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Lucha Tributes: Killshot

Updated on January 21, 2016

Just to show you how bad I am at these intros; I’ve spent like five minutes trying to come up with something clever or even something not so clever that I can make fun of, to say to kick this off. What did I come up with; nothing; nada; zip; cero; the same as the score for Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever on Rotten Tomatoes. Such is life. At least I have these Lucha Tributes to fall back on, which seem to be as popular as AJ Styles these days. And thus begins the question at the beginning of every single one of these (provided you don’t read the title); who’s this tribute for? Well, this tribute is for a veteran of the East Coast independent wrestling scene, a man who fought in some of the most violent spectacles known to man before he came to Lucha Underground and discovered his true face. A face that by the way is pretty damn chill and looks like something the writers/artists of D.C. and Marvel wish they had come up with. Do you have it yet? Probably, but if you don’t, this Lucha Tribute is for Killshot! Lights, camera, DEAN! Sorry, Community is stuck in my head again.

What You Already Know


Killshot, not to be confused with his distant cousin Deadshot, is the guy from Lucha Underground with the really cool mask. Seriously, have you seen that bad boy? If wearing a mask that’s red on one side, white on the other and features a target sign on the forehead that recalls the Bullseye character from Daredevil isn’t cool, I don’t want to be on this planet anymore. Alas we’re moving on. Debuting later in season one, Killshot aligned himself with Big Ryck and Willie Mack as a trios team, and if not for the greatest, most dysfunctional trios team to ever step foot onto this mortal coil, they might’ve won the Lucha Underground Trios Championships. After Big Ryck went after the money and Big Willie went after Cage, Killshot kind of faded into the background, though he did have a solid performance in the Aztec Medallion ten man battle royal as well as some interactions with his evil doppelganger King Cuerno. His fate for season two is unknown, although the Lawrence of Arabia epic that was the season two trailer did show a man dressed in military garb showing off some impressive shooting and combat skills. Is it possible that Killshot is that guy and that he got his name from being a military sniper? Find out on the next exciting episode of LUCHA UNDERGROUND Z!!!! I’ll see myself out.

What You Didn’t Know


As Bill, aka Snake Charmer would say about Superman, the Man of Steel was the true person that he was, while Clark Kent was the costume he wore. Basically, unlike Bruce Wayne (who has to become Batman), Superman is always Superman; he has to become Clark Kent. If we’re to believe that Killshot is the true identity of…well Killshot, then his alter ego would be one Shane Strickland, the (International) King of Swerve! When he’s not being himself in the Temple, Killshot moonlights as Strickland in the independent wrestling circuit, and has since 2011 when he debuted for the Pittsburgh indie Ground Breaking Wrestling. Overall, Strickland’s had a pretty good time; he’s maintained a pretty consistent presence on the East Coast indie scene, wrestling all the way from the states to our friends at Lucha T.O. (that’s Lucha Toronto!), with his best accomplishment being a short reign as VOW (Vicious Outcast Wrestling) Hyper Sonic Champion. I don’t even know what it takes to be a Hyper Sonic Champion, but you must be pretty chill in order to reach such heights. More notably have been Strickland’s appearances for Gabe Sapolsky’s EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA promotions. Though he only has appeared sporadically for them the past few years, Strickland was a regular during 2013, having great matches with indie stars like AR Fox and future WWE United States Champion Kalisto. Super cool stuff.

Killshot as Shane Strickland
Killshot as Shane Strickland

Strickland’s home however was the infamous Combat Zone Wrestling promotion based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A tribute to ECW that somehow is even more violent than ECW could ever hope to be, CZW is best known as the place where the “ultraviolence” genre of wrestling was created, as well as the place that Necro Butcher, Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan and Sami Callihan (among others) scratched, clawed and lost a great deal of blood in. Strickland, debuting in 2012, did the same. In his four years with CZW, he became known for his high flying ability and his feuds with Alex Colon (who he coincidentally wrestled in his first ever match back in GBW), Rick Swann and Joe Gacey. The latter and Strickland was perhaps the most notable feud, as the two fought over the CZW Wired Television Championship throughout 2015, with Strickland ultimately losing the title to Gacey in his second to last CZW match at Cage of Death XVI (note that they did not actually fight in the Cage of Death. Thought you’d like to know). To date, Strickland’s last match for CZW before he assumed his true identity was a win over David Starr at the CZW New Heights show this past July. He is still tied with AR Fox for the second most Wired TV title reigns at two, and is fourth for most days as champion at 266 combined days.


Best Moment


Let me start by saying that I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you check out whatever you can from Strickland’s CZW work. Matches are hard to come by online, but there are two promos from him (one after a match with Candice LeRae and won leading into the match with Gacey from Cage of Death) that are excellent. After this column, go find them. As for Lucha Underground, I think we should go with that match against King Cuerno right? It’s pretty solid, it’s the biggest chance Killshot got at a singles match in the first season and, of course, DOPPLEGANGERS EXPLODE! Because again, Killshot and Cuerno are pretty much the same dude with different mask schemes; well, that and the fact that one is good and one is evil.

Conclusion


It’s no surprise that this section is generally a place where I very kindly wrap things up for the person this tribute is for and predict they’re going to have a nice future. I’m going to surprise you guys here with my praise; I think Killshot might just be a main eventer by the end of season two. There’s no doubt he’ll have his moments for Lucha Underground whether I’m right or wrong on that prediction; Killshot knows what he’s doing in the ring and his friendship with Big Willie will always keep him in the trios discussion (provided they find someone else to hang out with). But man, watching him as Strickland cut those promos for CZW, combined with the potential of the sniper back story being brought into the mix…it leads me to believe there’s something bigger in the works here. Don’t discount the possibility of Killshot becoming a major player for this upcoming season. If anyone is poised to break out, it’ll be him.


And that’s a wrap! Never say never, but unless the mood hits, I’m off for the rest of the day and will be back tomorrow with another Lucha Tribute. Only a few more left! Till next time, how about we get some Smoking Man in on this?!

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