AAA “Lucha Libre World Cup” Preview
May 23, 2015
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
This Sunday (May 24, 2015) AAA and Victoria Cerveza presents one of the biggest Lucha Libre events in the history of Lucha with the “Libre Libre World Cup” event being broadcasted all over the world via iPPV and featuring stars from all around the globe including the Mexico obviously, United States, Scotland, Africa, Puerto Rico, and Japan. Stars from AAA, Lucha Underground, TNA, ROH, All Japan, and Pro Wrestling NOAH will come together in a one night trios tournament to see who has the best wrestlers in the world. All eyes will be on the “Lucha Libre World Cup” in the wrestling world and part of that has to do with the growing interest in lucha libre which can be attributed to “Lucha Underground” but also because of Rey Misterio Jr. and Alberto el Patron’s returns to AAA. For many viewers out there this will be their first time seeing many of the stars in this tournament. I will be covered it all live via Twitter and on WrestleView as well but if you would like to watch the show yourself visit http://internetvluchalibreworldcup.com/ and order the PPV.
The rules of the event are fairly simple. Each team features 3 stars and each tournament match will have a 15 minute time limit. If the match reaches that limit both teams will pick one representative to have a 5 minute overtime one-on-one match. That will be repeated over again until a winner is decided. Before the finals another match will be held between the two losing teams from the Semifinals to crown a third place winner. There will also be a panel of judges consisting of legends El Canek and Los Hermanos Dinamitas (Cien Caras, Mascara Ano 2000, & Universo 2000) that will give out awards (for best dive, tournament MVP, match of the night, etc.) at the end of the tournament. The full list of teams is below as well as a preview of the tournament.
-The Dream TeAAAm: Alberto el Patron, Rey Misterio Jr., & Myzteziz
-Team AAA: Hijo del Fantasma, Texano Jr., & Psycho Clown
-Team MexLeyendas: Blue Demon Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr., & Solar I
-Team Rest of the World: Drew Galloway, Angelico, & El Mesias
-Team TNA/Underground: Matt Hardy, Mr. Anderson, & Johnny Mundo
-Team ROH/Underground: Cage, ACH, & Moose
-Team NOAH: Taiji Ishimori, Yoshihiro Takayama, & Atsushi Kotoge
-Team AJPW: Kenzo Suzuki, Tiger Mask III, & Masamune
The Dream TeAAAm (Alberto el Patron, Rey Misterio Jr., and Myzteziz)
The very first team announced for the World Cup is the biggest team in the tournament with the three biggest stars in Mexico in the last two decades. Rey Misterio Jr. is obviously the most well known on the team and is probably the biggest Mexican star in the history of wrestling both in America and Mexico. The majority of his success came in America for WCW and then later WWE were he won both the WWE Heavyweight and World Heavyweight Championships. Now he has returned to Mexico as a massive star and the biggest box office attraction in all of Lucha Libre. Alberto el Patron was a big star in Mexico before he left for the WWE but there he became an international superstar as Alberto del Rio winning the WWE World Title on multiple occasions, and when he returned to Mexico last year he quickly became the biggest box office draw in the country until Misterio made his return. Their partner Myzteziz was the biggest star in Mexico in the 2000’s as Mistico and then he left for the WWE and become Sin Cara where his success was much more limited. He returned to Mexico after departing from WWE and he debuted with AAA as Myzteziz and has once again become a huge star in his native country. These three huge stars will be teaming for the very first time during the Lucha Libre World Cup and with their star power and the fact that they are three of the best luchadors ever as well they are the obvious favorites for the tournament, but every single team will be certainly gunning for them. One interesting side note here is that Victoria Cerveza and AAA both issued invitations to CMLL to join the tournament but they obviously declined. AAA’s “Dream Team” actually consists of three stars that have all competed for CMLL in the past. Myzteziz and Alberto both made their names in CMLL as huge stars from the promotion in the 2000’s and Misterio worked for CMLL briefly after WCW closed down.
Team AAA (Psycho Clown, Texano Jr., and Hijo del Fantasma)
The first team representing AAA, the “Dream Team,” consisted of veteran superstars while the second team consists of young stars who could be considered among the future stars of AAA. Psycho Clown is already one of the top tecnicos (babyface) in AAA while Texano Jr. is a former AAA World Champion and Hijo del Fantasma is the current AAA World Cruiserweight Champion and a fast rising rudo (heel). All three are thirty years old or younger and all three are second generation stars. Texano and Fantasma have begun making a name for themselves in America as well as a part of Lucha Underground (Fantasma is known as King Cuerno in Lucha Underground). This team combines two rudos (Texano and Fantasma) with one tecnico (Psycho Clown) which will make for an interesting dynamic especially considering that Texano and Psycho spent the majority of a year in a violent feud. Don’t count these youngsters out just because they might not all get along though because a trio of people that disliked each other ended up winning the World Trios Championships in Lucha Underground in this year. Another interesting aspect of this trios is that like the “Dream Team” they are all three former CMLL stars as well. Hijo del Fantasma and Texano Jr. both spent the better part of a decade in CMLL while Psycho Clown started his career there as Brazo de Plata Jr. before jumping to AAA where he become much more known as Psycho Clown.
Team MexLeyendas (Dr. Wagner Jr., Blue Demon Jr., and Solar I)
The most experience in the tournament comes from the trios of legends in Wagner, Demon, and Solar. All three have been in the wrestling business for over 20 years each and Solar has been in it for almost 40 himself. It is going to be a treat to see these three legends teaming together especially the great Solar as many of the people watching will be seeing Solar for the very first time. Solar is one of the best technical luchadors ever while Wagner and Demon have both been considered amongst the greats though Wagner has spent the majority of the last several years as a brawler more than a technical wrestler.
Team TNA/Underground (Matt Hardy, Mr. Anderson, and Johnny Mundo)
The first team representing the United States consists of stars from both TNA and Lucha Underground. Representing TNA is former ECW Champion Matt Hardy and former TNA World Champion Mr. Anderson while former WWE Intercontinental Champion Johnny Mundo (formerly John Morrison/Johnny Nitro) represents Lucha Underground. These veterans all have a ton of tag experience with Hardy being a part of one of the greatest tag teams ever in the Hardy Boyz (former WCW, WWE, ECW, and TNA Tag Team Champions), Mundo was a part of one of the best tag teams of the 2000s in WWE as MNM, and Anderson himself has competed for the AAA Tag Team Championships in the past, but neither of them have had a ton of experience in Trios Matches though Mundo has started to gain some in Lucha Underground this year. Mundo is expected to become much more regular in AAA after this tournament.
Team ROH/Underground (Moose, ACH, & Cage)
The second team representing America is the team of ROH’s Moose and ACH and Lucha Underground’s Cage. Moose signed with ROH in 2014 and this monster’s background starts in football where he was a starting left tackle for the Atlanta Falcons for some time. Moose has not been wrestling long but has made an impact in a short time with his massive strength and intensity. He brings a much different style to the table in this tournament than the majority of the field. ACH on the other hand is right at home in the skies with other luchadors as a great young high flyer. He recently had a stellar match with Alberto el Patron in ROH. Cage has really started garnering buzz this year first as a part of Lucha Underground and then as he became a semi-regular in AAA. He has an ongoing feud in Mexico for Alberto el Patron and the two have had a series of well received matches against each other. Cage combines his freaky strength and athleticism together to create a very unique hybrid wrestler that stands out from the pack.
Team NOAH (Taiji Ishimori, Yoshihiro Takyama, and Atsushi Kotoge)
Pro Wrestling NOAH has had a relationship with AAA for quite some time and in the past has sent over several stars including Team NOAH’s captain Taiji Ishimori. Ishimori is one of NOAH’s best stars and he will be joined by the veteran Takayama and Kotoge. Team NOAH may have the best blend of old and young on their team. Ishimori is still in his early 30’s while being a decade plus veteran while Kotoge is still in his 20’s and has a bright future and Takayama has been in pro wrestling for decades.
Team AJPW (Kenzo Suzuki, Tiger Mask III, and Masamune)
AJPW’s team rivals the Mexican Legends team as one of the most veteran teams in the tournament, though only one of them is a permanent member of the AJPW roster (Suzuki). Suzuki spent years in AAA following his WWE run in the 2000’s before returning to Japan while Tiger Mask III (Koji Kanemoto) has been one of the best wrestlers in Japan for decades. Masamune has been wrestling since the 90’s and has a Lucha history having been trained initially by the original Lizmark in Mexico. Though Tiger Mask began his career as a great high flyer when he first donned the Tiger Mask gimmick he has since in recent years adopted a much more traditional stiff, Japanese strong style. Tiger Mask III is considered a legend in Mexico and this will be his first appearance in the country since he worked for AAA as Tiger Mask in 1994. He wrestled for years in Mexico for more than a year as “King Lee” for the UWA promotion before becoming Tiger Mask. He worked for AAA several times in 1994 as Tiger Mask.
Team Rest of the World (Drew Galloway, Angelico, and El Mesias)
The final team in the tournament consists of stars from TNA and AAA representing three different countries. TNA’s Drew Galloway represents Scotland, Angelico represents South Africa, and Mesias represents Puerto Rico. Galloway is most known for his run in the WWE as the underused Drew McIntyre but is currently working for TNA as a leader of The Rising group. Angelico has spent the last several years working for AAA and debuted with Lucha Underground this year as well. He is a part of the Lucha Underground Trios Champions with Son of Havoc and Ivelisse Velez. Before coming to AAA he was trained by a trio of legends in Ultimo Dragon, Negro Navarro, and Black Terry and worked for both Dragon’s Toryumon promotion and IWRG. Mesias is probably most known by American fans as Judas Mesias in TNA and the masked Mil Muertes in Lucha Underground. He has spent the majority of his career as one of AAA’s top stars though. This team combines the high flying of Angelico with the all around technical abilty of Galloway and power of Mesias to make up one of the best hybrid teams in the tournament.
Catch all of the incredible action from these stars this Sunday at 5:00 PM (eastern) on iPPV or follow along with me on Twitter (@BamaBoyJosh) or read the full recap/review of the show later that night on Wrestleview!