The Lucha Underground Thread

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BoxingRobes
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The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by BoxingRobes » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:14 am

How do we not have a Lucha Underground thread already?

I finally caught up with the past month of shows I missed while I was on vacation.

Some pretty tame shows as we lead up to Ultima Lucha, but some notes:

-Catrina's tits are Gem Mint in that black little number she's been wearing. Real woman right there.
-The Brian Cage v. Willie Mack match was a straight out of PWG hot opener.
-I really popped for Son of Havoc v. Big Meal. A lil sloppy, but I really got into it.

For nearly a year, I would have said Lucha Underground has had ELITE writing. However, leading up to Ultima Lucha, the booking has gotten a bit sloppy. Pentagon's arch from Episode 1 to now has been a damn bell curve. Slow build to something great, but quickly fell to earth. No one wants to see Vampiro versus Pentagon Jr.

This Blue Dee-Moan story with Chavo then turning heel against a face Texano is fucking weird and outtanowhere.

Mundo-El Patron and Puma-Mil are worth the price of admission though. I'm invested.

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Leo C
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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by Leo C » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:04 pm

I think they were 'forced' to make Texano/Blue Demon because Chavo got hurt. Granted it still doesn't make it any less Russo-esque, but that's probably why.

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The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by Quentin Moody » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:37 pm

The last few weeks for LU have been not that interesting. It's not bad in ring wise, but just a bit of a dip from the high they were on for so long. Sexy Star needs to just go away. Only person in the promotion that I can honestly say I don't like watching.

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by Max Traction » Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:08 am

Is it telling that as soon as they shifted to a more traditional structure (ie: building up to one big, PPV-style event), the weekly TV got worse?

I don't mind the Pentagon Jr./Vampiro angle. For one, I think it's been a smart response to how Pentagon was almost getting over as a face because he was such a good heel. Doubling down on the pure evil side of his character over the last month or two has made him the most hateable heel in the show. Vampiro's promos, particularly in the last episode, have also added great nuance to his character—the reluctance to return to the ring, the duality between his commentator persona and his 'dark side'. Plus, any match that Vampiro is in is a match that he can't be commentating for which is a plus.

One think I've disliked has been the backstage segments which are now almost exclusively 'Catrina appears behind someone suddenly' spots. I miss the earlier days where I felt like there were more, plausible segments—Johnny Mundo beating up the Crew to get into Cueto's office, Konnan and Cueto joking slyly about wrestlers getting held up at the border etc. The more the show focuses on the fantastical, 'From Dusk Til Dawn' element, the harder I find to be absorbed.

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by BoxingRobes » Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:36 pm

I pop big every time Catrina is on screen. Literally.

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by Joe Lanza » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:04 pm

Max Traction wrote: One think I've disliked has been the backstage segments which are now almost exclusively 'Catrina appears behind someone suddenly' spots. I miss the earlier days where I felt like there were more, plausible segments—Johnny Mundo beating up the Crew to get into Cueto's office, Konnan and Cueto joking slyly about wrestlers getting held up at the border etc. The more the show focuses on the fantastical, 'From Dusk Til Dawn' element, the harder I find to be absorbed.
Couldn't agree more. That stuff has essentially driven me away from caring about the storylines and now I just watch for the eye candy of the matches.

Sexy Star beating Pentagon Jr really took a lot of steam out of me too, for reasons i've ranted about on the podcast.

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by Chismo » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:19 pm

No US weeklie since the 80s has produced this big string of amazing content. Lucha Underground is pretty much perfect in my book, it did to other wrestling shows what The Wire did to other cop shows - ruined them.

Even when you have an episode without three star matches, there are still campy backstage segments, cinematic video packages and story/acr progressions. Lucha Underground is life.

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by cherrylimeaid » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:53 am

I asked this in a review show I can't find now so sorry for asking it again.

One, this may be a place to head in the right direction, but I wanted a lucha underground logo sticker (the lucha mask) for my helmet at work. Seeing that it is difficult even to find the tshirts anymore, anybody that could point me in a good direction would be appreciated.

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by thecubsfan » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:42 am


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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by thecubsfan » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:44 am

I feel like we have this discussion every few months, when a excellent Ricochet match turns up from Europe or Japan. Maybe we need to put on a post-it so it's easier to remember.

Prince Puma is never never NEVER losing his mask. It's not happening. It's not something they'd even consider doing, not even a road they'd consider going down.

LU really likes having great matches, and they like bragging about having great matches. They like their mythos more, and Prince Puma is a central - THE central - figure in that mythos and exposing him as a guy from Kentucky would do tremendous damage to their story. Having the Hero of the story losing the loss that could never be undone is also a pretty bad blow. And all their expanded plans - action figures, cartoons, lunch boxes or whatever - work a lot better if the guy in the middle of Lucha Underground is wearing a Puma mask rather than none at all.

Yes, he's probably better at wrestling without a mask, and it's totally understandable you would trade matches that are a 1/2* better for less off the current plotlines. They clearly didn't feel the same, and have goen even more comic book/super natural in the back half of this season, and I don't expect that to change. Lucha Underground isn't Dragon Gate USA, for better or worse, and the end goal is to sell IP more than matches.

Scenarios where Ricochet would no longer be Prince Puma
- Ricochet does something that makes him unusable (decent chance they just stick the mask on someone else)
- some other toy-etic luchador gets nuclear hot in the promotion, becomes the new center of the promotion, and they get rid of Prince Puma as to not take away from the new guy
- CMLL's Puma King somehow sues Lucha Underground over the name rights and actually wins
- Pumas, the animal, lead an animal revolution. They are put down, but really don't work as a lead face character
- they've actually made it the 7 seasons and have Ricochet wrestle once as a in-joke.

That's about it. No where on the list is "the matches are going to be better!" Even if he started sucking with the mask on, they'd give it to someone else and then stop using the guy who's sucking. The only way Prince Puma is taking off the mask is if there's no more show to use it on.

(Also, I can't make a post without noting it's silly to discuss what LU will or will not do when they don't have any tapings to do anything. Not making any discernible progress on any of those expanded plans has been a pretty clear warning for quite a while.)

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by Max Traction » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:18 am

thecubsfan wrote:I feel like we have this discussion every few months, when a excellent Ricochet match turns up from Europe or Japan. Maybe we need to put on a post-it so it's easier to remember.

Prince Puma is never never NEVER losing his mask. It's not happening. It's not something they'd even consider doing, not even a road they'd consider going down.

LU really likes having great matches, and they like bragging about having great matches. They like their mythos more, and Prince Puma is a central - THE central - figure in that mythos and exposing him as a guy from Kentucky would do tremendous damage to their story. Having the Hero of the story losing the loss that could never be undone is also a pretty bad blow. And all their expanded plans - action figures, cartoons, lunch boxes or whatever - work a lot better if the guy in the middle of Lucha Underground is wearing a Puma mask rather than none at all.
I agree that they're not going to ditch the mask—or if they do, it'll be as part of a fundamentally changed incarnation of Lucha Underground.

The Prince Puma character and mask are something unique to Lucha Underground, created, owned and promoted only by THEM. There's no historical baggage from prominent runs in other promotions (Alberto, Big Ryck, Johnny Mundo), there's no turning up for concurrent runs in other promotions (the AAA guys). It makes business sense to anchor your brand on something your brand *made*. And you're right, on paper, the Prince Puma mask ties really neatly into the whole Lucha Underground mythos: the tradition of lucha libre, the heritage and history of Aztec tribes, the cartoony/supehero overtones etc.

That said—if your plan is to build your show around a guy like Ricochet, I think it's pretty obvious that the Prince Puma gimmick/angle hasn't made the best possible use of Ricochet's skills. Has a wrestling promotion ever had success with a 'main guy' who isn't just a bad talker, but literally never says a word of his own? The mask prevents the audience seeing the nuances of his emotions, feelings, thoughts etc. during matches and angles and as a result he comes across as two dimensional, relative to the other characters on the show.

In hindsight I feel a bit stupid spending so long writing about the future direction of a show that might not even have a future. :?

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by cherrylimeaid » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:29 am

Well first thank you to thecubsfan for getting me to the official merch site. You would think the official website would send me there.

Second to Prince Puma and his mask. I have not ever thought of his mask being taken before this point. But Lucha Underground is planned to be a 7 season, at least, TV show. And each season needs a hook. TV show seasons normally end with an awesome cliffhanger. Sure merch or whatever can be sold 4 or even 5 seasons. For those seasons he can continue to be the focal point. But ending season 5 or 6 I can't think of a better cliffhanger at that point than him losing his mask at the season finale. Lucha does drop the ball at certain points, and at times we think its dropping the ball, like Super Fly losing his mask, they turn it into a wider more thought out story and feud with Sexy Star. Given they plan one or even two seasons around the mask being taken, and Puma's/Riccochet's redemption after it is not doomed to total utter failure/death of the promotion. Then again its not needed. It could be a good tease. A mask vs mask match where he wins. I can see people like thecubsfan glued to their TV shouting at it that Puma BETTER NOT LOSE HIS F'N MASK!!! But even him losing the mask, in a story with a beginning, middle, and end could also lead to big money, and from the American promotions I guess I trust Lucha equally with ROH to do that type of thing well.

Then again, yes, who knows if its coming back.

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:08 am

thecubsfan wrote:I feel like we have this discussion every few months, when a excellent Ricochet match turns up from Europe or Japan. Maybe we need to put on a post-it so it's easier to remember.

Prince Puma is never never NEVER losing his mask. It's not happening. It's not something they'd even consider doing, not even a road they'd consider going down.

LU really likes having great matches, and they like bragging about having great matches. They like their mythos more, and Prince Puma is a central - THE central - figure in that mythos and exposing him as a guy from Kentucky would do tremendous damage to their story. Having the Hero of the story losing the loss that could never be undone is also a pretty bad blow. And all their expanded plans - action figures, cartoons, lunch boxes or whatever - work a lot better if the guy in the middle of Lucha Underground is wearing a Puma mask rather than none at all.

Yes, he's probably better at wrestling without a mask, and it's totally understandable you would trade matches that are a 1/2* better for less off the current plotlines. They clearly didn't feel the same, and have goen even more comic book/super natural in the back half of this season, and I don't expect that to change. Lucha Underground isn't Dragon Gate USA, for better or worse, and the end goal is to sell IP more than matches.

Scenarios where Ricochet would no longer be Prince Puma
- Ricochet does something that makes him unusable (decent chance they just stick the mask on someone else)
- some other toy-etic luchador gets nuclear hot in the promotion, becomes the new center of the promotion, and they get rid of Prince Puma as to not take away from the new guy
- CMLL's Puma King somehow sues Lucha Underground over the name rights and actually wins
- Pumas, the animal, lead an animal revolution. They are put down, but really don't work as a lead face character
- they've actually made it the 7 seasons and have Ricochet wrestle once as a in-joke.

That's about it. No where on the list is "the matches are going to be better!" Even if he started sucking with the mask on, they'd give it to someone else and then stop using the guy who's sucking. The only way Prince Puma is taking off the mask is if there's no more show to use it on.

(Also, I can't make a post without noting it's silly to discuss what LU will or will not do when they don't have any tapings to do anything. Not making any discernible progress on any of those expanded plans has been a pretty clear warning for quite a while.)
Talked about this on the podcast before I read this, but how about the idea that even though he's gotten the biggest push, several others have gotten over more? If they felt Prince Puma just wasn't working, and he fell in the pecking order, do you think if that were the case they would reinvest in the man under the hood, in hopes he could get over at a higher level without it? Especially if another masked face (take your pick) ended up hotter anyway?

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by BoxingRobes » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:12 am

thecubsfan wrote:I feel like we have this discussion every few months, when a excellent Ricochet match turns up from Europe or Japan. Maybe we need to put on a post-it so it's easier to remember.

Prince Puma is never never NEVER losing his mask. It's not happening. It's not something they'd even consider doing, not even a road they'd consider going down.

LU really likes having great matches, and they like bragging about having great matches. They like their mythos more, and Prince Puma is a central - THE central - figure in that mythos and exposing him as a guy from Kentucky would do tremendous damage to their story. Having the Hero of the story losing the loss that could never be undone is also a pretty bad blow. And all their expanded plans - action figures, cartoons, lunch boxes or whatever - work a lot better if the guy in the middle of Lucha Underground is wearing a Puma mask rather than none at all.

Yes, he's probably better at wrestling without a mask, and it's totally understandable you would trade matches that are a 1/2* better for less off the current plotlines. They clearly didn't feel the same, and have goen even more comic book/super natural in the back half of this season, and I don't expect that to change. Lucha Underground isn't Dragon Gate USA, for better or worse, and the end goal is to sell IP more than matches.

Scenarios where Ricochet would no longer be Prince Puma
- Ricochet does something that makes him unusable (decent chance they just stick the mask on someone else)
- some other toy-etic luchador gets nuclear hot in the promotion, becomes the new center of the promotion, and they get rid of Prince Puma as to not take away from the new guy
- CMLL's Puma King somehow sues Lucha Underground over the name rights and actually wins
- Pumas, the animal, lead an animal revolution. They are put down, but really don't work as a lead face character
- they've actually made it the 7 seasons and have Ricochet wrestle once as a in-joke.

That's about it. No where on the list is "the matches are going to be better!" Even if he started sucking with the mask on, they'd give it to someone else and then stop using the guy who's sucking. The only way Prince Puma is taking off the mask is if there's no more show to use it on.

(Also, I can't make a post without noting it's silly to discuss what LU will or will not do when they don't have any tapings to do anything. Not making any discernible progress on any of those expanded plans has been a pretty clear warning for quite a while.)
This is a fantastic post. +rep

As an aside...he doesn't have any real Match of the Year Contenders, but Ricochet as Prince Puma has had a very good run in Lucha Underground with quite a few ****+ matches and, off the top of my head, nothing that would really fall below ***. He's had 11 singles matches so far (with the match against Meal on deck) and a few multi-man types on the resume for Season 1. My only criticism with Puma is that he was probably overexposed a bit as he averages a match every other show. In hindsight, there might have been a bit too much fluff in regards to quantity of Puma (singles) matches on LU TV.

And Lanza...instead of double quoting...a note...the idea of "getting over" in that specific crowd is a bit unquantifiable. We legitimately have nothing to base that on outside of pops to a show with a ton of post production and weird ebb and flow during taping. I get what you're saying and while there may be some validity to it, I don't think it would lead way for them to possibly (second season pending) change course. The writers are strong and considering they tape these in bunches, have a way of staying the course. They did this season for better and for worse.

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Re: The Lucha Underground Thread

Post by thecubsfan » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:38 pm

Talked about this on the podcast before I read this, but how about the idea that even though he's gotten the biggest push, several others have gotten over more? If they felt Prince Puma just wasn't working, and he fell in the pecking order, do you think if that were the case they would reinvest in the man under the hood, in hopes he could get over at a higher level without it? Especially if another masked face (take your pick) ended up hotter anyway?
I think LU cares more about the marketability of their lead face (/protagonist) than maximizing the wrestling ability of the person under the mask. In a theoretical Daniel Bryan situation where someone gets so over to force their hand and Puma's demoted, I think they would still be reluctant to give up the character. I think LU would go down fighting to keep the character relevant and only give it up if there was no other choice.

The travails of Pentagon Jr. show Lucha Underground would not be as quick to react to someone getting over as we'd like (though, weird as this sounds to anyone who only watches LU, they're actually doing a better job with Pentagon Jr. than AAA.) The replacement character would also probably have to be a character created for the series. It's not a coincidence that the Season 1 finale is ending with LU creations Mil Muertes and Prince Puma for the title. They seem to really like Fenix, and rightfully so, but the ceiling seems limited for anyone who's trademark isn't owned by Lucha Underground - and owning "Ricochet" may be particularly tricky, since it was the name of the lead face on the Mucha Lucha cartoon.

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