Lucha Underground 1×1 (2014-10-29)

taped 2014-09-06 @ Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California

Blue Demon Jr. submits Chavo Guerrero Jr. [5:15, sharpshooter w/armbar, OK]
Son of Havoc pins Sexy Star [1:32, front backbreaker “with tights pulled”, TOO SHORT TO BE RATED]
Johnny Mundo pins Prince Puma [12:31, “Fin de Mundo” rope flip moonsault tornillo , GOOD]

Son of Havoc clearly didn’t pull the tights, but the backbreaker was good

This format will have to change, because this show’s format doesn’t really fit the Mexico model. There’s a lot more to talk about then the matches with this one.

The vignettes were kind of the stars of this show. The Sexy Star one in particular was great in getting over her character on the show. The Prince Puma introduction was a bit goofy: they’re asking you to swallow a lot of mythology at once (and the “his name is Prince Puma because his spirit animal is a Jaguar” line was so very goofy), but they and the Dario Cueto stuff felt like Hollywood presentations. They’re quite a few steps up from the set that travels from show to show elsewhere. The production quality of the out of the ring segments was a big point of emphasis going in to the show and they delivered on the first show.

Mundo parquer

The match production probably needs to be improved. Some of that is probably going to happen naturally as more episodes roll out: the crowd felt small here and the noise felt fake at times, but there looked to be a lot more people by the end of the tapings. (I hope the not-so-subtle shots of fans giving thumbs down get dropped.) The overhead camera looks good for the start of the match shot but not so useful other times. The matches were edited. I’m guessing Sexy/Cross might have been for quality issues, but it’s going to be interesting to see how that works on shows where all three matches get time and not just the main event. This is a show that probably works a lot better on the DVR, where the commercial break->2 minute skit->commercial break bit doesn’t stick out as bad. It’s the tradeoff for having an unbroken main event, which definitely seemed to be the right call. If there’s one thing I could change, it’s less pointless shots of the announcers.

Puma SSP

The main event was obviously meant as a statement as to the kind of wrestling they’re going to present. As with the other matches, it was all in one unbroken segment, but it was many steps above. It didn’t totally click for me: maybe because it was the second tecnico/tecnico battle of the night with no clear reason to exist, maybe it felt a little bit false when the announcers were raving it as one of the best matches of the year five minutes in and the crowd was chanting for people they didn’t know existed an hour ago – there was excitement, but it felt artificial. The match itself was super athletic with both guys getting to show off what they could do, but also seemed like they’ll be able to do a lot more together once they run into each other a few more times.

450 whiff

Announcing was much better than I feared. I had thoughts this might be a worst of the year quality team, but they were out of the way and didn’t overpower the match. Vamp and Striker occasionally said a goofy thing and Vamp made the presentation of Konnan a bit confused (Konnan was presented as a tecnico elsewhere but Vamp treated him like a heel), but they didn’t detract from the matches and that’s all I’m asking for in 2014.

“fin de mundo”

The announcing sounded like they it was redone after the show was originally taped, but a lot of the sound had that artificial quality. (Obviously, that was on purpose with Son of Havoc.) They did manage to get shots of Fenix, Pentagon and Drago in the show – they didn’t just tape something and stick it on a disk for a few weeks, this felt like a project where they tried to refine what they could after the fact and that’s a good sign going forward. That’s really what I’m taking out of this episode: it was a good starting point and now they’ve got to build from there.

post match didn’t do much for me, but this move was cool

EDIT: I’m typing before I’m thinking tonight, so I wanted to jump back in the post to point out it was kind of silly to do big introductions for both Sexy Star and Prince Puma and then have them both lose. They worked hard to put over Puma despite the loss and it doesn’t concern me as much since I know what’s coming, but most people don’t. Treat your stars like stars.

One thought to “Lucha Underground 1×1 (2014-10-29)”

  1. I thought it was OK. I get Unimas here so might check their version once, but only to see if there’s anything different. Too bad they didn’t air 2 hours to get to the better stuff faster. :(

    Show felt uncomplete, Dario was at AAAMania (no one noticed or cared to report about it!!) and cut a promo, but it was not shown in full, who was the green masked guy and hoodie dude (K and Puma?), Cueto said Jhonny M. disrespected his temple and only cared for fame and money but they forgot to air that skit or what?

    For a show in 2 networks targeting 18-49 males, they did a great job of putting Sexy Star over, athough they seemingly were not using faces nor heels -save maybe for Son of H.. although his pov was somewhat understable-, if there was a missing skit of Mundo (and or some others) being unrespectful Cueto could be a “well intentioned extremist” and trying to thoughen up his guys instead of being pure evil… but we’ll see. Current TV seems to love the post-Lost style of going back and forth thru the timeline so maybe they’ll show some stuff later.

    Even when the AAA stars arrive, I don’t think it will help much to end the “not lucha enough” complaints. It looks like they think that “Lucha style” means “high flying” and that’s it. Beign a new league, they could have explained some of the rules differences and try to introduce the rudos/tecnicos concept instead of that Aztecs mumbo jumbo nonsense.

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