Lucha Underground – October 29, 2014 (Debut Episode): They’ve Got ECW on Sci-Fi Beat

Lucha Underground
Date: October 29, 2014
Location: Lucha Underground Arena, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Vampiro, Matt Striker

This is the debut episode of a new promotion based around, of course, lucha libre. While there have been other promotions like this before, this company has a decent roster of people you’ve actually heard of and has been getting some solid reviews. Naturally I’m two weeks late to get out front of it but when has that stopped me before? Let’s get to it.

We open with a video of people fighting in what looks like an underground fight club. A masked man comes in for an airplane spin and Wasteland before telling someone to come with him. Off to a cave in Mexico, talking about the Aztec Empire and then lucha libre. That’s quite the jump. The owner, Dario Cueto, says he’s opening the doors to let these people come to America. Now a bunch of people are shown walking towards I’d assume the arena, spliced together with clips of matches.

We even have credits like a movie.

The announcers welcome us to the show and oh dear I don’t like these guys already.

Here’s Dario Cueto to address the promotion. This is a temple to honor ancient traditions like honor and violence. Whoever impresses him the most will get a signing bonus of $100,000.

Blue Demon Jr. vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Demon Jr. is a former NWA World Champion and 48 years old. I’m going to assume you know Guerrero. They shake hands to start as Striker goes on some tangent about honor. Chavo takes him down by the arm to start before Demon takes over with a test of strength. A quick run of the ropes ends with Demon “headscissoring” Chavo to the floor (the editing here is decent enough to cover botches) and baseball sliding him down. Back in and Demon hits a loud slap to the jaw as we keep cutting to an overhead camera shot like you’ll see in TLC matches.

Chavo comes out of the corner with a tornado DDT before taking Demon out to the floor. A nice plancha puts the masked man down but he comes back in with a slam. Demon favors his knee and takes forever to get to the top, only to miss a flip dive. Chavo puts him up top for a hurricanrana but Demon blocks (Striker: “Could this be some sort of a hanging triangle choke???”) and plants Chavo with a powerbomb, as anyone who has watched wrestling before and isn’t Matt Striker could have told you. Demon puts on a kind of Sharpshooter/Liontamer hybrid while lifting Chavo’s arm off the mat for the submission.

Rating: D+. The wrestling wasn’t bad but I’m going to get tired of having the camera constantly cutting to the crowd or that overhead shot or the announcers. It’s bad enoughthat I have to listen to Striker but I have to look at him during the matches? This was a decent enough power vs. speed match though and it did its job.

In a scene designed to feel like it’s from an over the top film noir movie, the boss is in his office with Konnan. Cueto thanks Konnan for coming here and Konnan says he’s the toughest guy around. The boss likes the sound of that but he’s brought in a guy named Johnny Mundo who doesn’t respect the business. If Konnan and a guy whose name sounded like Puma can take him out, they’ll split the $100,000. Konnan nods as cheesy music played. This was so totally different than the stuff I have to put up with on Raw that I kind of loved it.

We see Johnny Mundo warming up and it’s John Morrison.

Video on Mundo’s opponent tonight: Prince Puma. His manager Konnan narrates the video, talking about how Aztec luchardoes fought to the death in their day. They would claim the loser’s head, which evolved into the mask being so important. This brings us to Puma himself and we hear some praise from Konnan. Apparently Puma’s spirit animal is a jaguar. That sounds cool if nothing else.

Son of Havoc vs. Sexy Star

Havoc seems to be a masked biker with a long beard, played by Matt Cross. I’ve seen Star in AAA before so I actually have an idea of what’s going on here. She comes out with wings like Melina from Wrestlemania one year which work for entrance attire. We get a package on Star with her talking about how she’s doing this for all the women that don’t want to be afraid anymore.

Back in the arena, Havoc says he isn’t wrestling a woman, so she can lose by countout and live to fight another day. Star heads outside and lets the count go to five before charging back in and jumping Havoc from behind. He easily shoves her down and….does the Tango with her for all I know as the camera is on Striker. Havoc misses a moonsault but plants her down with ease. Star sends him chest first into the buckle and gets two off a high cross body, only to get caught in a backbreaker and pinned with a handful of tights. Short but Star looked good.

Chavo Guerrero is in Cueto’s office where the boss is asking what happened. In the first match in Cueto’s temple, Chavo tapped out. What would his family think if they knew that? Since Chavo couldn’t do it, Cueto will bring in someone else to stop Blue Demon, but once he’s here, no one can stop him.

Johnny Mundo vs. Prince Puma

Puma is indy wrestler Ricochet and has Konnan with him. Feeling out process to start with Mundo nailing a shoulder but Puma nips right back up. They fight over wristlocks with Puma flipping and spinning as Striker tells us to go to the internet to find out about different styles of wrestling. Both guys go down and it’s a double nipup to get us to a standoff. Vampiro says Puma is going to be corrupted by Konnan so I guess he’s heel here?

Puma spins around Mundo with a headscissors before sending him out to the floor. It earns a standing ovation from Vampiro and the fans think it’s awesome. Back in and Mundo hits a quick backbreaker and throws Puma throat first onto the top rope. A spinning kick to the head sends Puma to the floor but Mundo takes his time throwing him back in, allowing Prince to dropkick him down. Puma nails a slingshot splash and hooks a full nelson with the legs. Back up and Puma enziguris him out to the floor.

They head over the announcers’ table with Mundo climbing the table and flipping over Puma, only to send him face first into the post. Back in and we hit the chinlock on Puma but he fights up with another kick to the face. A springboard high cross body gets two on Mundo and a standing shooting star gets the same. They slug it out with Mundo driving him into the corner and hammering away.

Mundo speeds things up with clotheslines and a running knee to the face gets two. The Flying Chuck (Disaster Kick) gets two for Mundo and another running knee gets the same. Puma avoids the End of the World (Starship Pain) and takes Puma down with a springboard double knee to the chest. A springboard 450 misses and Moonlight Drive (the flip neckbreaker) gets two for Mundo. Johnny pops back up and hits a C4 and the End of the World for the pin.

Rating: B. Good main event here where they got to show off some athleticism and give the fans something to come back for. All the flips and dives and such really isn’t my style but this was entertaining stuff. Mundo is a guy that people are going to recognize and it’s a good idea to have him win the first main event.

Mundo raises Puma’s hand but here’s a ticked off Cueto. He says Mundo has earned the money but Cueto slams the case closed. Mundo goes for the money but two guys (indy wrestlers Ricky Reyes and Lil Cholo) come in to beat him down. Mundo fights them off but Ezekiel Jackson comes in to lay out Mundo and Puma. Prince is sent into a 3D into a Codebreaker while Mundo takes a chokeslam. Cueto gets back in and says these guys work for him to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. Yeah I liked this, though the rating is on a bit of a softer scale. I’m not sure if it’s enough to keep me coming around every week but I’ll check out the next few episodes. It’s VERY different from mainstream wrestling and that’s a good thing. Cueto is basically Vince with a Spanish accent but I’ve seen far worse. The wrestling was mediocre to good but again it’s different enough to carry the show.

That being said, there’s A LOT to work on. First of all, someone work on shooting Matt Striker. I can’t stand him now, I couldn’t stand him in WWE and I can’t picture ever being able to stand him. He’s that commenter on the internet that thinks he knows more than you because he uses every proper name for everything and it drives me crazy. The constant camera cuts get annoying as well but if they keep it on the ring in some form or another I can live with it. It’s a solid debut and I’ll check out a few more episodes to see where it goes.

 

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3 comments

  1. Killjoy says:

    Matt doesn’t get Demon’s name right until episode 4 when Sexy Star pronounces it properly. It’s the shot to the knee in this show. Striker’s an idiot and Vampiro looks damn embarrassed to be with him.The spanish team is Hugo and Vampiro and they’re much more upbeat. But tracking that version down is a pain.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Eh if I was Vampiro I’d be embarrassed about life in general. Not a fan of that guy.

  2. Heyo says:

    Ah, so you liked the film style vignettes. It tends to be one of the most divisive elements of LU, so I was curious how you felt about it. I think it works because, like the rest of the show, it feels so different from the WWE style that it was refreshing.