Category Archives: AAA

Konnan vs. Cien Caras, Career vs. Career (AAA – 04/30/1993)

Konnan vs. Cien Caras
Career vs. Career
** 1/2

Knowing what we know about both Konnan the wrestler and AAA the promotion, it is extremely easy to write off the headlining match from TripleMania I. We know that Konnan was not a particularly good worker who had a penchant – as both a wrestler and booker – to overbook the crap out of matches. We know that AAA had those same tendencies and often try to make matches like this into epics which results in little more than an overblown mess. AAA also tends to get particularly cute (read: frustrating) when attempting to avoid paying off major stipulation matches. Cien Caras and Konnan both put their careers online in this match and we know they both continued to wrestle for years afterwards, so you can forgive me if I t cringed at the very real chance this match was going to have a wholly unsatisfying finish. Knowing all of that, it is easy to imagine this being a messy match.

The match had so much working against it, but fate intervened. Or rather, AAA’s poor timing of the show had an unexpectedly positive impact on this match. I’ll let Dr. Lucha explain, “By the time the match started, it was almost 12:30, and the Metro (subway), which is how the huge majority of the fans got to the arena, stops running at 1:30. So, they rushed through the match.

Bell to bell, the match lasted a mere 12 minutes and 14 seconds. Even in their formative years, AAA was still AAA which meant they allowed Caras and Konnan to make full fledged entrances that ate up close to ten more minutes before the match began. In this case all of that poor planning was ultimately a good thing. Caras and Konnan were far more suited to work a compact 12-minute match than they were a 25-minute blow out.

Even better was that they filled their reduced time in a relatively positive manner. They essentially worked a sprint. That might seem like an odd way to work something as momentous as a career versus career match. There was palpable anticipation for this match that you can feel while watching the recording of the match. After all, AAA built towards this match almost from the moment the promotion opened a year prior. Cien and Caras going full tilt for twelve minutes was fitting of the anticipatory and nervous feeling surrounding the match. A retirement match this long in the making is not the time for feeling out sections or plodding brawls. They got right to it and that was befitting of the story.

The work itself was only okay. It is probably safe to state that this is one of the better singles performance of Konnan’s career. He hits most of his high spots cleanly, whether it is a cartwheel, drop kick, or most pinning combinations. A few pinning combos or holds look a little sloppy, although Caras shares equal blame for most of those. If anything, Konnan might be going too fast for Caras at points which created a lag at times.

The match is so go-go that when I watched it recently on AAA’s YouTube channel, I was convinced that they had clipped the match. There would be a move that would end with both wrestlers on the mat, the camera would switch to a 1-2 second crowd shot, and when it went back to the ring the wrestlers were running the ropes again. The match time syncs up with what was reported, however, so clearly it was simply a case of them trying to get all their spots in during the allotted time.

The urgency to get their stuff in was amplified by the fact that the final fall was reserved for the match-ending angle. Jake Roberts spent the match watching from his seat and occasionally watching while standing at ringside. My lasting image of Jake Roberts in AAA is him watching matches from the crowd (he seemed to do that a lot during this angle). By the third fall, he is now standing at ringside the entire time and shouting towards Konnan. Konnan eventually has enough of Roberts’ disrespect and a brawl is set off at ringside. The referee initially provides some leeway but eventually starts a count out. Cien Caras – cagey veteran rudo that he was – got himself back in the ring sensing an opportunity to save his career. Konnan is counted out and is forced to retire.

That reads like a cop out finish – the kind I was worried about – but in execution it worked rather well. Cien Caras gleefully jumps around post-match, so happy that he saved his career that he doesn’t care how he did it. Konnan for his part is in shock that he allowed his career to slip away because he carelessly let himself get distracted. The post-match is really great and adds a lot to the overall match. Konnan goes from anger to acceptance as he gathers himself in the ring. The crowd is beside themselves. Obviously the safe pre-match bet would have been that that the 40+ year old Caras would “retire” (or at least leave AAA) and the guy who was the biggest draw in Mexico would stick around. The shock of the result and the way it all went down left the crowd is absolute shock. They would have been upset at any finish that involved Konnan losing I would imagine, but the unsatisfying way it went down added to the emotion. In this case, a “cheap loss” was the more effective loss.

Super Fly & Carta Brava Jr. vs. Luxdor & Venum (AAA – 03/04/2016)

Super Fly & Carta Brava Jr. vs. Luxdor & Venum
March 4, 2016
Gimnasio Agustin Millan (Toluca, Mexico)
*** ¾

There are not many wrestlers in AAA who I would be okay replacing Apache, but Super Fly just so happens to be one of them. Super Fly slid into Apache’s spot in a quasi-rematch from the previous tapings and the end result was an even better match.

This match did two things better than the prior one. The first was that it was a little shorter and therefore, a little more compact. Along similar lines, there was less filler on offense. The Cadets did less stuff from a standing position because there was less space to fill. Their flying is spectacular and they are of course nutty bumpers, so doing less standing stuff as an overall percentage of their offense was a plus. The Cadets are criminally underrated even in their own promotion. Any promotion in the world that signed them and the Trauma brothers would instantly have my favorite tag team division in the world regardless. The Cadets are not only great flyers, but they are polished flyers. They really deserve a higher profile.

And maybe they are getting one. The ending saw Apache run in and in another simple but effective rudo moment, he casually chucked a full beverage at Venum who was sitting on the top rope. In true AAA style, they failed to follow up on the developing Apache/Venum issue at the Naucalpan taping or at Rey de Reyes but hopefully that is just a temporary lull rather than a sign that they are dropping the feud. Venum might be the better of the two Cadets. He certainly has a great pedigree given that he was trained by Negro Navarro and the Traumas. I’ve been haphazardly making my way through the Billy Boy/Apache mid-2000’s feud. The prospect of a similar (daughter marriage issues notwithstanding) Venum/Apache singles feud as me drooling since Venum might be better than Billy Boy and Apache can clearly still go.

The match in general is both a fun and easy watch. As it stands now, this is my favorite tag team match of 2016.

El Apache & Carta Brava Jr. vs. Luxdor & Venum (AAA – 02/19/2016)

El Apache & Carta Brava Jr. vs. Luxdor & Venum
February 19, 2016
Auditorio Jose Maria Arteaga (Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico)
*** ½

For at least a year now if not longer, the opening matches on AAA TV have been as big of a reason as any to watch AAA’s television. More specifically, the non-mixed openers involving Apache have been particularly good. This is another one to add to the list.

What stood out most about this match was the fact that they opted out of the standard long AAA rudo beat down segment. The rudos controlled sections of the match but the match settled into a competitive one far earlier than I expected it to. This was just a high octane, fast paced tag match with Apache holding it altogether. The flying spots were high level stuff and executed well with a few exceptions. The Cadets’ non-flying offense was a little hit or miss (too many leg slapping kicks for me) but fune. The rudos were rudos so this never felt like an exhibition of spots; this was definitely a complete match. Apache scoring the win after a foul was the perfect ending in its simplicity. If only AAA would export that philosophy to other parts of the card.