Lucha Underground: Crossing the Border

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I swear that title isn’t me making a racist crack, that’s genuinely the name of the third episode of season one. Poor Donald Trump wouldn’t be able to watch this episode. Actually he probably couldn’t even watch this show–you know what? Let’s focus on the program.

Let’s start off with our first match of the night: Mascarita Sagrada versus El Mariachi Loco. Right off the bat you can see a very noticeable height difference between Mariachi and Mascarita: the latter being on the shorter side.

Just goes to show, even if your opponent is too short to ride on Space Mountain: they can still kick your butt in the ring. It’s the type of match you probably wouldn’t see on other more mainstream forms of entertainment like WWE: but it provides different fights and storylines to follow. That’s not true, you’d probably see it on WWE, but it would more than likely be a pitiful squash match that’s downright cringe-worthy.

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I mean hell, this is basically a classic David versus Goliath with way more flippy shit and a comedic twist that doesn’t take away from the match itself.

In the end, Mascarita Sagrada wins his match amd is met by Chavo Gueerrero coming down to the ring. Classic Chavo attacks and beats the happiness right out of him; establishing that he’s a bully with an inferiority complex. Or htat he’s a complete scrub, however you want to look at it.

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Now we pause our writing in order for a fashion break. Today’s fashion victim is once again: Mil Muertes. He’s here to bring you the latest in pajama couture. His bottoms belong to the ‘probably would be found in a haunted mansion on the murder victim from 1896‘ line.

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Now Johnny Mundo has a scene which screams classic action movie protagonist. His hallway fight trying to get to Dario Cueto (those poor bodyguards) is a quintessential action movie brawl and fit far too perfectly.

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Aside from Catrina escorting Mil Muertes to the ring, there were no female competitors featured on the program. Does this sadden me? Yes, yes it does. However, I do get it. It’s only a one hour program that’s heavily based on storylines. Perhaps featuring someone like Sexy Star or Ivelisse here would not have fit right in regards to pacing. Perhaps the next episode will show some of these ladies kicking more ass than a donkey.

 

Lucha Underground: The Very First Episode

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When it comes to Lucha Underground I am far behind in what’s going on. Sure, I caught a few episodes of the most recent season and I’ve seen some random clips thanks to the Tube of You; but I’ve neglected the wave of awesome which is: Lucha Underground. Now thanks to Netflix, I can tend to an all new addiction!

YAY!

That brings us to this series, where I start at the very first season of Lucha Underground and work my way to the present.

Let the violence begin!

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Right away the show begins to establish and identify itself as just the kind of entity that it is: which is not your standard WWE programming in the slightest. The pilot weaves together the history and culture behind lucha libre in order to educate viewers; whether they’re seasoned fans or brand new to that style of wrestling.  Hell one of the ways it does this is by having the first ever match on the show feature two legacies/legends of wrestling: Chavo Guerrero Jr and Blue Demon Jr. They too are used to further the history and storytelling aspect Lucha Underground is trying to establish right off the bat.

The entire premise of this program seems simple and is outlined in the very beginning. The point is to be an alternative to what’s out there. They’re unapologetically violent and utilizing a style all their own.

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The first episode also establishes how women are used in their programming. It’s simple: they’re used as fighters that are just as valued as their male counterparts. Through using an intergender match on their very first episode it establishes how different the program is from others, which is incredible. It’s boldly making a statement: that no matter their sex, talent will be used equally and it isn’t using genitalia or gendered stereotypes to depict it (unless of course, you have your occasional misogynistic d-bag, but that’s just a character type, not a booking standard).

From the start it’s making sure the viewers know that female competitors are equal to (or even better) than their male counterparts by having the first intergender match be Son of Havoc vs. Sexy Star. Sure, Sexy Star lost, but not for a lack of trying, and she wasn’t depicted as a woman afraid to go in and fight. She was shown as strong and relentless, and that’s the type of portrayal and representation I can get behind.

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Yes,  the programming is brutal but, it does not try to pretend that it’s not vicious or hide what it’s like.

I’d also like to point out the commentary team, which really is the equivalent of ‘mood music’ for the show. The duo of Vampiro and Matt Striker are holding down the commentary table. I must say–I’m into it. It’s very comfortable, and relaxed. Nothing feels forced, and in fact, it feels like you’re watching the programming with two incredibly knowledgeable friends just shooting the breeze. Their commentary style meshes well with the overall tone of the programming, something which I think is incredibly hard to achieve.

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So far, I’m very pleased with starting this show from the very beginning.