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Intro to Lucha Underground

I promise this is the longest thing I will ever write.


Now, I was thinking about the best ways to do a primer for people unfamiliar with the show, because there's a lot of ground to cover. After considering some different options, the route I decided to take was to just go down the roster and talk about the characters a bit as sort of a reference point for who is on the show, where they are on the card, and what they've done so far this season. At the end, I’ll post, in my opinion, the best matches from the season. There are some promo/vignette clips mixed in as well. I would have included more, but those are surprisingly difficult to find because the El Rey Network YouTube channel, which has tons of matches and where most of these videos are linked from, does not post them. 

If you wish to watch Lucha Underground, your legal ways of doing it are:

English: El Rey Network, Wednesdays, 8PM ET
Spanish: Unimas, Saturdays, 4PM ET
Online: El Rey posts episode recaps and usually one full match a week on their official YouTube channel. Full episodes have been known to appear on Daily Motion.
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Lucha Underground: The Show

To give some basics, Lucha Underground is a one hour weekly wrestling show in the lucha libre style. Many of the wrestlers on the show work in AAA as well. The show is backed by reality TV czar Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Til Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City) and the shows written and produced by several ex-WWE and AAA guys. It's kind of unclear whether there's an individual booking the shows or whether it's booked by committee.

It is a radically different show stylistically than WWE, TNA, or ROH. It's really more of a TV show than a wrestling promotion. The set is gorgeous for the kind of fight club vibe they're looking to cultivate. The matches are shot from multiple angles instead of leaning heavily on the hard camera shot. There are very few in-ring promos. Everything backstage is filmed like a movie, and there are no backstage interviews except for the occasional Vampiro sit-down interview segment.

About 85-90% of any given show is bell to bell wrestling. Because it's lucha libre, it is very spot oriented wrestling, but there are some very good in-ring storytellers on the roster as well. Many of the masked luchador characters are based in mythology or fantasy and the show plays up the supernatural elements of that, especially with guys like Drago and Mil Muertes.

So let's take a look at the guys and gals.

Lucha Underground: The Roster

The Boss

Dario Cueto: Cueto is the kayfabe owner and operator of Lucha Underground. In his mission statement on the pilot episode, he says that his 'temple' is about entertainment through violence. A very basic, yet very good premise for the promotion. Cueto lines up as a heel authority figure, but unlike the McMahons who use corporate speak and do things that are “best for business,” Cueto’s motives seem to be more about just fucking with people for his own amusement. That makes for an extremely refreshing take on the heel authority figure gimmick. With Cueto, it’s not about screwing babyfaces, and carrying out some grand vision to hand pick a champion he believes will be an appropriate poster boy for the company. It’s more about a kind of sadistic man-child seeing what happens when he puts his toys in the microwave. Cueto floats on the margins of storylines as more of a shit stirrer than a primary antagonist, meaning he's involved in almost everything, but is never really the central figure of any storyline. The character is played by actor Luis Fernandez-Gil who has done mostly guest spots on TV shows and bit parts in films. The choice of hiring an actor with no significant background in wrestling to be the on screen figure head of the show was a risky move, but Fernandez-Gil has nailed the role and Cueto remains one of the best things about Lucha Underground.

The Champions

Lucha Underground Champion Prince Puma: Some may recognize him as indie wrestling darling Ricochet, but there is no kayfabe link established between the two at this point. Puma is a young star who grew up in Boyle Heights, the neighborhood around the Lucha Underground Temple, and came under the tutelage of Mexican wrestling legend Konnan, becoming his prized pupil. Puma has been the only Lucha Underground champion to date having won his title in the inaugural Aztec Warfare match. He has successfully defended it against Johnny Mundo, Cage, Hernandez, Drago, Fenix, and King Cuerno. Many of Puma’s title defenses have involved some measure of interference, or illegal tactics, which probably isn’t by coincidence. Puma has never spoken on Lucha Underground television, often being shoved aside by his manager Konnan, who has done the mic work for him to this point. As you can probably guess, this produces tension between the two.

AAA Mega Champion Alberto El Patron: After his departure from WWE, Alberto El Patron, formerly Alberto Del Rio, returned to AAA in Mexico and defeated El Texano Jr to become AAA Mega Champion, a title which he continues to hold to date. Due to a working relationship between AAA and Lucha Underground, (Lucha Underground in some ways a spin off of AAA) El Patron then made his way to Lucha Underground receiving a star’s welcome as a Mexican hero who stood up for his culture in the face of bigotry from WWE (Ironically making him the Latino hero WWE always wanted him to be, but could never figure out how to make happen with him).  El Patron was attacked on his first night in the promotion by his rival, Texano, who followed him to Lucha Underground seeking revenge. This lead to a AAA Mega Championship rematch on Lucha Underground which El Patron won. He then became embroiled in a friendly game of one-upmanship with Johnny Mundo, both needling each other about their time spent in WWE and their departures. This led to a match between the two that El Patron won which gave him an opportunity to challenge Hernandez for the #1 Contender spot. However, in his match with Hernandez, an enraged Mundo threw El Patron through Dario Cueto’s office window costing him the match, and escalating the feud. El Patron returned the favor last week by interfering in Mundo’s All Night Long Match with Prince Puma.

Lucha Underground Trios Champions Son of Havoc, Angelico, and Ivelisse: Son of Havoc (aka Matt Cross of WWE Tough Enough) and Ivelisse (aka Sofia Cortez of WWE Tough Enough and FCW) debuted as a couple, but the relationship immediately became strained due to Son of Havoc losing match after match, and Ivelisse berating him for it. Havoc eventually dumped Ivelisse. Angelico debuted to similarly poor results despite a cocky attitude and exciting move set. Eventually these three started feuding with each other, until they were all called into Dario Cueto’s office and told they were being forced to team up for the Trios Title Tournament, a move made seemingly to amuse Dario Cueto and create a team that would be easy fodder for someone. The team was dysfunctional, barely holding it together throughout the tournament but always found a way to work together when absolutely needed. The team won the trios titles in spectacular fashion, and are often bailed out with incredible save the day spots from Angelico. They currently have no clear-cut challenger for their belts.

The Contenders

Johnny Mundo: Formerly John Morrison (aka Johnny Nitro) of WWE, Mundo defeated Prince Puma on the pilot episode of Lucha Underground and came extremely close, as the last man eliminated, to winning the Lucha Underground Championship in Aztec Warfare.  Cast as a flaky, somewhat aloof Hollywood star, Mundo mixes parkour with lucha as part of his in-ring performance. He’s taken on Big Ryck and The Crew, King Cuerno, and Prince Puma in his tenure, but his feud with Alberto El Patron has turned him into a more aggressive, bloodthirsty heel.

Cage: Formerly known as Kris Logan from WWE/FCW, Cage is a bodybuilder with an impressive lucha move set for his size, and a disrespectful attitude towards lucha heritage. Cage emerged early in the season as Puma’s first real challenger for the LU Title, destroying Puma, busting open Konnan, and ripping the original LU Title in half. After a DQ loss to Puma, and a non-title victory over him, Cage lost a title match Puma, but remains in the mix.

King Cuerno: Known in AAA as Hijo Del Fantasma, but unrelated in kayfabe, Cuerno, known as The Hunter, burst onto the scene in a feud with Drago culminating in a Last Luchador Standing match won by Cuerno. Cuerno then set his sights on Johnny Mundo but fell to Mundo in a Steel Cage Match. Cuerno earned a title shot against Prince Puma, but was unsuccessful in his bid to capture the belt. Cuerno is known for his flawless topes.

Mil Muertes: Known in AAA as El Mesias, but unrelated in kayfabe, Mil Muertes is an Undertaker-esque character whose family died in an earthquake in Mexico City when he was a boy. He debuted with Catrina, a seductress in black, as his valet. Muertes destroyed his way through competition early in the season, including the likes of Blue Demon Jr. That resulted in making him a favorite to win the Aztec Warfare match for the LU Title, but Muertes was eliminated by Puma late in the match. Muertes was then upset by Fenix in singles competition prompting a rivalry in which Catrina appeared to distance herself from Muertes and instead back Fenix. The rivalry culminated in a Grave Consequences casket match won by Fenix, which led to the burial of Muertes. Mil disappeared from TV for several months before being resurrected by Catrina, who revealed that her game with Fenix was designed to have Fenix destroy that version of Muertes so he could be resurrected stronger and more powerful (the character premise being he draws his strength from death). Zombie Muertes returned and annihilated Fenix in a Death Match. He now faces Drago for a shot at Prince Puma’s championship at Ultimo Lucha.

Drago: Sadly, the Drago character is not a tribute to the Soviet Union's greatest athlete Ivan Drago. However, Drago is the personification of a dragon with a cool dragon head mask, wings and a long fake tongue. Drago burst onto the scene in a feud with King Cuerno which culminated with a loss in a Last Luchador Standing match. He then developed a friendship with Aerostar. After a friendly competitive match between Drago and Aerostar in which they shook hands afterwards and showed each other respect, Dario Cueto, annoyed by how friendly they were and wanting them at each other's throats decided to book them in a best of five series with the winner earning a "unique opportunity." Drago took the series 3-2 and Cueto revealed that the opportunity was a title shot against Prince Puma, but if he lost, he would be banished from the temple. Drago pushed Puma to the limit, but interference from Hernandez tipped the match in Puma's favor and Drago was banned from the temple. When Dario Cueto decided to make a fatal four-way match two weeks ago between four guys who all had faced Puma and lost, to determine Puma's challenger for Ultimo Lucha, Drago approached Dario Cueto and sought to use this as a loophole to return to the temple. Cueto agreed to let him compete in the match, but if he lost, he would be banished and have to forfeit his mask. Drago won the match to become the #1 contender for the LU Title. 

Fenix:  Based on the mythological Phoenix, Fenix debuted in a rivalry with Pentagon Jr early in the season, before parlaying his success in that match and an impressive performance in Aztec Warfare into a title match with Prince Puma. Despite failing to capture the LU Title, Fenix established himself as player through his performance against Puma. Fenix then was placed in a match with Mil Muertes in which he scored an upset victory and became the first wrestler to beat Mil in singles competition. Mil’s valet Catrina began making advances towards Fenix which he accepted. This enraged Mil and set him and Fenix on a collision course which ended in a Grave Consequences casket match in which Fenix buried Mil. With Mil out of the picture, Fenix went on to win one of Dario Cueto’s seven Azteca Medallions, the purpose of which is not yet known. Catrina resurrected Mil Muertes and informed Fenix that he had been played as part of a ploy to bring back a stronger Mil. Muertes and Fenix were then booked in a Death Match in which Fenix was powerbombed through the ceiling of a room in the temple and fell approximately 20 feet to the floor. Mil’s Disciples of Death carried Fenix’s broken body back to the ring for Mil to finish off. Fenix has not been seen since.

Hernandez: The former TNA hand came to Lucha Underground half way through the season as a friend of Konnan’s but immediately turned on Konnan and his protégé when afforded an opportunity to compete for the LU Title. Hernandez earned a shot at the championship by defeating Alberto El Patron with assistance from Johnny Mundo, but lost his championship match to Puma.

Mid Card

Pentagon Jr: A gothic wrestler who prays to an unnamed master before his matches and breaks the arms of wrestlers as sacrifices to this master, Pentagon left a trail of broken bones throughout the middle part of the season before being stood up to by Sexy Star. After losing to Sexy Star via flash pin, Pentagon was placed in a Submission Match with Sexy Star and defeated her with help from Super Fly. After the match, Pentagon prepared to break Sexy’s arm, but Vampiro made the save.

Sexy Star: Billed as an abuse survivor who found her salvation through wrestling, Sexy is portrayed as a strong woman with a fighting spirit, and a champion of the underdogs. She first made a splash by defending legend Blue Demon Jr against Chavo Guerrero Jr. Sexy then set her sights on The Crew after they brutalized her friends Pimpinella Escarlita and Mascarita Sagrada. Sexy was placed in a trios team with Super Fly and Pentagon Jr which lost in the opening round. After the match, Pentagon attempted to break Super Fly’s arm, but Sexy made the save. This led to a vindictive Dario Cueto making a Lucha de Apuestes (Mask vs Mask) match between Sexy and Super Fly, which was won by Sexy Star. Pentagon Jr. attacked both after the match and broke Super Fly’s arm. Pentagon Jr later attempted to break the arm of ring announcer Melissa Santos, but Sexy again made the save. Sexy and Pentagon then squared off with Sexy stealing a win, but losing the war in a submission match when Super Fly returned and attacked her allowing Pentagon to finish her off and submit her. As Pentagon started to break Sexy’s arm, she was saved by Vampiro.

Super Fly: Having already been unmasked in AAA, Super Fly put on a mask for his debut in the temple. After little success in his limited matches, Super Fly was placed on a Trios Tournament team with Sexy Star and Pentagon Jr. When the team lost, Pentagon attempted to break Super Fly’s arm, but he was saved by Sexy Star. Dario Cuerto, annoyed by this act, placed Sexy Star and Super Fly in a Lucha de Apuestes match in which Super Fly lost his mask. He was then attacked by Pentagon and had his arm broken. Super Fly disappeared to recover but reemerged in the Pentagon Jr/Sexy Star submission match and cost his former friend Sexy Star the match.

Daivari: The former WWE manager arrived in the temple as a spectator, but when he was pushed by Texano during a Trios Tournament match, Daivari attacked him. Daivari then went to Dario Cueto and asked to compete in the temple. His story is that he is a former wrestler who quit and became wealthy through his family’s real estate business in the Los Angeles area. Daivari wrestles in gold pants and drinks alcohol in the ring before his matches. He continues to engage Texano and has hired Big Ryck as his bodyguard.

Big Ryck:  Formerly Ezekial Jackson of WWE, Ryck was the original leader of The Crew and the initial big bad to top babyfaces Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo at the beginning of the season. After failing to win the LU Title at Aztec Warfare, The Crew turned on him and burned his eye with a cigar. Ryck returned to TV and destroyed The Crew in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. Ryck then assembled a Trios team with his cousin The Mack and Killshot in the hopes of winning the Trios titles, but the team lost in the finals. Ryck has accepted a job as Daivari’s bodyguard, leaving The Mack and Killshot behind.

El Texano Jr: A former AAA Mega Champion, Texano followed the man who beat him for the belt, Alberto El Patron, to Lucha Underground for revenge. After failing to win back his title, Texano joined a team with King Cuerno and Cage for the Trios Title Tournament, but the team lost in the finals. Texano had an encounter with Daivari who was seated at ringside during the match. He has since stalked Daivari, including costing the team of Daivari, Big Ryck, and Cage a Trios title match.

Disciples Of Death: A Trio of disciples following Mil Muertes and Catrina played by Argenis, Mariachi Loco, and Ricky Mandel. Their individual kayfabe names are unclear. The three debuted upon Mil Muertes’ return and circled the ring as Muertes destroyed Fenix in a Death Match. They’ve since competed and defeated the team of Bengala, Pimpinella Escarlita, and Mascarita Sagrada in a Trios match.

The Rest

Chavo Guerrero Jr: Chavo wrestled Blue Demon Jr on the pilot of Lucha Underground and lost to the legend. The loss set Chavo on the warpath as he attacked Blue Demon Jr and Sexy Star on the very next episode. Chavo engaged Sexy Star briefly, but soon fell by the wayside. After failing to win the LU Title at Aztec Warfare, being told by Konnan that Mexico was going to get him for what he did to Blue Demon Jr, and running afoul Mil Muertes, Chavo quit Lucha Underground and went into hiding. He reemerged later in the season confronting Dragon Azteca, mentor of Black Lotus, at an undisclosed location. Chavo stated that since he attacked Blue Demon Jr in a dishonorable way, Mexico was out to get him and he was hiding. In exchange for Azteca clearing his name in Mexico, Chavo offered to help watch over Black Lotus, who had left Dragon Azteca’s training to confront Matanza. Chavo caught up to Black Lotus as she was about to arrive at the temple and offered his help but immediately sold her out to Dario Cueto in exchange for Cueto's protection against Mexico. Chavo helped Dario capture and imprison Black Lotus. Now with Dario Cueto shielding him from heat from the Mexican side of the border, Chavo set his sights on embarrassing Blue Demon Jr again, attacking him 3-on-1 with The Crew as his hired muscle.

The Crew (Mr. Cisco, Cortez Castro, Bael):
Cisco (Lil’ Cholo on the indies), Castro (Ricky Reyes formerly of ROH), and Bael (B-Boy on the indies) are gangbangers who often do the bidding of Dario Cueto. Formerly aligned with Big Ryck at the start of the season, they turned on Ryck and burned his eye out with a cigar. Ryck did return and got revenge on them. Cueto used them at one point to attempt to rid his temple of the “freaks” Sexy Star, Pimpenella Escarlita, and Mascarita Sagrada. While they put Pimpy and Mascarita out of action, Sexy Star rallied against them. Cueto then used them to try and dethrone the Trios champions Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico. After failing to win the Trios titles twice, Cueto stated there must be consequences for failure and led them into a room under the temple where he keeps his brother, Matanza, caged. Cueto told the three of them to pick one. Cisco and Castro grabbed Bael and held him up to the bars. Matanza ripped his face off and Bael, who is presumed dead, has not been seen since. The surviving members were last seen flanking Chavo Guerrero in his attack on Blue Demon Jr.

Blue Demon Jr: A Mexican legend, Demon was one of the major stars on the pilot episode of Lucha Underground. After being assaulted by Chavo Guerrero and crushed in a match with Mil Muertes, Blue Demon Jr disappeared for most of the season. He recently returned in the build up to Ultimo Lucha and was attacked by Guerrero again.

Jack Evans:  A long time AAA vet, nemesis of Teddy Hart, and tag team partner of Angelico (although that has not been established in LU kayfabe), Evans debuted recently losing his debut to Aerostar and then defeating Argenis (now a Disciple of Death) in an impromptu Azteca Medallion match. Evans is a cocky trash talker who claims he is the face of Lucha Libre, and has a fantastic set of moves.

Aerostar: A son of the cosmos, Aerostar engaged Drago in a Best of Five series for a “Unique Opportunity.” Aerostar lost the rubber match and the opportunity. He recently beat Jack Evans in Evans’ debut.

Bengala: Bengala, a tiger clad luchador, debuted recently as a partner for Pimpinella Escarlita and Mascarita Sagrada in a Trios match against the Disciples of Death.

The Mack: Known as Willie Mack on the indies, The Mack debuted as a Trios partner for his cousin Big Ryck, along with Killshot. The team failed to capture the Trios title. When Big Ryck was approached to work for Daivari as a bodyguard, Daivari put together a team to challenge for the Trios title. The Mack was briefly offered a spot but the conversation was interrupted by Cage, who laid him out and took his spot.

Marty The Moth Martinez: Formerly Martin Casaus of WWE Tough Enough, The Moth debuted as a fan of Lucha Underground who accosted Dario Cueto and asked him if he could join the Temple. Cueto turned him down initially, but The Moth ran in on a match between Cage, Cuerno, and Hernandez, The hubris earned him a spot on the roster. Martinez wrestled and lost a non-title match to Prince Puma earlier in the season.

Killshot: Formerly Shane Strickland on the indies, Killshot debuted as a Trios partner on Big Ryck’s team. The team failed to win the Trios titles.

Pimpinella Escarlita:  An exotico (or drag queen, or transvestite), Pimpy has mainly been used as comic relief and enhancement talent to this point, mostly wrestling in Trios matches alongside Mascarita Sagrada. Matt Striker is infatuated with Pimpy.

Mascarita Sagrada: A mini who has been used as enhancement talent. There are multiple performers who have used the Mascarita Sagrada gimmick over the years, so I’m unsure which one this is, or if it’s even possibly a new one, however, the original Mascarita Sagrada worked for WWE in the late 90s as Mini Nova.

Miscellaneous

Matt Striker: Lucha Underground’s English play by play announcer on El Rey Network

Vampiro:
The color commentator for both the English and Spanish version of Lucha Underground. Vampiro does a hilarious "Ringside with Vampiro" interview segment here and there where he asks the hard hitting questions to luchadors. He also curses very frequently on air and marks out at almost everything much to my delight. 

Hugo Savinovich:  Lucha Underground’s Spanish play by play announcer on Unimas.

Catrina: The manager of Mil Muertes and the Disciples of Death. Catrina usually dresses in all black (usually very revealing clothes). She hatched a plot to make Mil Muertes stronger by appearing to turn on him in favor of Fenix leading to a Grave Consequences casket match in which Fenix defeated Mil. After Mil was buried, Catrina resurrected a stronger Mil and brought with him the Disciples of Death. After Mil Muertes defeats his opponents, Catrina administers a “lick of death” to the lifeless body of Mil’s opponents.

Konnan: The mentor of Prince Puma, Konnan’s intentions sometimes seem unclear, but to date he has backed his pupil and aided him in winning matches.

Black Lotus: Formerly Angela Fong of WWE, Lotus is involved in one of Lucha Underground’s most sensationalized storylines. She appeared as a mysterious person spying on Dario Cueto early in the season before being kidnapped by Dragon Azteca and taken to an undisclosed location. She revealed to Azteca that she was trying to find where Dario was keeping his brother, because his brother was the one who killed her parents and she was seeking revenge. Azteca offered to train her and put her through a regiment. Before completing her training, Lotus left Azteca and ran back to the temple to seek revenge. Before she arrived she was confronted by Chavo Guerrero Jr who offered to help her. Chavo then sold her out to Cueto and helped Cueto capture her. Cueto has imprisoned her beneath the Temple in the same jail with his brother Matanza.

Matanza:  A yet to be seen, would-be monster, whom Dario Cueto keeps locked up and apparently ate the face off of Bael. He was revealed to be Dario’s brother and is alleged to have killed Black Lotus’ parents.

Dragon Azteca: An unknown sensei of lucha libre who is mentoring Black Lotus. Azteca struck a deal with Chavo Guerrero Jr, asking him to watch out for Lotus but Chavo betrayed her. He has yet to enter the temple.  

Where We Stand
The program has shifted a little as the build has started to Ultimo Lucha, the season finale and Clash of the Champions style supercard. The title match for the show will become clearer this week as Drago puts his title shot on the line against Zombie Muertes. I fully expect Mil to pull off the victory. Drago is a good wrestler, but a Puma/Drago main event doesn't have a lot of heat to it.

Alberto El Patron and Johnny Mundo appear to be heading for a showdown at Ultimo Lucha as well, likely in some sort of stipulation match since this feud is continuing to escalate.

We should also get a little more clarity on what the Azteca Medallions that Cueto is putting up in random matches signify. Fenix possesses one. Jack Evans has another. I believe he said there were seven, so five more will presumably be given out over the next five weeks. I assume this will lead to some type of match between the winners.

Lower level feuds on the show that may or may not make the Ultimo Lucha card include Texano/Daivari, Blue Demon/Chavo Guerrero, and Sexy Star/Super Fly.

Pentagon Jr should be starting a new feud soon since his feud with Sexy Star finished, and we'll have to see how Cage, Cuerno, and Hernandez are worked into the mix. There's a chance some of these guys just end up involved in the Azteca Medallion storyline, but I would figure a couple will start something new for the stretch run of Season 1. 

The Best Of Lucha Underground

Johnny Mundo vs. Prince Puma (10/29/14)

Triple Threat: Fenix vs. Drago vs. Pentagon Jr (11/12/15)

Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr (11/19/15)

Aztec Warfare (1/7/15) (Bad Audio)

Lucha Underground Championship: Prince Puma (c) vs. Fenix (1/14/15)

Last Luchador Standing: King Cuerno vs. Drago (1/21/15)

Johnny Mundo vs. Son of Havoc w/ Ivelisse (2/11/15)

Alberto El Patron debut (2/11/15)

Johnny Mundo vs. King Cuerno (2/25/15)

Grave Consequences: Mil Muertes vs. Fenix (3/18/15)

Lucha Underground Championship – Boyle Heights Street Fight: Prince Puma (c) vs. Cage (3/25/15)

Angelico vs. Johnny Mundo (4/1/15)

Pentagon Jr attempts a sacrifice (4/15/15)

Trios Tournament Match: Prince Puma, Johnny Mundo, and Hernandez vs. King Cuerno, Cage, and Texano (4/15/15)

Best of Five Finale: Drago vs. Aerostar (4/15/15)

Trios Tournament Championship Match: Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico vs. The Crew (4/22/15)

Vampiro sit-down interview with Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico (4/29/15)

Lucha Underground Championship: Prince Puma (c) vs. Drago (4/29/15)         

Dario Cueto warns The Crew (4/29/15)          

Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo (5/6/15)

Dario Cueto makes a Trios Title Match (5/13/15)

#1 Contender’s Match: Alberto El Patron vs. Hernandez (5/13/15)

Vampiro sit down interview with Johnny Mundo (5/20/15)

Lucha Underground Trios Title Match – Ladder Match: Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico (c) vs. The Crew (5/20/15)

Death Match: Mil Muertes vs. Fenix (5/27/15)

Azteca Medallion Match: Jack Evans vs. Argenis (6/3/15)

Dario Cueto makes All Night Long (6/10/15)

Lucha Underground Championship – All Night Long: Prince Puma (c) vs. Johnny Mundo (6/17/15)

Comments

  1. HOLY FUCKING PAGEBREAK BATMAN!!!

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  2. This is fine, but when your first sentence is "This is the longest thing I will ever write", a pagebreak is kind of essential.

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  3. Awesome assessment. Even as someone who's been following the show, this was helpful to remind me of certain characters histories and intentions.

    A+

    Everyone's top 5 LU matches seem to vary quite a bit. Was wondering your picks

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  4. 1) Grave Consequences
    2) Aztec Warfare
    3) All Night Long
    4) Puma/Drago
    5) Puma/Cuerno

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  5. I don't mind the lack of the page break, since this helps me catch up on what I've missed. This is excellent work, so I thank you very much.

    What Lucha Underground has going for themselves is that even minor characters have noteworthy events and storylines they're involved in. They don't just do bland rematches and leave the storylines to a handful of people.

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  6. On my list I'd make the Trios finals No. 3 and push everything else down, but yours is very strong.

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  7. Solid list. All ****1/2 to ***** matches. That Mundo/el patron match was incredible as well.

    Crazy to think how many 4+* matches a one hour show that's been on less than a year have already been produced. Easily the most intriguing and refreshing take on wrestling in forever

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  8. Fantastic recap. I missed an episode or two this season and this was extremely helpful, especially in figuring out what the monster in the basement was supposed to be. I look forward to reading weekly recaps from you.

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  9. Technically, you can also watch recent episodes on the Unimas website: http://uvideos.com/series/lucha-underground


    The majority of the show is en Espanol, of course, but some of the promos are actually still in english. Pair that with a Fuji recaps and you should be able to figure out what is going on.

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  10. This is awesome. I've only seen the first eight or nine episodes of the show, I see I have a ton of catching up to do!

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  11. Great recap.

    Johnny Mundo seems a great fit for this, but Big Ryck seems completely out of place.

    Do I understand correctly from your recap that there are female wrestlers who have matches against male wrestlers without it being some big deal?

    The whole "the promoter's brother killed my parents" storyline seems REALLY bizarre.

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  12. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANJune 21, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    Wrestling angles where serious felonious things happen are plain stupid.

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  13. Basically everyone but WWE does intergender matches and its NBD.

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  14. cabspaintedyellowJune 21, 2015 at 4:03 PM

    I love the title card gags.


    "Come on, absolutely nothing is going to happen to you, Deandra."
    "FRANK SETS SWEET DEE ON FIRE."

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  15. I don't want to sound like I'm splitting hairs over a good article,but Shane Strickland is still Shane Strickland in about a hundred different indies. Same thing with Ivelisse and Matt Cross,they're all wrestling as themselves every weekend.

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  16. Oh, it's weird as fuck.

    The reason I wouldn't totally dismiss it is because they're really going for like a 70s style Kung Fu film vibe with the whole thing, and in that respect, it's kind funny. That said I'm not a huge fan of the woman who plays Black Lotus. I think she's one of worser performer on the show when it comes to these wrestlers acting. Here's her diary vignette. I think the tone and imagery are great, but I just don't think she pulls off a good performance for this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VkHWtsLv_I

    Lucha Underground does so many things that would just be complete and utter death if a reality based pro wrestling promotion tried to do them (like a monster eating off a gang member's face), but because the style in which they do them, and the fact that they're not really trying to kayfabe that this is all happening in the real world, a lot of it kind of works.

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  17. That's the thing they've gotten the most blowback on when it comes to reviews of the show.


    Their argument is this is fantasy, in that regard, it's kind of like Mortal Kombat where the girls can fight the guys on an even playing field.


    But I haven't really read anyone who says they like it (partially because Sexy Star is kind of a meh wrestler), and there's a lot of people who find it extremely uncomfortable.


    I wonder if that's a change in Season 2.

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  18. But it's all about context, LU appears to have fantastical elements.

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  19. That's fair, I just know most follow WWE and maybe TNA or ROH so wanted to give them the easiest reference point for where they might know them from.

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  20. I think if you can view the it as a any type of fantasy show that happens to center around wrestling, then it's enjoyable.


    I think if you like wrestling trying to keep it as realistic as possible, it might not be a show that suits your tastes. And that's fine. They've got a certain style they're going for.

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  21. My friend who loves LU was telling me they introduced magic talismans or something.

    It's a full on fantasy

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  22. Like running people down in cars, burying them alive, or beating them senseless backstage with a sledgehammer?

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  23. Despite reports to the contrary, it appears that WWE didn't kill professional wrestling after all.

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  24. Where are you seeing these negative comments? WWE is the only promotion that DOESNT do intergender matches.
    The punches in wrestling are fake BTW,and the audience for this show isn't the same as the Smoky Mountain Wrestling audience. It's pretend. Candice LeRae will be fine.

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  25. I believe the Black Lotus woman in Mia Yim and she's an incredible promo in both EVOLVE and Shine. I can see what they were going for with her, but it doesn't quite work.

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  26. Honestly, there are times when I have been terrified for her. The scariest was the championship match against the Young Bucks.

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  27. Yeah, there are magic talismans. It's not as bad as it sounds.

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  28. Please write every character recap for every wrestling promotion for every era from now on.

    Seriously this was rad. I have never watched LU but based on this I feel caught up and the whole Writeup was a great summary!

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  29. It's been a huge criticism on the wrestling podcast circuit. And Wrestling Observer, which loves the show, really hates that part of it. If you read some reviews, people have expressed concern about it.


    I don't think the issue is with intergender wrestling. I think the issue is with how Lucha Underground has done it specifically. Sexy Star gets the fuck beat out of her. The matches she's had with The Crew and Pentagon Jr have had some brutal images. Dudes just squaring up and punching her in the face, her taking really stiff kicks.


    I think it's one thing if it's small guy, and they're going through choreographed wrestling movies, but large laying into a chick raises a lot of domestic violence vibes for people.


    I've only heard the Mortal Kombat explanation of their take on intergender, but I think they'd probably defend themselves by saying:


    The Crew beats the shit out of Sexy Star in the way they do it because they're thugs.


    Pentagon Jr is supposed to be one of the most vile wrestlers in the company. He purposely broke guys arms for months. Of course he's going to do that to a woman.

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  30. In fairness, this is really the ONLY criticism I've heard anyone give LU other than people saying it's not for them because of the fantasy element.

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  31. I really enjoy LU. It has a ton of great wrestling and has fun stortlines.

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  32. TseugThatsGuestSpeltBackwardsJune 21, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    Good stuff!

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  33. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©June 21, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    Fantastic stuff, Catrina was also Maxine in NXT as well.
    While I've only watched some of the show, you did your best at letting us know where everyone has been. Please do more.

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  34. That's a big part of what makes it so good. Big Rick really isn't anyone in the grand scheme of things,but they go out of their way to at least give him a character.

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  35. I just set my DVR to record the series, I'll give this a shot.

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  36. His confessional vignette is one of the best character pieces LU has done so far. I was looking for a clip of it to throw in the links, but shamefully this isn't uploaded anywhere.

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  37. Lucha does a lot of stuff like this too.

    https://vid.me/1rBV



    There's a fantastic Big Ryck one but it's not online.

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  38. What the fuck happened to Vampiro?

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  39. Here's a Pentagon Jr one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMZv9AL1648

    Drago
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E65q82udULA

    Cage
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMbCWNjTyqQ

    Mil Muertes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig4UmaokbzQ

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  40. Him and Konnan look 100 years old

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  41. He looks like Hell, but he's a really good color guy.

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  42. Robinson TilapiaJune 21, 2015 at 7:08 PM

    Fantastic job here, Kyle/Fuj. Since I don't get El Rey, and find the Spanish feed awful to sit through, I'm way behind after watching the initial batch of episodes. Surprised to see how much character and plot development there's been since. This absolutely makes me want to go back and watch now.

    What a shame it'd be to not have a second season.

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  43. Robinson TilapiaJune 21, 2015 at 7:10 PM

    I watched some of the early Sexy Star/Chavo matches. Yeah, it was hard to sit through, and hard for me to suspend disbelief. As much as I want to get the "fantasy" aspect, I wouldn't bring it back.

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  44. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANJune 21, 2015 at 7:23 PM

    Oh, don't even get me started on Ministry Taker.

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  45. Mia Yim is in TNA as part of Doll House. Lotus is former WWE ring announcer Angela Fong

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  46. Bookmarked. This was an absolutely awesome piece of writing. I've wanted to watch LU, but having to watch 30 episodes was quite intimidating. Instead, I've read this primer and will watch each of the matches that you've listed. Thank you!

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  47. I think you'll enjoy it. Esp because you enjoy non-WWE wrestling. It's a really fun alternative especially if you enjoy pure wrestling.

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  48. I wouldn't call LU's strength 'pure wrestling'.


    It's strength is the insanity of the show, it's silly fantasy, but not done in an ashamed of itself way that Chikara does. It's sincere and absurd.

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  49. Between the hip replacement and the liver transplant, things could be worse for Konnan. Which is why I kinda wish Vamp would tone it down with his Konnan-hate; I know they had a blood feud in Mexico, so it makes sense they can't stand each other, but it also sounds like they're trying to build to Vamp/Konnan in a match, and that shit ain't happening.

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  50. *nods* Some sort of "ancient aztec medallions" that may grant immortality. I say "may" because Fenix has one and Mil Muertes murdered the guy a few weeks back, so it either don't work or it works kinda slow. Jack Evans also won one, and there's supposed to be 7 of them, so I'm thinking we'll see matches for the other 5 over the next several weeks.

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  51. "Cueto floats on the margins of storylines as more of a shit stirrer than a primary antagonist, meaning he's involved in almost everything, but is never really the central figure of any storyline."

    So he's basically Just Joe if he was a heel authority figure? That...sounds intriguing.

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  52. Agreed. I quit early in the season but was convicted by Fuji's evil ways to watch the last 6 episodes and its awesome. Truly one of the things which makes it incredible is not knowing Son of Havoc or Angelico in any context and being enthralled by all their trios matches and genuinely being excited when one of their matches start.

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  53. Vampiro (presumably a face announcer) cheering against Blue Demon Jr. (also billed as face) because he hates Demon really cracked me up.

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  54. So horcruxes?

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  55. I'm gonna say no, since I don't know what that is.

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  56. The Polish HammerJune 22, 2015 at 6:31 AM

    I'm not a regular LU watcher since I don't get the El Rey network, but I've seen a few episodes and I like what I've seen.
    Does anyone know how LU's ratings compare to TNA's? With the quality of the product LU is putting out, I'm amazed they haven't yet overtaken TNA as the de-facto #2 wrestling promotion in the U.S.

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  57. Info is spotty. A website I use, Awfulannouncing.com posts sports programming ratings every Friday, which includes all the wrestling shows. Lucha Underground does about 100,000 combined (East Coast showing, West Coast showing) each week on El Rey.


    For instance last week, the East Coast feed did 72,000, the West Coast feed did 25,000


    I haven't found any data on the show's peformance on Unimas past January. Around January they were pulling 200,000-250,000 for the Spanish language first run.


    Considering the network and the fact that the show is brand new, that's not a bad start at all. But from what I understand it's also a very expensive show to produce (which makes sense, look at the production quality of it vs. TNA or ROH) and that even though it's helped El Rey, it may not have justified the cost.


    That's why they're still up in the air in terms of a Season 2. Court Bauer who does MLW who is plugged in with some of those guys seems to be suggesting it's going to happen and that an announcement should be coming any day. Some of the AAA guys involved behind the scenes have said it should be settled in June which is why people are starting to get nervous, because June is almost over.


    There is a rumor that the show might "graduate" from Unimas to Univision for Spanish language which would legitimately make it the #2 promotion in the US.


    But then there's also a rumor that they may have to shop the show to another network for English because it's too expensive for El Rey.

    For what it's worth, last I heard, Mark Burnett's company was committed to shopping it if it came to that.

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  58. I loved this article. I'd previously only watched the first episode since it doesn't air on UK tv but I'm gonna make more of an effort to keep up after watching those clips.

    Man, Catrina is hot.

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  59. The Polish HammerJune 22, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    Thanks. I'm surprised that the cost of the show makes El Rey nervous, since it really seems to be tentpole programming for them. Yeah, the show looks good, but the cost must still be a tiny fraction of a WWE show.

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  60. I think one of the big issues is how they shoot it. They really shoot everything out of the ring like a film. Some of the guys interviewed have said they've had to do 20, 30, 40 takes for a two minute backstage segment (Johnny Mundo probably broke the century mark more than once). That can get really expensive when you have to hire crew to shoot all that.


    And then I think they shelled out a lot for talent. El Patron reportedly got like half a million to sign. I believe they paid a lot to get the rights to use Ricochet as the Puma character.


    And they don't shoot in an arena, they had to build a set in a warehouse in LA which was probably a pretty big expenditure.

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  61. When one gathers the 7 mystical items that when gathered to gather can grant immortality?

    LUxDBZ crossover confirmed.

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  62. Thanks for this article and your Lucha Underground content. I need to get into Lucha more as I miss fun wrestling and I love Lucha Libre. I'm looking forward to you continuing your Lucha Underground reviews, Kyle.

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  63. On thing about LU, is that, sure the storyline are clearly fantasy, Drago is an actual dragon, Mil Muertes is an avatar of death and the owner's brother is a monster that eat people. But all this wacky stuff never spill out to the in-ring action, no hologram, exploding TV or creepy chorus kid.

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  64. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANJune 22, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    I ran into the Morrison/Prince Puma ironman match and it was pretty awesome. Morrison makes such a great shitheel. (He even takes a water break, which is a funny ironic throwback). I think I would really like the wrestling, I would just have to get past the other stuff.

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  65. Awesome writeup Fuj, not sure how much I'll get into it, but loved the primer anyway. Thanks for sharing!

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  66. I'm a huge fan of LU, so I'm already sold, but thank you very much for this extensive write-up to hopefully get more people interested in the best wrestling show on tv right now! :-)

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  67. I guess it doesn't bother me at all, especially due to the way that Sexy Star has been presented; she's a woman with a fighting spirit, and even when she was defeated she brushed herself off and got back in there.

    I think that if it was presented as abuse, I would have a real issue with it, but because it's presented as a competitor fighting another competitor, it's completely fine with me.

    Plus, I'm a huge fan of Japanese Joshi wrestling, so I've been fine with this for a while. Makes me wonder if Sexy Star looked like Aja Kong if people would have the same problems with the intergender matches.

    But, like Fuji said, she's kind of a "meh" wrestler when it comes to skills, especially if compared to a Toyota Manami or a Shimoda Mima.

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  68. That's something I wish Fuji had mentioned: the benefits of it being a one-hour show, once a week, instead of WWE's three-hour RAW and then a two-hour Smackdown every week.

    With LU being an hour a week, it goes by very quickly, and leaves me looking forward to next week's show, while it feels like a death march to get through a single three-hour episode of RAW.

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  69. El Ray had previously announced a second season that would run from 10/28/15 - 7/7/16, but that info has been removed from their portfolio page.

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  70. If this was WWE, I would agree.

    But LU exists in its own "universe", and in that universe a dragon can turn into a man and a caged animal can kill a man by ripping off his face.

    The fortunate thing about LU is the way it's filmed, which allows me to view it more like a cinematic piece than "oh yeah, and these people are wrestling tonight".

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  71. The intergender matches caught me off guard. But Ivelisse and Sexy Star are both awesome.

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  72. Can you imagine doing a character-by-character breakdown of WWE, how all over the place it'd be? And half of the entries would include some form of, "I'm not sure what s/he's doing." I like that even the lower-level performers on LU have a clear motivation and character, at least.

    Great recap, by the way.

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  73. Forgive me if I'm repeating anything anyone mentioned before me. A really important part of all of this is the arena ("Temple") itself. The vast majority of vignettes take place in and around The Temple, including inside the locker room. Dario's office, just outside the doors, and on the roof (as per Drago flying off of it or Aerostar staring off into Space). Matanza's cell seems to be below The Temple. Dario talks a lot about some kind of sacred power in The Temple, which goes a long way in explaining Drago vanishing into thin air when he's "banished" or Mil doing Mil stuff. I like to think of The Temple as an interdimensional portal meeting at the same point as a direct portal to AAA in Mexico. The "Aztec" seal/emblem in the center of the ring also holds some of this sacred power, most recently seen when Mil crouched down on top of it a couple of times during this week's main event. Striker is always doing a good job reinforcing that stuff on commentary.

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