TRIPLEMANIA XXVIII: Kenny Omega retains, Chessman loses hair
AAA’s 28th TripleMania took place December 12th, from Arena Ciudad de Mexico. The show was a no fans show, though a small group of people appeared to behind the hard cameras and were audible during portions of the matches.
Máximo, Mr. Iguana, Dinastia vs Poder del Norte (Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., AAA’s Tito Santana)
Dinastia was a replacement for Nino Hamburguesa, who missed the show due to a right knee injury. The change was not announced before the show, as typical AAA practice. Poder del Norte’s opening sneak attack got reversed into a dive sequence. The tecnicos ran through most of their offense in the first portion of the match. The rudos cut them off by trapping Iguana on the apron and wiped him out with a dropkick to the floor. Poder del Norte tripled teamed each tecnicos. They brought a cookie sheet into play as if to demonstrate AAA’s minimal use of disqualifications. (No fans meant no chairs, leading to many cookie sheet appearances on the night.) Iguana escaped a triple-team; all three tecnicos wiped out the rudos with dives. Iguana got caught back inside in a one on three and couldn’t stop them even with the use of his stuffed animal, Yeska. Poder del Norte landed their Machine Gun corner cannonball, double knee strike, dropkick to the face combo, and Mocho Cota connected on a frog splash for the victory. Iguana seemed shaken up at the moment by the dropkick but appeared fine later.
WINNERS: Poder del Norte (16:00)
The opener was better than expected and held interest despite going longer than a usual AAA show started. Poder del Norte remains a reliably strong trio for these sorts of matches, setting up the tecnicos well for their bigger spots while having a lot of impact on their moves. Dinastia’s involvement led to more action than the comedy Hamburguesa would’ve brought. Maximo treated this more like a big match and showed a higher level of effort than most of his AAA bouts Iguana seemed to slip on a late spot on the comeback but shined in the match and came off as the start of the match.
A performance by dancer Charro Gonzalez led to the official induction of La Parka (Jesus Escobedo) into the AAA Hall of Fame.
Lucha Brothers (Fénix & Pentagón Jr.) © vs Los Jinetes del Aire (Myzteziz Jr. & Octagón Jr.) vs Los Mercenarios (Rey Escorpión & Texano Jr.) for the AAA World Tag Team Championship
The three-way tag match started rapidly, with each team taking out the last couple with dives. The first third of the match settled into a pattern of two pairs in the right while a third waiting to break up pins. After a couple of cycles, it switched to a series of one on ones, with rudos Texano & Escorpion mostly facing members of the two tecnico teams. Pentagon nearly had the match won around the nine-minute mark when Rey Escorpion smashed a barbed wire bat (which hadn’t been seen prior) into Penta’s knee. Penta left the match with a doctor’s aid, leaving Fenix to fight singularly for an extended time. Texano & Escorpion further cut the numbers down by tying Octagon to the ropes by his mask and attempted to finish off Fenix. He lasted long enough for Myzteziz to make the save, who then also freed his partner. Myzteziz nearly won with a shooting star press onto Fenix, only for Escorpion to pull out the referee. A limping Pentagon then returned to the ring, superkicked Myzteziz, and landed Factor Animo with Fenix for the win.
WINNERS: Lucha Brothers (14:18)
Third Los Mercenario member Taurus came to the ring to attack all the tecnicos. Hijo del Vikingo made the save in his return to the promotion, dropping Taurus with a frightening Poison Rana before landing on a tricky body scissors to the floor on Escorpion.
This was an incredible all-action match. Los Mercenarios and Los Jinetes del Aire have great chemistry from working against each other so often, and Fenix and Penta had no problem fitting in. Escorpion hasn’t wrestled since the spring, and it didn’t show at all. It was a match where there were so many dives that it may have been a bit too much and may have made it harder for the next few matches to follow, but it worked well on its own. The Lucha Brothers won decisively for a team not around much, but the attention was switched heavily to the regulars in the post-match scrum.
Copa TripleMania Femenil
This was a Royal Rumble style match with new entrants every minute. Eliminations were over the top until the final two, where it became first to a pinfall/submission. (The referee counted pinfalls early but then figured it out.) AAA had announced this as a six women match, but nine people ended up involved.
Lady Maravilla & La Shani started the match, followed by Maravilla’s partner La Hiedra third. Faby Apache evened the tecnico/rudos sides at four. Exotico Mamba was a surprise at five; AAA historically groups their exotico wrestlers in the women’s division. Hades, in a new look, came in at six and was the first out; seventh wrestler Chik Tormenta tossed her out soon after entering. Big Mami, another announced wrestler, entered eight. Exotico Pimpienla was the last in, and the action slowed down considerably until a group threw out Big Mami. Eternal rivals Mamba and Pimpi were next, followed by Chik Tormenta after a failed springboard attempt. Evil referee Hijo del Tirantes helped Hiedra & Maravilla remove Faby Apache from the match, but Shani thwarted them to toss Hiedra. Maravilla, sporting the look of her namesake DC character (Wonder Woman) on a show co-promoting Marvel, fought Lady Shani for an extended period before Shani submitted her for the win and the cup.
WINNER: Lady Shani (23:10)
A series of post-match run-ins ended with Lady Maravilla, La Hiedra, and debuting Monterrey luchadora Lady Flammer standing tall over Lady Shani, Faby Apache, and Hades.
Copa TripleMania was a disappointing match. The break between was a real one minute, but the added people slowed the match down and lengthened it farther than the wrestlers could hold interest. Lady Shani seemed intent on doing many intricate submission work that didn’t flow well in a battle royal. AAA gave Hades a re-introduction so it was head-scratching how quickly she was tossed. This set up served to grant TripleMania spots to a few more people, but not as a good match.
Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown vs Blue Demon Jr., Hijo de LA Park, LA Park
Monsther Clown wrestled the match under his old mask as a reunion bit. He unmasked after the match was over (while also putting on a facemask.) The rudos team went after the Clowns at the bell, turning into a typical weapons heavy LA Park brawl. The Psycho Circus tripped up Hijo de LA Park to take over; most of their offense was on the youngest man in the match, with the two veterans invisible for sections. A pre-match vignette signaling issues manifested when Demon and Hijo de LA Park tried stealing pins from each other. That eventually cost them the match, after Psycho Clown gave Hijo de LA Park a Spanish Fly.
Winners: Psycho Circus (11:40)
Demon and LA Park brawled after the match, eventually separated by a lot of security.
This trios match didn’t connect with crowd energy An attempt to do a LA Park brawl didn’t work at all. The Psycho Circus reunion missed the crowd as well. This match asked many Hijo de LA Park to work with all the tecnicos; it would’ve been a better nostalgia match with more than one rudo willing to stooge for them. The Demon/Park fight after the match was good. The match was a rote way to get there.
Aracno & Leyenda Americana vs Terror Purpura & Venenoide
The four wrestlers are the debuting Marvel Lucha Libre characters. The announcers talked about these characters’ various histories, seen so far in comic books and not part of AAA’s presentation. This match was worked much more like a traditional US tag match than anything else on the show, with Aracno (Spider-Man) getting a flurry of offense before being trapped in the ring by Terror Purpra (Thanos) and Venenoide (Venom.) Leyenda America got the hot tag and helped out, but Aracno got caught in something that looked like a Drill Claw for the pin.
WINNER: Venonide & Terror Purpura (12:06)
The villains continued to attack the heroes after the match until the lights went out. La Estrella Cosmica (Capitan Marvel) appeared in the ring and said this was just the beginning.
(Aracno is Lio Rush. Leyenda Azteca is Daga. Terror Purpura is Cage. Venonide is Taurus. La Estrella Cosmica is Lady Flammer.)
It’s tough to do a Super Hero presentation on a show where most luchadors already wrestle as Super Heroes. The Marvel match only had slightly above average action compared to what we had already seen in the tag title match, much less what was to come. The outfits also seemed less spectacular than some of the luchador outfits on this and other shows. It was not a failure, but it did not feel like an impressive launch of a new concept. Aracno & Venonide looked the best of the two involved.
Kenny Omega vs Laredo Kid for the AAA World Heavyweight Championship
Michael Nakazawa and Hijo del Vikingo appeared as seconds. Kenny Omega went after Laredo Kid’s back early. Laredo stopped the early assault with a jumping cutter, one of the more brutal-looking spots to this point in the night. Omega and Laredo fought to an entrance set, where a stack of giant tires had been arranged. Omega tossed Laredo into the tires and attacked Vikingo, only for the tecnicos to rally and do planchas off the tires onto Omega and Nakazawa. Omega soon after missed on a tope con giro, wiping out Nakazawa (who failed at catching him), then Laredo landed his Laredo Bomb springboard moonsault. A Laredo Phoenix splash missed, and Omega connected on the first of a few V-Triggers in this match. Laredo escaped a third Dragon suplex, reversed the first attempt at a One-Winged Angel into a poison rana, and connected on his 450 splash, but Omega kicked out. Omega got a couple of near falls before fighting Laredo on the top rope, where Laredo got him with his signature Laredo Fly flipping belly to belly suplex. Omega got his foot on the ropes. Laredo switched tactics to go after Omega’s left knee, including landing a 450 splash directly on it to set up a reverse figure out. Omega escaped, though Laredo continued to go after the knee in between Omega flurries. Laredo ultimately turned the One-Winged Angel into a reverse cloverleaf, holding Omega in the ring’s center via bodyscissors. Omega escaped to the ropes. Laredo went up once more, to his detriment, as Omega pulled him off into a super One-Winged Angel for the win. Laredo Kid out right after the three-count.
WINNER: Kenny Omega (23:36)
Laredo Kid offered a handshake after the match, but Omega flicked sweat at him instead. Omega made a point of showing both his title belts after the match.
Kenny Omega/Laredo Kid completely lived up to his potential, exceeding the Omega defense against Dragon Lee last year. Omega treated this as seriously as an AEW title defense, Laredo kept up with Omega every step of the way, and the leg submission work led to a lot of tense near endings. This was precisely the performance expected out of Laredo, an exciting match where he just kept ongoing. Omega, as the occasional AAA visitor and also the champion, continues to be effective if the results are going to be like this match.
Pagano vs Chessman, hair versus hair in a falls count anywhere match
Lady Shani (Pagano) and Texano (Chessman) appeared as seconds and got involved with the match in the end. The early portions of this match seemed to be Pagano & Chessman demonstrating they were up the ‘wrestling’ capabilities of a significant show main event before the match degenerated into an out of control stunt show. Pagano drew first blood on himself, colliding with a ladder head and back first on a missed dive. Chessman repaid the favor by diving into a group of chairs after Pagano moved out of the way. Both were bloody messes by late in the match.
Pagano landed the Air Raid Crash, his most often finisher, which began a run of interference. Pagano had earlier attacked Texano, so Rey Escorpion ran out to attack Pagano. Lady Shani tried to save, only for the three rudos to superbomb her. Myzteziz & Octagon ran out to take out Los Mercenarios. Chessman and Pagano resumed their match, falling dangerously off the top rope to the floor through a table. They then got up, fought to another corner, and felt through another table. Pagano tried to do a moonsault with a broken ladder, only succeeding in breaking both himself and the ladder more. The two brawled to the set, where a truck had been set up. A guitar was also present, which Chessman shockingly hit announcer Hugo Savinovich in the head with. (Savinovich bled and moaned in pain.) Pagano & Chessman battled on top of the set, and a Pagano Air Raid Crash onto the truck finished the match.
WINNER: Pagano (23:50)
Chessman, unable to sit up, got his hair cut by his father and daughter to end the show.
The Pagano and Chessman spectacle was exactly what AAA was hoping for when putting two of the people least concerned with their own well being in the main event of their biggest show. It was messy and included spots no one should ever try, but it was also stimulating and over the top in typical AAA fashion. The early ‘wrestling’ section of the match was a bit indulgent and unnecessary, but you can say the same thing about most of the violence the rest of the way. This will be a polarizing match, with some decrying it as exactly what professional wrestling should not be and others saying it’s what they want out of wrestling. I’m certain AAA and their wrestlers were very satisfied with it.
TripleMania generally lived up to expectations. Omega/Laredo may win the best Mexico based match of the year, the opening matches were and the main event was the intended spectacle. The middle portion of the card disappointed a bit, though not enough to drag down the whole show. The show finished in under four hours and was an easier watch than most TripleMania. You may want to skip around a bit, but it’s an easy recommendation to check out.