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Konnan on future of AAA, Triplemanía XXX in Tijuana, Hardys, U.S. return & TV deal

The Mexican wrestling icon talked to Denise Salcedo about the future of AAA.

AAA is celebrating thirty years of Triplemanía this year by hosting three separate branded events. The first was held in April in Monterrey with the second coming up in Tijuana on June 18th which will include the promotional debuts of The Hardys

Ahead of Triplemanía XXX: Tijuana, I spoke with Konnan, the head of creative for Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, who main evented the first ever Triplemanía back in May 1993 in a 2/3 falls retirement match against Cien Caras.

That show became historic as it was the first major event ran by the promotion after Antonio Peña founded it along with Konnan after they left Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). They sold out the Plaza de Toros with 50,000 fans, turning away thousands who had to watch the show from the parking lot through screens. The event ended up setting the all-time attendance record for a Mexican wrestling live event. 

"I was in the very first Triplemania, so I've seen this company grow up. I really believe that after the Monterrey show (this year), we really showed people that we could be on the same level as what they are doing in the United States. The production was outstanding, the screens were bigger than usual, the pyrotechnics were incredible, we had the jets flying up above and we had some great matches. Everything is coming together and we really have a special show lined up for Tijuana which is the place I started wrestling, so it's a special place." 

Ruleta de la Muerte Tournament

The Triplemania XXX series features the Ruleta de la Muerte which translates to Death Roulette in English. It's a tournament with eight men which saw Ultimo Dragon, Pentagón Jr., LA Park, Villano IV, Rayo de Jalisco Jr., Blue Demon Jr., Canek and Psycho Clown compete in the first round in Monterrey.

The finals are set for the October 15th show in Mexico City in which the final two men will face off in a Lucha de Apuestas mask vs. mask match. 

Given that a couple of the names involved are legends and haven't wrestled in AAA since the early 90s, I asked Konnan about their reactions to being brought back for this tournament. 

"I think all of them were happy to be back and have their fans see them one last time. Canek hadn't been on TV for many years, neither had Villano IV, neither had Ultimo Dragon, none of the legends had. They were kinda in the indie circuit doing there thing. Some of them were kinda afraid of how they would look, because they weren't that active. I tried to keep as many of the matches short." 

Konnan then talked about how nostalgia and nostalgic acts have done well.

"The good thing is they have all changed their way of thinking, being outside of AAA, and not being kinda relevant. It kinda made them see what they lost. They all came back and they came back to do business."

The Hardys to make their AAA debuts 

One of the most anticipated matches features the debuts of one of the most iconic tag teams ever, Matt and Jeff Hardy, against Los Hermanos Lee: Dragon Lee and Dralistico. 

'I love Matt and Jeff on a personal level; two of the coolest guys I've ever met in this business. I have nothing but respect and love for them and they've changed the business with what they have done," he said. "The fact that we got one of the greatest tag teams in history to come to Mexico on such a big stage, that's big. Part of the strategy is for American fans to see them but while they are seeing them, they are seeing our product and they can fall in love with what we're doing."

Konnan also discussed the differences in the way American wrestling is presented on television and how they do it in AAA, so that the casuals who tune into the show can understand. 

"This is not American wrestling; it's called lucha libre. There's a lot of stuff we do that you don't. So when you see that we don't tag, that we have a heel ref, when you see all those things you're not used to, it's because it's lucha libre." 

AAA expansion 

Many fans have been wondering when AAA will be running shows in the United States, especially those cities with a larger Hispanic audience.

"I can guarantee you 100 percent, we have a couple of venues in the United States. It's not for me to say it at this time. We're working at major Hispanic hubs where AAA will be making an appearance. The other thing that I can say and I can't say too much about this but we are in negotiations to come to the United States in a very, very big way on TV."

"My whole thing is I just want to go out there and show the fans and everybody what lucha libre is all about, what they have been missing, what hasn't been adequately used. I wanna make Latinos proud. I amped because maybe twenty years ago if I would have done this, I wasn't ready. I am ready now. I know what Latinos want, I know what the American fans want, and now I'll have the resources."

"One of the things that hurts us a lot is we don't have the resources to do a lot of the stuff, I'd like to do. We're starting to get them which is why shows are tighter, but we got some cool sh*t coming and there's a reason why we're on FITE.tv. There's a reason why we're back on YouTube. Those are baby steps into coming into the United States.:

Triplemanía XXX: Tijuana will be available on FITE and PWTV on Saturday, June 18th.