Six reasons why you should be watching Lucha Underground

Lucha_UnderGround

There is no other wrestling product I enjoy more than Lucha Underground. For those unfamiliar, Lucha Underground is an American offshoot of Mexico’s Asistencia Asesoría y Administración wrestling promotion.

Here are six reasons why you should be watching:

6. Dario Cueto

dario-cueto

There are certain things in life that are irrefutable. The sky is blue. Water is wet. And Dario Cueto is the best heel authority figure in wrestling.

While Prince Puma is the world champion, Cueto is the heart and soul of Lucha Underground. Whether he’s at his desk meeting with talent or coming down to the ring to announce another of his “unique opportunities,” Cueto has the charisma and verbal ability to truly make you believe everything he says. Every segment he participates in is a highlight of that week’s show.

5. Impeccable Production Values

No other wrestling company utilizes slick production values to the extent Lucha Underground does.

When two wrestlers cross paths in the dressing room you know that you’re not about witness a mere throwaway segment. Instead, you’re going to be treated to a piece of footage that drastically advances their storyline.

Even the look of the arena, which is really nothing more than a rundown warehouse, has an aura that instantly sets it apart from any other wrestling venue.

4. No Wasted Talent

Roster

There should always be a clear distinction between the top stars and midcarders in every wrestling promotion. I also believe that everyone should hold some value to the overall depth of the roster.

While there are some good things going on in WWE at the moment it’s hard to not come away with the notion that some guys, like Bo Dallas and Zack Ryder, just don’t matter much in the grand scheme of things.

Prince Puma, Johnny Mundo, Pentagon Jr., King Cuerno, Alberto El Patron, Fenix, Cage and Mil Muertes are some of the biggest names in the company. The next tier of stars consisting of Drago, Son of Havoc, Angelico, Aerostar, Willie Mack and even Sexy Star (a woman) are capable of mixing it up with the top guys on any given occasion.

From the opening bell to the main event everyone is presented as being someone special.

3. Incredible Matches

Remember the days when Monday Night Raw featured some of the best wrestling action of the year in WWE. When reminiscing about some of the truly great matches in Raw history I think back to Bret Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid in 1994, British Bulldog vs. Owen Hart in 1997, the 10-man tag from Dallas in 2000, Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H in 2003 and Michaels vs. Cena in 2007.

The last match of this caliber I can recall on Raw was Cena vs. C.M. Punk in 2013.

When thinking of the really great Lucha Underground matches, some that immediately come to mind are Puma vs. Mundo, Aztec Warfare, Puma vs. Cage, Puma vs. Big Ryck vs. Mundo, Mundo vs. Cuerno, Fenix vs. Drago vs. Pentagon Jr., Alberto vs. Texano and Mil Muertes vs. Fenix.

Each of these confrontations would be considered a PPV-caliber main event in any other promotion, and are among the best matches I’ve seen anywhere over the last six months.

2. Announcing

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Vampiro and Matt Striker are perfectly suited for such an environment as this. Vampiro spent the majority of his active career working in Mexico. He adds great perspective to the in-ring action since his knowledge of  the lucha libre culture comes from real life experience.

While Striker has a reputation for going a bit overboard at times, I find his enthusiasm to be a refreshing change of pace from the robotic announcing we’re accustomed to hearing in WWE. I’d choose Striker any day over an announcer who recites their lines as though they’re a parrot. He’s a true student of the game and it shows in his work.

1. Pacing

It shouldn’t even be possible, but Lucha Underground accomplishes more in its one-hour timeslot than WWE does when cramming everything under the sun into a three-hour episode of Raw.

The major storylines and matches are always given enough time to breathe.

The high level of continuity on display makes Lucha Underground a truly episodic viewing experience. You can guarantee that whatever happens in one episode will be carried over to the next. It’s a stark contrast to WWE where storylines (and even matches) are regularly dropped without any hint of an explanation. The conclusion to every episode leaves you hungry for more.

This just isn’t a sign of a great wrestling show. It’s the sign of a great television show period.

Be sure to check out Lucha Underground every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on El Rey Network. 

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