Lucha Underground is a combination of Mexican and US influences and appropriately enough combines wrestlers who’ve mostly wrestled in the United States and Mexico. Those worlds have largely been kept separate until now, so fans are probably familiar with one group or the other but not both. El Rey’s site has helpful pictures; I just have helpful text.
PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW FROM THE UNITED STATES
Johnny Mundo – WWE’s John Morrision back in a full time promotion with a style that might suit him a little better. He’s got a slightly different name, but is playing the same character as in WWE as a face. The big difference is, because of the relatively young/unknown roster, Mundo is the credible experienced guy who’s a measuring stick for everyone else.
Chavo Guerrero Jr. – similarly, a familiar name who’s role here starts as “a familiar name.” Chavo also resumes his role as the last Guerrero who demands respect because of his family name and his career. The preview trailers position Chavo as a somewhat bitter angry heel and that seems to match his actions.
Prince Puma – new name, new mask, but familiar wrestler to US indy and Dragon Gate fans as Ricochet. The Prince Puma character is an Aztec warrior, so his mentor Konnan will probably be a lot of the talking to disguise Puma’s Kentucky heritage. Prince Puma character is also a high flying face, and Ricochet will have that covered. Long time Ricochet fans would probably prefer to see him in just as Ricochet, but this can optimistically been compared to Satoru Sayama getting his own animal mask.
Son of Havoc – indy veteran Matt Cross, who’s been everywhere (including the last season of Tough Enough.) There’s not much known about his character here: he’s masked, he’s a heel, he may be a bit crazy and there may or may not be a “Havoc”.
Cortez Castro, Mr. Cisco, Big Ryck – a heel gang said to be called the Crenshaw Crew in the first show, but people with Lucha Underground implied the Crenshaw name might not have stuck. Castro is better known as Ricky Reyes, Mr. Cisco is Los Angeles wrestler Lil’ Cholo, and Big Ryck is ex-WWE wrestler Ezekiel Jackson (who briefly popped up on TNA a few months ago.) Bael, California’s own B-Boy, seems to end up with the group by the end of these episodes but it’s unclear when he joins up.
Ivelisse Vélez – woman who appeared on the same season of Tough Enough as Matt Cross, has been wrestling in US women promotions and Evolve as of late. Also like Cross, not much is known about her character on the show besides being a heel. Cross and Velez are a team on some shows.
Cage – US indy vet Brian Cage doesn’t show up in matches until the last few episodes of this run and loses half of his name, but immediately gets involved in the main storylines. Not much has been said about his role except for playing the same sort of muscular, super strong guy he’s done elsewhere, this time as a heel.
PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW WHO WRESTLE IN MEXICO
Blue Demon Jr. – son of the original Blue Demon, and that’s his role here too. Demon’s crossed over into the US in commercial endorsements, so he’s another asset as a familiar face among a lot of new names. The Blue Demon mask is an icons of traditional lucha libre, and Demon’s role is to be defender of lucha libre.
Mil Muertes – AAA regular el Mesias, who wrestled in Puerto Rico as Ricky Banderas and in TNA as Judas Mesias. He’s in a different role here as a masked man under the control of Catrina (who wrestled as Maxine in NXT a couple years ago.) There’s a master/slave thing going on here, with Catrina giving victims a “lick of death” before Muertes provides the death. Muertes was very good in AAA for a number of years but has battled injury issues more recently – his first few matches on this show are some of his first back since an elbow injury. A heavyweight in a promotion loaded with smaller faces, Muertes meets the definition of “monster heel.”
Fenix – The Lucha Underground backstory has the promotion’s owner (Dario Cueto, an actor who has not previously been in wrestling and is a non-wrestling characer on the show) buying five contracts from AAA to start his own promotion. Blue Demon Jr., Sexy Star, Pentagon Jr., Drago and Fenix appear not to have much choice in the matter and are just making the best of it. Fenix’s AAA character hasn’t really evolved past “hip hop fan and rising star” and he seems to be about the same guy, but he’s the most likely Mexican wrestler to go from barely known in the US to everyone’s new favorite high flyer.
Pentagon Jr. – Latest person taking up a long time AAA evil character. Pentagon has the presence of an ax murder, and incredible skills for working against high flyers, so he’s a perfect fit for this show. Started off in AAA with constant matches against Fenix; the two are secretly brothers, but that’s never been acknowledged in Mexico’s storylines. Lucha Underground has hinted they might do something with it, and they definitely will end up back in the ring again. It doesn’t seem that Pentagon has a specific story arc in the first block of episodes, but is just generally causing trouble.
Drago – dead dragon reborn to help his new friend, the dancing skeleton. This is by far the best gimmick he’s had in a sometimes strange AAA career. AAA did not end up doing a lot with the skeleton based alliance, but Drago’s settled in as a popular midcard face with a very unique look (and his own mini!) Drago’s dragged into a feud with King Cuerno a few weeks into the series.
Sexy Star – long time arrogant and cruel heel in AAA, Sexy Star is used almost the exact other way on this show. Lucha Underground Sexy Star is still beautiful, but her character is now a tough valiant women who won’t back down to anyone (as if a character out of Robert Rodriguez’ movies.) She probably has the biggest challenge of anyone in remaking her character, while not changing anything else. Sexy Star gets drawn into a feud with Chavo Guerrero early on.
King Cuerno – AAA (& previously CMLL)’s Hijo del Fantasma under a name. The “Fantasma” look is an admitted clone of the newspaper comic strip “The Phantom.” It’s not an issue in Mexico but a no go in the US, so he’s been given an entirely new gimmick for this show. The Cuerno character seems to be an evil hunter, hunting for people. Or dragons. As people do. Cuerno’s improved greatly since joining AAA. He also speaks conversational English, though this will be the first time he’ll be using that for wrestling promos.
This isn’t the complete list of wrestlers. There’s many more US and Mexican wrestlers who turn up during the season, but either don’t have clear roles based on the tapings or are there in a supporting capacity for now.
The announcers for the show are Matt Striker (ex-WWE) and Vampiro (ex-everywhere). Vampiro has had long screen and off screen feuds with Konnan, and it appears like that feud may surface again near the end of the season. Otherwise, there’s no hint of them playing faces or heels.