Lucha Underground ran for 39 episodes in 2015 and it was, without a doubt, the best wrestling show on TV. Even better than NXT! Week after week, you knew you’d get a total package of awesome wrestling, great storylines, fantastic atmosphere, and a celebration of pro wrestling craziness. I mean, the final minutes of the season finale included a moment where a dragon man shook hands with his astronaut rival before they each flew off into the night sky. Because one is a literal dragon who wrestles and the other apparently can rocket into space.
After Ultima Lucha, the show’s replacement for a WrestleMania-type PPV, the future was up in the air. Despite being critically adored, the show isn’t too widely available and it hasn’t really made much money due to the lack of touring, merchandise, and the fact that they don’t charge for tickets. It would’ve been tragic for the show to be over for many reasons. There were so many places for it to go. It was fresh and new in a business that needed it. Plus it would be a travesty of justice knowing that TNA could outlive it.
Luckily, the second season has been confirmed. It’ll film in December and start airing in early 2016. The budget will likely be smaller and supposedly there will be fewer episodes, but I’m jazzed beyond belief because we’ll get more Dario Cueto scheming.
But now that we know it’s coming back, what can we expect from Lucha Underground season 2? Luckily, the finale brought closure many times over while transitioning into new storylines. I’m sure we’ll see some new faces – including a major one I’ll get to in a bit – and a lot of surprises I can’t even begin to call, but the cards on the table are already loaded with fun stuff to look forward to.
THE REIGN OF EVIL
The true winner of Lucha Underground Season One was most definitely Catrina, the sexy and enigmatic woman behind new champions Mil Muertes and the Disciples of Death (Barrio Negro, El Sinestro de la Muerte, and Trece). Through manipulation, Catrina transformed Mil Muertes from a top-tier competitor to a seemingly unstoppable force of nature, leading to him defeating Prince Puma in the main event of Ultima Lucha to become Lucha Underground Champion. Similarly, the Disciples of Death – with more overt help from Catrina – were able to win the Lucha Underground Trios Championship away from the dysfunctional team of Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico.
The trios title situation writes itself. The Unlikely Trio were already at a disadvantage due to Ivelisse having a broken ankle in addition to Catrina getting involved. At the end of the season, the three former champions – who spent months hating each other’s guts – showed solidarity in their agreement that they’d get their belts back sooner than later. Even Son of Havoc and Ivelisse, who had a nasty breakup earlier in the season, seemed to be inching their way back together as Son of Havoc hopped onto Ivelisse’ motorcycle before she rode off.
While that title change will lead to a rematch arc, Prince Puma won’t be so lucky. Season Two isn’t about him regaining the title. It’s time for the new dynamic to shine. Rather than heels trying to dethrone the plucky, silent hero through nefarious means while faces would take him on more respectfully, you now have an entire roster going up against a monster who appears to be unbeatable. Who can challenge Death himself and survive?
Fenix is the best choice on paper because he’s the only one who has had any level of success against him. Big Ryck had a very brief showdown with Mil Muertes back in Season One’s Aztec Warfare match and them actually having a match would be great…if Ryck is around this season. Pentagon Jr. can talk up how he’s so lacking in fear that not even Death gives him pause. Hell, even the idea of King Cuerno trying to hunt the gravest game of all has so much potential.
In the end, it makes me disappointed that WWF never had the original heel version of Undertaker hold the title for more than six days. There’s a lot of fun to be had with this setup.
THE GIFT OF THE GODS
Late in the season, Cueto introduced a new concept called the Gift of the Gods. It’s a cross between the Dragon Balls, the Money in the Bank briefcase, and the X-Division title. People compete for seven different medallions. Those seven put them on the line for a chance to win the Gift of the Gods Championship belt. Whoever has that gets a free title shot, as long as they give Dario Cueto at least a week’s notice so he can promote it (preventing the dead horse Money in the Bank cash-in cliche). Of course, the belt can be defended against others, but the moment it’s cashed in for the Lucha Underground Championship title shot, the seven medallions are scattered once more and we’re back where we started.
Fenix returned from a horrible beating at the hands of Mil Muertes to become the first Gift of the Gods Champion. The finale showed him leaving the Temple in his kickass Firebird…only to be followed by King Cuerno and his equally-kickass truck. The great hunter has his eye on the belt and wants that opportunity for himself. Can even King Cuerno hunt and defeat the man who just won’t die?
THE COMING WAR AND THE NEW HERO
Dario Cueto is an interesting man. Despite being obviously evil and an actual murderer, he’s had no obvious ambitions outside of running his promotion. Like, when you look at it, Lucha Underground IS his endgame. He may be bossy and controlling about who he wants to win and lose, but that’s appeared to be his entire scheme.
Now there seems to be more to it. All throughout the first season, a woman named Black Lotus had wanted revenge on Dario’s monster brother Matanza for killing her parents. She was trained by aging luchador and kung fu master Dragon Azteca, but she left to get her revenge before he deemed her ready. Cueto had her captured quickly and chose not to kill her when he had no obvious reason to keep her alive. Instead, he convinced her that Dragon Azteca killed her parents. Azteca appeared to rescue her and instead, Lotus murdered him.
Cueto – who outright taunted him that he was going to kill him a second before – suddenly looked horrified and acted like Black Lotus made a horrible mistake. He made a big deal about having to leave the Temple, find a new one, and protect themselves from a coming luchador-based war.
Somehow, this is playing into Cueto’s hands. The final seconds of the finale made him look like some kind of grinning Devil. He’s playing Black Lotus and using her, but why?
Meanwhile, there’s another new player in this. The opening moments of the very first episode had Dragon Azteca help out a young man on the streets and mentor him. Many figured this youngster to be Prince Puma, but that wasn’t the case. A late episode showed that it was someone else entirely and with Dragon Azteca’s death, this protégé took his mask and donned it.
There’s a new Dragon Azteca and he’s out to set things right.
MATANZA CUETO IN THE FLESH
One of the more intriguing subplots of the first season was the existence of Matanza Cueto. Originally shown as someone in a cage that Dario would have one-sided conversations with, the unseen beast – casually identified as Dario’s brother – was later used as a warning for the Crew to not lose their matches. When the time came and they failed to win the Lucha Underground Trios Championship, Bael was literally fed to Matanza and blood splattered everywhere. It was the best.
Matanza remained unseen for the whole season until the ending montage in the finale. Encased in a trailer, we got to see his face briefly.
Obviously, he’ll make his first real appearance in Season Two, but in what way? People have been speculating who could portray such a monster for about a year now. Lots of jokes about the Great Khali, but please no.
If anyone, I’d love to see CHIKARA’s Max Smashmaster play the role. Guy’s big, agile, and straight-up great in the ring for a man his size. He’d be wearing a mask already, so they could hide the whole differing nationality thing. Besides, he started his career as a guy who only spoke in growls and grunts. He’s got this.
THE PROTEGE FACEOFF
With Vampiro on commentary during Season One, the man was constantly railing on Konnan, manager and mouthpiece for Prince Puma. The most we saw come out of it was a heated sit-down interview where the two over-the-hill wrestlers came close to coming to blows. The two aren’t in the right shape to have an actual match against each other, but they do have their proxies.
Prince Puma spent much of the season as Lucha Underground Champion, but there was very little growth for his character. He never said anything and he mostly just reacted to the more interesting actions of others while Konnan directed traffic. Meanwhile, other wrestlers grew over that time. Puma is left without his championship status and needs to find a new direction and become something more than just a cipher.
Pentagon Jr. went on a crazy quest for several months where he went off breaking arms of anyone who crossed his path in order to appease his mysterious master. After sacrificing Vampiro’s arm, Pentagon Jr. found out that Vampiro was secretly his master all along. Now proven worthy, Pentagon Jr. follows Vampiro’s lead and we’ve yet to see what that entails.
Puma vs. Pentagon is such an easy feud that it has to be on deck. The two never even crossed paths in any meaningful way. Dario Cueto repeatedly tried to offer Pentagon Jr. spots in the title picture, but he refused due to his own obsessions. Now’s as good a time as ever.
THE LEGACIES UNITED
In a storyline that hit some really weird road bumps and rewrites due to injuries, longtime rivals Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Blue Demon Jr. put their differences aside to thrash El Texano Jr. Mainly because Blue Demon didn’t like how his status as representative of Mexican wrestling was being challenged by this young upstart. Chavo, Demon, and the two surviving members of the Crew made short work of Texano at Ultima Lucha and showed that there was a new alliance to be feared.
This story may have hit a bump on its own. Texano had a fantastic potential ally in Alberto El Patron, a former enemy who would have fit in perfectly in the “wrestling royalty” concept. If that was in the cards, then it went up in smoke because he got poached away by WWE.
Unless Texano is simply sitting this season out, he’s going to need to find a partner and fast.
VENGEANCE FOR BIG RYCK
Big Ryck was an odd duck in the first season. He started off as the top heel and drifted into being pretty irrelevant while remaining quasi-unbeatable. I only recall him ever getting pinned once on the whole show, even if he’s lost a lot of multi-man matches where he wasn’t involved in the finish. He had established himself as something of a tweener, explaining to his cousin the Mack that he’s dedicated to the highest bidder. He’ll beat up his own family if paid to.
For a little while, Ryck worked for the very rich DelAvar Daivari, but it didn’t work out too well. Ryck didn’t help him win too many matches and Dario Cueto eventually told him to go back to being a dominant wrestler who does his own thing. Both of those aspects caused Daivari to show up and nail him with a chair at Ultima Lucha.
Normally, that would mean Big Ryck would go for revenge, as he’s wont to do. Unfortunately, Big Ryck’s announced that he’s retiring from wrestling. If he shows up, it’s probably to be immediately written off, likely at the hands of Daivari and his resources. That’s just fine, though. The Mack needs something to do and avenging his cousin by tossing Daivari around like a ragdoll is a good use of his time.
THE CUERNO/CAGE CONNECTION
One of the most understated developments of the first season was the partnership between King Cuerno and Cage. Despite having roughly the same standing on the card, the two didn’t have much in terms of similarities outside of being heels. Yet when they were thrown into a trios team with El Texano Jr. to compete for the titles, it made enough sense.
Even though their team lost in the finals, the two still kept working together. They teamed up in a tag match against Prince Puma and Hernandez, which wasn’t out of the ordinary. But then they started working together a lot during multi-man matches. The commentators rarely brought it up (though Striker briefly suggested that Cuerno was trying to prepare Cage in some way), but there was definitely some kind of kinship in there. In one match, when they were the only ones left standing, despite their ruthless natures, they still looked completely reluctant to fight it out and gave the other opponents enough time to recuperate.
So what’s this about? Where are they going with this? I can’t help but think that Cuerno’s going to be one of the top stars in Season Two. In the first season, he seemed like a big enough deal, but acted rather low key for the second half. Just like a hunter, unnoticed in the background, biding his time for the strike.
Marty “The Moth” Martinez, eh? That’s a weird late addition to the roster. A doofy white dude who appeared as an overenthusiastic fan who wanted a piece of the action, running into matches and swearing that he was part Aztec. At first, he came across as sort of lovable, but gradually we started to notice his darker side, such as the way he’d creep on ring announcer Melissa Santos or the way he’d use his excited fan persona as an underhanded distraction against his nicer opponents.
Marty ended up being humiliated by Sexy Star several times, each time being his own fault. That would’ve been all well and good, but then the season finale’s ending montage showed that at some point he had kidnapped her and held her in some kind of basement. Being a “moth,” Marty gravitated towards the room’s lone light as Sexy Star was roped up in a way that made her look like she was in a cocoon.
The notable part of this weird cliffhanger was Marty swearing that Sexy Star won’t be laughing when she meets his sister. So what’s that about? Who is Marty’s sister and just how crazy is she going to be? Supposedly, indie wrestler Cheerleader Melissa had been doing dark matches during Season One and is on tap to play the role of Marty’s vicious sibling. That’s all well and good since the roster needs more female representation.
WHO’S THAT JUMPING OUT THE SKY?
The penultimate shot of the finale was the new Dragon Azteca standing in front of a Lucha Underground billboard with a giant question mark spraypainted onto it. This could be interpreted in many ways, but the most likely and most dramatic is to assume that it’s a call for help from one Rey Mysterio Jr. The same man who fairly recently left WWE and has been wrestling in AAA.
Mysterio would not only be a welcome addition to the Lucha Underground roster, but he’d also give them a bit of a boost in terms of name recognition. Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron are great, but Mysterio’s one of the more underutilized names in WWE history compared to his popularity. I’d imagine him having an early little feud with Johnny Mundo (who doesn’t really have anything blatantly set up for him) and then becoming one of the focus heroes of the series, probably leading to him getting involved in the Chavo/Blue Demon storyline.
That is, if his knees hold up. Or if WWE doesn’t yank him away with a bunch of zeroes on a paycheck.
I guess we’ll have to wait a few months to find out.
Gavin Jasper hopes that we’ll get to hear Mariachi Loco’s song at some point in Season Two. Follow Gavin on Twitter!