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AAA Lucha Capital Episode 1: Aerostar, Drago, & Villano III Jr. steal the show

AAA’s eight-week Lucha Capital tournament is back for a second season. 36 luchadores are split into twelve teams of three. The matches will be three-way dances with the winner earning points for their team. Three men’s teams and two women’s teams advance to the semifinals, then only one luchador and one luchadora will be crowned Lucha Capital champ in the finale.

The Lucha Capital preview will get you caught up on the participants and teams. The venue is Pinche Gringo BBQ restaurant in Mexico City. Episodes can be viewed on AAA’s Facebook page. Episode 1 (here) featured:

  • Hades vs Big Mami vs Ayako Hamada
  • Flamita vs Willie Mack vs Maximo
  • Argenis vs Rich Swann vs Niño Hamburguesa
  • Villano III Jr. vs Aerostar vs Drago

Let’s jam on it.

Vampiro opened the show with new co-host La Regia. AAA should get her a sponsorship with the Regio toilet paper brand. It looks like La Griega will be a one-hit wonder. I wonder if she returned to Greece.

Vampiro explained the format. He said 32 luchadores, but that was probably a mistake. Teams need seven points to advance to the semifinal. He didn’t mention how many points are earned with a victory. If it is only one point, then I believe the math won’t work. If every wrestler has two matches, then that would be a maximum of six points from six matches per team. I might be wrong though.

Jose Manuel Guillen and Adrian Mendoza handled commentary in Spanish. There was no English feed. Piero took care of all referee duties for the evening. He’s the tall dyed blonde ref.

Hades vs Big Mami vs Ayako Hamada

This bout was pretty much non-stop action, as lucha libre three-ways tend to be. In the early going, Hades and Ayako Hamada tried to double team Big Mami, but she was too much woman. Highlights include Hades with two corkscrew dives through the ropes, a backward facebuster slam by Mami, a moonsault from Hamada, and a bridging belly-to-back suplex from Hades.

The finish started with a teamwork double superplex to Mami. Hades and Hamada went at it one-on-one. Hamada laid in some kicks, but Hades came back with a German suplex and a modified backcracker. Hamada proved to be too tough after she connected on a jumping spin kick then a Michinoku driver to win.

Ayako Hamada defeated Hades and Big Mami.

After the match, La Regia attempted to interview Hades while she was on the mat writhing in pain. Hades ended up being taken away on a backboard. I’m not sure if it was a legit injury or show drama. Vampiro made a speech to the fans about how lucha libre can be dangerous and that luchadores leave it all in the ring.

Flamita vs Willie Mack vs Maximo

This contest had more of a comedic tone with dancing and Maximo’s exotico antics. It started with “Hot Chocolate” Willie Mack queuing up the event DJ to lay down a beat. Mack shook his groove thing, did the worm, then did a reverse worm.

Highlights include a totem pole Tower of Doom, a standing moonsault from Mack, a Death Valley driver from Flamita, and an exploder suplex from Mack. For the finish, Mack had Flamita up in a fireman’s carry position, but Flamita rolled back to trap Mack in a crucifix pin to win.

Flamita defeated Willie Mack and Maximo.

Afterward, La Regia asked Mack if he speaks Spanish. He replied in Spanish not to touch him then exited the ring in frustration with the loss.

Argenis vs Rich Swann vs Niño Hamburguesa

Rich Swann boogied to the ring with slick dance moves. Niño Hamburguesa ate a double superkick to get the match underway. Swann and Argenis went move for move until Niño returned to double clothesline them. When the action spilled outside, Swann attacked with a springboard Phoenix splash.

Other highlights include a double suplex to Niño, two consecutive running bowling balls by Niño into the corner, a fireman’s carry slam by Argenis to Niño, and a flying splash by Swann.

For the finishing sequence, Argenis hit a big cutter on Swann. Kick out at two. Neckbreaker slam to Swann. Kick out at two. Swann battled back with a handspring off the ropes into a cutter. Kick out at two. Niño squashed Swann with a running splash. Argenis broke the count then dropkicked Niño out of the ring. Argenis charged at Swann in the corner. Swann ducked out, kicked Argenis in the head, then finished the job with a 450 splash off the middle rope to win.

Rich Swann defeated Argenis and Niño Hamburguesa.

After the match, Niño blamed Argenis for his loss. Argenis responded that he will break Niño’s face next time they meet.

Villano III Jr. vs Aerostar vs Drago

Villano III Jr. brought his Mixed Tag title belt to the ring. Once the bell rang, Drago offered a handshake. Villano spit in Drago’s hand. Lucha super friend Aerostar did shake Drago’s hand. The pals put friendship aside and battled in a proper three-way.

This bout was a display of lucha libre fanciness. Highlights include a springboard splash by Aerostar, a step-up dive by Aerostar to the outside, Villano with a suicide dive on one end then another suicide dive on the opposite end, a suicide dive from Aerostar, a tope con hilo from Drago, a sitdown powerbomb by Villano, a swanton by Villano, a Mexican Destroyer by Drago, Drago powerbombing Villano onto Aerostar, Villano F5-ing Drago onto Aerostar, and a springboard trust bomb by Aerostar to the outside.

In the end, Drago nailed Aerostar with a running blockbuster. Villano quickly hit Drago with a spear, but he missed the subsequent flying attack due to upside down showboating on the top turnbuckle. After a few kicks, Drago set up the Dragon’s Lair pin to win.

Drago defeated Villano III Jr. and Aerostar.

In the post-match interview, Villano thanked his opponents for showing him he has more to learn. He will prepare better in the future.

The winners posed for photos as Episode 1 wrapped.

Live lucha libre from AAA is always enjoyable in one way or another. This time, it was the exciting ring action. The women’s opener set a nice tone. Ayako Hamada stood out most to me in that bout. She always comes across as a shit-kicking fighter. Bout two is skippable. I hope Mack gets more of a serious contest next time. Bout three was on the upward trend with Rich Swann’s athleticism. The main event with Aerostar, Drago, and Villano III Jr. was the best match of the evening. If you only have time for one bout from Episode 1, then I recommend checking that one out.

The post-match interviews for the losers were interesting. It was odd how La Regia rushed in to chat while the luchadores were still in pain. I’ll be keeping an eye on Mack’s bad attitude, Argenis and Niño Hamburguesa flapping gums, and if Villano III Jr. shows growth from learning lessons in defeat. There’s a good chance that none of those story seeds bloom, but you never know. Also, I hope Hades was not seriously injured. Lucha Capital is a big opportunity for her to impress AAA brass. It could lead to a steady role on AAA’s TV show, Conquista Total.

This year’s Lucha Capital has a much more focused pace. The matches were one right after the other. Last year dillied and dallied with intermissions and extended entrances to mingle with fans. Although, I will miss the masked lucha band from last season. They rocked. Episode 1 was a good start to season two. The next seven weeks should be fun.

Which match was your favorite from Episode 1? Which luchador impressed the most?

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