
6) El Mesías b Dr. Wagner Jr., Texano Jr. [bull terrier]
Mesias won after Psycho Clown got involved. The opponents in the singles matches on Rey de Reyes (Texano/Mesias and Wagner/Psycho) brawled post match.

Air Date: 03/12 and 03/19

Toluca was completely packed, as it often it. This should be a fun taping to watch.

Pentagon’s win puts him in the Rey de Reyes final, where he’s about 20 years younger than anyone else in the match. In an ideal world, the idea of putting Blue Demon, La Parka and Villano IV is justified by Pentagon beating all three to make him as a top guy. That’s not going to happen, Blue Demon isn’t losing clean. In the best world that’s possible, Pentagon Jr. beats La Parka after Demon & Villano IV brawl outside for the annual Rey de Reyes double countout – this final still kind of works. The problem is, if we believe what we’re told, there’s no particular reason to have faith in that happening – they’ve got a new system for booking the shows that’s all of three months old, AAA doesn’t have the track record of doing that sort of thing right now. Really, whatever happens with Pentagon in Rey de Reyes, the important part is doing something important with him coming out of it. A luchador’s place in the ongoing narrative matters more than any individual win – look at Taurus, who’s essentially in the same midcard place he would’ve been if he just debuted on a random TV taping. I want Pentagon Jr. to win Rey de Reyes, but I’d more like AAA to have an important match for him in mind for TripleMania.

Which is why the debut of Octagon Jr. is kind of a double edged sword. It’s great to see Flamita get a character that expresses a strong commitment from AAA. (He’s probably not going back to Dragon Gate.) The importance of the Octagon name – in emotional, marketing and legal terms – means he’s probably going to get moved up a little bit. Flamita/Pentagon matches sound awesome. However, if they’re doing it in the third match, then it feels like a under valuation of both guys. I hope they both take each other to the main events, but I’m concerned this might slot them both together in the midcard.

Octagon Jr. and Fantasma are both now off Rey de Reyes. It’s possible one or both could be off because they’re needed in LA for Lucha Underground taping before the material, or that Octagon Jr. is going to be the surprise luchador in the opener. Slotting your new big character in the opener doesn’t seem to do much for him. What I’d really like to see is Octagon Jr. facing Hijo del Fantasma for the Cruiserweight championship. It’s be a great match on a card that could always use a great match, Octagon could make an impact with a big win right away, and Fantasma could be freed up to go after the heavyweight championship should Mesias win. I don’t expect this to happen.

Octagon reacted angrily to the news of an Octagon Jr., saying he didn’t give permission and promoters should not use him. Octagon’s lawsuit over the name has gone nowhere since announcing it in late 2014, and it’s unlikely his objections will amount to anything more than angry rants on social media.

Venum and Apache had issues on the last taping as well, so I guess they’ve got a long term plan for that feud.

Next taping is 03/11 in Naucalpan.

 

03/11 AAA TV Lineup (Naucalpan)

03/11 in Naucalpan

AAA TV (FRI) 03/11/2016 Arena Naucalpan
1) Argenis, El Mexicano, Estrella Divina vs Mamba, Máscara Año 2000 Jr., Xandåo
2) Dinastía, Faby Apache, Niño Hamburguesa vs El Apache, Mini Psycho Clown, Taya
3) ?, Drago, Fénix vs Averno, Chessman, Ricky Marvin
4) Garza Jr., Jack Evans, La Parka vs Pentagón Jr., Taurus, Villano IV
5) Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown vs Dr. Wagner Jr., El Mesías, Texano Jr.

Air Date: 03/19? They’re still kind of a week short, so either a match is going to be added to Toluca, or Toluca or Naucalpan is going to be stretched out to two weeks, or maybe they’re going to do the never seen bit of combining showing two different tapings on one show or – I dunno, this could air March 19th and/or it could air March 26th, your guess is as good as mine.

This taping is a late addition to make up for Tampico being canceled, and it kind comes off as such. The opener is such a random group of individuals, as if the first six people who responded to a group text got a spot on the card. (I’m almost sure that didn’t happen.) The rest of the show is lack a little continuity or design too.

The main rudo side has Dr. Wagner Jr., Mesias and Texano. Those three guys will meet in a bull terrier match on Friday and then will be partner on this show. Normally, one of the people in the Rey de Reyes championship match (Texano vs Mesias!) would be turning face, but none appear to be doing so. None of this makes much sense on paper. Perhaps they’ll find a way to make it compelling on TV. This remains a strange way to build to a title match; the Psycho Clown/Dr. Wagner feud appears to have priority.

Semifinal is a really exciting match without La Parka (and maybe Villano IV) involved. No such luck. It is notable because it comes after the Rey de Reyes Group 4 match. Parka & Villano (and Demon have advanced), Pentagon Jr. is the only guy from Group 4 booked in the match, and Pentagon is the favorite to advance out of that group. Maybe that’s going to be a final preview match.

Aside 1: Fantasma is not booked here, or anywhere on TV outside of Friday’s Group final. He could surprise and go to the final himself and that would explain things. It’s just strange there’s no spot for him here or on Rey de Reyes unless he makes the final. He is healthy and was wrestling Sunday in Juarez, so no idea.

Aside 2: Queretaro’s big story was the Perros del Mal all being friends again. None of the Perros del Mal team on the following two tapings. Strange.

Still kind of assuming all the luchador sorpresa spots at Fireball, though it’s strange (a word I’m overusing) AAA wouldn’t list him by this point if that’s the case. Probably more peculiar is Ricky Marvin being a rudo (and not Bengala.) Lack of logical rudo to team up with those guys now that they’re out of La Sociedad? Injury replacement for Daga? The end of the masked character? He’s probably more useful on the rudo side at this point given the depth of young flyers on the tecnico side, but there probably should be some explanation of what’s going on there.

Aside 3: who is in La Sociedad now? Could I get a organizational chart?

The usual Relevos match gets moved to the segunda, except the exoticos get left behind. Mascarita Sagrada is the only person who repeats this match and the Rey de Reyes opener.

Opener is a grab bag of people. Argenis/Mascara 2000 Jr. are among the lowest tecnicoss and rudos on the totem pole. Estrella Divina works some AAA spots shows and is getting a TV chance as an opponent for Mamba. (This will be her first TV appearance since 2014, when they had a 4 women vs 4 exoticos match.) And Xandao and Mexicano is maybe student versus trainer? I think Mexicano has a hand in the training, and AAA’s used him on small shows a few years ago. Mexicano was a TV regular a long time ago, but this would be his first appearance since 2000 and there’s really no reason for him to be on this show unless it’s to help Xandao thru a debut match. Xandao is a tall Brazilian (friend of Zumbi!) who’s been used by Leyendas Inmortales and indy shows, but hasn’t made much of an impression outside being tall and Brazilian. Maybe he’ll show something here, but there’s more interesting people who could’ve been used in that spot.

Naucalpan tapings are usually pretty hot. The card really isn’t – matches 3 and 4 could be good, but could not be just the same. Match 5 is probably a normal Psycho Circus math with an angle at the end. Mathc 2 is also something we’ve seen many times before.

Upcoming AAA TV schedule

03/04: Toluca
03/11: Naucalpan
03/23: San Luis Potosi (Rey de Reyes)

Upcoming Arena Naucalpan schedule

03/02: FILL show (vs Toluca)
03/06: Chairo 3
03/09: maybe no show
03/11: AAA TV
03/13: maybe regular IWRG

03/23 AAA TV Lineup (2016 Rey de Reyes)

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Rey de Reyes
AAA TV (WED) 03/23/2016 Plaza de Toros Monumental El Paseo, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí
Rey de Reyes 2016
1) ?, Faby Apache, Máscarita Sagrada, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Mamba, Mini Charly Manson, Taurus, Taya
2) Aerostar, Drago, Fénix vs Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, Zorro [AAA TRIOS]
first defense
3) Averno & Chessman © vs Daga & Joe Lider and Australian Suicide & Jack Evans [TLC, AAA TAG]
first defense
4) Blue Demon vs Villano IV, La Parka, ? [AAA Rey de Reyes]
final participant will be determined on the Toluca TV taping.
5) Psycho Clown vs Dr. Wagner Jr.
6) El Mesías vs Texano Jr. [AAA HEAVY]

Air Date: maybe 03/26 and 04/02?

It happened again. 2016 Rey de Reyes, like 2015 Guerra de Titanes, was announced for Tampico and then pushed to the next TV taping instead. This time, the next TV taping was a few days later. San Luis Potosi’s show moves from Auditorio Miguel Barragan to the 7000 seat bullring.

I don’t think we’ll see another show announced in Tampico any time soon. I also tend to believe this is not AAA’s fault (except maybe for giving it a second try.) There’s only been one other lucha libre show known to be scheduled in Tampico this year, a CMLL show that was quietly canceled and moved to Queretaro. You have to go back to November to find a show, in what had been a pretty active area for indie lucha. It’s also been an active area for cartel activity this decade, and my educated guess is the violence has made it unsafe to run a show in the city. It certainly would explain why AAA hasn’t wanted to talk about the cancellations. Maybe they’ll give it another try again later, but it seems like it’s not working.

It also would explain why AAA had another TV taping scheduled soon after a major show. It doesn’t quite fit their pattern, they only do that with the Hard Rock resort shows, but perhaps this was a little bit of insurance in case Tampico fell thru again. It does still leave them a TV gap. AAA can (and probably will) add another match to the Toluca taping next week to stretch it for an extra week of TV, but would still either need to air this show on Saturday (a quicker turnaround than usual) or make up a TV week anyway. This SLP event was is scheduled to have a Perro Aguayo Jr. tribute element, and perhaps that’s done in a different way to also account for the missing week of TV.

A Wednesday night show is doubtful to be a PPV and unlikely to be an iPPV either. Again, I’d prefer to see it live, but it’ll turn up on TV rather quick anyway.

The local promoters seem to have known of this change for maybe just 24 hours. They were still promoting the normal TV taping on Tuesday, then started vaguely promoting a big event at the bullring on Wednesday night. Wednesday is all big AAA decisions seem to be announced, so they can be part of that week’s TV show. They were just waiting for the actual poster to announce it today. (The whole Wednesday TV thing is why getting this show on TV in time is going to be tricky.)

I guess I should talk about the matches! Rey de Reyes looks not far different from Guerra de Titanes: the same three titles which were on in play will be on the line again on this show. I kind of like the idea of focusing on a few titles, rather than having them disappearing for half a year. I’m not sure these are the ones I would’ve picked, but better than nothing.

Mesias has not been on a taping since he won the main event title shot and maybe turned tecnico. Neither has Texano. They’ve had them on NotiAAA to do promos, but this is the strangest build to a main event title match I can recall. They’ll both be on the Toluca show – which now will air BEFORE Rey de Reyes and becomes relevant – but they’ve been lost in the mix and a couple of disconnected matches isn’t going to make this feud click. Especially when both characters were coming into cold. I advocated for the Rey de Reyes tournament to double as a AAA Heavyweight Championship Tournament this year as a way to make both more meaningful. What didn’t occur to me, but seems obvious in retrospect, is doing the title tournament and Rey de Reyes separately meant one was going to be pushed into the background. The Rey de Reyes has a higher volume of matches, so the Heavyweight title was always going to be stuck in the background. As is, Mesias/Texano, the titular main event for the biggest championship in AAA, is either the fourth or fifth most important feeling match on the show.

Psycho Clown versus Dr. Wagner is not for Psycho’s Latin American championship, but Psycho probably has the same chance of winning with or without a title on the line. (It’s not a good chance.) This’ll be interesting to see how well they mesh and what direction they head next – a longer Wagner/Psycho feud probably helps Psycho, but I’m not convinced that’s the direction until it happens.

Fenix, Pentagon, Fantasma and ??? are in the Toluca Group. Fenix has a spot, and the ??? is probably booked in the opener. That means either Fantasma or Pentagon is sitting this show out. Comedy voting schemes aside, I tend to believe Pentagon is advancing to the Rey de Reyes final and has a half decent of winning: all the effort they had for him with the Mixed tag title storyline makes more sense the context of bigger plans. It would require AAA’s impression of Pentagon to have greatly changed in the last few months, but going thru those three guys to win the Rey de Reyes would be the perfect way to start to move Pentagon up. (Giving the Perros a big win on this show makes sense.) That leaves Fantasma as off the side, weirdly.

The TLC is usual AAA show randomness and there’s no real reason for the two challenging teams to be getting a title shot, but at least there’s feuds between the people involved. Joe Lider doesn’t like Averno & Chessman, Daga doesn’t like Suicide, Jack Evans doesn’t like three way matches. This will be something, something probably involving really cheap looking ladders. Angelico’s knee is going to appreciate being in Europe.

Trios title match should be good! (Really, everything but the Rey de Reyes final should be OK to much better than OK.) I am a big fan of the challengers, but would understand the champions keeping the titles to give someone momentum. This feels like the title less likely to change of the two.

I hope I live long enough to see another AAA major show without a Relevos AAA atomicos opener, but I fear I may not. Everyone involved seems like perfectly wonderful people and I wish them much health and prosperity, but I don’t want to see that match any more. Please stop. (The underlining issue is AAA won’t book more than six matches on these shows, so they’re keep needing to do that match to get everyone represented instead of doing actual different matches.)

Next taping makes sense as being on the 04/03 weekend, but, uh, that may not be a great day to run a show. AAA people are announced as appearing in Dallas on 04/01 and 04/02. Your guess is as good as mine.