Written by: Matt Peddycord
October 29, 2014
Los Angeles, CA
One of the CRAZIEST, most different beginnings to any promotion I’ve ever seen. There is a kid in a warehouse who is being beaten up by these two thugs when a MASKED WRESTLER saves the day with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a lucha-style armdrag, because you know – that happens in real fights. Anyways, he finishes the fight with an airplane spin and slams the guy down. Now once the dust settles, the masked wrestler extends a hand to the kid he just saved and tells him to come with him.
Next, they air a fantastic piece on the tradition of lucha libre as the luchadore fills this kid in on its rich history. There’s a presumably evil owner named Dario Cueto who appeared at AAA TripleMania last year trying to sign away luchadores to wrestle for him in America for Lucha Underground. We all know how well that turned out the first time, right? With all that out of the way, the kid is offered to join this luchadore in Lucha Underground.
We switch to some stock footage of Los Angeles until we enter the Lucha Underground Arena. Very reality show-style cinematography.
Your hosts are Matt Striker and Vampiro. The first thing that even feels familiar are seeing these two men with a normal wrestling show introduction.
Our lovely ring announcer introduces Dario Cueto. Striker can’t seem to get any information on this man. Vampiro says he’s a sly dog and since he’s actually Spanish, Mexican people don’t like him. Cueto tells us that Lucha Underground is based on three ancient principles: courage, honor, and VIOLENCE. The crowd approves. The most impressive luchadore will receive a $100,000 signing bonus. So far so good. Tonight guys, you have a chance to get rich – or die trying.
Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Blue Demon Jr.
Rick Knox from PWG fame refs this contest. Looks like he has a broken arm. Feeling out process to start. Headlocks and knucklelocks and such. They pick up the pace as Demon headscissors Chavo out to the floor for a baseball slide. Back in, Demon starts slapping Chavo around. He hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Chavo. Guerrero gets caught trying a floatover in the corner, but counters into a DDT. To the floor again, Chavo hits a pescado. Back inside, Demon trips Chavo up top only to miss a somersault off the top. Chavo gets two. Hurracanrana off the top from Chavo gets blocked and countered to a powerbomb. EL PULPO gets the tapout on Chavo as Blue Demon gets the inaugural victory on Lucha Underground. (5:16) Blue Demon Jr did not come off very well here, but I suppose you have to consider he was signed based on name recognition since he’s in his late 40’s now. Not exactly Pillman versus Liger, but two moderately recognizable faces here. *½
Back in Dario Cuerto’s office, he’s in a meeting with Konnan. We find that Konnan is now working solely as a manager and has the best fighter in the world: Prince Puma. Cueto thinks some of the luchadores may feel differently about that claim. Cueto tells us that he has signed the biggest free agent in the business right now. CM PUNK?!?! He goes by many names, but will go by Johnny Mundo in Cuerto’s temple. If Prince Puma is as good as Konnan claims, Cueto will make an example out of Mundo, and maybe Puma and Konnan will get the $100,000.
Well that was our first real cinematic backstage segment. I REALLY LIKE THAT IDEA – and wonder why it hadn’t been tried sooner. TNA is trying the TMZ paparazzi-style experience, but I freaking hate that. While it’s very B-movie esque, this looks way better to me than what WWE or TNA is doing.
Before we take a look at Prince Puma training in some dirty gym with Konnan, Vampiro informs us that Konnan never helps anybody unless it serves him well in the long run. During the video, we find out more about the bizarre Aztec traditions involved with fighting and the importance of the mask. It’s an honor thing. If a luchadore loses his mask, he loses EVERYTHING. So why is Konnan in a wheelchair and then walking with a cane? Is he really in that bad of shape?
Sexy Star vs. Son of Havoc
Son of Havoc has a Delirious thing going on – expect he can talk. Sexy Star wears a pink and black mask and walks with silver wings to the ring. We get a special video look at Sexy Star. She’s overcome physical and emotional abuse and found that she’s sometimes tougher than men. EVERY WOMAN IS SEXY. EVERY WOMAN IS A STAR. Hence, Sexy Star. Son of Havoc does Sexy Star a favor and offers to let her lose via countout. That works out fine until Havoc turns his back on her and she storms back to the ring to attack him from behind. Pearl Harbor job, eh? She gets a couple hope spots like a headscissors and a flying body press, but nah. Son of Havoc catches Sexy Star with a backbreaker for the three-count. (2:30) I can think of better ways to introduce these two to the American public. The woman who can’t beat up a man, and the man who beats up a woman. Yeah, there’s got to be a better way. *
In the locker room, Cueto makes Chavo feel really bad about tapping out to Blue Demon tonight. Since Chavo didn’t finish the job tonight in retiring Blue Demon, Cueto will have to bring in somebody who will next week. Once this man is here, there is nothing Cueto can do to stop him. 1000 debts might be coming for us all.
Johnny Mundo vs. Prince Puma
Johnny Mundo is none other than John Morrison while Prince Puma is Ricochet under the hood. Striker and Vampiro tout this as Mundo’s first match on TV in three years. Wristlocks and dropkicks lead to a stalemate to start. Puma shows off his headscissors skills as well until Mundo must take a breather. Back inside, Mundo catches Puma with a backbreaker followed by a hotshot. Corkscrew enziguri takes down Puma as we head back to the floor. It’s all just to set up Mundo taking a springboard dropkick on the apron. Puma follows up with a cool slingshot senton bomb. On the mat we go, Puma full nelsons Mundo with his legs. Mundo manages to escape with a hold of a leg, but Puma enziguri kicks him to the floor. They brawl a little bit around ringside and over to the announce table. Mundo PARKOURS over the table and catches Puma charging at him to send Puma crashing into the ringpost. Back in, that gets two. Puma elbows out of a chinlock and hits another enziguri kick. NOW HERE COMES PUMA! Springboard crossbody block gets two. Mundo moves away from the standing moonsault, but Puma lands the standing SSP for 1-2-NO! Mundo gets pretty aggressive and backs Puma into the corner. Pair of running clotheslines and a dropkick sets up Puma for the running knee for two. Mundo looks for what is formerly known as Starship Pain (called End of the World), but Puma rolls him up before Mundo can do anything. That gets two. Flying Chuck gets 1-2-NO! Puma avoids Fin del Mundo again and hits Chocolate Rain for 1-2-NO! Springboard 450 Splash goes nowhere. Moonlight Drive by Mundo gets 1-2-NO! Standing Spanish Fly sets up FIN DEL MUNDO for the win. (12:33) Some great spots and back-and-forth stuff here. ***½
Afterwards, Dario Cueto comes out to give Mundo the $100,000 and instead has Ezekiel Jackson, Ricky Reyes, and some other Puerto Rican dude that I do not recognize beat up Mundo and Puma. Jackson shoves Puma into a flapjack into a codebreaker. Not to get left out, Mundo receives a Uranage. EZEKIEL JACKSON IS SO LUCHA. NOT. Cueto informs us that not only luchadores compete in this temple. He also tells us that these three dudes now work for him.
Welcome to Lucha Underground.