AAA TripleMania XXXII: Tijuana
June 15, 2024
Estadio Chevron
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

Watch: TrillerTV

This Saturday, AAA has a show that’s taking place in a big stadium, will air as a PPV, and uses the monicker “TripleMania.” That’s about all it has in common with TripleManias of the past. Instead, it’s some half-baked matches to fuel a local rivalry and other matches that may (or may not) set up the real TripleMania in Mexico City. AAA has booked nothing that seems significant on a show, and they’re asking people to pay $25. It’s barely a meaningful TV event, much less a PPV.

You may have noticed some patterns if you’ve read these lucha libre previews for a while. Paragraph two is where I tell you how to pay to watch the show. I’m not going to do it this time! Don’t link to the Triller broadcast in this paragraph, Mr. Editor! (I linked it above, too bad, cubs! -Ed.) There are only two types of people anyone should be watching this show:

  • You are someone who bought the TripleMania three-pack before the Monterrey show. You don’t need help finding out how to watch the show. You need personal reflection on the choices that led you to such a dark place.
  • You are someone with some patience.

AAA put “The Best of TripleMania Monterey” up on YouTube three days after the show. (A video of “The best of TripleMania Monterrey” should run about three minutes; this one goes two and a half hours for some reason.) AAA also put the entire PPV up for free a week later. It’s AAA; there’s not a lot of consistency to anything they do, but there’s no reason to give someone 25 USD for a not-good and not-important show that will be free to the world a week later. I can’t even endorse piracy, not because of the illegality, but because there will be some bad-bad stuff along with the funny-bad stuff. It’s June; you’ve got to have better options for a Saturday night. Wait until you can skip around; don’t invest four hours on this.

To be fair, TripleMania XXXII Tijuana is a better in-ring quality show than Monterrey. There’s nothing in danger of being a match of the year. I’d be shocked if there was a match of the year, but the dumb/fun appetizer matches surrounding a good TripleMania main event have at least returned. There’s just no main course around it. Nic Nemeth isn’t here, and it’d be a surprise if AAA fans saw him in the ring again before it was time to drop his title (probably to Alberto.) There’s also no hair, mask, title, or singles match. There’s a promotion versus promotion rivalry but without any stakes. It’s an all-star show without the dream match-ups. It’s a purposeful inconsequential show, a tough sell for 25 USD.

As so often, the biggest AAA in AAA is outside the ring. Latin Lover starts as AAA’s Director of Talent with this show. Konnan remains the Director of Creative. They’re both supposed to work together. This power-sharing is both an onscreen storyline and also the real situation AAA is dealing with. Konnan has consistently stated that he continues to have complete control of the AAA creative. Latin Lover has repeatedly talked to the press about creative changes he wants to see and seemingly will make. Everyone watching this situation expects Latin Lover to test the limits of his power, Konnan to bristle at being messed with, and both Latin and Konnan nudging the Roldans to pick one or the other. Konnan’s recent record could be better – his storytelling is as logical as a dream, and his ability to rope in big foreign stars is waning – but AAA always seems to side with him. It’s a great failing on my part not to start a betting pool guessing the date when Latin Lover quits AAA and rips them to the press. Wagering on AAA drama is the safest bet in wrestling.

AAA did get some good news and resolve one never-ending storyline: they’re back on US TV. AAA starts on Unimas at 3 p.m. ET, the same Saturday as TripleMania XXXII Tijuana. It’ll be episodes taped earlier and not the live TripleMania.

(Also, the mystery “eye” thing is still going on. Do you remember this? No one remembers this. It’s not been much of a mystery because there’s been nothing to it, and nothing ever changes, but there seems to be an obligatory mention once every big show, so that’ll happen again)

The Crash (Anubis, Keyra, Mamba, Toto) vs. AAA (Faby Apache, Pimpienla Escarlata, Mr. Iguana, Niño Hamburguesa (w/Microman))

Half the TripleMania Tijuana is based around a promotion versus promotion rivalry with The Crash, a local Tijuana promotion. AAA has switched between The Crash and rival EMW Promotions as their official Baja California so many times that everyone’s lost track. It’s been Konnan’s personal goal to get the Tijuana groups to work together, and they’re at least doing so for this one show. The Crash has little name value outside of Tijuana. The average AAA has no reason to know most of the Tijuana-only wrestlers.

That lack of knowledge is less of a problem with the opener. TripleMania-only viewers might be surprised that Mamba left AAA because the exotico is back to have the same matches with Pimpinela as ever. Mamba and Keyra both left AAA back in 2022. Microman left AAA in 2023 and works for The Crash now, but he is back on the AAA side to revive his brief unit with Iguana and Hamburguesa. Toto is a Mexico City high flyer/hardcore wrestler, and Anubis is a local rookie. Pimpinela matches are always about Pimpinela, and this will be no different.

Las Toxicas (Flammer, La Hiedra, Maravilla) vs. TNA (Havok, Rosemary, Tasha Steelz)

Las Toxicas never lose, and that’s not changing here. This match might be a little bit better effort than usual. Reina Dorada getting that AEW TV spot seems to have annoyed/frustrated a lot of other luchadoras in Mexico, and maybe it’ll motivate them to prove something. That’s not the biggest story in this one.

Rosemary’s last match in AAA was in 2017, as a TNA (well, GFW, but it’s not important), a four-way match with the original Sexy Star, Lady Shani, and Ayako Hamada. Lady Shani – and seemingly the entire AAA women’s roster – were very angry with Sexy Star for numerous attitude reasons. Shani decided to hit Star very hard to send a message. Star seemed to realize she’d have no chance fighting Shani and wouldn’t dare to mess with Hamada, so her measure of “revenge” was trying to injure Rosemary’s arm in the match, finishing submission. AAA sincerely apologized to Rosemary about the situation, but it’s also one that AAA set into motion. It would be entirely understandable if she never wanted to work here again. It surprised me that TNA or AAA would even dare to ask her to go back to the scene of an unhappy moment for a match that means nothing. (AAA’s mentioned this match once on TV, and hasn’t done anything to build it up, it’s been treated as filler.) Working the second match on TripleMania XXXII Tijuana is not life-changing money, but maybe it’s just a situation of taking what work you can find. Maybe it’s just trying to move on by returning to it. Rosemary’s RT-ed AAA posts mentioned her on the show but has kept her feelings about her return quiet.

AAA (Komander, Laredo Kid, Octagón Jr.) vs. Rest of the World (CIMA, Willie Mack, and “Nick Wayne” but probably not) vs. The Crash (D Luxe, Destiny, Noisy Boy) in Copa TripleMania

The reviled Copa TripleMania royal rumble format has been scrapped, at least for one show. The idea is anything else would be better. This match should indeed be better. One advantage the Copa TripleManias had for AAA is they didn’t usually announce anyone involved. Announcing people has been an issue:

  • May 9th: please look forward to the Kyle Fletcher, CIMA, and Nick Wayne team!
  • May 19th: uh, Blake Christian is on the graphic in Fletcher’s spot, and now it’s a threeway tag match
  • May 28th: Here’s the full lineup. Please overlook that Willie Mack is taking Blake Christian’s spot now.
  • June 9th: Perhaps AEW suddenly has Nick Wayne booked for Collision the same night as TripleMania, but AAA is not updating this lineup again—maybe they don’t want to, or maybe they have no idea what’s going on.

Fletcher and Christian seemed to have pulled out of deference to NJPW, who frowns on their wrestlers working with CMLL’s rival. It’s possible both men took bookings for this show through The Crash and didn’t realize The Crash was back working with AAA, and they had signed up to work at TripleMania. (It would be dumb for them not to figure it out, but it is possible.) AAA absolutely should’ve known those guys would’ve been pressured not to work an AAA show, and it’s entirely goofy for them to have booked them in the first place. The only thing I can figure out is AAA has a delusional belief in the importance of “TripleMania” to foreign wrestlers. AAA sees this as a world-class show everyone can’t work with; foreign wrestlers treat it as an extra booking to pick up if they simply can’t find anything better to do. Part of the reason is this match; why mess with other relationships to work a meaningless threeway trios match? I don’t know if Kyle Fletcher decides to stick around if he gets a singles rematch with ROH foe Komander, but AAA put together an easy match to pass on.

There’s also no real need to go through all this trouble for a Team Rest of the World anyway. The average AAA fan has no idea who Kyle Fletcher, Blake Christian, or Nick Wayne are, and AAA will never do anything to introduce them. The idea of seeing those guys in a wild but irrelevant threeway trios match also isn’t going to get anyone to pay $25 for a PPV – there’s nothing special happening with them in a three trios match. They were bodies to be on a card with no purpose or direction other than so AAA could say they booked those guys later. AAA also books these TripleManias as if they don’t believe good Mexican wrestlers versus other good Mexican wrestlers in a standard match can get over on their own to a bigger audience; there always has to be a gimmick or a foreigner wrestler who “really knows how to work.”

CIMA knows how to work and has a purpose; AAA and GLEAT are working on a promotional agreement. We can only hope it means more than the AAA/TNA one. This’ll be a good match with a million things happening and a two minute Willie Mack dance break. Noisy Boy is a good prospect who’s been a core guy in IWRG for the last year. Destiny and D Luxe should get the attention; the idea seems to be getting them over as the next generation of Tijuana stars.

(If AEW did pull Nick Wayne off a TripleMania just to stand in the back of a Christian Cage talking segment, Konnan might erupt like Mount St. Helens on the next new edition of his podcast. He’d have some justification. Wayne’s signed with AEW, both he and AAA knew AEW dates first, but AEW pulling him off a major show at the last second is not a great look. It would also clarify to more people that AEW sees AAA as no important than a random US indie, and definitely not as some global partner.)

Secta Cibernetica (Cibernético, Dark Cuervo, Dark Ozz) vs Secta del Mesias (Dark Scoria, Dark Espíritu, El Mesías)

The big angle from TripleMania Monterrey was La Secta fracturing into two. Scoria and Espíritu left Cibernetico and the others behind to join with Mesias. It didn’t work; it was confusing to figure out what was happening, and it wasn’t very intriguing when it did get cleared up. AAA seems to believe Cibernetico and Mesias are washed at this point and engineered this feud with the idea that Cuervo, Ozz, Scoria, and Espiritu would be the same reliable OK wrestlers they’d been in the past. Instead, those guys looked just about as washed in Monterrey. This match can’t possibly be as bad as the Monterrey main event, but there’s little chance it’ll be as good. It’s an excellent time to take a break or to skip past if you’re watching later. This trios is probably supposed to build towards something more significant in Mexico City, but forgetting about it would be a great option.

Rey Horus vs. Bestia 666 vs. Mecha Wolf

Here’s the story: Bestia 666 walked out on AAA and his team with Mecha Wolf last fall to work with The Crash. Mecha Wolf started wrestling as a tecnico on his own. Bestia got back to his old rivalry with Rey Horus. The Crash was a surprise on TripleMania Monterrey, with Bestia representing them. Mecha Wolf confronted Bestia for his betrayal, and that led to this threeway match. Rey Horus and Mecha Wolf are tecnicos and don’t have an issue with each other, but only one can get their hands on Bestia.

Here’s the problem: This story hasn’t been told on AAA TV. The Spanish language announcers tried to dump months of stories into seconds as Mecha Wolf and Bestia fought, but there was no build to it before or after. AAA did the thing that all Mexican wrestling promotions tend to do – Bestia left AAA suddenly, and everyone pretended he never existed. There was no onscreen breakup; just Mecha Wolf indirectly talked about how he is now alone. The only AAA follow-up from their TripleMania Monterrey fight was a vignette where Mecha Wolf clocked Bestia from behind, making Mecha Wolf come off as the rudo. This threeway also is a repeat match for The Crash fans who might be following it – these same three guys did a cage match there and now are having a standard match as a rematch.

I like Rey Horus, but he shouldn’t be in this match. Bestia 666 versus Mecha Wolf is the big match to make. I think AAA and The Crash know that too, and so they’ve decided to save that for another show, and this show gets a lesser match. It fits with this TripleMania, which is just a waypoint in service of other shows. Horus, Bestia, and Mecha are all solid enough wrestlers, have good chemistry with each other, and are familiar to this Tijuana audience. This match should still get over and do well, because these are guys the Tijuana audience knows very well. AAA’s storytelling to get here has been abysmal.

Team Casas (Brazo De Oro Jr., Negro Casas, Psycho Clown) vs Team Wagner (Dr. Wagner Jr., Galeno del Mal, Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr.)

The elder Wagner and Negro Casas met in a surprise partners trios match in Monterrey. Fans were hoping/expecting to be a family match on that show, and AAA booked the most random people they could find. They’ve got it right this time. Casas is teaming up with his son-in-law, Psycho Clown, and Psycho’s nephew, Brazo de Oro Jr. Wagner, with his two large sons. Wagner2 initially said Wagner3 was too busy in Japan to make this date, but then the former GHC champion was announced as the team’s last man anyway. It’s curious.

AAA’s also got Wagner3 in for their TV taping next Saturday, where he faces Matt Riddle in the main event. It’s been years since Wagner3 was a regular, and that will be Riddle’s first match with the PPV. AAA is forever weird, but maintaining a TV taping with two people who don’t regularly work for the promotion and have no personal issues with each other is weird for them. I want to make sense of it – maybe AAA’s snared Wagner3 to be a regular, and this is some plan to build him towards a title match – but AAA’s not that logical. Wagner3’s NOAH success hasn’t gotten much attention in Mexico – it’s a promotion not on their radar – but he has looked so much better in Mexico than before he started working there.

Alberto el Patrón, Dave The Clown, Murder Clown, Vampiro vs Team USA (Parker Boudreaux, QT Marshall, Sam Adonis, Satnam Singh, w/Jeff Jarrett)

“The foreign heels versus the Mexicans” was the best match in Monterrey. The problem is that being the best match on a terrible show doesn’t say much, and the primary reason that match was the best was that Laredo and Octagon Jr. pinballed off Satnam Singh. There are no pinballs here, just anvils. It’s pretty dire when the best hope for a main event is Dave The Clown. Maybe it goes the other way, with Adonis & Marshall getting knocked around for everyone’s offense, but that doesn’t leave Singh and Boudreaux much to do. (I’m not sure what match layout would possibly have a use for Bourdeaux, who did little in Monterrey and was terrible at that.)

Vampiro’s retirement tour is the connector between this year’s TripleMania in a much less dramatic way than the previous tournaments. This show will be AAA’s ninth TV taping of the year and the fifth to end with a tearful Vampiro retirement speech. There’s at least one more to go at TripleMania Mexico City, and he’ll receive a match with it. Vampiro shot a podcast angle for a Lucha Underground rematch with Pentagon as that farewell; Penta politely agreed during the conversation and later revealed he has no plans to work for AAA in 2024. TripleMania Mexico City will remain all about Vampiro, so it figures something important has to come out of this match. A Vampiro/Jeff Jarret match would appeal to the sickest among us, but I don’t think we’re lucky enough to get that freak show. Perhaps Team USA wins again, and Vampiro recruits old friend Mesias and his partners for one last atomicos match. That’ll also be pretty bad, but it won’t stick out much.

The TripleMania just doesn’t matter much. Matches three, five, and six have reasonable shots at being good. AAA weighed down the show with too many matches, no real shot at being good, and hurt others with poorly told stories. This TripleMania is absurd as a PPV ask, and it’s barely worth checking out for free later on. Maybe AAA will make an honest effort for the real TripleMania in Mexico City because it sure hasn’t for the rest of this year. Getting back on US TV is a great chance to get people to take a new look at AAA, but AAA’s too much of a mess to take advantage of it. Take a pass on this.