Pruett’s Blog: Falling out of love with Lucha Underground – What went so wrong with season two?

luchaundergroundBy Will Pruett

On January 27, 2016, I was counting down the hours. I honestly could not wait until Lucha Underground’s second season debuted on television. After season one, I praised it as one of the most original approaches to wrestling I had ever seen. I talked about the cinematic scenes redefining wrestling’s often-corny backstage segments. I discussed the continuity and season-long storytelling Lucha Underground showed us in episodes like Aztec Warfare and Grave Consequences. As I sit at my home on July 21 having watched the end of Lucha Underground season two, I wonder how it all went wrong.

Lucha Underground season two is one of the more disappointing followups I’ve seen a television show present. Gone was the continuity I praised more than anything else. Stories in season two seemed to meander to the finish line, then get resurrected randomly. The second season of this show brought us Sexy Star’s feud with Marty “The Moth” Martinez and his sister Mariposa. This feud featured a few cinematic vignettes and a couple matches. The blowoff of the feud was the amazing “No Mas” match between Sexy Star and Mariposa. The two weeks before this blowoff lacked any build up for the match. This is something season one would have never let happen.

What about Pentagon Jr, the undisputed most popular star in Lucha Underground? In season one, he broke out of the mold and garnered the adoration of the people. In season two, he disappeared in Vampiro’s sex dungeon for weeks, returned for two episodes, then was gone for over a month prior to main eventing Ultima Lucha Dos for the Lucha Underground Championship. It’s like every episode of the second season was created in a vacuum and was meant to lack follow-through. It’s enormously disappointing.

It’s not like the matches in season two were significantly worse than those in season one. The in-ring action was just as electric as ever. Mil Muertes vs. Fenix for the Lucha Underground Championship was one of my favorite matches of 2016. The same goes for the awesome and emotional Sexy Star vs. Mariposa “No Mas” match. Lucha Underground provided us with some great action.

Where Lucha Underground failed in 2016 was their storytelling. They didn’t support these great matches and moments wrestlers created in The Temple. They didn’t honor the experiences they wanted fans to have. The structure of the show felt fragmented, with far fewer episodes naturally leading into the next. Weeks went by without many top stars appearing. Matanza vanished at one point, not to be seen until Ultima Lucha. This was never mentioned. He just disappeared.

It wasn’t just uneven storytelling that lead to Lucha Underground’s sophomore failure, but picking the wrong stories as well. At Aztec Warfare, just a week after the amazing moment of Fenix capturing the Lucha Underground Championship, Matanza was introduced. Matanza, in this one match, proceeded to dominate Fenix, Rey Mysterio, El Dragon Azteca Jr (who was also debuting), The Mack, Aerostar, Texano, and Prince Puma. A week later, Matanza put Pentagon Jr out of action for months. This was the wrong story to tell. One of the most attractive aspects of Lucha Underground was the match quality. With Matanza on top, match quality suffered. Matanza proved to lack the versatility Prince Puma and Mil Muertes provided as champions. Matanza can wrestle one type of match and he brought the overall quality of the show down.

Speaking of Matanza, his silly costume along with his stature truly hurt one of the most important moments of the season, his debut. The silly costumes continued with El Dragon Azteca Jr’s weird dragon pelt. I’ve gotten used to the Puma head sported by a certain Prince, but a cartoon dragon head (that is far less impressive than Drago’s mask) is too much.

Finally, Lucha Underground played with the emotions of their fans far too often this season. When Fenix won the Lucha Underground Championship, instead of letting fans have a chance to soak in the victory, they immediately told us he’d be number one in Aztec Warfare and defending the title the next week. When Son of Havoc, another perpetual favorite who was basically forgotten for most of the season, won the “4 A Unique Opportunity” tournament on night one of Ultima Lucha, fans were teased with the idea of Son of Havoc getting at title shot at Ultima Lucha Tres. This tease proved fruitless and it was completely deflating.

If I had to pinpoint a moment when I lost faith in Lucha Underground, it was the aforementioned Fenix moment.

Lucha Underground season two caused me to lose faith in the creators of the show and the overall direction. I won’t be counting down the days until season three begins. I won’t even be watching. I’ve heard it’s a better season, but that doesn’t matter. Lucha Underground season two was largely a waste of everyone’s time.

Got thoughts on this blog? Hit me up with them! Check the Twitter @itswilltime, leave a comment, or email me at itswilltime@gmail.com.


Readers Comments (10)

  1. “I won’t be counting down the days until season three begins. I won’t even be watching.”

    Don’t let me catch you writing about Season Three….don’t be a hypocrite like most

  2. You heard season 3 was a better season? Funny I saw you at the Season 3 tapings marking out. But maybe you’re just being a crybaby because you got called out for tweeting spoilers.

    • CrystalFissure August 9, 2016 @ 5:52 am

      Holy shit, destroyed.

      What a child though – this guy probably watches WWE every single week getting through some of the worst content in television history, but some episodes of LU that he disliked are apparently enough to quit despite being fortunate enough to get tickets to the show.

  3. I disagree with the guy 90% of the time, but Ultima Lucha’s 2 hour finale was disappointing. Pentagon dragged the whole thing down as he was focused on too much, and all for nothing. He lost his match. Him interrupting another match in order to get himself more over is unnacceptable as well, particularly when that match was the blow off to a big story line that had been brewing for a long time…and Pentagon just shows and takes them both out like jobbers. Way to kill Black Lotus’s debut.

    LU has suffered a lot this season from sacrificing most of their talent to the alters of Cage and Pentagon, who are basically the John Cena and Roman Reigns of Lucha Underground. Cage was protected more than any face on the roster, yet had no story line to speak of and ultimately didn’t become champion this season, despite all the talent that was jobbed out to him and fed to him. Pointless…just like all the screen time that was devoted to Pentagon this week.

    The cave sequence was ridiculous as well. The constant flashes were seizure inducing, nothing that was happening made any sense, and I’m not convinced that some mystical cave gives you the power to defeat a god. According to Vampiro, losing your fear somehow makes you as powerful as a god. LU’s story telling is starting to get ridiculous.

    They are getting overly ambitious and trying to tell big stories they can’t deliver on. What happened to Aerostar’s story line this season? And I still don’t understand what the big deal was that forced Dario to leave his temple last season.

    I’m thoroughly OVER Pentagon Jr. or Dark or whatever stupid name he wants to give himself. He’s still a loser who can’t get the job done and has lost to Matanza twice now.

  4. Jason, the two people you had reviewing Lucha Underground have seem to forgotten about kayfabe and expressing personal views when they should be netural in reporting.

    Sure Season 2 had issues but remember they did not even know if there was going to e a season 2 let alone season 3, so you really can’t blame the writers or the talent for any failings, I feel both Will and John should be removed as reporters of Lucha Undergound a fresh pair of eyes be given the task.

    For me the only major let down with Season 2 was Rey, they pushed him way to hard and he did not deserve that since he had nothing to do with Season 1, if you take Rey out then Season 2 was grea.

  5. The in-ring action is what kept me watching. I stopped caring about the storylines when they took their darker turns. I don’t care about Joey Ryan, fake cop. I don’t care about the deciples of death killing each other. I sure don’t care about the Matanza murder storyline. But I do care about the in-ring action. It’s the ONLY reason I still watch.

    I’ll watch season three for the great in-ring action. It’s better then TNA or Ring of Honor and still beats out WWE’s PPVs. If I’m lucky they will give up on the stupid storylines and spend more time wrestling…

    As for Matanza…I like him. He gives a good “big man” match and can hang with the ring technicians well enough. It’s just a shame he’s saddled with such a terrible gimmic and costume.

  6. “Lucha Underground season two was largely a waste of everyone’s time.”

    Speaking on behalf of everyone, Will? So you’ve established the idea that everyone is on board with you? Lol.

  7. Vince McMahon's Chin July 24, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

    Lucha Underground is the best wrestling show on the market. The argument can be made that Season 1 was better, but if you genuinely can’t enjoy Lucha Underground then you are not a professional wrestling fan.

  8. Waste of time? A bit harsh since the wrestling is amazing!

  9. Maybe the problem is that Lucha Underground isn’t for people who take themselves way too seriously, like yourself. I know plenty of fellow wrestling fans who thoroughly enjoyed the second season, so clearly it’s not a “waste of time”. Then again, you seem to be one of those types who thinks that you speak for everyone instead of just speaking for yourself.

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