It’s time sports fans. On Tuesday we began this trek through the 27 Greatest Triplemania Matches of All Time with matches 27-21. Yesterday we looked at matches 20-11. And now today we will take a look at the ten greatest matches in the history of AAA’s big show, according to yours truly. Are you ready? Are you ready? LET’S BEGIN!
10. Winners vs. Marabunta (Triplemania III-B)
Of all the crazy things that have ever happened in AAA, going from Konnan-Cien Caras and Konnan-Jake Roberts at Triplemania’s I and II-C to a three way series of Apuesta matches involving upper midcarders Winners (Abismo Negro), Super Calo, Ángel Mortal (father of AAA’s current La Parka Negra) and Marabunta is perhaps the craziest. And yet it happened and it worked. The whole concept behind this series was that a mask match would occur at Triplemania’s III-A and B before the two winners would collide in one final match at Triplemania III-C; it was basically an elimination tournament where all but one of these four luchadores would lose their masks. Calo defeated Mortal at Triplemania III-A, leading to this classic. It wouldn’t go down as the best match of the series (we’ll get to that match shortly) and in some ways has been forgotten in recent years, but it’s an appropriately bloody brawl with some great work from Winners and career best work from Marabunta, a guy I’m not sure has been heard of since. The best thing about this match though; it leads into the concluding match at Triplemania III-C. Wait till we get to that one!
9. Aerostar & Drago vs. Andrew Everett & DJZ vs. Bandido & Flamita vs. Golden Magic & Laredo Kid (Triplemania XXVI)
I’m pretty sure if you had put this match at the NXT Takeover that took place on Wrestlemania weekend last year, people would’ve raved about it the same way they raved about the ladder match that actually took place. For my money, this bout is not just better; it’s significantly better and also the best Triplemania match of the last four years. Sure you can quibble about why we needed a ladder match to determine the number one contenders for the AAA Tag Team Championships but you won’t once you see the action. This match is so off the walls great that talented dudes like DJZ, Drago, Golden Magic and the winners (Bandido and Flamita) are overshadowed by such craziness like Andrew Everett’s breathtaking hurricanrana to the floor and Aerostar’s Sunset Flip Powerbomb off a ladder after walking across three other ladders. That’s right; HE WALKED ACROSS THREE OTHER LADDERS! On what has easily been the best Triplemania of the last several years, this was the match that still lingers the most in my mind. It also gets bonus points for being the starting point of Laredo Kid going from “really good luchador who just needs a break” to “potentially the best luchador walking this mortal coil as we speak.”
8. LA Park vs. El Mesias (Triplemania XIX)
When I placed this match 12th on the original Triplemania list a few years ago I wondered if I had placed it too low. Guess what; I absolutely placed it too low!
It’s easy to forget now that he’s kind of broken down that El Mesias was, at one point, one of the best big match luchadores in the world. Fortunately for AAA they figured out the best way to use him at this Triplemania was to put him with another one of the best big match luchadores in the world in LA Park. Surprise surprise they give you exactly what you’d expect and more; spectacle, ultra violence, unforgettable moments (such as a perfect Mesias spear off the top and through a table) and some great high flying moments you wouldn’t expect from two heavyweights. Then again, most heavyweights aren’t LA Park and El Mesias. We’ll see in a few years if I’ve once again rated this match too low, but I can at least rest easy now knowing I’ve corrected my initial mistake and moved this match into the top ten, where it belongs.
7. El Hijo del Santo, Jushin Thunder Liger, Octagón, Tiger Mask III vs. Blue Panther, Eddy Guerrero, La Parka, Psicosis (Triplemania II-B)
The better of the two legendary atomicos matches from the first several Triplemania’s and it’s not even close. As good as the atomicos from Triplemania III-B is, it does suffer from including a lifeless Fuerza Guerrera and a Pentagon who was not quite Pentagon Jr. This match doesn’t have that problem; instead it features a young Eddy Guerrero (back when he still spelled his name with a y) and La Parka on the rudo side (he was a technico a year later) and the dynamic duo of New Japan stars in Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask III on the technico side. The result is nonstop action that is smoother than what it would be a year later, including some breathtaking sequences between Hijo del Santo and Psicosis that just makes you sad more people didn’t get to see those two match up. The only thing this match doesn’t have over its successor is Rey Mysterio Jr., who is admittedly a slightly more exciting performer than Tiger Mask. But beyond that this match is multi-man action at its best. Without question the definitive multi-man match in Triplemania lore, at least for yours truly.
6. Super Calo vs. Winners (Triplemania III-C)
You would think there was no way a Triplemania match could be more underrated than Rey Mysterio vs. Myzteziz. And yet here is Super Calo vs. Winners, a match that is only not in the top five of this list because the top five consists of five matches that aren’t only the five greatest Triplemania matches ever, but five of the ten best AAA matches ever. And yes, for those wondering, this match is also in the top ten, and I’m not sure more than ten people remember it actually happened. It has been lost in time as they say.
In a way it’s not too difficult to see why. Not only did the match occur in a period of AAA where great matches were happening left and right, but it also was the concluding match of a three match series of Apuesta bouts that featured a classic match between Winners and Marabunta. And yet this match is borderline perfect all the same. First it features Antonio Peña throwing the old booking curveball; instead of giving the AAA audience what they expect (Calo or Winners going up against Ángel Mortal or Marabunta to avenge their friend getting unmasked) he puts Calo and Winners against each other and forces two best friends and long time partners to battle for their very identities. And then they give you the exact kind of match they should’ve given the situation. There are no short cuts, there is no backstabbing and there’s notably no blood, something you usually get in big mask matches. Instead you get two friends who never stop being friends despite the raised stakes, while still doing everything they can to protect what is most important to them. The result is a psychologically sound high flying spectacle, an absolute classic and the best match of either Calo or Winners’ careers. And keep in mind that Calo is the same guy that used to hit dives that sent him into the third row of WCW shows while Winners would go onto become Abismo “friggin” Negro. I love this match, and it pains me it can’t get any higher than sixth. That’s how good the top five is.
5. Faby Apache vs. Mary Apache (Triplemania XVI)
In retrospect the only mistake this match makes is that it wasn’t the concluding chapter for the legendary Faby/Billy Boy vs. Gran Apache/Mary Apache story, to this day quite possibly the best angle in AAA history (and it’s so simple; boy and girl meet, fall in love, have to fight against girl’s disapproving family. US rom coms are built on that shit!). Beyond that this match is flawless. It features just the right amount of interference from Gran Apache and Billy Boy (in Mary and Faby’s corners respectively), some weapon grade levels of emotion and some amazingly stiff wrestling from the always hard hitting Apache sisters. It’s basically an AAA match with some strong style and boy does it make me wish AAA went to that well more often. The post match may be even better, when the Apache’s finally bury the hatchet for good in a moving moment that, again, should’ve ended the story instead of going the “let’s turn Billy Boy rudo!” route. That does little to change that this is one of the best Triplemania matches of all time and easily one of the best luchadora matches in the history of lucha libre.
4. Máscara Sagrada vs. Black Cat (Triplemania II-B)
There is one reason and one reason alone this match is only at #4, and that’s because it’s the only match on this countdown I, or anyone else these days, hasn’t seen. Which totally isn’t a big deal at all by the way; it’s not like I’ve been looking for this match for, checks notes, years now. Oh wait; YES I HAVE! Dear Grodd, in a few years my search for this match will qualify for epic status. That’s what happens when something spans years and continents, amirite Logan?
I guess the question now becomes “if you haven’t seen the match, how does is still rank on this list?” Well for one, the match is one of the most critically acclaimed matches of all time. I’m not one to throw Dave Meltzer ratings around but this match did get 4 ¾ stars, the same rating the legendary Atlantis/Villano III match got, and it the clips of it that were available showed that it very much looked like the classic people thought at the time. But the biggest reason it makes the list is because of its ending, a well known tale despite the lack of footage due to Máscara Sagrada, as white meat a technico as there ever was, hitting Black Cat with a Martinete in fall two to get DQ’d. It makes no sense why he’d do that…until you realize Black Cat can’t continue for fall three, thus securing Sagrada the victory in an all time clever conclusion. Perhaps one day this match will actually resurface and we’ll be able to see if it was worthy of top five status or if it should drop down. For now though its reputation and finish is enough to get it this spot. NOW SOMEONE FIND ME THIS MATCH DAMMIT! Otherwise I’m going to have to get to the “lives ruined and bloodshed” part of this epic search.
3. LA Park vs. La Parka (Triplemania XVIII)
If not for a weird ending that features the debut of Perros del Mal and Dorian Roldan going from rudo to technico with little explanation, this match may have been good enough to challenge for the number one spot. Alas this Triplemania XVIII headliner, the long awaited battle between the original La Parka (LA Park) and his successor (La Parka) remains an all timer, and may be the greatest squash match of all time. I say a squash match because this bout is pretty much LA Park taking out nearly two decades of frustration over the fight for his name out own Parka in one of the most righteous, satisfying beat downs in history. There at least two all time great chair shots (Park on Parka and Park on Joaquin Roldan), a ground and pound beat down to start the match, Park slamming a piece of table so hard onto Parka’s head that the debris may have flown into the second row and Park delivering a forearm shiver to Dorian Roldan that Misawa would’ve approved of. This match is so good that even Parka, already on the decline, isn’t that bad when he’s allowed to have a few minutes of offense. But this match isn’t about Parka; it is about one man’s quest for vengeance, with that man just happening to be one of the greatest performers to ever live. As a wise man once told me, for all the controversy surrounding him, at the end of the day he’s f**king LA Park. This is his masterpiece.
2. Perro Aguayo vs. Máscara Año 2000 (Triplemania I)
Konnan vs. Cien Caras was a big reason that Triplemania I put nearly 50,000 people into Plaza de Toros but it only deserves half the credit. The other half goes to this match, an Apuesta battle that seems more out of the golden age of lucha libre than it does modern times. And that’s why it works. This is the type of match that is very short on dives and very much stocked with heat, blood and some tremendous storytelling; in many ways this match is a precursor to the now legendary Trauma I-Canis Lupus match from 2016. Of course that match was missing one major aspect; Perro Aguayo. That’s not to say that Máscara Año 2000 doesn’t hold his own in this match; he’s quite good. But much like how Psycho Clown-Pagano and Dr. Wagner-Máscara Año 2000 Jr. (of all people) showed how special Psycho and Wagner are, this match shows why Perro is one of the greatest luchadores ever. He doesn’t need to do a whole lot of stuff to get a reaction; his facials, his selling, his charisma and his fire are all he needs, and this match is the apex of him putting it all together to create a memorable performance. And as a bonus, AAA fits in a brilliant little storytelling wrinkle Perro falling into a hole after getting DQ’d (falsely) in fall one, only for him to then steal the victory in fall three by committing the same foul he was wrongly accused of committing earlier. Amazing what can happen when you have talents like Perro and Máscara 2000 essaying the ideas of a genius like Antonio Peña huh? I had this match at #4 a few years ago; after some reflection I can’t rate it lower than here and you could make the argument it’s the best Triplemania match ever. There’s just one problem…
1. Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. El Mesias (Triplemania XVII)
This match exists! That’s right sports fans; the match that was named the Greatest Triplemania Match ever in 2017 is still the Greatest Triplemania Match two years later. Hell I’m pretty sure this match will number one on the list for many years to come, unless some other classic comes along in the meantime. Hey you never know; maybe Wagner and Demon will knock this match off on Saturday.
But yes; this is the greatest Triplemania match of all time. It’s a bit odd that the number one match would be a bout for the AAA Mega Championship and not say a high profile mask vs. mask, mask vs. hair or hair vs. hair match. But what separates this match from all the rest is that it has EVERYTHING. Great crowd heat? Check. Big moves? Check. Bloodshed? Check. Cool hardcore violence? Check. The only thing this match doesn’t feature is the one thing it didn’t need to fixture; AAA’s insistence of overbooking. It may have been because AAA had the overbooked AAA vs. La Legión Extranjera cage match to follow, but Wagner and Mesias are allowed to play it straight, and the result is two world class luchadores delivering a 35 minute masterpiece that didn’t need to span years and continents to be epic. The blood did help it though. In the end there’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best match in the history of Triplemania, probably the best match of Mesias’ career that didn’t take place in Lucha Underground and the first great Triplemania performance for Wagner in his first major AAA match. To think this match took place ten years ago, and now on Saturday Wagner will once again be in one of the biggest matches on the show. The more things change the more they stay the same.
There you have it sports fans; the 27 Greatest Triplemania Matches of All Time. I shall now rest up, have some dinner and then preview Triplemania XXVII, in order to see if we’ll have any matches that could be worthy of making the 28 Greatest Triplemania Matches of All Time list next year. Till a few hours from now!
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