EDITOR’S NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Lucha Central and Masked Republic.
I ain’t going to sugar coat it sports fans; it is really, REALLY late as I type this. It was a long day for me today and it would’ve been really easy at 10 p.m. to have just decided it was time to relax, play some NBA 2K22 and call it a night. But in the words of Lee Corso, NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS! AAA Rey de Reyes is tomorrow night, live of FITE TV, and that means two things; a preview must be done and the Luchabag must make its triumphant return to answer questions that I totally didn’t spend the afternoon making up! And that’s how I have wound up here in the early hours of the morning, water bottle in hand, Corrin Tucker in my ears and lucha libre on my mind. So let’s not waste any more time. It’s time! It’s time! IT’S LUCHABAG TIME!
So how will the world react when it’s time for the Rey de Reyes match and the Codeman walks out as the Luchador Sorpresa?
-K. Thrace, Galactica
And we’re coming in hot! Let’s be clear about one thing sports fans; there is no way, and I mean no way, that Cody Rhodes is leaving AEW to come to AAA. The dude is going to go to his millions in WWE, live and die by the whims of Vince McMahon and that’s all there is too it. Everybody got that? Good. That being said, if “wrestling has more than one…Royal Family” is heard at the start of the Rey de Reyes tomorrow, I would fall on my ass laughing so hard you’d be able to hear my laughter and the thunk from my ass in Veracruz. Granted part of that is because I’m not sure anyone in Veracruz is a big fan of the Codeman, but still. It be funny. It’s not happening, but it be funny.
How soon till Cody Rhodes vs. Travis Banks in Arena Naucalpan?
And I think we’ve reached our quota of Cody questions! And most certainly are quota on Travis Banks questions. Take a memo kids; don’t be an (alleged) abusive dick/sexual predator. It will lead to nothing good, like disgrace and getting dropped on your head by Alpha Wolf and Dragon Bane in Arena Naucalpan. NEXT QUESTION!
What more can CMLL do to guarantee the Worst Promotion award from the Wrestling Observer in 2022?
-H.P., Swan Point
A timely question given that CMLL sucks so bad right now that they a) lost the Worst Promotion Award to WWE in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards and b) lost it in a landslide. The only thing worse than being worst is being so thoroughly forgettable that everyone forgets your the dirt worst. Ask the kid who played Anakin in The Phantom Menace, he’ll tell you.
So yeah; basically CMLL needs to get on a bigger platform that enough people see how bad the product is now that they have no choice but to vote it ahead of WWE. And sadly that’s not going to happen as long as CMLL continues to do shows that air either nowhere or on Ticketmaster. In other words, they’re doomed to be second worst for forever until they either get good again or become average enough that they just drop out of sight. Sorry CMLL. I mean if you’re still desperate to get that award, you can always try firing all your talent and doing shows in Saudi Arabia. I hear that gets you on people’s bad side.
If Andrade is El Nuevo Presidente, does that make Charlotte La Nueva Primera Dama?
In the words of Buffy Summers and every stoner character in film history, DUH! I mean Andrade is El Nuevo Presidente of the AHFO as we all know, and Charlotte is his significant other, so that thus makes her the First Lady, aka La Nueva Primera Dama! What more do you need to know, besides when Charlotte will finally be leaving WWE to join Andrade in AEW? The answer; how the hell should I know?! We’ll find out when the Codeman leaks out all the WWE contract information that Tony Khan sent him in to get.
What’s more likely; LA Park vs. Rush, mask vs. hair in the next two years, Peacock’s Teddy Hart documentary being completed or the release of the Mascara Sagrada-Black Cat match from TripleMania II-B?
Why do you toy with me readers? YOU KNOW HOW LONG I HAVE WAITED FOR THE MASCARA SAGRADA-BLACK CAT MATCH TO SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY! Now you put me in position to say it will happen before other things that have a very strong chance of not happening? For shame! Alas I do have to say it’s most likely because Good Grodd peeps, do you see the other options? I would absolutely love to see LA Park vs. Rush in that mask vs. hair match we’ve all dreamed of, but I have no faith it will happen; no indie promotion can afford it, no American promotion is stepping in to do it, CMLL has proven they wouldn’t do it even if both Park and Rush were willing to go back there (they aren’t) and AAA doesn’t seem interested. Ergo, until I see otherwise, Park vs. Rush is like Atlantis vs. El Hijo del Santo; an awesome Apuesta match that exists only in an alternate reality much cooler than this one. As for the Teddy Hart documentary on Peacock, news of which broke today, all I can say is this; COME ON! Do you really think Peacock is going to allow that thing to air once they see the footage/hear the talking heads discuss Teddy? Say what you will about Sagrada and Black Cat being lost in parts unknown, but there’s at least a shot in the dark of finding it. The Teddy Hart doc, as hysterical as it would be to view it, is going to disappear once Peacock execs see what they have. It’ll be the scene in Spaceballs where they watch the “ludicrous speed” scene all over again.
If the different eras of AAA were punk bands, what bands would they be?
-The Man From Another Place, Another Place
A most excellent question, as Bill Preston Esq. and “Ted” Theodore Logan would say. And an easy one to answer too! The punk band that best represents AAA’s golden age (1992-1995) is Sleater/Kinney, 1996 to 2006 is The Swellers, 2007 to 2015 is AFI and 2018 to present is 2000 to present Green Day. Sleater represents the golden age because, like Sleater, the AAA golden age was perfect; there’s a banger every which way you turn, everything is running smoothly; it’s just perfect. The Swellers are the post golden age period in that, like that period, they’re very underrated, they had some rough spots but produced several great moments and they left us too soon, much like Antonio Pena when he died in 2006. AFI represents 07 to 15 (the Konnan era) in that they started off strong, seemed to be heading for a breakthrough (The Art of Drowning is AAA starting Lucha Underground and making US in roads in 2014) and then they fizzled out with that dumb electronica stuff (no Miss Murder, I will not) and TripleMania XXII. And finally new millennium Green Day best encompasses the modern in AAA in that they put a strong effort when no one noticed (Warning, the beginning of the second Konnan era in 2018), fired on all cylinders soon after (American Idiot, AAA in 2019), cooled a bit afterwards (post American Idiot Green Day, COVID AAA) and now the future is kind of unknown. I think that sums it up pretty well right? Oh, I almost forgot; the Vampiro Era of AAA (2016 to 2017) is the Adam Graves Misfits, in that they’re both raging tire fires you’d want to forget but can’t because life blows.
What can we expect from the AAA Mega Championship Match?
-Pep, Mexico City
I’ll go into it more when previewing the match itself but the short answer; flips. Lots and lots of flips. Johnny Mundo is into that parkour stuff so you know he likes the flips, and who does flips better than Hijo del Vikingo these days? So yes; many a flip will happen this match, all while Flip Gordon watches at home, knowing it could be him who was flipping if he wasn’t too busy getting hot and bothered by this new Control Your Narrative promotion. You’d think the US would be able to avoid having its own version of the Robles promotion, and yet here we are!
On a scale from one to JERRY ESTRADA IS LOSING CONTROL OF THE COUGAR, how badly did Mascara Dorada fuck up by going back to CMLL?
See this is tough right here. On the one hand I’m tempted to say he really fucked up because a) Dorada had a ton of options available to him beyond CMLL that he now won’t be able to take because he’s going back at some point and b) it’s freaking CMLL! Did you not see the question about them earlier?! Superman, 2003 Jean Sebastien-Giguere, 1970’s Francis Ford Coppola, Giannis and an in his prime El Santo could walk in there right now and CMLL would find a way to bore them out of the promotion or would have them losing to Nitro in the Tuesday opening match. It’s that bad!
And yet…I must admit I get Mascara Dorada’s point of view. CMLL is his home; he spent the bulk of his career there and while he deserved a better push than what he got, he was treated far better there than his six year stint in WWE honing his FIFA skills. Working CMLL allows him to work New Japan when he wants, it’s comfortable and he certainly has a better chance of being a star in CMLL now given CMLL’s in such dire straits, the band Dire Straits is thinking of changing its name (that may be the worst joke I’ve ever uttered in one of these. I’m so proud!). Would I have preferred he stuck to the US indies doing crazy cool dream matches, picking New Japan Strong spots up and maybe working AAA here and there? Sure, and in the long run that may have been better for him. At the same time, as bad as CMLL is, it can’t be any worse than what he was doing in WWE. So ultimately I only think he fucked up a little bit. This will surely not come back to bite me or Dorada in the ass two years from now when we learn that he did, in fact, fuck up a ton not going the other way. But that’s two years from now!
Alright seriously; who do I have to get violent with in order to get Ludark Shaitan booked on a major wrestling show?!
-Luisa, Nuevo Paraiso
Believe me; if I had the answer to that, I’d be running one of these lucha promotions right now and Ludark would be a multi-time champion. I guess it just goes to show you; lucha extrema can advance your career, but only if you’re a male. If you’re a female, it’s either enjoy the indies or change your name to Sadika. And it’s not like Ludark just does death match wrestling either; she worked normal matches in IWRG a ton not too long ago and can’t get booked there either. I guess they needed to save money for Travis Banks. You know, because when you have the opportunity to book an (alleged) creep who even WWE was like “whoa dude, you need to go”, you have to do it.
You’re in charge of AAA. You have the power to layout this upcoming TripleMania XXX mask vs. mask tournament. What happens?
-Laura, Silas University
So glad you asked! This is real simple; the first round in Monterrey ends with Rayo de Jalisco Jr., Ultimo Dragon, Villano IV and Canek winning and Pentagon Jr., Blue Demon Jr., LA Park and Psycho Clown skulking into the semi’s. Part of it is definitely because Rayo getting his revenge on Blue Demon Jr. for Blue Demon Sr. unmasking Rayo Sr. 33 years ago (in Monterrey no less), but also because, let’s be real, Psycho, Pentagon, Demon and Park are all better workers than the other four and I’m looking for both big box office and good to great matches with this tournament. Those four give me that. From that point, Pentagon and Demon win in the semi’s and the big mask match in October is LA Park vs. Psycho Clown. What could be bigger; it’s the biggest modern day lucha libre star vs. the biggest (and best) lucha legend in the game right now. The only match bigger than this for either guy is Park vs. Rush and again, I don’t believe we’re getting that. So why not go with this one? It’ll be a spectacle, it’ll be a phenomenal brawl and either guy can lose the mask with no issue; Psycho losing it would be fine and Park could then move on to the hypothetical Rush match, while Park losing would be fine and would solidify Psycho’s reputation even more. The only thing coming close to matching that is if Canek were to go to the finals and lose his mask, and given that Canek is now older than the Mayan warrior he was named after, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. So yeah; Psycho vs. Park is the way I’d go. Knowing the real world, AAA will probably go with Park vs. Rayo, Psycho vs. Rayo or someone else vs. Rayo and I will just have to find some way to go on. Thank goodness for Pepsi and video games, amirite?!
Level with us; how cash money from Peacock is Big Kev Kleinrock getting to appear in that Teddy Hart doc?
-D. Dude, SoCal
Come on now peeps. We all know that Lucha Central overlord, Wrestling Society X founder and overall gentlemen and scholar Kevin Kleinrock would never lower himself to selling out for Peacock’s money. Not to mention; can they even pay him the money? They’re losing money faster than Matt Murdock in the first few panels of Daredevil: Born Again. So yeah; Kleinrock ain’t doing it. Now Mr. Money III on the other hand? Different story. That cat knows where all the bodies are buried and he’ll sing for the right price. You can book that.
And on that note, I think it’s time to get to that Rey de Reyes preview! Hit me with the matches nonexistent crew of lackeys!
Arez & Chik Tormenta (Los Vipers) (c) vs. La Hiedra & Villano III Jr. (Los Mercenarios) vs. Octagon Jr. & Sexy Star II for (maybe) the AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championships: Actually come to think of it, I’m not sure this match is for the AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championships! Did AAA ever announce that it was…checking quick…they did not! Alas the champs are still in this match, so we’ll go with them making it a title match at the last minute in classic AAA fashion. There will be a lot of action, there will be some Villano III Jr. and Octagon Jr. beefing, Villano III Jr. will surely do something that makes Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara’s suicidal efforts from Wednesday night look tame and Arez and Chik Tormenta will do stuff that reminds you why they are just that damn good. One thing that won’t happen though; La Hiedra and Villano III Jr. breaking their 0-12 record when teaming in tags or trios matches. Sorry guys; there’s always TripleMania XXX-A, B or C! Winners: Arez & Chik Tormenta.
Mr. Iguana, Nino Hamburguesa and Willie Mack vs. Abismo Negro Jr., Latigo and Psicosis II (Los Vipers): What happens when two psychos and one great wrestler with a whip meet three fun loving bros that just like to have fun? A combination of violence, getting down and Mr. Iguana’s sidekick Yezka frustrating opponents before getting launched like Isiah Kassidy when Keith Lee comes around.
In any event, this should be fun, entertaining match that’s pretty important for Los Vipers. They’ve lost a lot in matches that don’t involve Arez and Chik Tormenta teaming together, and while Cibernetico’s return is a shot in the arm, they eventually do need to win matches. Iguana, Hamburguesa and Big Willie are all great and all over to various degrees, but they can honestly afford to take a loss here and should. Whether Negro Jr., Latigo and The Artist Formerly Known as Ripper can do so will say a lot about how AAA sees this new version of one of their most famous acts. Winners: Abismo Negro Jr., Latigo and Psicosis II
Flammer vs. Lady Maravilla vs. Lady Shani vs. Luchadora Sorpresa, winner becomes #1 contender for Deonna Purrazzo’s Reina de Reinas Championship: Let’s be real sports fans; you can’t say for sure because it’s wrestling and anything can happen, but if the surprise luchadora here isn’t Taya, I’m eating Kleinrock’s hat at Expo Lucha this summer. The only other option is Faby Apache, and frankly that’s a bit boring by AAA standards. Taya is free and clear to appear on this show, she’s still arguably the biggest female star in AAA despite not wrestling there for over a year and oh yeah, her husband just happens to be headlining the show. Add it all up and, like Neo, she is the one. It also doesn’t hurt that it would mean we finally get some Taya-Lady Shani, student vs. teacher sequences that I’ve long been waiting for, which can only benefit a match involving a strong prospect in Flammer, one of AAA’s best overall luchadoras in Marvilla and the divisions best technical wrestler in Shani. So yeah; the surprise should be Taya, and even if it’s not, it makes the most sense for the surprise to win this match anyway and then go on to face Purrazzo at AAA’s WrestleCon event WrestleMania weekend. Only another hint that the surprise will be the obvious! Winner: Luchadora Sorpresa (who will more than likely be Taya)
DMT Azul, Puma King and Sam Adonis (La Empresa) vs. El Hijo de LA Park, LA Park and LA Park Jr. (La Familia Real) vs. Cuatrero, Forastero and Sansón (Nuevo Generación Dinamitas, aka NGD): I’m sensing trouble here sports fans. La Empresa is a group of invaders from CMLL. Cuatrero, Forastero and Sanson are former top CMLL stars that mysteriously left there for AAA round the same time La Empresa popped up. They’ve both worked together some in the past recently, and now just happen to be in the same match as the Parks. Why does it feel like LA Park and sons are like George Clooney and co. in that O Brother, Where Art Thou? scene?
The only solace I guess for Park and the Baby Parks it that they love a challenge, they love violence and they’ll sure as hell get it here, regardless on whether they’re at a two team to one disadvantage or if La Empresa and the Dinamitas decide to fight each other. I could see it going either way there, and while I’d prefer it just be three teams going at it, the match can work either way. It’ll be a test for the Dinamitas, who remain as set in their ways as ever, and for DMT Azul, who remains as “eh, he’s alright” as ever. In the end though Puma King and Sam Adonis rule, the Dinamitas are capable and if anyone can get them to try hard, it’s the force of nature that is LA Park. And if nothing else, the Baby Parks do a hell of a job going along of the ride when dad is on (and they can be good too!). This could be a good match, it could be a catastrophe; either way it’ll be watchable! And that’s before you get into Los Mercenarios seeking revenge against La Empresa for what they did to La Hiedra (to set up a future Trios Title match next month), or the possibility of more CMLL defectors arriving! Winners: La Empresa.
Bandido vs. Cibernetico vs. Laredo Kid vs. Psycho Clown vs. Luchador Sorpresa for the AAA Rey de Reyes: This is three great luchadores, a surprise and Cibernetico, who hopefully will be spending the majority of this match outside selling in between hitting one or two big moves. That’s really what the match comes down to. Cibernetico is certainly still over enough to be a star, but he’ll even tell you he was (Immortan Joe voice) mediocre on his best day, and his best day was before Titanic was a twinkle in James Cameron’s eye. If AAA can limit him, let Bandido, Laredo Kid and Psycho Clown (legit three of the best performers in lucha libre today) do their thing and not have a total dud of a surprise, this match could be great. As to who the surprise is? Beats me. Demonic Flamita, Rey Horus and Rush are all free and either Dragon Lee or Dralistico could be too if there is indeed a change to the next match. Really as long as it’s someone of greater quality than La Mascara or Alberto El Patron, the match should be fine. Winner: Psycho Clown.
Fenix & Pentagon Jr. (The Lucha Brothers) vs. Dragon Lee & Dralistico (La Faccion Ingobernables): This match is in serious jeopardy of taking place given that Fenix is still only a month removed from that gruesome injury he suffered on AEW Dynamite. AAA, in typical fashion, hasn’t mentioned anything yet, so we’re all just guessing until show time what will happen. In the end there’s three scenarios; Fenix is fine and the match goes forward, Fenix can’t go and someone replaces him, or Fenix can’t go and AAA does Pentagon vs. Dragon Lee or Pentagon vs. Dralistico. Any of the scenarios work; it’s just a question of when. Ultimately if this match doesn’t take place I think it may be a blessing in disguise; AAA is still yet to do the latest rematch in the never ending Lucha Brothers-FTR saga, and this match being postponed till Fenix is healthy allows AAA to do Lucha Brothers-FTR, get the AAA World Tag Team Titles back on Fenix and Pentagon and then do this tag match, for the titles, as always planned. I guess we’ll see. In any event the main points remain the same regardless of scenario; the action has a chance to be great and Dralistico has all the pressure in the world to live up to the world class talent that is Pentagon, Fenix and Dragon Lee. If he shows little here, you can look forward to seeing him teaming with La Mascara in Robles by next month. Winners: Dragon Lee & Dralistico
Hijo del Vikingo (c) vs. John Hennigan (aka Johnny Mundo) for the AAA Mega Championship: Nearly five years ago at the 2017 edition of Rey de Reyes, then AAA Latin American Champion Johnny Mundo defeated El Hijo del Fantasma and Texano Jr. to win the AAA Mega Championship and AAA World Cruiserweight Championship, becoming the first man to hold all three titles at the same time. Ten months later in his last AAA match, Mundo lost the AAA Mega Championship to Dr. Wagner Jr. Now four years later, Mundo returns under his real name, John Hennigan, fresh off a disappointing WWE run, to challenge for the title he won at this event five years ago. He faces the 24 year old sensation Hijo del Vikingo, who at the time Mundo first ruled AAA was breaking into the promotion as part of the La Llave a la Gloria competition, and has since scratched and clawed his way to AAA Mega Championship glory and international recognition. Now if only he could get a work visa to work outside of Mexico.
As I said earlier, this match will feature a lot of flips. It’s also a match where both men have a lot to prove. After spending three years being a glorified midcarder, Hennigan has a chance to show people he hasn’t lost a step AND remind fans why he gained so much recognition for his performances in AAA, Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling not that long ago. Meanwhile Vikingo, making his third Mega Championship defense, gets his first main event singles match against a well known US star and a shot at proving AAA was right for trusting them with their top title. No pressure at all on either guy! I suppose it’s fair to question if Hennigan has lost a step, but I’m inclined to believe that his disappointing WWE run had more to do with Vince McMahon being out to lunch that the former Johnny Mundo losing a step. He has a point to prove, Vikingo has a point to prove and this match has a great chance of being an absolute show stealer. That frankly is the intrigue of this match as opposed to the result; John Hennigan may be great, but Vikingo is AAA’s present and future, and he’s got a match with Kenny Omega looming on the horizon once the AEW star is good to go again. Winner: Hijo del Vikingo.
There you have it sports fans. I will see you tomorrow night for a review of this Rey de Reyes show, which will hopefully knock our socks off and make my job easier. Please make my job easier AAA. TILL WE MEET AGAIN!
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