Tonight, AAA once again stands on the precipice of a show with many good matches and interesting storyline developments. AAA Guerra de Titanes 2018, AAA’s first show of the year has most every major AAA championship defended. Many of the matches have been built up for a few months, and upcoming TV lineups heavily suggest this show is a turning or end point for most of those feuds. (Even better, those upcoming TV lineups manage not to give away these results.) Guerra de Titanes should be an entertaining night for fans of AAA and even non-fans who would like some more lucha libre.

If you’ve been following AAA at all, you’ve learned by now that the moments where everything seems to be in place for something great is actually when the biggest calamities take place. It’ll be hard to top last year’s TripleMania, where Dr. Wagner losing his mask somehow shared the stage with Sexy Star and Jeff Jarrett meltdowns, and you’d really hope they can just keep it together for a complete big show one of these times. Perhaps this will finally be it. Perhaps Charlie Brown will finally kick that football. It could happen!

This is the paragraph where I normally would tell you how to watch this show. I am not entirely sure how you will be able to watch this show. It will air in Mexico (and so will appear on AAA’s YouTube channel) on February 3rd and 10th as part of their regular TV show. I can also say that AAA’s responded to criticism about abandoning their (ahead of the curve) Twitch channel by swearing they’d have an announcement about it soon. It is possible AAA is planning on streaming this event on that Twitch channel and isn’t saying it to protect the live gate, something we just saw CMLL do last month. It’s also possible Twitch is a thing AAA wants to do but just can’t accomplish for whatever reason, something we’ve seen happen with AAA plenty. Either way, the show’s scheduled to start after 9pm CT on Friday night, and it couldn’t hurt to check if you’re around. (If it does air on Twitch, it should remain up as VOD the next day.)

UPDATE — We can now confirm that the show will air live on Twitch.

Lanzelot © vs Australian Suicide for the AAA Cruiserweight Championship

Suicide is a flyer who snapped after losing his mask and not being able to turn around his career, and now is just not all there. Lanzeloth—a nephew of Super Crazy—is a good flyer himself who won the belt as a surprise and now is getting his first real chance as singles star.

The story is the issue. This is a rematch of a November match, which had the stipulation that Suicide would never get another title shot if he lost. Suicide lost, neither man has been on TV since, and yet here we are again. It’s an obvious plot hole, and one AAA has just tried to ignore instead of addressing.

This is a bit of a lame duck title match anyway. We already know the champion after this match will defend against Hijo del Vikingo in a couple weeks. These guys are good, Vikingo is blindingly obvious the future star of the division. Either one of these guys could work as his opponent, but maybe Suicide winning the title and losing it quickly will drive him more insane.

Lady Shani © vs Faby Apache for the Reina De Reinas Championship

AAA did a hard reboot on their women’s division after the Sexy Star Unpleasantness. Lady Shani was going to win this title eventually, and they sped up the process to get a new face on top. The results have been inconsistent and Shani doesn’t seem totally ready yet. Enter Faby Apache, who’d been side drained out of this title picture for the last few years, but is still really quite good.

That’s a double edged sword.

Faby’s still very talented and very loved by the crowd, especially the Mexico City fans they’ll be wrestling in front of on this show. AAA wants Shani to be the fan favorite, and it’s going to be tough to make that happen. Faby Apache can be an effective ruda, as she was early in her career, and returned to wrestling subtly as one in the previous meeting between these two. Faby has also taken on an arrogant tact in interviews: to her, it’s Shani who’s the real challenger, because Shani’s not accomplished what Faby has and Faby is beyond challenges. Still, Faby doesn’t totally seem committed to changing her in-ring style, falling back on sympathetic ploys during that previous match to keep the crowd behind her. Even if she put a full effort in, it’s a Negro Casas situation where the fans respect the luchador too much to ever sincerely boo them. AAA could embrace the expected reaction and have Shani flip to the ruda side instead. It would require them giving up their plans, and AAA is usually reluctant to do that.

The outcome here has to keep the feud going, mostly because there’s no one else to face. Any other title match would probably need to be a multi woman match to hide weaknesses, both of these women would be involved in those, so it just makes more sense to keep the attention on them until the situation improves.. That doesn’t necessarily mean a title change; I think Shani wins just to keep frustrating Faby.

Aerostar, Drago, Raptor vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana vs Argenis, Bengala, Máscara de Bronce vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly © for the AAA Trios Championships

AAA has fit almost the entire midcard into one match. It’s a pretty nice trick.

This is the end product of a crowded trios title chase. The Poder del Norte trio of Brava, Cota & Santana (not that one) pulled an upset to win them, engaged in a best of five series over them with Aerostar, Drago and Raptor, then lost them to the OGT trio of Averno, Chessman and Super Fly. The fourth team, Argenis, Bengala and Mascara de Bronce, are here seemingly just because they needed a second team of tecnicos. They’ll be fine.

Aerostar might not be fine. He can’t stop climbing up high places in buildings like this one. A twelve person match should mean plenty of people to catch him. It doesn’t do much for his chances of winning the thing if he’s laying outside recovering. This should otherwise be lots of action and chaos, in an entertaining fashion. OGT are the favorites to retain. Even without the titles, they’ve been portrayed as the most important of all these groups.

Psycho Clown vs Rey Escorpión in a bull terrier (chain) match

AAA has kept Psycho Clown busy post TripleMania with this feud against new arrival Rey Escorpion. Escorpion’s still not much of a known quantity to AAA fans. He’s a strong talker who hasn’t talked much, and his reasons for being in AAA and after Psycho haven’t been made clear. (At least in storyline. In real life, everyone’s expecting this to turn into another hair match loss for him.) AAA not doing a lot to build up Escorpion’s name in their promotion makes this feel like a downgrade for Psycho Clown – he’s facing a newcomer while the guy he beat is challenging for the big title. It might actually be a pretty good match: Escorpion is a pretty good brawler who make a crowd hate him easily, and that’ll play well off Psycho’s style.

The stipulation may not work with his style. It hasn’t worked with anyone’s style in AAA lately. It’s tough to have a good chain match anywhere, and AAA is no different. They’ve stuck to that “one guy touches the corner, the other guy touches the same corner behind him” match finish over the years. They’ve also stuck to doing a lot of blood in chain matches, and neither of these guys are afraid to do that. This is a sleeper match on the show; it’ll definitely get a crowd reaction.

Those upcoming lineups seem to point to this feud finishing up here, quicker than anticipated. Psycho Clown shouldn’t lose a blowoff match any time soon, and so probably won’t lose this one.

Cuervo, Scoria, La Parka vs Dave The Clown, Monsther Clown, Murder Clown

Please keep an eye on the La Parka/Dave the Clown feud as the year progresses. There’s a good chance they’ll earn your vote for the worst feud of the year. Dave has forever been a terrible professional wrestler. This La Parka may have been a halfway decent wrestler at one point, back when the dinosaurs wandered the earth. He’s now what happens when you permit a wrestler to continue forever, no matter how bad it looks. And it’s probably only going to get worse, since Dave & Parka seem headed to a remarkably poor mask match. Murder & Monster are not a whole lot better, and Scoria & Cuervo aren’t nearly good enough to make this work.

This is listed as a street fight, which might cover up some of the flaws. There will be plenty of those flaws. Figure the Clowns cheating a way to a win.

Hijo del Fantasma © vs Texano Jr. in a cage match for the AAA Latin American Championship

Do you like long builds? Texano violently attacked his long time close friend Fantasma last May. This is the first TV singles match. Neither have been hurt or gone, just sometimes the speed of AAA is a bit slower than the rest of life. Fantasma has since won the secondary heavyweight championship. Texano briefly stole it, stole a trophy, and also threatened to kill Fantasma’s dad. These things happen. Texano is still in a bad mood.

He’s got reasons. Announcers will reflexively remind you Texano was the longest reigning AAA heavyweight champion. He’s cooled off quite a bit, AAA hasn’t treated with the same reverence since that first run. His boring portrayal on Lucha Underground didn’t help, but not wowing Impact either suggests it’s not simply a creative issue. His wrestling and his presence is all very good, just nothing outstandingly great as people were hoping would develop and he’s not someone who feels like the centerpiece of a major promotion. Fantasma might be that guy, and is mostly just lacking a run of success to make the fans accept him at that level.

There is no reason for the cage, except it’s a big AAA show so they really like forcing a cage on there somehow. It takes away Fantasma’ tope, maybe his best highlight spot. Someone will dive off the top instead. These two really are long time friends, and they’re going to put pressure on themselves to make an epic match of this. There’s higher positions for them to gain (or regain) if they can come thru this well. This Texano/Fantasma is the current insider’s pick for this year’s big apuesta match at TripleMania. It feels the favorite more because there’s not really better options, and they need to get it a lot hotter if they’re going to sell 15K tickets off it. I’d keep the title on Fantasma, if it matters. The outcome here to watch is to see if they get this hot enough to keeping running it with it all the way to August.

Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Johnny Mundo for the AAA Heavyweight Championship, Vampiro will be special referee

Instragram model/professional luchador Dr. Wagner has perfectly reinvented himself as the world’s most stylish 50 something man. He’s also found himself as the top challenger to this title, after the previous challenge ended with Hernandez helping Mundo both cheat his way to a win and take out Wagner’s son. Both Hijo de Dr. Wagner and Hernandez will be back in the corners for this one. Those two had a singles match to determine the stipulation for this one. The Wagners won, and decided to pick Vampiro as a special referee to keep this match clean.

Johnny Mundo still being champion at this point is a surprising and a little confusing reality. It was way back in May when the issues started between AAA/Vampiro and Taya/Mundo. Each Mundo appearance since then has felt like the one time Mundo will drop the tile so he can leave AAA in his dust. Mundo also just simply didn’t work in AAA all that much the back half of the year, only appearing on two shows after TripleMania. It would make all the sense for AAA to get this title off Mundo while they know they can, and yet they’ve shown no urgency at all. Either AAA knows some reason to feel safe that’s not clear to the rest of the world, or they don’t mind playing with fire.

Vampiro’s role in this match is to keep it clean. We know it won’t end that way. It feels old school (or indie) to have the guy responsible for the creative direction of the company to be the focus of the main event, and that’s what’ll be happening here. Vampiro could get the better of Johnny Mundo once and for all by making sure Wagner won the title. Vampiro’s booking regime is prone to cliched swerves, so Wagner picking a man who will actually end up shockingly betraying him seems the more likely of the two outcomes. Vampiro being such a central focus in AAA the last year was tough to tolerate for anyone outside his loyal fans, and his amount of impact on the main event will probably shape people’s feelings on the entire show.

In the bigger picture, AAA constantly requires a big match for that year’s TripleMania and doesn’t have the deep bench of CMLL. Vampiro in the ring, against Dr. Wagner or really anyone, is likely to be horrible. Vampiro and Wagner putting their hair up, as bad as it might be, still could generate a TripleMania level of interest. It’s not a great option, it just a plausible one.

There is one more option. Dorian Roldan recently said AAA was close to bringing in national Mexican star. Alberto el Patron is the obvious choice, and was reported in the WON as talking with both Roldan and Hijo del Fatnasma at the previous set of Impact tapings. Fantasma since worked on Alberto’s recent charity show. Perhaps he’d make a one off appearance in AAA as a return, maybe he’s an option to chase after Mundo next if Wagner can’t wrest the championship away form him.

If you have the option, this should be a show worth keeping an on eye on Friday night, or maybe watching later when you can more safely tell if it was a disaster or not. The Cruiserweight championship match, the trios title match, the women’s title match, the chain match and the cage match all should be good matches, and the main event will at least be a discussion point.