I’m not supposed to be working today. There’s not supposed to be a lucha libre preview this July. CMLL is running weekly shows of interest, but not building to any singular event until September. (Everyone’s struggling to read the tea leaves trying and figure out what’s actually being built.) AAA’s next big show should be August’s TripleMania, and there are not any other “third” groups running with high visibility. Except, improbably, the “third” lucha libre promotion most seen over the last few years has is back once again Lucha Libre Elite returns from the dead this Saturday night, as part of a promotion versus promotion show with AAA.

AAA vs. The Elite takes place this Saturday night from Mexico City. The listed start time is 8:30 pm Central Time, which probably means closer to 9. It’ll air on AAA’s Twitch channel live. This show is being heavily sponsored by World of Warcraft, and so will also appear on Blizzard’s Latin America Twitch channel. As part of the promotion, fans of being encouraged to wear red to support AAA and blue to support Elite. This show will later be available on AAA’s Twitch channel VOD ($5 USD/month) and it may turn up on the other channel’s VOD as well. The show is listed as a television taping. No network has been announced, and it doesn’t appear to be AAA’s usual Televisa outlet. That’s one of the mysteries around this show.

The history of Elite would require many paragraphs of explanation, or some hours of therapy. The short version is the promotion has “died” about a half dozen times, only to resurrect itself each time in a slightly different form. The most popular version had a choice TV spot, prime time on an over the air network in Mexico while also airing in delay on the US. This era included the most famous of the LA Park/Rush matches along with a plethora star matches using CMLL talent and the Arena Mexico location. Elite did exactly what CMLL is doing this summer, allowing indie wrestlers to mix with their own to create new matchups, two years earlier. It has been a big success for CMLL and it was a strong failure for Elite, who struggled at actually promoting the matchups.

That era of Elite is now three deaths ago.

This era of Elite is unclear. It’s Mexico, and it’s lucha libre, so there’s not a great public explanation for anything that’s going on with Elite suddenly being involved with AAA. The educated guess is this is a Weekend at Bernie‘s situation, where AAA quietly bought the remains of the promotion and is propping them up as if they’re still alive. Elite wrestlers have been appearing on AAA TV tapings with no story on why they’re there, and Elite has not announced any shows they’re running outside of this one co-branded event. No one loves stories about invading/opposing promotions than AAA, and Elite may simply be the latest stand-in for the dream feud with CMLL they can never make happen.

Elite, being a defunct promotion, doesn’t really have a roster of wrestlers. It had a wide group of luchadors wrestle for it at one moment or another. Whoever is actually running the promotion now has pulled enough of them together fill out this card. It’s the quality that’s an issue: the TV version of Elite was built around Cibernetico and Caristico, and they want no part of this. The press conference to announce this Elite/AAA show unimpressively introduced ex-AAA Electroshock and IWRG perennial Golden Magic as the big Elite stars. That would’ve been enough to kill Elite once more if they hadn’t quickly mentioned LA Park would also be on the Elite side. Still, the star power to the average fan watching wrestling on TV leans heavily towards AAA, and it’ll probably be a sea of red on Saturday.

Faby Apache, La Hiedra, Vanilla (AAA) vs Keyra, Lady Maravilla, Zeuxis (ELITE)

Faby Apache has a hair versus mask with Lady Shani in her future and leads a trio of AAA luchadoras in the opener of this show. Well, kinda. La Hiedra is a regular member of the roster. Vanilla is Puerto Rico’s Vanilla Vargas making her debut in the promotion, who has been seen in Mexico a few times working Ultimo Dragon’s Toryumon Mexico shows and training in CMLL’s classes under Arkangel de la Muerte. She also worked some Aro Lucha shows, which is the connection back to AAA. AAA fans probably didn’t have any idea who she was until they posted an introduction video this week. Keyra & Lady Maravilla are on seemingly every high-end Mexico indie show, either fighting or teaming as Los Con-Madres. Zeuxis is the most noticeable inclusion, showing up in an AAA ring after quitting CMLL ones about six weeks ago. Zeuxis has made it clear she’s not signed a contract with AAA or ELITE, where she worked while still part of CMLL. Appearing on this show is still big news. It’s unlikely to be her only big career news this month.

La Máscara & Máximo (AAA) vs Trauma I & Trauma II (ELITE)

Los Traumas are the biggest name current Mexico indie stars never to go to a major promotion. Their version is going to either AAA or CMLL would force them to change their hard-hitting submission style to fit in. The two sons of Negro Navarro have instead worked for every midmajor promotion possible and did adapt their matches when they worked for Elite prior, though they avoided the TV version. The real story might lean towards the Traumas preferring being big fish in a small pond. A match with comedy Maximo and half effort La Mascara is definitely not going to be a serious llave demonstration. The Brazo cousins are starting to split up too, making this more likely to be story driven than action oriented. There’s a good chance this is a mess, and also a good chance Los Traumas win, which is probably good enough for them.

Aerostar & a surprise partner (AAA) vs Hijo de LA Park & Taurus (ELITE)

Big LA Park working both AAA & CMLL in 2018 means Hijo de LA Park gets to do the same. He’ll probably be better in the more out of control structure of AAA shows. The real highlight of this match is Aerostar and his crazy flying ideas Taurus, the man who makes can make any crazy flying move work. There are two people better designed at working together, and the taste of it at the last AAA TV was pretty sweet. Aerostar is normally teaming with Drago, who might not have been advertised originally while he was coming back from a shoulder injury. It could also be the returning Bengala, who suffered a serious foot injury competing on a reality show back in March and hasn’t made it back to TV since. Or it could be one of the dozens of other AAA flyers who aren’t booked for this show.



Rey Escorpión & Texano Jr. (AAA) vs Golden Magic & Laredo Kid (ELITE)

Golden Magic has made the most appearances in AAA of the ELITE wrestlers. He was Rey Escorpion & Texano’s surprise partner on the last AAA TV taping. The rudos didn’t like that surprise all that much and attacked Golden Magic to cost all of them the match. Magic teams this time with world traveler Laredo Kid for the best on paper match on this card. Escorpion & Texano have gelled quickly as a team, and are capable opponents for flyers like Magic & Laredo. Their matches do tend to lean heavy on cheating, including help from underexplained Samoan friend, but they’ve been pretty entertaining so far. The wildcard here is Escorpion, who jumped from CMLL to Elite when the two promotions broke up, then jumped to AAA when the ship sank. Escorpion ending up once again as part of this version of Elite to shore up the roster would fit, especially if the promotion name was meant to be sticking around for a while.

Joe Lider & Pagano (AAA) vs Jack Evans & Teddy Hart (ELITE)

Jack Evans & Teddy Hart came to Mexico together in a decade ago, and haven’t teamed together since 2009. Jack was flipped to the tecnico side, and Teddy wore out his welcome, got brought back, and wore out his welcome again. Teddy appearing by surprise in Tijuana back in April kicked off this latest Elite return. He’s not been seen since, and it seemed a fair guess he had worn out his welcome once again until his name popped up on this show. Teddy Hart cutting a crazy Teddy Hart promo following an ELITE cage match was a memorable moment from the Elite TV run, and reason to bring him back. Unfortunately, the AAA side is two luchadors who lean most into garbage matches. This’ll be another.

Dr. Wagner Jr., Hijo del Fantasma, Psycho Clown (AAA) vs Electroshock, LA Park and a surprise wrestler (ELITE)

That’s the match on the poster, anyway.

Dr. Wagner Jr. has told the press he’s quit AAA and had no more dates with them at the moment. AAA still has him listed on this show and shows beyond. Meanwhile, a press conference to promote this show was interrupted by a motorcycle riding AAA La Parka, furious that the Elite wrestlers would set foot in their ring after having bad things about the promotion. Parka vowed to do something about it, and maybe replacing Wagner in the main event will be that something.

That would also set up La Parka on the opposite side of his old rival LA Park. AAA has done a good enough job of selling the promotion versus promotion concept in the press, but the people who come to this show to oppose AAA are there to cheer LA Park more than they are Elite. Park is the man of the moment, the guy who can float between both major companies and be at the center of everything. This is his first match back in AAA in this run, and so his first time fighting Psycho Clown & Hijo del Fantasma since they’ve all been announced for the TripleMania four-way mask match (with Pentagon, who’s occupied with CMLL & Impact duties this weekend.) Park has had many brawls in this same arena. He’ll be fighting two men who want to prove they’re every bit of a challenge to him as Rush, and perhaps one man who he truly dislikes. This one is going to get out of control

There’s no big hint offered for the last mystery spot. Konnan’s made of a declaration fo wanting surprises one every show to keep people talking. It is taking place in Mexico City, which usually shakes loose a rumor or twelve about someone jumping from CMLL. That hasn’t happened this time, but it’ll probably be someone of importance to keep the value of these surprises high.

AAA vs. The Elite is not going to going to compete with G1’s star ratings, and it doesn’t have much built up with many weeks of stories like the Impact show. It does have at least the appearance of a rare promotion versus promotion battle, even if one of the promotions might only exist for this show. It also looks to be unpredictable chaos seen in the last few AAA shows, and in lucha libre a lot this summer. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re around Saturday night.