Cain Velasquez Will Continue Wrestling Past AAA TripleMania XXVII
As I write this article, AAA’s premier event of the year, TripleMania XXVII is actually on-going. One of the biggest stories of the show involves star MMA fighter Cain Velasquez finally making his long talked about wrestling debut. The two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion will form a very curious team, as he pairs up with the rather self-explanatory Psycho Clown and AEW EVP Cody Rhodes. The triumvirate will face Texano Jr., Taurus and a mystery partner.
It’s quite the guest spot for AAA, but according to F4WOnline, it’s not just a one-off. He’s been taking his wrestling training very seriously and said that he’s already planned to have atleast two more matches with AAA after this event. No other specifics, such as dates or opponents were announced.
Velasquez noted in an interview with Sports Illustrated that pro wrestling, particularly lucha libre, was always near and dear to his heart. Though he was born in America, Velasquez is known for caring a great deal about his Mexican heritage, sporting a large tattoo across his chest that reads ‘brown pride’. Cain formerly participated in trials at WWE’s vaunted Performance Center. He claims that WWE was ‘under consideration’, but that ultimately he chose AAA because of the significance Lucha Libre held for him.
Atleast, he makes it sound like a choice!
The idea of someone picking AAA over WWE sounds somewhat foreign to people on this side of the continent. But to be fair, they are a very huge promotion in Mexico these days. They actually drew a record 5.4 million viewers on Azteca TV earlier this year. That’s more than double the average viewership of Monday Night Raw. So, uh, they’re in a pretty good place right now. The association with AEW has seemingly been extremely beneficial.
I’m sure they paid him plenty well. And his odds of getting onto WrestleMania this quickly would’ve been nil if he signed with WWE. Whereas here he’s making his debut on AAA’s biggest show of the year, teaming with huge names as well. It’s a sweet deal all things considered, and for a flag-bearing Mexican like him, a special moment I imagine.
Cain Velasquez has had a very impressive MMA career, boasting 14-3 record as well as the aforementioned heavyweight title wins. However health issues caused a three year break from the sport starting in 2016. He finally made his return at the beginning of this year… only to eat a TKO loss 26 seconds into the first round against Francis Ngannou.
Suffice to say, it was maybe a good time to quit while he was ahead and see what the wrestling business had to offer him. At 37, he’s probably got a longer future in AAA’s ring then in the octagon, should things go well.
It’s always hard to say how these MMA crossover deals will go. Will he end up being a prodigy wrestler akin to Matt Riddle? Or will he turn out more like Tito Ortiz and fade away? Only time will tell. But if he has as much passion for it as he claims, I wouldn’t root against it.