TV REPORTS 10/29 LUCHA UNDERGROUND TV REPORT (EPISODE #1): Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo (Morrison), Konnan, Ezekiel Jackson, Vampiro, Matt Striker
Oct 29, 2014 - 9:06:13 PM
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LUCHA UNDERGROUND TV REPORT
OCTOBER 29, 2014
TAPED IN LOS ANGELES, CALIF.
AIRED ON EL REY NETWORK
Announcers: Matt Striker and Vampiro.
Lucha Underground opened with a video package of men fighting in an abandoned warehouse. A luchador appeared and a Lucha masked filled the screen. A brief history of lucha libre and Aztec warriors played and showed how Lucha Underground came to be.
After the video package, the camera looked over the city of Los Angeles and credits rolled for the producers and creators.
The camera enters the arena and the ring announcer welcomes the audience to Lucha Underground. There is an in house band playing music while commentators Vampiro and Matt Striker welcome the viewers to the first episode of Lucha Underground.
The camera cuts to a bird's eye view shot of the ring announcer introducer the owner of Lucha Underground, Dario Cueto.
Dario thanks the crowd and introduces himself as the owner and promoter. He said that he is giving the best fighters a platform to kick ass or get their ass kicked because this not a place where children can cheer for the heroes. Lucha Underground is his personal temple where they honor ancient traditions such as courage, honor, and violence. The lunchador who impresses him the most will get a signing bonus of $100,000 and will receive it tonight. So tonight was their chance to get rich or die trying. He then exited by once again welcoming to the crowd to the show.
[JD's Reax: Very interesting cinematic camera shots not taken in tradition wrestling shows. So far the show has a very distinctive vibe being in a place that looks like an abandoned warehouse. Matt Striker made the distinction that this show is for adults and you won't see young children jumping around in bright shirts.]
First to the ring was Blue Demon, Jr. as he made his entrance coming from the top level of the arena and walked through the crowd. Chavo Guerrero came down the tradition ramp way which looked like a vomitorium in a basketball arena.
1 -- CHAVO GUERRERO vs. BLUE DEMON, JR.
Demon and Chavo locked up early until the ref broke it up in the corner. Both men wrestled on the mat and Demon put Chavo in a head scissors. Both men got to their feet and had a test of strength. Chavo snapmared Demon and put him in a head lock. Demon escaped and gave Chavo a tilt a whirl head scissor followed up by a base ball slide. On the outside Demon grabs Chavo, brings him to the ring and slaps him. Demon took control with a headlock. Chavo escapes and executes a DDT. Demon tossed to the outside, Chavo gives him a cross body. He then brings Demon back into the ring and heads to the top rope only to have Demon knock him off. Demon then heads to the top rope and goes for a front roll but Chavo moved out of the way. Chavo brings Demon to the top rope and attempted a triangle choke but Demon slams him down for a power bomb. Demon locks in a Sharp shooter like hold and Chavo taps out.
WINNER: Blue Demon Jr. at 5:15.
Backstage: Konnan was in Dario's office. Konnan said he wasn't interested in working for Dario, but he wanted the money. He said that Dario will see the best fighter in the world and he is here. Dario said he also has a dangerous fighter named Johnny Mundo. He said he only signed him to make an example of him because he's only here for the money and fame.
Announcers: Matt Striker welcomed the audience back to the arena. He said that this was the first time Johnny Mundo has competed in three years. The camera showed Johnny backstage doing pull-ups. Vampiro then talked about how Prince Puma could be the one to change Lucha. Then a video package aired highlighting Prince Puma training with Konnan. Konnan talked about the importance of the mask to a luchador. He said that Prince Puma goes back to the aztecs and was born to be the best fighter.
In-ring: the announcer introduced the competitor of the second match already in the ring, Son of Havoc. His opponent Sexy Star came from the upper level similar to Blue Demon. Then a video package aired highlighting Sexy Star and her story of why she fights and wears her mask.
2 -- SEXY STAR vs. SON OF HAVOC
Before the match, Son of Havoc said that he would not wrestle a woman and told Sexy Star to leave the ring. She then left the ring and while Havoc was not looking she came back in and stared to beat on his back. Havoc threw her off but Star kept fighting. Havoc missed a moonsault and Star hit a huracanrana on Havoc. Then Havoc countered with a frontward slam. Star gains control and lands a cross body from the top rope on Havoc to a two count. Havoc hits a back breaker on Star and gets a three count by holding the tights.
WINNER: Son of Havoc at 1:46 (Note: the opening bell never sounded and time recorded began from the start of count-out.)
Backstage: Chavo was sitting on a bench when Dario entered and confronted Chavo about his loss. He then made it clear that Chavo would not receive the money and next week an opponent will come and conquer all.
Back in the ring, Johnny Mundo made his way to the ring with an entrance similar to his John Morrison character. Prince Puma then came to the ring with Konnan.
3 -- JOHNNY MUNDO vs. PRINCE PUMA
Both men exchanged kicks back and forth until Mundo knocks down Puma and Puma makes a quick kip up Shawn Michaels style. Both men in arm locks until Mundo takes advantage. Puma escapes and goes for a pin. Both men lock up and Puma shows agility with a back flip on Mundo and a sequence of moves. Mundo escapes the ring and Puma teases a ring dive. Mundo comes back in the ring and launches puma into the ropes. Mundo lands a spinning kick on Puma and Puma leaves the ring. Mundo brings Puma back in the ring and Puma drop kicks Mundo on the ring apron. He then hits a front flip on Mundo jumping over the ropes. Then he put Mundo in a reverse triangle choke. Puma hits a kick that launches Mundo to the outside. Both men brawl on the outside around the ring table. Munda sent Puma into the ring post and the 'This is awesome chants' begin.
Back in the ring, Mundo puts on a headlock shortly and Puma lands a kick so both men are down. Puma takes control and hits a cross body jumping over the ropes. He then lands a standing shooting star press for a two count. Puma brings up Mundo but Mundo takes control in the corner. Then hits a series of clotheslines and a flying spoon kick. Puma goes for a school boy for two. Mundo then hit a kick to the head off the ropes. Puma went for a sunset flip but Mundo countered and Puma hit a flying knee to the face. Puma went to the top rope and missed the 450 splash and Mundo hit the moonlight splash for a two count. Mundo hit a C4 and the end of the world for the pin.
WINNER: Johnny Mundo at 12:33
Mundo celebrated after the match and showed respect to Puma. Dario made his way to the ring with the money briefcase. He congratulated Johnny and said that Johnny earned the money but would not give him the money. Several men then came down to beat down Mundo and Puma. Dario came back to the ring and said not only do luchadors come here but so do fighters.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It feels very fresh to see wrestling presented in a different way. The influences of Robert Rodriguez and Mark Burnett are very apparent. The cinematography of the backstage segment look like something out of a Rodriguez film. The ring action is directed like a TV show. I liked that during the matches there were no commercial, but they would periodically cut to the crowd or the announcers, which looked tacky in this environment. The crowd does not feel organic with their chants and reactions.
Matt Striker did a great job of getting the characters over and articulating the action in the ring. The wrestlers showcased the lucha style well to an audience that may not have seen it before. Dario plays his character well, but I'm very tired of authority figures in wrestling. It feels as though he could get stale quick. Overall, the show was presented well, but parts of it felt very inorganic or 'fake' (ironic for pro wrestling, right?). Lucha Underground is a fun show in a new environment that looks as if it could bring in new fans who are not fans of pro wrestling.
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