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Cain Velasquez to make pro wrestling debut at TripleMania

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is the latest of the seemingly endless list of major MMA stars doing pro wrestling.

Velasquez appeared Tuesday afternoon at a press conference in Mexico City where it was announced he would make his pro wrestling debut on “TripleMania,” which is the premiere event of the year for the AAA promotion. AAA, founded in 1992, is one of Mexico’s two major pro wrestling groups and ran ultra-successful U.S. events in the early 90s including one of the most acclaimed American pay-per-view events of all-time from Los Angeles in 1994.

“I will be an in-ring performer for sure. With more time learning this beautiful sport, great things will happen,” Velasquez said via his management team.

The show will take place on Aug. 3 at Arena Ciudad in Mexico City.

No specific match was announced for Velasquez, but teases were done for three different stars of the promotion, meaning it could be a singles match with one of them or a multiple-person match.

Velasquez, a lifelong pro wrestling fan, noted his favorites were El Santo, Mexico’s biggest wrestling legend, and his son, El Hijo del Santo. He had a several day training camp last year with WWE in Orlando, Fla. last year.

At the press conference, Velasquez said that he had two or three more fights left on his UFC contract.

There were teases of this several weeks ago when Velasquez made a remark about Lucha Libre (Mexican pro wrestling) not being real, which led to two of AAA’s best known stars, masked wrestlers La Parka (who is not the La Parka who was a star with World Championship Wrestling in the U.S. 20 years ago) and the company’s most popular wrestler, Psycho Clown, issuing challenges at the time. Most figured at the time that Velasquez didn’t realize that what he said was considered an insult in Mexico to wrestlers, basically an honest mistake. The belief was the wrestlers were just reacting to media questions as they felt they should, as opposed to it being a tease for an eventual storyline and major match.

Reports did come out in recent weeks that Velasquez was looking at doing pro wrestling imminently.

Velasquez was there for the start of the press conference, noting he’s loved Lucha Libre since childhood. Dorian Roldan, who runs AAA and is also an executive with the U.S.-based Lucha Underground promotion, noted that Velasquez would be at TripleMania, and they did a contract signing which Roldan called a three-way deal with AAA, Velasquez and TV Azteca, one of Mexico’s largest television networks. It was then announced TripleMania would air live on TV Azteca.

During the press conference, Velasquez was asked if he still thinks Lucha Libre was fake, and he said that the blows were real, that the WWE was fake, but Lucha Libre was much tougher and much more real.

At that point, El Texano Jr., a former world champion for AAA, came out, and was mad at Velasquez for calling Lucha Libre fake. Psycho Clown, whose father is the legendary Super Porky, came out and said that he respected what Velasquez has done in MMA, but felt he had disrespected Lucha Libre. Pentagon Jr., one of the biggest stars in the U.S. independent scene and with new American startup All Elite Wrestling, was next out and said he was open to a singles match, a tag match or any kind of match with Velasquez.

Velasquez did face-offs with all three before the press conference ended.

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