Minutes to Bell Time

I Was There for AAA Invading NY

I Was There for AAA Invading NY

Chapter 13 – I Was There for AAA Invading NY

I Was There for AAA Invading NY

Event: AAA Invading NY

Location: Madison Square Garden Hulu Theater, New York

Date: September 15, 2020

Headline: Dr. Wagner vs. Blue Demon Jr.

Miles from Home:  210 Miles

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Checking Things Off The List

Bryan Alvarez recently wrote 100 Things WWE Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, and I reviewed that book for this website. The very last entry in the book is “There is Wrestling Outside of WWE.” I attended this event to celebrate that fact, and I sufficiently checked it off the list of 100 Things.

Lucha Libre – Check

I have been to a ton of WWE events including WrestleMania (23 and 24), I have been to ROH and some independents too, but I have never see live Lucha Libre. I wanted to check it off the list, and I didn’t have any short term plans for a trip to Mexico. Luckily for me, AAA along with the stars of Impact Wrestling invaded New York City last September. You can attend any of the American based promotions and see a Lucha Libre trained wrestler and sometimes you’ll see them in the same match. But attending an event from a traditional Lucha Libre promotion is culturally different. Different rules, different crowd chants, and different language. Kids wore masks, adults wore masks (Hi, I was one of them), and everything just felt different. The doors to the Hulu Theater felt like a portal to somewhere else, and that somewhere else had wrestling. Good wrestling with clowns and demons and heroes too.  Welcome to Somewhere Else Invading New York!

Lucha Libre – Check.

Lucha Libre Tag Team Rules

Bandido, Flamita, Rush, Rey Horus, Kalisto, Lince Dorado, Sin Cara, Laredo Kid, Rey Mysterio, and Gran Metalik. A list of luchadores that I’ve seen at live ROH, MLW, and WWE events over the last few years. I even saw the majority of the wrestlers compete in tag team matches, but none of the matches were contested under Lucha Libre rules. That’s a problem with seeing the Lucha style on display at an event promoted by an American company. Even if you have luchadores in the match, American promotions enforce their own tag team rules (like tagging in and out). I love American Tag Team wrestling and the drama that goes with the hot tag, but I also enjoy getting to experience the pace of a tag match when those traditional rules get tossed out the window. No tags needed. Just one man in and one man out . . . for the most part. I saw that up and down the card at this show including when the massive Murder Clown did a tope.

Lucha Tag Team Rules – Check.

Madison Square Garden – Check

I chose to go to this show for its uniqueness. Sure ROH and New Japan ran Madison Square Garden earlier in the year. In fact, they sold out Madison Square Garden. I had to watch the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard on TV. When AAA announced they were selling tickets to an event at MSG, I didn’t want to miss out for a second time. It wasn’t just about a non-WWE company running Madison Square Garden either. That had its appeal, but the idea of not having to travel to Mexico to see Lucha Libre, I had to check that off my list. Unfortunately, the event got moved out of the main arena and into MSG’s Hulu Theater. It still felt like we were going to Madison Square Garden, so no big deal. I had great  pizza at NY Pizza Suprema across the street. They made sure I knew I was in NY when they took all my money for a couple slices of pizza . . .  still worth it though . . . I went before and after the show.

Madison Square Garden for a Non-WWE Event – Check.

The Stars

The card for AAA Invading NY was completely underrated. Let me just throw some names out: Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, Taurus, Psycho Clown, Dr. Wagner, Daga, Pentagon Junior, Fenix, Santana, Ortiz, Brian Cage, and Cain Velasquez. That card is serious. I saw the Lucha Bros tear the house down with the Young Bucks at All Out just 15 days prior to this event, and I saw the shocking AEW debut of Santana and Ortiz on the same night. To see them wrestle here for the AAA Tag Team Championships was awesome. Then you had a title change when Tessa Blanchard lost the AAA Reina de Reinas championship to Taya Valkyrie. That’s a feud that continues on Impact Wrestling today with Tessa as the first female World Champion. The legend Dr. Wagner and the charismatic Psycho Clown got the crowd on their feet. And finally, I am one of just a few people to see Cain Velasquez wrestle in the United States.

I really need to take a short moment to mention that Cain’s wrestling on this show was a ton better than it was against Brock Lesnar for WWE. They did a good job of playing to his strengths, and AAA had a whole host of people out there to support him.

Seeing All Those Stars – Check.

Check List Complete – AAA Invading NY

As I walked out of the Hulu Theater, I left “somewhere else,” but I had a great cultural experience. I had so much fun at this show. I know AAA didn’t achieve what they wanted, but I hope they tour the United States again soon. Everyone, wrestling fan or not, can appreciate a night out with Lucha Libre. For some reason, the acrobatics and costumes tend to win people over faster than a huge guy wearing boots and underwear around the ring. I feel good about my non-WWE  pro wrestling experience, so I’m checking it off my list of 100 Things to Know and Do Before I Die.

Thanks for reading this week’s installment of “I Was There.” Stay well and keep safe during the pandemic. Follow me on Instagram to stay current on all I’m doing.  If you have any questions or want to talk wrestling, feel free to reach out. – Ryan ([email protected]).

I Was There for AAA Invading NY - Psycho Clown


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