LA Park unmasks Hijo del Fantasma in the main event of TripleMania, Lady Shani takes Faby Apache’s hair

Hijo del Fantasma unmasked (photo by AAA)

Hijo del Fantasma lost his mask in the main event of this year’s TripleMania, as expected. The big surprise was it LA Park who got the win. The two finished the fourway mask match with heavy involvement from Hijo del Tirantes (who had very involved in the show already.) LA Park speared Hijo del Fantasma for the match deciding pinfall. Fantasma unmasked as Jorge Luis Alcantar Bolly, 34 years old, 18 years a wrestler.

There was a reason behind Park winning: Dr. Wagner Jr. walked out to challenge him for a hair versus mask match after. Park was very negative about the idea, feeling his mask was worth much more than Wagner’s hair, and Wagner lost his chance by losing his mask in the same ring a year ago. Park seemed to eventually agree by the end of the back and forth, though not strongly. All three announce crews immediately pressed that it was a match definitely happening for next year’s Triplemania, obviously being alerted that it was happening beforehand, but LA Park didn’t seem too enthusiastic about it. It was tough to read the fans, many of whom were exiting the building after a 5.5 hour show. This was a spot intended to replicate Wagner and Psycho Clown agreeing to a mask match ahead of time, but it didn’t have a strong feeling.

That Wagner/Park match is scheduled to take place at TripleMania XXVII, announced as taking place August 3rd in Arena Ciudad de Mexico.

Other results from the show

  • Vampiro and Konnan signed a contract for a loser leaves AAA (or Mexico) match. No date was announced, and it may end up being a team versus team match. This was highlighted by Vampiro losing it on while doing English commentary because the cue for his music was missed.
  • Lady Shani took Faby Apache’s hair, in a match which saw La Parka counter the interference of Taurus and referees fighting. Faby Apache got a real haircut time. She wasn’t bald when she left the ring, but her hair was cut enough that she would be better off bald. AAA did post a photo of her bald in the back later on.
  • Fenix is the new AAA Mega Champion, having defeated Jeff Jarrett. Dr. Wagner Jr. got a bit of revenge on Jarrett by pretending to be Konnan pretending to be Parka. It worked better than it sounds. Fenix beat Jarrett with a cutter. Cage may have suffered a leg injury during the match but did finish it.
    • A section of the match was designed for Marisela Pena to humiliate Jarrett by throwing a drink in her face, and Fenix to add in a dive to Jarrett. That first part went fine, but Fenix came in very hot and Jarrett didn’t catch the dive as much as he passed it by to Marisela and the people she was sitting with. You’ve never seen security people and medical people run to ringside as fast as they did then – it was as if a president got shot. Marisela herself seemed fine but it was less clear about the other people in the area, and the commotion distracted the fans attention from the match until the fake La Parka came out.
  • La Mascara, Texano Jr. & Rey Escorpion defeated Pagano, Joe Lider and Murder Clown in an over the top hardcore match that saw Texano set his lasso on fire to hit Joe Lider (or an area near Joe Lider) for the win. Pagano was rushed to an ambulance after the match in a regular situation.
  • OGT beat Elite in the worst match of the night. A confusing sequence saw Poder del Norte attack OGT before and after the finish to no effect, and Chessman and Jack Evans getting into a very real brawl while the finish was happening. The MAD concept was given a big run with video packages and an in-ring promo segment here, but no one seemed to  care about this feud (and it appears to be over now with MAD losing and OGT moving back to Poder del Norte again.)
  • Poder del Norte earlier continued their winning streak by winning the three way team match, pinning Hijo de LA Park. So one win and one loss for the Parks tonight.
  • Bandido & Flamita were surprise winners in the ladder match and are owed a tag title shot now. AAA hung an attache case very high up, so the wrestlers had use for the ladders and used them a lot. Drago may have reinjured his shoulder on a spot in a match full of spots. Bandido & Flamita aren’t booked on the next three TV tapings, so it may be a while before they get that shot.
  • Nino Hamburguesa & Big Mami continued their successful mixed tag team reign with a win in the opener. They were easily the most popular team and got in many good moments.
  • Sammy Guevara picked up the Cruiserweight title, pining Suicide after a 630 senton in a match also including ACH & Shane Strickland. It was a bit of a disappointment of a match, though not one that stuck out by the end of the show. Killer Kross attacked everyone but Suicide after the match and gave Suicide a MAD shirt. Suicide later appeared with MAD, but had no great role.
  • Dragon Bane, Aramis and Freelance beat Draztick Boy, Latigo and Aramis in an exciting if at times sloppy opener.

Attendance looked good but far from a sell out; the cameras angles used kept showing sections of totally unsold seats, and these weren’t ones cut off for the entrance. The crowd generally seemed to be into the show, especially the main events. There was a lot of referee stuff with Tirantes but it didn’t seem to hurt the crowd.

I had terrible streaming problems for the second half of the show; I missed the finish of Shani/Apache and the main event when the stream just stopped on me, so there’s no real way I can do a recap tonight. It may be a few days. It must’ve been on my end; there was a path early where the feed was struggling badly for 20 minutes but no one reported problems otherwise. If you’re waiting for a recommendation, I’d say most of the show was watchable but it felt long and you’re going to have to put up with a lot of AAA tropes (referees that make no sense, heavy interference in singles matches). It was very much a TripleMania.

full AAA TripleMania XXVI (August 25th) lineup

AAA held a press conference to announce the TripleMania card. I’m still not 100% sure what the lineup is after, because this is AAA. Here’s what I’ve got:

AAA TV (SAT) 08/25/2018 Arena Ciudad de México, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal
TripleMania XXVI
1) ?, ??, ??? vs ????, ?????, ??????
a Llave a la Gloria match
2) Australian Suicide © vs 2345678910 [AAA CRUISER]
3) Big Mami & Niño Hamburguesa © vs Hijo Del Vikingo & Vanilla and Dinastía & Lady Maravilla and Angelikal & La Hiedra [AAA MIXED TAG]
3rd defense (2nd televised)
4) Aerostar & Drago vs Golden Magic & Laredo Kid and Bandido & Flamita and Andrew Everett & DJZ [Ladder, AAA TAG]
5) Mamba, Máximo, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana and Hijo de LA Park, Puma King, Taurus
6) Jack Evans, Juventud Guerrera, Teddy Hart vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly [lumberjack]
7) La Máscara, Rey Escorpión, Texano Jr. vs Joe Lider, Murder Clown, Pagano [street]
8) Jeff Jarrett © vs FénixBrian CageRich Swann [AAA HEAVY]
9) Lady Shani vs Faby Apache [mask, hair]
Shani’s mask vs Faby Apache’s hair
10) Psycho Clown vs Hijo del FantasmaLA ParkPentagón Jr. [mask, cage]
Tour way mask match in a cage. Two people will escape, and the last two will have a one fall match.

There may be more details later. The Villano III death started leaking out just as this press conference was wrapping up, so any articles being written about TripleMania can wait.

The big confusion is about the ladder match. It’s on the poster as if it’s the second match on the main card. AAA didn’t mention it or allude to it during their press conference. It’s possible there just wasn’t anyone in the match at the press conference. Most matches only had a few people representing it. The way the matches were introduced, they just went from the mixed tag to the three-way trios match as if there’s nothing in between them. Asking AAA if the match is happening got no response, but everyone may be too swamped to sort it out. AAA has a tendency just to stop mentioning things that are canceled or they don’t want to talk about (keep scrolling for Alberto news.) People at the press conference were under the impression the ladder match is happening.

The cage match part of the main event was not particularly emphasized in the press conference. It’s strange because AAA had Psycho Clown talk about not wanting the match to be a cage, and others agreeing with him. Being able to brawl around the ring has helped a lot with the Psycho Clown/LA Park stuff, Pentagon Jr. can do that too, and one of Hijo del Fantasma’s big spots is a dive. One dive off the top of the cage doesn’t really make up for it, but I suspect the people in the match will just ignore the rules and find a way to brawl outside the cage.

AAA wrestlers questioning a match set-up that was being announced as pretty standard here. Murder Clown did not better understand why he was teaming with Pagano & Joe Lider than the rest of us, saying he didn’t trust them. The OGTs wanted to know why Poder del Norte wasn’t in their match and putting the trios titles on the line. Vamprio came up with an explanation about needing the most experienced and best team to face the Elite team. Poder del Norte is also facing an Elite team. Either Maximo or Mamba seemed to get confused and believe the OGT team was in their match. Dorian explained Swann & Cage being added to the title match as wanting to include reps from Impact & Lucha Underground in their big title match. Fenix works for both of those promotions just as much as those two wrestlers.

There are some matches on this card I think will be good, and the two apuesta matches should have a lot of emotion. I think everyone inside of AAA knows this TripleMania is not a really coherent lineup. It’s instead a compromise to try to get a lot of people on the show, to keep everyone happy. There’s 47 luchadors on the main card, plus who knows how many who might be placed in the pre-show matches or just appear as lumberjacks. This is just going to be how TripleMania is going to be until they change their strategy. It still doesn’t explain why so few of the undercard matches have anything to with what’s gone on TV the last few months: the main event has been built up, but the big angles involving MAD have all lead up to a midcard trios match so far. Maybe there’s some explanation of why AAA had Killer Kross destroying people on TV and then didn’t find a spot for him on TripleMania – for the second year running! – and maybe the TV angle will build to something in October. Or maybe never.

Dave the Clown is not a cruiserweight and not a young guy, so he won’t be on the card. Dave posted a Twitter complaining about a year wasted right after the press conference. People noticed, so Dave deleted the tweet. Even with nearly 50 people booked, there’s still going to be people left unhappy. Spots on TripleMania being treated as a right is why this lineup is what it is.

One person who won’t be on this show is Alberto el Patron. As the AAA press conference was getting close to an end, Alberto’s public relations people issued a statement putting the blame on AAA for Alberto not appearing on TripleMania. Alberto was announced for a match against “one of his favorite opponents” earlier this year. Nothing had been said more about it months, and there were hints for a while that match had been canceled. Alberto’s statement named Dorian Roldan by name and said AAA never made the promised deposit and did not meet his terms for participating on the show. Something similar happened last year, where Alberto teased appearing on TripleMania if AAA paid his fee, AAA never paid his fee, and Alberto never appeared. On an overcrowded card, Alberto versus a Jack Swagger (famous LU superstar Jake Strong!) or something similar probably would just take up time that could be better used, and it seemed unlikely to be worth AAA’s money to include Alberto this year. I’m sure we’ll go thru this all again next year.

The TripleMania schedule looks like this:

7:30-8:30pm CDT: a pre-show, with those first two matches (a Cruiserweight title match + Llave a la Gloria match, no participants mentioned for either), plus a Hall of Fame induction. It’s possible they’ll also honor Villano III during this part.
8:30-11:00pm: matches 3-9 (from the mixed tag to Faby/Shani)
11:00pm-finish: the four-way mask match

That last match is planned to air live on Canal5 (over the air), which means AAA normally has to wrap everything else by then and the women’s apuesta match is most likely to be cut on time. However, Canal5 aired the mask match on a slight delay last year due to other programming going long, so it may not be hard and fast about starting at 11. I’m a little bit surprised the women’s match is going on so late because it’s been pushed as a second/third match in the lead-up. It’s a gigantic opportunity for both women and has a chance of becoming one of the most famous luchadora matches in the history of Mexico.

The entire show will air on SpaceTV in Mexico, using Hugo Savinovich & Jose Manuel Guillen’s broadcast. They’ll also air that version of the show on Twitch as usual. In addition, AAA will be airing the show on it’s English language Twitch feed. Matt Striker and Vampiro return as announcers. Striker & Vampiro gave a thoroughly unprofessional broadcast to TripleMania two years ago, and there’s no reason to expect them to act any differently this time. Like many a small-time indie promotion, AAA’s made a decision to give the announcing job to friends of the owners rather than trying to find someone who might do a good job, and AAA’s going to get exactly the same effort out of it as they’re putting into it. I’d question why they’re even bothering, but the reason they’re bothering is very obviously so Vampiro can get his good friend Striker a payday. It’s a grand friendship move by Vampiro, but I’d like if AAA actually put their money where their mouth is about expanding to the US. They’re not serious about it and this is all the proof you need.

Pentagon Jr. has made two appearances in AAA: the press conference to announce his TripleMania participation and the taping in Aguascalientes. He did not appear here. It was kind of glaring neither he nor LA Park was there for this conference. I’m sure Penta will be a TripleMania but I wonder how much he’ll be participating past that, or if they just needed a fourth person for this day. There are people who genuinely believe Penta is losing his mask and going to WWE, and those people are very silly.

There are three title matches on this show. I would bet on all three titles changing hands, even the Cruiserweight title where we don’t even know who’s in it. I do not expect surprises in the apuesta matches.

 

06/03 AAA TV Results (Monterrey, Verano de Escandalo)

AAA missed the shot of Konnan unmasked, of course.

AAA TV (SUN) 06/03/2018 Plaza de Toros La Monumental, Monterrey, Nuevo León [thecubsfan]
1) Arkángel Divino, Dinastía, Hijo Del Vikingo, Star Fire b Arez, Belial, Lady Maravilla, Último Maldito
9:00. Arkangel beat Ultimo Maldito. Debuts/returns for Star Fire, Arez, Belial and Maravilla.
2) Lady Shani, Mamba, Pimpinela Escarlata b Black Danger (Baja California), Keyra, La Hiedra
6:28. Shani pinned Hiedra, then was beat up and unmasked by Faby Apache post match. Keyra returned the surprise wrestler.
3) Juventud Guerrera, Killer Kross, Texano Jr. b La Máscara, Máximo, Pagano
7:28. Moved down a slot. Texano Jr. was friendly with the MAD team but didn’t seem to be part of it. Pagano had a leg taped up from Thursday’s matches and was sent thru a table here. Earlier in the show, Juventued Guerrera was attacked by Vampiro after a in-ring promo. Later in the show, the MAD members introduced their leader. They teased it as being Konnan with his music, but Kross walking around with a guitar telegraphed it was Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett unmasked and talked his way into being included in the main event in a segment with Wagner & Parka (who has earlier declared he’d not let the MAD guys get their way.)
4) Aerostar b DragoSammy GuevaraAustralian SuicideDarby AllinGolden Magic
8:28. Moved up a slot. Golden Magic, as a member of ELITE, was added to the match to make it a six way. Drago was hurt during the match. Aerostar pinned Guevera with a cutter, though Golden Magic clearly broke up the pin before three and Tirantes counted three anyway.
5) Brian Cage, Hijo del Fantasma, Rey Escorpión b Extreme Tiger, Laredo Kid, Psycho Clown
15:25. Match was scheduled as Fantasma/Psycho vs Cage/Escorpion. Psycho was first announced as being unable to wrestle, then attacked Fantasma and the match started anyway. Laredo Kid & Extreme Tiger, representing ELITE, ran down to make the save and the match became a trios match in ECW fashion. The power went out in the arena (though the stream stayed up) for most of the match, with it coming up in stages during the last half of the match. Cage, returning to the promotion pinned Laredo Kid for the win.
6) Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly b Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana [hair]
17:14. Match was fought under no DQ rules, though Piero still called for a rope break on a pin and attempted to stop either team from using glass beer bottles. Piero was eventually taken out, Cota got the bottle, and his swing hit Carta Brava by mistake. Super Fly wiped out Cota with a chair shot and covered Brava for the win. Averno recognized the quality of the Poder del Norte team after the match, seemingly ending the feud. All three Poder del Norte got their heads shaved.
7) Jeff Jarrett b Dr. Wagner Jr. ©Rey Mysterio Jr. [AAA HEAVY]
16:20. Hijo del Tirantes worked as a rudo referee, helping Jarrett. Wagner eventually attacked Tirantes and gave him a Wagner Driver, then got a visual pin on Jarrett. A man in a Parka mask and a referee shirt ran out to make the count for Wagner, but held up. Wagner confronted the fake La Parka, and was fouled by Jarrett. Parka counted the pin. Vampiro came out to confront Parka, who unmasked as Konnan. Kross & Guerrera took out Vampiro. (Rey) Fenix returned to the promotion to attack the MAD team, including Jarrett. Konnan and Fenix had a standoff which ended with both men backing off. The show ended suddenly with no more explanation. Wagner falls on his fourth defense. Jarrett is the 16th champion.

Important cleanup note: Tirantes is innocent. And so really is Golden Magic. I’m told the five turned six way had problems. Drago’s injury threw things off and they finish changed during the match. The match was changed to end on Aerostar’s handspring cutter on Guevera and Tirantes was right to count three, but Golden Magic (and others) didn’t know the finish had changed. You could argue Tirantes shouldn’t have counted after the pin was broken up but it seems like just a wrestling mishap.

This show is a lot absorb. Let’s see if it makes sense subdivided into luchadors.

Rey Fenix

Rey Fenix did a series of media interviews (MedioTiempo, +LuchaTV, Estrellas del Ring) posted immediately after the show declaring himself “the most free person in lucha libre.” He framed his appearance in AAA as not coming back full time or under contract, but instead a demonstration that he has the freedom to go to any company at any time. Fenix avoided mentioning CMLL or The Crash by name, but the idea here is specifically that he’ll be able to still work there and anywhere else and not sign a contract with anyone.

In AAA, he’ll be going as his original name “Fenix”. He’ll still use “Rey Fenix” (and probably “The King”) elsewhere and, at least in theory, there’s an agreement than AAA will no longer go after Fenix and the people who use him for his name.

Fenix explained his leaving as wanting AAA to change and his return as AAA in the process of changing. The obvious big change is Konnan, Fenix’s mentor, is back in charge. Fenix was lingering around the midcard with no direction when he left AAA and when Konnan was out as booker. Konnan’s back as booker, and Fenix is now taking out all the members of the lead rudo group to end a show. Even if that changes, he’s not tied down to a contract; Fenix has the freedom to work anywhere, and he’s got the freedom not to work anywhere.

It appears Rey Fenix at the very least told CMLL he was going to appear in AAA. He may have even been told by people in CMLL would be OK for him to do so without risking his CMLL booking. I hope that is what happens. No one should feel 100% safe that is what will happen at the moment. If Rey Fenix makes an appearance on Informa, or is otherwise still on that Friday night lineup on Wednesday night, it’s probably fine.

The issue here is CMLL already this year gave a bigger rollout to a promotion (ELITE) and a TV partner (Azteca), then made them both vanish in a snap of a finger. They can not be fully trusted. CMLL is capable of going back on their word, to reverting to the way they’ve always done things because it always works well enough for them. CMLL must be at least open to change to bring in Fenix in the first place and to use LA Park but, even with LA Park there are people pushing back because he’s not sold out Arena Mexico like he said in promos, and pushing back on Fenix because he’s just some indie guy to people who don’t pay attention to anything out of CMLL. Parts of the CMLL may want to open up the promotion. Other people in the promotion, the people Miguel Reducindo refereed as not having the best interest of the promotion in mind in his letter quitting the promotion a couple months ago, haven’t suddenly disappeared. Rey Fenix, a Rey Fenix who just showed up in AAA, is the litmus test on actual change.

Dr. Wagner Jr.

That’s it. Dr. Wagner Jr. says he’ll take some AAA dates but he’ll be independent. If you’ve been checking out Wagner’s schedule of late, you can see he’s already been doing that for some time. This is really Wagner saying he’ll be open to working TripleMania or big TVs if they want to give him big TV paydays but he’s not going to be working regularly in AAA. Wagner was done with AAA after Verano de Escandalo no matter who beat him for the title. He can at least now leave pointing out he got cheated out of the title in a match that never should’ve been a three way match.

Dr. Wagner was quite clearly champion to do a title program with his son, to make his son a big TV star. It may have been part of the deal for him to lose his mask back at TripleMania. That Wagner/Wagner title program was dropped after the Tijuana taping, the moment Konnan fully took over the creative. Hijo del Wagner hasn’t been on TV or mentioned the three shows. There’s no other reason for Wagner to stick around and it was just a matter of how or who he’d lose the title too. Wagner/Wagner was already announced for 06/28 in Arena Aficion.

The AAA heavyweight title hasn’t gone too well of late.

  • Wagner quit the moment he lost the title
  • Mundo quit the moment he lost the title, and both were only around long enough to lose the title
  • Texano didn’t quit! but he lost the title without being pinned, “injured” in a match
  • Alberto left AAA and never lost the title

You have to go back to Texano’s first reign ending in December 2014 for someone to both lose the heavyweight title in the ring and also not quit immediately after. Which brings us to the new AAA champion…

Jeff Jarrett

Jarrett’s definitely continuing that streak, right? He’s either disappearing from AAA before he loses the title, or the title change will be his last night. Jarrett’s history here: multiple hair matches built up that were never paid off and a penchant for having travel problems causing him to miss those biggest shows.

Those defending the idea of Jeff Jarrett will point at those previous runs as missed opportunities, as something built up that can be finally be paid off here. That’s again hoping that they’ll get to that payoff. It’s not even the right guy if they get there. The announcers played Jarrett up huge, though it didn’t feel like the fans saw it that way. (The last time AAA fans saw Jarrett, he was explaining that this gimmick had been just a gimmick all along and he was really a nice businessman.) Translator Juventud Guerrera was the clear star of the Jeff Jarrett’s promo segment. Sam Adonis showed that plenty of other people can do the pro-USA/anti-Mexico bit and do it better than Jarrett. Mundo just did the same pro-USA/anti-Mexico bit; AAA’s pretty well run this well dry. Jarrett was the obvious worst wrestler in the title match, including Hijo del Tirantes. You have to believe Jarrett has a singular ability to draw and get a reaction and I didn’t see either demonstrated last night. AAA had multiple evil referees in the match to try and get it over, Jarrett could’ve been replaced by anyone for the same result.

I have never been “dunked on” (quote retweeted with people noting how stupid the original post is) on Twitter as many times for anything as much as I have for the post mentioning the title change.  This was not heel heat of wanting to see someone beat Jarrett, this was “AAA is doing something dumb again and I’m glad I don’t watch them” heat.  The people reacting negatively (and 99% of them are negative) are doing so in English. The WON explanation for Konnan’s return to as head of creative is a sense he’d be better at getting the product over internationally than Vampiro. Vampiro torched a lot of bridges with international fans, but this is also a pretty terrible first impression for the new WWE era. Fenix returning afterwards was clearly supposed to take some of the sting off of it, but it’s still Jeff Jarrett as champion of your promotion in 2018.

What do you even do with Jeff Jarrett as champion? Wagner’s gone. Mysterio’s not full time and didn’t seem to be a great fit last night. Rey Fenix seemed like he might be set up as a challenger, but they’d be dumbing down all the exciting stuff Fenix to fit into what Jeff Jarrett can still do at 51. Jarrett as Alberto’s opponent is probably the best fit, as terrible as that sounds. I have no interest in seeing Jeff Jarrett do Jeff Jarrett matches even without the title, and I don’t think most other people do either, but the big problem with making Jeff Jarrett champion is now you’re stuck booking a series of Jeff Jarrett title matches. All of which are going to be bad! In an era where having a good match seems to be more important than ever, AAA’s just put themselves in a spot where all their title matches will be bad for the foreseeable future. This is not ideal.

Jarrett coming back just as Konnan is back is no coincidence, though I can’t believe Konnan can be high on the idea of Jarrett as champion. The way they immediately moved on to other things – Konnan’s unmasking was treated as more important, Rey Fenix’s return was treated as more important – suggests they wanted to move on from that part of the story as quick as possible.

This has zero change of happening, but that AAA press conference for TripleMania should start with Dorian or Vampiro or whoever pointing out Konnan is not a legal referee, throwing out the finish of the title match, and restarting with a vacant title. It’d be a lame way to get the title off Jarrett, but any way he’s going to lose that title is going to be lame. They can move Jarrett right onto Alberto or whatever other sideshow feud he’s going to have, and move title onto people who are actually build something with it.

Konnan

Konnan returned onscreen to AAA and he’s no more than the fourth most important person from this show. Konnan’s previous regimes in AAA have been built around him leading a large group of rudos against the AAA establishment, and it appears they’re they’re setting up it once again. Konnan’s previous regimes have also included a lot of exciting wrestler in early matches, and it seems like that’s back again too. The same difficult in elevating these wrestlers into something meaningful will probably be there, but at least the quality of the show is better.

Jarrett really played up Konnan’s limp when doing the fake Konnan early in the show. Actual Konnan seemed in better condition when we saw him run-in for the main event. That seems great news for him.

Rey Mysterio Jr.

True story: he was in that main event. Did you see him? You did not see him do a 619 because Tirantes tripped him up the one time he did. Heroes of Lucha Libre might have given Rey Mysterio Jr. more to do this weekend than AAA.

Even with Mysterio advertised for this show (in a dream match that was not delivered), AAA did not sell out the arena. There were visible empty sections, and it seemed less than the 2014 show in the same venue.

Everyone else

On Facebook Vampiro is teasing that Kross’ back suplex seriously damaged his neck. That suplex seemed much safer than the one Kross gave to Maximo earlier, and so this is probably a storyline. I guess it’s possible this could be Vampiro’s write out of the promotion, but it seems unlikely – they need a tecnico symbol of AAA to face off with Jarrett & Konnan for promos, and they never put someone younger than 50 in that spot.

Golden Magic, Star Fire, Arez, Belial, Lady Maravilla, Keyra, Cage, Laredo Kid, Extreme Tiger, Sammy Guevera and Darby Allin all also debuted or returned on the show. A lot of these people did really good. None of these eleven people seemed to be involved in any storylines on this show. They may get something to do eventually but they were just names on this show.

MAD so far is Jeff Jarrett, Konnan, Killer Kross, Juventued Guerrera and maybe Teddy Hart. They got the heavyweight championship by disrupting the main event, so I think they’ve already won?

ELITE so far is Golden Magic, Laredo Kid, Extreme Tiger, Black Taurus (worked an indie Sunday) and maybe Teddy Hart? There’s no explanation of what this is supposed to mean and so it’s not registering as anything but strange. They can’t go another TV taping with no information about them, there has to be something coming soon.

What’s next?

TripleMania is scheduled for August 25th. That was the only upcoming show promoted on yesterday’s stream. They haven’t announced a next taping anywhere, unless it’s on the TV show they no longer post online.

AAA on Televisa: 2018-01-27 

Bengala & Drago tope

Recapped: 02/12/2017

All matches were taped on Plaza de Toros Monumental, Apizaco, Tlaxcala on 12/16/2017. This is the final episode regaular episode taped in 2017.

The January 24th episode (finally) airs an abbreviated version of the 2017 Lucha World Cup, taped back in October. From January 31st on, this Televisa show becomes the third run version of AAA. The matches now air live on Twitch first, then air on Space channel one week prior to when they air on Televisa.

At this point, the Televisa version continues to be the one posted on AAA’s YouTube channel and so those episodes remain important to see any developments in the Noti AAA segment or any backstage vignettes not shown during the live broadcast. The matches themselves are not important (except if you want to go deep and figure out what’s been edited out.) If you’re trying to read these in order, you’ll want to jump from this to the 2018-01-26 AAA Twitch one, and follow along the Twitch recaps from here until all of this changes again.

Matches:

Aerostar, Drago, Raptor beat Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly and Argenis, Bengala and Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana
(13:16, good, via Lucha Libre AAA)

05:55 Argenis frontcracker Raptor
07:14 Argenis Spanish Fly Averno
07:21 DQ Super Fly foul on Argenis
07:31 Tito Santana pin Argenis
08:34 Aerostar springboard frontcracker Tito Santana
09:05 Chessman pin Aerostar
09:38 Carta Brava frogsplash Chessman
10:46 Carta Brava powerbomb Bengala
11:49
Mocho Cota huracanrana Drago
13:16 Drago Dragon Tail Mocho Cota

Rey Escorpión & Texano Jr. beat Hijo del Fantasma & Psycho Clown  
(10:45, Texano pin Fantasma, ok, Lucha Libre AAA)

Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Hernandez
(10:39, Wagner moonsault Hernandez, ok, Lucha Libre AAA )

What happened:

this didn’t look fun

The show begins with Hernandez walking up to Poder del Norte, and telling them they just looked bad out there. I have no idea what he’s talking about. Because I’m watching this wildly out of order and very late, it’s possible I’m missing something. More likely, this was intended to air after the four way trios match. Anyway, Hernandez recruits them to unite with him and Johnny Mundo, specifically to help him beat Hijo del Dr. Wagner tonight. Mocha Cota wants help with the trios title match at Guerra de Titanes, and some money. Hernandez quickly agrees to the first. He doesn’t have money in his pocket for the second part, and assures he’ll get it to Poder del Norte soon. Poder del Norte seem skeptical but do end up interfering.

Later, Hernandez is in the bathroom, seemingly on a phone call with Johnny Mundo. Hernandez is sure he’s going to beat Hijo del Wagner and is not scared of Vampiro. Vampiro comes in the bathroom and Hernandez is scared of him. Vamprio tells him Hernandez can pick the Guerra de Titanes match stip if he wins, but he’s making tonight’s match no disqualification. Hernandez is also scared of this.

Tirantes breaks up Fantasma’s attempts at doing the Thril of the Hunt, ignores Texano fouling Fantasma from behind, and quick counts him for three. Texano and Tirantes shake hands after the match.

Argenis & Bengala should have Mascara de Bronce as a third man for the opener based on where they’re going. He’s not there. No one attempts to explain that or why they’re a two man team. That match is a single fall, and the last minute surprise stipulation is the winning team gets to use a weapon for their Guerra de Titanes match. That stipulation never comes up during the match.

Noti AAA sort of mentions Guerra de Titanes, less a preview and more as something airing in the future since it’s already happened now. The Aguascalientes & Tlaxcala cards (with Johnny Mundo) are previewed. They even hype an AAA house show lineup on 02/04, which doesn’t normally happen.

Poder del Norte do run in and attack Hijo del Wagner, so I guess Hernandez eventually paid them. Hernandez tries to distract Piero, even though he should know it’s a no DQ match since Vampiro just told him. Aerostar, Drago and Raptor slowly walk to the ring, and kind of sort of pull Piero before he can count three. The six other people all fight in front to Piero, who knows he doesnt need to be distracted. The técnicos do dives and everyone walks to the back, and then match goes on for a couple more minutes.

The doctor watches the entire match from the entrance area, which is dead center of the hard camera and more than a little distracting.

Hijo del Wagner is about to announce the stipulation for his match, when he’s interrupted by his father’s music. The younger Wagner is happy to see his father, though is obviously upset when his father announces he’ll pick Vampiro as special referee. Everyone – the cameras, the announcers, Vampiro – picks up on it except for Rey Wagner.

Thoughts:

They really needed to air this main event before Guerra de Titanes if they wanted their own angle make any sense. AAA had plenty of time and choice not to do that. They probably should’ve aired the Texano match too, since that started the Tirantes alliance.

Hernandez/Wagner was not much. It certainly was different than a normal AAA match, though not in a strongly positive way. It’s a really good thing Hijo del Wagner was turned rudo soon after this. He’s not good at being a tecnico at all, doesn’t have the offense or personality for it right now. The crowd seemed to care not all about this main event, which is no great surprise. I really don’t understand why the tag match didn’t go last – even the Rey Wagner & Vampiro post match stuff doesn’t come off as a big deal. Hernandez filled his role as overconfident bully fine, there just wasn’t enough here to work with.

The 2v2 was an ok match, maybe a good match, with the start of more evil referee stuff. Everyone before it followed the usual AAA formula, with nothing too exciting but a fair enough effort for the occasion.. Fantasma’s Punisher mask looks cool. It also seems to make it harder for him to show emotion during the match, and that’s really what he needs to do with Texano.

AAA doesn’t do cibernetico eliminations matches often, if ever. AAA didn’t quite do that with the opener, but it ended up being wrestled that way for a large part and it made it interesting to see in that CMLL style. They handled 11 people running around pretty well, with some very fast exchanges to start and getting people in and out of the ring when needed later on. It was funny to see that sequence where they definitely had planned to be a third person with Bengala & Argenis to help trip people up and dive and couldn’t totally ignore it. This was missing the standout individual performance to make it memorable; there were a lot of people doing their part well but no great moment.

I’m just tired of every técnico win having the rudos pop up and get the better of them two seconds later and that happening again here took the match a small bit.

AAA on Twitch: 2018-01-26 

leaping into the unknown

Recapped: 01/26/2018

All matches aired live from Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera.

Matches: 

Australian Suicide beat Lanzelot © to win he AAA World Cruiserweight Championship
(11:47, F5 into a double knee gutbuster, good)

Faby Apache beat Lady Shani © to win the AAA’s Reina de Reinas championship
(8:24, Faby German suplex, great)

Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, La Parka beat Dave The Clown, Monsther Clown, Murder Clown
(13:45, La Parka urange Dave the Clown, ok)

Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana defeated Aerostar, Drago, Raptor and Angelikal, Bengala, Máscara de Bronce and Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly © to win the AAA World Trios Championship
(16:18, great)

Angelikal huracanrana Chessman (7:41)

Carta Brava frogsplash Raptor (10:59)

Mocho Cota Jr. pin Bengala (16:18)

Psycho Clown beat Rey Escorpión in a bull terrier match
(18:06, DQ for Murder/Monster run-in, great)

Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Johnny Mundo for the AAA World Heavyweight Championship
(19:05, Vampiro chokeslam, below average)

Hijo del Fantasma © beat Texano Jr. in a cage match to keep the AAA Latin American Championship
(13:06, inexplicable DQ, below average)

What happened: 

move when he tells you to move

AAA’s Guerra de Titanes was a pretty fun undercard with two bewildering matches prior to close it. Four title changed hands. Johnny Mundo appeared to finish up with the promotion, while La Mascara & Máximo debuted for the group. The entire show aired on Twitch, which was only announced a few hours before the show.

The cage match was moved to the main event spot, to save on dead time for construction. They might as well not have bothered with the cage. Hijo del Tirantes interfered three times to help Texano. Bengala came out and spat water in his brother’s face to stop him from escaping. At that point, Vampiro and the commissioner arrived to stop the match, declaring Fantasma the winner by DQ. It wasn’t clear why that happened and even the announcement of the finish was hard to understand. Fantasma and Texano made challenges, and brawled (with Bengala & Tirantes again getting involved), and Vampiro announced they’d have a hair match match in Rey de Reyes in six weeks from now.

Dr. Wagner Jr. is the new heavyweight champion, though that ended up the third most important story in his own match. His son, for reasons not explained on this show, attacked his father with a chair from behind to stop him from winning, then attacked Vampiro and tossed the chair to Hernandez to hide his turn. (Though not well; Hijo de Wagner was rooting for Mundo the rest of the way. Hernandez & Mundo didn’t seem to be part of Hijo de Wagner’s plan.) The match eventually continued for a few more minutes with a second referee before Hijo de Wagner took him out as well and revealed his betrayal to his father. Vampiro recovered, beat up all the rudos, chokeslammed Mundo, Wagner crawled on top for the pin, and Vampiro forced the referee to make the third count.

Johnny Mundo is currently listed on the Aguascalientes card, though Taya on Twitter quickly stated after the match that this would be Mundo’s final AAA show.

aim could’ve been a little better

Psycho Clown & Rey Escorpión’s chain match also finished strangely. It was at least better received. The match proceeded normally for a chain match (in that it took nearly ten minutes and security getting involved to get Escorpión to put on his part of the chain). Psycho was close to winning when Murder Clown & Monster Clown ran in for the DQ. Two mystery men in masks made the save, and revealed themselves as Máximo & La Mascara. The Brazos are back together.

The four way trios title match was elimination style, which didn’t stop everyone from breaking up pins. (Also, Angelikal replaced Argenis, for reasons not explained.) Poder del Norte regained the titles by defeating the Bengala, Mascara de Bronce and Angelikal trio with an unseen foul. OGT immediately attacked the new champs after the match, making them the likely challengers.

La Parka got the best of Dave the Clown in their trios street fight. Parka was left alone with the Clowns after Cuervo & Scoria were put thru tables early. He managed to turn it around himself even before they got involved, and pinned Dave with an urange.

I don’t know why I don’t just have a galley of Faby reaction images

Faby Apache once again became Reina de Reinas champion by defeating Lady Shani. The match was mostly notable for being extremely hard hitting at times.

Australian Suicide won the Cruiserweight championship in the opener. Suicide twisted around Lanzelot’s mask to blind him for a moment, distracting the champ to set up the finish.

In a segment not shown on the Twitch stream, an in-ring segment was taped for the upcoming Ultima Caida show.

Thoughts: 

a part of the main event that looked good

This was another confounding evening with AAA. The undercard was generally a lot of fun. Look back it, there were a screwy finishes, but they didn’t feel like the fan got cheated out of anything. Chain match ending in a DQ was strange. Máximo & La Mascara showing up more than made up for it. There was no real problem with the other stuff, and the matches were entertaining even with a flaw here or there. The final two matches were the AAA classic disaster flicks, as we’ve come to know on big shows. Wagner/Mundo was flaws in ways expected ever since Vampiro was announced as being involved. Texano/Fantasma was an unexpected super flat ending to the show. It really cooled off what had been a hot show to that point.

The cage match ended flatter the state of Kansas. I’m very willing to believe something didn’t go right – someone missed their cue, someone screwed up the spot, some surprise no-showed and they had to scramble at the last second – because I have trouble believing anyone thought Fantasma winning by DQ in a cage match when the last thing that happened was someone interfering to help Fantasma. On the other hand, it doesn’t really matter why the finish sucked, it still sucked. I’m not sure the match would’ve been all that great anyway. Fantasma & Texano were working here, but saddled with having to build the match around Tirantes getting involved to help Texano many times. Tirantes hadn’t been involved in this feud until now and his involvement felt like lame AAA crap. Texano and Fantasma seemed to know how much failed by trying to make it up with it a big brawl afterwards to convince the fans. It’s tough to be convinced about anything positive at this point. Fantasma & Texano probably can have a great apuesta match. There’s zero reason to believe they’ll have a great one at Rey de Reyes. AAA obviously has zero trust on those two guys to do it themselves and will send people to get involved a million ways in a misguided attempt to help.

bad times for Aerostar

Speaking of misguided: even if Rey Wagner came to AAA and demanded they turn his son so they can feud, could they have at least done in a match where the father and son breakup isn’t treated as a midmatch transition spot? Hijo de Wagner’s turn came off as useless and irrelevant by the end of the match, when his turn didn’t mean anything. The only person who’s actions got the mean something in this match was Vampiro, who got his revenge on Johnny Mundo – for Johnny Mundo being angry at how poorly Vampiro acted, I guess. Vampiro did get a pop for doing Vampiro things, but Vampiro could’ve gotten a pop for doing Vampiro things at any time, and this could’ve been used to make someone who’s actually going to be wrestling for AAA for the next decade a bigger deal by running off Mundo. In the end, the person in charge of creative for AAA went with the idea that the best thing for AAA was the person in charge in creative getting their ego fed (and the people actually in charge of AAA was totally OK with that.) Making stars is irrelevant when it comes to getting yourself wins over people who don’t like you. The match really wasn’t much of anything before the angle override kicked it; Mundo wasn’t much good, maybe checked out because of the situation, and Wagner isn’t really doing a lot any more. It was a slower pace than anything else onto to the show up to this point.

Rey Escorpión is exactly the opponent Psycho Clown needs, so the non-finish there is actually a relief if it keeps the feud going. The post match teased Murder/Monster/Escorpion versus Maximo/Mascara/Psycho, which is not entirely as interesting. Rey Escorpión can do everything Psycho Clown loves to do – brawl, play off the crowd, bleed a disgusting amount – and do it even better than Psycho. Escorpión came off as a guy who really good at wrestling while being totally hateable, the correct opposite of Psycho. Máximo & La Mascara will probably do well in AAA, though I suspect they’ll end up like Wagner and continue to do a fair amount of indie dates on their own.

The four way match was complete and total chaos. It was the mostly the good kind of chaos, with guys fighting six at a time during the portion where all four teams were involved. It was also just a little hard to keep up with during those times. There was probably too much mask ripping in this match given how much there was also going to be the rest of the show and how little any of it really meant. (It did mean Angelikal and Drago were wrestling almost totally uncovered at points.) Angelikal seemed like he knew what he was supposed to be doing there, not just a late sub for Argenis, so there might be more to that story. Cota stealing Bengala’s mask, so we’re left to think he’s gone to the back to get a new one when he’s actually also going to the upper level to set up the moonsault, was a nice way of camouflaging that spot. There were just so many spots that I don’t think a lot of it really stood out – the random técnico trio probably ended doing the best because they were still around to do them when there were just two teams left. This was very watchable if hard to follow.

a long wait for Murder but it paid off for the other team

The street fight – the blood and the weapons – did the best it could to cover up the weakness of the match, but it still dragged in places. The long beatdown of Parka wasn’t at all interesting. Parka sells a lot by just laying there dead. There were some really bad looking spots later on. Parka was supposed to punch Dave to the start the comeback and it didn’t come close. Cuervo and Monster had a bulldog spot go very wrong. The ending sequence went well, carried by a forced by neat looking tope/table spot.

I’m not sure if I should be evaluating Lady Shani and Faby Apache as a wrestling match or a MMA bout. Shots were very often pulled. To Lady Shani’s credit, she tried to give it back to Faby just as hard as Faby was giving it to her. Faby just seemed to be doing more; the powerbomb prior to the finish looked super brutal. This continued the trend of the (non-CMLL) women’s matches looking like the stiffest fights in all of Mexico. If they’re both OK with how it went, I’d love to see the rematch.

Australian Suicide & Lanzelot had some really good spots, though not always in a logical order. The piledriver on the apron being a spot to slow the match down for rest holds was a strange choice. They picked up back at the end and the match finished pretty well. It wasn’t a very memorable match by the time the show ended – the trios match well eclipsed it for insanity. It still was a pretty good showing.

suicidal

AAA on Televisa: 2017-11-04 

 

Rudo double team.

Recapped: 11/19/2017

The first match is from Domo San Luis, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, taped 10/01/2017. It only aired on stations which get a longer version of the AAA show (and likely aired as part of one of the previous weeks of TV on those channels, only I can’t consistently track down that show.) It has not aired on any regular AAA show and there’s no public explanation or reason why it hasn’t, which is very unusual for a main event of any TV taping. 

The last four matches aired from Palenque de la Feria, Metepec, Estado de México, taped 10/20/2017.

Matches:

Pagano beat El Mesías and Joe Lider in a death match
(10:06, Pagano Air Raid Crash thru a table on fire Joe Lider, below average, via thecubsfan)

Bronco González Jr. & Chicano beat Rugido & Solaris
(6:40, Chicano top rope senton con giro Rugido, good, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Big Mami & Niño Hamburguesa beat La Hiedra & Villano III Jr.
(8:54, Niño Hamburguesa frog splash Villano III, ok, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Angelikal, Hijo Del Vikingo, Lanzeloth beat Ángel Mortal Jr., Australian Suicide, Tiger Boy
(7:52, Lanzeloth spinning fireman’s slam Australian Suicide, ok, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Dave The Clown, Monsther Clown, Murder Clown beat Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, La Parka  
(11:05, Dave frontcracker La Parka, ok, via Lucha Libre AAA)

What happened: 

can you play dead for about 10 seconds for a video package shot, Pagano? Thanks

Earlier in the night, Cuervo & Scoria wanted to talk strategy with La Parka about the main event match, but Parka didn’t want anything with them. Like everyone else who follows this promotion, he never saw these two dudes turn técnico and doesn’t really trust them. He wants them to earn his trust. In one of those remarkable coincidences, they get that chance two seconds later: Psicosis & Histeria attack Parka for no reason and Cuervo & Scoria make the save. That wins Parka over. In the match itself, Los Vipers return to attack the Secta when they have the match won. (Tirantes distracted himself poorly to miss the interference.) Parka stares at the rudos, and gets caught by a frontcracker by Dave the Clown.

Australian Suicide is looking like the lead singer of Green Day now. Tiger Boy is now The Tiger Boy.

The técnicos are mixed tag champs. They pose before the match like the titles are not on the line, but it’s apparently not a title match. La Hiedra is wearing a Sangre Chicana inspired outfit. Hiedra walks out on Villano III for losing the match.

Rugido is another new name for Dizzy, presented as AAA’s new find.

Noti AAA has Dia de los Muertos celebrations and Dr. Wagner Jr. talking about his evolution. They’ve cut back on listing him as “Rey Wagner”, but he still pushes the idea of it here.

a bad idea

I grabbed the Heroes Inmortales off one of the TV internet feeds (and so the video quality is terrible.) It’s also very obviously clipped. The really obvious edit comes about 5:30 into the video, where suddenly a wood board with light tubes and a ladder materialize in the ring. On fan video of the full match (which has since been removed from YouTube but appeared to be close to 30 minutes total), you can see Mesias have trouble folding the ladder, the ladder tipping in the crowd, the fans yelling at Mesias about it and him yelling back. Mesias and Pagano crowd brawl a while later, and it doesn’t seem like the floor camera tries to follow them. The TV version resumes a minute or so after they come back, and Mesias is noticeably limping by that point. There’s more edits after that – a moment where Mesias leaves the ring to yell at fans, fans throw drinks at him, and Mesias goes harder after the fans is also not shown on TV. Same thing with Lider choking Pagano with the barbed wire and a powerbomb on the announce time, Pagano doing a splash to the floor that misses to set up Lider cutting him again, Joe Lider doing an Asia Moosnault, and Mesias taking a splash.

Everyone bleeds. Joe Lider, who seems to have gained a lot of weight lately, takes the Air Raid Crash onto a flaming table. Somehow that’s not the finish – Pagano has to DDT Mesias too, and then covers Joe Lider, who’s grabbing his head and doesn’t actually have his shoulders down. (This is Mesias’ last match for now. In the bigger picture, it comes off like Mesias was probably supposed to be get surgery after TripleMania, was convinced to stick around because they had a shortage of actual Lucha Underground people for the Japan LU shows, and they made this match the main event as a reward while adding Joe Lider just to take the load off. It’s one of many AAA storylines which don’t make sense on screen and only make sense when you guess at what must’ve been going on behind the scenes.)

Thoughts: 

Hijo del Vikingo is still on this show

The main event combined a lot of wrestlers who aren’t all that interesting into one familiar feeling matches. The Traidor Clowns are one of the least capable groups to stooge Parka’s comedy, but they’re doing it all the same anyway. Cuervo & Scoria were occasionally in the match, but this was much more abut the Vipers and Dave/Parka than anything they had to offer.

The third match and the regular tag match shared some energy and the young guys trying to big things. They both had issues with smoothiness – a little bit of people hesitating on moves, or going at the speed they must’ve practiced the spots rather than naturally reacting to what was happening behind them. Hijo del Vikingo still can do some amazing things but didn’t get focused as much as the star in this one as he did in past match. There really wasn’t any particular direction to the match, and there sort of needs to be one in every match when you’ve got so few of them as week. The finish itself didn’t look as strong as a lot of things that came before it, and this came down to a borderline match on my part. The ending looked like it was a screw up – Angel Mortal broke it up just at 3 – and the result didn’t make any sense if Suicide was going to get the title shot on the very next taping. Maybe AAA didn’t know for sure Suicide was challenging next, but they probably still could’ve safer pinned Tiger Boy or Angel Mortal since there’s very obviously no plans for them. The week to week storytelling is abysmal.

The mixed tag is what you’d expect, a lot of Big spots around Mami & Hamburguesa. They did what they do about as well as they ever do. La Hiedra’s offense didn’t look good at all, but it’s not so much of a surprise given who they were working with here. Villano III trying to do tricky armdrags with Big Mami was pushing it. Really, the rudos couldn’t do the comedy stuff well, and they’re not great enough wrestlers themselves to make this work themselves. Villano III was the better of the two at it, but not so much that you need to see it.

Parka as Mistico, the clowns as Avenro & Mephisto, just slower

The actual opener was borderline match. Nothing much stuck out to me but it kept moving for the time they had. Match was pleasantly fine for a novato match except for the spot about four and half in where Chicano and Solaris were hopelessly lost for about 10 seconds. These aren’t really novatos though; Rugido’s been around forever and Chicano’s not a spring chicken, but they’re being given novato amount of things to do. Bronco is one of their better bases of this group, and so it wasn’t probably an accident he was around to make Rugido’s iffy spots look good. Not sure why you’d make that effort and also have him lose in his debut but so it goes.

The three way match combined the mindless violence of a poor hardcore match with the directionless violence of a bad three way match. We saw an XMW three way hardcore match live, everyone but me seemed to hate it (I just didn’t care enough to hate it, a personal flaw) and I’m not sure it was any worse than this. This was Mesias’ last match before going in for double knee surgery, and he’s moving erratically and painfully for most of the match. The editing definitely hurts the match – it seemed as much for time as content. I’d be livid if I was one of these guys who took all this abuse, very few people got to see it on TV, and more than half the crazy stuff I did wasn’t shown at all. That just shouldn’t be happening in 2017. (A lot of this shouldn’t be happening in 2017.) Even the stuff we did get on TV was made worse by how it was presented; the crowd was much more into Pagano in the match live than it came thru.

This match brings back the old DTU tradition of putting barbed wire on one side of the ring, and everyone (mostly Lider) stopping short of hitting the ropes for no logical reason. That draws snickers from the fan cam I watched, for this super serious death match they’re trying to do. This match is not something I want to see at all, but they also managed to make the least of it.

AAA on Televisa: 2017-09-02 

next on Mexico’s funniest home videos

Recapped: 09/14/2017

All matches were taped at Palenque de la Fiera Nacional De San Marcos in Aguascalientes on July 27.

Matches:

Angélico beat Joe Lider
(6:31, Fall of the Angels, below average, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Lady Shani defeated Big Mami, Goya Kong, and La Hiedra to win a spot in the Reina de Reinas title match at TripleMania
(5:56, Lady Shani backracker La Hiedra, ok, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Soul Rocker beat Aerostar, Drago, Raptor
(0:49, Mocho Cota cradle suplex Drago, n/r, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Pagano & Psycho Clown beat  Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Mesías
(14:56, Psycho Clown Code Red Dr. Wagner, ok, via Lucha Libre AAA)

What happened: 

who need a tailbone

Even though every other AAA tag match is first pinfall for the win, and even the multiwoman match was first pinfall, the main event suddenly became an elimination match after Pagnao was pinned. Everyone was confused, but they mostly wanted Psycho to be handicapped and get two pins in a row to win. Mesias beat Pagano, Psycho beat Mesias, and Psycho beat Wagner after a few minutes more. Wagner attacked and unmasked Psycho to end the show.

Raptor landed a plancha on one of Poder del Norte, but the others snuck in thru a ground exit. They laid out Aerostar & Raptor with moves on the steps, then Cota quickly beat Mocho Cota. The post match attack lasted about as long as the match. Ratpor was treated as injured, but he was on TripleMania, so who knows. The técnicos now lead two matches to one.

The four way match was for the title shot that already happened at TripleMania. Goya attacked everyone on the way to the ring, which didn’t mean anything but started everyone attacking everyone else. Shani seemed to be back to being a ruda here.

Thoughts:

this was good for Raptor

The AAA shows feel more like something to endure than enjoy. This particular lame duck taping is the worst – this is where the Hard Rock show needs to go, even though it’ll never happen – but this hasn’t been a fun show in a while.

The main event was explicitly a preview of TripleMania, as hyped by the announcers. It’s unnecessary and beside the point after the fact, outside of the oddity of Psycho & Wagner running thru the TripleMania finish. It looked better here, as did Pagano’s dropkick off the apron. The crowd was way into this, but I could find a reason to care.

The best matches on these shows have been the Poder del Norte/tecnicos match, so this one was scarely more than an angle. I guess the idea is not to make sure all the matches feel different, but I would’ve been happy with five about the same.

The woman’s match was just a lot of moves. The tried to set up sequences but it was mostly the women betraying each other repeatedly with no direction. It ended and that was good, the moves generally look OK, and there wasn’t enough here to hate. It did feel a lot longer than six minutes, maybe just because Goya was attacking before the whistle, maybe because it was just a lot of stuff.

Someone totally forgot the finish in the opener. Either Angelico forgot, or Lider went to the top for it far sooner than then he was planned. Both men spent a lot of time waiting for each other to do something, and I spent time wondering why AAA couldn’t have made an edit. This was a boring match with a really bad looking moment, not exactly the return to TV you’d hope for Angelico. It’s also not a super logical build for Joe Lider, who’s only been on TV three times since April, lost all those matches, and will somehow be main eventing the next card. Did AAA not know Lider was main eventing the next show at this point? Were they trying to do something to convince Angelico to stick around? Does it just not make any sense because it’s AAA? Probably.

this was not good for Raptor

AAA on Televisa: 2017-08-05 

Mundo moonsault

Recapped: 08/08/2017

Matches: 

Dr. Wagner Jr. beat El Mesías
(7:25, Wagner Driver, ok, via 
luchalibreaaatv )

Psycho Clown versus Pagano had no finish
(9:25, Mesias & Wagner run in, ok, via
luchalibreaaatv)

Johnny Mundo © beat Texano Jr. for the AAA World Heavyweight Championship
(8:48, foul, ok, via
luchalibreaaatv)

What happened: 

I needed an extra GIF and this seemed OK

Earlier, Fantasma tried to talk Vampiro into doing the three way title match. Vampiro explains he already made Texano & Mundo for the title tonight and he can’t change it, but he can make Fantasma referee. Later, Mundo berates Vampiro only to find out Vampiro stripped Taya of the Reina de Reinas title belt. Vampiro threatens to do the same to Mundo, and Mundo threatens lawyers. Vampiro says it won’t matter because “next week”, Texano will beat him for the titles anyway. Mundo isn’t concerned because he has Kevin Kross on his side. Vampiro points out Kross is fighting #1 briefcase now and might be coming for Mundo at any time. (Hilariously, we can see the #1 briefcase sitting on a table nearby.) In the graphics, AAA’s stopped referring to the individual titles and are simply calling Mundo the “Tri Champion”. Vampiro shows up before the match to announce Hijo del Fantasma as special referee.

Texano is more técnico in this match, though he and Fantasma have problems with Fantasma accidentally gets in his way on a dive. Mundo kicks out of both of Texano’s finishing moves on fair counts. Mundo crawls out and brings in a chair, Texano kicks him and grabs it, Fantasma stops Texano from using that chair and pulls it away, and Mundo fouls and cradles Texano while Fantasma is throwing out the chair. Fantasma counts the pin, also missing a tights pull. Mundo makes Fantasma raise his arm after the fact. Texano attacks Fantasma for costing him the match, but Fantasma takes him out. Kevin Kross urns in for no obvious reason, and that’s enough to get Fantasma and Texano stop fighting. Kross still gets with a double clothesline. Mundo comes in to congratulate Kross on a job well done, but Kross gets in his face. (No one has a briefcase here.) Hernandez walks out to argue with Kross, and Mascara de Bronce follows behind to springboard into a dropkick on both Hernandez and Kross. Mundo gets his turn to slam Bronce, then Texano and Fantasma attack Mundo. Neither Kross nor Hernandez make the save, watching from the outside. Mundo’s held in the middle for a lasso shot. Hernandez, Mundo and Kross all leave together even though they were about to fight. Texano and Fantasma argue in the ring and Bronce mostly disappears.

Psycho tope

Announcers discuss the Alvarado’s terrible history in apuesta matches. This time, Mesias’ played nine minutes in, but Mesias actually came out – he came thru the crowd and attacked Pagano. From behind. Psycho just watched as Mesias hit Pagano with the barbed wire bat, then decided to make the save. Wagner runs out, and Psycho Clown stands around doing nothing until Wagner gets there and hits him with a chair. It’s dumb. Both Psycho and Pagano end up bleeding, Pagano bleeding a lot. Pagano should win by DQ for Mesias’ attack, but no decision is ever called. Medics come into take the técnicos away without doing anything to stop the rudos, and get attacked. The técnicos are repeatedly pulled off the backboards and attacked viscously for a while; this is the same bit as in Juarez, but goes on for longer and feels heavier.

Jesus Zuniga announced this match as the semifinal. Even live, it’s not the semifinal – but it was on the poster so I guess he was looking at that. Dr. Wagner is totally a técnico thru the match. Pagano’s music starts to play seven minute in. Pagano is never seen, but Mesias stops fighting to look for him, waits about twenty seconds, and then is easily beat because of the distraction.

La Llave de la Gloria and the annual AAA pilgrimage are talked about in the Noti AAA. They also talk about the Mesias/Pagano rivalry.

Thoughts: 

excessive dive GIFs are the refuge of someone with no good ideas

This wasn’t the greatest advertisement for TripleMania. None of the three singles matches came across as a big deal as expected, and all the matches had underwhelming endings if they even had endings. These matches were supposed to be TripleMania level, but they weren’t as good as Suicide/Bengala last week and it didn’t feel like a big show was coming. The post match attack after the second match was at least a little bit effective, but the title match picture has so many different agendas and none of them are really clicking.

The main event was fine, I guess, and maybe I’m underrating it, but it felt underwhelming considering the guys involved. They working slow wand less impressively than you’d expect with the similar match on Lucha Underground. This was the one of these matches where someone actually trying the moves that actually win matches, only the crowd didn’t seem to care all that much and it never felt the intensity of a big title match. All the different subplots and extraneous aren’t helping the match they’re building at Triplemania; the three way doesn’t feel like the big title match, but the minor one that’s killing time for a PPV cycle before they get to the really important matches (Kross/Mundo? Fantasma/Texano?)

Pagano & Psycho Clown tried to have a straight technical match and it was OK at best. It’s not what either man does well, and looked slow and clunky at times. The crowd wasn’t all that into it, not reacting much to the near falls they were doing. They seemed to like the characters but weren’t much interested in the outcome, or they knew there was not going to be an ending until a finisher or a foul. That turned out right, since this was just a set up to have the TripleMania rudos destroy the TripleMania técnicos, and they cared much more about. The angle was effective but the match itself wasn’t worth seeing.

The opener was a casual singles match that was just doing the safe but not so interesting stuff, and then had the always terrible music finish. Pagano never even actually appearing made Mesias look even dumber, but it’s still a dumb finish. Given that ending, they wisely didn’t seem like it was that important to do all that much in the match. Wagner showed more than Mesias, but this wasn’t a shadow of the TripleMania fight they were redoing here.

AAA on Televisa: 2017-07-15 

Venum dive

Recapped: 07/16/2017

All matches were taped at Poliforum, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas on 06/19/2017 

Matches: 

Texano Jr. beat Marty Martinez
(7:59, sit down powerbomb, ok, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Big Mami & Niño Hamburguesa beat Lady Shani & Venum for the AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championship
(7:52, Mami inside cradle Shani, ok, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria ©  beat Hernandez & Máscara de Bronce for the AAA World Tag Team Championship
(6:38, Cuervo powerbomb Mascara de Bronce, ok, via Lucha Libre AAA)

Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana © beat Aerostar, Drago, Raptor for the AAA World Trios Championship in an outcome later overturned (7:10, Tito Santana frog splash Raptor, good, via Lucha Libre AAA)

What happened:

every taping crazy Aerostar dive

In a vignette, Mocho Cota tries to raise Carta & Soul’s spirits after losing their masks. We’re shown that backstage, and then shown a camera with Jesus Zuniga coming into interview them. It’s like two different styles of interviews happening at once. OGT pop up from nowhere to reiterate their challenge for the title match. Soul Rocker is called “Tito” here and Tito Santana on the graphic – Arturo eventually explains it for those who don’t know. it stills says Soul Rocker on Tito’s Poder del Norte shirt. Poder del Norte is mostly the Milicia now, borrowing that look (which was also Mocho Cota Sr’s look for a time) as a trio. Raptor has the 3 briefcase to cash in for this title match.

Raptor gets a visual pin on Carta Brava, but Piero is looking outside for reasons not clear. Mocho Cota lips in a foul soon after and pins Raptor, and Tito adds a frog splash for the win. Poder del Norte’s music play for about 5 seconds before Vampiro’s music interrupts. He walks to the ring, and Poder del Norte walk around him to pose on the stage. Vampiro says it was an exciting match but that isn’t the way to win a title match in AAA. Vampiro announces he’s throwing out this match, and Poder del Norte vs the técnicos in a best of five series where the winning team keeps the trios titles. The tencicos do a triple dive on the rudos, which is half missed by the camera.

The new Panini Album is released July 19th and is pushed hard as a result. Noti AAA focuses on the plane unveiling.

dropkick is not good, sell is a lot

Mascara de Bronce looks for Vampiro before his match, and finds him with Hernandez. Neither are happy to see either, and Vamp points out Mascara de Bronce doesn’t have his briefcase. Vampiro explains they’re partners for a tag team title match tonight. He doesn’t explain why, because there is no explanation. Hernandez refuses a tag in the first minute of the match. Cuervo and Scoria repeatedly knock Hernandez off the apron anyway, which appears to anger him to enough to want to get into the match. He still can’t for a while, but does come in with a double clotheslines on the rudos when they mess up, works with Bronce for a minute or two, then pulls Bronce off a pin. Hernandez talks Bronce into continuing, and of course they mess up their next spot (in storyline and in real life.) Bronce gets pinned, then Kevin Kross comes out and throws him around for a bit. Hernandez gets Mascara’s briefcase from somewhere – and now it’s the #4 one, and Bronce definitely didn’t bring it to the match – gives it to Kevin Kross for some reason. I have no idea.

La Hiedra tries flirting with Venum to be his partner for the mixed tag title match, but he says he’s already got a partner. Lady Shani shows up just in time to pull Venum out of that mess and to their match. Announcers are still billing Lady Shani as a ruda, though she’s been on the tecnica side for months. (I haven’t fixed it either, guess I should.) Venum has a “1” briefcase, which isn’t the right number and appears to be an actual briefcase as opposed to the one they had earlier. Shani has the match probably won with a backcracker on Big Mami, but lets go of the pin and stands up because La Hiedra’s music is playing. (This is so dumb.) Hiedra is still nowhere near the ring when Shani, motionless, gets inside cradled by Big Mami.

The Marty/Texano match didn’t air on the TV show but is included on the YouTube channel. Something the announcers say is very obviously removed around at the 5:10 mark.

Thoughts: 

Kross suplex watch

The main event was a little sloppy at time – a problem with all the matches this week – but had some exciting moments and these two teams have potential for a good series of matches if they get better as they go along. The Poder del Norte work much better against these técnicos in action matches than they were getting out of the main event feud and they’re obviously motivated by their recent focus. Raptor is not yet at the level of his partners but these matches will help him get there. This could’ve gone a bit longer, but it’s one of probably six, so it’s fair that they’re going to save things for other matches. It would’ve been less dramatic but less forced if Vampiro had earlier decried there would no more fouls in title matches as part of making the matches more serious rather than coming off as inconsistent by bringing it up here only after the main event was over. The general idea – AAA is going to take title matches seriously now so title should be taken seriously – makes sense as a big concept, but it’s tough to believe in when both the other title matches had silly/dumb finishes and weren’t about deciding who was the best team. Saying you want title matches to be serious on the same show where two people who’ve never teamed and are feuding getting a title match is incongruous. AAA’s track record is they’re going to ignore this push when it suits them too, so there’s no reason to buy in caring until they prove otherwise, and they didn’t prove anything on this show

The tag match was whatever.. They did try to have it make internal sense, but it was still a match which made little sense to exist and accomplished little. It doesn’t even benefit Scoria & Cuervo to get an easy win because no one took the match seriously and they were bit players in it. It’s not doing all that much for Mascara de Bronce (or Hernandez, who was so dumb that he didn’t want to win the tag titles.) It didn’t do much for storyline Vampiro commission, booking a match that didn’t make any sense. There were a couple good spots, but there was also some awkwardness and nothing worth checking out outside of the context.

flying moth

What we learned about in the mixed tag title championship is that title is less important than a Shani/Hiedra feud, about the twelfth most important feud in the promotion right now. Yet, that feud isn’t important enough to actually give them the mixed tag titles to fight over (so maybe they really are going to fight for the Reina de Reinas championship.) Instead, Hamburguesa and Mami win the belts in a match where they seem much less over than usual and do not look especially good in the ring. Shani & Venum do some cool things, enough to just pull this up to OK for me, but there are some groaners of bad spots, no particular flow or story to the match since they’re both sort of tecnica teams and a terrible cliched finish. That OK is a generous grade.

There may be other weirder reasons why Texano/Marty was cut out of TV, but it comes across as easy to skip anyway. It’s not bad, but it’s a cold match – the crowd doesn’t really know Marty, there’s not much to get him over, and they don’t care about this fight all that much. The biggest reactions are to the normal lasso spots, which leads into the finish. I’m not sure what Texano is supposed to be at this point: he’s the slight técnico here and hasn’t been presented as rudo much since the turn. It’s also a little bit sloppy at times, not enough to tank it but it never gets a high level.

keep on swinging

07/27/2017 AAA TV results from Aguascalientes (final main taping before TripleMania)

AAA TV (THU) 07/27/2017 Palenque de la Fiera Nacional De San Marcos, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes [AAA]
1) Angélico b Joe Lider
dark match. Angelico won via crucifix powerbomb.
2) Bengala b Australian SuicideVenumMáscara de BronceNiño HamburguesaMurder ClownMonsther Clown [battle royal]
Probably start of Part 1. Winner gets a spot in the Copa TripleMania (others may not be involved in it.) Order of elimination: Mascara de Bronce, Venum, Australian Suicide, Nino Hamburguesa, Murder Clown, Murder Clown, leaving Bengala as the winner.
3) Argenis, La Parka, Lanzeloth, Ricky Marvin b Averno, Chessman, Pirata Morgan, Súper Fly
Averno fouled Pirata, and Lanzelot picked up the pin.
4) Hijo del Fantasma & Texano Jr. b Johnny Mundo & Kevin Kross
Fantasma pinned Mundo after Texano was put thru a table. Vampiro confronted Mundo after the match.
5) Discovery (Aguascalientes) b Xtreme-X [hair, mask]
Discovery kept his mask, took Xtreme-X’s hair.
6) Lady Shani b Big MamiGoya KongLa Hiedra [Reina De Reinas, #1 ContendersEliminatoria para sacar retadora al Reina de Reinas AAA en Triplemania XXV (posted by Nada mas que lucha libre)
Lady Shani beat La Hiedra to get the title shot at TripleMania.
7) Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Soul Rocker b Aerostar, Drago, Raptor Raptor, Drago y Aerostar vs El Poder del Norte por el Campeonato de Tercias AAA (posted by Nada mas que lucha libre)
Match went only about a minute. Raptor did a springboard plancha onto one of the other rudos before the match started, but the other two came thru the crowd and took out the tecnicos. Raptor was taken out (and said to be taken to the hospital) after a move in the aisle, and Drago was quickly double teamed and beat. The tecnicos lead the series 2-1.
8) Pagano & Psycho Clown b Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Mesías
Psycho won, but Wagner once again left him unmasked.

Air Date: 08/26 (hours before TripleMania) and 09/02.

You know what? This is going to come off as cruel and maybe even small minded, but it’s a busy day for me and this is a simple way to hack thru it. Let’s make this a “what’s AAA did wrong in this match” post to be quick about.

1: at least Angelico won? But it’s a dark match. Angelico not being in the plans for TripleMania is sort of fair – it was his choice to go elsewhere for a while, AAA had other things to do – but there’s no real reason he couldn’t have been in the #30 spot battle royal. Or Lider, for that matter. Maybe things will get better after this event cycle, but is only reluctantly using someone who should be an important piece for them.

2: and then the battle royal itself has people who were announced for other matches on TripleMania. Does that mean they’re working Copa TripleMania and working twice? Maybe. Maybe AAA just needed more bodies for a battle royal, but they didn’t use two guys they had. Mascara de Bronce, who’s occasionally teased as challenging for the title in this promotion, is thrown out first. It’s totally going to backfire if AAA puts the titles on Bronce, I like him a lot and do not want to see his career screwed up by a bad creative decision, and I really don’t understand why they haven’t used him stronger to this point.

3: You may remember Pirata Morgan turned on the OGT last time we saw him and had a second mysterious speech to La Parka. You may not remember this, because it hasn’t been followed up in weeks. You may remember that the tecnicos didn’t want anything to do with Ricky Marvin because he abandoned them. It’s unclear if anyone remembers any of this. AAA is doing far more storylines this year, but the week to week consistency is barely existent.

4: Obviously Mundo doesn’t have any big problems if he’s taking pinfalls. The post match was Mundo & Vampiro replaying their bit from Tijuana, where Mundo wants to give up the belts but Vampiro says giving up the belts is disrespectful to lucha libre history and says Hijo del Fantasma & Texano are going to beat him for them. The AAA recap gives the impression that Hijo del Fantasma and Texano stand meekly off camera while this is happening, they are not functional character in their own storyline. On Facebook, Vampiro put over his favorite performer (Vampiro) for his performance. Vampiro is really good at getting himself over with these bits, Vampiro is not really good at getting anyone else over, it’s unclear if this bothers anyone in AAA. (Not just AAA – LU’s Cero Miedo was all about Vampiro being awesome for going thru the flaming table, and Vampiro being awesome for revealing himself as Pentagon’s master. It’s always going to be about Vampiro.)

5:  No one should ever call themselves Xtreme-X. I want a national lucha commission just to veto stupid names, and I want to have that job. If you come in with any version of the word Extreme, any Dragon or any Sexy, you are being rejected. There are enough of all those already.

6:  Lady Shani is now in line for the title shot at TripleMania. She still may not be the only one getting it; MedioTiempo mentions the possibility of unnamed foreign women being brought into get the shot too. On +LuchaTV’s podcast, Sexy Star made it clear that she was back in AAA to be champion but the actual women in AAA weren’t worth her time. Shani’s the best woman AAA could’ve chosen of those who were there, There’s a possibly really good story that could be told her about Shani avenging her real life friend/mentor Taya to get back the title she never lost, but she’s at best just the opponent for Sexy Star to beat, and possibly will still have only a minor role on TripleMania. AAA needs to be making stars who want to work for the promotion, and will instead be using them as filler.

7: Poder del Norte vs Aerostar, Drago and Raptor seems like the best match on the show, so it goes sub 2 minutes. When I saw this result, I thought the tecnicos were going to get forced into having Match 4 on the same night, battle valiantly but lose to tie the series. Instead, the whole thing goes on hiatus for weeks.

8: Dr. Wagner standing over Psycho Clown is a great visual to set up TripleMania. That match is slotted to air the week after TripleMania. I’d like to have hope that they’ll switch things around, but they haven’t bothered in the past.

The next main taping is August 26th for TripleMania – but AAA is doing La Llave a La Gloria on Saturday in Ceyala and 08/15 in Naucalpan, and I’ve realized those are parts of AAA I’m actually more interested in by right now. So look forward to those.