By: Kody Redman
Lucha Invades New York City tonight by way of the HULU Theater inside of Madison Square Garden. Despite AAA’s attempt at a big attraction feel for its return to The Big Apple, The card never seemed to come together, numerous injuries and visa issues keeping some of AAA’s top talent on the shelve. Perhaps this is why AAA only announced 4 matches beforehand and kept marketing to a minimum, making this feel more like a glorified house show than a marquee event.
The show opened with ring announcer attempting to hype up the crowd. The crowd popped when Melisa Santos entered the ring. Hugo Savinovich and Matt Striker are introduced as tonight’s English announce team.
Chris Dickinson & Mascarita Dorada Defeated Demus & Dave The Clown
Mascarita Received a big pop as he made his way to the ring. The match used the David vs Goliath visual between Mascarita and both Demus and Dave quite often. Some exciting spots during the match including a top rope diving head scissors to the outside by Mascarita sending Demus in the guard rail and a beautiful triple tilt-a-whirl around Demus into a body scissors pin to get the win.
All four guys worked great together in a fast-paced opening match that warmed up the crowd and set the pace going forward for the night. Although there was not much of a story here, this match did its job.
Team Impact (Josh Alexander, Michael Elgin, and Sami Callihan) Defeated Team AAA (Murder Clown, Drago, Faby Apache)
Faby Apache received the biggest pop during her entrance from the NY crowd. The match starts off with a full team brawl. Sami is instantly able to get heat by targeting Faby with a sucker punch and a Russian leg sweep into the guardrail. Striker notes the trainers are looking at Faby shortly after this. The match begins with the heavyweights getting their chance to show some Lucha spots of their own, Murder with the big man 6-1-9, Alexander with a diving crossbody to a seated Murder on the apron, Elgin flipping out of a head-scissor attempt from Drago.
Faby slides into the ring for the first time since the opening bell and the rest of the match is telling the story of the persevering underdog that is Faby Apache. Both Elgin and Sami were able to gather a tremendous amount of heat as they worked Faby over before a flying head scissors took Elgin out. Sami crept up behind Faby, spitting in her face and tells her to take her best shot. Faby begins an assault of slaps and punches as the crowd erupts for the Babyface. Sami then hits her with a scissors big boot, calls for the piledriver but Faby rolls into a huracanrana to the outside. After a brawl by all outside of the ring, Faby enters back in the ring where an all-out assault begins as team Impact begins to triple-team Faby. Elgin and Alexander then set Faby up for a Magic killer into a high impact DDT. All 3 men soak in the heel heat from the crowd before Sami goes for the pin, a kick out at 2. Faby continues to get triple-teamed as the match begins the comeback and hot tag build. The crowd begins to throw shade at Elgin, who throws shade back at the audience.
Fabi finally gets the hot tag to Murder and its back to the big men getting in their Lucha spots as Alexander hits a top rope flipping Irish car bomb, Elgin hits a cannonball to the outside, Murder then hits a top rope cannonball to the outside, getting the biggest pop of the match. Murder tosses Elgin into the ring lifts him to the top rope, climbs up but Alexender grabs the foot of Murder and Elgin low blows him. Elgin slides off the rope and picks up Murder and powerbombs him for the victory at 14:06 seconds.
Team Impact begins a post-match beat down of AAA including a nasty low kick to Drago setting the tone for later in the show.
This match was a lot of fun making use out of very simple storylines that the crowd could get invested in. Faby did an incredible job allowing the crowd to get behind her and rally for most of the match while capitalizing off the instant heat of being in the ring with Sami Callahan. It was a very simple one-night storyline of Monster Heels dominating a babyface character.
AAA Cruiserweight Title #1 contenders match
Daga Defeated Flamita & Aerostar & Puma King
This was a very fast-paced match full of several combinations between all four men. The match consistently had a rotation of two men in the ring switching out between each other hitting a high spot and the other breaking up the pin.
The finish consisted of Flamita getting Aerostar up in a muscle buster to a code breaker with Daga breaking up the pin. Daga and Flamita exchange chest slaps. Flamita is pushed into the ropes and rebounds into a popup Death Valley Driver from Daga. Daga then hits the ropes and Flamita hits a Spanish fly. Flamita climbs to the top rope but is surprised by a jumping huracanrana.
Puma hits Daga with a superkick and an elbow exchange before they both hit a head butt on each other resulting in Puma falling on top of Daga for a 2. The crowd is cheering as puma gets to his feet and climbs the top rope. Daga springboards to meet Puma at the top rope overshoots him and Puma balances Daga on top of his head (Daga’s belly on Puma’s crown). Daga rolls into a sunset flip for a count of 2. Daga lifts Puma up and hits a double under hook Facebuster for the 3 at 11:23 and Daga became the number 1 contender for the Cruiserweight Title.
This match was very exciting and extremely fast-paced. There was virtually no storytelling at all, just 4 athletes putting on a spot fest in true Lucha form.
Taya Valkyrie defeated Tessa Blanchard to win the Reina de Reinas Championship
So ends another chapter in the Taya vs Tessa saga, taking place over the last year between AAA and Impact. Coming off Tessa winning the title at Triplemania in a Table Ladders and Chairs match. Taya and Tessa faced off in the post-match, all but ensuring the rematch would take place in New York City.
After a short wrestling exchange to start off the match, Tessa got violent fairly quickly. Tessa executed a drop toehold sending Taya into the ropes and hitting a shotgun dropkick to the lower back. Taya dropkicks Tessa to the outside of the ring and performs a diving crossbody. Tessa completely misses the catch and Taya slams her face against the ground. Taya tosses Tessa back into the ring as she taunts to the crowd from the outside
Tessa then hits a suicide dive between the ropes to Taya followed by throwing Taya into the guard rails, ring post, and stairs. The action heads back into the ring where a series of near falls from a blue thunder bomb and a Canadian destroyer take place. As Tessa grows Frustrated with Taya, Taya capitalizes with a knee to the face and delivers the road to Valhalla for the win at 11:02.
Post-match had Taya and Tessa exchanging a handshake and hugged out of mutual respect. As Tessa was leaving the ring, she had a change of heart and attacked Taya from behind before walking out. The one match that felt like it added something to the story of these two characters. Taya and Tessa seemed to be trapped in this constant power struggle. The match tonight shows this feud has some tread left.
Lucha Bros Defeat LAX
The pre-match already puts the audience in confusion. Just a couple weeks ago, we saw LAX attack both The Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros at All Out, leaving both groups battered on the ground. But here we are two weeks later and both teams hugging and displaying respect to one another. Gets even more confusing when AAA has a deal with AEW in place and both teams currently signed to AEW as well.
With that being said, the match itself was spectacular, loaded with high spots, stereo sequences, and numerous “Ciero Miedo” chants. The crowd was in it from the beginning and LAX showed they are on the same level as the Lucha Bros.
The Finish called for Pentagon to deliver a Package Piledriver to Santana on the apron. Pentagon rolls Santana in the ring and both Lucha Bros cover him for the false finish. Pentagon sets up Santana for a second package piledriver as Fenix grabs the Mexican flag. Wraps it around himself, climbs to the top rope and the Lucha Bros deliver the Mexican destroyer to Santana. With the flag still wrapped around him, Fenix runs across the ring and does a senton to Ortiz on the outside of the ring as Pentagon covers Santana for the three count at 13:16.
The post match displayed more respect from the opposing teams toward each other. Even capping it off with a picture of both teams hand in hand with the Mexican flag waving proudly.
Cain Velasquez, Psycho Clown & Brian Cage defeated Los Mercenarios (Texano Jr., Taurus & Rey Escorpion)
Before we get into the match itself, it’s important to note that Cain was introduced last of the group and that the commentary team would not let you forget that Cain Knocked out Brock Lesnar for the UFC Title.
Cain instantly trips up Taurus and mounts an MMA style offense for the first part of the Match. Cain’s move set consists of trips, slams submissions, pretty much exactly what you would expect from a former Heavyweight MMA champ. But this all changes once Taurus takes Cain down with a double leg and begins to mount and attempts a guillotine. This is where Cain begins to dip into his new wrestling background. He begins to pull out sunset flips, arm drags and other Lucha Libre maneuvers a. Taurus begins to outwrestle Cain and he visibly frustrated, complains to the ref and tags out.
The Finish called for Cain to deliver a diving crossbody to the group outside the ring. Cain throws Taurus into the ring but Taurus DDTs Cain and covers for a 2 count. Cage enters the ring and delivers a buckle bomb to Taurus for a 2. This leads to a series of near falls that ends with a Lethal Injection from Cain delivered to Taurus for the 3 at 13:45.
This match served an obvious showcase for Cain. It showed AAA values Cain a lot; they want their audience to know Cain knocked out Brock. They allowed Cain to get several different types of offense in. Cain also showed Vulnerability, AAA is not afraid to book him like a human and not a killing machine. Taurus got a lot of offense on him and it was a big deal seeing Taurus shoot for a double leg takedown and get it on Cain and Cain being able to show frustration from that. Cain was also allowed to incorporate moves of his choosing and is not being forced into the cookie-cutter MMA character. And I don’t think anyone saw the Lethal Injection coming.
The only complaint I have is that we were left with the idea that Cain and Psycho Clown wanted revenge on the Los Mercenarios after the disrespect shown at Triplemania earlier this year. We never got any hint of this revenge what so ever. This is another example of a storyline that was forgotten about during this show tonight.
Blue Demon Jr. vs Dr. Wagner Jr.
In a rematch of the recent Triplemania main event, the two legends meet again after Blue Demon Jr. shaved Wagner’s hair in their last encounter. Wagner announced his retirement after that match but was later convinced to come back for this match at MSG.
Wagner and Blue Demon Jr. buy some time at the start trying to get a bigger reaction from the crowd. Blue Demon Rolls out of the ring to confront a Wagner fan. They eventually get into the ring and exchange slow wrestling moves. The pace is questionable here but it’s more about seeing the two biggest stars in Mexico battle it out on American soil. Demon Jr. keeps the attack constant until Wagner makes the comeback and rips off the mask finally exposing the shaved head suffered from the hands of Blue Demon Jr. at Triplemania. Demon then attempts a diving crossbody but Wagner rolls through and avenges the Triplemania lose at 10:45.
Blue Demon Jr. is shocked at the result and begins to stomp Wagner as the entire Impact locker files out to help Blue Demon Continue the attack. This is followed by the emptying of the AAA locker room, coming to Wagner’s side for the save and clearing the Impact roster out of the ring. Wagner and the rest of the AAA roster stand tall in the middle of the ring, hands in the air, waving the Mexican flag as Wagner cuts a promo about respect.
This was a fun glorified house show to watch, but I’m not sure how they thought they were going to sell out MSG with this. Major storylines from Triplemania were just ignored for a single night story of a forced AAA vs Impact feud. Next to zero marketing for the card and even Blue Demon vs Dr. Wagner felt more like a house show rehashing than the next chapter of this storied feud. In-ring, the matches were great and you can clearly see the in-ring talent, but with no story-driven narrative here there’s not much making the viewer want to come back to see what’s next.