A poster advertises the September date at Madison Square Garden, which is being announced Thursday.
Lucha Libre AAA announcing September date as part of U.S. push
Lucha Libre AAA, Mexico’s premier wrestling organization, is announcing plans Thursday to stage an event on U.S. soil at one of the world’s most iconic arenas.
On Sept. 15, Lucha Libre AAA’s famed luchadores will descend on Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden for a colorful program that also represents a new American expansion effort by the league.
“Lucha Libre needs to arrive in America,” AAA managing director Dorian Roldán said. “We are trying to break the walls. We are trying to bring part of the Mexican culture, trying to bring a little bit of Mexico to America through the Lucha Libre.”
The show Roldán envisions — which he says the AAA team is still “brainstorming” — will make the league as accessible to American audiences as possible by uniting iconic Mexican wrestlers with “really well-known” American counterparts and also fusing traditional storylines with new plots.
“We are going to create a crossover show,” Roldán said. “It’s even going to be in the two languages, English and Spanish, to make everybody feel comfortable. We are also going to explain to the American audience which are the rules and what the differences are between the regular American wrestling versus Lucha Libre.”
Roldán also promises region-specific stories and characters and overall production value superior to the average Mexican wrestling event. “We are working so that everybody can understand what we are doing and what they are seeing,” he said.
And when Roldán says everybody, he means it. “Lucha Libre is for the whole family,” he said. “You can find a grandmother in the arena shouting to the wrestlers, but at the same time you can find a baby.”
The familial nature of Lucha Libre is personal for Roldán. His grandfather was a luchador and so was his uncle, Antonio Peña. In 1992, Peña founded AAA, and upon his 2006 death, his sister and her husband — Roldán’s parents — assumed control. Roldán’s father, Joaquín, died in April 2017, but not before setting in motion a series of organizational and strategic reforms that ultimately included an expansion to the United States.
Lucha Libre AAA has held events in the U.S. before, including one in 1993 at what is now known as Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden — but the magnitude of the organization’s new expansion effort, conceived in partnership with Oak View Group and the Arena Alliance, is unprecedented. (OVG is the parent company of VenuesNow.)
“It’s a game changer,” Roldán said, alluding to how the September event plays into the company’s broader agenda going forward. “It will be much more easy for us to have a success at Madison Square Garden and to try to copy that to all the different venues. We want to start in the top level, and we think that we are going to have many promoters from all over America wanting to have our show.”
And the show’s date bears special significance: Sept. 15 is the eve of Mexico’s Independence Day. “Lucha Libre represents part of the Mexican heritage and it’s part of our roots,” Roldán said. “It’s happening, finally, on one of the most important nights for the Mexican audience.”
Wrestlers will be announced soon for Lucha Libre AAA’s Madison Square Garden event, which, fittingly, goes on sale on another prominent date: Cinco de Mayo.