AAA’s Rey de Reyes 2019 is a strangely uneventful appearing card for what has been an exciting promotion this year. The bigger issues and matches seem to be saved for something other than their annual spring major show if AAA can be trusted to bring anything to a conclusion. The quality of AAA shows has been so high that it’s still a worthwhile time investment and, true to AAA, the biggest intrigue is if the card gets changed around during the show. There is a wrestling show here that might double as a three-hour guessing game about the Young Bucks whereabouts.
Rey de Reyes, traditionally AAA’s second biggest show of the year, takes place this Saturday night in a 9,000 seat outdoor arena in Puebla. The show is scheduled to start at 8 pm locally. If you changed clocks this past weekend, there’s an additional hour delay. Tack on the usual AAA slow start, and I’m guessing the first match starts around 9:30 pm where I live in Chicago. You can get help finding the time where you live here.
Rey de Reyes 2019 will stream on Twitch in Spanish like usual, free live and part of a $5/month subscription on VOD. It will also be available in edited form in YouTube in a couple of months. The big change from the last major show is Rey de Reyes will also be available in English. Or something along those lines. AAA is now running their English stream for all shows, instead of just TripleMania. It’s not as promising as it might sound.
Instead of giving them their own audio feed, the English announcers are so far simply talking over the Spanish feed with the sound turned way down. Those English speaking announcers have been Vampiro and a rotating partner, on the theory that Vampiro is popular, an experienced broadcast professional and available. Only the last part seems definitely true. Vampiro is a guy who has trouble maintaining interest for a long period of time, is easily distracted by negative comments in the Twitch chat room or Twitter, and often does not seem to know what’s going on in AAA despite being the storyline power. Vampiro commentating over a three-hour show is not an ideal use of Vampiro or a successful way to sell AAA to an English speaking audience. None of this should be a surprise to AAA, who have watched Vampiro go down in flames for multiple TripleManias. The best guess is AAA just dismisses any complaints as unimportant compared to Vampiro’s star power, and using a guy who is always available to them is the most painless way to check off “English commentary” from their to-do checklist. If you want the car crash of Vampiro commentary or will only watch a show if English is offered, it is an option for you. If you’re not a regular and want to get up to speed with AAA, the English feed doesn’t have a lot to offer.
There are seven matches scheduled. The schedule is not something AAA has ever committed to, but it feels like a reasonable place to start.
Big Mami & Niño Hamburguesa © vs Lady Maravilla & Villano III Jr. for the AAA Mixed Tag Team Championship
There are few matches with a story in this match. Weirdly, the opener is one of the best-built matches on the entire show. Lady Maravilla, tired of having to work for everything in her life, was convinced by her best friend Keyra that it was time to start manipulating men into giving her what she wants. (Belated happy International Women’s Day to you all.) Maravilla has set her goals a little low, racking up wins in in opening matches, but it’s working for her. She has been able to Nino Hamburguesa like he came with a controller. That’s gotten Maravilla (& hanger-on Villano III) this title match. Maravilla will again try to trick Hamburger Boy into hesitating at the wrong moment, while the recently absent Big Mami will try to snap her partner out of his love haze. Mami & Hamburguesa have gotten over every time they’ve been part of a big show and this should not be any different, but a title change may be necessary to move this story on.
Lady Shani © vs La Hiedra vs Keyra vs Chik Tormenta for the Reina de Reinas Championship
There are certain realities to the AAA women’s division. Most of the characters are different variations on a “small, but actually scary” theme. All the corner dropkicks are legit. And, unless Faby Apache is involved, none of them are allowed to have 1 v1 matches live on Twitch. Chik Tormenta has been good in rare appearances. Hiedra has improved a lot. They’re both really here to add some bodies and avoid doing the direct Lady Shani versus Keyra title match. Keyra is aiming for both the real championship and the unofficial “baddest woman in AAA” title after shockingly punking out Faby Apache on the previous taping. Keyra left Apache alive, which means she’ll probably pay for it badly later. Shani has been distant in the division she leads – her current motivation is getting a match with her mentor, Taya, but that seems as though it may be held until TripleMania – so this might just be a chance for the champion to knock the loudest challenger down a peg.
Los Perros del Mal (Daga, Joe Lider, Taya) vs Poder del Norte (Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana)
Daga officially returned to AAA earlier this month, after working some sporadic spot shows with the promotion prior. He’s the third of those who walked out of the promotion in January 2017. Pentagon returned and got a spot in TripleMania’s main event. Fenix returned and became megachampion. Daga returned and, uh, ended up in some trios matches so far? This one is at least is an unexpected reunion of Los Perros del Mal, foreshadowed by Joe Lider giving a surprise assist to Taya in one of her matches last month. There’s been no been any great promotion of that fact, nor any great reason they’re facing Poder del Norte, but the two sides should combine for a good match.
Drago, Pagano, Puma King vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
There’s no real great reason for this one either. It just appears to be about getting a few more names booked. The chances of the match being good are lessened with Pagano, but the chances of something hilariously happening are way up. Averno’s OGTs have been start/stop the last six months, with stories of them teaming with La Parka or feuding with him pretty much going nowhere. (AAA has kept La Parka involved in a lot while also successfully keeping him out of many matches.) Drago is the current AAA Latin America champion without a challenger, and any of the rudos would provide an interesting match for an upcoming TV show. It seems a stretch to expect this to head that way, or any direction at all.
Laredo Kid, Hijo Del Vikingo, Jack Evans, Sammy Guevara, Australian Suicide, Taurus, Golden Magic, Aerostar, Myzteziz in the AAA Rey de Reyes tournament
No room for the traditional 16-man structure on this year’s card. No real explanation about what this nine-person match is supposed to be either. In these situations, AAA’s tended towards a royal rumble styled match with eliminations only thru pinfalls or eliminations. Over the top rules wouldn’t really work with a match featuring these many high flyers. Laredo Kid, Vikingo & Myzteziz are Los Jinetes del Aire. They’re their current trios champions, and Laredo recently picked up the Cruiserweight Championship from Sammy Guevera. That trios title match seems the ultimate destination here, assuming all the foreigners are sticking around in AAA. Aerostar’s endpoint is a big match with Monsther Clown – there’s a legit chance that’s a mask match in August – but no Monsther means he’ll just be leaping at people at odd angles. Golden Magic is here to be pretty good or pretty bad, depending on the day. Taurus is pretty good all the time but his return to AAA has given him the same noting to do that which caused him to leave. The Minotaur is a good bet to win the sword which goes along with this tournament, if only for the illusion of something happening with him.
Mamba, Máximo, Psycho Clown vs Jeff Jarrett, Killer Kross, La Máscara in a cage match
AAA has found their escape door on the boring La Mascara versus Maximo cousins feud: Psycho Clown saves the day, as always. AAA has started easing Psycho into the feud by having La Mascara threaten to attack the crippled Brazo de Plata, and a three-way feud for TripleMania means there’s at least a couple over people. (Rey Escorpion may yet find his way to be included in the final match.) The problem is that’s definitely a TripleMania match, which means five or so more months of Mascara & Maximo having matches. No one wants that, and a cage isn’t going to help much. There isn’t anything on the line, there isn’t any reason to have a cage, AAA just thinks cage matches are really cool and sell tickets.
Killer Kross is here because he’s on a three-year run of never being submitted, pinned, or given a long term plan to a blow-off match. Credit Kross for emphasizing the positive, but his “unbeaten” streak mostly exists because AAA can’t come up with an idea for him that sticks for longer than a month, and hasn’t resulted in the fans caring much about him. I’m very unclear why WWE Creative Team Member Jeff Jarrett is still being booked for this shows. His character was effectively finished up in December and yet he’s still here. There were some vague plans for the travel group he’s working with to organize a trip to TripleMania, so perhaps that business reason is an excuse for him to pick up bookings. I’m not sure the United States & Europe markets are going to be flocking to Mexico City to see Dr. Wagner & Blue Demon at this point, and I’m even more sure I wouldn’t want someone who is part of WWE to be in my locker room when they’re actively trying to sign up anyone they can and are just missing a better inroad to Mexico. It says something about how much the Roldan family loves Jarrett that they’re booking the fox in the semi-main of the hen house like this.
Fénix & Pentagón Jr. vs Rey Escorpión & Texano Jr. for the AAA Tag Team Championship
Fenix is the AAA world heavyweight champion, the Mega Champion, the holder of the most important title in the promotion. He took that belt across the world late last year. He has just not actually defended it in AAA since TripleMania. AAA & Fenix have tried, Fenix has gotten injured twice before scheduled defenses, it just hasn’t worked out. AAA has Fenix for Rey de Reyes, Fenix appears to be as close to 100% as he’s going to be, and this is the perfect time for a title defense. He is challenging for the tag team titles instead.
The tag title match will be good. It’s a new match. Fenix facing Escorpion & Texano’s could be part of the build to a teased Fenix/Fantasma title match. It really hasn’t hurt AAA’s business by having the main title not being defended. (Which is more about how little the title means, but still.) It probably wouldn’t hurt AAA’s business if they won these tag team titles and disappeared until TripleMania either. It still is very weird. Last year’s Rey de Reyes was headlined by a Texano versus Hijo del Fantasma hair match, a tag match that was built up by one video promo is a little bit lower in magnitude. It feels like there’s a missing piece here.
Maybe there’s a missing piece. AAA has announced Cody will be at Rey de Reyes, as part of the new alliance between AAA & AEW. No role has been mentioned. He’s still recovering from knee surgery, so it is unlikely he’ll much of a physical one. He’s also not the only AEW wrestler teased for the show. This week’s Being the Elite ends with a Young Bucks packing for the show montage. We know it’s a show outside the US because a passport is held conspicuously on screen for a few seconds. The dialogue hints it is for their first match since the Tokyo Dome. The location is left as a mystery.
the end of this week's Being the Elite ends with the Bucks packing for an unexplained trip, apparently international because they make a point of showing the passport, and is hinted to be their first match since 01/04 pic.twitter.com/dWqGcUhMIo
— luchablog (@luchablog) March 11, 2019
The location could be Japan. While DDT appears to be off, everyone seems to expect the Bucks to be working with NJPW again at some point, and they are running this weekend. It might a trip for China; it wouldn’t hurt to get a look at the OWE kids in person before Double or Nothing. They’re surely making an appearance in Europe at some point. There’s nothing in that video teaser than specifically spells out Mexico & AAA as their destination. A Young Bucks would explain why AAA has decided on a tag team main event—easy to add another team—instead of a singles title defense. It would be less clear how much it is mean since a surprise can’t be hyped all that much. The only people who are even talking about this as a possibility are the relatively tiny speck of the English speaking wrestling universe who pays attention to AAA; if the Bucks did show up as a surprise, then it’ll probably still be a surprise to most people a day after it happened. Getting my hopes up and then dashed by Hiromu Takahashi’s non-return has me doubting any other suggestions of surprise appearances. Still, it is AAA, and things that might be crazy like “flying the Bucks to Puebla, not selling a single extra ticket for it, and giving them the AAA tag titles” with other groups are actually their brand of crazy. I can’t totally knock the idea down.
The importance of AAA’s Rey de Reyes is completely dependent on what they’re doing in the main event. Most everything else is a way-point onto something bigger. AAA has talked about having six main event quality matches on TripleMania. This card might be an early suggestion that main event quality matches, or at least feuding ending ones, are going to be missing from the other shows this year as a result. It doesn’t really matter that much for AAA: you’ve got to watch them for the quality of matches because the payoffs for everything else are rarely that great. The match quality on this show seems pretty high. Everything, except the semi-main, should be good. The Reyes del Aire match and the main event (regardless of whose added to it) should be great.
Most AAA shows this year have been pretty good, and Rey de Reyes 2019 looks to be no exception.