Lucha Underground Season 4 begins tonight. Lucha Underground has become known for its sci-fi storylines, some of which stretch the entire run of the series and involve many of the characters on the show. Lucha Underground has also become known for a minimal support system around the show; they did post a 4 minute season 3 recap, but it’s a lot more about playing off what you remember than explaining what’s going if you forgot. I need to refresh my own mind maybe I can help you do the same.
QEPD Dario Cueto?
The most important character on Lucha Underground the last three seasons has been the owner of the promotion, the violence-addicted boss Dario Cueto. The violence caught up to him in the final moments of Season 3, where he’s shot at and appears to be dying as the season ends.
Cueto has been wrapped up the overarching behind the scenes mythical narrative of the series. On one side are the Order, trying to take over the world, including Councilman Delgado (deceased via Cage super-powered punch) and Agent Winter. They’re working on the behalf of Azteca god-like beings and looking for strong bodies to place the spirit of those gods in. Those gods are responsible for Matanza’s monster-like ways (in something that happened prior to the series start.). A man in a limo has been shown at times during the last two seasons and appears to be another god awaiting Dario Cueto to find him a strong body to put him in. It suggests that the Order will achieve their goals if they can get this done, that they’ve been funding Cueto all along to help this process all along, and the pressure was on him to deliver.
Cueto spent much of season 3 working towards this goal before it all went wrong. Cage & Texano had a best of five series. They believed it was for something like a title shot when Cueto just wanted to see which one would be the better host body. Cage was given the Gauntlet as a prize. The gauntlet increased Cage’s strength while addicting him to the power and preparing him for the god take over. There much less explained people trying to stop this God takeover, and – in something to explained another section – they convinced Catrina to get Mil Muertes to take gauntlet. Jeremiah Crane also got involved, wanting Catrina for himself and deciding to go after the gauntlet as a way of getting to her. Cueto’s plan was to do the God takeover of the person with the Gauntlet at Ultima Lucha 3, and thought it would work with any of Cage, Muertes, or Crane wearing it. Muertes did win the Gauntlet but was attacked after the match by the returning King Cuerno. Muertes had destroyed Cuerno at the end of Season 2 and had not been seen since. Cuerno took the gauntlet for himself, messing up Cueto’s plan.
Dario assured Agent Winter he’d still find a way to get a host body for the god. It wasn’t good enough. Winter shot Dario twice. Dario’s last act was to call his father. The third season ended with Dario dying. The teasers for the fourth season show a funeral for Dario. The footage they have shown so far has shown a casket, though not Dario inside it. Dario’s father Antonio Cueto is introduced. Antonio Cueto is the same actor as Dario under a wig and makeup, and we’ve been left to wonder if it really is “Antonio Cueto” or if Dario has faked his death.
The trailer to this season points on the Order storyline playing a big role. The trailer is also focused on the outside of the ring vignettes, where the vast majority of this storyline has taken place, so we have gotten a distorted view. The opposition to the Order is meant to be the Seven Tribes uniting. The trailer instead seems to feature a lot of lone actors working against the Order.
I’m struggling to remember which tribe is which. Here’s what I can come up with some googling. I am sure I am misrembering something. This is the section most likely to get a correction or five in the comments.
- ??Deer???: King Cuerno
- Rabbit: Paul London, Mala Suerte, Saltador
- Moth: Mariposa & Marty
- Reptile: Kobra Moon, Daga, Drago, Vibora,
- Dragon: Dragon Azteca Jr. (& Rey Mysterio)
- Jaguar: Prince Puma & Night Claw
- ??Death??: Mil Muertes, Catrina
Only the Rabbit, Moth and Reptile Tribe have been focused on. The Dragon & Jaguar ones have been quickly mentioned but have never really been billed under that name as an important group. And the Deer & Death ones are just looking at images and guessing. I guess Death could just as easily be Penta and Vampiro.
If the big goal of the series is to unite all seven tribes, we ought to be getting a new Jaguar tribe member so they can be united with. It’d be nice to see Night Claw again, but I don’t think we’re getting that in Season 4.
With no brother to keep him, the monster Matanza Cueto‘s whereabouts are unknown. It was an otherwise successful season for the scariest wrestler in Lucha Underground. The only person who’s pinned him so far was Rey Mysterio. Matanza later destroyed Mysterio, and the last shot of Rey we saw was him being trapped in a cell-like Matanza. Dragon Azteca Jr. believed Matanza killed his father. Matanza did not and beat Azteca all the same. Black Lotus first believed the Azteca had killed her parents, then figured it was Dario Cueto. She was right the second time and got taken out by Matanza all the same.
Matanza without Dario Cueto is probably someone getting into a lot of trouble and not surviving, but Matanza’s father taking over might help keep the monster in control. Or it might not be so great for him. Dario’s said that Matanza actually killed their mother, and we don’t know how Antonio feels about that.
The wrestler playing Matanza is widely expected to be leaving Lucha Underground following this season, so this year might not go as well for the character.
Pentagon Dark, champion
The only singles champion going into Season 4 is first-time champ Pentagon. He defeated Prince Puma in the culmination of a season-long swerve with Vampiro. Pentagon & Vampiro appeared to break up at the end of Season 2, something that now appears to be a planned violent separation so Puma would trust Vampiro to mentor him. Puma still didn’t seem to like the idea, though Vampiro was able to persuade Puma to face his old rival Mil Muertes in a casket match. The loser of a casket match is dead in Lucha Underground canon, but apparently, death was not enough for Vampiro. Vampiro brought back Puma from the dead as a now more willing student, though he tried to keep his role quiet in front of the fans. A new darker Puma defeated Muertes, won the Cueto Cup and defeated original rival Johnny Mundo to win the Lucha Underground championship in a career versus title match.
Pentagon, with special permission from Dario Cueto, immediately cashed in the Gift of the Gods title for a Lucha Underground championship match. Cueto also made it a career versus career match. Puma fought valiantly despite his arm being broken in the opening minute and lost only after Vampiro betrayed him. Puma left the Temple forever, dropping his mask on the ground on the way out, while Pentagon reigned as champion. Matt Striker strongly condemned Vampiro for his actions on commentary, in such a fashion where it seemed unlikely Vampiro would remain his partner on the broadcast. However, the indication seems to be they’re back calling matches together at the start of the season.
A post-match vignette revealed evil mentor Vampiro had his own mystery evil mentor. The person in that role in that scene was Bestia 666. The character is expected to be a part of Season 4, but Bestia himself has left the series. It’s unclear if/how this loops back into the Order storyline.
This sequence of events means the Gift of the Gods championship is vacant. That means the promoter- Antonio now – can start handing out coins once to determine a new champion as soon as the first episode.
New Trios Champions
The Lucha Underground Trios champions seem to swing between factions of rudos and unlikely tecnico partners. They ended the season back on the latter. Dante Fox and Killshot spent most of the season in an intense feud. Both had been taken prisoner while in the military, Killshot escaped, Fox was left behind until others rescued him. Fox believed Killshot left him behind, while Killshot has said he never even know Fox was there. Fox was billed as the rudo, but they seemed to regain a respect for each other after an enormously brutal Hell of War match.
The Mack, Killshot’s friend from Season 1, had earned a trios title shot by winning a battle royal. He picked Killshot & Fox as partners. Fox didn’t seem comfortable in that corner at first, but the team gelled enough to win the trios titles to close out their season.
They defeated the Reptile Tribe to win the championships. That cost that team more than the belt. Kobra Moon is leading the tribe as Queen during the season, with Vibora, Pindar and an unwilling turned mind controlled Drago as her soldiers. Pindar was responsible for the loss. The last scene of the group saw a returning Daga (hadn’t been seen since Season 2, where he had a strange relationship with Moon) beheading Pindar with a sword in a bit of loyalty to Moon.
Moth Tribe Split
The Moth Tribe is having its own issues.
Marty Martinez‘s creepy behavior towards Melissa Santos blew up into full-bore stalking and jealousy towards Fenix, who was actually a couple with Melissa. Marty’s sister Mariposa got involved, not always successfully. Fenix, with help a little help from Marty, was able to save his mask and take Marty’s hair in a big apuesta match at Ultima Lucha. Mariposa also betrayed Marty in the match, but those two seem to break up and get back together enough that it’s unclear if this is a new permanent status quo.
Catrina has a lot going on
Everyone’s favorite ghost Catrina is over 200 years old, but also functionally immortal. That comes from the half of an amulet she wears around her neck that stops her from aging, though she complains it leaves her “halfway between life and death” (like a ghost!) She’d like to have the other half of that amulet to be fully alive and knows who has it. That’s where the problems start.
Detective Vazquez, a character previously seen primarily in bits involving undercover police offers Cortez Castro & Joey Ryan, was revealed to be wearing the other half of the amulet. She’s apparently the same person as a girl briefly seen a thousand years ago wearing the full version of it. She’s on a mission to stop the Order at all costs. And, Detective Vazquez is Catrina’s mother. They have a strained relationship.
The circumstances of how the amulet got split and how Catrina got half of it are unrevealed. What we do know is Vazquez was willing to give up her half (which might also cost her life) if Catrina and Mil Muertes were able to retrieve the Gauntlet to stop the Gods from coming. Catrina is unconcerned about the Gods, but wants the amulet – even though they didn’t get the Gauntlet on the first try, it gives her plenty of reason to keep trying.
Jeremiah Crane was introduced to the series as Ivelisse‘s girlfriend. His actual motivation seemed to be using Ivelisse to get access to the Temple, and to find Catrina there. Crane has known Catrina since they were both children, which means Crane is also near 200 years old. (His source of immortality hasn’t been explained.) Catrina is not interested in Crane romantically, to Crane’s increasing frustration.
Catrina and Ivelisse had a match at Ultima Lucha, based on Catrina costing Ivelisse’s her match at Ultima Lucha 2 and a war of words earlier. Ivelisse suffered an injury early on and disappeared for about 30 episodes, so the feud never developed. Ivelisse finds out about Crane’s feelings for Catrina before the match and violently dumps him, then beats Catrina. Crane attacks Ivelisse after the match, either because of the breakup or to impress the uninterested Catrina.
Besides all this, Catrina is spotted watching Fenix & Melissa leave after Ultima Lucha. She seems to still have feelings for Fenix after the season 1 affair. Crane is watching all three of them.
More Minor Storylines/Placekeeping
- the Rabbit Tribe spent the season convinced Mascarita Sagrada was their mystical White Rabbit. He insisted he was not. Sagrada did tell London, Mala Suerte and Saltador he’d lead them to the real Rabbit at the end of the season.
- Ricky Mandel changed his name to Ricky Mundo to suck up to Johnny. It worked, only in the sense that he was designated screw up for Worldwide Underground. A weirder Ricky plotline involved Dario getting photos of some mysterious evil dolls, which kept reappearing on his desk when he tried to throw them away. Ricky was suckered into taking the photos instead. It was never mentioned again in Season 3, but those dolls show up a lot in the trailer.
- Aerostar‘s attempts at freeing Drago from Kobra Moon’s control have only led to Aerostar getting his arm broken. Aerostar’s time-traveling powers still come up, and we know he’s in Lucha Underground to counter the order, but he hasn’t acted on it much to this point.
Danging Plotlines Involving People Who Aren’t Around But Are Still Supposedly Going To Be Resolved
- someone kept sending Sexy Star spiders. She didn’t like spiders. She thought it was various people. It was not any of those people. The season ended with Sexy Star getting another spider but no real movement. Lucha Underground writers have said multiple times that this will be wrapped up in some fashion.
- Rey Mysterio was locked in a cell at the end of the season. He got out in time to appear in multiple Royal Rumbles but we may be missing something in between.
- Texano Jr. got a boring storyline where he was told he was boring and lost a match to Dr. Wagner Jr. to end up as a Famous B client. I’m not really sure if either the Mexicans made it back for Season 4.
People Who Were Around But Don’t Have Much At The Moment
- Johnny Mundo was a big part of Season 3, but there’s not a lot going on with him as they come into Season 3 because his feuds aren’t around. Mundo won the title from Sexy Star, who wasn’t around. Mundo lost the title to Prince Puma, who’s gone. Mundo lost the title in part due to a returning Angelico, who is gone from the series. He also feuded with Rey Mysterio, who’s not expected back. Jack Evans and PJ Black are still his henchmen and similarly unencumbered by any storyline.
- Taya made a documentary celebrating Mundo. It was great. I assume her Season 4 storyline involves acceptance speeches for various Oscars. She also lost to Sexy Star, but Sexy Star no longer exists so we are moving right along.
- Son of Havoc feuded with a doppelganger named Son of Madness in a bit that didn’t work. Madness doesn’t seem to be returning, or at least there’s no sign of that character.
- Undercover cop Joey Ryan exposed Cortez Castro as another undercover cop spying on Dario Cueto and his connection to the Order. Dario teased revealing the Castro as police in public. Also, Castro & Ryan did have a police-themed blowoff match that only really made sense if you knew they were police. I guess technically Castro’s cover was never blown and now Dario’s now around to expose him. Castro eventually found out he was sent there by Vazquez more to stop the Order than Cueto, so there might be a motive for him to stick around in some fashion. There’s no obvious one for Ryan at the moment.
- Argenis and Vinnie Massaro were also around Season 3 at times, usually just to lose painfully. Massaro found his way into more skits. Argenis had his arm broken by Pentagon and his head sliced open by Marty the last couple of times we saw him. Like all of the lower level Mexican talent, it’s unclear if he was back in season 4. Massaro is definitely part of Season 4, though I fear it will not go any better for him.
- Pimpinela Escarlata returned at the end of season 3 for a single battle royal but wasn’t used in a segment. We know it was a long process to get Daga cleared to return to the US. I suspect it was the same for Pimpi, and so the match was more a payoff for that, and maybe even hope they’d be taping again soon enough that the work visa would still be valid. That didn’t work out.