Lucha libre returns to New York City tonight as Invading NY takes place inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Cain Velasquez is set for his first pro wrestling match in the United States, and his second match overall after debuting this summer in Mexico. On this card in New York he teams with Psycho Clown & Brian Cage against Texano Jr., Taurus & Rey Escorpion (who replaces Killer Kross).
Velasquez wrestling on the show is probably the most newsworthy attraction, but the trios match itself is billed as the semi-main.
The advertised main event is Blue Demon Jr vs. Dr Wagner Jr. in a continuation of their long rivalry. Their feud was seemingly blown off in an apuesta match at Triplemania, yet here they are once again facing off in a singles match as headliners.
The Lucha Brothers defend their AAA World Tag Team titles against challengers LAX. In another title match, Taya Valkyrie challenges Tessa Blanchard for the Reina de Reinas Championship.
Other AAA talent is scheduled for the show, but no other matches were announced ahead of time. More wrestlers from Impact were also expected to appear on the card.
Originally scheduled for the arena at Madison Square Garden, the show was eventually moved to the adjacent Hulu Theater. AAA previously ran the venue in the 1990s when the Hulu Theater was known as the Paramount Theater. This year, Impact Wrestling is co-promoting the show with AAA.
Invading NY is available on traditional pay-per-view and iPPV with an option of either Spanish or English commentary. Our live coverage begins at 6 p.m. Eastern time.
The show opened with the ring announcers hyping the crowd. Hugo Savinovich and Matt Striker are calling the show in English. With the addition of Hugo, this is already the best AAA English language announce team ever (expect for maybe Mike Tenay & Chris Cruise on When Worlds Collide in 1994). That is however a low bar aside from When Worlds Collide.
Melissan Santos is the English language ring announcer.
Mascarita Dorada & Chris Dickinson defeated Dave the Clown & Demus
Dorada pinned Demus in an opener that connected pretty decently with the crowd. They loved Dorada. He did some David and Goliath spots with Dave the Clown. Dickinson was coming off of the Bloodsport show last night. What a vastly different show to wrestle on 24 hours later in relatively the same region. The match built to some highspot at the end. Dorada really got to shine. He did an amazing series of tilt-a-whirls before cradling Demus for the pinfall.
Team Impact (Josh Alexander, Michael Elgin & Sami Callihan) defeated Team AAA (Murder Clown, Drago & Faby Apache)
Elgin pinned Murder Clown after a Liger bomb. The match started with a wild brawl until settling into a more traditional trios match. Elgin really heeled on the crowd as they booed him a lot. Apache got to shine when she first made a save for Drago. Callihan stalked Apache, and then he spat in her face. She fired up and did a senton off the apron on Callihan. The rudos ganged up on Apache. She took a Magic Killer modified into a spike DDT. They got heat on her for several minutes.
Apache eventually countered into a Black Widow. Murder Clown cleaned house off a hot tag. The tecnicos rallied for a triple near fall. The rudos soon cut them off. Elgin did a double fallaway slam when he lifted both Drago and Apache. Drago moments later got a near fall with a Frakensteiner. Callihan executed a piledriver on Apache. Drago then hit Callihan with a Canadian Destroyer.
The parade of highspots continued until Murder Clown popped the crowd doing a tope con giro to the outside. Elgin cut off Clown and powerbombed him for the pinfall.
Daga defeated Puma King, Flamita and Aerostar in a four-way match
Daga pinned Puma King in a high flying spectacle. The match was really good if you like all action. Dagao becomes number one contender for AAA Cruiserweight Championship by winning this match. This was a video game stunt show. There was a ton of flying here, and too many highspots to keep track off. Everybody got their stuff in. Aerostar flew around like a wild man, but didn't do anything too crazy. Puma King fought from underneath, but Daga ultimately delivered a Jay Driller for the pinfall.
Taya Valkyrie defeated Tessa Blanchard to win the Reina de Reinas Championship
Taya pinned Blanchard after the Road to Valhalla. This was really good. They hugged afterwards, but Tessa went heel and attacked her for a post-match beatdown. This built like an old school NWA title match, except it was filled with new age highspots. Blanchard is so damn great in the ring.
They started slow and built from there. The pace soon quickened. Taya fought from underneath. She did a flying crossbody off the top to the floor early on. Blachard dropkicked her into the ring steps, and then Blanchard turned up the heat. They had a slugfest after a double down as they match continued to build. Taya made a comeback, but Tessa caught her with a Canadian Destroyer for a near fall.
Taya kept getting near falls down the stretch. Blachard delivered a cutter, and Taya answered back with a knee strike. Taya then lifted Tessa for the double chickenwing facebuster, and Taya covered her for the title change.
They hugged and embraced after the match when Taya extended her hand to help Blanchard off the mat. Blanchard then heeled on her for a post-match attack where she got her heat back.
AAA World Tag Team Champions Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix) defeated LAX (Ortiz & Santana) to retain their titles
Pentagon pinned Santana to win the match for his team. This was spectacular at times. The beginning of the match was typical Lucha Bros fare -- meaning Pentagon milked "ciero miedo" and Fenix flew around doing crazy cool spots. The highspots only got crazier from there. There was a lot of tandem offense and intricate sequences.
LAX would not be outshined. They did dual dives over the ropes with each doing a tope con giro. That turned the tide in their favor for a moment. The false finishes began in the second half of the match. Ortiz with a reverse rana, and Santana followed with a big splash off the tope on Fenix. Pentagon made a save. He would do the same a few minutes later.
They all traded near falls. Lucha Bros got a double near fall doing a Sabu-RVD combo. LAX answered back with a two count off a frog splash. Penta traded Canadian Destroyers with LAX. Santana flew to the outside, and then LAX with a Doomsday Blockbuster for another close near fall.
Lucha Bros did their Mexican Destroyer finishing sequence. For that finish, Fenix drapped himself in the Mexican flag before he leapt off the top with a double foot stomp that assisted Pentagon with as a stuff package piledriver on Santana. Fenix -- still drapped in the flag -- flipped into a tope con giro to the outside to dispatch Ortiz. Pentagon then covered Santana for the pinfall.
Cain Velasquez, Psycho Clown & Brian Cage defeated Los Mercenarios (Texano Jr., Taurus & Rey Escorpion)
Velasquez pinned Taurus after doing a Lethal Injection. Yes, a freaking Lethal Injection. He looked good again. He did some MMA spots, but he also did plenty of lucha libre. Velasquez did a tilt-a-whirl and a flying headscissors. Plus he flew outside doing a crossbody off the top rope to the floor. He squared off with Taurus at the start, and they both would go on to be the two involved in the finish.
The trios match was given a last minute no DQ stipulation. I thought that would mean lots of weapons and/or blood, but it instead just meant the rudos got to cheat. They got heat on Cage until Psycho Clown ran wild off after a hot tag. Escorpion cut him off and ripped at his mask. Psycho answered back with a Code Red. The rudos' spots kept backfiring on them. Texano brought his bullrope into the ring, but he whipped Escorpion by mistake. Psycho then got the bullrope and whipped the rudos.
Velasquez got back in the ring and executed a flying headscissors. Psycho and Cage did flip dives to the outside. Cain followed with a flying crossbody off the top on to everybody on the floor. Taurus cut off Cain, but Cage made a save to give Taurus a buckle bomb. Cage dealifted Taurus into a superplex. Texano rushed in to catch Cage with a sit-out powerbomb. Psycho then caught Texano with a sunset powerbomb. Escorpion press slamed Psycho into a gutbuster.
Velasquez was cleaning house when Escorpion fouled him. Velasquez regrouped for a tilt-a-whirl that he followed with a handspring into a cutter (Lethal Injection) on Taurus for the pinfall.
There was a ceremony celebrating Mexican independence with the Grito de Independencia. Mexico celebrates its Independence Day tomorrow.
Dr. Wagner Jr. defeated Bliue Demon Jr.
Wagner pinned Demon after rolling through to counter a flying crossbody. Wagner wrestled with his mask until he unmasked himself just before the finish. The closing moments were clunky as the finish did not go smooth. Impact wrestlers attacked Wagner after the match, and the AAA roster ran down to make the save for brawl that closed the show.
Some of their previous bouts were bloodbaths, but this was a basic match with no blood. Striker on commentary tried putting the match over as a chance to see witness a classic rivalry. Sure, okay.
They started slow as they worked the crowd, and they built to Demon doing a tope suicida through the ropes. That set up the heat spot as Demon began working over Wagner.
Wagner eventually made a comeback. He and Demon ripped and tore each other's mask.
Wagner dared Demon to hit him, and Wagner then unmasked and fired up into a lariat for a botched two count. Demon then climbed the turnbuckles and jumped off into a flying crossbody. Wagner rolled through and covered Demon for the pinfall.
Impact wrestlers ran in after the match to attack Wagner. The AAA roster poured into the ring for the save. AAA stood tall over Impact after a short brawl. The AAA crew cleared the ring, and Wagner cut a promo before the show went off the air. During the melee, Cain Velasquez caught Callihan in a cross armbreaker.
Final Thoughts --
Overall, the show was good as far as match quality. There was not much on the show that was bad. It was far from the usual AAA trainwreck. However, the show felt more like a house show than a PPV. Most of the matches felt thrown together for the sake of filling out the card. Probably because much of the undercard was just that.
The women's title match with Taya against Tessa Blanchard was good, and it stood out on this card. It was much more of a main event caliber match than the main event itself. Blue Demon facing Dr. Wagner was not bad, but it was more like an exhibition match than the continuation of a blood feud.
Cain Velasquez looked like a natural in his second match. He was in the match that was arguably the best thing on the show. Let the bidding war over him begin.