TOPE GUERRILLA | Ultima Lucha Cuatro – The “Last” Last Lucha?

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Holy Crap.

Ultima Lucha Cuatro was bonkers.

It was a true return to form for the series after a troubled 4th season. Lucha Underground is finishing up its 4th season with smaller fanfare than its last couple. With a 2-year absence between seasons. A lot of the steam that Lucha Underground built for itself seemed to have left. While diehard fans were still enjoying the show, the majority of the fanfare that revolved around it left. Perhaps it is the loss of big names like Rey Mysterio or Prince Puma. As well as the fact that the show was off air for so long. They saw the challenge of the continuing without the big names and cementing homegrown stars as front runners of the show. But with a major budget cut, there was only so much the show could do. While the latest season may not have been the best of the four, it was a culmination of a lot of elements that were introduced to us. As well as leaving a short, but absolutely monstrous legacy behind it.

I truly believe that Lucha Underground paved the way for the wrestling boom we are currently in. Providing a true alternative to the wrestling we had at the time, making every other promotion up their game. It brought eyes to many of our now favorite luchadors. It reignited the careers of many wrestling superstars. In a time when, the indies did not have a showcase on television in the likes of Impact, MLW, Highspots Network and other platforms. The fact that there was LUCHA LIBRE show on TV to begin with was bonkers. The fact that they tapped into the Lucha Libre market, and brought the type of action us internet marks drool over our computer screen at, was something the wrestling world needed.

Lucha Underground premiered on October 29, 2014. It aired on quite possibly the most perfect network. EL REY, the brainchild of Robert Rodriguez, famed cult classic – independent director. With full support from AAA in Mexico. The show broke multiple ground. Cinematic cutscenes, an absolute loyalty to the world it inhabits, a dirty underground arena full of bloodthirsty fans. It was basically a show, within a show. Showing new, as well as some familiar faces. But more importantly, giving us luchadors. Outside of Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, and a few others here and there. Lucha Libre, let alone proper luchadors, had not been showcased since the fall of WCW. And to be honest, towards the end of that run, we had Vince Russo crap to deal with. Aerostar, Pentagon Jr, Drago, Blue Demon Jr, Fenix, Mascarita Sagrada, Pimpinela, Sexy Starr. All these stars and more. Tradiitons from Mexico were also introduced, Intergender matches, Trios Titles, Exoticos. They found a great balance in having that partnership with AAA, and cultivating their own stars.

Brian Cage, Joey Ryan, Jack Evans, Angelico, Killshot, Ivelisse, Jeremiah Crane, Son of Havoc, The Mack and many others on the roster were already established indie stars that came into prominence with Lucha Underground. While many got repackages and new names, it was the same wrestler style and ferocity that dominated the show. As well as original, (and sometimes silly) ideas that dominated the show. The gift of the gods title, a mix of money in the bank, king of the ring, and overall cosmic McGuffin that allowed for story lines to develop. A gauntlet that would make Thanos eat his heart out. A large homicidal monster that is really good at suplexes. An undead luchador with the hottest supernatural bruja I’ve ever seen. A lon gbrewing storyline that went multuolle seasons involving a returning legend in Vampiro and his student Pentagon that would make a telenovela blush.  A woman as your company champion, a former vet running away from PTSD. An openly LGBT wrestler beating a mainstay in the show in order to show overcoming adversity and hate. Literal ghosts and aliens, zombies, possessed dolls, Cartel hitmen, ACTUAL CHARACTER DEATHS, a hunter that collects human trophies, undercover policemen, trying to uncover sting the owner of the underground fight club, and owner by the way that DIED at the end of season 3, to which his father took over the fight club!

Let’s not forget the stars. Lucha Underground gave new life to stars like, Chavo Guerrero, Cheerleader Melissa, Alberto El Patron, PJ Black, Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo, who is arguably in his best run at the moment. It gave rise to stars like Ricochet, Sami Callihan, Shane Strickland, Taya, Thunder Rosa, even the announcer Melissa Santos. All these stars and others, are the reason we have the current indie scene, and even to NXT. Because of Lucha Underground, A lot of companies stepped their game up. While they are not the only reason for such success currently, they are a major factor. Without Lucha Underground, we would not have a lot of the stars, or matches we love now. No PENTA v. OMEGA. No Johnny Impact as IMPACT World Champion. No Lucha Bros dominating Impact Tag scene. No Ricochet in NXT. No Mysterio back in WWE. No proof that wrestling could work on other networks outside of WWE.

Ultima Lucha Cuatro is done. Which means Lucha Underground is done. It ended of course, with a classic set of cinematic cutscenes teasing another season. I tied off storylines, killed key characters, and even broadened that scale of the show within 3 minutes to global consequences. Many people originally dismissed the show, when it was announced at a Triplemania Event. The juggernaut that was Lucha Underground felt as if it could never end. But its time came. In the midst of uncertainty, and in a wrestling world that it helped create, we may not see another season of Lucha Underground. Yet, it does not fall in line with other projects such as Wrestling Society X, Lucha Libre USA, and other failed endeavors. There is a tangible success you see in wrestling today. It is every time people chant “LUCHA LUCHA LUCHA”. Its every time we as fans tip luchadors in the middle of the ring like in Mexico, when we buy merch from a star that was on the show, it is in watching Lucha Libre outside of Lucha Underground, and WWE.

Holy Crap.

Lucha Underground was bonkers.


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