I feel like people say this a little too often these days but screw it; it truly is an exciting time to be a fan of lucha libre. There seems to be great lucha matches from the Mexican indie circuit popping up every day. CMLL doesn’t suck (and in fact is often quite good, provided Arena Puebla isn’t involved). AAA looks to be on the rise again thanks to the return of an old friend. Pentagon Jr. is now the champion for both the highly lucha influenced Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground, which a little more than a month from returning. And of course you can now keep track of all these happenings…RIGHT HERE, ON LUCHA CENTRAL! Sorry; had to keep the cheap plug in. But even with all that Infinity War style hype surrounding lucha libre right now, there’s one thing that I can’t stop thinking about over everything, the “Who is John Galt?” of lucha if lucha was like a shitty novel written by a shitty person; what is MAD? And no I don’t mean the emotion you feel when someone takes the last Sunkist out of the fridge.
If you were to ask the numerous lucha experts that question, you’re going to get one of two answers. The first answer; MAD, or Masters Asociation Destruction, was/is a rudo stable born in the Monterrey based promotion Promociones MDA. Or as the kids call it, MDA…they just drop the Promociones I guess. The group (clearly named as a play on the promotion it began in) was/is led by lucha libre legend Konnan and rounded out by the likes of former AAA stars Juventud Guerrera, Kevin Kross, El Zorro and everyone’s least favorite luchadora Sexy Star, with the goal of causing chaos within MDA (another worker named El Divo has recently been added). The second answer is pretty much the same thing, only if you swapped out MDA for AAA. That’s because MAD debuted just last week at AAA’s Tijuana show, laying out a bunch of lower card wrestlers early in the show before putting Dr. Wagner Jr., Vampiro, Hernandez and El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. after the main event. Gone were Sexy and Zorro, possibly in was Konnan (it’s murky; don’t ask) and definitely in was new member Teddy Hart and founding members Kross and Guerrera, with The Juice seemingly playing the role of leader/spokesperson. Those, if you’re looking only on the surface, explains MAD.
Except it doesn’t. Not for me at least. Sure technically MAD is that group with those people that will surely grow to include more luchadores as time goes on. Excellent; I look forward to seeing who else will make up the ranks of the stable. But defining MAD as just a group of luchadores is like saying the Golden State Warriors are a basketball team with Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson; that’s absolutely true but it doesn’t tell you why they’re special and why they’re so unique compared to the rest of the teams in the NBA. That’s why I haven’t been able to get the concept of MAD out of my head ever since Teddy, Kross and Juvy revealed themselves in Tijuana just a week ago. I know who the group is, but now I want to know what they are. What is the goal AAA and Konnan want to accomplish with this group? What should we as lucha fans want for MAD to be? Perhaps I’m guilty of caring a little too much about yet another stable coming into AAA, but let’s be real, how can you not be when this is the first time AAA has shown signs of life since Infinity War was just a twinkle in Marvel’s eye? I’m dying to see what’s next and to know what exactly this stable could mean for AAA and lucha libre as a whole. And so that leads us back to the question this column is asking and the potential answers to said question. What is MAD? I’m no genius but I think (or hope) it’s something along these lines.
1). MAD is the next in the long line of AAA rudo stables looking to destroy the promotion. Any lucha fan who’s watched AAA for more than a minute knows that evil stable vs. AAA establishment is one of the promotion’s favorite tropes, along with bloody, overbooked main events and pushing Imposter La Parka no matter how much I complain. In the past decade alone AAA had to fight against the forces of La Sociedad, Perros del Mal and, my personal favorite, La Legión Extranjera in long term storylines for control of the promotion. Even Los Gringos Locos, despite not being a traditional invading type stable, had elements of them vs. AAA during the promotion’s glory years. Put all of that together, plus the fact that MAD involves two prime members of La Legión (Konnan and Teddy) and it’s pretty easy to see how MAD could be along the same lines. And by the way, that’s a good thing! Los Gringos Locos vs. AAA and La Legión vs. AAA were two of the more entertaining long term angles AAA ever produced, while La Sociedad and Perros del Mal vs. the promotion, despite being a lesser La Legión, was pretty successful too for a time. In the wake of the humdrum product AAA has given us prior to Tijuana, MAD trying to overthrow AAA through chaos would be both an entertaining improvement. The only downside; it wouldn’t be as good as I believe the other answer would be, which is…
2). MAD has arrived to SAVE AAA. I’ll admit this is something I’ve thought about a little too much while listening to A Day to Remember songs but hear me out. I’m sure it’s not lost on people that MAD, as presently constructed, is made up of not just former AAA stars but AAA stars that were jettisoned from the promotion quite notably. It wasn’t even a year ago Kross looked to be a rising monster rudo for the promotion until they promptly stopped using him, leading to his departure. The notorious Hart hasn’t appeared for AAA since 2012 for a laundry list of reasons. Juvy hasn’t been seen since 2014. And dear Grodd I don’t think we need to relive the whole reason for Konnan and AAA’s divorce again, do we? There weren’t just run of the mill dudes who made a few appearances for AAA and then disappeared; they were all important in their own way, and in the case of Juvy and Konnan they were influential in making AAA, in my opinion, one of the greatest promotions on planet earth back in the early 90’s. This isn’t just another promotion those two guys worked for. For Konnan this is the place he created; for the Juice, it’s the place he came from.
So with ties that personal to AAA, why does this have to be the regular run of the mill invasion? Why, instead of coming to destroy AAA in a chaotic Fury Road style sandstorm, can’t MAD come in to rescue/liberate AAA? Instead of being rudos MAD could be…I don’t want to say full blown technicos but at least could be popular anti-hero tweeners. It would’ve even be that hard considering what has happened with AAA over the past few years. It doesn’t take a genius to see that many lucha libre fans (especially those north of the border) blame AAA’s management and current front office (i.e. Vampiro) for the problems that have fallen upon the company, all while longing for better days. As such is doesn’t make it a stretch to make Vamp (who is remaining in AAA as an agent and onscreen character) and some of the loyal AAA workers who stuck around somewhat villainous, the ones responsible for “deforming” the AAA we all once loved who MAD has now come to wrestle power away from.
If you look at the history of “invading” stables in wrestling, all of them had their own niche despite being similar in structure. Los Gringos Locos was about American arrogance against Mexican pride. The nWo was about a rival organization initiating a hostile takeover. La Legión was about driving AAA into anarchy. The Nexus was young wrestlers trying to usher in a new era while removing the old. La Sociedad/Perros del Mal tried to take things down from the inside. The Shield was about restoring justice. All of them had their own special traits that separated from the others and made them successful. Of course they all had one thing in common; all these invading stables were heels or rudos, despite a certain coolness factor to them (sure The Shield eventually turned face but that was long after the initial debut). That’s why this second answer, this second option for what MAD could be appeals to me so much. They’d have their own quality in the fact that they’re former AAA luchadores coming back to take what they feel was stolen from them. The difference is they would be in the right and that the fans would want it to happen. It’s the sort of innovative twist missing from wrestling these days, the thing M. Night Shyamalan had, then lost then found again with Split.
Then there’s this. I’ve had two visions in my head regarding this MAD stable, two visions that will more than likely never happen, which of course makes me want them to happen even more. The first is Juvy, in all his Juicy glory, coming to the ring on the shoulders of Kross ala Prince Devitt during his Bullet Club days while a rad hard rock/metal song (either Dio’s “Holy Diver” or Rage’s cover of “How I Could Just Kill a Man”) blasts over the loudspeaker. That doesn’t really matter that much in the grand scheme of things; I just thought the visual was rad. The second was of Vampiro standing in the ring at the end of Verano de Escandalo (AAA’s next big event in June), staring down the new AAA Mega Champion who has ties to MAD. Suddenly the lights go out…then they come back on and Vamp finds himself surrounded outside the ring by dozens of luchadores clad in MAD’s trademark smiley faced masks. One luchadore climbs into the ring and stares at Vampiro for a second, a cane in hand. And then the angle climaxes with all the luchadores around the ring unmasking to reveal many a former AAA star that the promotion ran off for whatever reason. Pentagon, Fenix, Taya, Mundo, Jack Evans, Juvy, Teddy, Kross, Brian Cage; whoever is available and whoever AAA could get, they should be there. All of it leads to Konnan revealing himself as the leader, then hammering Vampiro with his cane to issue…well it’s not the first shot because Juvy, Kross and Teddy already did that, but like the second or third shot to announce the start of this war. I know this won’t happen, but that shot, in the way it perfectly brings things full circle both in a kayfabe and real life sense…it lingers with me. It makes me excited for what this angle could be.
I’m sure there’s more than those two answers for what MAD is, but dammit those are the ones that appeal to me. Yes even the first one; the second answer is definitely the one I’d do, but there’s absolutely no problem at all if MAD becomes a high quality rudo stable that ultimately gets overthrown by Psycho Clown. Hell it wouldn’t even be the end of the world if MAD became just another stable in the AAA landscape, with exciting matches and simple yet effective storylines taking center stage instead. But man the potential I see here…it’s enormous. Not just because it could be an amazing angle but because it’s got everything I want as a lucha fan. As someone who grew up a fan of Juvy and Konnan, who has long admired Teddy Hart’s unbelievable ability and who thinks Kevin Kross is a future star (not to mention the possible names who could join them at some point) I’m excited. As someone who has been waiting for nearly three years for AAA to finally show the brilliance it’s capable of, I’m excited. For the first time in a long time there are so many places AAA can go and so many scenarios that could come to fruition that don’t make me want to slam my head into the wall. There’s hope. Honest to Grodd hope. And you know what they say in Star Wars movies; rebellions are built on hope. Hint hint AAA writers/bookers trying to build this angle!
So to end this all I’ll ask again; what is MAD? Right now I don’t know. It could be nothing. It could be La Legión 2018. It could be something extraordinary. It could be just a bunch of luchadores in a group with a smiley face logo. Whatever the case, I can’t wait till I find out the answer. And I’m damn glad I can say that about something AAA related for the first time in forever.
Please change disks to continue…