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AAA Lucha Fighter tournament week 1 recap: Dr. Wagner Jr. surprise return

AAA is back with live lucha libre in the form of a tournament. Lucha Fighter is scheduled to span four weeks with 16 men, 8 women, and 4 minis battling in an empty arena.

The big news for week 1 was the surprise return of Dr. Wagner Jr. In February, Wagner publicly declared himself to be independent. However, when AAA needs a legend, he will be there.

Wagner entered with a title belt, which I believe is the Kaoz Heavyweight Championship. He cut a babyface promo hyping the tournament as well as thanking AAA and the fans.

The week 1 card had the following matchups:

  • Octagoncito vs Dinastia
  • Drago Kid vs Laredo Boy
  • Hades vs La Hiedra
  • Mamba vs Hijo del Vikingo
  • Mr. Iguana vs Dr. Wagner Jr.
  • Dave the Clown vs Texano
  • Drago vs Psycho Clown

All the matches were decent in their own way. The main event of Drago vs Psycho Clown was the best bout of the show. Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Mr. Iguana was my favorite of the bunch. It had an interesting vibe with a legend against a curtain jerker fan favorite.

Watch AAA’s two-hour Lucha Fighter week 1 episode here.

Jesus Zuniga welcomed us to the broadcast as emcee and ring announcer. Jose Manuel Guillen and Rafael Ayala handled commentary. Maximo was brought in for social media interaction. Piero el Internacional and Copetes Salazar were the referees.

The empty arena looked like a sound stage from the TV Azteca studio. It was nicely decorated. AAA made sure to show footage of staff taking the necessary sanitary precautions. Referees wore a face mask and gloves. The ring and ropes were wiped down with disinfectant between bouts.

Let’s run through the match finishes.

Dinastia defeated Octagoncito. Octagoncito hit a tornado DDT. He climbed the corner. Dinastia kipped up with energy to spring into a Spanish Fly to win.

Laredo Boy defeated Drago Kid. Laredo hit a super hurricanrana then a springboard moonsault to win.

La Hiedra defeated Hades. Hiedra entered with the EMW World Women’s Championship. Hades had some sweet dives with two consecutive corkscrew suicide dives and a corkscrew crossbody.

La Hiedra won after a powerbomb off the turnbuckles then a suplex rolling into a cradle driver.

Afterward, Hiedra grabbed a mic. She’s going to win this tournament, and she’s also coming for the Trios titles with her Mercenarios mates. Enter Mr. Iguana. He has a crush on Hiedra. His puppet iguana, Yesca, was wearing a medical face mask. Mr. Iguana offered to train with Hiedra to help her win. Hiedra wasn’t interested and shooed him away. Mr. Iguana spoke with Yesca to say Hiedra was playing hard to get.

Hijo del Vikingo defeated Mamba. Mamba missed a flying forward senton. Vikingo attacked with running double knees in the corner then won with an inverted 450 splash.

Dr. Wagner Jr. defeated Mr. Iguana. Wagner seemed to work rudo despite the babyface promo earlier. Mr. Iguana almost had an upset by rolling over to hook an armbar, but Wagner powerbombed him to break the hold. Wagner won with a dragon screw knee whip then a body slam.

Afterward, Wagner grabbed Yesca, whirled the puppet by the tail, then threw it across the arena.

Texano defeated Dave the Clown. I believe Dave’s title belt was the Vive Latino 2020 Championship. Dave hit a German suplex on Texano. On the subsequent pin, Texano put his hands up on the count to prevent the referee’s hand from slapping three. Dave pushed referee Copetes in frustration. Texano capitalized on Dave’s loss of focus with a piledriver to win.

I thought piledrivers were illegal in lucha libre. Go figure. Afterward, Texano whipped Dave with a bull rope and took Dave’s mask.

Psycho Clown defeated Drago. The end had a flurry of moves. Superplex by Psycho. Two count on Drago. Mexican Destroyer by Drago. Two count on Psycho. Sitdown powerbomb by Psycho. Three count on Drago for Psycho to win.

The two standouts for this show were Hades and Psycho Clown. Hades corkscrews were pretty cool. With Psycho, I’m bored of his act in trios action. Seeing Psycho wrestle one-on-one opened a different window for him to operate. I was impressed with how Psycho switched things up.

I don’t believe the rules for the Lucha Fighter tournament were discussed specifically. Based on the amount of luchadores involved and only four weeks to crown winners, I’m guessing single elimination. There is the possibility of a fan vote to save losing wrestlers from elimination. The simplest path is not AAA’s style, so I expect a wrinkle at some point.

Psycho Clown, Texano, Dr. Wagner Jr., and Hijo del Vikingo are a solid foursome to advance for round two of the men’s side. Any matchups between those luchadores would be interesting.

As for Dr. Wagner Jr.’s surprise return, it sounds like he is officially back with AAA. There was speculation of Wagner heading to CMLL. Wagner teased seeing him in Japan, Argentina, Ireland, and other countries. In Mexico, he’ll be primarily with AAA.

Are you happy to see Dr. Wagner Jr. return to AAA? Which match was your favorite in week 1 of the Lucha Fighter tournament?

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