AAA Triplemania XIX 2011
June 18th, 2011
Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Mexico
June 18th, 2011
Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Mexico
Once a year in Mexico AAA holds what is considered to be their version of "Wrestlemania", called Triplemania. In years past it has produced some great matches and angles, and with my renewed interest in lucha and it's availability to me, I figured it would be fun to review this show. The big matches tonight include a Mask vs. Hair match between LA Park and El Mesias, El Zorro defending the AAA World title against TNA's Jeff Jarrett, and Dr. Wagner Jr. taking on TNA's Rob Van Dam to crown an inaugural AAA Latin American champion. There are also the usual gimmick matches on the undercard (steel cage, TLC, etc) and several big names from TNA have been booked, so it should be a pretty good show and one that American fans shouldn't have much trouble getting into if they don't mind the language barrier.
We open the show with a quick welcome from the commentary team before Konnan comes out to welcome us to the festivities.
La Legión Extranjera (Sexy Star/Mickie James/Angelina Love/Velvet Sky) vs. Cynthia Moreno/Faby Apache/Mari Apache/Lolita
Mickie and her team are the heels here, which is a strange sight for someone used to seeing her play the happy babyface for several years now. Mass chaos to start with everyone brawling and the heels clearing house. Love and Sky hit a double elbow drop on Moreno and things settle down into a regular tag match. Velvet and Love hit the weakest double clothesline in the history of professional wrestling and Sexy Star tags in. Back to chaos as everyone is in the ring pairing off again. Mickie and Lolita do a nice dropkick exchange and the faces ponder beating up on the heel ref. Mickie hits a headscissors out of the corner on one of the Apaches but misses a follow up dropkick. Lolita impresses with an incredibly fluid series of twisting lucha armdrags off the top and then tags out. Huge lung-blower from Moreno on Velvet, but she eats a neckbreaker from Mickie moments later for a two count. A Michinoku Driver II from Faby nearly puts Mickie away but Sexy Star breaks it up with a kick. Sexy Star hits a frankensteiner off the top on Mari while Faby hands out dropkicks. Faby hits a sitout powerbomb on Star for a near fall while Moreno takes out Angelina Love on the floor with a seated senton! Mari is next out with a somersault off the apron and Lolita takes them all out again with a tope suicida. That leaves Faby in the ring, but Mickie jumps her from behind. Faby tries pulling Mickie's hair but the heel ref comes up from behind and pulls her hair instead! Mickie accidentally kicks the ref and then leans Faby back and kisses her on the lips! She plants a shocked Faby with a DDT for the win at 11:04. Evil lesbian heel Mickie James has returned, and we all missed her. This was better than expected but the AAA women really outshined women like Love and Velvet in comparison. The Mickie and Faby segments were really fun though and everyone was really zipping around towards the end, so this worked as an opener. **¾
Electroshock/Heavy Metal/Joe Lider vs. La Maniarquía (Chessman/Silver Cain/Ultimo Gladiador)
Ah yes, the token TLC match on every AAA PPV. These always wind up either being total train wrecks or very entertaining. These aren't your ultra-sturdy WWE ladders either, these are your cheap home depot variety. Heavy Metal is subbing for Nicho el Millonario (better known to American wrestling fans as the original and more famous Psicosis). As you might expect it's total chaos from the start with everyone pairing off and brawling until the first ladder is introduced into the fold. Electroshock looks extra badass tonight with his usual gear in purple. Cain plays helicopter with the ladder around his neck for a bit but then just gets dropkicked into it by Lider. Chessman gets hip-tossed into the ladder next and the thing breaks in half. Half of the participants start setting up really contrived looking constructions out on the floor with tables and chairs while Electroshock works on Cain. Lider splashes one ladder off the top onto Cain (who's underneath another ladder) in the first good spot of the match. Lider hits a senton off the top onto a ladder while Cain wildly starts swinging a chair at anything that moves. Gladiador nails Electroshock with a nasty lung-blower and the rudos take the upper hand for a bit. Lider eats a guillotine legdrop off the top from Gladiador with a chair on his chest. Heavy Metal gets dragged tot he apron and Chessman spears him off of it through a six-chair "table" on the floor! Half of the guys are juicing by now and a table is being thrown into the ring as this just gets more and more chaotic by the passing minute. Some doctors come to ringside and drag Heavy Metal off, so out runs Nicho to take his place! He cleans house with a steel pipe in the ring briefly before getting beaten down himself. Lider and Nicho give Gladiador a Doomsday Device bulldog type of move through one of the propped up tables. Nicho somersaults a chair into Chessman through a table and the camera actually cuts away, missing most of it in favor of shooting AAA officials and security coming down the ramp to remove an unsanctioned Nicho from the match. Luckily Heavy Metal returns just as he's leaving and hits the ring with a new burst of energy. Someone seems to botch a table spot off-camera while a damn cello of all things is thrown into the ring. Yep, TNA is on this show. Electroshock winds up powerbombing Chessman through a table while Metal slams Gladiador through the cello to give their team the win at 15:42. So this fell into the aforementioned "trainwreck" category. I'm not a hard guy to please with a good hardcore match and there's nothing I enjoy more then a well executed spotfest, but this had zero flow and was total chaos in a bad kind of way. I like most of the guys here, but this just didn't work. **¼
The extra hot AAA dancers come out to dance to Lady Gaga in between matches.
Los Bizarros(Cibernetico/Charly Manson/Billy el Malo/Escoria) vs. El Inframundo (La Parka/Dark Ozz/Drago/Octagon)
Drago is still very new and as you might have guessed comes out in a really intense dragon costume, complete with huge wings, forked tongue, and menacing eyes. The La Parka here is La Parka II, not the original chairman of WCW fame who will wrestle later on tonight. The heels gang up on Drago to start with Michinoku Pro-styled taunting triple teams. Drago takes a beatdown for a bit and then sends the rudos to the floor and takes them out with a corkscrew tope con hilo over the top rope. Back inside Ozz sends Manson to the floor with a headscissors. Ocatagon, longtime veteran and AAA legend, tags in next and fights off both Escoria and Billy el Malo by himself before tagging Drago in. Malo and Escoria try the same double team tactics on him to no avail. Drago hits a DDT and in comes Cibernetico. Drago tries to tag La Parka in but Cibernetico wants nothing to do with Parka and immediately tags back out. Parka and Billy trade chops but seem bored by it. The rudos keep teaming up in order to keep Parka down, but he won't stay put. Finally he clears the ring of everyone but Cibernetico, who now has no choice but to get in with Parka. Escoria is sent to the floor and Octagon hits him with a nice tope suicida. Ozz is next out with a twisting splash. Manson joins in on the fun with a nice somersault over the top rope, and Dragon completes the sequence with an awesome twisting corkscrew plancha, leaving Parka and Cibernetico alone at last in the ring. Suddenly Taboo (the ringleader of Los Bizarros) appears on the top of the stage holding La Parka's kid (who has a broken leg and started this whole rivalry apparently) by his throat! The dastardly fiend! Parka is distracted by this long enough for Cibernetico to deliver the chokeslam to him for the pin at 15:30. After the match Taboo hits the ring and unmasks, revealing to the world that he is in fact...La Parka's own brother (legitimately)! The plot thickens! This was good old fashioned over-the-top lucha libre soap opera fun with everyone playing their roles perfectly and getting out of the way of Parka and Cibernetico, the focus of the entire feud and match. The action was hot down the stretch and the intertwining storyline and shocking reveal at the end of Taboo's identity tied this all up together into a fun, story-driven match. ***
AAA Tag Team Title Steel Cage Match
Extreme Tiger/Jack Evans © vs. Mr. Anderson/Abyss
What a bizarre team to represent TNA here. You win by escaping the cage. Tiger and Evans are undoubtedly the best tag team working in Mexico today and Anderson and Abyss are just the kind of guys they can bounce off of, so this should be decent. Abyss tosses Evans into the cage with an overhead belly to belly to start while Anderson goes to work on Tiger. They trade victims and Anderson shoves Jack's bandana down his throat. Tiger climbs all the way to the top of the cage and to the top of the steel scaffolding a few feet above that and then delivers a crazy corkscrew moonsault a good 15-20 feet to the ring mat onto Abyss! That's a hell of a crazy spot to pull out so early in the match. Tiger gets right back up and scurries up Abyss's back up and over the cage and climbs to the floor, leaving Evans all alone with Abyss and Anderson. The heels take turns beating the tar out of Evans, tossing him around the cage like a ragdoll. Anderson decides now is a good time to climb out of the cage and he drops out to the floor, leaving Abyss alone with Evans in the ring. He launches Evans into the cage again like a lawn dart and taunts the crowd. Evans starts a comeback with a sloppy headscissors and a series of roundhouse kicks. He evades an Abyss clothesline and nails him with a dropkick and a moonsault. Evans is able to climb to the top of the cage while Abyss is busy laying out some thumbtacks which I guess they were selling in the stands or something. Abyss tries to chokeslam Evans from the top of the cage, but Evans counters with a sunset flip powerbomb that sends Abyss right into the thumbtacks! Who could have seen that coming?! Apparently Mexican women love Jack Evans too because we pan to a front row full of them freaking the fuck out. Evans, being criminally insane, then DIVES OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE onto Abyss! Wow when you pan the camera out it's clear just how absolutely insane you have to be to do a spot like that. Evans climbs over the top of the cage to the floor to retain the tag titles at 12:05. This was a really rushed match as Tiger was barely even in there before he was already climbing out of the ring, abandoning his partner. Once it got down to Evans and Abyss though, they pulled out some absolutely crazy high spots to send the crowd wild, and you've got to give them credit for putting their bodies on the line like that for the fans entertainment. ***
AAA World Trios Title Tournament Finals
Los Perros del Mal (Damián 666/Halloween/X-Fly) vs. Los Psycho Circus (Monster Clown/Murder Clown/Psycho Clown)
This is the finals of a tournament to crown inaugural Trios tag champions, but to be honest I'm dreading this. The Perros del Mal team is good, but the Psycho Circus stable is one that I've grown to loathe in my lucha libre viewing cycles, as all of their matches are the same lazy, uninteresting "hardcore" brawl that makes Abdullah the Butcher look like a master technician. Perros del Mal is a popular indy promotion in Mexico by the way if you were unaware, so they play the role of the outsider heels here against the crazy clowns. The Clowns dominate to start rather easily before grabbing some chairs and brawling with the PDM team out to the floor. A steel trash can is brought into the ring and I imagine it we're about 2 minutes away from a six-way bladejob. The Clowns clear the ring again and take out the PDM team with stereo topes while their clown mascot dances away on the apron maniacally in a scene reminiscent of my childhood nightmares. The PDM team responds with cookie sheets and a sunset flip powerbomb on one of the clowns through a group of stacked chairs. Monster Clown and Damian begin brawling up the rampway where there's conveniently a pair of set up tables and a ladder. Meanwhile the PDM team is setting up more tables inside the ring. Monster Clown ends up suplexing Damian through a gimmicked table full of electronic equipment that sends sparks into the air. X-Fly tries a somersault off the top to the floor but winds up totally crushing a trash can instead. Halloween gets powerslammed through a board in the ring. Psycho Clown and Halloween struggle up to the top rope where Halloween delivers a death vallery driver off the top through a giant board stacked with chairs and other boards on top of it, which is enough to give Team PDM the win and the titles at 11:32. Good God that was a disaster, like most Psycho Circus matches wind up being. No rhyme or reason to anything going on in this match, just total boring chaos. They used all kinds of weapons and gimmicks and it still wasn't interesting. *½
AAA World Heavyweight Title Match
El Zorro © vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett is accompanied by his wife Karen, so you can already smell some kind of run-in coming here. Jeff does a great job as a heel here though, really playing up to the crowd with his taunts and establishing himself firmly as the gringo rudo with a good amount of stalling to start. Jeff gets a clothesline and celebrates early with a kiss on the cheek from Karen (who I must say is looking quite fine this evening). Zorro hits a series of armdrags, clotheslines Jarrett to the floor and mimics his famous strut. More old school stalling from Jarrett, who threatens to walk out on the match even though he's the challenger. Jarrett lures him out of the ring and sends him face-first into the steel post. Back inside both men trade chop exchanges in the corner. Karen grabs Zorro's leg and Jarrett dumps him to the floor again. The fans start tossing their inflatable drum sticks at Jeff as they brawl around ringside. Back inside Jarrett locks on the figure four in the center of the ring. That doesn't work though so he tries putting Zorro out with a sleeper. Zorro grabs a Singapore cane from ringside but Jarrett gives him a back suplex before he can use it. Zorro hits him with the cane a few times and Karen gets on the apron to distract him while Jeff grabs the title belt from ringside and then nails Zorro with it behind the ref's back. Zorro kicks out at two though, so Jarrett grabs a steel chair that the ref takes away from him before he can use it. Karen then gives Jarrett a hand full of powder (I believe flour), but Zorro kicks it right into Jarrett's face and nearly pins him. Jarrett applies the ankle lock (Kurt isn't going to be pleased!) but Zorro won't quit. Zorro counters into an extremely lazy ankle lock of his own and Karen winds up getting dragged into the ring again. Zorro threatens to hit her, which distracts the ref long enough for Jarrett to nail him with a guitar behind his back, but again Zorro kicks out! Finally Jarrett hits him with a cane assisted Stroke to win the AAA World title at 15:30. I can always appreciate Jarrett's heel tactics, but this felt like more stalling then actual wrestling and the repeated gimmick finishes behind the ref's back felt really contrived towards the finish. Jarrett did a good job of getting heat, but this just wasn't very good. Interesting to see where Jarrett goes with the title now though. **
Mask vs. Hair Match
L.A. Park vs. El Mesias
For those unaware, L.A. Park is the original La Parka and the one that made a name for himself in WCW years ago. Due to some trademark issues he was renamed LA Park and someone else was given the La Parka gimmick, culminating in a great match at last year's Triplemania for the rights to the name which Park won, but then had overruled by the lucha commission. Yes, Mexico has an actual sports commission of people who take wrestling that seriously. These two have been feuding for months now and the stakes couldn't be higher as Park (now a heel/rudo) has promised that if he loses his mask here he will retire.Park immediately attacks Mesias with a steel chair as they start out brawling at ringside. He smashes Mesias into a monitor at ringside and then drags the commentary table over to the side of the ring apron and powerbombs Mesias right through it to the concrete floor! Mesias appears to be bleeding already. Well that was quick. Finally inside the ring Park smashes Mesias with the chair a few more times. He drags the already half broken table into the ring but Mesias ends up tossing him into it and getting his own turn to smash Park with the chair. Mesias manages to rip Park's mask atleast halfway off and then powerbombs the hell out of him for a near fall as Park's mask dangles around the bottom half of his face reminiscent of Electroshock. The action spills out to the floor again, this time with Mesias laying the beatdown to Park instead. He suplexes Park on the ramp and then sets up another table. He also sets up a pair of small metal chairs and powerbombs Park right through them just to pass the time I guess. Back in the ring Mesias gets a two count on Park. Park builds up a bit of momentum with a few big moves but then nearly gets speared out of his boots for another near fall. Park responds with a wild corkscrew moonsault for a two of his own. Mesias blocks a splash off the top and Park goes to the floor to catch his breath only to be met by a big flying cross-body off the top from Mesias. Park nearly gets counted out but makes it in at the last second and then yanks Mesias down by his hair into a nasty dragon sleeper that nearly puts him to sleep. Mesias gets a quick burst of energy and fights it off but Park gives him a big powerslam and nearly gets the three count. Mesias responds with a wild DDT but Park kicks out as well. Things have gradually been picking up more and more steam since the heated start. A huge superplex from Park wipes both men out for awhile. A yoshi tonic from Park has the crowd biting but again it's only a two count. Park dropkicks Mesias to the floor and then follows him out with a beautiful tope suicida! Park sets up another table in the ring and decides to do the famous La Parka strut on top of it only for Mesias to climb to the top rope quickly and then spear him right through the table! Somehow Park still manages to get the shoulder up, but that was an inventive spot that the crowd loved. A top rope splash gets another two for Mesias and even the ref can't believe it. Mesias locks on the sharpshooter and Mesias thinks that he's tapped out, but the ref says no. He accidentally kicks the ref in the head, giving Park the chance to pull out a pair of brass knucks and blast Mesias with it behind the ref's back for the win at 30:57. This was a great way to blow off the big Park/Mesias feud that had been going on for months and Park continues to prove himself as the MVP of the entire promotion with his consistently excellent performances. Things were a bit dysfunctional at the start but it quickly settled down into a great back and forth contest with all kinds of big moves, creative spots, and tangible hatred. The finish could leave a bad taste in the mouth of American wrestling fans, but you've got to be used to these kinds of finishes in the world of lucha libre so it doesn't hurt it too much in my eyes. ****
After the match Mesias quickly has his head shaved while Park celebrates at ringside.
AAA Latin American Title Match
Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Rob Van Dam
This is a brand new title that AAA had unveiled only a few weeks ago with this match being announced randomly as the deciding match to crown the inaugural champion at tonight's show, which explains in part why it's main eventing over the LA Park/El Mesias match. RVD is playing the heel here, which is strange to see after so many years of the happy go lucky babyface stoner character. They trade some basic feeling-out holds and evade each other's strikes in a nice opening exchange. RVD gets sent to the floor early but sweeps out Wagner's legs underneath him with a spinkick before he can try any dives to the floor, but a guillotine legdrop over the apron sends both men tumbling to the floor anyways. RVD adds a moonsault off the apron for good measure. He tries for a "springboard" off the barricade but gets sent into the front row instead. No worries though, he still hits the signature guillotine legdrop over the barricade, which on replay looks extra nasty as it appears Rob just kind of slammed Wagner throat first into the steel. Rob blows a spot and Wagner takes advantage with a chair-assisted dropkick into his face for a two count. Wagner applies a modified octopus stretch but Rob gets the quick rope break. RVD hits the Rolling Thunder but it only gets two. Rob hits the crappiest Van Daminator I've ever seen (on replay it's clear as day he in fact completely missed him) for another near fall. Wagner hits a pair of dragon-screw legwhips but runs right into a nice Finlay-roll/moonsault combo from RVD for another near fall. Rob hits the Five Star frogsplash with a chair on top of Wagner (which gets an unintentionally hilarious deadpan "Wow" from one of the commentators) but he takes too long to cover and Wagner again kicks out. Dam hits a sidekick off the top rope with a chair for another two count but the crowd seems eerily uninvolved. Wagner collapses on top of Van Dam off the top rope and then finally gets the crowd fired up with the Benoit throat slash (should probably change the name of that particular taunt) and hits the Wagner Driver on Van Dam, but he kicks out! Wagner follows with Randy Orton-esque second rope DDT and that's enough to give him the title at 16:44. There were some really good stretches in this contest where both men seemed on their game, but Van Dam was surprisingly very sloppy for most of the encounter and it put a noticeable damper on an otherwise entertaining match. **¾
After the match the tecnicos hit the ring to celebrate with Wagner as we go off the air.
Bottom Line: This was a pretty average show honestly, but for AAA I suppose it was above average compared to recent efforts. I enjoyed last year's show a bit more, but there was still some very good stuff on this card, most notably the great LA Park vs. El Mesias match that you bet your bottom dollar will most likely win lucha match of the year by the time 2011 is finished. If you've never seen a Triplemania, I'd recommend giving it a shot as it's always a spectacle, but outside of the aforementioned Park/Mesias match, there's nothing here that's "can't miss". Not a bad show, just kind of average, so we'll go with a thumbs in the middle here and a mixed/mild recommendation.