Aero Star: The Intergalactic Maniac
It seems like for the past several years, everyone and their second cousin has been looking for wrestling's next Rey Mysterio Jr. After all, Rey Rey is the shining example of a cross over lucha libre star, having conquered both Mexico and the Unites States over his wonderful 20+ year career. It's only natural that both Mexico and the United States (most notably WWE) would look for someone who could give the same type of charisma and in ring performances that Rey did for so many decades. Unfortunately for WWE, they've yet to find the next Mysterio after striking out with his upcoming Triplemania opponent Sin Cara (the former Mistico, now known as Myzteziz) and misusing Alberto El Patron more Georgia Lucas misused the Star Wars prequels. Lucha Underground, and AAA in Mexico by extension, appear to have done so. Who is it? If you had asked me a few months ago, I would've told without hesitation that it was Fenix. He had the youth (only 25 years old), the ability and the charisma to be that guy, and frankly, he could still be that guy.
And then I saw Aero Star.
Truthfully, I wasn't expecting a lot when I first saw the man from the cosmos, mainly because it seemed like his debut match (a fatal fourway) was designed to make the debuting Cage look strong. That was indeed the intention, and that was indeed the result, as Cage has gone onto become perhaps the best all around performer in the Temple. As it turns out though, the rest of the dudes in that four way didn't run straight into the abyss. Argenis, though not as successful as the rest, has carved out a nice niche as a jobber/groupie for Catrina and Mil Muertes. Angelico is currently one third of the Trios Champions and the best damn wrestler in the entire western hemisphere. And Aero Star? Well, he's only become the most underrated performer in the Temple, a real life Power Ranger who not only continues to surprise us all every time he hits the ring, but may just be the successor to Mysterio we all want.
If you've been keeping track of Aero Star since the beginning of his run in AAA, you'd probably have already reached this conclusion. Debuting in 2006 (after years of wrestling under other gimmicks), Aero Star was destined for greatness, having been the final character thought up and designed by the legendary Antonio Pena, AAA's founder, booker and owner. Pena unfortunately never got to see his final creation at work (he died tragically two months before Aero Star's debut), but I'm fairly certain he would've been proud of the performer Aero Star has become. And what a performer he is. Since that debut, Aero Star has been, much like his LU run, quietly one of the best performers in AAA. He's won numerous titles, tournaments and several Lucha de Apuesta bouts, but nothing compared to the skill he possesses. He reminds me of Mysterio, Angelico, Jeff Hardy and Sabu if they were fused together and loaded up with Surge soda. Seriously, Aero Star can do everything and more. His springboard moves? Phenomenal. His suicide dive? By my money, the best in the business by a wide margin (all due respect to El Hijo de Fantasma, who has a pretty sweet suicide dive of his own). Oh, and he's also done this a few times. I'd say more, but I'm about to pass out from viewing it again.
As impressive as Aero Star's aerobatics have been down in Mexico though, his work in the LU (which has not been as nuts just this yet) might be even better. Remember that best of five series the Intergalactic Maniac had with Drago? While they may not have been as balls to the wall crazy as some would hope, there wasn't a bad match between those two, and best of all, each match seemed to be different than the rest. More credit should be given to Aero Star (and LU creative) for his first match following that series, a bout against Mortal Kombat Champ and PCDTC favorite Jack Evans. If you've ever seen a debut match, you'll know that the guy on the wrong side of the debut ends up looking like a cross between sad sandwich eating Keanu and every romantic comedy villain during the final five minutes. Not Aero Star. He was made to look like Evans' equal, he was Evans' equal, and most importantly, HE BEAT EVANS (with a fine ass Canadian Destroyer). When does the debuting wrestler ever lose?! Here apparently, and it was the perfect showcase to prove that Aero Star wasn't just another AAA face to make others look good, he was a guy that belonged.
And then, there was the match with Johnny Mundo. More than anything else, this is the match that showed how much potential Aero Star really has. And the strange thing is, most people likely don't even remember he was in this match. Taking place on the best Lucha Underground episode of the season (the one where Matanza killed a guy), most people likely remember this match as the one that solidified Mundo's rudo turn with an impressive ground and pound attack. And yes, that was a big deal here. But you know what I remember the most about it? The chants in the match, many of them for Johnny's opponent, Aero Star. It's common for some technicos to get better responses when going up against a well over rudo, and I expected Aero Star would get more cheers just because Mundo had Jannety'd Albert El Patron a few weeks back. But this wasn't a pop caused by Mundo, this was legitimate support for the Intergalactic Maniac. Despite being the second fiddle in the best of five series with Drago, despite being the showcase opponent for Jack Evans' debut and despite not having shown all the moves in his arsenal, here was Aero Star, over none the less with the best wrestling crowd in the world right now. It didn't even matter at that point how well he did against Mundo, and he was dynamite there. That was the moment I knew he had arrived. That was the moment I knew Aero Star had that Mysterio gene; the ability to do things no one else could do in the ring, and the ability to make the people love him, even if he wasn't jumping thirty feet to the floor.
Again, Fenix has that ability as well, and unlike Aero Star, also has a few less years of wear and tear on his body. But as great as Fenix has been in the Temple and unbelievable his feud with Mil Muertes has been (in my opinion, it's easily the feud of the year in all of wrestling), he just doesn't have that extra gear that Aero Star has. I'm telling you, we're in the midst of finding out that this is one special dude right here. His look is dynamite. His ability to generate sympathy and a reaction despite not being a focal point is tremendous. And sooner or later, we're going to see some of that death defying insanity that made Aero Star one of the brightest stars in Mexico. Count me as both a fan and someone who's ahead of the curb on this one. Maybe in the end, we won't see Aero Star quite become Rey Mysterio Jr. Hell, more than likely, we aren't going to see anyone become Rey Mysterio Jr. Rey was, and in a lot of ways still is, a one of a kind type of luchadore. Silly me, I just think we're about to find out the same about the dude from the cosmos.
And with that, now feels like the right time to look into finding an Aero Star costume. What, it's for comic con!