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LuchaPalooza! The Ins and Outs of Triplemania XXIV
True believers and non believers alike, we are close enough now that I can finally break this bad boy out. This Sunday night is Triplemania XXIV, AAA’s biggest show of the year and hopefully sweet glorious redemption for them following a Triplemania last year that wasted a dream main event thanks to technical issues and someone deciding the Villanos really deserved a top spot on the card. Now a year later two of last year’s headliners are gone (Myzteziz/Mistico/Sin Cara/Caristico and Alberto El Patron), the Villanos have thankfully been sent to the farm and we still have no idea about how the technical issues will go. What we do know is that aside from two matches this Triplemania looks a hundred times better than last years, thanks to a couple good stories and a whole lot of Lucha Underground talent riding in on the white horse to save the day. As long as the feed stays working, this Triplemania should be a must watch show this year. And so here I am, four days before the show that officially kicks off LuchaPalooza’s death defying four shows in a week and a half, with the most kick ass preview I could come up with. Why? Because I love you guys. Well not you T.O. but everyone else. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started. Behold Moses, for he is a 21st Century Meme Boy.
Faby and Mari Apache vs. Averno and Chessman
What to Expect: Oddly enough the one match that features no Lucha Underground talent (that we know of) is the one that feels like it be right at home in the Temple. The story to this has been simple and effective; Averno and Chessman were rolling along as AAA Tag Team Champions and felt they had beaten every viable team in the division. Enter the Apaches, who challenged for the titles and were promptly shut down because Averno and Chessman hate women. Naturally this didn’t sit too well with Faby and Mari so they ended up costing Averno and Chessman those tag belts. That was indeed the straw that broke the camel’s back and thus here we are. Like I said, simple but effective. Will the match be the same way? Depends. Averno and Chessman have the tendency to come and go but when they’re on they can be really good. Meanwhile the Apaches are excellent performers, but generally only come to play when they feel the match is worthy of their stature (ask Taya about that one. Seriously; ask her). I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t in this match, which arguably is the biggest test of their long careers to date. This match will definitely be tough for some people (I can already here Dave Meltzer’s brain exploding at the thought of another intergender match) and the involvement of the Apaches’ father Gran Apache as a rudo referee could be problematic. But if both teams show up, Apache doesn’t get too involved and they continue to tell the story of the Apaches as plucky underdogs against misogynist rudos then this has the potential to be really good.
Winners: I would be absolutely floored if the Apaches lost it, mainly because it would make no sense for AAA to take them on this journey only to come up short and have the bad guys proven right. Maybe you do that at Heroes Imortales but you aren’t doing it at Triplemania. Therefore the Apaches will win and prove they’re just as tough as the boys.
2016 Copa Triplemania
Imposter La Parka vs. El Zorro vs. Daga vs. Taurus vs. El Hijo del Pirata Morgan vs. Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Mamba vs. Super Fly vs. Hernandez vs. Australian Suicide vs. Luchador Sopressa
What to Expect: Ah the old, “Imposter La Parka doesn’t have a big match on the card, let’s create a huge multi-man match where we can showcase him even though he’s over 9,000 years past his prime and nowhere near as good as the guy who used to be La Parka.” That’s a direct quote from the AAA creative meetings there peeps! I’ll say this though; the match may be a La Parka showcase but they could’ve done a worse job putting it together. We’ll at least get some nice Daga-Australian Suicide sequences to strengthen their feud, the always popular Taurus will have a showcase, it’ll be nice to see guys like Super Fly, Pimpinela and Hernandez again and there’s always the hope that the Luchador Sopressa (making his first appearance in many moons) will be someone who comes in and shakes things up. I doubt it, but you never know. Either way this match will have some fun spots before unfortunately devolving into the La Parka showcase AAA wants. A quick message to AAA on that front.
Winner: Barring L.A. Park being the Luchador Sopressa and bringing the house down or Hernandez winning to further the success of Team Trump there’s just no way anyone can go against the anti-Chairman. Imposter Parka takes it and I cry the tears of shame. Or as we call it everywhere else, tears.
Four Way Match for the AAA World Tag Team Championships
Jack Evans and Angelico (c) vs. Paul London and Matt Cross vs. Aerostar and Drago vs. Fenix and El Hijo del Fantasma
What to Expect: There’s plenty to dissect here folks but only one thing that requires our immediate attention; JACK EVANS AND PAUL LONDON WILL AT ONE POINT BE IN THE SAME RING AT THE SAME TIME! Its happening; the Intrepid Traveler vs. the Inventor of Modern Lucha Libre; the Dolphin Master vs. the Mayor of Shitcago; the Danger Bee vs. the Baddest Bitch in all the land! Ovaries will explode, grown men will cry and somewhere Nathan Fillion will feel a cold rush down his spine as the title for Greatest Man That Ever Lived slips through his fingers. You know, because Paul London and Jack Evans will be fighting for it! It’s legit the biggest thing since the last biggest thing. EVERYONE is stoked for this. It's tearing friendships apart!
The titanic clash that will change the course of human history aside, this match is still pretty much all fire. Not only do all six of the guys work for Lucha Underground but all save for London and Matt Cross (who may or may not be a certain bearded biker dude) are AAA regulars too so you know the chemistry is going to be off the charts. Like seriously, it could be the best match of the night and has Match of the Year potential if it’s as crazy as we all expect. All that’s left to decide is who will fly the highest and best (spoiler; it’s either Angelico or Aerostar. I always go with my favorites!). Well that and how well the Fenix/Fantasma union works. I must admit aside from London and Evans going toe to toe in the biggest fight since Link vs. Dark Link that pairing intrigues me the most. All the other teams make sense; Aerostar and Drago are long time pals (and along with Fenix are the reigning King of Trios champions and Lucha Underground Trios champions), Cross and London are indie wrestling nega gods and Jack and Angelico are like the best friends ever. Fenix and Fantasma? All I’ve seen them do is feud over the Gift of the Gods Championship in LU and seemingly Fantasma’s AAA Cruiserweight Championship before these two came together. Thus I’m really looking forward to seeing how and if they click as a team. You just never know with Fantasma; one wrong move and maybe he turns into good ole Deer Antlers and puts Fenix down. There is room on the wall now that Mil is gone after all.
Winners: Really outside of London and Cross, who I don’t expect to be regulars following this match (though who knows), this is as wide open as it gets. I could easily see the Fenix/Fantasma bromance leading to tag gold while they stretch out whatever the plan is with to, Aerostar and Drago are always great options for any belt and Jack and Angelico are Jack and Angelico. I guess I’ll go with my gut and pick the champs to retain. They did just win the damn belts (which they never lost to begin with) and title changes in lucha libre are rarer than finding a Mew in Pokemon Red. It’s not out of the realm of possibility this goes the other way but I can’t bring myself to pick against the champs till I see it. Oh and before I forget London will defeat Jack in their own private battle. Sorry Jack; you’re good but you’re no Dolphin Master.
AAA Latin American Championship Match
Pentagon Jr. (c) vs. Johnny Mundo
What to Expect: That damn Lucha Underground truly is everywhere on this show isn’t it?! This is the match you’d expect to be the most talked about, only it’s somehow flown under the radar up till this point. Don’t ask me why because on paper this is one of the top three candidates to be the Match of the Evening and possibly better. I’ve watched a ton of Lucha Underground in my life and I can pretty safely say that up till now Pentagon and Mundo have barely crossed paths with each other and have yet to have a one on one encounter. That right there should be enough to get you hyped; the added fact that there is the story of Pentagon defending the Latin American Title from the clutches of Team Trump member Mundo and the involvement of Taya (who has said she’ll be there to be in Pentagon’s corner despite being closely associated with Mundo in LU) should only add to the equation. There’s no such thing as a guarantee, but barring a mid match injury or too much overbooking this match is as close to a sure thing as you can get. These guys are both simply too good for this match to be anything less than very good.
Winner: Going by the same logic I did predicting the Tag Title match Pentagon should walk away here with the belt he just won a little over a month ago. That also doesn’t take into account that Pentagon is by far AAA’s most over star and a win over Mundo would only solidify his rising stock. But man, the involvement of Taya here isn’t something to sneeze at. On the one hand she’s definitely Perros del Mal to the core and it’s hard to see her betraying that group even if it’s never quite been the same since Perro Aguayo Jr.’s tragic death. On the other hand she and Mundo are best pals almost everywhere else and have done great work together, which makes a rudo turn here on Pentagon more than logical. I’m going to split the difference here and go with a finish akin to Dr. Wagner Jr.’s victory over Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. a few Triplemania’s ago. Taya will indeed betray Pentagon for Mundo ala Silver King betraying Wagner, but just like the Good Doctor Pentagon will shake it off and retain the title in a match fraught with danger. There’s a 99.9% chance I’m dead off on this and I don’t give a damn.
The Lucha Underground Special
Rey Mysterio, Prince Puma and El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Mil Muertes, Marty “The Moth” Martinez and Matanza
What to Expect: It’s that damn Lucha Underground again in another potential show stealing Match of the Evening contender. Sure there’s no story behind it but many a CMLL match has had no story and those always seem to work out. Really the cool thing about this match is a) we get to see the Lucha Justice League again after they absolutely destroyed it during LU’s second season and b) both Marty the Moth, Azteca and Matanza got a spot on what is definitely the biggest stage of their career thus far. I’m so happy for them; Marty has been the unsung hero of Lucha Underground for at least a season and a half now while Azteca and Matanza (in and out of monster form) were two huge standouts in season two. Matanza in particular one of the most impressive specimens in wrestling today and giving him another stage to show that can only help with the mystique. It does also help though that all six of these guys are ridiculously good and for the most part have all been kept apart in LU; Rey and Azteca has yet to tangle with Marty or Mil in any form, Puma was kept away from Matanza last season and really who cares because again all six of these guys are ridiculously good! This will be great, it will be fun and it will probably involve more than just these six. That’s right; I’m suggesting we’re getting appearances from both Dario Cueto and Catrina. As well we should dammit; what is an LU shindig without El Jefe and what is anything without Catrina getting every male within a 9,000 radius riled up?
Winners: It’s really hard to see the Justice League losing this one, especially since this isn’t leading to anything other than getting more hype on the LU. So they’ll be taking it, with my guess being that poor Marty takes the pinfall. It’s okay; Mil and Matanza need to protect the mystique at all times and Marty is the type of guy who eats losses for breakfast and comes out looking great anyway. Plus he’s probably going to be the unsung hero of this match up so no harm no foul. This best be the beginning of more appearances down in AAA though. Mexico wants the Moth; MEXICO NEEDS THE MOTH!
Triple Threat Match for the AAA Mega Championship
Texano (c) vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Brian Cage
What to Expect: Wouldn’t you know it; this is yet another match that’s dominated by all LU people now that the Good Doctor has finally shown his face around the Temple. Unlike the other Lucha Underground based matches this one has a story set outside the Temple; Texano is once again AAA Mega Champion and now a technico after coming into contact with Lucha Destroyer and ‘Merica enthusiast Cage. It looked like these two would be colliding for the title all by their lonesome’s until the Good Doctor got involved because, let’s face it, he’s Dr. Wagner Jr. and he can do whatever the hell he wants. And so now we have a triple threat to decide who the top dog in AAA is. I’m not sure what’s more shocking; the fact that this is now a triple threat match or that a lucha promotion is actually having a title match on one of its biggest shows. This is unheard of I say; it’s borderline madness!
Jokes about 300 aside I must confess; I’m really, REALLY looking forward to this one. In fact if I were a drinking man you could probably talk me into saying this was a Match of the Evening contender if it hits all the right notes. I know there are some people who aren’t looking forward to this thanks to the Good Doctor’s involvement but that’s part of what has me hyped. I love Wagner, he’s still in tremendous shape and he’s the sort of guy you can always depend on for a big show. This is that big show and I expect he’ll be sublime, especially since he’s working with the best big man in wrestling (Cage) and a guy who’s become one of the most underrated (Texano). I guarantee you right now this will at least be a good match and has the potential to be a special match. All I ask is at least one Wagner Driver and one Drill Claw. Do that Wagner and Cage and I’ll die a happy lucha crazy.
Winner: AAA has three choices they can make here. They can go with the young technico in Texano, they can go with the older technico in Wagner or they can go with the pro-American rudo in Cage. Texano hasn’t held the belt long so logic would suggest he keep it. I’m throwing that out here. Cage as champion in his current role is something you can just do so much with and I’d venture to guess Mexican fans would pay HUGE money to see their favorites try in topple him. You can’t count on that to be the decision but I think AAA is smart enough in this instance to see the money and go with it. Cage will be your new AAA Mega Champion after pinning Texano this Sunday. And if there’s a Cthulhu in the sky the Machine will then hold that belt for the next year before putting it on the line against the new hero of Mexico; Pentagon Jr. Hire me Dorian!
Two out of Three Falls Mask vs. Hair match
Psycho Clown vs. Pagano
What to Expect: We’ve made it to the end and would you believe me if I told you this match, aside from the Copa Triplemania bout, might be the least interesting match on the card? That’s how good the rest of the show is and how “meh” many consider this match. Maybe it’s because the feud all started because both guys were mad the other looked like a clown? I mean I’ve certainly heard of worse reasons to feud but not many. What’s next; are Fenix and Fantasma going to feud over a shampoo commercial or something?
Honestly I’m not sure what to make of this match. I don’t think it’s going to challenge for Match of the Evening, a) because those other matches are really, REALLY good and b) the likelihood of this bout generating into a Death Match style brawl like many of their other fights will probably hinder the quality in some way. But beyond that I can’t say it’ll be actively bad. Psycho Clown is an overall very capable performer who has been in a match like this on a stage like this before (he successfully defended his mask against Texano at Triplemania XXII two years ago). I trust him to at least bring something to this match and to probably step up his game from the other blood baths these two have been having. As for Pagano…well I guess that’s the question mark here. I haven’t seen enough of him to make a formal judgment on how good he is or isn’t and truthfully before a few months ago I’d never heard of the dude. The best I can tell thus far is that some people really hate him and some really like him. Whatever the case I do think you’ll see the maximum effort from him here, especially since this is by far the biggest match of Pagano’s career to this point. Beyond that I guess it just depends on a) how much you enjoy Death Match wrestling and b) if these two can make the outcome seem in doubt. I don’t know if they can, but if they do, this could be a minor version of Vampiro-Pentagon from Ultima Lucha. The stakes will help and the effort should be there; it’s just a question of execution.
Winner: By far the easiest match to predict as Pagano has won every match these two have had leading up to the show and there’s no way Psycho Clown is losing his mask when he’s got so much more to give with it. Somehow through all the craziness Psycho will get the win in the third fall. There may not be a ring, El Hijo del Tirantes may be dead and there might be more interference than an nWo match in 1996 but Psycho will prevail.
Great freakin Cthulhu that was long. We are done though folks. Be sure to check out Triplemania this Sunday at around 6 p.m.; you can get the show on iPPV and best of all its really cheap. I’ll definitely be back before then though with some more coverage of LuchaPalooza. Till next time, a quick peek at what the scene will be following Psycho Clown-Pagano (not to mention cubsfan’s brain).