You probably haven’t heard, what with Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather for the “Asshole Championship of the World” happening Saturday, but the 25th Anniversary of Triplemania is right around the corner. I know, I know; it’s AAA Cult, who gives a shit? But while AAA today may be a flat Pepsi (besides whatever worked shoot Vampiro is working on), that doesn’t mean it should prevent us from looking back fondly on all the great shit AAA used to do. I mean come on; it’s been twenty five years since Antonio Peña and Konnan told Paco Alonso to go screw and set the wrestling world on fire with one of the best rosters ever. Surely something exciting had to happen during that time, especially at Triplemania of all places? Well guess what; it did, and with Psycho Clown and Dr. Wagner just around the corner (provided Wagner’s mood and paycheck), I thought it be nice to do something, well, nice for AAA.
So to that end, I’ve spent the past two days watching a lot of Triplemania matches. I have seen emotional battles, way too much blood, way too much interference, a hundred table spots, a million chair spots and a trillion spots of guys going through those giant ass boards that only AAA seems to have. And from that I’ve come up with a list of the twenty five greatest matches in the history of Triplemania. Get it, cause it’s the 25th Anniversary of AAA? I thought it was clever. I can’t say that this is a perfect list or that it’s something everyone will agree on because hey, when does everyone agree on anything? But I can assure you that I’ve studied these shows immensely and that each era of AAA, from the golden age (1992-1995) to the dark age (1996-2006) to the semi golden age (2007-2014) to now has at least one match representing it. In short; I’m pretty damn confident this is a good countdown and hopefully you’ll see it that way too. With that out of the way, the only thing left is to reveal how it’s done. Well, since it’s an odd number like 25 and not something like 30, we’re going to do this five by five; as in five matches per column, making this a five part series. Get it? Got it? Sweet. So without any further gilding of the lily, and with no more ado, I give you Part One of the 25 Greatest Matches in the History of Triplemania. Moses, kick this bad boy off!
25. Aerostar & Drago vs. Angelico & Jack Evans vs. El Hijo del Fantasma & Garza Jr. vs. Matt Cross & Paul London (Triplemania XXIV)
Watching Triplemania XXIV (which is nearly one year old. Happy birthday Triplemania XXIV) was an experience that could only be matched by watching a WWE live show in Corpus Christi. And even then it couldn’t because Corpus Christi escaped Matt Striker, the only man to defeat Paulie Shore in an annoying contest. All that silence couldn’t harm this four way tag match, an action thriller that valiantly carried on the tradition of AAA having one bat shit crazy match for their show each year Triplemania XXIII not withstanding). Everyone here got stuff in over the fifteen minutes, whether it was Angelico leaping over Fantasma to the floor, Matt Cross and Paul London looking like the best tag team on the planet (despite being a onetime only team), Fantasma nailing the second best suicide dive in the business, Jack Evans…doing what Jack Evans usually does. For the love Grodd, Garza Jr. even did okay subbing in for the departed Fenix. And this was back when Garza was just a dopey ladies man technico, not the cool rudo he is now. Ultimately though all the other teams paled in comparison to Aerostar and Drago, who stole the show thanks to Aerostar’s death defying leaps, Drago’s mist and the fact that they won the thing. You could make an argument this was the best match of the show and I wouldn’t laugh at you. You’d be wrong, but I still wouldn’t laugh. Just lightly chuckle I suppose.
24. Alan Stone vs. Alex Koslov vs. Crazy Boy vs. Extreme Tiger (Triplemania XVII)
And we immediately get back to the bat shit crazy. If you’ve never watched AAA, the one thing you need to know going in is that they love crazy matches that involve tons of weapons, tons of overbooking and tons of dudes killing each other. This bout, dubbed an Extreme Rules Elimination Match for the AAA Cruiserweight Championship, basically epitomizes what AAA is all about; awe inspiring dives, huge spectacle, violence (of the necessary and unnecessary order) and Alex Koslov trying to class things up because he’s Alex Koslov. The match does a little bit of steam when Koslov (one of the most underrated performers of recent memory before he retired) gets eliminated, but it picks up quickly thanks to Crazy Boy and Tiger killing Alan Stone (who I’m pretty sure hasn’t been seen since), then killing each other in a thrilling closing third that ends with Tiger winning following a 450 through a table on the floor (with Crazy Boy covered in thumb tacks). Your mileage may vary, but I can’t think of a more appropriate way for the match to end, especially considering it was an Extreme Rules match that came down to dudes with “Extreme” and “Crazy” in their name.
23. Vampiro vs. El Mesias (Triplemania XVI)
You can make the argument that El Mesias is Mr. Triplemania. Granted, he has competition with Konnan, LA Park and Dr. Wagner, but a close look at Mesias’ track record at the big show reveals he always comes to play and always delivers the goods. You wouldn’t expect it here, considering he’s wrestling Vampiro in a hardcore match that screams overbooking. Instead the two delivered a captivating and extremely gruesome level of violence over the course of fifteen minutes where Vampiro proved he could still go. How very Vampiro vs. Pentagon Jr. of him! Although having seen what Mesias does to Vamp’s back in this match, Pentagon let his ass off light. Seriously folks; use those eclipse glasses when viewing Vamp’s back; it ain’t pretty.
22. Mascarita Sagrada, Octagoncito, Super Munequito, Torerito vs. Espectrito I, Espectrito II, Fuercita Guerrera, La Parkita (Triplemania III-B)
You gotta hand it to AAA. Even after the formula has run near dry, they’ve continued to keep doing the same old ultra violent, ultra overbooked big match formula for Triplemania year after year. A competent and compelling minis division though? Can’t have that; that would be like putting Gran Metalik on RAW for the first time in years. Oh wait; THAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW! And of course I’m at a location that doesn’t have the USA channel because Grodd hates me and why am I sharing these thoughts out loud?
Anyways, despite the Dinastia’s of the world, the AAA Mini-Estrellas division has never quite been the same as it was during AAA’s glory days. That said how could it be when compared to awesomeness like this? This wasn’t just a really good bout; it was a show stealer on a Triplemania card that many consider to be one of the two best in company history. Starting slow and building to an action packed crescendo, these eight outshined performers twice their size and did things some luchadors could never possibly dream of. And I’m not just talking about Mascarita Sagrada (not the LU incarnation) or Octagoncito, the two legends in this group; all eight guys were excellent. If ever there was an example out there that mini-estrella wrestling could be taken seriously, this match is it.
(skip to the 5:00 mark)
21. Super Fly vs. Super Calo (Triplemania XV)
There was a time when you could make the argument that Super Calo, aka the guy who looked like Vanilla Ice’s bodyguard, was one of the best luchadors in the world when he was working with Abismo Negro, Winners edition. Then he went to WCW, got lost in the shuffle behind the Rey’s, Psicosis’, Juvy’s, La Parka’s and El Dandy’s of the world and became the “rapper looking dude” you saw in multi-man cruiserweight matches till he went back to Mexico in 1999. Such is life for a luchador not named…all the guys I just named in the 90’s. And again, it’s not like Calo was just another dude in Mexico; he was a Triplemania headliner before WCW brought him in and forced him to shave off that ridiculous haircut. The lesson as always; maybe just stay in Mexico if a big company comes calling, despite having several talented luchadors on the roster already. Somewhere, Lince Dorado is reading this and nodding vigorously.
Perhaps that’s why this match, Calo’s last super fun singles bout, resonates with me so much. After losing a tag match against Laredo Kid and ally Gran Apache, Calo was immediately forced to put his mask on the line against Super Fly. Considering they just went through a match (not to mention they were fifth on a Triplemania card that looks like Benjen Stark after the wights got to him), you’d expect this match to be nothing. Instead, these two cut a great pace over the course of seven and a half minutes, with Calo looking every bit the performer he was a decade ago before Super Fly beat him at his own game and finally robbed Calo of his super cool mask. I suppose you could say it didn’t work out for either guy in the long run; Calo of course lost his mask and Super Fly is pretty much in the same position today he was back then; you could even make the argument he’s this generations Super Calo if you really wanted to. But for seven and a half minutes on July 15th, 2007, Super Fly was a young up and comer winning the biggest match of his career and Super Calo was reminding everyone why Antonio Peña once trusted him as one of his top stars. How can you not like that?
(skip to 14:40)
That’s part one sports fans. I’ll be back tomorrow with part two AND a CMLL Tuesday review. I’d have had the Puebla review tonight, but I’m finishing this as the show starts so no dice. There will be one tomorrow though. Till we meet again, THIS!