Thursday, 7 March 2019

PPV Review: AAA When World's Collide 1994

AAA When World's Collide 1994 review
November 6, 1994
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California

I won’t lie to you, at one point, AAA When World’s Collide 94 was my favourite PPV of all time.

I loved it even more than I loved In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede, and I loved that show pretty hard.

But alas, it’s been absolutely years since I’ve seen this show, a collaboration between the AAA promotion in Mexico and World Championship Wrestling which is often referred to as the first time American audiences had been exposed to the Lucha Libre style of pro wrestling.

The show was notable for a couple of other firsts.






With Eric Bischoff helping the show get broadcast on American PPV and using his company’s crew to produce it, When World’s Collide marked the commentary debut of Mike Tenay and also the first time a non-US wrestling company had been shown on American PPV.

Does it still hold up as being every bit as good as I remember it?

Let’s head to the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena to find out.

It’s The Wrestling Style That’s Sweeping The Nation

AAA When World's Collide 1994 - Chris Cruise & Atura Rivera
We began tonight with a really dramatic, super excited voiceover telling us all about the matches on tonight’s card, including a steel cage match between ‘the much loved Perro Aguayo and the much hated Konnan.’

I say it like that because that’s how the announcers said it, over and over again throughout the entire show. Honestly, by the time the match got underway later, you were absolutely sick of hearing about the much loved Perro Aguayo and the much hated Konnan.

But hey, that’s a small niggle.

From there, we went to the ring, where Chris Cruise told us that we were about to be introduced to the wrestling style that was taking the nation by storm and that later we’d see, you guessed it, the much loved Perro Aguayo taking on the much hated Konnan.

Told ya.

Next, Cruise handed over to his Spanish announce team colleague Arturo Rivera. I didn’t catch much of what Rivera said, but I know it had something to do with the much loved...ah, forget it.

Minis Match
Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito vs. Espectrito & Jerrito Estra

AAA When World's Collide 1994 - Espectrito
We’ve seen some of these mini wrestlers before on Retro Pro Wrestling.

Octagoncito would later appear as Mosaic, teaming with Espectrito (known in the WWF as Tarantula) against Max Mini and Nova at Badd Blood: In Your House. Weirdly, both Mini and Nova had played Mascarita Sagrada, but it was Nova in the role here.

Phew, that was confusing.

Anyway, while that match very much felt like a special attraction (‘hey! These guys are SMALL!’) this just felt like a regular tag team match with competitors who just happened to be on the short side.

That made for a very fun opening contest, with the larger rudos using their size and strength against the smaller technicos’ speed and agility.

With plenty of high flying, an abundance of charisma from Espectrito especially and great commentary from Cruise and Tenay, this was the perfect way to kick off the show.

After a good back and forth, the technicos flipped, flopped and flew their way to a win.
Your Winners: Mascarita Sagrada and Octagoncito

After a quick recap and a few moments of Cruise and Tenay telling us that AAA was becoming one of the hottest promotions in the world, it was onto our next match.

Fuerza Guerrera, Madonna's Boyfriend, and Psicosis vs. Rey Mysterio, Jr., Heavy Metal, and Latin Lover

AAA When World's Collide 1994 - Rey Mysterio gets ready to jump Madonna's Boyfriend
Up next, Louis ‘Madonna’s Boyfriend’ Spicolli teamed with future WCW star Psicosis and Fuerza Guerrera to take on Latin Lover, Heavy Metal and a young Rey Mysterio Jr., or Rey Misterio as he was known here.

Back in 1994, Mysterio far from the global superstar we know him as today, but he certainly showed all the signs that he could become was as he bounced around the ring and allowed himself to serve as fodder for his larger opponents.

At one point, Madonna’s Boyfriend picked up Mysterio and launched him into the fourth row of the audience, and that wasn’t even the biggest or best spot of the match.

With a wealth of non-stop action, this was even better than the minis match which came before it.

At least it was until the ending, when Guerrera kind of just sat on Heavy Metal’s shoulders and made him tap out.
Your Winners: Fuerza Guerrera, Madonna’s Boyfriend and Psicosis

Afterwards, the victors beat up on Heavy Metal.

IWC vs. AAA
Pegasus Kid, Tito Santana, and 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Blue Panther, AAA Light Heavyweight Champion La Parka, and Jerry Estrada

AAA When World's Collide 1994 - La Parka & 2 Cold Scorpio square off
Though it moved at a slower pace than the previous two matches, the sheer amount of talent involved meant that this match was never in danger of being anything less than good stuff.

Tito Santana was putting in his first PPV appearance since Summerslam 1992. The announcers told us that despite his Mexican heritage, the amount of time he had spent working in the US meant he was the one wrestler least familiar with the Lucha Libre style.

The real story of the match, however, involved the increasing dissension between teammates La Parka and Jerry Estrada.

The two just could not get along, and at one point even fought over which one of them got to pin 2 Cold Scorpio.

Alas, neither of them did, as it was Chris Benoit who got the three count.

Despite being officially billed as Pegasus Kid, the announcers quickly dropped that and just referred to him by his real name.

After another very good match, Benoit reversed a Blue Panther powerbomb and picked up the win for his team.
Your Winners: Pegasus Kid, 2 Cold Scorpio and Tito Santana

Moving on, we came to the one match your writer was really looking forward to the most on this show.

Double Hair vs. Double Mask (Two out of three falls)
Octagón & El Hijo del Santo (w/ Blue Panther) vs. AAA World Tag Team Champions La Pareja del Terror (Love Machine Art Barr & Eddie Guerrero w/ Madonna’s Boyfriend)

AAA When World's Collide 1994 - Art Barr cuts Eddie Guerrero's hair
Given a five star rating by Dave Meltzer back in the day, this double hair vs. double mask match more than lives up to its reputation as one of the best matches of 1994, if not of the 1990s.

With a white hot crowd firmly behind Octagón and El Hijo Del Santo, and with Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr proving themselves to be masters at making the same crowd absolutely despise them, the atmosphere surrounding this match was absolutely electric - the kind of atmosphere most modern wrestlers could only dream of.

The action itself was crisp, smooth and flawless, but t was the drama and the story that really took this one from being a good match to a truly great one.

Guerrero and Barr battered and bullies their way to the first fall (having to pin both men for it to count) before Octagón beautifully evened the score by flying off an Art Barr backdrop to ‘rana Guerrero and get the pin then immediately wrapping Barr in a submission.

It was in the third fall when things got really interesting.

With the referee’s back turned, Barr hit Octagón with a devastating tombstone piledriver.

The piledriver was banned in Lucha Libre (or at least in AAA) because it was such a violent move, and they sold it perfectly here. It was so violent, so brutal that it took Octagón right out of the match and needing a stretcher, but not before Barr got the three count on him.

In the ring, with the referee still distracted, Blue Panther hit Barr with a piledriver of his own.

Santo got the pin, meaning it all came down to him and Guerrero in a gripping, next-fall-takes-all fight to the finish.

After an exhilarating back and forth, Santo got the win over Eddie, saving his and his partner’s masks.
Your Winners: Octagón and El Hijo del Santo

Post-match, Octagón was stretchered into an ambulance as Eddie and Art cut each other’s hair, hamming it up in perfect heel fashion.

Art then headed to the back, cursing like a sailor the whole way.

Sadly, this was to be his last major appearance. Art Barr would pass away just 17 days after this show.

For years after, his partner Eddie would use the frog splash, once Barr’s patented move, as his finisher in tribute to the late great Love Machine. I like to think that when people do the frog splash in tribute to Eddie these days, they’re also paying homage to Barr.

Let’s Get it On

On a lighter note, it was time for our main event, which meant that we got Mike Tenay and Atura Rivera in the ring to introduce it.

In the space between the two matches, Chris Cruise reminder us about the show we’d seen and told us that we could expect to see Rey Mysterio Jr at the top of the sport for ‘the next 20-30 years.’

Oh how right he was.

We also saw Eddie backstage getting his headshaved before finally, the cage was lowered to the ring complete with pyro and flashing lights.

Steel Cage Match
Perro Aguayo vs. Konnan

AAA When World's Collide 1994 - Perro Aguyo beat Konnan in a cage match
Though neither Konnan not Aguayo had the athleticism of the wrestlers that went before them, they were still able to use what they had to deliver a compelling, story-driven main event.

Proving why he was much hated, dastardly heel Konnan took control of the match and began abusing his older opponent, pushing him into the cage and busting him wide open.

At one point, Eddie Guerrero and Madonna’s Boyfriend came out, passing Konnan some brass knuckles which he used to basically turn Aguayo into a bloody mess.

Yet just when it looked like all hope was lost, Los Hermanas Dinamita ran in to even the score, giving Aguayo all the motivation he needed to mount a glorious comeback.

Hitting Konnan with a double stomp off the top rope, a battered and bloody Aguayo climbed out of the cage and won the match.
Your Winner: Perro Aguayo

Afterwards, with blood streaming down his face and chest, Aguayo celebrated with the Mexican flag, bringing to an end.






So, was When World’s Collide as good as I remember it from all those years ago?

In a word, yes.

Yes it was.

A true all-killer, no-filler show, this may have featured only five matches, but every match was of terrific quality.

The Double Hair vs. Double Mark match was undoubtedly the highlight of the night, if not of the entire year of 1994.

A truly gripping, must-see contest, the match served as a fitting farewell for the Love Machine.

Elsewhere, if you want to see any number of talented performers before they became super well known on an American stage, or if you just like great Lucha Libre, then When World’s Collide is essential viewing.




Other 1994 events reviewed:

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