Do you believe in the darkness that resides within the deepest fathom of the human soul? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Honestly, no matter what you believe the darkness will find us all at some point. It will grapple with the good within our souls; it will test the merits of our self-professed morality, and even if we win there are others who haven’t. They are a breed of human that swear by the darkness and its power; they are the ones who fight to extinguish the light; they are the ones we should all be the most afraid of.

A man named Ian waged his own war within himself in the confines of a psychiatric hospital. His ability to mute the darkness that poisoned his mind was the only way he could free himself according to the doctors. Ian said he could, but Ian lied. He had visions of harming the staff and memory flashes of his violent path still haunted him. Of course, the doctors didn’t know that he’d failed to martial the blackness. They believed him and let Ian leave on two conditions: he take a high grade anti-psychotic medication and stay away from places that inspired him to commit acts of violence. Oh, and he needed a ride to leave the institution. Ian assured them he did, and for once Ian was telling the truth.

Ian’s ride came from an old co-worker, Matt. The two were broadcast partners for a fighting organization run by a shady proprietor. Each wondered if they would even have a job after a six month layoff, but according to Matt they’d be invited to resume their duties as the voices of the Temple. Just like that Ian or as his is better known, Vampiro, a man still battling demons, was heading back to a place of violence, a place that had become much darker….

Lucha Underground
“A Much Darker Place”
January 27, 2016

Dario Cueto, the corrupt owner of Lucha Underground, fled the Temple in the closing minutes of Ultimate Lucha. In the absence of his pitch black suit, new management with ties to black magic set up shop.

Catrina, the handler of the demonic Lucha Underground Champion Mil Muertes, was the woman one needed to see if they had business to attend too—which Fenix did. He held the Gift of the Gods Championship and that entitled him to a shot at Muertes. Before that, Catrina said, he would have to defend his gift against King Cuerno. The lady of darkness also added that Muertes would be watching from high above the Temple on his throne—a visible reminder of the looming darkness that each warrior would encounter.

Gift of the Gods Championship Match
King Cuerno vs. Fenix ©

If any man could repel the darkness it had to be he whose name is a derivative of phoenix, the mythological bird with endless cycles of death and rebirth. However, taking one’s name from such a magnificent animal will make you the target of an agent of darkness, a trophy hunter who stalks prey for fun and not sport.

And so, King Cuerno and Fenix battled. They were evenly matched. The darkness blended in with the light in an elegant dance of combat. Suddenly, Fenix gained the advantage. The fire in his heart sparked his courage. He took to the sky to down the hunter and finally locked him in a Dragon Sleeper, literally wrestling with the darkness.

Courage is an admirable trait in moderation, but in excess it is an opiate that often proves to be lethal for a warrior of the light. Fenix was too ambitious and put too much energy into his attempt to choke the life out of darkness. When Cuerno found the ropes, he was far from a beaten man. The darkness and the hunter are patient. They wait to strike and when the perfect moment comes, they attack. With his opponent weakened, Cuerno asserted the advantage and captured his prey in The Thrill of the Hunt; even when the first arrow didn’t slay the phoenix he knew the second would and it did. Just like that, the light of Fenix burned out and the Gods smiled down on the hunter. ***¼

A united trio: Son of Havok, Angelico and Ivelisse came to the Temple looking for revenge and to regain their Lucha Underground Trios Championship. Catrina meant them at the gate and made a counteroffer, instead of fighting together they would fight each other for a chance at the Lucha Underground Championship later in the night. In that moment the trio’s quest for righteous vengeance was hijacked by another agent of darkness, greed.

Son of Havok vs. Angelico vs. Ivelisse

Nothing corrupts the souls of man faster than greed. Superficial want eats through alliances and turns people against one another, just like it did here.

The former champions tore into each other in pursuit of a strawman goal, unaware of the lesson they were being taught by the dark forces of the Temple, when you fight side by side with someone for months you know their techniques intimately. When you fight your partner, you have to battle harder than ever before. What worked against other opponents won’t work in this fight. By the time the fight is over you are all but drained which is a handy fact for someone with an agenda.

All three luchadors threw their souls into this match and took to the sky liked crazed kamikazes. All three came out of the match worse for wear, including the winner Ivelisse, but that was the point. Greed pushes people to their extremes until nothing is left. Even with a reward in hand, a drained Ivelisse then had to face the incarnation of darkness that sat on the throne high above the Temple. ***

As Ivelisse steeled herself with Mil Muertes, she finally faced the punishment for her greed. The Disciples of Death attacked and a helpless Ivelisse was forced to watch her comrades beaten and dragged to the back.

Now, completely alone, Ivelisse was forced to literally fight darkness itself.

Lucha Underground Championship Match
Ivelisse vs. Mil Muertes ©

In the ancient battle between the light and the dark arrogance often befalls the dark, just as it did to Mil Muertes.

Sure,Muertes dominated his smaller, exhausted opponent, but Ivelisse never demonstrated true courage. She took the fight to Muertes by picking her spots. Ivelisse didn’t need to be a hero and just wanted to survive. Sadly her efforts were in vain and she could not outrun the darkness or Muertes’ Flatliner and became his first victim as champion. **½

The arrogance of Muertes did not transfer to his fight with Ivelisse. It lay in the fact that he forgot what courage does, it inspires others.

Not satisfied with merely defeating Ivelisse, Muertes moved in for the kill. That was when Prince Puma rushed in to save Ivelisse, except he wasn’t the one she inspired. Puma is a good man and just did what comes naturally for a good man. Instead, Pentagon Jr. attacked Muertes and added the champion’s arm to his growing collection.

For whatever reason, Ivelisse’s display stirred Pentagon Jr. to act and now Muertes faced his greatest challenge. A man didn’t walk in the darkness or bathe in the light. He is a being of both realms and does not might doing inexcusable deeds in the name of his mission.