The first show of AAA’s Lucha Capital competition is in the books and I have a confession to make. Sports fans, I am in love…with the woman wearing the white mask who hosts this whole thing. I don’t know what it is but I’m mesmerized by her. And I have no idea what her name is either! It’s like one of those old Alan Jackson country songs or something. But enough about love or Alan Jackson making his first appearance in a lucha column; you want to know about AAA’s Lucha Capital. Well through night one, I’m here to tell you it looks to be a whole lot of fun. There were Lucha Underground style musical performances, Máximo arm wrestling a dude, fans flocking to luchadores like they were the second coming of Black Parade era My Chemical Romance, and four matches that ranged from decent to “my Grodd, AAA is serious about making this competition work!” And frankly that’s the biggest take away from this first show; AAA is serious about making Lucha Capital a good time for all. Sure they could’ve had LA Park arm wrestle the fan instead of Máximo, but hey; no one’s perfect. Especially me, which you’ll see in this review. Let’s get it started.
Vanilla (3) defeated La Hiedra (0)
You know it’s a good night when the weakest match of the bunch still turns out to be better than you expected. I don’t know if I’d say this was a good match but I wouldn’t roll my eyes at someone making the argument. This match was further proof of how far along La Hiedra is. She’s so much better, so much smoother than she was a year ago and she did a really good job leading this match. I get the feeling that with a really strong opponent she could have a break out performance of sorts. That wasn’t going to happen with Vanilla, but she got as much out of her as anyone has. Credit should go to Vanilla too for stepping up her game. She didn’t mess anything up, had a cool running senton off the apron and even broke out a second rope tornillo. In the words of Fox Mulder during the first X-Files series finale, maybe there’s hope. In any event, this was a solid opener.
Pagano (3) defeated Taurus (0)
Boy do I need to figure out what Pagano’s secret is. The dude came out and suddenly it was like Beatle mania; or at the very least that scene from EDtv when Matthew McConaughey goes to seal the deal with Elizabeth Hurley.
It’s quite frankly amazing Pagano is over as he is considering his limitations. They were on full display here, along with his usual high effort that just never seems to affect his skill. This wasn’t a bad Pagano performance, especially in comparison to Copa Antonio Peña and Taurus was indeed a big help, basing well for him (Pagano’s not hitting a Volador Spiral flush with anyone else) and throwing in some of his own impressive stunts. But even still you could tell the match was a bit of a struggle because Pagano’s body just won’t do what his mind is coming up with. Well that and the fact that no weapons were allowed on this match (or this show. Between the lack of weapons, DQ’s, run ins and overbooked finishes this was a very non AAA show). Maybe if they had gotten to go in that direction this could’ve been better. Alas it was a normal match and it was fine, but nothing more.
Psycho Clown (3) defeated Murder Clown (0)
In the words of Dennis Green, this was what we thought it be (AND WE LET ‘EM OFF THE HOOK!). There were two exceptions though; this match wasn’t the main event and it didn’t get nearly as much time as anticipated. In fact, Psycho and Murder pretty much got the same amount of time as the two other undercard matches; that’s not something you see every day when Psycho is involved. Even still they made this work overall. Both guys were trying hard, both got to do really impressive things and the crowd was into it the entire way thanks to Psycho (though I was surprised to see Murder not get much love. But that may just be my fandom for the guy talking). Again, I wonder if it may have benefited from a little more violence but given the circumstances I thought they did the best they could. Solid match and I anticipate they’ll each have a better bout in stage two with someone who fits their styles better.
Pentagon Jr. (3) defeated Puma King (0)
They got it right sports fans. Not only did AAA give Pentagon and Puma the main event, but they were sure to clear nearly fifteen minutes for the two to work with. By the end of those fifteen minutes I was pumping my fist and desperately trying to determine whether it or Killshot vs. Son of Havoc was the best match I saw tonight.
The verdict; it was the mask match. It just had more stakes you know? Even still this match was a worthy second place. The crowd was molten hot for both guys (and they weren’t into Puma at the start; goes to show you how great he is) and Pentagon and Puma rewarded them with the type of effort you’d expect from a stadium show, not one in a BBQ restaurant. There were dives, Package Piledrivers on the apron, Sunset Flip Powerbombs (or variations of them), great near falls. The only flaw this match had was a tiny slip Pentagon had trying to hop the ropes, and they recovered from that so quickly it didn’t matter. It’s exactly what you’d want and expect from two guys of this caliber. I think we all knew Pentagon and Puma could do it; the only questions were a) whether AAA would give them the opportunity to do so and b) whether the crowd (which has been fickle with internet favorites this year) would accept them. AAA gave them the ball, the crowd loved both guys and the match delivered in spades. A tremendous performance from both Puma and Pentagon, another victory for Pentagon over a Puma and, most importantly, a great sign that AAA will be taking these matches seriously going forward with the competition. It now just comes down to them booking exciting matches like this one. Silly me, I’m optimistic after tonight.
There you have it sports fans. As you can see, Pagano, Pentagon, Psycho Clown and Vanilla are all in good shape to make the Grand Final after just one night, while La Hiedra, Murder Clown, Puma King and Taurus are, like the Cleveland Browns, in trouble. Who’s up next? We’ll have to wait to find out. For now though I’m off to sleep, but tomorrow I’ll rise again with a CMLL preview. TILL THEN!
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