By d9000 11 Comments
This is just a quick review of my thoughts on Lucha Underground after 3 episodes. First off, I am enjoying it thoroughly and recommend it to anyone looking for an English language alternative to WWE or TNA.
It's production value is consistently high and you can tell they make a huge effort to come across as a professional operation. While this is one of it's strengths it doesn't quite match the ascetic they're trying to create, which is that of a dirty, underground fight club. To me the overall product ends up feeling a little fake(r than what I'd like) but doesn't damage the show so fatally that I tune out. Aside from the in ring action (which I'll get to in a minute) the pre-produced vignettes, which serve to set up most of the matches and build the overreaching story arc. We usually find the evil promotor and owner of Lucha Underground, Dario Cueto, plotting maliciously agains his own wrestlers. Maybe not the smartest business man in the world but I can buy his "richest A-hole in town" gimmick and that holds everything together for me. We also meet few of the luchadores in these segments which tend to go better than the average WWE live vignette. You can feel money being spent on these segments and most of the time they work for me but when they fall flat the thought of how much money was wasted makes the fall even harder.
We also have Matt Striker and Vampiro on commentary. To me they serve as competent and usually entertaining voices to narrate the show. They seem to have good chemistry and do a good job telling us about the luchadores and their moves. On the opposite end they seem to be given strict instructions to constantly reinforce that Lucha Underground is crazier and better than anything else you'll see. They really want you to know that they let men and women fight each other, and that they allow minis and non-minis to fight each other, and they that you can't find lucha wrestling like this anywhere else in the US. Which may be true for all I know but I don't need to hear it every 5 minutes.
The best part of these last 3 weeks of Lucha Underground for me has definitely been the in ring action (and rightfully so). The smartest thing they did wasn't to pour money into the promos and vignettes; or build an authentic looking, grimy old gym for their underground club, it was find some of the best talent in the world and allow them the freedom to show what they can do. Admittedly, a few matches have felt pretty cold but that's a tiny, forgettable few minutes out of several hours of well executed, smartly planned, exciting and original matches. As someone who was not overly familiar with lucha style wrestling I've seen a lot of moves and spots I've never seen before. It's a very dynamic and fast paced style. As a fan of highflyers I'm at home here. They also have their big bruisers who slow things down but deliver enough of an impact to keep me interested.
As I said, I've been loving it so far and though it's not without it's flaws (some of which are glaring) I'm still looking forward to the future of Lucha Underground.
A few of the highlights for me have been:
- Most recently triple threat match that was the main even of November 12th episode. A perfect was to introduce Fenix, Pentagon Jr, and Drago. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=901165166575342
- The main event of the first episode on October 29th. Prince Puma vs Johnny Mundo. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=892579737433885&set=vb.843366365688556&type=3&video_source=pages_video_set
- Everything to do with Chavo Guerrero Jr. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=900531459972046&set=vb.843366365688556&type=3&video_source=pages_video_set
- Basically everything Dario Cueto does (that fiend!!!). https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=900463529978839&set=vb.843366365688556&type=3&video_source=pages_video_set
- Can't forget Konnan. I hope he swindles Dario out of his company at some point.