AAA’s Verano de Escandalo is not simply the Young Bucks vs. the Lucha Brothers one more time. It just risks coming off that way to most of the audience. The AAA summer show looks to wrap up one of AEW’s early stories while seemingly not advancing many of their own.

AAA’s traditional summer show, Verano de Escandalo, takes place Sunday night in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. The stream is set to kick off around 5:00 pm CT with the first match usually hitting the ring around twenty minutes later. (You can find more on the start times here.) As with every TV taping in Mexico, AAA will stream the show live on Twitch in Spanish & English. This is a hard decision.

  • Spanish: you probably don’t understand the language but they sure are excited, possibly some vague positive memories of Hugo Savinovich from WWE, but the stream is always dropping frames and does not play smoothly (and has been this way for months)
  • English: stream plays perfectly, but the English announcers are actually Spanish native speakers who have to translate their thoughts before they say them, reducing their speed and excitement greatly. They’re also just seemingly just streaming over the top of the Spanish feed and turning the volume down, so the audio feels muted. On the plus side, no more Vampiro.

This may all be moot for Sunday. The English stream is the way it is because it remains very hard to get English speaking people to pay for AAA. AAA does seem to spring for that added expense of an on-site announce team (though not flying in a native English speaking announcer) on their bigger shows, so both streams may be equal in frame dropping quality. I got frustrated with the stream playing issues and have switched to the English feed for this month, but I’m also a weirdo who needs a good quality stream of GIF purposes. You might still be better with Spanish.

(Programming note 1: AAA is also running a show on Saturday. The lineup is nothing special. It probably won’t be necessary viewing. Just don’t be confused if people are tweeting about a show on Saturday, Verano de Escandalo is still on Sunday.)

AAA’s reveal of Verano de Escandalo was underwhelming. It looks a little more sensible with a few weeks to build to it, but AAA overall still seems to be falling into the same patterns as this time of year as always. The big moments they’ve spent the spring building towards are held off with the idea of doing saving them for TripleMania. Only, TripleMania is inevitably packed with guest stars and gimmick matches, and there’s no room to give those story payoffs. AAA has spent a lot of time on the telenovela triangle of Nino Hamburguesa, Big Mami and Lady Maravilla. Verano de Escandalo would’ve been the moment for Hamburguesa finally to make a decision. Instead, none of the three are booked. Maybe they’ll get to it in two months.

(Programming Note 2: There’s a good chance this is a dumb exercise! AAA puts lineup a month ahead of time and then does whatever fits on the day of the show. There was a recent event where AAA advertised five matches, ran six, and none of the six were the matches announced. The changes typically create better matches but are also just as often making up for missing people. My guess is this will more stick to the announced lineup because it’s a big card. In reality, there’s nothing 100% guaranteed to happen here beyond the Lucha Brothers and the Young Bucks sharing a ring.)

The matches currently on the card

1) Keyra vs Lady Shani vs Chik Tormenta

Lady Shani is still the AAA Reina de Reinas champion. This is listed as a non-title match. That’ll probably change. Both Tormenta and Keyra have earned title matches recently and this is the simplest way to take care of those. Tormenta has opened a lot of eyes in her first full-time stint with a major league promotion after years of being an itinerant indie luchadors. Keyra was the woman with the hype coming into the year but Tormenta’s come thru more in matches.

Neither stands a great chance of dislodging Lady Shani off her throne. Shani is theoretically the leader of the women’s division as champion but has been stuck in her usual background spot for most of the year. Lady Maravilla/Big Mami, Taya/Tessa, and Faby Apache all have been promoted as more important situations. Shani will probably be pulled into one of those issues for TripleMania and I guess it’s at least impressive that AAA is capable of running four different women’s feuds at once.

2) Faby Apache vs Hijo del Tirantes

Actually, make that three and a half women’s feuds. Faby Apache has been giving Hijo del Tirantes spinning backbreakers before losing to a speedy three count for something approaching a decade. It’s been less a feud and more a bit that got old years ago, except a woman beating up an evil referee remains a very easy way to get a reaction. AAA played around with these two being allies during Faby Apache’s ruda stint last year and now they’re teasing the idea of finally settling with a hair match at TripleMania.

Hijo del Tirantes is a trained wrestler. He has about a dozen matches each year, either filling in on AAA spot shows or local indie shows around his hometown of Xalapa. He knows how to get a reaction. He’s also just not very good at the technical aspects of wrestling and the few lead-up matches to this have had his teammates doing most of the work. AAA seems determined to have these two meet in a hair match at TripleMania so hopefully, they can figure out a match.

3) Mamba & Máximo vs Australian Suicide & Sammy Guevara

The most interesting part of this match is the possibility of Sammy Guevara actually making an AAA booking. He’s on an incredible streak of being advertised and not appearing. His most recent miss was said to be issues not at his fault or AAA’s fault. Previous missed shows seemed to involve AAA booking Guevera in Mexico the same day he was wrestling in Pakistan.

All four wrestlers here can be good if they’re motivated. There’s no motivation here, not to this match at least. Mamba & Maximo have been spare parts since La Mascara left town. Suicide & Guevera form a trio with Jack Evans that lasted one show before both Evans and Guevera disappeared. Maximo’s good at getting thru matches which has no reason to exist, but that’s all this is.

4) Laredo Kid & Taya vs Daga & Tessa Blanchard

Good couples indulge in each other’s interests. Tessa’s interest in AAA is to resume her feud with Taya from Impact, so Daga is taking a step back from his pursuit of a championship to back her up. Taya & Daga have their own issues, with Daga declaring the Perros del Mal group finished and Taya taking that as a personal attack on the memory of Perro Aguayo Junior. Laredo Kid is here because he’s very good, they want this match to be good, and Laredo pretty much never gets any narrative motivation of his own. (Laredo is cruiserweight champion and so would’ve made sense as a Daga title target, except AAA has already set up a Drago/Daga feud. I have no idea why Drago isn’t here.)

Daga’s character has been good in AAA but he’s lacked strong recommendable match. All Laredo Kid does is have great matches, Taya has been at her best in intergender matches and this seems like a good situation for everyone involved. Tessa has won all her matches since arriving in AAA and this should be no different.

5) Aerostar, Pagano, Puma King vs Chessman, Killer Kross, Monsther Clown

Three feuds that may or may not be going anywhere combined into one match. Aerostar & Monsther Clown have been going at it since late last year. Their promos have suggested both TripleMania or MSG as the place to have their mask match, but Monster & Aerostar are the level of people who get crammed into a multiperson match on those cards. (Mark that down as another feud which should’ve just been ended here.) Puma King and Killer Kross are also rivals, only Kross already won their one singles match handily. This might just be a holding pattern until other people get free. Likewise, Pagano and Chessman already had a (TLC!) match which Pagano won to get revenge on Chessman, yet they’re still teasing more. Pagano is also dramatically posting unhappy messages on social media as if he’s not going to be around AAA too much longer.

A similar match to this at Rey de Reyes ended with about half the participants appearing maimed or just plain dead. Pagano likes stunts, some of which he can successfully perform. Kross is putting people thru a table in every match. Aerostar has crazy ideas. There’s a good chance for a repeat of destruction.

6) Hijo Del Vikingo, La Parka, Myzteziz Jr. vs La Hiedra, Rey Escorpión, Texano Jr.

Did anyone hear about this Vikingo kid? This moment is yet the viral moment. That moment might have happened now if Vikingo was set up for a showcase on a show with AEW talent. Instead, this is truly a La Parka feud match.

Parka wants revenge for his son being attacked on the opening show of the year. The slight problem is the person who attacked him is Hijo del Fantasma, who is long gone from AAA, Parka has re-directed the feud towards the Mercenarios in general, but this is cold and just an excuse to get people to cheer Parka. Parka’s endorsed Vikingo, Myzteziz, and Laredo, so that’s how they get pulled in. Myzteziz & Vikingo will get to do some flying but Parka’s comedy is the focus in these. Even when he’s getting revenge for his son.

Los Mercenarios have been a better act since both the disinterested La Mascara and the disillusioned Hijo del Fantasma left AAA. Taurus is a better fit in these matches. Hiedra has been great as a chaos causing second and surprisingly solid in intergender matches, though asking her to base for Vikingo and Myzteziz in a big match is a bit too much. This should have some highlights. It just isn’t the right match for this show.

There’s a 100% chance the Bucks film something with Vikingo for Being The Elite at this show.

7) Fénix & Pentagón Jr. vs Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson © [AAA TAG]

  • Number of AAA shows the Young Bucks will have worked in 2019: 2
  • Number of AAA shows the Lucha Brothers will have worked in 2019: 2

(They’re the same two shows.)

You can not mention AEW & NJPW someday working together without someone mentioning it is completely impossible because NJPW works with CMLL and AEW works with AAA. I’ve posited for months – and I’ll stop after this because it’s getting old – that there’s no real sign of AEW & AAA working together with each other than them saying so. It’s always a good idea to track what people are doing, not just what they say they’re going to do.

AEW is definitely working with the legal arm of AAA that strongly grips the remaining Lucha Underground contracts, allowing them to use Penta and Fenix and maybe Sonny Kiss and Luchasaurus and others. AEW couldn’t have used them on Double or Nothing without making a deal with AAA. Those LU deals have lasted eons but they are believed to be a couple of months from expiring, meaning AEW won’t need AAA anymore to use those wrestlers. The Young Bucks figure to be returning the tag team belts to AAA on this show. This match didn’t get mentioned on Being The Elite, a tell they don’t expect the outcome to fit the story they’re trying to tell. AAA brings up the Cody & Taurus interaction from Rey de Reyes from time to time, but that’s not something Cody or AEW is pushing. AAA has a history of making deals where they give up a lot in the hopes of improving their brand recognition in the US. They never last long. I don’t expect this to be the end of AEW in AAA – TripleMania is around the corner, wrestling in front of 15,000 fans is generally a good idea –  but there are no deep roots being put down right now. These also are two promotions who are technically competing for the same space with AAA’s wild plan of running 10 basketball stadium shows next year. (I’m mentioning it because it exists, not because I believe it happens.)

There are plenty of men and women beyond Fenix & Penta who would be an asset to a US promotion. None of them would mean as much as a NJPW connection. If Harold Meij called up AEW today, the AAA/AEW deal would be tomorrow. I don’t have any great investment in how AEW or NJPW work out, but I’m hoping AAA keeps that all in mind.

You don’t really need a preview for the Lucha Brothers versus the Young Bucks as a match at this point. AAA only fans really did last time and didn’t get one. AAA has done a mildly better job this time, showing video packages promoting the feud and promos from each set of brothers. Konnan has hyped the match in his own promos on every show. Still, this match comes off as an offer match from a different promotion, disconnected from everything else as going on. Konnan was sure the AAA fans would know who the Young Bucks are when they came back for this rematch, and I’m not positively sure that’s going to be the case.

You do need to realize that as much as it doesn’t make sense for Matt & Nick to remain AAA tag team champions, it barely makes sense for Penta & Fenix to have those belts either. AAA desperately needs Fenix to finally defend the AAA Mega Championship. Fenix won it last year and injuries and timing mean he’s had zero AAA defenses in ten months. Kross has started calling out Penta in promos, making that the apparent next direction. If Fenix & Penta win the tag titles, they probably won’t be defended any more often than if the Young Bucks have them in the short term. If AAA wants to put the belts in play, this needs to end up a repeat of Rey de Reyes. I’m not sure if that’ll take the form of a third team being added to the match and AAA not exactly doing the match advertised or that third team challenging after. Rey Escorpion & Texano Jr. winning the tag titles they lost to start this sequence seems possible, and sure would explain why both of them are in the previous match and not the next.

Dr. Wagner Jr. & Psycho Clown vs Blue Demon Jr. & Taurus

It’s the same deal as always. Wagner & Demon, hair vs mask will be a big deal even if the matches leading up to it aren’t much. The matches leading up to it really haven’t been much, though AAA tends to dress them up with run-ins on these shows. Taurus is in a group without having much to do. Psycho Clown does have something to do, a feud with Rey Escorpion, and it is mildly suspicious it isn’t being followed up here. Psycho Clown was the most over person on the Rey de Reyes show and the crowd lost steam after his match. This card layout is a reaction to that; the Young Bucks and Lucha Brothers are the reason why people outside of Mexico may care about the show, but it is a different story for those in the building.

AAA has been great this year. Years of disappointing overbooked shows and technical failures have marred AAA’s name in the US, a market AAA is once again urgently trying to crack. A guest appearance by the Young Bucks would’ve been an exceptional time to showcase the new look of AAA. This doesn’t have that sort of coherent vision, with some of the best parts of AAA left off. AAA looks like they’re going to sell out this show, so it is hard to argue with how they’re booking for the home fans. Their roster has also been so good that it would be a mistake to discount them here. AAA just could’ve put them in a better position to succeed. This isn’t AAA putting their best foot forward, this is putting a pretty OK foot first. If AAA tears this all up and comes up with something new on Sunday, they’ll probably end up with something better.