Review: Lucha Underground!

    I grew up a wrestling fan.  It was never something I hid from anyone, in fact I loved it.  Now in my 30’s, I find myself only getting into it once in a while.  The current WWE product isn’t for me.  I find it t be stale, dull, and too corporate for my tastes.  Over the past 6-8 months, I hadn’t turned on any wrestling at all.  I was then introduced to “Lucha Underground” via the Internet.  This is a new show on the El Rey Network and has increased in the ratings over the past 3 weeks.   Nothing amazing, but it caught my interest.  So I gave the first 4 episodes a try.

    The arena, or “Temple” they call it, is borderline cheesy, but dimly lit and barely passes as an underground fighting venue. In the first three episodes, I almost found it distracting how generic the audience appeared.  The crowds were very small, and nobody even appeared as if they had ever watched wrestling before.  Last night I watched episode 4, the crowd was way bigger and everyone was pretty amped up.  It was almost as if someone had told wrestling fans that the show was going on.  This show, on episode 4, finally appeared to be high energy.

That’s right….thats Danny Trejo..

    The main character/villain is promoter “Dario Cueto” who looks as if he’s straight out of a bad soap opera.  He is presented as wanting to give $100,000 as an award to a victorious wrestler, but obviously is just used as a setting to allow him a chance at turning evil.  He doesn’t appear in the ring all that often and is only shown in “Grand Theft Auto” style vignettes between matches.  These scenes are always amazing as they are hilariously over dramatic, and feel like you are watching a porno without sex. 

   There are several other sweet elements to this show.  First off, the show appears to have totally fresh talent.  It’s not like TNA where they cater to people who made it as jobbers in major promotions like WWE.  Each show so far has done a great job at establishing new characters and taking time to give them background stories.  Believe it or not, they actually attempt to give you a reason to care about these characters, something you NEVER see anymore.  Each show features a few action packed matches and runs a series of different ongoing storylines. 

   Another unique element to the show is that they stress a level playing field.  This basically means that women can fight men, and little people can fight full sized people.  They don’t even portray it as being odd or disadvantageous, its all presented as normal which is hilarious.  In episode two, you see Chavo Guerrero hit Sexy Star in the head with a steal chair.
   Overall, I see wrestling fans being “on the fence” with how they feel for this product.  With an hour time slot, you don’t get long epic matches, but you get fast paced excitement.   There are no long standing side headlocks here.  Instead you have a flurry of characters diving out of the ring and leaping from balconies.  As a fan who is sick of the same old stale product, this show has sparked my interest in wrestling once again.

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