Lucha Underground Quick Notes for Episode 1: 10/29/2014
The Mark Burnett/Robert Rodriguez Influence – The cinematic look and storytelling of the debut episode shows great promise, delivering a level of substance which has been previously lacking in other wrestling programs. The history of lucha, the Prince Puma Aztec storytelling — what a wonderful start.
Prince Puma – His speed and athleticism are tremendous. As Lucha Underground grows and the possibility of taking this talent on the road comes near, Lucha Underground better be ready to sell some unique merchandise for this guy to help fill his wallet. When the buzz on Prince Puma grows into a roar, it wouldn’t take a genius to assume WWE would be interest in swooping in to take him away. Keep him under contract and keep him happy. Curiously, he loses against Johnny Mundo, as I would have expected someone mainstream U.S. television audiences have never seen before defeat a former (but talented) WWE midcarder as a symbol of Lucha Underground superiority. I’m interested to see where Prince Puma and Konnan go from here. Obviously they are not finished.
Sexy Star – The vignette was a nice setup, however it was unfortunate to see the producers felt it was necessary to add subtitles when she speaks. Sure English certainly isn’t her first language, but the words she spoke were easily understood. I would recommend embracing the fact she has limited vocabulary and have the heels poke fun at her for not understanding their inappropriate or demeaning comments. Make that a part of her arc — she’s struggling to understand American culture and there are heels who keep dismissing her as nothing more than eye candy. She is going to face what American women struggle with on a daily basis — but she isn’t going to let herself be walked all over. Having her lose her first match was a great way to start her character growth. We’ll see her get beat down, but I believe she will just keep getting back up. Nice choice.
Konnan and Dario – Both are doing excellent character work, however I cautiously watch hoping Dario’s character doesn’t overshadow the rise of new wrestling talent which the Lucha Underground audience needs to emotionally attach to. Build up stars before tearing them down.
Commentary/Audio – Nice work but some of the lines seemed forced, and a few comments seemed ill-timed. To me this is odd: with a show which isn’t broadcasting live, it seems like a no-brainer to seize the opportunity to do some ADR on some of the commentary.
Veterans – I know a new U.S. promotion feels the need to throw out veteran faces so they will be accepted by audiences, but I feel today’s smart marks do not need be fed a Blue Demon Jr. or a Chavo Guerrero to get excited. Maybe as a manager or a commentator, but I think it safe to assume Lucha Underground fans would prefer to see the new blood.
No In-Your-Face Title Intro– The lack of a championship belt introduction is actually really cool. With a promotion being relatively new, this is a great opportunity to really build the title’s importance. Could the title be melted down from something historically significant? Is the title an old belt which Dario had keep in his family for years? Could the title be all centered around a weekly $100,000 paycheck? One title only, please.
In Ring Audio – Hard to hear anyone on mic — especially Dario’s final statement. Get this fixed, please.
Audience Idea – with it being a new promotion, obviously there will be a few challenges filling arenas at the beginning. To really embrace the cinematic style, Lucha Underground should consider adding matches here and there which are filmed at unique locations without an audience. For instance: maybe Konnan and Prince Puma get an odd envelope with nothing more than map coordinates written in blood. They drive to Death Valley. There they find Dario standing all alone, in front of a wrestling ring. Nobody around. Suddenly a helicopter lands. Out steps a mystery opponent. Prince Puma must fight one on one in an empty desert. No crowd. Shoot the match as you would an action film or a superhero movie — but it plays like a real-time wrestling match. Do this every once in an episode…a treat for loyal viewers. Instead of cheers, have a musical score for the match. Boom.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
Summary: Lucha Underground Has Huge Potential and Is Just Getting Started
Lucha Scribe is an accomplished freelance producer/writer. He vomits these Lucha Underground reaction posts simply out of love and respect for professional wrestling. Thank you, Robert Rodriguez, AAA and Mark Burnett!