There’s a PPV this Sunday with a crazy high spots match, a secondary title match featuring lumbering big men, and a world title match where the challenger has gotten the better of the champion just about every time — and it’s not on the WWE Network. AAA’s third PPV of the year, Verano de Escandalo (Summer Scandal), takes place this Sunday in Monterrey at 6PM. It’s also available on iPPV.
Verano de Escandalo is a strong card but in a difficult spot, getting little attention going in. Going head-to-head with a WWE PPV is an obvious problem; AAA’s decided it’s enough not to bother with an English language broadcast. The show faces local competition, as a rival Monterrey promotion is loudly advertising all the international stars they’ll have a month from now to convince fans to skip this show. Verano de Escandalo even faces challenges from AAA’s own way of doing things: the lineups for the next three TV tapings (covering about six weeks of TV) were already been announced, and they strongly suggest little will be settled on this show.
This is a show that’s going to be skipped, or maybe just seen when it turns up on TV later this month, but there is action worth checking out up and down the card. As with Rey de Reyes, there’s no bad match on the show and there’s chances for great matches up and down the card. Verano de Escandalo also should be a newsworthy show: AAA has yet to announce a match for their upcoming TripleMania show. Or a date. Or a location. It’s easy enough to figure out it’s probably in Arena Ciudad de Mexico and it’s probably in early August, but AAA’s momentum towards it’s biggest show of the year stopped after Perro Aguayo Jr.’s death. They’ve spent the last few months trying to pick up the pieces. Right now, AAA’s got (0) matches which to fill a 20,000 seat arena in a couple months. Something big needs to happen to fix that.
1) Dinastía, El Elegido, Faby Apache, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Mamba, Mini Psycho Clown, Parka Negra, Taya Valkyrie
It won’t be in this match! It’s an AAA big show, which means the standard mixed sides opener. This one doesn’t look as good as ones on past shows. It does have a purpose: Dinastia defends his minis championship against Mini Psycho Clown on the next TV taping, so they should figure into the outcome.
Those upcoming lineups also suggest a wild card for this match. AAA’s women division has basically been reduced to only Taya & Faby, except the next few shows have Taya facing a mystery woman instead. Hometown girl Sexy Star was still a heel in AAA last time we saw her there, but she hasn’t been around in months. This would be the easiest moment to reintroduce her and bring her character in alignment with the Lucha Underground version.
2) Drago vs Fénix vs a surprise luchador vs Daga vs Steve Pain vs Aerostar vs Bengala vs Súper Nova vs Súper Fly vs Hijo del Fantasma in AAA’s Alas de Oro tournament
Alas de Oro is AAA’s high flyers match, similar to CMLL’s Reyes del Aire. The difference is CMLL is pretty regular about running their big tournament and AAA occasionally forget about theirs for half a decade at a time. The last (normal) one was back in 2008, won by a much younger Aerostar. AAA has run lots of multi-man cruiserweight matches in the time in between and they’re usually very exciting, but they usually just don’t give them a name.
This one should be as well, with a field near the same level of as the stellar 10-way elimination match from last TripleMania. This match should connect to this year’s TripleMania: Hijo del Fantasma is the current Cruiserwieght champion and anyone else winning it would be the logical next challenger. Fenix challenged earlier in the year and appeared set up for a rematch sometime down the line. Drago, Bengala and Aerostar would always be sensible tecnico challengers. There’s been no hint about the mystery person.
3) Psycho Circus (Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown ©) vs Hell Brothers (Averno, Chessman, Cibernético) vs Holocausto (?, Electroshock, Hijo de Pirata Morgan) [AAA TRIOS]
The AAA Trios championship has been mostly inactive this year, with perennial champions Psycho Circus around but involved in other matters. They come back into play here with a match playing off the events of the last title match. Back in Decemeber, the Psycho Circus were scheduled to defend the trios against the Hellbrothers (Cibernetico, Chessman, Averno), only Cibernetico was mysterious absent for the match. Cibernetico only turned up minutes after his outnumbered unit lost.
Nothing was explained at the time. In the months since, Electroshock put together his own trio, “Holocausto” to take on all teams. (Yes, they really went with that team name.) Electroshock and partners — young vet Hijo del Pirata Morgan and the debuting Kronos — have generally been making life miserable for the Psycho Circus the last few months and then pulled the Hell Brothers back into this by taking credit for Cibernetico missing the match. That revelation came out of nowhere and completely seems like a continuity patch, but it’s a good enough excuse for a three way match.
This is the least promising match on the show; there’s scattered good wrestlers and some ones who are more problematic. Still, there’s enough people involved to keep the match moving and the Holocausto trio should be motivated to have a strong first big match. The members of that team are a question mark – a photo’s turned up of Kronos in a foot cast after surgery, so someone else will have to be drafted in as a temporary replacement. The clowns figure to hold onto the titles for the time being.
4) Angélico & Jack Evans vs Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria in a cage match where the loser leaves the hair
Cuervo & Scoria, the remaining members of La Secta, reappeared in AAA a few months ago to cost Jack & Angelico some matches. They’ve explained they’re angry over these two foreigners being booked on TV while La Secta have not. Angelico & Jack countered by pointing they’re actually over (unlike La Secta) and they actually win (unlike La Secta), so they’re the ones who should be on TV. Angelico & Jack are right – or were right, since Cuervo & Scoria have been destroying them in matches, to the point where they’re only losing occasionally due to violence related DQ. The match was announced as a cage match a while back, for no obvious reason besides to give them something to very high leap from, and was also turned into a hair match on recent TV. (It’s totally unclear if the losing wrestler or the entire losing team loses their hair – the announcement of the hair match won’t air until a day before the PPV and no one’s really sure until then.)
It’s not clear if the hair stipulation was planned all along or added at the last second for added interest: they’ve given this match a lot of attention for what’s essentially a midcard tag team program where the ultimate outcome is never much in doubt. The story they’re telling ring true: previous pushes for Scoria & Cuervo have failed without them getting over and ended with them all but disappearing off TV. It’s gone a bit better this time, with La Secta looking much more aggressive. The build up matches have all been about getting heat on the heels, so we don’t know how they’ll work out in a more competitive match and the cage seems like it’ll get in the way more than help, but they’re being in position to have a great match. Angelico & Jack Evans were one of the best tag teams in the world last year, but didn’t get a chance to prove on a big show. They’re getting it this time.
5) El Patrón Alberto © vs Brian Cage for the AAA World Heavyweight Championship
This match was originally supposed to happen at Rey de Reyes, and got delayed a few weeks due to the disasters surrounding it. Cage won when it finally happened, and has been pretty dominant since. Like the tag feud, Cage leaves Alberto laid out even when he doesn’t win. This is the point where Alberto would get the big win to turn back the monster, but the calendar complicates things. TripleMania is just around the corner and makes sense as a place to climax this sort of feud, only this feud hasn’t been big enough to headline the biggest show and that’s sort of the role Alberto need to be in. It’s a problem with no good answer.
The action between Alberto & Cage will be good, but AAA’s also used a lots of bells and whistles to compensate for the crowds not really knowing Cage yet. This match will be no different. If they want to keep this going, this’ll need an indecisive finish. If Alberto’s moving on to something else, Jeff Jarrett has already been set up as a future opponent and will bring his own brand of shenanigans. Either way, this’ll probably lean closer to being a show than a match, but it’s got to be a big one to start selling tickets.
6) La Parka, Myzteziz, Rey Mysterio Jr. vs El Mesías, Johnny Mundo, Pentagón Jr.
The listed main event has the least urgency of anything on this show. It’s the only real follow up to the Lucha World Cup: Misterio beat Mundo to win (and Mundo attacked Rey in the same bit with Albeto & Jarrett), and Parka is miffed and Mesias for costing him his shot at being on the second AAA team. It’s also mostly just another special appearance for Misterio, who’s only appearing on the main AAA shows and is making his first appearance in Monterrey.
This could be a sneaky great match. Everyone but Parka can go, and Parka is smart enough to do his two minutes of comedy and get out of the way. This match also could be a setup to a big angle for the next show: TripleMania’s main event was well known to originally be Myzteziz vs Perro Aguayo Jr., and AAA could decide to continue on with one of these other three rudos in Perro’s place. Mesias, who’s been great in Lucha Underground as Mil Muertes but mostly on the periphery this year in AAA, could make sense in that role – he’s been around long enough to be seen as a big star, and he might not need his hair much longer if he’s switching to the Muertes character in Mexico as well.
Should You Get It: It’s a tough sell because of the day it falls on, and because it’s the lead up show to a much bigger one, but it looks like it’s going to be worth $15. The Alas de Oro match is going to be crazy, the cage match has a chance to be great, and it’ll be interesting to see what they do to put TripleMania together. If you’re watching Money in the Bank instead, you’ll want to at least check it out when it turns up on TV (and on AAA’s YouTube channel) in a few weeks, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you watch this one live and put the WWE Network show on backburner.