Lucha Underground 1×14: Open Mic Night

always have to be on alert for headkicks on this show

the results

Fenix b Argenis (5:32; “Fire Driver” sit down piledriver)

Johnny Mundo b Son of Havoc (8:46; Fin de Mundo)

Pentagon Jr. b Ricky Mandell (3:41; armbreaker)

the developments

Catrina watched the Fenix match, then licked Argenis. Fenix looked as confused as everyone else. Mil Muertes was upset about this and choke lifted Katrina when she tried to explain it to here. (Catrina didn’t seem to be threatened or unnerved.) Muertes stormed away, and happened on Chavo. Chavo failed to run away, faced off against Muertes, and Muertes beat him into the wall. Muertes said Chavo would get his punishment for taking Demon away from him next week.

Big Ryck, in a confessional booth, told a priest he was coming for the Crew, an “eye for an eye.” Ryck now has an eye patch over the burned eye.

this looked great, too bad it missed

Havoc and Ivelisse were back together. Havoc had a few chances to win, and might have won with his top rope SSP but took way too long and Johnny got his knees up, then hit the Fin de Mundo to win. Cuerno attacked Mundo after the match, dropping him with the Thrill of the Hunt.

Pentagon broke Ricky’s arm, and dedicated it as another sacrifice for his master.

Alberto convinced Dario to give him an opportunity to talk to the crowd. Alberto was introduced as AAA champion and had the belt with him. He spoke of his family and being successful in the US until he was stabbed in the back and disrespected. (A transcript of the interview is here.) Alberto was happy to be with the Lucha Underground fans. Before Alberto could finish his speech, Texano (Jr.) came out of nowhere and attacked Alberto, knocking him down and whipping him with the lasso. Texano declared the championship would be back with him soon.


Catrina couldn’t have been that concerned about Mil Muertes finding out if she went out of her way to flirt with Fenix just a week later. It’s really unclear what’s going on her head in this situation – is she’s really interested in Fenix, is she trying to do motivate Mil Muertes? Fenix is unnerved, Mil Muertes is aggravated, but Catrina’s unphased even when she’s being choked off the ground. She’s the one who needs the backstory vignette now, because she’s operating on a different plane.

another broken arm

Mundo & Havoc was the best match of the week (and the mostly likely one to end up as the YouTube free match.) Havoc got to have a much more complete match than his previous matches – it was really a spotlight for him, with the story of him just screwing it up in the end to keep his losing streak going. There was less story going on with Argenis, but it was likewise a match where the loser got a lot in before the stronger pushed luchador got the win. Argenis hasn’t had many long singles matches himself; even this sub six minute one might have been the biggest.

Striker & Vampiro were better this week! They’re also self aware and making fun of themselves, with Vampiro doing an extended bit of mistaking Ricky Mandell for Rick Martel and Striker noting “I sometimes like to call that move Tanahashi.” Striker was also dropping a metric ton of history in the first match, most of which was accurate. Texano was a completely unknown to the crowd and probably most of the viewing offense, but the announcers established his background and reason for being there quickly. They also acknowledged the crowd getting behind the rudo Pentagon as he broke another arm – a guy being dominant is going to get cheers, and there’s more of that to come.

Texano lets his lasso talk for him

Alberto’s speech, at least in my recollection, was his best ever English language promo. He was excited to be there and had things he wanted to say. There are a couple shots at WWE at the end which ought to get some attention, but tonight’s not the night where the masses are interested in thinking bad about WWE. The promo quickly established Alberto’s role in the promotion. At a lesser level of importance, so did Big Ryck.

This wasn’t the biggest action packed show, but they moved a lot of pieces around for later.

2015 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas: Maximo & Volador vs Bucanero & Terrible + Kamaitachi vs Dragon Lee

CMLL held a (randomly Egyptian themed) press conference today. There were a lot of announcements, but the biggest were the confirmation of the main matches for this year’s Homenaje a Dos Leyendas on March 20th

  • Volador Jr. & Maximo versus Rey Bucanero & Terrible, double hair vs double hair
  • Dragon Lee vs Kamaitachi, mask vs mask.

Those matches had been indicated at least as far back as the 01/31 show. Kamaitachi, like all NJPW trainees, was always going to have a mask match around this time of year and it was just a matter of figuring out who would oppose him. The craziness of the first Dragon Lee/Kamaitachi match locked that in. Rey Bucanero was marked for a big hair loss the moment he got his big hair win over Felino in December. Somewhere along the way, CMLL decided Bucanero/Volador was not a strong enough match to headline this sort of show and added Maximo & Terrible in.

Both matches have fairly obvious outcomes. Dragon Lee & Kamaitachi could be one of the best CMLL matches of the year. The double hair match will attempt to be a great match, but it’d have to be Rey Bucanero’s first great match in a long time. (Shocker did manage to pull off that trick last year.) I’m skeptical H2L will out draw the All Elite show from this past weekend. Rush versus Shocker appeared to be a hotter feud and drew the same number as All Elite.

CMLL’s other announcements included a couple of returns. Rush will return from his leg injury on 02/20, which is quicker than the had been rumored.  Rush spoke with Sombra & Mascara at his side; the Ingobernable group had been saying they’ll expand to a four man unit when Rush is healthy to still include Marco, and now we’ll get to see if that happens. CMLL’s current women’s champion, REINA’s Syuri, will return on 03/28. Japanese women who’ve won the CMLL title in Japan tend to lose it as soon as they return to Mexico, so it’ll be interesting to see who gets set up as challenger. Probably Marcela.

CMLL also announced the return of the Parejas Increibles tournament, to start on 02/20. Assuming a regular schedule, the final will take place on 03/06. Only three teams were announced: Mistico & Ripper, La Mascara & Mephisto, and Negro Casas & La Sombra. None of them are likely to win – the Ingobernables don’t play nice with others and Ripper is Ripper – but it’s notable Mephisto & Mistico were not teamed up. This has often been a tool to set up the Anniversary main match and that seemed to be a (very early) possibility. Perhaps not. This appearance marked Ripper’s first appearance since August; he and Mistico were a team last year too. That’s also a reasonable mask match, though they couldn’t even pretend it to be an Anniversary main event. CMLL Informa added teams of Niebla Roja & Dragon Rojo (fresh off their feud) and Angel de Oro & Hechicero as two more teams. Rush was also announced as being in the tournament, but no partner was announced.

Volador Jr., Mistico and Valiente were introduced officially as the Sky Team. They’re following the Volador Jr., Mistico I/Myzteziz, and La Sombra trio that was known as the Super Sky Team; I guess the new guys are not as super. Mephisto, Ephesto, and Luiciferno were introduced as Hijo del Infierno. Hopefully someone gives Ephesto a new shirt. It took 10 months for CMLL to get around to replacing Averno.

Some of this will air on tonight’s CMLL Informa. It’s a bit insane CMLL didn’t announce the double hair match in front of the All Elite crowd, but it’s consistently insane.

great match roundup, week of 2015-01-03

Good/Great/Excellent matches
Lucha Underground: 2015-01-07
taped 2014-10-05 @ Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California
Aztec Warfare – great

CMLL Guerreros del Ring on 52MX: 2015-01-03
taped 2014-12-23 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
Blue Panther Jr., The Panther, Titán vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Boby Zavala, Mr. Águila: [good]

CMLL on Fox Sports (Mexico): 2015-01-03
taped 2014-12-26 @ Arena México
Máscara Dorada & Negro Casas vs Rey Cometa, Tritón, Sangre Azteca, Delta, Pólvora, Titán, Kamaitachi, Fuego for the CMLL World Welterweight Championship and in a cibernetico match: [great]

Shows Watched But Nothing Worthwhile

AAA on Televisa: 2015-01-03
CMLL on CadenaTres: 2015-01-03

Matches To Watch Later

Panthers/Boricuas, Volador/UG, Lucha Underground

CMLL (TUE) 02/10/2015 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Acero & Aéreo b Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Universo 2000
2) Hijo del Signo, Metálico, Nitro b Leono, Magnus, Molotov
Leono replaced Oro Jr. on Monday.
3) Canelo Casas, Okumura, Sangre Azteca b Soberano Jr., Starman, Stigma
Soberano suffered ankle/knee injury on a Canelo Casas plancha.
4) Kamaitachi b Tritón [lightning]  (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Kamaitachi replaced Lucifern and won in 8:00 with the flying double knee smash.
5) Misterioso Jr., Pierroth, Sagrado b Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther
Panther Jr. beat Pierroth in the first fall in four seconds, but Comando Boricua took falls 2/3. Pierroth used the ropes to pin Blue Sr. Panthers demanded a rematch.
6) Ángel de Oro, Dragón Rojo Jr., Volador Jr. DQ Hechicero, Pólvora, Último Guerrero
UG accidentally hit the ref, put Volador Jr. in Pulpo Guerrero to win, but the ref returned to call the DQ.

Volador & Ultimo Guerrero wasn’t an onscreen feud before but clearly is one now. The Comando Boricua/Panthers feud is more interesting because I’m not sure what match they could be setting up.

Acero & Aereo have won three weeks in a row. They’ve faced Pequeno Universo and a rudo each of those weeks, because there’s not that many rudos. That changed a little but last night, with Pequeno Violencia returning from a serious knee injury to accompany the Boricuas. No word when he’ll return to the ring.

Tonight’s Lucha Underground is listed as “Open Mic Night”. That’s a reference to Alberto el Patron speaking in ring to end the show. One of the clips they’ve released is Alberto convincing Dario to give him that opportunity. It turns out Dario’s not a fan of long in-ring promo segments. No wonder he’s always bored on Mondays.

Alberto appearing in-ring is a pretty newsworthy moment. WWE has a NXT special on tonight. I don’t know if that’s on purpose: WWE probably did not know when Alberto was debuting when they scheduled the special, but it’s certainly in their DNA to do that sort of thing.

There are three matches on this show. There’s a highlight of Johnny Mundo vs Son of Havoc and a still of Pentagon vs Ricky Mandell. Fenix vs Argenis is the third match and will open the show.

If you’re a cord-cutter in the US, there is now a way to get El Rey. SlingTV, an internet based TV provider, is offering El Rey as part of it’s basic $20/month package. Also, people discovered the uVideos page for Lucha Underground also started putting up episodes weekly. The problem is you need to have cable/satellite login to actually see the episodes – if you have valid ones, that means you actually have had Unimas all along, and it’s not a lot of help if you don’t.

uVideos is an easy way to catch up on recent episodes if you’re joining late, but they still need to find a way to get on a Hulu or Netflix or Amazon video so people can catch up even more if they’d like. People are doing those catch ups now, they’re just doing via less legal means where only YouTube makes money.

CMLL has an article promoting their training school; this must have been meant to accompany the video from a few weeks ago. The current trainers are Hijo del Gladiador, Tony Salazar, Franco Colombo, Demus 3:16, Virus and Arkangel. Like the video, this focuses on the Arkangel and his students: Signo, Super Halcon, Hombre Bala, Magnus, Dragon Lee, Boby Zavala are mentioned as successful graduates, and Super Halcon, Isis, Relampago and a new Halcon are pictured with Arkangel. Arkangel says he actually started training wrestlers for Ultimo Dragon at his Toryumon school ten years ago and CMLL brought him over when they heard he was doing a good job. Trainees must be at least 14 years old, need proof of a recent medical exam, two recent photographs, and written permission from their parent or tutor if they’re a minor.

There’s a similar story about lucha libre classes in Arena Coliseo Chihuahua. That’s the building Chicano started in.

Rob has a music video of 10/17/14 CMLL and some thoughts on random matches.

SuperLuchas looks back at Solitario & Coloso picking up a tag win on February 6th, Konnan and the Grundys on the 7th, a UWA Anniversary show and loaded EMLL opposition show on the 8th, a young Black Terry losing his hair on the 9th and a Rayo de Jalisco vs Espanto I mask on the 10th.

RealHero has video of the 01/15 FantasticaMania show, the third day of the tour in KBS Hall.

+LuchaTV has highlights of Mr. Niebla & LA Park vs Dr. Wagner Jr. & Silver King, plus post match interviews of the Wagner’s declaring themselves #1.

Segunda Caida reviews Hijo del Fantasma vs Psicosis II from the Invasion.

Ohtani’s Jacket has more reviews of early 90s lucha.


CMLL (FRI) 02/13/2015 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Divino & Índigo vs El Piraña & Thunder Boy
2) El Brillante & El Tapatío vs El Chakal & Gran Kenut
3) Leo, Magnum, Metatrón vs Demonio Maya, Infierno, Ráfaga
4) Esfinge & Gallo vs Exterminador & Maléfico [OCCIDENTE TAG, #1 Contenders, tournament]
5) Ángel de Oro, Dragón Rojo Jr., Fuego vs Kráneo, Mr. Águila, Olímpico

Either the Rafaga/Sadico team got a bye or they got forgot. Not sure. This would be Gran Kenut’s first match here in about two years and Pirana’s first match in six months.

CMLL (MON) 02/16/2015 Arena Puebla
1) Metatrón, Paris, Tigre Rojo Sr. vs Ares, Fuerza Chicana, Guerrero Espacial
2) Goya Kong, La Vaquerita, Marcela vs Amapola, Dalys, Tiffany
3) Blue Panther, Stigma, Tritón vs Felino, Puma, Tiger
4) La Máscara, La Sombra, Marco Corleone vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Thunder
5) Mistico vs Pólvora

Main event should be around 10 minutes.

CMLL (TUE) 02/17/2015 Arena México
1) Leono & Metatrón vs Akuma & Cholo
2) Astral, Shockercito, Stukita vs Mercurio, Pequeño Olímpico, Pierrothito
3) Marcela, Princesa Sugehit, Skadi vs Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis
4) Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Virus [lightning]
5) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther vs Misterioso Jr., Pierroth, Sagrado
6) Dragón Rojo Jr., Stuka Jr., Volador Jr. vs Boby Zavala, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero

Volador/UG continues, Panthers/Boricuas continues, Virus vs Maya!

CMLL (TUE) 02/17/2015 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Pitbull I & Pitbull II vs Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno
2) Flyer, Omar Brunetti, Star Jr. vs Canelo Casas, Demonio Maya, Disturbio
3) Esfinge, Fuego, Tritón vs Cancerbero, Jocker, Raziel
4) Ángel de Oro, Dragon Lee, Titán vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas
5) La Máscara, La Sombra, Máximo vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys

Pitbulls make their Tuesday returns. Satanico mentioned some of the Guadalajara trainees have been not been working hard to be on the show, which may be related. (I should put a list together of who hasn’t been around when I get a chance.) On the other side, Jocker is suspiciously higher than usual. He made the old Teleformula show once as a fill in back when he was still In Memoriam and had some brief appearances on the La Luchas music video show, but it’d be his first TV match as Jocker.

Main event would be Vangelys’ first match since December 14th, when he suffered a knee injury.

Lucha Underground and the meaning of “luchadors”

I’m going to get the weekend’s Lucha Underground results up eventually. They’re in another window, they’ll be in this window soon enough. Of course, I’m not the only person who goes to these shows and writes about them; there’s another site that has the Saturday results right now. It’s just, the few paragraphs before the results come from a well meaning place and totally miss. Miss so badly that just paced around thinking about it (so I guess they hit something.)

To save you from clicking and being spoiled, the gist of the complaint is all the luchadors lost so the Lucha Underground writers don’t know what they’re doing. (There’s also a specific related complaint about a surprise stipulation match which reveals a bit about the level of knowledge here – if they were as big fans of the people they’re defending, they’d know exactly why that match happened.)

I disagree with the thoughts in that recap. I think the writers know what they’re doing, but there’s a few things going on here that feel like are broader points about where we are with Lucha Underground (and so I can swing this away from just being about someone on the internet being wrong.) Three points I want to make:

Two episodes don’t make a series or even a trend. Unfortunately for this guy, he just missed. If they went to the last show of the last set of tapings, they would’ve seen a couple of masked luchadors in a MOTYC where both came out looking outstanding. If they went to Sunday’s tapings, they would’ve seen a couple of masked luchadors in a MOTYC where both came out looking outstanding. Just unlucky timing on what they wanted to see, but that doesn’t mean the whole show has made any sort of change. Everyone gets their moment in the sun, just not all on the same show and sometimes not on the show you happen to go to.

Angelico is a luchador. Angelico had himself a busy weekend, which maybe we’ll get into more detail later. In that recap, he’s dismissed as someone who won instead of the luchadors. Again, maybe they just didn’t know, and Angelico’s AAA gimmick is partly to be an ‘other’, something different than their typical. Angelico’s still as much as a real luchador as anyone else on that roster. He’s worked hard in tough conditions, he’s sacrificed years of his life to get a break, and he’s feuded with the Pirata Morgan family over a bootleg CD in IWRG. That’s about as luchador as you can get.

Maybe you want to discount that because we’re fans of Angelico. I don’t have the same feelings towards Taya (and I’d assume the feelings are mutual!) and her gimmick is explicitly that she’s not a luchadora but a vile WWE-style diva, but she’s really a luchadora too and I’d defend her as one.

No one’s certified me to decide who does and does not count as a luchador, but I’ve got some simple beliefs about what matters. If you’re a professional, if you make the effort to improve your craft, and if you wrestle in Mexico, you’re a luchador. A mask is nice, but simply being masked does make you a luchador – that’s a false construct of the Mexico lucha TV boom and WCW Nitro. There’s plenty of people in Mexico rings who are wearing masks who aren’t really luchadors, but backyarders taking advantage of an easy barrier to entry. It’s not the mask that makes someone a luchador, it’s the work.

Everyone’s a luchador. No one was more critical of the lack of important AAA guys on the first couple of shows than me. The stuff I wrote here was not even near as harsh as the conversations I had elsewhere. There was just too much bad history of Mexicans being brought into promotions like WWE to be marginalized to extend much trust, and when the first moments of a show led by ex-WWE people featured less Mexicans than planned, those there in subordinate positions, and ex-WWE guy and an indy guy being put over as the top people in what was supposed to be an AAA show, it fed quite nicely into that lack of trust.

That was episode 1. By episode 3, we had the Fenix/Pentagon/Drago three way. From there, Fenix was winning ten matches, Drago was feuding with King Cuerno, and Mil Muertes was the great new character of 2014. Might have wanted it to happen on Day 1 and it wasn’t guaranteed to happen every day, but the AAA guys were treated seriously and respectfully, same as everyone else.

Same is what matters. Same is the place they’re all at. Once everyone’s treated equally, it doesn’t matter who they were or where they came from before all of this. Bael had a different journey to Lucha Underground than Argenis had, than Brian Cage had, than Prince Puma had, but they’re all at this place, and they’re all one group.

I’m not saying you can’t have favorites – the handful of people who can identify me will definitely identify me cheering for Aerostar in April. Just don’t confuse your favorites losing as a systematic bias. I’ve got no doubt the people behind the scenes have a few guys they like a little more – but it’s probably not about what country they work on the others days, but what they can do. Somewhere along the way, maybe when those Aztec drums were being pounded every 90 seconds, it finally occurred to me that there really wasn’t (and hadn’t been for a while) any on-screen distinction between US wrestlers and AAA luchadors. They’re still going to work and look differently, but they’re going to matter the same. They’re all Lucha Underground luchadors now.