On August 9, AAA Worldwide presented its biggest show of the year, TripleMania. AAA returned to United States PPV for the first time since its Worlds Collide show in 1994, which featured the likes of a teenage Rey Mysterio, Jr. and Konnan in his prime.
Emanating from Mexico City, TripleMania 23 featured AAA luchadores whom some viewers may not have been familiar with as well as several luchadores made famous in the United States by WCW in the 1990s and by Lucha Underground presently on El Rey Network.
TRADITIONAL ATÓMICOS MATCH
An atómicos match is nonstop action from start to finish, and it two teams of four. Pimpinela Escarlata, Goya Kong, Drago, and Dinastía faced Mamba, Daga, Mini Psycho Clown, and Sexy Star (teaming with rudos, unlike her run in Lucha Underground).
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In a match that lived up to its name, the high spots included an ensemble of top-rope dives and other high-risk moves such as Goya Kong's cannonball to the outside of the ring. Finally, Pimpinela made Sexy Star tap out to pick up the win for her team.
LOS VILLANOS V. PSYCHO CIRCUS
Billed as 40 year-old rivalry between two wrestling families, the two trios teams worked a decent match. It involved mask tearing, dirty fighting, and the low blow that led to Los Villanos'
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The real objective was to honor the final match of ring veteran Villano III and referee Pepé Tropicasas (who participated in AAA's very first event). Before leaving the ring, both men received plaques and thanked the fans for their support.
AAA WORLD TRIOS TITLE MATCH
Los Hell Brothers (Averno, Cibernético, and Chessman) defended their titles against the team of Angélico, Jack Evans, and Fénix and the team of Texano, Jr., El Hijo del Fantasma, and Pentagon, Jr. To win the match, a member of one team had to retrieve one of the three title belts hanging from the top of the cage.
Obviously intending to steal the show with the aerial daring he is well known for, Angélico wore a body cam. Several luchadores came close to grabbing a belt only to be yanked down for a crash
They also managed to get a table into the ring, and Texano became the unfortunate victim. Finally, the defending champions prevailed as Averno sat atop the cage and held up one of the title belts.
LA PARKA & BLUE DEMON V. ELECTROSHOCK & EL MESíAS
La Parka made his infamous entrance, dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." An appearance by La Parka at TripleMania would have been incomplete without it.
The fight between La Parka and El Mesías, bitter rivals, looked quite convincing. They waged war between the ring and the ring barrier.
The relatively short match ended with the other pair of enemies in the middle of the ring, as Electroshock tapped out to Blue Demon's unique variation of the Sharpshooter. Afterwards,
Blue Demon received an award commemorating his 30 years as an active wrestler.
HAIR V. HAIR
In the co-main event, Current AAA Mega Champion and former WWE Champion Alberto El Patron faced challenger Brian Cage. Alberto had vowed to leave AAA if he failed to defeat Cage at TripleMania.
This was a battle of nationalism caused by Cage's disrespect toward AAA and the Mexican fans. In the run up, Cage took out Alberto and draped the United States flag over his fallen body.
Fénix stood in El Patron' s corner while El Hijo del Fantasma (a strange alliance as a Mexican wrestler) stood in Cage's.
Alberto had this lucha de apuestas involving tables and chairs won, but the rudo referee refused to make the three count. After Alberto vented his frustrations on him, a replacement came in.
Fénix took care of Fantasma's attempts to interfere. Finally, Alberto forced Cage to tap out to his signature arm bar in the middle of the ring.
El Hijo del Fantasma was upset, but Cage sat and took the loss and the haircut "like a man" while Alberto celebrated with the fans.
Yet, Cage attacked Alberto afterwards, only to receive a power bomb for his efforts. To add an exclamation point, Alberto draped the Mexican flag over Cage.
Rey Mysterio faced Mysteziz in a match between living legends. The rivalry began brewing after they competed as teammates with Alberto El Patron in the AAA Lucha World Cup in May.
Mysterio wrestled in AAA before coming to the United States and wrestling in ECW, WCW, eventually WWE. He eventually became WWE champion and returned to AAA when his WWE contract expired.
Mysteziz was known as Místico in CMLL, AAA's rival promotion. Although he did not fare well as the original Sin Cara in WWE, that was really a matter of misuse and underuse.
He owns ticket sales records in Mexico, which places him in the same conversation with Rey Mysterio as arguably the biggest star in lucha libre.
Before the match, Mysteziz descended from the ceiling. Then, Mysterio made a more traditional entrance but was dressed in a shiny black outfit with expanding wings.
This contest of high flyers/mat technicians soon turned ugly with slams to the ring posts and the announcer's table. Both tried their finishers unsuccessfully, and each kicked out of several pin attempts and escaped submission attempts.
Mysteziz even tried to beat Mysterio with his own finishing combo, the 619 followed by a splash from the top rope, but Mysterio kicked out. Finally, Mysterio submitted Mysteziz with his second use of an arm bar.
Afterwards, Mysteziz was attacked by Joe Lider, Pentagon, Jr., and arch-rival Averno. Mysterio came to the rescue.
Still, Mysteziz turned heel and demanded a no disqualification, mask v. mask rematch with Mysterio.
HALL OF FAME
AAA inducted the late Hector Garza and Perro Aguayo, Jr. into its Hall of Fame. Family members and friends accepted on their behalf after viewing brief clips of Garza's and Aguayo's careers as well as interviews with wrestlers who praised them.
This year's show lacked a Reina de Reina (women's title) match. Last year, Faby Apache lost the title to Taya Valkyrie.
Nevertheless, TripleMania 23 was action-packed, and this phase in AAA's expansion was successful. Look out for AAA Immortal Heroes on PPV on October 4.
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