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Volador Jr. vs La Sombra, 2014-08-01

They had a series of tumblr gifs disguised as a match. Twas good. 

(The fans gave Volador his belt back.)

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Oficial Ak-47 & Apolo Estrada vs Trauma I, Trauma II - hairs vs masks.

I only was able to get the third fall of this one, but they’re fighting in an indoor rainstorm (there’s a roof, it’s not working well) and how often do you see that?

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Angélico, Hijo del Fantasma, Australian Suicide, Fénix, Bengala, Jack Evans, Joe Lider, Pentagón Jr., Daga ©, Bengala for the AAA World Cruiserweight Championship

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Aerostar, Jennifer Blake, Mascarita Sagrada, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Sexy Star, Súper Fly, TripleMania XXII

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Every Tuesday, I post whatever lucha videos I’ve been able to capture each week on my YouTube channel. Maybe I should post one a week here?

This is a women’s tag match from a couple weeks ago, where the losing team would have to give up their mask and/or hair. The backstory is Princesa Sugehit (the short masked woman in yellow and red) and Princesa Blanca (the tall unmasked woman) were long time tag partners who recently broke up. Blanca declared she’d retire if she lost this match. The other two women are here just to make it a tag match. Marcela (the short dark haired woman, Sugehit’s partner) is arguably the best female luchador and Seductora (black mask, Blanca’s partner) is usually one of the worst - but not on this day

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TripleMania thoughts, other notes from Sunday

we’re still waiting for my hosting company to get my website fixed. They did update me to inform me it’s taking a long time. I’ve noticed. Got any recommendations? I don’t have my usual tools, so I’ll handle this differently. 

Quick Correction: I misread something; TripleMania TV notice about Monday was saying the VOD would only be up until next Monday, not that anything was going to be fixed. As far as they’re concerned, it’s working completely fine. I don’t understand but am giving up on it for now.

TripleMania was the coronation of Alberto el Patron as the new lead tecnico for AAA. People with functioning short term memories may recall Myzteziz being crowned in that same position just three months ago. Things can change quick, and will always keep changing with AAA, but they were all in on Alberto Del Rio tonight. AAA used the Alberto del Rio name on a chyron and his WWE music, totally unafraid of a lawsuit. Alberto did a promo talking about his firing and racism to start the show, and was confronted by Konnan and Perro Aguayo Jr. (Daga and Fantasma are now wearing those shirts; it seems like the solution to rapidly falling apart rudo factions was to make everyone a Perro del Mal member tonight.) Konnan’s music played and he got to talk first, in his only appearance on the show, but this was about Perro picking a fighting with Alberto. They fought here, then again after the main event. Perro won, defeating Myzteziz last with a foul. Patron confronted Perro, got slapped and his shirt ripped, but pulled Perro into the armbar at the end. The rudos made the save, but Alberto stood tall at the end of the show.

The long term plan appears to be Perro Aguayo Jr. versus Alberto del Rio. It’s AAA, so the current long term today may change tomorrow - it very much seemed to be Myzteziz versus Perro Aguayo before the last crazy week - but AAA came off as the El Patron Promotion.

The four way ended the show. Not sure if that was the original plan, but it obviously was a setup here so they could bookend the show with Del Rio segments. Perro won the main event after fouling a very bloody Myzteziz. He had beaten Ciberentico (only after Cibernetico made it clear he could’ve won but got too confident.) Dr. Wagner, wrestling with one arm after his injury in Monterrey, was the first out, cleanly defeated by Cibernetico. His son was chokeslamed too. Unlike Del Rio, the Wagners appear to have returned in a weak position (again, at least for one night.)

The Psycho Clown versus Texano Jr. match was demoted to the semimain. They didn’t give them top spot, and Psycho’s win was overshadowed by what happened later, but they did give them free reign to do whatever they wanted in the match and those two guys did just that. The first half of the match was every bell and whistle from previous matches - Rafael El Maya returned as referee, Hijo del Fantasma interfered freely, Texano used a fork on Psycho as both men bled a bunch - but Fantasma Sr. and others cleaned up by about half way thru. Piero took over as referee, all the seconds were kicked out, and Texano and Psycho turned it more into CMLL Big Match style with a some weapons and some blood. (Even the blood started to get wiped away.) Lots of big moves for near falls, dives, and a cavernaria. It felt like a heavyweight version of Sombra/Volador from last September, complete with a Canadian Destroyer to finish it. This one was one rung lower, and onto a (partially flattened broken) table, but it got the same win for Psycho as it did for Sombra. Texano shook Psycho’s hand after getting his hair cut; it came off to me as the end of this and the start of both guys moving in different directions, but maybe it’s only a single day truce.

Both scheduled guest foreigners of the shows missed the show. Ricochet, a few minutes before they show was to start, announced that he had missed his flight (“last night’s show went too long”). That’s not a great excuse. Jeff Jarrett had less control of the situation; bad weather in Dallas delayed and canceled flights all day, which mean Jarrett couldn’t even get on his flight to Mexico City until the show was half over. In both case, if these guys are big enough names to be a part of AAA’s big shows, they’re worth flying (and paying) for an extra night. This same situation nearly happened with Jarrett previously and it was a matter of time if they’re just going to wait to the day off.

Ricochet’s absence didn’t mean anything. Jarrett’s required changes to the cage match. (Neither was announced until the matches took place.) Mesias worked the cage match in JJ’s spot, taking Electroshock’s hair as the second to last guy out. It’s a long running WWE tradition to put over the replacement wrestler when a top guy can’t make it, and that might have been the call here. Electroshock was probably losing all along. Mesias didn’t look in his usual shape; it may have been a situation where he was just supposed to wave to the crowd but was asked to work a few hours before the show. Electroshock somewhat turned rudo after the match, probably to give him something after losing to a fellow tecnico.

Both titles changed hands. Taya beat Faby Apache for the Reina de Reinas title. Taya may have broken her nose in this one; she definitely was bleeding significantly from it for a while. Everyone improvised pretty well to give her time to recover (and I couldn’t pick out when it happened), but it slowed the pace of the match down. Faby was protected in the match, with Tirantes cheating her out of numerous victories until Taya finally just beat her clean. Match didn’t do either one much good, but Taya was thrilled for the victory and maybe they’ll do better when both can breathe the whole match.

Drago was added to the Cruiserweight title match, and appeared to have been added even before Richocet was pulled out since they were both in the preview video package at the start of the show. The first half of this match was completely unviewable, but what I could see was insane spot fest. It was a crazy piledriver fest too - Fantasma won the title with one on Angelico at the end, and Bengala was carried to the back after taking one earlier. Fantasma was presented (by his father) with a new title belt. It’s got green leather and the new AAA “Lucha Libre World Wide” logo on it. No one else changed their belt, but I would assume other belts will soon be replaced or removed. (Fantasma actually carried all three title matches to the back, but hopefully he’s just got the one next time we see him.)

Show started off well with the Relevos Locura atomicos. These can be good and always seem better when they’re on TripleMania because everyone wants to do crazy stuff. Jennifer Blake had a nice assisted dive, Sexy Star broke out her tornillo, and Aerostar did all of his crazy moves. Mascarita Sagrada submitted Mini Abismo, and the Super Fly/Aerostar feud was a point of emphasis on commentary.

El Brazo and Rayo de Jalisco (Senior) were added to the AAA Hall of Fame. Rayo Sr. did not attend this show, but his son did, happy to dance to his music and salute the crowd. Perro knocked down the Rayo Sr. plaque leading into a fight with his son, and Blue Demon Jr. made the save. This seemed like one too many times of Perro getting into a fighting and getting ran off on the show. The idea was to give a reason for Rayo Jr., Demon, and Dos Caras (who came with his son to ringside at the beginning of the show and took a bump when the rudos shoved him) to be at ringside for the final confrontation, and to endorse Alberto el Patron as the new Mexican hero after he fought Perro off.

No surprise jumps or debuts. Maybe for the best, since they would’ve gotten lost in the mix and were less valuable once Alberto was signed. The Rayo Jr. thing came off as more a one time appearance than bringing him back full time.

Sadly, the internet feed was a failure again. It was buffering from the start of the show, and was non functional for half of the cruiserweight match. It seemed to get a little better as the show went on, but even better meant there were times where it was working fine, times where it was lagging and leaping head twenty seconds later, and times where it would just drop and force me to start at the start of the show. There were 10-15 minute stretches where everything seemed to be fine, but then it’d fall right back apart. It wasn’t as complete a failure as last year, but the inconsistent nature was really frustrating. Those who gave up early (or found an illegal feed and stuck with it) made the better decision.

As of now, the VOD is the same broadcast which aired live, with the same skipping issues. There does appear to be a message saying it’ll now be up Monday and hopefully that’ll be the better version. AAA should really get out of the iPPV game if this is what they have to offer, because it’s only hurting their image (much like ROH ran into.) As much as I like the idea of being able to watch TripleMania live, I don’t think I’m going to do this next year unless there are some massive developments between now and then. I knew better this year and got it out of some devotion to operating a good website. Today, I didn’t have a website and I didn’t have much to put on it.

(This also involved me repeatedly demanding answers about what was going on - AAA went completely silent on Twitter for most of the show, only returning to RT any positive comment they could find after it was over - and AAA insisting all was well. I hate acting like the jerk online, but I also don’t like people not taking my issues seriously. This was an altogether unpleasant experience. I write a lucha libre blog because I really lucha libre, not because I want to get into arguments with people who are just doing their jobs.)

The English announcing was exactly the disaster it looked like it was going to be. AAA put people in positions they weren’t going to well in, and they didn’t give them enough help to make it work. The announcers generally calm down later in the show, but at no point did it feel like an okay broadcast. It was amateur hour, except two amateur fans who had been watching AAA would’ve probably done a better job with it. If you’re going to watch the show, I’d recommend heavily choosing the Spanish language broadcast even you don’t speak Spanish (and especially if you’re a regular AAA watch); it has to be less distracting.

(Those watching the regular PPV noted a couple of times where the picture disappeared, though nothing as major. Even though the press release only named two people, the Spanish/regular PPV crew was the normal four guys for these shows - Andres, Jesus, Arturo Rivera and Leo Riano as the Televisa guest.)

I will eventually have a full length version of this show to recap - either by AAA or other means - so more thoughts on the matches then. My impression from what I could see was the opener and the cruiserweight match and the Texano/Psycho match were worth watching. The cage match is the easiest one to skip.

CMLL’s show in Arena Mexico wasn’t nearly as eventful, but did have a solid turn out despite the opposition. It was a strangely busy day for show. No one shyed away from running against TripleMania - IWRG brought in LA Park, and Arena Lopez Mateos ran a show honoring Cuchillo. The Pesta Negra kept the Mexican National Trios championship over Stuka, Mascara Dorada, and Valiente. Oro Jr. missed an action packed segunda; it sounded like he had a mouth injury, though CMLL strangely thought the best way to communicate this was to have him talk about it. An early injury in last week’s match would explain last week’s lackluster performance, but it doesn’t do anything to remedy it - he’s still a man in search of career making match who may years away from getting another opportunity.

Main event, Ingobernables against Ultimo, Gran and Escorpion, sounded like the best of the show. (I was far too distracted by AAA to really tell.) Rush fouled UG for the DQ, and it seems likely they’ll be running that match on 08/31 or 09/07. Their match in Guadlajara aired this week on 52MX; it was not half-bad, but not near the best Rush. Rey Escorpion proved Ultimo Guerrero can be tolerable if the other guys just mugs him and that’s what Rush did there, but it still fell into Ultimo Guerrero’s contrived near falls by the end. I’d expect the same here.

Last week, that Ultimo Guerrero singles match seemed more like it was going to be against Sombra. That wouldn’t make sense if they were planning to do UG/Sombra as a Universal final, so picking another Ingobernable leaves that open. JCR might have slipped and asked Sombra what he thought about facing UG in the final (where he meant to say “possibly”) - that’s what Rob heard, I wasn’t listening closely at that point. UG is the odds on favorite to take his block this Friday.

Dragon Rojo is now using the Ghostbuster’s theme song, which was the most bizarre thing on a bizarre day.

Oficial 911 no showed his match in Naucalpan tonight. That’s notable because his match was a double hair vs double mask match with AK47 against the Traumas. Apolo Estrada took his spot, and presumably lost, though I haven’t seen a result yet. I can’t imagine the Traumas lost, so it’s just a matter of if they switched the rules. Like I said, the promoters weren’t afraid to run a lot of shows at the same time, but there’s only so many people who cover them, and they mostly were at TripleMania or SummerSlam.

The Ringo Mendoza show on Saturday in Arena Coliseo from Saturday seemed to do well. They did bring back some unbilled legends and wrote a little bit about on the Twitter feed. They seemed to tape things for Informa as well.

CMLL’s show this upcoming Sunday includes Ephesto, Hombre Sin Nombre and Hechicero as a trio. We’d quickly moved on from Hechicero being the new Hombre sin Nombre, but that’s obviously a dead issue now. Based on who’s not around and the details they’ve given away, it’s most likely either Hooligan or his son El Rebelde, and we’re learning more towards his son at the moment. This is not confirmed, do not put it in your database, just take a look at his matches and think about it.

Sunday Guadalajara has a father son tag team tournament. Universo 2000 returns to Arena Coliseo Guadalajara action for the first time in a while, and Magnum is revealed to be Esfinge’s father. If I had a luchawiki, I could tell you if we knew that already. We do not.

IWRG has a fun looking four way tag match Wednesday with Relampago & Golden Magic (as team IWRG) versus Yakuza and Ironia (team AULL) versus Tony Rivera & Ciclon Black (the returning Team Neza) versus Alan Extreme & Metatron (team FILL.) The AULL/FILL captains hair match did air on LAS; it lived up to the pictures, and Metatron and Alan as a regular team would not be a bad idea.

More tomorrow. I’ve got plenty of links, including more from Alberto del Rio on his firing. I hope I can share them better later.  

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TripleMania XXII Live Coverage

Hi! I’m posting live results for TripleMania today. I’ll also be covering the regular Sunday CMLL show. (This would normally go on my website, but it’s broken at the moment.)

AAA’s TripleMania can be seen on TripleManiaTV.com. It is an iPPV, and costs $15. It starts at 6pm Central. Assuming the stream works, I’ll be posting results below.

CMLL’s Sunday show can be seen at terra.com.mx. It’s a free show. It starts at 5pm; there will be no link to the show until that time.

I’ll also be posting live results below.

TripleMania card/results

UPDATE: Jeff Jarrett and Ricochet have both said on Twitter that they’ll be missing this show due to plane issues.

MATCH 1: Aerostar, Jennifer Blake, Mascarita Sagrada, Pimpinela Escarlata defeated Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Sexy Star, Súper Fly

MATCH 2: 10 Way Title Unification Match: Hijo del Fantasma defated Angélico. Drago replaced Ricochet. Other wrestlers included. Australian Suicide, Fénix, Bengala, Jack Evans, Joe Lider, Pentagón Jr., Daga

MATCH 3: Taya Valkyrie defeats Faby Apache for the Reina de Reinas championship

MATCH 4: Electroshock lost his hair to Mesiasi n a cage match. Also in the match were Blue Demon Jr., Electroshock, Averno, La Parka, Chessman

MATCH 5: Psycho Clown beat Texano Jr. mask versus hair.

MATCH 6: Myzteziz vs el Hijo del Perro Aguayo vs Cibernético vs Dr. Wagner Jr. for the Copa TripleMania XXII

CMLL card/results

1) Inquidisidor & Cholo b Flyer & Metatron [2/3]

2) Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr. Y Oro Jr. b Okumura, Kamaitachi Y Metalico [2/3] #CMLL
Oro out (injury), Starman in.

3) Sagrado, Misterioso Jr., Pierroth b Diamante Azul, Maximo, Blue Panther [1/3] #CMLL

4) Lightning Match: Dragon Rojo b Polvora (6:00ish)

5) Mexican National Trios Championship: Peste Negra (Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas y Felino) (c) b Mascara Dorada, Valiente Y Stuka [2/3]

6) Ultimo Guerrero, Rey Escorpion, Gran Guerrero DQ Rush, La Sombra, La Mascara [2/3] - entrance looked awesome. Rush fouled UG

You can chat with us about both shows here: http://blyve.com/event/23bbf053eb954e2700000000
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TripleMania XXII wrestler guide

Show starts today at 6pm and can be ordered at TripleManiaTV.com. Buyer beward. Card order subject to change. Pictures are recent but many are likely to have new outfits for the occasion.

MATCH 1: Aerostar, Jennifer Blake, Mascarita Sagrada, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Sexy Star, Súper Fly

AAA usually opens it’s major shows with this sort of eight person tag, with a woman, a man, an “exotico” (a transvestite) and a mini on each side. Everyone’s allowed to face anyone else without restriction, though they tend to fight the same category of person on the other side. The crowd responds positively to the strange matchups, and it’s a way to get divisions (minis!) and people onto the card.

On the tecnico (good guy) side

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Aerostar: High flyer. Aerostar is fearless even by the standards of suicidal Mexican luchadors, famous for his no hand (head first) tope, and his springboard reverse tope to the floor (which is basically jumping off the ropes, flying backwards out of the ring, and praying to God that someone’s there to catch you.) Is as good an aerialist as anyone in Mexico, but gets lost in a crowded AAA cruiserweight pack. Leader of the Fuerza Aerea group. Shockingly won a #1 contenders match for the Cruiserweight Championship, but isn’t in the title match for reasons never explained.

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Jennifer Blake: Canadian! Came to 2009 as one of a rotating group of evil foreign women to challenge the virtuous Mexicans and did well enough to stick around. Flipped to the good side in the 2013 after being turned on by fellow Canadian Taya. Has improved greatly in 2014 and had some strong matches earlier this year when she was more of a regular TV presence. Here mostly to give Sexy Star someone to fight, but is really one of the better women wrestlers in Mexico. Uses “Call Me Maybe” in 2014, because it’s Mexico.

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Mascarita Sagrada: At least the fourth different mini to use the name, and not at the level of any of the previous ones. Kids still like the character and chanting “Mascarita”, but has had a lot of flawed matches and is only using sparingly on TV. He’s been a bit better this year.

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Pimpinela Escarlata: legendary transvestite/exotico in Mexico. Pimpinela was one of the most talented wrestlers in Mexico at her peak - she also happened to also be doing a gay gimmick and has been inspiration for many to follow in those footsteps, but her abilities went beyond her gimmick. Now a decade or two past that peak, Pimpinela’s much more a gay gimmick with a couple of neat spots (you will see her walk the top rope and do a dive off the apron.) Crowd still loves her so AAA always loves to put include her in this match - finding decent opposition has been the bigger issue.

On the rudo (evil) side:

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Súper Fly: Once a rising star (he defeated ex-WCW Super Calo for his mask on this event seven years ago), Super Fly’s spent recent years on the fringes of AAA’s roster and as a low level henchman. He started as a total flyer, but has scaled back to (undersized) power moves as a bad guy. Currently feuding with ex-partner Aerostar with the idea of doing a mask match sometime this year. Unfortunately, AAA did the same exact feud (Super Fly turned on Aerostar that time too), lost interest in it after a few months, and did little with both guys for years before restarting the cycle earlier this year. This match might be a good indication about how serious they are this time - their feud should be focal point of the match if it’s going somewhere.

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Sexy Star: unofficial queen of AAA, and current one half of the mixed (one male & one female) tag team championship. Closest thing in Mexico to a WWE-style Diva. Tries hard in the ring, though sometimes not to everyone’s benefit, and is much better as a personality and a promo. Overwhelming favorite for best entrance outfit on the show. Taya’s tag team partner; she’s likely to be as involved in the title match as this one.

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Mini Abismo Negro: one of the two most experienced minis in the promotion (and probably the guy actually in charge of the division.) Really good at being a mini bully and a stooge. Arguable the best mini in Mexico at his peak, but spent two years sidelined by a knee injury and bad surgery. He’s still good but hasn’t had a chance to prove he’s at that level. Mascarita Sagrada seems like a personal project and they’ll match up a lot here.

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Mamba: formerly a generic masked indy wrestler, lost the mask and started working as transvestite (against the objections of the promoter he was working for) and everything started to click. Does the usual exotico spots - is most likely to stop the match to do a dance move - but also a big fan of US indy wrestling. Mamba’s more athletic and more willing to do crazy things than the exoticos Pimpinela’s been working with previously. It’s helpful for working with the others in the match, and it may have extended Pimpinela’s career a bit.

MATCH 2: 10 Way Title Unification Match: Angélico, Hijo del Fantasma, Australian Suicide, Fénix, Bengala, Jack Evans, Joe Lider, Pentagón Jr., Daga ©, Ricochet [AAA CRUISER]

Both the AAA Cruiserweight and Fusion championship are on the line here, billed as a unification, but more a mercy killing for the Fusion title. There’s a long messy story of failed projects behind that one, but the short version is they’ve finally decided to stop ignoring a problem and a ridding themselves of it instead.

AAA did a month long storyline to set up a multiman unification match - and then announced this one, with a different lineup. There’s no way to reconcile the leadup and the match, so the story here is “we took 10 great cruiserweight and threw them together.” Multiman matches in AAA are generally elimination rules, though that’s not always the case and you can sure they’ll break up the pins either way. This is a match about looking good for the highlight package and not quite about making sense.

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Angélico: South Africian world traveler Adam Bridle. Has turned up previously in Mexico, Japan and Europe, he’s spent the last year and a half here in AAA. He and Jack Evans have been tag team champions for about the last year, and easily the best team in Mexico during that run; Jack’s wildness is balanced Angelico’s forethought. The matches tend to make a little more sense with Angelico around. Has loud detractors - the Mexico City fans hate him for being too much of a Pretty Boy, and others dislike him because his offense (especially his kicks) don’t look credible, but he’s been a big part of good stuff lately. Is unlikely to win since he’s already tag champion. Has his own All In shoe commercial. Really.

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Australian Suicide: an actual name someone was paid to create. Masked luchador (and not so secretly known to be Australian Ryan Rollins), a high flyer from Mexico. Undersized and raw, even by the standards of young wrestlers in Mexico, can do some spectacular spots. Uses the same twisting shooting star press as a finish as NXT’s Adrian Neville. Teams up with fellow good guy gringos Evans and Angelico often, and feuding with bad guy Pentagon Jr. Most thought that feud would conclude with a mask match at this show, but the ending has been pushed off for a while longer. That feud is the priority for him, so winning is unlikely.

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Bengala: Secretly long time NOAH foreigner Ricky Marvin (anyone watching TV regularly has probably figured it out.) Came back to Mexico full time last year and had a series of spectacular matches against hard working but raw wrestlers on the indies. Everyone was pretty excited about Marvin showing up here, only his performances have been a few notches worse and he’s seemed lost at times. It may just be the mask and the outfit, but reports suggested he was the one who insisted on the mask and the outfit. Who knows. This would be a great moment for him to turn it around, as watchers are starting to lose a little hope. Has a decent shot of winning, as he was brought into be a centerpiece of the division and still might be booked that way.

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Daga: Current Cruiserweight champion, and has been the champ for 18 months. That’s not nearly as impressive as it sounds. AAA’s secondary championships seem to exist only to throw a bunch of random people in a match on a major show and give it a reason to exist. Daga works like a Mexican who was locked in a basement for a year with only Davey Richards matches and MMA DVDs to watch. He was the best guy in the division when he won the title, but appeared to grow disinterested with TV matches (and freely talked about how he liked wrestling on the indies better.) Has stepped it back up since he was converted from super group henchman to leader of his own smaller evil group (La Anarquia), though that group is in a bit if disarray for outside the ring reasons. Decent chance to keep his title; still booked as the best even if he doesn’t always show it.

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Fénix: Current (and only ever) AAA Fusion Champion, which is going away. A hard hitting high flyer (notice a pattern yet?) on the side of good. Huge fan of Japanese wrestling, incorporating moves into his style and openly pining for anyone to bring him back over. Secretly the brother of Pentagon Jr. - they feuded against each other in spectacular matches on the indies before being called up here. Spent the last couple of months battling a leg injury, where he was pretty much wrestling on one good leg, but appeared to have finally recovered a bit the last few months. Has a decent chance of winning this, definitely a management favorite. A bad follow on Twitter; earned the nickname EmoFenix.

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Hijo del Fantasma: second generation wrestler dressed like newspaper strip character The Phantom. The idea in the strip is everyone believes The Phantom is immortal, but it’s actually down from generation to generation. No one would believe the same with this family, because the son’s much better. Midsized luchador (for Mexico), had a resurgent year after floundering in CMLL for the last few. Cut down his weight, wrestling a harder hitting style, and working on the evil side for the first time has all helped him. Occasional rival of Fenix (expect them to brutalize each other), and good friend of Texano Jr. (so he should turn up in the main event.) Hasn’t really had a lot do since coming to AAA, but has an outside chance of winning this to jump-start him.

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Jack Evans: improbably, Jack Evans - yes, the Ring of Honor Jack Evans, the best friend of Teddy Hart Jack Evans - is still in alive well in after Mexico all these years. It’s been a six year run now, he’s beloved by the fans, and likely will go down as one of the most fondly remembered foreigners of this period. He’s still Jack Evans, still break-dancing in the ring, still doing crazy moves, still using the 630 senton as his finish, but a little bit older and (amazingly) a little bit wiser. His tag team with Angelico has pulled him out of a bit of purgatory, and he’s now one of the veterans the new guys look up to. (This is all so weird! We are all getting old!) Jack’s changed up some things, but he could still drop in to a US indy promotion tomorrow and do perfectly well. He’s tag team champion so he’s not getting another belt, but should have a pretty good match here.

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Joe Lider: famous Mexico death-match brawler - thumbtacks, barbed wire, flaming tables, whatever. Years of that have clearly taken their toll, but he keeps going on with it (publicly concerned AAA won’t have much use for him if he stopped.) Lider is part of the good guy Mexican Powers - partners Crazy Boy and Nino Hamburugesa surprisingly didn’t make the cut for this show. Lider doesn’t really make sense here either - he’s cruiserweight size and can do moves, but not what others left off could do - but it’s AAA rewarding a loyal solider with a spot on the biggest card of the year. There’s no logic in him winning the cruiserweight title, but it can’t be completely ruled out.

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Pentagón Jr.: one of the top wrestlers in all of Mexico and potential ax-murder. There’s no better evil doer at carrying tecnicos thru complicated offense, and he’s equally adept at killing those tecnicos dead. (He’s the only one who really fills that role among those who are here, so it’s going to be a busy night.) Pentagon Jr. is the the guy you need to watch in this match; it probably won’t be about him, but he’ll be where the action is. After running his last two rivals off, Pentagon pulled a strong bully move and picked the smallest guy he could find (Australian Suicide) to harass and destroy. He’s been pretty successful at that. He’s also one half of the mixed tag team champions with Sexy Star (in a Beauty and the Beast type duo), so he’s got enough else going on that he’s not really in consideration for winning this. Will hold up a “O M” hand signal on the way to the ring. It means “Cero Miedo”, No Fear. Wrestles that way.

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Ricochet: there have been multiple Mexicans to use the Mucha Lucha Ricochet character on the indies, but this is the actual US/Dragon Gate Japan Ricochet making a strange cameo. AAA loves bringing in foreigners to TripleMania to make it an international event, but expends no effort in explaining who they are to their casual fans and so it’s all lost on most of the people who are watching. The AAA wrestlers are much more familiar with his work and should be able to put in him spots to make an impression. It’s not impossible he even wins - AAA’s given titles to guest foreigners with no plan in getting it back before.

MATCH 3: Faby Apache © vs Taya Valkyrie for the Reina de Reinas championship

The Reina de Reinas - “Queen of Queens” - championship is AAA’s top women’s title. Faby’s the champion, winning a tournament for the then vacant title. It hasn’t been active much recently. AAA has a decent amount of women employed but not much interest in pushing most of them. This particular feud has been a strong focus going into TripleMania, and probably the best built to match on the show by doing nothing complicated at all. Taya won a #1 contenders match and they’ve faced off in tag matches since. Much like the cruiserweight title, AAA’s not big on holding matches for this one - Faby won it a year and a half ago, and this will be the first televised defense.

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Faby Apache: arguable the best women’s wrestler in Mexico (where that is a prestigious distinction), arguably had the best match in the history of TripleMania (against her sister in a hair match), definitely the most irreplaceable wrestler in AAA. There’s no one else beloved by the crowd the same way who can also have some of the best matches. Faby’s been the #1 woman wrestler here for quite some time, and also the sympathetic relate-able Mexican woman, defending the honor of wrestling against immoral foreigners and Sexy Star. She’s protected as such; even if Faby loses this match, it’s unlikely to be clean.

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Taya Valkyrie: more often just “Taya” of late, Canadian trainee of Lance Storm and one time World Of Hurt star, Canadian who joined AAA as a kind of fallback plan (WWE tryout didn’t go well) but has professionally flourished. Part of the (rapidly dwindling) Perros del Mal faction and partner/BFF to Sexy Star, she’s been on the evil time during her stay. Hasn’t adapted to Mexico’s style nearly as well as countrywoman Blake. Seems robotic and clumsy at times and needs the help of a talented wrestler if she’s going to have a good match. (Faby may be that wrestler.) The promotion loves her look and she’s part of every single press event they hold despite her limited grasp of Spanish. Taya’s easily got the best odds of winning a title on this show - she’s a favorite, and Faby chasing for a rematch gives her something new to do. Has been using the Northern Lights suplex as her finish, and you’ll probably see one at the end of the match.

MATCH 4: Blue Demon Jr., Jeff Jarrett, Electroshock, Averno, La Parka, Chessman, where the loser loses their hair or mask

Semi-thrown together match. Jarrett was penciled into fight someone else on this show, but he’s out with injury. Jarrett instead started a feud with Electroshock on his one appearance in the lead up to this show. Hair match challenges followed, with everyone else also asking in (because they didn’t have much for them on this show.) This is an escape the cage match, where the last person inside will lose their hair or mask. In this distant AAA past, this has involved people not being in the match climbing in the cage during it and being left behind as the loser; AAA’s moved away from that screwjob in recent years.

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Averno: wagering his hair. Long time CMLL evildoer and famous rival of Mistico, jumped here specifically so they could resume those matches. Promotion seems to respect his still high abilities but stopped protecting him in booking rather quick; he’s taken a few direct losses on TV and the specialness of his jump may already be expired. Really has no business being in this match - they didn’t come up with a reason, and he’s fit better against Mistico or in the cruiserweight match. Really shouldn’t be losing his hair in this match - that’s also a really easy Mistico match - but may end up doing for lack of better choice.

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Blue Demon Jr.: wagering his mask, which he will absolutely not be losing. Joined up with AAA as a famous good guy after a very long absence last year, gave Texano Jr. the greatest win of his Heavyweight title run, and has been super protected since that time. Has appeared very infrequently in 2014, much less than AAA would like. Was AAA Latin American champion (think IC title), but lost the title when he didn’t show up for a defense against Chessman back in March. Those two have cut many promos on each other but this will be the first time they’ve fought since. Demon has his moments, and did surprisingly well in all out brawl a few months ago, but this match will not play to his strengths.

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Chessman: wagering his hair. long time AAA rudo; he and Averno are heavyweight/middleweight clones of each other, both talented guys who are so talented at making other people look good that they’ve never got (and never will get) chances to be the man themselves. Definitely programmed with Blue Demon Jr. with that role in mind, but Demon’s non appearance left Chessman with the Latin American title and it’s unclear if they just haven’t gotten around to booking the rematch or don’t totally trust Demon right now. Notorious for willingness to take really stupid falls off the top of cage (and high objects in general); the only way he won’t be doing a dive off the top of the cage in to the ring this match is if he’s being shoved to the floor thru a couple of tables instead. Second most likely to lose, though it’ll definitely be Demon taking the win if it happens.

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Electroshock: wagering his hair. Longtime upper (but never quite top) wrestler in AAA, embraced by fans of the promotion but would not do well separated from his promotion; the years of history here cover up for a clumsy wrestler who’s not particularly good at anything but is willing to bled a whole lot to make up for it. Currently a tecnico, but has gone back and forth many times over the years. Created as mental asylum patient character, which has all been dropped except the Lecter-like facemask he still wears. It looks enough like a mask that some people might consider one, but it’s been treated as a fashion accessory and it’s always his hair that’s on the line in matches such as these. Suddenly feuding with Jeff Jarrett, who’s conspicuously two notches above his level, it appears as if Electroshock was offered a chance to be in a big match on this show as long as he agreed to lose that match. Hinted as bringing in a surprise to counter KarrettJarrett; Electroshock’s talented wife Lady Apache is a free agent and her full time addition to AAA would be the best possible thing to come out of this match.

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Jeff Jarrett: wagering his hair. Famed Bullet Club member, has been dropping in to AAA for big shows for years. Usually feuds with a tecnico over the course of years (and many video taped promos sent in to air on TV), and then is either unavailable when it comes time for the big match to end the feud, or puts in an underwhelming performance. Has shown no sign of being able to deliver in a big match in AAA - either he can’t, or he just don’t care in Mexico - but a lucha cage match doesn’t require a lot of effort. Has stayed over by non-stop race baiting promos (and by him and his wife making sure to feud with the female half of the company’s ownership, ensuring her own time in the spotlight.) Company loves Jarrett because of his fearlessness to say anything and play the Ugly American gimmick to the hilt to stay over - they acknowledge his matches are frequently jokes but feel it doesn’t matter because of the anger he draws from the fans. It’s a character legitimately hated by the crowd, but one which wouldn’t be used in any other promotion. It’d be shocking to see him lose his hair here; it’s something they’d only do for his last ever appearance (if they knew it ahead of time), and there’s no sign of that.

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La Parka: wagering his mask. Not the famous one from WCW, but his understudy from Mexico who became a nearly well known good guy in Mexico. Booked as one of the centerpieces of the promotion in the late 90s thru the mid 00s, but the promotions changed styles and his body has broken down badly. Pretty much wrestles one armed, with the other shoulder injured in a car accident which he’s never completely recovered from. AAA couldn’t imagine not having him around as long as he wants to keep wrestling, but they have no idea what to do with him, which has led to a lot of half completed unsatisfying storyline. Still charismatic, a great comedy wrestler in his day and a good one now, but AAA doesn’t do much comedy nowadays and won’t be doing a lot of that in this match. Much like Jarrett, there’s no chance La Parka will lose this match unless it’s his last match ever with the promotion (and even then, it’d be massively disappointing for him to lose his mask in a match like this.)

MATCH 5: Myzteziz vs el Hijo del Perro Aguayo vs Cibernético vs Dr. Wagner Jr. for the Copa TripleMania XXII

Copa TripleMania is something for this show only which will likely never be mentioned again. It’s really just an excuse to do a four way match with these four guys with something for the winner. These are arguably the four most popular Mexico based wrestlers of the 00s all in the same match for the first time ever (though everyone but Cibernetico previously met up in CMLL.)

Again, AAA multiman matches are usually elimination. It’s possible this one won’t be, because coming up with finishes to beat three of these guys will be near impossible. AAA relies on the double countout frequently in these situations (where the countout is 20, but you can be counted out even if there are other people fighting in the ring.)

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Cibernético: A good guy, but more a long time bad guy who’s was successfully evil for long enough to win over supporters, then became the top hero as a bad boy when he finally switched sides. Always a limited power wrestler who relied more on charisma and muscular look, has become even more limited as time goes by - easily challenged by stairs, resembles Steve Austin only by his use of a Stunner as a finisher and his very obvious knee problems. Did the right thing for the promotion by losing to Hijo del Perro Aguayo in a hair match at least year’s TripleMania, and that feud has continued on as all lucha feuds must. Always possible he’ll be given the win back here.

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Dr. Wagner Jr.: Veteran of a million battles. Appears he may be a good guy, but pretty much wrestles the same way whichever side of the law he’s on. Shockingly returned to AAA a few days ago after a public and a viscous breakup between him and the promotion last year. (It was so bad that, when Dr. Wagner was attacked by a mugger, AAA has to go on the record to officially deny they sent a knife wielding assassin to attack their former employee.) Possibly the most selfish wrestler in all of Mexico, no small achievement, and not well liked by many inside wrestling. They’ve turned that last part into a storyline, with Cibernetico angry at management for bringing back someone who behaved so badly last time. Will frequently elect not to sell anything and bob and wave his head to draw sympathy from the crowd. Totally adored by the fans because of the bobbing and head waving and his post great matches (and past international success) - a fair bit of them believe he’s the best wrestler in the country. Obviously there’s some deal making going on to get Wagner back, and it seems unbelievable he’d be allowed back and given the win, but the rules often don’t apply to Dr. Wagner. Will likely be accompanied by his son, Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr., who’s been mostly living off the name so far.

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El Hijo del Perro Aguayo: son of the most famous unmasked brawler from the previous generation, a charismatic cool brawling heel and long time leader of a group named after him (Los Perros del Mal.) His trademark finishing move is a low blow (sarcastically called the Perro Driver), though he also often uses his father’s double stomp move. Not quite as popular or nearly as good in the ring as he was at the end of the last decade, with personal demons taking his toll on his career and life. Seemed to rebound a bit in the 2013, and AAA put a great deal of faith in him by giving him the big win over Cibernetico last year. Not nearly as good as selling as he was younger, doing the same bit of ignoring what’s going on to fish for reactions as does Wagner. Perro Aguayo versus Myzteziz, hair vs mask, is biggest dream match of the last decade. Neither man are what they were five years ago, but it’s the match which most feels like it could sell out a 50,000 seat stadium if given the proper build. AAA would obviously like to get there, preferably 12 months from now, and this match would be the start of that.

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Myzteziz: the former famous Mistico, the former original Sin Cara. It may be confusing to an outside audience, but the Mexican fans completely understand - this is the guy they all paid lots of money to see during his run, and he’s the guy they’re paying to see now. His disastrous WWE stint has The newness of his return has something to do with it; he’s only been back wrestling full time for about three months. His wrestling is also surprisingly fine; he’s seemed to regain a lot of confidence after being destroyed in WWE, and has had good matches since coming, though nothing yet outstanding. The Myzteziz name is owned by AAA to evade legal issues, but he actually wrestles as “Sin Cara” off TV, and fans still chant that name or Mistico for him. His bad backstage rep still follows him around, however. Has been totally protected in booking since returning and this might be the time where he takes his first loss.

MATCH 6: Psycho Clown vs Texano Jr., mask versus hair.

Psycho Clown will put his mask on the line against Texano Jr.’s hair. Texano Jr. is the AAA heavyweight champion, but the title is not on the line here. Psycho Clown previously challenged twice for that title, losing both times when referees revealed themselves to be crooked and helped Texano to win the match. This has been a key point in the build, but there’s no indication of who the referee will be for this match.

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Psycho Clown: one third of the current AAA Trios champions with the rest of the good guy Psycho Circus (Monster Clown, Murder Clown, often accompanied by mascot Mini Clown.) Very publicly the son of legendary luchador Brazo de Plata (Super Porky); he’s the brother of CMLL exotico Maximo and related to many more in the Mexico wrestling business. Bounced around as various characters early in his career, achieving no success and seemingly headed on a path to obscurity before being cast as Psycho Clown. AAA had great success with a group of wrestling clowns in the mid-90s and had periodically tried to recreate the magic with new clowns. The Psycho Circus were given a lengthy undefeated streak, same as the originals, and eventually became a successful upper level act. Psycho Clown’s single push is an attempt to spin off the most promising wrestler of the group to see if he can be a major star on his own. It doesn’t seem to have quite taken yet, as the promotion itself doesn’t quite convinced of Psycho Clown as a top guy, but this match is the designed to be the final step to get him there. (Setting up a situation where he can beat Texano without getting the title again indicates there’s some reluctance to do just that.) A wild brawler and a willing bleeder (this is a match where both wrestlers and maybe even a referee or two will bleed), he’s needed a distressing amount of smoke and mirrors to get thru his previous singles matches. A mask loss here would be unthinkable to his career; the only purpose of him failing in the previous big matches is so he can come thru this time.

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Texano Jr.: another child of a wrestler (there are 12 of them on this card, which is about average for a major lucha card in Mexico), his father was a famous tag team and supporting wrestler before his early passing. Texano started his full time career in rival promotion CMLL and appeared to be groomed for a top spot. Made the jump to AAA when that top spot was slow to come (and payouts were low) and introduced as leader of the faux-CMLL invading group “El Consejo.” (The many AAA heel groups are all part of the overarching La Sociedad faction, led by non-wrestlers Konnan and Dorian Roldan; the only fellow Consejo member on this show is Texano’s buddy Fantasma.) AAA saw the same potential in Texano, putting the heavyweight title on him in late December 2012. He hasn’t lost it since, though it’s another AAA title reign not as impressive as it sounds. AAA hasn’t totally committed to Texano and avoided putting him over their current top guys, requiring them to instead bring in outside names or elevate midcarders for challengers. Texano’s taken less seriously than he should be enough; this feud with Psycho Clown is supposed to raise Psycho up, but they’re instead both coming off at level below the main eventers. The hope is the aura of the main event of the biggest show of the year will cure those problems, the concern is the fans seeing the previous match as the real main event and tuning out or walking out during this one. (The best way to use Alberto del Rio, who’s the most important guy on the show but can’t actually wrestler on it, is anything that gets fans to pay attention to this match.) Texano’s a strong all arounder who’s good at selling when the time comes for it, and is more than follow his father’s footstep in covering his face in blood to make a match work, but he’s lacked a great singles match since coming over. This needs to be that match, for all the reasons. Texano’s certainly going to lose this match, but he’s got to lose like a champion.

OTHER THINGS: Alberto del Rio, now known as El Patron, will be there. He’s received tremendous media attention in Mexico since his return and AAA will be eager to have him do whatever he’s legally allowed to do. He’s already hinted at challenging Texano Jr. (and showed a fine grasp of AAA storylines to even know Texano is champion.)

AAA briefly mentioned two wrestlers would be announced to join their Hall of Fame, but hasn’t said any more. The official inclusion of Abismo Negro is long over due, but there’s no obvious other person. Octagon, who worked for AAA from Day 1 until this year, could always be brought back for one of the spots.

AAA always promises surprises. All lucha shows promise surprises, but there are very rarely any surprises. This is the day of the year where there’s a better chance for surprises. As in the days of WWF and WCW, there’s always people in one promotion talking about making the move to the other - but in Mexico, both promotions are based in Mexico City (where this show is happening) and it’s much easier legally to make that move. A CMLL wrestler showing up is a possible surprise. 

A TEXT POST

HEY! If you want about a thousand words about what’s next for Alberto Del Rio, I wrote some things over on my blog. Read the whole thing, then read the end part where TNA makes it amusing.

(I’ll probably get around to posting more again here soon.)