FEATURE: Introducing The Lucha Underground Roster
November 17, 2014
By: Josh Boutwell of WrestleView.com
We are heading into week 4 of the new “Lucha Underground” promotions TV show bringing Lucha Libre back to American audiences. If you are like me then you don’t get to see the shows live as my cable provider does not carry the El Rey Network yet, but hopefully more providers will pick up the network soon because the series is putting on some of the best in-ring action on TV. In week one Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo wowed audiences, but last week the young Mexican trio of Fenix, Pentagon Jr., and Drago showed just how incredible Lucha Libre can be. I thought it was a good time to get those of you out there that want to give the show a chance but don’t really know who is who in the promotion a little history lesson.
– Johnny Mundo (aka John Morrison)
Probably the most well known member of the “Lucha Underground” roster Mundo is most well known for his time as a WWE star for the better part of a decade. Mundo won the WWE Intercontinental, ECW Title, and WWE Tag Team Titles. Mundo is freaky athletic and brings rare star power to the “Lucha Underground” roster that is comprised of mostly wrestlers that are not well known by American audiences.
Considered one of the top young luchadors in Mexico Fenix has pegged as the future of AAA for some time now even though it seemed that they had no idea what to do with him at times. He has drawn comparisons to Rey Misterio Jr. at times and is incredibly talented, one of the legit best high flyers in the world. Fenix works more of an American high flyer style than anything combining that with Japanese influences and obviously traditional lucha libre. He was trained by a trio of legendary luchadors in Gran Apache, Jorge “Skayde” Rivera, and Tony Salazar.
– Pentagon Jr.
The brother of Fenix, likewise considered one of the absolute best high flyers in the world. He is the Psicosis to Fenix’s Rey Misterio Jr. being joined at the hip to his brother since they debuted in AAA (when Pentagon Jr. was known as Dark Dragon). Pentagon is a terrific high flyer but he is also considered the better all around wrestler of the two and seems to only get better and better as time progresses. He and Fenix could very well become huge commodities in American wrestling if given the platform to feud on American TV much like Rey and Psicosis did in the 90s.
Of the high flyers in this group he is the oldest and most veteran member of the roster having worked for AAA since the late 90s. Drago competed under a slew of different gimmicks including Alan of The Barrio Boys, Gato Eveready, El Gato, and now as Drago. His unique look makes him stand out even in the world of flashy masks and crazy looks of lucha libre, but it his daredevil style and terrific high flying ability that makes him stand out the most.
– Sexy Star
So far the only legitimate luchadora brought into “Lucha Underground,” Sexy Star has been one of the top ruda luchadoras in AAA for years now. She was trained by Humberto Garza Jr., Gran Apache, and Abismo Negro and has been most widely known for her feuds with Mari and Fabi Apache. She is a multi time AAA Reina de Reinas and Mixed Tag Team Champion in AAA. She tried out for WWE a couple of years ago but was actually told she needed to lose weight (she is not overweight by any stretch of the imagination) and work on her English.
– Mil Muertes (aka El Mesias/Judas Mesias)
Muertes is best known as former AAA World Heavyweight Champion El Mesias in AAA but he also briefly worked in TNA a few years ago as Judas Mesias where he was involved in a violent feud with Abyss. He also worked for ECW some as a young wrestler under his real name, Ricky Banderas and for Wrestling Society X under the “Banderas” name. He is actually of Puerto Rican descent but most of his success has come in Mexico where he has spent his entire career in AAA. He began his AAA career as the evil masked foil for La Parka Jr. known as Muerte Cibernetica. At the time he was brought into the promotion by Cibernetico, hence the name, and ended up losing his mask to La Parka Jr. and eventually feuding with Cibernetico and changing his name to El Mesias. As Mesias he became a top draw for AAA and one of the top singles stars for the company. He wrestles a more physical, grounded style than the other luchadors on “Lucha Underground” because of his size advantage but he can also fly at times as well. His character in Lucha Underground is that of Mil Muertes, his parents died in an earthquake in the 80s and he has dedicated his life to getting revenge on the world for his loss. His valet is the former WWE diva Maxine, now known as Catrina.
– Blue Demon Jr.
The legend brought into “Lucha Underground” Blue Demon Jr. is the adoptive son of the legendary Blue Demon he has worked all over the world and for every promotion in America since his debut in the 1980s. At one time a terrific technical luchador he mostly gets by on his name value in Mexico but his list of accomplishments cannot be ignored having won such titles as the NWA World Heavyweight Title, AAA Latin American Title, a slew of WWA titles, and national titles.
– Prince Puma (aka Ricochet)
I’m definitely stretching the term “luchadoor” here with the Kentucky native but he was trained by CHIKARA and has been pegged as the centerpiece of “Lucha Underground.” He started out his wrestler career part of the American lucha promotion CHIKARA as the masked Helios and under the Ricochet name. He really made a name for himself working for Dragon Gate USA and then Dragon Gate in Japan becoming one of the most sought after high flyers in independent wrestler. The high flying moves he breaks out are absolutely breathtaking at times and since he started his time in Dragon Gate and even tours of New Japan his all around ability continues to grow. As the masked Prince Puma he is depicted as a descendent of the Aztecs with Konnan as his manager.
– Mascarita Sagrada
Mascarita Sagrada, yes this is the original, is considered one of the most talented “minis” in lucha history. Sagrada has wrestled all over the world and for both AAA and CMLL in Mexico as well as WWE and TNA in America. Before Mascarita Dorada (now El Torito) came to WWE Sagarada was the first mini (or midget) to be signed by the WWE in the late 90’s as well as a brief return in 2005 when WWE started a “juniors” division with mini wrestlers that lasted just a few months. He is known for his amazing athleticism for a wrestler his size.
– King Cuerno (aka Hijo del Fantasma)
Cuerno is the son of the legendary El Fantasma and he has wrestled the majority of his career as Hijo del Fantsma in CMLL and AAA. In the past he has held the CMLL World Trios and World Middleweight Championships before he left the promotion in order to join AAA earlier this year. He is also currently the AAA Cruiserweight Champion having won it at TripleMania. Cuerno has become most known for his stage dives in CMLL but is a solid all around luchador that plays the heel/rudo role the best. In “Lucha Underground” he is a rudo working for the evil promoter.
– Chavo Guerrero Jr.
A member of the legendary Guerrero family he is the son of Chavo Guerrero Sr. (aka Chavo Classic) and is most known for his time in WCW, WWE, and TNA where he has racked up a slew of titles including the WCW Cruiserweight Title, WWE Cruiserweight & Tag Titles, ECW Title, and TNA Tag Team Titles. Chavo has grown tired of having to be a “flag carrier” of the Gurrero name and has decided to finally look after only himself becoming a rudo in the process. Chavo is also an “agent” backstage for the wrestlers.
A fan favorite since his debut in the mid 2000’s Aerostar may be the most daredevil high flyer in the world having pulled off some of the most insane dives in lucha history. He is an incredible wrestler, trained by Gran Apache and Abismo Negro, and currently feuding with Super Fly. Aerostar trained for five years before debuting with AAA and his look/character was the final creation of Antonio Pena before his death. He, Super Fly, Laredo Kid, Rey Cometa, Pegasso, and others were part of the popular Real Fuerza Aerea faction. Aerostar now leads the new version of it including young luchadors Ludxor and Venum.
– Super Fly
The longtime partner and now enemy of Aerostar, Super Fly is probably the most well rounded high flyer of that Real Fuerza Aerea faction, other than maybe Rey Cometa, and was trained by Psicosis and Skayde. He has become a rudo in recent years and is currently involved in a personal feud with Aerostar that will hopefully spill over into Lucha Underground.
The only South African luchador on the show, Angelico was initially trained by Booker T before getting his lucha training from a trio of legends in Ultimo Dragon, Black Terry, and Negro Navarro. You can’t get much better pedigree than that right there. After starting his lucha career in Ultimo Dragon’s Toryumon Mexico promotion he eventually moved onto IWRG and then AAA where he has become a top high flyer in the promotion primarily teaming with longtime partner Jack Evans. He and Evans are the current AAA World Team Champions. Angelico is very athletic and will fly with any of the other luchadors in the promotion possibly feeling he has something to prove not being a Mexico native.
The youngest brother of the original Mistico/Sin Cara (now known as Myzteziz) started his career alongside his brother in CMLL, but after a brief stay he was let go and has since then spent the rest of his career in AAA. He has found it tough to get out from under the massive shadow of his brother but over the years has become one of the more solid young high flyers in AAA despite not ever being given much of an opportunity to do much in AAA other than be an opening match high flyer. “Lucha Underground” could give him the opportunity to present himself to a new audience and possibly outrun his brothers shadow.
– Pimpinela Escarlata
The only “exotico” (or cross dresser) that “Lucha Underground” has brought in thus far, Pimpinela Escarlata along with Cassandro is considered one of the best exoticos in the history of Lucha Libre. The “exotico” is something that has not been very accepted by American audiences but if there is any exotico that could get over here it is the ever talented Pimpienla Escaralta.
– Big Ryck (aka Ezekial Jackson)
By far the biggest man on the “Lucha Underground” roster Big Ryck is most known for his time in WWE as a former ECW Champion. He had a brief stay in TNA earlier this year but now the monster has moved onto “Lucha Underground” as the leader of the Crenshaw Crew alongside Cisco and Cortez Castro. He and his crew are the primary henchmen for the evil promoter Dario Cueto.
– Cortez Castro (aka Ricky Reyes)
Castro is probably most well known to American fans as Ricky Reyes one time member of the ROH roster and former tag partner as the Rottweiler’s with Low-Ki and Rocky Romero. Reyes may be one of the most well rounded wrestlers in the promotion having been trained in Japan by the legendary Atonio Inoki and in Mexico by the legendary Negro Casas. For the last few years he has spent the majority of his time in Puerto Rico wrestling for the WWC promotion where he has won the WWC Jr. Heavyweight Title. He is a member of the Crenshaw Crew.
– Cisco (aka Lil’ Cholo)
The least known member of the Crenshaw Crew faction, Cisco, has spent the entirety of his wrestling career on the independent scene primarily working for west coast promotions. Not much is known about the California native other than he is a loyal soldier for Dario Cueto and Big Ryck.
– Cage (aka Brian Cage)
Brian Cage is immensely talented and may finally get his chance to shine on TV after brief appearances for WWE and TNA in the past. He is much more of a power wrestler but can still fly a bit which will bring a nice mix to the “Lucha Underground” roster. Cage has some experience working lucha as he has worked in Mexico as well as for the American lucha promotion PWR where as a member of The Border Patrol he and his buddies learned how to rial up a latin audience.
– Son of Havoc (aka Matt Cross)
Havoc has wrestled literally all over the world including ROH and Wrestling Society X, but he probably most well known for his appearance on WWE’s Tough Enough show in 2011. Not much is known yet of his “Lucha Underground” character except that he is portraying an old school masked wrestler character and he does not like Sexy Star much.
– Ivelisse Velez
Velez is one of the most talented independent female wrestlers in the world and the matchups with Sexy Star could lead to some great matches. She has wrestled for WWE and TNA in the past but has become most known for her time in SHINE where she was the SHINE Champion.
– Matt Striker
Striker, a former wrestler, was a commentator in the WWE first for Smackdown and then ECW and finally NXT before being released. He has since spent his time returning to the ring and also commentating for various independent promotions. Striker will be the lead play-by-play man for Lucha Underground and he has strong knowledge of lucha libre as well as a passion for great wrestling that is refreshing.
Vampiro was one of the biggest lucha stars of the 90s, despite being Canadian, and eventually moved onto WCW where he becomes most well known by American fans. Since WCW’s closure he has bounced around different promotions all over the world but is now retired and is the color commentary next to Matt Striker.
– Dario Cueto
Not much is known about “Lucha Underground” owner Dario Cueto (portrayed by an actor) other than that he is the one pulling the strings in the promotion as well as the strings for the rudo faction The Crenshaw Crew.
In the 90s, Konnan became a massive star in both CMLL and AAA even crossing into pop culture as a soap opera star. He would become most well known by American audiences for his time in WCW as a member of the NWO as well as his time in TNA. He is currently semi-retired from in ring action due to a litany of injuries and for the last several years has been a key backstage player in AAA as a writer/booker as well as on-air personality. It seems his role in “Lucha Underground” will be solely on-air, at least for the time being, as he manages the centerpiece of “Lucha Underground” in Prince Puma. Konnan has always been a fantastic talker and probably my personal favorite time of him in wrestling was when he was the manager of L.A.X. in TNA.
One of the truly exciting things about this series is that most of the authentic luchadors used in the series have not been given much of a chance to shine yet in AAA and are extremely young. The names to really look out for are Fenix, Penatgon Jr., Drago, King Cuerno, Aerostar, Super Fly, Angelico, and Prince Puma. In my opinion, this is a collection of some of the most athletically gifted high flyers in the entire world and this series could revolutionize the way wrestling is seen on American TV in much the same manner that WCW’s cruiserweight division did in the 1990’s and TNA’s X-Division did to a much lesser extent in the early 2000’s. If you are looking for an alternative to the current WWE product, be sure to check out Lucha Underground.