The Ten Best Lucha Underground Moments
I miss Lucha Underground. Who doesn’t though, right? After thirty nine weeks of great wrestling, outstanding stories and more jaw dropping moments than the last decent M. Night Shyamalan movie (THE COMEBACK IS ON!), life without the LU has become like the two seasons of Joey; sad with a feeling things are going to be sadder. Fear not though Lucha Kliq. While we are still awaiting an announcement on season two, I have all the faith in the world it will eventually arrive, even if it takes longer than we hope. Till then, let’s continue to look back on the greatness that was season one. And after looking at the best matches the show had to offer a few weeks ago, I thought I’d take a look back at the best moments of Lucha Underground, season one. Good idea? Good idea. I’d explain the rules to this, but you know the drill; I picked ten moments, it’s just a matter of opinion, blah blah blah, pass the Surge soda and get on with it already. So let’s get to it. ON WITH THE SHOW!
10. Aerostar Being Aerostar
It took a last ditch effort at Ultima Lucha to get here, but the most underrated man in the Temple managed to crack the top ten. Those who have checked out the Intergalactic Maniacs video resume know that he can get a bit crazy, whether it be his deadly suicide dive or the fact that he likes to jump to the ring all the way from the rafters. This may not be at the level of some of those, but hot damn is it close. I mean, we’re talking about a really high jump here. Like, Dave Chappelle in Half Baked/Joseph Gordon Levitt in The Walk high (note that these two things don’t mean the same thing!). Not only does Aerostar get ridiculous air, but most importantly, he sticks the landing. Which I guess isn’t good for the people below, but who cares?! A great move by the ultimate Power Rangers cosplayer. Can we just call him Mighty Morphin Aerostar from now on? He’s gonna fly out and nail me with one of those moves next, isn’t he?
9. Havoc Dumps Ivelisse, Gets Over the Hump
Here’s one of those old familiar tales we all know and love. Boy gets girl, girl annoys the fuck out of boy, boy ends up turning into the Cleveland Browns of wrestling and boy ultimately wises up, kicks girl to the curb and finds himself once more. It’s like Ready to Rumble, without the embarrassment. In all seriousness, even though months have passed since Son of Havoc dumped Ivelisse and defeated Angelico to regain his mojo, this moment stays with me. It wasn’t just because it worked in the moment, it’s because we all got to watch Havoc go from a serial loser heel to being the LU’s Daniel Bryan (with a mask of course). Nothing could be better proof of how well LU’s storytelling worked than Havoc coming of age in this match. Perhaps best of all though, this turned out to be the beginning of the most beautiful friendship in wrestling. And yes, the world’s most beloved Trios team are all friends. I don’t care if Angelico, Ivelisse and Havoc are out arguing somewhere while Jack Evans break dances to the Mortal Kombat soundtrack in the background.
8. The Dropkick
You know how Angelico was mentioned frequently in the last entry? Get used to it; he’s about to be talked about a few more times, starting with the second of three death defying leaps he would make throughout season one. This one, which occurred during a ladder match for the Trios Titles, is by far the toughest of them. And look, I’m not knocking either crossbody Angelico did; they need a lot of air, and they sure as hell look pretty in the moment (especially the way Lucha Underground filmed it). But come on, you’re not topping the degree of difficulty of this dropkick. Angelico had to come in at a much lower trajectory for this move, and easily could’ve either broken his neck, missed good old Cortes Castro on the ladder or broken his neck (worth mentioning twice because he legit could’ve broken his neck). That he got every aspect right is amazing. I haven’t seen something this tough handled so easily since Jake Arrieta’s last start. Well, now counting the other Angelico dives. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
7. Drago is a Dragon!
Look, when you have a segment where a beloved hero has been banished from the Temple, followed by him saying “we’ll meet again” to El Jefe in the most bad ass way, followed by him then TURNING INTO A DRAGON AND BREATHING FIRE…I mean, how can this not be in the top ten? I’m not sure what’s more impressive; that this actually happened, or that this was handled so well. No offense to any other wrestling company, but if they tried to do something like this, fans would be out quicker than L.A. Park bolting CMLL. Hell, didn’t WWE try and fail to do this with Ricky Steamboat at one point? I don’t know how the LU managed to make this work as well as they did, but credit to them and Drago for creating such a memorable moment. It was so good, not even Aerostar turning into a rocket at the end of the season could top it. And that was pretty chill. There were sparks and everything!
6. Alberto El Patron’s Speech
Tyson Kidd fact; getting released for whatever happened that day in WWE catering was the best thing to ever happen to Alberto El Patron. Not since Charlie Hunnam bolted Fifty Shades of Grey has there been an escape so well done. Gone from a company that clearly didn’t mix well with him (through fault of neither entirely), El Patron was able to return to his comfort zone and become arguably the biggest star in lucha libre right now. This speech, his second appearance in Lucha Underground overall, is proof of how far he’d come in such a short time. It’s got energy, it’s got passion, it’s got anger, and it made El Patron look more charismatic in five minutes than he looked in over five years. Best promo of his career? I’ll let you be the judge. Without a doubt though, the best non Pentagon Jr. promo and best El Patron moment of season one. No, going through the window doesn’t count. That was a bad thing that happened to him. By the way, isn’t it amazing how that didn’t make this list? TNA would kill to have someone go through a window right now.
5. Fenix Goes Through the Roof
Yet another great Lucha Underground moment that took place on a roof. How many of those did we have again? And no, in case you’re wondering, I’m not above quoting plays that have the word roof in the title in this instance.
As for poor Fenix, well, poor Fenix. Not only does he go through a roof here, he doesn’t even get to go through the roof of El Jefe’s office, where most of the roof action in season one took place. Here, he gets put through the roof of what appears to be a random closet right near the announcers table. Tough break. Despite that, I can’t say enough about how cool this was. For one, it made Fenix look like a badass, as it was the only way Mil Muertes could actually put him away (and make no mistake; you’re a badass if defeat only comes to you from powerbomb through roof). And most importantly, this was the moment that launched Immortan Mil into the badass Hall of Fame. This man made this moment, from the powerbomb to his mannerisms right after it. Just great stuff, and truly the moment where Mil went from that dude who lost Grave Consequences to the Beast King. Can we finally admit we’ve really underrated this Death Match?
4. Grave Consequences
This is one of those Dude, Where’s My Car? situations. In short, I’m talking about the whole match. And how can I not? Like the mall Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues wrecked back in 1980, this match had anything. It re imagined the casket as a weapon. It turned Fenix from an upcoming star into a star. It began the reinvention of Mil Muertes from potential badass to Immortan Beast King Mil. It had Catrina playing both sides of the fence to perfection. I can go on and on forever; monitors busted, people’s heads being bitten, masks being torn, MASS HYSTERIA! Get the picture? I can’t wait till the end of the year when we can all go back and reminisce about how bloody awesome this match was. And yes, I still think it was only the second best during the LU’s run. Send your hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or @TakeoverTO.
3. GET THE LIGHTTUBES!
Speaking of the best match of season one, we’ve reached the Vampiro-Pentagon entry! And hey, you could really go any way here with this match, even if you don’t think it was the greatest. It was a bout filled with outstanding moments, but perhaps no more memorable than when the two pummeled each other to oblivion with florescent light tubes. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s not something you see every day. In fact, the only time I’d heard of florescent tubes being used in wrestling was in the backyard matches my buddy used to take part in as a 13 year old (somehow, he’s a healthy adult today, though he’ll deny it to protect his image). I guess that’s what makes it so perfect and memorable for this match. It brought a whole new level on how far both Vamp and Pentagon were willing to go to reach their goals, how much violence they were willing to inflict. Just pure gold. Then again, what about this match wasn’t? Let’s now go live to my reaction to it, if not the internet’s.
2. Matanza Killed a Guy
Dare I say the most shocking moment in wrestling this year? I mean, let’s be real; Matanza killed a guy. Not literally of course, but still. The only other times in wrestling history I can recall that is when Muerte Cibernetica was thrown into a “volcano” during an AAA show in 2007 (Cibernetica would later be reborn as El Mesias, who would eventually become Mil Muertes. Death clearly agrees with that man). Beyond that, nada. So for the LU to pull this off, and pull it off decently, was not only shocking, but…nope, can’t think of another world. My favorite part of this segment is both El Jefe’s wonderfully nonchalant reaction to it all, and the mystery of whether Matanza grinded poor Bael into viscera or if he ate him. I’m going to say he did a little bit of both. Hey, when you’re a mysterious monster who’s identity haunts my very dreams to this day, you can do whatever you want. I STILL NEED TO KNOW DAMMIT!
1. The Crossbody
What did you think it was going to be? Seriously? I’ve written about this moment time after time after time this year, and frankly, it’s almost tough to wax poetic about it at this point. I can tell you how this was, without question, the spot of the year in wrestling, and I don’t think anyone would argue (except Ivelisse. It’s still “just a crossbody” to her dammit!). I can go on about how it turned Angelico from a semi-known midcarder into one of the rising prospects in wrestling. I can go on and on and on, like the Journey song. Whatever way you slice it, this moment was special, with a capital S.
I think what I’ll always remember about this moment, aside from how epic it was and Vampiro running around ringside like Coolidge College celebrating Van Wilder graduating, is that I actually got to see it as it happened on TV. For numerous reasons, I was usually a day late in catching a Lucha Underground episode. Not this one; I saw it from beginning to end on El Rey, including this spot. And man, did that make it even better. It was shocking, breathtaking…really just flat out unbelievable, all at the same time. We’ve seen numerous high impact spots over the years, but even though there may be several a few spots higher than this one, I can flat out say I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s without a doubt the best thing I’ve seen in wrestling this year, and without a doubt the best thing Lucha Underground produced. Perhaps most importantly, this was the moment that really got people’s attention about the promotion. Grave Consequences may have opened eyes, Vamp-Pentagon may have told a great story and Ultima Lucha as a whole may have been a juggernaut of a show, but Angelico’s leap was the moment I knew Lucha Underground had arrived. The best of the best, even if it didn’t hurt as much as the dropkick.
That’ll do it dudes and dudettes. I’m off till later. Don’t know what will be next, but I’m sure it’ll be pretty rad. Till next time, #NetflixNeedsLucha. DUCHOVNY even said so.
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