Triplemania is described as Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide’s largest event, and it surely is. Yet, Triplemania also has a reputation as being erratic, to say the least, and it lives up to the charge.
The event had a belated start…nearly an hour after its scheduled start time. Theories abound whether this was due to intentionally pushing the main event past the boxing mega event, Mayweather vs McGregor, or if it was a result of, “Mexican Culture” as some fans described in the Twitch chat rooms. Personally, it just fit the tone of what was to come in this bizarre event. In the mean time, we are treated to the Boing! Dancers who distribute Lucha masks through the crowd and gigantic dancing fruit mascots…with a duck guy. Then, as the crowd begins to flow into the arena in larger numbers, the wrestling begins…
La Llave de Gloria Finals
These two mixed-tag battle royal matches served as a pre-show event to the regular card of events. The match name translates to, “The Key to Glory” and is something of a talent competition more than pure wrestling match-up. A panel of judges sit ringside consisted of Vampiro, La Parka, and Faby Apache. They keep score of the in-ring competitors and, after both matches end, they take some time in the back to weigh their scores and ultimately decide who will be the next new stars in AAA. The chosen winners receive a highly coveted contract.
The whistle sounds (no ring bells on this show) and mayhem ensues. The match goes from 0-100. Men and women, as always, are equal competitors in Lucha. High flying lucha and big impact moves are typical in this style but this match also had good technicality and truly insane daring at points as well. It is truly impossible to call this match as lucha has strange tagging rules that are vague and flexible. For what it’s worth, the English announce team makes the events of the match no clearer as they don’t seem to understand both who was in the match or what it’s rules are. Competitors seem to come and go as they please and much of the combat takes place ringside as often as it did within the ring. One team featuring a high flyer female wrestler, Ashley, win’s the first round.
The Second round of teams makes their way to the ring to continue this strange contest and have a separate match. This time the match ends in a triple pin fall.
The only real take away from this pre-show is a point AAA would prove over and over for the rest of the night, Triplemania 25 is as entertaining as it is confusing.
The event would then take a break as fans continue to fill the arena and for final preparations to be made. After what feels like an hour of “Party Rockin’” by LMFAO being played on a loop and awkwardly long shots of fans in the crowd with faces that go from excited waving to frustrated, “why won’t you leave me alone?” expressions, the opening ceremonies begin. This includes a stellar presentation of the Mexican flag and celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, followed by opening announcements and an awesome video package featuring highlights from the previous Triplemania’s underscored by Aerosmith’s “Dream On”. AAA apparently has no concerns of copyright infringement during this event.
Relevos Atomicos de Locura Match
Big Mami, Dinastía, Estrella Divina and Máscara de Bronce (L) vs. Hernandez, La Hiedra, Mamba and Mini Psycho Clown (W)
One of the hallmarks of AAA is the Relevos Atómicos de locura match, or roughly translated, an “Eight-man madness” match. These unique encounters feature two teams of four, each consisted of a male luchador, a female luchadora, an Exotico luchador and a Mini-Estrella. As the entrances begin, I learn that an Exotico Luchador is a luchador in drag. This is truly an exciting match and something that definitely gets the crowd hyped.
8 person madness lived up to its name, the characters involved are vibrant and a spectacle to behold with the match being equally as fun. Unlike WWE rules, these mixed tag matches do not require female wrestlers to tag in to fight one another. Everyone is equal and everyone fights each other.
The match begins with Big Mami, a wrestler who lives up to her name, and Hernandez, a heel familiar in Lucha Libre wrestling as well as AAA. As they fight one another, fights break out around the ring amongst other tag partners. Big Mami takes to the top rope and dives to the outside, wiping out the competition. There’s a pile of colorful characters attacking one another, and the crowd can’t seem to get enough. Big Mami and her team would ultimately lose the match, but definitely won my heart.
Four-way match for the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship
Sexy Star (c) (W) vs. Lady Shani vs. Ayako Hamada vs. Rosemary (L)
Rosemary, from GFW, enters the ring first sporting a fiery wrestling attire in this Reina de Reinas or “Queen of Queens” title bout. Following her up is the half Japanese half Mexican performer Ayako Hamada from GFW in flashy bright gear. She’s the daughter of a famous Japanese wrestler, Gran Hamada, who was one of the very first trainees of the legendary New Japan dojo. Hamada is a reminder of how much of a tradition wrestling is in Mexico and one of the first, but certainly not last, in a string of legacy wrestlers throughout the night. Lady Shani enters as the third challenger. Sexy Star enters this match as the champion after making her surprise return to AAA in a recent 6 woman match. She is seen as a dominant wrestler in every promotion she takes part in and hailed as a hero to many women.
After a strong showing of grapples and strikes by all four women, Shani and Hamada would become dominant early on. This match was no disqualification, leading to some hardcore action via a folding chair. Then, as if straight out of the Attitude era, we’ve got a trash can in the match. Sexy Star would get lashed across the back with the chair which sent her to the outside of the ring after some sloppy ring work. She seemed to really take her time recovering, spending long moments talking to fans in the front row and not really focusing on the match at all.
Meanwhile, the remaining three competitors were busy laying it all out in hopes of grabbing the prestigious championship. Hamada would seemingly team-up with Rosemary to lead a brutal assault on Shani. The alliance would be shrot-lived however, as only one woman can arise with the title. It was at this point that Sexy Star would finally re-insert herself into this match. After some further no sells in the ring, she would hit Hamada with a trash can lid, put her on the top turnbuckle, smack her butt, and powerbomb her from the top in slow succession. Rosemary would battle hard with Shani and bloodshed entered this fight. Sexy Star would eventually win this fight after taking Rosemary for a ride off the top rope and into an armbar submission hold. It seemed as if Sexy Star was very reluctant to break the hold until well after the match had already been ruled in her favor.
Martah Villalobos, a legendary women’s Luchadora, would present the honorable Reina de Reinas Championship to a tearful Sexy Star after the match. Ayako Hamada, whose sister was the first ever Reina de Reinas champion, and her fellow competitors were clearly unhappy about this.
Now, this is where the larger and far more real controversy comes into play. It has since been reported that Sexy Star was actually exchanging very real blows with her competitors in the ring, and the final armbar takedown delivered to Rosemary was intentionally torqued, dislocating Rosemary’s shoulder. The fight apparently continued into the back and the scene was reportedly, “tense”. It would seem Sexy Star left the arena but was brought back by promoter Vampiro who had her apologize to her opponent. Sexy Star apparently left once more and the apologies didn’t seem to mend much of the issues. We’ll have to keep an eye on how this situation unfolds, but considering the drama and a noticeable lack of interest in delivering a good match, I have lost a lot of respect for this competitor. Rosemary was confirmed to indeed be injured, but not severely and shouldn’t miss too much time. She’s since released a statement regarding the unprofessional behavior of her opponent, while Sexy Star has maintained that her actions were all part of the story. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.
Following this match was the presentation of La Llave de Gloria contract winners. Vampiro made a huge announcement that all the competitors of this year’s match would be the inaugural class of a new AAA training school. His dedication to new talent and respect for the next generation of wrestlers is very clear.
Four-way match for the AAA World Tag Team Championship
Dark Cuervo and Dark Scoria (c) vs. Aero Star and Drago vs. Monster Clown and Murder Clown (W) vs. GFW Team DJZ and Andrew Everett
DJZ enters with some pretty incredible gear. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It would make Daft Punk jealous and Vince McMahon drool over the sheer usage of LED’s. The announcers talk about how this is his first match since nearly dying in the ring during a 450 splash on GFW. His partner in this match, Andrew Everett, was trained by none other than Matt and Jeff Hardy. The second team to enter, Murder Clown and Monster Clown, look like unbridled nightmare fuel, dressed as murderous clowns. Entering third with outfits that would make GWAR eat their hearts out is the ever popular Drago and Aero Star. Lastly, we have the champions themselves Dark Cuervo and Dark Scoria.
Much like the women’s match before, the multiple challengers create an environment that puts the champions at a disadvantage of retaining their titles. A high paced procession of moves open the match between all four teams, and again, absolute chaos seems to be the rule and not the exception in these matches. The champs would finally stabilize the match to their favor early on. Eventually, Aero Star climbed atop one of the clown’s shoulders and it appeared as if the lighting rafters were slowly lowering from the ceiling. Before anyone could do anything about it, he was on the rafters, motioning for them to rise. As the fighting continued in the ring, Aero Star rose higher and higher towards the top of the stadium, preparing for a gravity defying stunt that would put Jeff Hardy or Shane McMahon to shame. He finally jumped, delivering a splash to his opponents in the ring. As high as he rose, the maneuver seemed to fizzle and wasn’t nearly as impressive as the crowd would have hoped.
This match would breakdown big time once more as multiple tag teams began to interfere. Chaos runs rampant everywhere you look and ultimately those disturbing clowns, with the help of yet another clown and Marty the Moth from Lucha Underground, would pick up the win and subsequently become your new AAA world tag team champions.
So many clowns.
Now, we take another break to take the time to remember AAA Lucha’s who we’ve lost since the company’s inception. This year’s event marked the tenth year since the passing of AAA founder Antonio Pena and was especially dedicated to his successor, Joaquin Roldan, who passed earlier this year. This was a very heartfelt and touching display. The featured wrestlers were truly instrumental and legendary figures, not just in the lucha world, but WWE and globally. A special shoutout to one of my favorites of all time, Eddie Guerrerro.
…Shut up! You’re crying, not me…
Not wanting you to overly revel in such a touching moment, AAA would decide to cleanse our palette and obliterate your silly logic-based brain with what can only be described as a royal rumble-like, tag team tournament, pin fall, submission, elimination, strap, lumberjack battle royale-ish match. That’s right wrestle fans, it’s…
Torneo Triplemanía 25 with Los Vatos Locos and Los Payasos as Lumberjacks
Team Parka (La Parka, Bengala, & Argenis) (W) vs. Team Relevos Increidible (Faby Apache, Australian Suicide, & Pimpinela Escarlata) vs. Ex-AAA (Pirata Morgan, Heavy Metal, & Villano IV) vs. Los OGT’s (Averno, Super Fly, & Chessman) vs. Los Guapos (Scorpio Jr., Zumbido, & Decnnis) vs. Team GFW (Lashley, Moose, & Jeff Jarrett) vs. Los Vipers (Psicosis, Histeria, & Maniaco) vs. Mexican Powers (Crazy Boy, Ñino Hamburguesa, & Lanzelot) vs. Los Perros del Mal (Joe Líder, Halloween, & Mr. Águila) vs. Leyendas (El Intocable, Blue Demon Jr., & Luchador Sorpresa)
Understand before we begin, the audience, twitter, the Twitch chat room, commentators of all languages, the referee, myself, and seemingly the wrestlers themselves have no idea exactly what this match is or quite how it works. Teammates entered the match as a clock counted down in set intervals. Combatants would enter in teams to varying degrees until the arrival of GFW wrestlers, who in true American fashion, had to have the stage to themselves. We were treated to surprise legendary fighters like Blue Devil Jr. and Psicosis for example. Some Global Force Wrestling guys show up such as Moose, Jeff Jarrett, and Bobby Lashley. Despite Moose and Lashley being on the same team, they fought each other. Jeff Jarrett arrived late and tossing tortillas into the crowd as he disrespected fans on his way to the ring. His trolling continues to get Jarrett great heat, however he would be relatively quickly eliminated after the fans pelt him with beer. This wouldn’t stop him from fighting with fans for quite a while after the match. Just like that, after the madness continued for a while with everyone struggling to make sense of what was going on, La Parka won the match. Sure, why not?
This match was awful and awesome all at once. It’s becoming more and more clear as the night goes on that AAA is all about complete chaos and mayhem with an always underlying tone of honor and love for the art of wrestling.
Pagano vs. El Mesías (NO DECISION)
Anyway, desperately needing to be able to focus my attention on just two wrestlers in a match we mercifully get this street fight. Ironically, despite this being a street fight, the match begins as one of the more technically sound bouts of the evening. It is a street fight after all though, and it’s AAA wrestling, so we are once again treated to chairs, trash cans, and profuse bleeding. The fans get involved by hurling curse words at the wrestlers. Barbed wire would eventually get involved and this match would now sink into a grittier, even bloodier contest.
Pagano tries to deliver a moonsault with barbed wire on his chest but misses only hurting himself. Mesias, famous in his homeland of Puerto Rico, nails a big time German suplex. After an immediate near fall, Mesias would then punch Pagano with the barbed wire wrapped around his fist. If that wasn’t enough barbed wire for you, a barbed wire wrapped bat would find its way into the ring after the competitors battled it out for a bit outside. Pagano returns to the top rope after missing his mark earlier and finds a way to connect with a huge leg drop. Mesias tries to answer this big offense by trying his own attack from the top rope, when Pagano sweeps him off the top with a barbed wire bat swing into his opponents knees. This led to a total halt in Mesias’ offense as he was down on a knee injure and unable to stand. The medical staff (Whom I am wholly convinced are actually mad scientists) and security try to shut down the match over concerns of Mesias’ knee. Pagano would sneak in some cheap shots but ultimately can’t do much.
The audience is frustrated with this match with no clear winner and begin throwing beers as well as curse words once more. This is about when El Rey Escorpion makes his way into the ring out of nowhere and without any real intent and assaults both already heavily damaged wrestlers. He attacks Pagano outright and manhandling an out-of-it Mesias off his stretcher and to the floor. Eventually, EL Rey would stop the attack to showboat and revel in the fan reaction at his appearance in AAA, and nobody really seems sure as to why he is there causing such destruction. Meanwhile, Pagano and Mesias are carted out of the arena through the crowd where the mad scientists (er, medical staff) slip on spilled beer.
I’m not sure who to call the winner in all this…except us, the viewer…maybe?
Three-way Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the AAA Mega Championship, AAA Latin American Championship and AAA World Cruiserweight Championship
Johnny Mundo (c) (W) vs. Hijo del Fantasma vs. Texano Jr
Texano Jr. enters first followed by Hijo del Fantasma. Then, it’s finally time for the triple crown champion to make his appearance after making a surprise debut in GFW and adding yet another new last name to his resume. That’s right, it’s Johnny Mundo-Impact-Morrison-Nitro on the scene! Fantasma comes out to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns and Roses and Johnny Mundo comes out to “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen. It’s not terribly important to mention except to illustrate that AAA don’t care about your puny copyrights.
This battle gets hot and heavy right out of the gate. This match was expected to be one of the best of the night and it wouldn’t be denied. These guys beat each other down. Texano Jr. pulled out some innovative offense by wedging a ladder between Johnny’s legs and using a chair like a bat to drive it right into his Mundo’s. The battle rages around the ring using Mexican tables, ladders, and chairs, even at points having the fans in the front row hold up tables to assist the fighting lucha’s. Very interactive is AAA Worldwide.
Fantasma is the first to be busted wide open by a ladder, after his mask was ripped to shred’s. This wouldn’t prevent him from delivering some hellacious offense at the expense of Texano Jr. and Johnny of many last names. Johnny, for his part though, wouldn’t let his three title’s slip away. He would bring devastating blows to his opponents by putting them at the wrong end of a ladder. Johnny Impact would begin climbing dead center of the ring and Fantasma was there to push the ladder over, sending Nitro to the outside through a Mexican table. Fantasma would reset up the ladder and wedge another horizontally between the ladder and the second rope, he obviously had some sinister intentions. It would eventually lead to Hijo del Fantasma and Texano Jr. battling at the top of the ladder. Fantasma with an over the head back drop would send Jr. crashing into the horizontal ladder. Devastating. Fantasma, all alone at the top seemingly had it won until Morrison’s stooge, Kevin Kross, interrupts his moment of glory. Another fighter, Mascara de Bronce, recovered from his 8-man madness match, would come to take out Kross. This was followed by yet another of Johnny Nitro’s, I mean Mundo’s, henchmen, Hernandez, coming to assist Kross in swaying the fight. Fantasma put Kross through a table for his troubles.
In the final sequence of the fight, all the competitors were at the top across two ladders exchange blows. Fantasma would send Texano Jr. on the long ride down first through a table below. Johnny Mundo would then send Fantasma on the one way trip, allowing John to win the match and leave with nearly as many titles as he has last names.
After the match: Johnny would then grab a mic to announce his victory as the greatest moment in AAA history. He then would call out Vampiro and force him to put his title belt around his waist for him. He added insult to injury by spitting in his face all while cat calling Marisela Rena Roldan, the current president of AAA. Mundo would continue to emasculate Vampiro by running him down unendingly on the mic and slapping him. Vampiro finally had enough and chokeslammed Mundo dead center of the ring!
Even more after the match: Fantasma and Texano Jr., possibly suffering from excessive blood loss inexplicably began beating each other senseless with chairs before eventually leaving with everyone else. A truly bloody contest was now over.
Lucha de Apuestas, Mask vs. Mask Match and Main Event
Psycho Clown (W) vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. (L)
This match is billed as the match of the decade and is for more than just mere titles or crude grudges. No, the mask to a Luchador is his honor, and to have it removed can mean the end of a career. This match was about two Luchadors battling for their very wrestling souls. This is what this whole fever dream of a pay per view has been building to.
Psycho Clown enters in his usual grand fashion, sporting armor that looks like something straight out of Mad Max. He was in last year’s Triplemania main event and represents the future of the brand. Dr. Wagner Jr., who has been wrestling as long as Psycho Clown has been alive, enters with the prestige of a long career and the respect that comes with it.
The match quickly goes into the crowd. Dr. Wagner Jr’s son was quickly in tow behind the two combatants. Once they were done beating on each other in the crowd they found their way back into the ring. Wagner would lock up Psycho in the Wagner Lock and it looked like it could be over right there. Psycho Clown would find his way to the edge of the ring making the referee break the hold. Wagner would then start tearing at Psycho Clowns mask to expose about a quarter of his head. Wagner would attack at the exposed flesh by biting into his younger opponent and causing him to bleed all over. Wagner’s son would then toss a chair into the ring for his father to use. The bloody assault would continue at the hands if Wagner. The ruthless assault would nearly take off the Clown’s mask prematurely. After some really good ground work by Wagner, really working the Clown over, he would return the fight to the outside. Wagner-Mania was truly running wild, as this now one-sided fight found it’s way into the stands again. Wagner would eventually work Psycho back into the ring and things were truly looking grim for Psycho Clown.
In that moment, Psycho Clown rallied back, he explodes with offense. Power slams followed by near falls, counted by the slowest ref in wrestling history, had the Doctor flummoxed. This rally wasn’t proving to be enough however, so Psycho took Wagner back outside the ring to deliver a diving attack of his own. The Clown sets up Wagner gingerly on the barricade and clotheslines him off of it then proceeds to brutally assault Wagner with a chair. Psycho would take the ring veteran back into the ring once more, since turnabout is fair play, Clown begins tearing up Wagner’s mask. A series of takedown grapples ensue and Psycho finds another near fall over Wagner (Slowest referee ever).
The fight begins again outside and all of a sudden a count is utilized that nearly costs both the match due to count out. Psycho Clown, looking to make an attack from to the outside, get’s interrupted by Wagner’s son once more. Clown launched into the front row doing horrendous damage to everyone, including the audience. I guess if you’re buying front row seats to a AAA event, you know you’re going to potentially be in a Splash Zone of blood and violence.
Wagner’s Superplex nearly wins the match with a long two count of his own. Psycho and Wagner then exchange near falls back and forth once more after power take downs. Then they upgrade to trading tilt-a-whirl back breakers. Wagner Jr. then drives Clown down with a Wagner Driver…and then another for good measure. Still, Psycho Clown kicks out. Wagner is at a total loss at his opponents resilience. Frustrated, he begins to try and find sufficient offense to beat his opponent but it would be a lung blower and a snap powerbomb that would give Psycho Clown an upset victory, costing Dr. Wagner Jr. his legendary mask.
After the match: It was a truly emotional scene as this veteran of the ring potentially says his final goodbye’s to the AAA fan base on its biggest night. Both competitors are surrounded by their families as Dr. Wagner Jr. removes his own mask and reveals his true identity to the world. It’s a passing of the torch sort of moment that has Psycho Clown emotionally thanking his opponent for the greatest match of his life.
All in all, this event was insane, absurd, confusing, and out right chaos at points. It ranged the entire gauntlet of being horrible to epic and little in between. For that matter, at points, it was all those things at the same time. This is required watching for any wrestling fan…if only, just to have a wild experience.
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