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Lucha Underground  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Oct 30th, 2014 09:02 am
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srossi

 

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Not sure if anyone caught this but the debut episode was tonight.  It airs on director Robert Rodriguez's station El Rey, which surprisingly I have on Time Warner Cable.  Very similar in look to Wrestle Society X, but seems to focus a lot more on in ring action, at least tonight.  They have a working agreement with AAA and used some of their footage in video packages. 

Matt Striker and Vampiro are your announcers (and they gel about as well as you'd expect).  Some fictitious character named Dario Cueto, who I guess is Spanish and hates Mexicans, is the "owner" and is like the guy from Mortal Kombat who brings in everyone from around the world to compete and beat the shit out of each other.  There's some very "dramatic" (but really comedic) backstage skits involving him and the wrestlers that are well-produced in a B movie sort of way.  

First match saw Blue Demon, Jr. beat Chavo Guerrero, Jr. in an average match with some botched spots that were noticeably edited.  Fine as a WWE Main Event caliber filler match.  Demon must be ancient now.

Second match was bizarre as AAA's Sexy Star was highlighted in her attempt to beat up abusive men and she faced Son of Havoc ("M-Dogg" Matt Cross under a mask doing I guess a Sons of Anarchy gimmick).  Everything about the match was set up to have her go over, but then she lost pretty easily so I just don't get the point.

Main event was the best match on TV you'll probably see all week as Johnny Mundo (John Morrison) beat Prince Puma (indy sensation Ricochet, managed here by Konnan) in a phenomenal match that got about 20 minutes and was as good as anything at Hell in a Cell.  It was my first look at Ricochet after hearing so much about him and he really impressed.  Seeing some of the stuff that Ricochet does is like watching Rey Misterio, Jr. for the first time in ECW.  And to his credit, Morrison was right there with him despite not having many matches the past few years and never really being able to wrestle that type of all-out style in WWE before.  This is likely the first time these two ever faced each other, and it could've been a calvacade of botches and a clash of styles, but they were spot on with everything.  Worth going out of your way to see.

The angle of the night was Cueto promising $100,000 to the athlete that most impressed him, and this was pushed hard as if anyone really cares who gets a fake pay-off, or even a real one for that matter.  Predictably, Cueto came to the ring and screwed both Mundo and Puma out of the money.  Ezekiel Jackson, Rickey Reyes, and B-Boy ran in and laid them both out.  Having the evil owner and his stable of goons wrecking havoc on all the babyfaces is NOT exactly the fresh start you'd like to see from a new company in 2014.

If this show can keep giving me one great match an episode, then I can overlook some of the over-the-top Mexican soap opera aspects that they're clearly going for.  El Hijo del Fantasma, Hotstuff Hernandez, Fenix, Ricky Banderas, Pentagon Jr., Aaron Aguilera, and Brian Cage are a few of the other guys under contract here and more will likely be added if this company shows promise.  This is a small but good roster of established Luchadores, west coast indy talent, and WWE/TNA cast-offs who can still go.    

Last edited on Thu Oct 30th, 2014 09:08 am by srossi



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 Posted: Thu Oct 30th, 2014 11:53 am
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Pretty balanced review. I see that it's listed for DirecTV so far but I may need to wait to see it on Dish Network. If I am wrong on availability, someone please point me in the right direction. The El Rey channel web page does a basic but interesting bio page for many of the talent. This Cueto guy looks like a Victor from Young and the Restless type... I hope there are some scenes where he wistfully gazes out a stage window before making some executive decision.
If being the worldwide agent for these lucha guys to come in, maybe they could make Cueto to be a lover of artistry rather than a money grabbing mogul. Competing in the overt style of lucha, that being performance driven, I would enjoy seeing the workers motivated to be lauded by their leader, which ultimately would earn the money that comes from success. A Bloodsport mentality for the workers seemsan odd fit, although the character of Mil Muertes sounds intriguing I must admit. The Man of a Thousand Deaths, with all wounds to the victims registered on the right side of the body.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 30th, 2014 03:51 pm
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freebirdsforever2001
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Comcast doesn't have it.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 31st, 2014 09:42 am
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carpetbeggar
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I saw a trailer of the show a few days ago when watching a video podcast that Vince Russo did with Konnan.
It looked like something I'd give a shot in watching. Unfortunately I don't have 'Del Ray.' Is there any other way to watch the show besides resorting to torrents? Do they have a website that streams it, much like what ROH does?

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 Posted: Sat Nov 1st, 2014 02:34 am
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TXM



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carpetbeggar wrote: I saw a trailer of the show a few days ago when watching a video podcast that Vince Russo did with Konnan.
It looked like something I'd give a shot in watching. Unfortunately I don't have 'Del Ray.' Is there any other way to watch the show besides resorting to torrents? Do they have a website that streams it, much like what ROH does?

Here's a link to the first episode.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x28x74i_lucha-underground-2014-10-29-webrip-aac2-0-h-264_shortfilms

Not bad.

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 Posted: Sat Nov 1st, 2014 05:25 am
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I liked it, especially Konnan explaining why the mask is symbolic as a nice fuck you to the Russo/Bischoff lack of understanding and unappreciation for the tradition. Don't particularly care for the dirty mat look, unless they introduce a Portland area guy named Scabies. The grit is best featured in its cinematic style. The temple could easily be seen as a Sportatorium homage. Let's see more, if TXM is willing to stay on top of new episodes. How about it, Terrance?

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 Posted: Sat Nov 1st, 2014 07:30 am
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carpetbeggar
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TXM wrote: carpetbeggar wrote: I saw a trailer of the show a few days ago when watching a video podcast that Vince Russo did with Konnan.
It looked like something I'd give a shot in watching. Unfortunately I don't have 'Del Ray.' Is there any other way to watch the show besides resorting to torrents? Do they have a website that streams it, much like what ROH does?

Here's a link to the first episode.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x28x74i_lucha-underground-2014-10-29-webrip-aac2-0-h-264_shortfilms

Not bad.


Thank you Terrance Xavier McMahon.

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 Posted: Sat Nov 1st, 2014 08:23 am
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TXM



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One Fan Gang wrote: I liked it, especially Konnan explaining why the mask is symbolic as a nice fuck you to the Russo/Bischoff lack of understanding and unappreciation for the tradition. Don't particularly care for the dirty mat look, unless they introduce a Portland area guy named Scabies. The grit is best featured in its cinematic style. The temple could easily be seen as a Sportatorium homage. Let's see more, if TXM is willing to stay on top of new episodes. How about it, Terrance?

Do what I can.

I didn't upload that. Just Googled it. I liked it and will keep an eye out for more.

Last edited on Sat Nov 1st, 2014 08:25 am by TXM

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 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2014 08:36 am
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Lucha Underground was a feature story on Yahoo tonight:

http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-wrestling-reimagined-comes-weekly-tv-203753002.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was a meltingly hot October day outside the East Los Angeles warehouse converted to a wrestling ring. Inside, things were about to get equally torrid.
In match after match, as about 400 fans cheered and whooped, heavily muscled men executed high-flying leaps to slam their opponents to the floor. Some wore fearsome disguises to conceal their identities. In one match, the male wrestlers competed — shockingly! — with a woman.
But this was far from a neighborhood event done on the fly. It was a taping of the ambitious 39-episode TV series "Lucha Underground," a reimagined version of Mexico's grand tradition of lucha libre wrestling that's airing on filmmaker Robert Rodriguez's El Rey network (8 p.m. EST Wednesday).
Lucha fans on hand that day knew to expect the fast-paced, aerial action and florid drama that the sport with often-masked competitors delivers. They also applauded a group contest featuring a guy decked out in a pink leotard and a bouffant of red curls and a little person competing against far bigger rivals, part of lucha libre's comedic edge.
All this in the raw, unfinished interior of a vast warehouse converted to a studio, its walls covered with atmospheric graffiti and bold paintings of ancient icons of Mexico's pre-Colombian Aztec and other cultures — a Rodriguez film come to life, as one wrestler happily observed.
Rodriguez, whose movies include the gritty "Sin City" and "From Dusk Till Dawn" as well as the charming "Spy Kids," sounds almost like a delighted kid himself when he talks about "Lucha Underground."

"For fans of lucha from Mexico, we're adding to it, making it even more mythical and exciting than it's ever been presented before," he said in a phone call from his Austin, Texas, offices. "And for new fans it will feel like a new thing as well."
The series combines wrestling matches, slices of backstage conflict and a story arc (about a plot to destroy the pre-eminent lucha libre franchise in Mexico) that connects the action, with pro wrestlers plucked from North America and Mexico as its stars.
The series' home, El Rey, is a hybrid itself. Rodriguez founded the fledgling network to address the lack of English-language programming with a Latino sensibility, but it's aimed at a general audience — with young men and what Rodriguez has called "kick-ass females" especially welcome.
The luchadores of "Lucha Underground" include Blue Demon Jr., Fenix and female wrestler Sexy Star from Mexico's Lucha Libre AAA franchise, as well as American wrestlers such as John Hennigan, whose U.S. ring names include Johnny Nitro but on the show is billed as Johnny Mundo.
Chavo Guerrero Jr., with family roots in Mexican wrestling stretching back to his famed grandfather, Gory Guerrero, said he wouldn't have joined the production if it didn't honor the artistry, athleticism and entertainment of the Lucha tradition.

"We're creating something different and new for wrestling fans and non-wrestling" viewers, and both get their money's worth, said Guerrero, who deems that a Lucha obligation.
"Other (wrestling) organizations, the TV shows propel their live events," with the emphasis on the box-office receipts for the next match, he said. "This is a TV show, propelling our next episode and next episode after that. It's a different concept."
For "Lucha Underground," Rodriguez joined with what seems at first glance an unlikely partner: producer Mark Burnett of "Survivor," ''The Voice" and "The Bible" fame.
The TV veteran "brought a lot of enthusiasm to it," Rodriguez said. "Viewers get a real action-packed ride and really classy production so it looks as big as the sport should be."
But Burnett is also looking beyond the TV screen and an East LA warehouse to stadiums and a U.S. Lucha league.
"This is to build a sport, a bona fide sport, within America," he told reporters early this year. "And this is a long term big play for us, with Lucha Libre AAA in Mexico, our partners."
Lucha libre has struggled to get a broader U.S. foothold, to the dismay of fan Chris Goldrup. The 43-year-old wrestling devotee discovered it when he moved from Maine to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s.
"There's a different rhythm to it; the masks, the way the wrestling is staged versus the North American style. It's incredibly interesting," said Goldrup, as he waited patiently in line for a "Lucha Underground" taping.
But he's failed to get his buddies who already follow wrestling to recognize its appeal. Does he think the TV show can be a game-changer?
"I just don't see it, but I would love for it to catch on. I've got my fingers crossed," Goldrup said.

Last edited on Wed Nov 5th, 2014 08:37 am by Big Garea Fan

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 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2014 05:55 pm
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That article was reprinted yesterday in our local paper on the sports page.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2014 06:31 pm
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srossi

 

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Big Garea Fan wrote: Lucha Underground was a feature story on Yahoo tonight:

http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-wrestling-reimagined-comes-weekly-tv-203753002.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was a meltingly hot October day outside the East Los Angeles warehouse converted to a wrestling ring. Inside, things were about to get equally torrid.
In match after match, as about 400 fans cheered and whooped, heavily muscled men executed high-flying leaps to slam their opponents to the floor. Some wore fearsome disguises to conceal their identities. In one match, the male wrestlers competed — shockingly! — with a woman.
But this was far from a neighborhood event done on the fly. It was a taping of the ambitious 39-episode TV series "Lucha Underground," a reimagined version of Mexico's grand tradition of lucha libre wrestling that's airing on filmmaker Robert Rodriguez's El Rey network (8 p.m. EST Wednesday).
Lucha fans on hand that day knew to expect the fast-paced, aerial action and florid drama that the sport with often-masked competitors delivers. They also applauded a group contest featuring a guy decked out in a pink leotard and a bouffant of red curls and a little person competing against far bigger rivals, part of lucha libre's comedic edge.
All this in the raw, unfinished interior of a vast warehouse converted to a studio, its walls covered with atmospheric graffiti and bold paintings of ancient icons of Mexico's pre-Colombian Aztec and other cultures — a Rodriguez film come to life, as one wrestler happily observed.
Rodriguez, whose movies include the gritty "Sin City" and "From Dusk Till Dawn" as well as the charming "Spy Kids," sounds almost like a delighted kid himself when he talks about "Lucha Underground."

"For fans of lucha from Mexico, we're adding to it, making it even more mythical and exciting than it's ever been presented before," he said in a phone call from his Austin, Texas, offices. "And for new fans it will feel like a new thing as well."
The series combines wrestling matches, slices of backstage conflict and a story arc (about a plot to destroy the pre-eminent lucha libre franchise in Mexico) that connects the action, with pro wrestlers plucked from North America and Mexico as its stars.
The series' home, El Rey, is a hybrid itself. Rodriguez founded the fledgling network to address the lack of English-language programming with a Latino sensibility, but it's aimed at a general audience — with young men and what Rodriguez has called "kick-ass females" especially welcome.
The luchadores of "Lucha Underground" include Blue Demon Jr., Fenix and female wrestler Sexy Star from Mexico's Lucha Libre AAA franchise, as well as American wrestlers such as John Hennigan, whose U.S. ring names include Johnny Nitro but on the show is billed as Johnny Mundo.
Chavo Guerrero Jr., with family roots in Mexican wrestling stretching back to his famed grandfather, Gory Guerrero, said he wouldn't have joined the production if it didn't honor the artistry, athleticism and entertainment of the Lucha tradition.

"We're creating something different and new for wrestling fans and non-wrestling" viewers, and both get their money's worth, said Guerrero, who deems that a Lucha obligation.
"Other (wrestling) organizations, the TV shows propel their live events," with the emphasis on the box-office receipts for the next match, he said. "This is a TV show, propelling our next episode and next episode after that. It's a different concept."
For "Lucha Underground," Rodriguez joined with what seems at first glance an unlikely partner: producer Mark Burnett of "Survivor," ''The Voice" and "The Bible" fame.
The TV veteran "brought a lot of enthusiasm to it," Rodriguez said. "Viewers get a real action-packed ride and really classy production so it looks as big as the sport should be."
But Burnett is also looking beyond the TV screen and an East LA warehouse to stadiums and a U.S. Lucha league.
"This is to build a sport, a bona fide sport, within America," he told reporters early this year. "And this is a long term big play for us, with Lucha Libre AAA in Mexico, our partners."
Lucha libre has struggled to get a broader U.S. foothold, to the dismay of fan Chris Goldrup. The 43-year-old wrestling devotee discovered it when he moved from Maine to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s.
"There's a different rhythm to it; the masks, the way the wrestling is staged versus the North American style. It's incredibly interesting," said Goldrup, as he waited patiently in line for a "Lucha Underground" taping.
But he's failed to get his buddies who already follow wrestling to recognize its appeal. Does he think the TV show can be a game-changer?
"I just don't see it, but I would love for it to catch on. I've got my fingers crossed," Goldrup said.

I can't tell if the article is mocking the show or if it was just quickly written by a guy who thought he'd be covering the County Dog Show and got reassigned at the last minute.  Probably the latter.

Last edited on Wed Nov 5th, 2014 06:31 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Thu Nov 6th, 2014 08:40 pm
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Episode 2 aired last night and it was another pretty decent effort.

Show started with Ezekiel Jackson (Big Ryck), Ricky Reyes (Cortez), and the third guy calling himself Cisco (I misidentified him as B-Boy last week but it's actually an indy worker named 'Lil Cholo) cutting a promo and being confronted by John Morrison (Mundo) and Ricochet (Puma).  This led to a tag team match where Mundo and Puma beat Cortez and Cisco in a solid bout.

The backstage Spanish soap opera skit of the night was Konnan warning Puma not to trust Mundo and to worry about himself.  Konnan is playing a heel mentor to Puma's babyface wrestler.

Match #2 was a mixed tag where Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and Sexy Star beat Son Of Havoc (M-Dogg) and the debuting Ivelisse, who has appeared in TNA a handful of times.  OK match, nothing special.

The main event saw the debut of Mil Muertes, who is veteran El Mesias/Ricky Banderas and has competed all over Mexico, Puerto Rico, and in TNA.  His valet is Catrina, who was Maxine in NXT (the woman's season that no one watched) and also had a cup of coffee in TNA.  Muertes beat Blue Demon, Jr. in an average match and then kept beating on him.  Chavo Guerrero, Jr. ran in to make the save but then blasted Demon with a chair to turn heel after one whole week.  Sexy Star ran in to talk sense to Chavo and then Chavo blasted her in the head with a chair in what I can only imagine is an effort to distance Lucha Underground from WWE and show a hardcore edge.  He really nailed her too. 

There were no matches on par with last week's phenomenal Mundo-Puma bout, but all the work was solid and I enjoyed it.  I chose to watch this on my DVR instead of TNA, so that says something right there.          

I read some non-spoiler reports for next week and it seems like they will take a step back and debut mostly new talent after focusing on certain guys the first 2 shows.  There's buzz surrounding next week's 3-way main event of Fenix vs. Drago vs. Pentagon Jr. and it's supposed to be almost as good as last week's Mundo vs. Puma match, so I'm looking forward to it.

Last edited on Thu Nov 6th, 2014 08:46 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2014 04:24 am
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This week's show

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x29fcv6_lucha-underground-s01e02-2014-nov-05-hdtvx264_shortfilms

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 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2014 06:19 am
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carpetbeggar
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Kinda nice to see that Rodriguez is taking a big interest in it, as it seems to be one of the centerpieces of his network. I forgot about Burnett being involved. Is he also the head money mark?

The article mentioned the show as a "39 episode t.v. series."
I take it that means the first season will be 39 episodes and that if the show does well, we will see at least another season?

Are all the episodes in the can already, or are they still filming as we speak?

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 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2014 06:37 am
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srossi

 

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carpetbeggar wrote: Kinda nice to see that Rodriguez is taking a big interest in it, as it seems to be one of the centerpieces of his network. I forgot about Burnett being involved. Is he also the head money mark?

The article mentioned the show as a "39 episode t.v. series."
I take it that means the first season will be 39 episodes and that if the show does well, we will see at least another season?

Are all the episodes in the can already, or are they still filming as we speak?

As best as I can tell, they started filming a little over a month ago, and I assume all the episodes can't possibly be in the can yet, but I don't know. 



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