It was a big night for wrestling sports fans; AEW Dynamite was great (again!), New Japan’s parent company Bushiroad bought Stardom, NXT apparently had a show (I didn’t watch but I heard decent things) and AAA Lucha Capital returned! Clearly the latter was the biggest story of the night. I kid I kid, but even still it was great to have the AAA competition back after it produced several strong shows and many memorable matches a year ago. If tonight was any indication it looks like the sequel competition will bring more of the same. I’m still not entirely sure how the rules to this thing work (hopefully I’ll have more of a handle on that for you next week) but I know enough to know there are trios teams and each match features a member of said team wrestling two other luchador(a)s in triple threat action, with the winner getting points. As such we got three triple threat matches tonight, with two of them delivering decent matches, one being a little on the iffy side and one being great. With some of the filler from last year cut out, it overall made for an easy to watch, really fun show. Hopefully that will now translate into an easy to read, fun review from yours truly!
Ayako Hamada defeated Hades and Big Mami
If you had told me this match would be the opening match of the new Lucha Capital sports fans I probably would’ve looked at you the same way Michael Corleone looked at Kay when she told him she had an abortion. This is all to say thank Grodd I don’t make these calls because it turned out to be the right call. This was a really good opener sports fans! I kind of thought Big Mami would be out of place here but she fit in well and got the crowd going, and also took many breathers to allow Hamada and Hades to work together. The results there were GREAT! Hades, who has been MIA from AAA for a bit, looked really impressive here, especially on two suicide tornillo dives that really kicked this match into high gear. She was definitely helped by Hamada, who remains really good at pretty much every aspect of the game and was solid throughout. I wouldn’t call this a great match but it was a strong start to the show.
Flamita defeated Willie Mack and Máximo
There are for sure two things I will remember from this night of wrestling. First will be Ortiz screaming “THE BEST!” over and over again like there was a short in his wiring. Second was Willie Mack doing the reverse worm! There’s greatness, there’s transcendence and then there’s Big Willie doing the reverse worm. If AAA cannot get Jack Evans to come in for the final so he and Willie can have a break dancing contest then I’m going to go full Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element.
Sadly this match wasn’t quite as good as the break dancing spot. It was fine and it got better at the end but there was WAY too much comedy at the beginning from Máximo. It’s a shame because Máximo’s act can be entertaining and he can be a fantastic worker, but he pretty much went for all shtick tonight and the shtick didn’t land. AAA luckily went back to just Flamita and Willie at the end and while they’ve each had better nights (their rhythm seemed to be off at times) they did manage to have a few cool spots here and there, and Flamita’s Crucifix Driver at the end was really cool. A fine match but it would’ve been better with fewer minutes and more wrestling than comedy.
Rich Swann defeated Argenis and Niño Hamburguesa
There must be some magic with Hamburguesa and Big Mami tonight. I went into both their matches not all that hyped and exited both their matches pretty impressed! Of course this match was less about Hamburguesa (although he was solid) and more about how well Rich Swann and Argenis worked together. Of all the combos you’d expect to gel, Rich Swann and Argenis would probably be one of the last pairs I’d expect. And yet here they were having some really strong sequences, with Swann providing the thrills while Argenis did some nice basing. This may have been the best example yet of why Argenis going rudo is a good thing; the dude just wasn’t interesting enough as a high flying technico and at least in this role can focus more on being technically sound, which he is good at. It worked tonight with a really talented flyer in Swann as his opposite, and those two, along with Hamburguesa sprinkling some offense in, were enough to deliver in this one. A good match.
Drago defeated Villano III Jr. and Aerostar
This match looked to be the best match of the night on paper. This match had the most buzz as the guys made their entrances. And you’ll never believe this sports fans, but after all that this match wound up being the best thing on this show. Hell it may have been the second best match I saw tonight behind “Stone Cold” Jon Moxley tangling with Kenny Omega and Hangman Page finally getting a response bigger than a golf clap.
Back to this match. It ruled! The only flaw I could see people finding is that there wasn’t a ton of “innovative” dives and Villano III Jr. wasn’t as crazy as usual (how could he be; there were no ramps in the restaurant!). And are those really that big of flaws? Those nitpicks aside this match was just tremendously well worked by all three guys, with plenty of great dives, a really strong pace and moments like when Villano III Jr. hit a TKO on Drago while splashing him onto Aerostar (or was it vice versa?). It was just one of those matches where everything flowed well, everything came off super crisp and everyone looked good. I always enjoy Aerostar but this was definitely one of his stronger performances in recent memory, Drago came off great and Villano III Jr. is a star in the making. It’s comical how much further along he is compared to his brother and he’s the type of guy that American companies should be looking at just as much as a Hijo del Vikingo (even if Vikingo is flashier). This was another sign of big things to come in his future. A terrific main event and a standout match on a night with some great wrestling.
And with that sports fans I’m off to read while simultaneously watching The Good Place. I shall return tomorrow to preview Friday’s CMLL show. TILL WE MEET AGAIN!
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