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Lucha Tributes: Willie Mack
If you missed any of the previous Lucha Tributes, click below to check them out!
It’s time! It’s time! It’s cutting to the chase and not rambling on with a pointless sentence because it’s Lucha Tributes…time. Man, I’ve got to work on my intro skills. Anyways, we have yet another Lucha Tribute upon us and this one is a good one. Well, all of them are good, but this one continues the trend of quality. This Lucha Underground star is, in my opinion, one fantastic performer, a dude who loves wrestling so much he would take several bus rides as a kid just to see local wrestling shows (Xtreme Pro Wrestling) in his area. Now, he finds himself as one of the best pro wrestlers on the planet in one of the hottest wrestling promotions on the planet. This is why we can have nice things! So without further ado, I give you the Lucha Tribute for the Governor of California Wrestling, the one and only Willie Mack!
What You Already Know
Blessed with the look of a laid back, fun loving dude and some of the most unbelievable athleticism ever put in a human body, Big Willie Mack (can I call him Big Willie Mack?) has become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, stars in the Californian indie scene. His original claim to fame was a run with Pro Wrestling Guerilla (a promotion he was a fan of prior to joining) from 2010-2014. During that run, he only did things like beat Kevin Steen (aka Kevin Owens), form a tag team with El Generico called 2 Husky Black Guys, retire Chris Hero from PWG (so what if it didn’t stick?!) and have an excellent feud with a certain dude named Brian Cage. Sounds familiar right? Oh, I almost forgot; Big Willie was also a frequent tag team partner of B-Boy, who would go on to be Bael in Lucha Underground. Because of course he was; I’m fairly convinced everyone in wrestling has teamed with Bael at this point, if only so the list of people who mourned his mysterious and totally unsolved disappearance would be astronomically large. Well played Bael, you poor bastard.
Speaking of Lucha Underground, why don’t we talk about Big Willie and the LU? Much like Jack Evans, Big Willie (known as The Mack in the Temple) was a late arrival to Lucha Underground, but man was he a vital one. In just a few months of action, Big Willie quickly became a force in the Temple, nearly winning the Trios Championships with Killshot and his cousin Big Ryck before going on to feud with, you’ll never believe this, Cage. I swear, they can’t escape each other. In fact, the last we saw of either Cage or The Mack was at Ultima Lucha, where the two engaged in a Fury Road esq street fight that might be the most fun I had watching wrestling in 2015. Sadly for Big Willie, he lost via curb stomp through cinder blocks; not a nice way to go. Hey, there’s always next year.
What You Didn’t Know
In order to conquer the California wrestling scene, one must do more than just reign supreme in the Temple or the house that Super Dragon built (and is now trying to destroy because WHY DRAGON WHY?!). Big Willie has done just that. Since debuting in 2007 for the Alternative Wrestling Show, he’s been a consistent, high profile name having big time matches all across America’s most laid back state not named Colorado. Aside from LU, PWG and AWS, he’s had stints in Empire Wrestling Federation, reached the finals of the 2015 King of Indies tournament (which you should get on DVD. Just saying), Match One Pro Wrestling, SoCal Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Revolution (where he’s one of half of the PWR Tag Team Champions with Ultimo Panda. Great name by the way), Lucha VaVoom (somewhere, Kevin Kleinrock just got excited!), Santino Bros. Wrestling; pretty much, if you have a wrestling ring out in California, Willie Mack has wrestled inside it. You might as well call him the Governor of the damn state. While Big Willie does love Cali though, he hasn’t just been exclusive to the state. Indeed, he’s had matches for other high profile indies like Ring of Honor (where he lost to Silas Young), Gabe Sapolsky’s EVOLVE, AAA, The Crash and even the Insane Clown Posse’s Juggalo Championship Wrestling. I’m now having flashbacks to the time Vampiro and ICP were the only entertaining things about WCW in the late 90s.
Of course, the biggest aspect of Big Willie’s career is the fact that he kinda sorta almost was a member of the WWE. You may recall slightly that WWE and Willie came to terms on a developmental deal back in September of 2014; it was far enough along that he would have a farewell match at PWG in late August (sadly, Big Willie hasn’t returned since that show as of yet) and was scheduled to head down to the Performance Center. As you can tell, that clearly never happened, and the deal between the two sides was torn apart almost immediately as it was put together. Very Taya Valkyrie esq it would seem. What ended up happening? According to Mack, they just ended up deciding not to use him, though it was suggested the company wasn’t a fan of his look or were scared off by something found in his physical (though PWInsider reported Mack had taken and passed all his tests prior to signing). Whatever it was, the WWE’s decision turned out to be a huge gain for Lucha Underground in the end, so I won’t complain. In fact, perhaps I should even send Vince McMahon a thank you card. Wonder if they sell any with Roman Reigns pictures down at the market.
But wait; there’s more! As it turns out, everything Big Willie has done pales in comparison to what might just be the greatest thing in the history of time. What am I talking about? I’m talking about Big Willie’s YouTube cooking show; Cooking Shit in the Microwave with Willie Mack. That’s right; this is a real thing that actually happened years ago, where Big Willie would film himself cooking stuff in a microwave with a special guest. I have seen greatness in my days dudes and dudettes, but let me tell you that you haven’t lived till you’ve seen this show. You will laugh, you will laugh and then you will likely laugh some more. The lesson, as always, is that the most entertaining things are people just not giving a shit and having fun on the internet. Like this episode featuring Paul Burchill’s kayfabe sister and two dudes fighting in Willie Mack’s house (is it his house? WHO CARES?!).
Besides the cooking show?! There is only one other correct answer here, and that’s The Mack vs. Cage, Street Fight, night one of Ultima Lucha. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer and you’re just overall going to have a damn good time watching this match. There may even be a call back to a certain former famous wrestler from the Attitude Era that happens to be a Lucha Underground fan. As Joliet Jake would say, it’s got everything!
When I think about Willie Mack, the first word that pops into my head is unique. Because the fact is, he’s truly one of the most unique talents out there in wrestling, not just Lucha Underground. While Kevin Owens has shown that bigger guys can be just as athletic as the smaller high flyers on a big stage, Big Willie has taken it to a whole new level. He is just as athletic, just as high flying and just as capable in the lucha style as most of the LU roster; and he’s almost 300 lbs!. Frankly, I don’t think we’ve seen the half of it yet. You have to remember that while Big Willie was great in Lucha Underground’s first season, he didn’t start appearing until after the midway point and it wasn’t until the end that we started to see him featured in singles competition regularly. Now that he’ll have a full season to show what he can do? Get ready folks; Big Willie is about to set the world on fire. Now if only he’d bring his cooking show back. CMON BIG WILLIE!
That’ll do it folks. Special thanks to Kevin Kleinrock for the help (my goodness, he gets put over more than the wrestlers do!). I’ll be back later with that CMLL Preview and there shall be another Lucha Tribute tomorrow. Till next time, X-Files stuff!
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