AAA is in conflict. A group of outsiders—Juventud Guerrera, Kevin Kross, Teddy Hart—invaded their Tijuana taping, attacking everyone after the main event. The group is calling themselves MAD, bound together over anger towards AAA. They’re being led by a masked figure never mentioned by name, but is very clearly ex-AAA booker Konnan. Their aims haven’t exactly been made clear, having so far aimed at creating chaos rather than achieving any goal. Meanwhile, another wrestler wearing the shirt of the presumed dead ELITE promotion has also been inexplicably running in.

AAA itself is in conflict, as always. Konnan’s really back as head of creative, but old head Vampiro still seems to have some role in the process. It’s always bizarre to keep the old coach around when you’ve hired a new coach to replace him. It’s even weirder given the long history of hard feelings between these two particular guys. Neither is really getting to choose the direction in the short term; the big matches for TripleMania were decided months ago and probably by Dorian Roldan directly instead of these guys. Every promotion has many people contributing to the creative direction of the company. AAA seems to have a lot of hands on the wheel leading into their biggest show of the year.

We’ll have a better idea of what road AAA’s heading down after Sunday’s Verano de Escandalo show. This is the final major show for TripleMania, recently existing just to put pieces in place for TripleMania. AAA decided to run this year’s show in 11,000 seat bullring in Monterrey, so it’s got to be more than just a lead up show this year. The card is full of names who haven’t been around the promotion this year, and has a three on three hair match to make sure something meaningful happens. The next step in the MAD/ELITE storyline will definitely be the biggest thing coming out of the show. This has a chance to be crazy fun or frustratingly overbooked or just both, and is a must see show for anyone interested in AAA.

Verano de Escandalo takes place this Sunday night (June 3). It’ll air live on AAA’s Twitch channel for free starting at 6:30pm Central, and should run a bit over three hours. It’ll be available in the channel’s VOD section after it concludes for subscribers ($5/month or free with Amazon Prime). The matches will eventually appear on AAA’s TV show and show up on their free YouTube channel around mid July.

AAA’s most recent lineup lists seven matches. There may even be seven matches. No matter who’s in charge, AAA is still prone to ripping up their lineups and throwing together new matches. My guess is most of these matches will happen as listed, but a couple are primed for changes.

Arkángel Divino, Dinastía, Hijo Del Vikingo, Star Fire vs Arez, Belial, Lady Maravilla, Último Maldito

Dinastia and Vikingo are the only AAA regulars involved in this scheduled opener. The scheduled openers haven’t been the actual openers of late as AAA introduced surprise matches with talented independent wrestlers on their last three tapings. It looks like they’re just announcing the names ahead of time for this show. Divino & Maldito are standouts from Tijuana, formerly of The Crash. Arez & Belial are two of the Indystrongibles, two thirds of a popular Mexico City based trio. Star Fire was briefly CMLL luchadora last decade and has drifted thru the indies since. Lady Marvilla was a CMLL luchadora until a moment ago. She denied she was actually on this show, then later admitted just to going independent once her CMLL commitments were finished. That’s probably the case with all the newcomers here: AAA is just booking them for some shows will allowing them fill out their rest of their schedule themselves, a major change of policy.

AAA has been on that run of good openers of late and this should continue it. Most everyone in this match is really good, and they should be able to overcome their lack of familiarity with each other.

Lady Shani, Mamba, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Black Danger, La Hiedra, and a mystery person

This one is more about getting people onto the card. Pimpinela Escarlata & Mamba called a truce to their eternal feud and are now a tag team. Black Danger is part of the Tijuana crew, good but a little out of place in this match. Lady Shani is a few months from defending her against Faby Apache hair, so it’s a bit strange to see her opposite La Hidera instead.

There’s lot of possibilities for that mystery spot. It could simply be Faby to keep that feud going, or her recently returned sister Mary Apache. Mamba and indie luchador Keyra have been talking about doing a match forever and recently did a tease on an indie show. Keyra would fit right in with the other people coming in on this show. Former AAA wrestler (Black) Taurus made a surprise return on Thursday night after 18 months outside the company, attacking Shani in aid of Apache and peculiarly supporting the ELITE promotion. He could slide into this match too.

The identity of the mystery man is a bit more interesting than this actual match.

Drago vs Sammy Guevara vs Aerostar vs Australian Suicide vs Darby Allin

Both Guevera and Allin make their AAA debuts. Guevera has been introduced with highlights from Impact. Allin with clips from MLW. There’s also connections to Lucha Underground and AroLucha too, because lucha libre at this moment is nothing but a web of increasingly hard to determine alliances. The match itself is thoroughly unconnected to anything. Aerostar & Drago have been busy going after the tag team champs, and those guys are occupied on this show. Suicide is the Cruiserweight champion, usually defending against the younger members of the roster. It’s possible the title could be added here. Either way, this is just five guys who can move around quick and do crazy things together in a match. This seems short one rudo who’d just help with basing, and it seems likely someone in this fivesome will be part of the MAD group by the end of this night, but this seems like a highlight factory of a match to that ending.

La Máscara, Máximo, Pagano vs Juventud Guerrera, Killer Kross, Texano Jr.

Mascara & Máximo were brought aboard AAA just to add some star names, with the idea they’d figure out what to do with them later on. It’s much later on and they’re still doesn’t have it worked out. This show seems these two new arrivals to AAA defending the promotion’s honor alongside Pagano and against a MAD trio.

Guerrera & Kross are the established member of the MAD team. Teddy Hart was with them on night one. Hart has not been seen on an AAA show and only mentioned in passing to the first night attack, with only Guerrera keeping Hart’s name alive. This is Teddy Hart, which makes it possible he got brought back to AAA and fired from AAA in the same night. No one is able to figure it out for sure so far. Texano Jr. is in the third spot for the moment, though Texano was also listed in this third spot on a previous taping, pulled into another match, and seemed busy with non-MAD activities.

This seems like the most likely match of all to change. Whoever is there, it should be a MAD win. It’s way too early for them to take losses. The night is obviously going to end with Konnan being revealed as the MAD leader and a hint towards what it means at TripleMania, and they should be going into the moment as strong as possible.

Hijo del Fantasma & Psycho Clown vs Brian Cage & Rey Escorpión

AAA started the year by announcing a four way mask main event match for TripleMania, with Psycho Clown as the first entrant. Hijo del Fantasma was added in early March. AAA promised a third name soon after, and instead gone quiet on the names. Those names seem to be coming soon, either on this show or at a press conference a couple days later. In the meantime, Psycho & Fantasma have started to have issues in tag matches to give that TripleMania match some heat to work with.

Their opponents don’t even really matter for the sake of this match, which makes surprising to see Brian Cage coming back to AAA in it. Cage left AAA just about the same time Konnan did, and is returning just the same. He’s looked impressed in AAA, but hasn’t had a strong purpose outside of his 2015 feud with Alberto. Cage doesn’t have much reason to be in this match. Rey Escorpión has a slight one  – he and Psycho Clown were feuding, in something dropped along the way in one creative change or another.

Escorpión & Texano are the current tag team champions. Texano probably should be in this match, and Cage with Guerrera & Kross. It wouldn’t be a surprise if that got changed the day of the show. The likely implosion of the técnicos mean the rudos are easy favorites, no matter who’s on that side.

lucha TV preview for weekend of June 1st, 2018

Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana, hair vs hair

If you only follow AAA through these previews, you may recall these two teams had a match on the last big show billed as the last match ever between these two teams. “Last” lasted a grand total of zero shows, and “last” might have just been something said without thinking by the guy in charge (who may no longer be in charge.) It also means words might not exactly mean what we think they mean – this seems to be all the members of the losing team getting their head shaved, but it’s always subject to later definitions.

The feud between the two rudo gatekeeping trios did seemed played out by the end of that Rey de Reyes ladder match. It was a surprise when they were announced as matched up again on this show in a hair match. The OGT and Poder del Norte since had a great violent and bloody brawl a couple weeks ago. It brought some new life into this rivalry and gives this newest final match a lot of promise.

Mocho Cota’s Poder del Norte trio has won the big matches of this feud so far. Averno & Chessman have always been positioned as near top or top stars; losing their hair in this match would be a major change to the status quo. Poder del Norte’s sudden and successful elevation led to two members of the team losing their masks at last year’s Verano de Escandalo. It’s probable they’ll lose their hair at this one.

Dr. Wagner Jr. © vs Rey Mysterio Jr. for the AAA Heavyweight Championship

Mysterio returning once again to his original promotion to fight for their biggest title for the first time ever should be a big deal. It hasn’t come across that way.

Mysterio’s involvement in this show was announced well in advance (and was an early giveaway about Konnan’s renewed involvement), but Mysterio himself hasn’t appeared to build it up. AAA seemed stuck only reframing old promos used for previous returns until Rey sent in a video promoting this match in the last week. Mysterio on this show surely means Mysterio on TripleMania too – we might get to have lengthy debate about the fairness of him putting up his mask in that cage match – but it’s hard to tell what his commitment is to this promotion long term.

AAA’s commitment to Dr. Wagner Jr. used to be very clear. The payoff for Wagner winning the mask match appeared to be packaged with this championship and a star making title match with his son, either on this big show or the next. That direction seems to have been dropped cold with the change in leadership. Wagner’s now left with nothing particular to do, and a lukewarm championship reign. Challengers like La Parka, Hernandez and Pagano are going to be a problem for anyone, but Wagner’s own performance in those matches haven’t been impressive. A match with Mysterio should be a sure thing for just about anyone. It’s a little less sure here.

This match was originally announced as a three way match, third person left a mystery. When AAA updated the card, that third person was wiped from existence. Yet, AAA’s social media later made an offhand mention about this match being a three way still. No one is quite sure what the deal is, but it would no longer be a surprise if someone was added to this match. (There’s was an involved storyline involving a Money in The Bank-like briefcase last year in Kross’ possession which could resurface, or it could make even less sense.)

Mysterio probably shouldn’t win the AAA championship unless he’s quietly committed to a lot of dates, and it’s hard to see why he’d make that commitment. (Rey happens to be rival promotion The Crash’s heavyweight champion, and his limited dates there has essentially put the title on ice.)

Wagner seems to have passed his expiration date as champion, especially if they’re not going to do his feud with his son. The MAD storyline seems to be the most important bit in AAA, and the most important bit should have the heavyweight title. Whether it’s Kross or Cage or someone else being added to the mix, this match is likely going in a strange direction.

Should you watch?

Absolutely, if you’re around to watch it live on Sunday. There’s some really good matches to start off the show, with people you might know even if you’re not watching a lot of lucha. There’s also genuine intrigue in what’s going to happen with the rest of the matches and the big storyline. AAA is on an upswing in show quality of late and this is a good point to jump in, to give you’ll some idea of what’s going on before the annual car crash at TripleMania.