ASISTENCIA ASESORÍA Y ADMINISTRACIÓN
HÉROES INMORTALES XIII
OCTOBER 19, 2018
ORIZABA, VERACRUZ
COLISEO LA CONCORDIA

Watch: Twitch

Despite some big bumps along the road, AAA is having a great 2019 and I really hope they continue their streak of fun big shows with Héroes Inmortales XIII, the annual tribute to AAA’s founder, the late Antonio Peña. Of course, one of the main attractions of the card is the Megachampionship match between Rey Fénix and Kenny Omega, which should be a fantastic match, but will it be able to catch the attention of Mexican fans? How much international buzz will it create? It will definitely be interesting to find out. 

As always, thecubsfan’s preview of this show is a must-read.

La Parka opened up the show with a promo about the significance of Héroes Inmortales. Konnan quickly interrupted, and flanked by Arez, Látigo, Dave the Clown and Parka Negra, he started talking crap about Antonio Peña and the Mexican crowd, calling them everything – from illiterates to strippers – until Vampiro’s music hit. Vampiro attacked Konnan, but a low-blow stopped him and allowed Konnan’s gang to stomp the bejeezus out of him. This would be the last we would see of either Vampiro or Konnan in this show. Fun start. 

DRASTICK BOY, LADY SHANI, PIMPINELA ESCARLATA & OCTAGONCITO DEF. DEMUS, AUSTRALIAN SUICIDE, VANILLA & MAMBA (w/MICHAEL NAKAZAWA)

The Relevos Atómicos de Locura match is a concept created by Antonio Peña that features a luchador, a luchadora, an exótico, and a mini. Michael Nakazawa is a name that I would never have thought would wrestle in this type of match, but to be honest, the man is perfect for it; thankfully, AAA is a dream factory and we got to see him perform his comedic antics in front of a Veracruz crowd that loved the act. I hope Nakazawa returns to AAA.

Pimpinela and Nakazawa was a beautiful pairing that I never knew I needed until this night: their interactions were gold and were my favorite part of this crazy, fun match that also featured some tremendous base work from Demus and a spectacular tope from Drastick. After all the high spots, Lady Shani pinned Mamba with a Northern Lights Suplex. This match flowed like water and it was so damn fun. I don’t even know how to rate it: it was like eating a bunch of ice-cream with each spoonful being a different flavor. I guess I’ll go ***¾

AAA World Mix Tag Team Championship
LADY MARAVILLA & VILLANO III JR. (c) DEF. LÁTIGO & KEYRA AND BIG MAMI & NIÑO HAMBURGUESA

Despite the Triplemania treason, Niño Hamburguesa still has feelings for Lady Maravilla, which was exploited by the villainous luchadora in a promo before the match started… but got crushed by Big Mami, who has been looking for revenge for months.

Yes, this match delivered everything that was promised. It was bonkers. Niño and Mami dominated the early portion of the match with fantastic tag team moves as well as spectacular dives. Villano III had enough and started hitting everyone with chairs, but was soon put to sleep – along with some others – with a sloppy Tower of Doom. The match got into a frantic pace: Látigo almost murders Lady Maravilla with a nasty brainbuster on the apron. Mere seconds later, Villano III hit latigo with Spanish fly to the floor. Then, Lady hit an avalanche belly to belly suplex to Keyra. But Big Mami was waiting for her and hit her with a Gory Bomb. Big Mami tried sending Lady to the corner, but the ruda fell to her knees and started signaling to her injured knee. Niño Hamburguesa was immediately there and – once again – stopped Mami from attacking the ‘injured’ Maravilla. Villano III appeared out of nowhere to dropkick Niño and give him a nasty cutter into a table that didn’t break. Lady Maravilla, who was – of course – faking the injury, took a chair and hit Big Mami square in the face, and covered her for the win. ***¾

Lady Maravilla mocked Niño Hamburguesa for falling into her trap again, and then slapped him. Niño realized his mistake a little too late. Big Mami took the mic and cut the following promo: 

 “That cheap stripper (Lady Maravilla) cheated again and you fell for it. Keep her, I don’t want anything to do with you. From now on, I’m fighting alone for what I believe…. “

Then she turned to Maravilla and threatened her: “Maravilla, this is the second time you defeat me by cheating. I’m coming for revenge.”

If you love AAA, you love this storyline. And even if you don’t, you have to recognize that they’ve put effort into it and it makes sense.

AAA LATIN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
DAGA DEF. DRAGO (C)

Look, Daga does nothing for me. He’s a good wrestler, but he usually tries to have these strong style wannabe matches that fail miserably due to lack of real emotion. And well, that’s the best way to describe this match. It was easy to watch, they did some cool moves and Drago even popped me with a cool ‘no sell’ spot. However, there wasn’t substance here and it showed. The finale was very bad, mainly due to referee Piero: Daga used Green mist right in front of Piero, who wasn’t paying much attention and didn’t even try to hide it. Abismo Jr. (Daga’s second) tried interfering, Daga hit him with Green Mist, and after Piero finally decided to follow the script and look distracted, Daga foul kicked Drago to pin him. Yeah, this match was fine, but there was nothing remarkable about it. ***

LUMBERJACK MATCH
DINASTÍA, OCTAGÓN JR. & PUMA KING DEF. AREZ, ABISMO NEGRO JR. & SUPERFLY

The lumberjack match was a stipulation popularized by Antonio Peña in AAA, so we had to have it in this card, which is a shame because without it, this match would’ve been awesome. The lumberjack’s straps used for punishment didn’t even look that lethal.

But hey, we still got some fun stuff out of this! There was a sweet triple tope con giro spot, as well as some crazy dives from Octagon and Arez. Also, Puma King became babyface of the night by launching Hijo del Tirantes into the lumberjacks. Octagón Jr. (aka Golden Magic) looked perfectly comfortable, which is opposite of Abismo Negro Jr. (aka Eterno), who has done nothing to impress since the gimmick ‘change’. As someone that doesn’t have a strong opinion about this ‘renaissance of classic AAA characters’, I gotta say I love the Octagon gear, and it’s cool to see someone using 450º splashes with it. And that’s precisely how Octagón Jr. got the win for this team. Nice, fun match that could’ve been so much better without the lumberjacks. ***¼

Next, we got a nice video package to celebrate the history of Antonio Peña and the match that is a Heroes Inmortales tradition in his name. Jesús Zúñiga said that Marisela Peña asked to have women included in this match for the first time in history. Then, AAA used Skynet technology to show an Antonio Peña hologram.

HIJO DEL VIKINGO WON COPA ANTONIO PEÑA

The participants of this rumble style match were: Parka Negro, Hijo del Vikingo, Tritton, Black Taurus, Iron Kid, Faby Apache, La Hiedra, Aerostar, Monsther Clown, Dave the Clown and Murder Clown.

AAA is getting very good at this rumble-style matches, which not that long ago were atrocious. We can divide this one in two parts. First, we had the battle royal potion which had the debut of Tritton (a good wrestler that escaped CMLL’s hell) who managed to impress the crowd with a fantastic dive. Faby Apache eliminated many people including Murder Clown, and Aerostar continued his long, heated rivalry with Monsther Clown.

After all the eliminations, the match got down to Hijo del Vikingo vs. Taurus. And it was very, very special. These two fantastic wrestlers delivered drama and quality, performing some of the best lucha libre I’ve seen all year in a 7 minute sprint that packed enormous amounts of drama. We saw Taurus kicking out of a springboard 450° splash, then getting revenge by slamming Vikingo’s spine on the apron with a savage Rodeo Driver. It looked like Taurus was taking home the Cup when he hit an Avalanche Nudo Rosa Driver, but Vikingo sent the crowd into a frenzy with a kickout. It was the tecnico’s turn, as he hit a Top Rope Frankensteiner for a nearfall, followed by a Torito (Code Red type) Bomb on the apron. Incredible! After the brutal move, Vikingo climbed the top rope and hit a Cuerno del Vikingo for the win. Outstanding. After a fun little battle royal that didn’t overstay it’s welcome, we got two of the best mexican luchadores in the world going at it with everything they got in front of a red hot crowd. ****¼

Hijo del Vikingo is right there: the crowds love him, he’s all over the internet and AAA is clearly behind him. This man could become the next AAA ace and top lucha star of the country. For this match, he was just returning from injury and wasn’t even at 100%… and still managed to get an incredible bout. This man is a phenomenon. Black Taurus can do everything and with so many highly praised matches under his belt already, it’s just a matter of time for him to become an international star.

AAA MEGACHAMPIONSHIP
KENNY OMEGA DEF. REY FÉNIX (C)

Kenny Omega and Rey Fénix worked a smart twenty-minute match that packed lots of action and drama ideal for a mexican crowd that – coming in – didn’t care about one of the competitors. Early on, we didn’t get long limb work from Omega, but some hard spots to introduce us to the theme of the match with some dangerous dives along the way. The bout kicked into high gear with Kenny started attempting V-Triggers, both men exchanging cutter variations and Fénix hitting a beautiful springboard spanish fly. We started seeing big move after big move, and as a result the crowd was completely on board for the finishing stretch: Fénix hit a brutal Fire Thunder Driver for a nearfall, and then attempted a top rope frankensteiner but Omega countered into a tremendous powerbomb for a dramatic 2-count that got a huge pop. Without losing a second, Omega hit the double underhook piledriver but Fenix kicked out. The crowd was on fire now. Omega hit V-Trigger and One Winged Angel for the win. There was an excellent sense of escalation in this match that helped both competitors get over and show the mexican crowd a different type of match with the ideal duration to get everyone’s attention. ****¼

Not only was this a fantastic match, but it created tons of buzz on social media and it definitely draw attention to the product. I got reports from people in Veracruz saying that the live moment felt very special and that the crowd was on absolute fire for the finish; some of them mentioned to me that Omega got a big supporting. This is easily the best reaction anything AEW related has gotten in a AAA show.

I can tell you that the Mexican hardcore fanbase was overjoyed with everything about this, and while we have many AAA and AEW haters out there too, I barely saw a complaint about this: Kenny Omega vs. Fénix was seen as something fresh and very important for us because it’s rare that a mexican crowd reacts so loudly to a barely known foreigner (the njpw fanbase is still small over here). Let’s remember that Mexico is a tough nut to crack, and for decades, local lucha fans have been thought to think that all foreigners are below Mexican level and are not worth of any attention. AAA has tried fighting against that mentality from some time and I’m extremely happy to see such a big step forward being here. 

An underrated factor in the success of this match is the good job that AAA did preparing the fans for it: they had some promos from Kenny and Fénix to hype it and during the pre-show, it was everything they talked about, even asking fans in the crowd who were they supporting. Also, José Manuel Guillén and Hugo Savinovich did in superb job in calling the action: JMG brought all his knowledge to the table, explaining why Omega is so important without hammering you in the head about it and making him feel like a rockstar; Hugo losing his mind for every big spot added a ton of emotion. If I was a casual watching him for the first match, I would think this Omega guy was a huge deal.

REY ESCORPIÓN WAS DEFEATED IN A ‘RELEVOS INCREÍBLES’ STEEL CAGE MATCH

The ‘parejas increíbles’ concept means we get tag teams featuring a rudo and a técnico, so in this match we got Dr. Wagner Jr. & Averno vs. Pagano & Chessman vs. Psycho Clown & Rey Escorpión vs. Pentagón Jr. & Texano Jr… and let’s just say this wasn’t the best choice of match if AAA was trying to fully capture the attention of the new viewers they got from Fénix/Omega (clue: AAA didn’t even try this). 

As expected, we had a wild plunder with blood and no-existent psychology. Despite this being a tag team affair, everyone took on everyone when the match started.  I read many confused comments and tweets from people trying to make sense of the rules, but it was pointless. This was a just signature chaotic AAA match with blood and broken tables that at the end of the day was done to (possibly) start a rivalry between Lucha Brothers and Los Mercenarios. Penta and Escorpión were the two last men inside the cage, they beat each other up until Penta hit a decisive Fear Factor on a bunch of hairs and escaped the metal structure. However, Hiedra, Taurus and Texano (the other Mercenarios) attacked Cero Miedo until Fénix and Psycho Clown arrived to save him. 

I’m all in for a Mercenarios vs. LB/Psycho feud, but I wish they had found a way to start it rather than a dumb cage match with random rules. Also, this was a bad idea, because I’m sure it repelled most of the people that parachuted for the incredible Omega/Fenix match. With a better match, those parachuters could’ve become new AAA fans. **

FINAL THOUGHTS

AAA Heroes Inmortales XIII was another outstanding lucha fiesta. It had two must-see Mexico MOTY Contenders, including one that will surely get tons of buzz for the company (Fénix/Omega), a healthy mix of promising luchadores, some trademark chaotic AAA matches, high flying action, and even a storyline paying off. Also, as it’s been the case with other AAA shows this year, this was an absolute blast to watch live due to the sheer amount of positivity around the product, and the fact that there’s a constant flux of fun things to talk about. 

Big props to play-by-play announcer José Manuel Guillén, who has been excellent throughout this year: he brings great energy to the shows, does his research, knows about all wrestlers, knows the names of every move, puts over everyone and tries to explain all storylines. This man is – in my opinion – the best play-by-play announcer in all of pro wrestling right now. And of course, the insanely energetic Hugo Savinovich is perfect for these type of shows: no matter the amount of blood, dives or bumps, this man is always exciting to hear due to the authentic joy he brings during matches. This announce team is an underrated aspect on why AAA has been so good this year.

And, I really think Lucha Libre AAA should be considered among the top Promotions of 2019. Triplemania was a home run, every big show has delivered, they draw everywhere in México, they have been very consistent in their tapings, their business relationship with AEW has given them international buzz, they keep pushing young talent, they have the best announcers in the business, they have created some stars and soon-to-be drawing acts like Black Taurus and Hijo del Vikingo, and they’ve produced some legit Match of the Year Contenders.