It’s official sports fans; Lucha Underground’s fourth season will begin taping next Saturday in a brand new Temple in Los Angeles. Praise be Wanda, praise be! But with season four still a ways away from being broadcast over the El Rey Network, there’s still some time to wonder about what’s going to happen. We know Pentagon Dark is the champ, Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio are gone, Dario Cueto has been shot, the whole works; but what about after that? What does LU have in store for us? I’m not sure, but I know what I’d like to see because I made a whole list of it! Your mileage may vary, but here’s fifteen things I’d personally like to see come out of the New Temple in LU, season four.
1. Dario Cueto. Alive. Alright, this one is something I think we can all agree on. The people want El Jefe around; THE PEOPLE NEED EL JEFE AROUND! Seriously, Lucha Underground without Dario Cueto is like Nirvana without Kurt Cobain or the Dragon Ball Z Abridged Namek Saga without Super Kame Guru. It cannot be done and, most importantly, it shouldn’t be done. Losing Prince Puma was a big blow, especially from an in ring perspective, but at the end of the day LU can recover from that thanks to a roster that still features the likes of Pentagon, Fenix, Dante Fox and the works. I’m not sure they can go on without El Jefe for the long term, as great as the LU creative team is. So yes; Dario Cueto must be allowed to return alive at some point in season four. I say at some point because…
2. El Jefe shouldn’t return right away. This will get some grumbles, especially considering some thought the show suffered when Dario didn’t really appear for the first half of season two, but just like then it was necessary. El Jefe returning to the Temple immediately after offing El Dragón Azteca Sr. would’ve made the whole reason for him and Black Lotus running pointless. The same would happen here if he just waltzed back in to confront Agent Winter after the latter went blat blat on Dario’s ass. There’s more to it than that and I’ll go into those reasons much, much later on, but for now all I say is that it’s in everyone’s best interest if Dario’s return to the Temple is held off. Those who read Ryan “Leaf” Plant and I’s LU booking know that we teased Dario being dead in the season four opening shot (someone put a rose on Dario’s gravestone in the snow) and then had him revealed to be alive in the final shot of episode one, being cared for in a secret location by his father (who absolutely should be a major supporting character going forward and who should absolutely be played by lucha legend Black Terry, for those who were curious). I doubt LU does it exactly like that, but something along those lines would be a great starting point. And if they do do things that way, then all I ask is they send Leafster and I our royalty checks. DM us on Twitter for our addresses LU twitter dude!
3. Sexy Star should be replaced by Lady Shani under her original gimmick, Sexy Lady. Let me be clear, Sexy Star returning to Lucha Underground wouldn’t be enough to make me stop watching. But it will lead to me grumbling really loudly and more than likely tuning out during her segments. I really don’t care what the plan for her would be, whether it was to bring her back as exactly the same character (LOL) or if they did the MMM Show’s idea of bringing her back as a loathed ruda; I don’t want to see Sexy Star again unless she’s publicly apologizing to Rosemary for what she did to her, and I’m talking a legit apology, not that bullshit she was spewing after it happened. So get out of her with Sexy Star, especially since they have an upgrade in every possible sense of the word in Lady Shani. Not only is Shani a better, more charismatic worker than Sexy Star, she also started her career with the name Sexy Lady. Fitting no? If I’m LU, I roll with that, bring Shani in as “Sexy Star” for her first appearance, followed by her ditching that name in favor of Sexy Lady before revealing that she was the mysterious spider lady who stalked Sexy Star in season three before killing her off screen. Isn’t that the best scenario? We get a new, better worker to replace Sexy Star who can do a similar gimmick from a ruda perspective, we write Sexy Star off; sounds like everyone’s a winner to me. Well except Sexy Star, but who cares? Let Konnan, Kevin Kross and the Juice keep in Monterrey and a long ways away from the Temple I say.
4. A Civil War between the Moth Tribe, with new bugs brought in. I mean, it’s already been hinted at that this is where we’re going so why not just jump all in? Plus with their being tons of people in the Snake, Rabbit and Cat Tribes it only makes sense that there’d be more bugs. I say Marty and Mariposa continue their sibling rivalry in season four and both bring in reinforcements. And I’ve got just the two guys! Have any of you heard of Eli Everfly? Not only is he a super talented high flyer that would fit into LU’s in ring style perfectly, but get this; his gimmick is that he’s an actual fly! He’d be the perfect contrast to Marty’s psychological warfare/power game he’s got going on. As for Mariposa, I say we go all Garfield Lynns for her partner and give her a pyromaniac dude named Firefly. Who plays him? I seem to recall a former CHIKARA guy named Kevin Condron who seemed like he could play any role handed to him…
5. Catrina exchanges Mil Muertes’ stone for the power glove, giving King Cuerno control over Mil. I get the feeling a lot of people aren’t going to be happy about this suggestion. My response; I told you this was my thoughts and mine alone! Go write your own “Fifteen Things So and So Wants to See From Lucha Underground, Season Four” column if you want your vision to be out in the open. But only after you finish hate reading this!
Anyways my reasoning for going this route is simple; from the looks of things, Catrina doesn’t have that much longer for LU considering Karlee Perez’ growing career in Hollywood. I don’t see her being around once season four is done and, frankly, what more can they do with her and Mil? They’ve betrayed each other, gotten back together, controlled the Temple, feuded with everyone there, won a power glove or two; I can’t think of anything they haven’t done. I’m sure Chris DeJoseph and the gang have a plan that will surely make that last sentence look stupid but, for now, I’d much rather see Catrina transition full time into the exciting Fenix-Jeremiah Crane-Melissa Santos angle that seems to be brewing. And she can do that while making a clean break with Mil thanks to his stone; much like The Undertaker’s urn, Mil’s stone (pulled from the rubble of that earthquake that buried him as a child) appears to be the catalyst of which one exerts control over Mil. And you know who would probably like to have control over Mil Muertes? None other than good ole Deer Antlers himself King Cuerno, who I’m sure wants to do more than steal gauntlets/power gloves from Mil in order to get revenge for Mil nearly killing him at Ultima Lucha Dos. So if I’m LU I do this; after failing to get the power glove back (and remember, Catrina is trying to get it to give to immortal police chief Captain Vasquez in exchange for her mortality…yeah I know, there’s a lot going on right there), Catrina makes Cuerno a deal; she gets the glove, he gets the stone and control over Mil. Cuerno accepts, Catrina becomes mortal again and goes to win Fenix’ heart away from poor Melissa and Cuerno/Mil becomes the most unstoppable pairing since Buffy and Angel. Who loses there?
6. Jack Evans leads a mutiny on Johnny Mundo and Taya, kicking them out of Worldwide Underground and replacing them with new members. Another controversial suggestion. When I think about it though, I’m kind of ready for technico Johnny Mundo again. He’s definitely at his best as the world’s cockiest rudo, but I definitely think he and Taya can transition to a technico role quite well, especially if they’re up against their former Worldwide Underground mates. On top of that, I’m also ready for the monster push of Jack Evans, megalomaniacal rudo. You’re telling me you wouldn’t like to see him usurp Johnny Mundo’s leadership while acting like the most over the top trash talker in the history of the western hemisphere? I smell victory all over this idea. Plus, Angelico will be involved with all this because he’s been perpetually feuding with Worldwide Underground since season two, and gorramit WE NEED THAT JACK-ANGELICO MATCH! I have been waiting what feels like a decade now to find out who the true FIFA Champ is and I cannot wait any longer. Turn Mundo and Taya good, put them with Angelico when they sort their shit out, put ‘em against Jack, P.J. and whoever they replace Taya and Johnny with and let’s go crazy. The only questions are who will get custody of Ricky Mundo and whether Taya’s documentary of the Worldwide Underground split will be even better than her first feature. I vote yes.
7. The return of Jeremiah Crane. There’s obviously no escaping the fact that some of LU’s roster aren’t happy with the situation that’s gone on. Hell none of us are; you think any fan wants to be waiting this long for their favorite promotion to come around again? I don’t think it’s any secret that the man behind Jeremiah Crane, Sami Callihan, is one of those people and at this point I don’t know if it’s confirmed if he’ll be back. I sure as hell hope so. I’ve watched Callihan in New Japan, WWE, Impact and LU now and I can say this with close to 100% certainty; LU is the only one who’s captured the full potential of what Callihan offers. At the very least they haven’t done stupid shit like make him a hacker or a constipated emo kid who screams “EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING!” over and over while I regret the decision to turn Impact on. I get his frustration with the LU powers that be and there’s a better chance of the second Veronica Mars movie being made than him reading this but Sami…dude…give this another go. You were so fucking good as Jeremiah, you can now work any other place you want AND, best of all, the booking at the end of season three sets up you vs. Fenix, bringing your awesome AAW feud to TV. And I haven’t even mentioned the potentially great match you can have with Ivelisse, where she gets revenge on you for breaking her ankle with a hammer. Give us a few more turns as LU’s Raven, won’t you?
8. A significant main event push for Dante Fox, Killshot and The Mack. This is going to happen regardless but it needs to be pointed out anyway. Without question, Killshot and Big Willie were the unsung heroes of season three; check out the WMD match, Hell of War and All Night Long II if you don’t believe me. And of course Dante Fox ended up being to season three what Pentagon was to season one, delivering spectacular performance after spectacular performance before cementing himself as an LU legend with the Hell of War performance against Killshot. I can’t say for certain they have big plans for the current Lucha Underground Trios Champions and I can’t imagine all three of them hold the LU Title before season four comes to a close. But I’d bet my Batman bobblehead they all exit season four in a much better position than they entered.
9. Agent Winter brings in Kevin Kross and Rey Escorpión as his muscle. Whether Dario is around or not I have to assume his “murderer” Agent Winter will be, and Winter seems like the kind of guy who’d be perfect as the anti-Dario. In other words, he’s a great typical authority figure, which normally would be a terrible idea except we’ve just gone through three seasons of falling in love with the perfect authority figure of this day and age. Replacing him now with the stock authority figure is the perfect way to get heat, and what does the stock authority figure generally have; bodyguards! I have no doubt at all that Kross, a scary, scary man who was one of AAA’s bright spots before they inevitably dropped the ball, can essay that role perfectly and so can the wildly charismatic Escorpión, a man who has deserved to be on TV for quite awhile now. Together I think they make a formidable pair that can both be great henchmen for Winter while still keeping their own unique personalities to stand out. Plus, doesn’t it just make you hate Agent Winter more that he’ll have those two talented dudes watching his back? I mean that has to be the end goal here; to hate Agent Winter with all our being. HE SHOT DARIO! If that doesn’t make him the most loathed person not named Donald Trump then putting Kross and Escorpión with him should definitely do the trick.
10. Less interference. I was one of the very few LU fans out there during season three who thought the criticism of interference was overblown. When done in a way that makes sense (i.e., the opposite of Suzuki-gun interfering in all of Minoru Suzuki’s matches), interference is a strong narrative tool and there were very few points in season three that I thought the interference didn’t make sense. Hell, would Johnny Mundo-Prince Puma at Ultima Lucha Tres have worked as well as it did if it didn’t feature the Worldwide Underground’s interference being canceled out after a whole season of it helping Mundo escape with the title? That said, there was a shit ton of interference at times during season three and I know the LU writing staff is talented enough to find other ways to get to where they want to go without it. So while a lot of the complaints in my opinion were overblown, I don’t think it will hurt if LU tones it down a bit.
11. More lucha talent. I love the roster LU has assembled, but it does seem like it’s become a little less geared towards lucha and a little more towards the American indies as time goes on. That’s not a bad thing, but I mean, the show is called Lucha Underground for a reason! So it would be cool if more new luchadors were brought in for season four. I’ve already mentioned Lady Shani and Rey Escorpión as two great candidates, but those are just two names. Imagine guys like Hijo del Vikingo, Lanzeloth, Averno, the current Bengala, Máscara de Bronce, Dinastia and the works getting a shot; those are six talented dudes who could really help LU under their own gimmicks or any other gimmick the writers came up with. And what about Psycho Clown? AAA’s top dog has yet to break into the states as of now and he’s the type of talent that could be a difference maker, especially since his gimmick (weird ass clown) could fit into the LU universe with little trouble. Those are just names from AAA too; there’s tons of luchadors and luchadoras out there that could make a big difference in LU for season four. Not all can be signed and I’m definitely not saying prioritize lucha talent over talent elsewhere; it should be evenly split. But an influx of young, hungry luchador(a)s in season four would be nice to see.
12. A renewed importance towards Aerostar. Remember when Aerostar and Drago were having their feud and then Aerostar disappeared and never returned? Pepperidge Farm remembers. I seem to recall that Aerostar had an injury or something that prevented the angle from continuing but still; it was a very abrupt exit for a guy who a) was trying to save his friends’ soul and b) is only a friggin time traveler who can potentially alter everything in LU. It’s like the time I watched Dolph Ziggler have a No DQ match at a house show with Big E in his corner, only Big E never interfered. What the hell is the point of having that type of advantage if you aren’t going to use it?! I anticipate, or I guess hope, that LU’s going to start using those qualities Aerostar has to their advantage. I mean you can do anything with him. He fits in with the Dario/Winter/Lord storyline due to him traveling this far in preparation for “The Great War to Come” or whatever it was called. He still has to save Drago from the lizards, which now consist of Queen Kobra Moon, Daga the Swordsman and a dinosaur who can apparently do flips according to the gifs I’ve now seen. This is the season where Aerostar needs to go from cult hero who dives off really high places to time traveling mega star and hero the Temple (and Drago) deserves and needs right now. At the very least, he needs to do something to the dinosaur while Kobra and Daga look on from the distance, screaming the following.
13. L.A. Park as the Lord. I will not stop beating this idea into the ground until The Lord is revealed to be a major letdown in the form of Jesse Ventura or something. You may think this is impossible, that L.A. Park can’t work in LU because he’s contractually obligated to CMLL, the rival to LU’s buddy AAA. Newsflash; not only is L.A. Park not signed with CMLL but he probably will be in AAA before the end of next month. If that doesn’t give you a tiny bit of hope the Chairman may show up then all I can do is my best impression of Toru Yano.
In any event, Park to LU as the Lord appears to be a long shot to me, if only because my understanding is Park is wary of working for US promotions ever since he had a bad experience in the 90’s with a certain Ted Turner run promotion. But for the life of me, no one fits the Lord character better than Park from both a kayfabe and real life sense. Both are larger than life. The Lord loves his cigars and Park looks like the kind of guy who has Cubans with Dr. Wagner Jr. while their sitting poolside enjoying their riches. The Lord is a big deal and well, if you don’t think L.A. Park is, ask him; he’ll tell you himself. More importantly though, Park as the Lord character gives LU the chance to right one of the biggest wrongs in the history of wrestling, at least for my money. When you think of the big lucha stars that crossed over and became famous (to a degree) here in the US, you think of Rey, Eddie, Konnan, Juvy, Psicosis and Vampiro. L.A. Park belongs on that list and I’d argue was on a level with Rey and Eddie, only WCW burned him so badly he never got the chance. I’m not saying LU will suddenly make him a legend in the states, but it certainly will put more eyeballs on a luchador who has only gotten better since those WCW days. Like I said, it’s a fitting role in more ways than one. So until we hear otherwise, I’m all in on the L.A. Park for The Lord campaign. I will not rest until he and Dario have the stare down of a lifetime.
14. A long title reign for Pentagon Dark. It took a little while but the title is now finally with the most over man in the Temple and without question LU’s top star. Now it’s time for LU to go all in on it. Pentagon shouldn’t just have a great reign; he should have a long, LONG reign. I’m talking he should hold the belt up to, and maybe beyond, Ultima Lucha Cuatro if he has to. There may be a few luchadors in LU better and Dario might be, long term, the most important character, but no one is hotter nor will be hotter in the immediate future than Pentagon Dark. He has the belt, he has a great group of challengers, he has a huge story coming up with Bestia 666 that is going to rule and he no longer has to contend with Prince Puma. It’s time for the reign of Pentagon. If LU doesn’t have him carry the belt until Ultima Lucha Cuatro, I’ll be both stunned and mightily disappointed.
15. The season’s main story is Dario Cueto’s odyssey back to the Temple. I told you we’d work our way to why it should take Dario so long to return. The bottom line is, no matter how over Pentagon is, Dario is the most important character in LU lore; look no further than the last three Ultima Lucha’s closing with Dario as the final image. He is Lucha Underground’s Vito Corleone, with Pentagon as Sonny if he didn’t get shot, Fenix as Michael and yes, Vinnie Massaro as Fredo (sorry Vinnie!). And if you believe, like I do, that he should be brought back and that he shouldn’t be brought back too quickly, then the dominant story of season four should be El Jefe’s long road back to reclaim what is his. Picture this; Dario is believed dead but is in fact in a coma, cared for by his father. He’s nursed back to health and resolves to go back to the Temple, leading to a massive confrontation between him and Winter and (best of all) a major, War Games/Survivor Series style match where the winner gets control of the Temple. You wouldn’t want to see that, especially if it had stuff like Dario making a brief return to the old Temple to rue what has become of his creation or certain luchadors who hate Dario joining up with him to take on the common enemy that is Agent Winter? That is sublime stuff to me. El Jefe will never be the hero in the traditional sense but we’ve all grown to be fans of him in the past few years and, as seen with many others in LU, villains have a funny way of working their way towards being the hero, with many shades of gray, at some point. This is that time for El Jefe. LU wants a captivating hook for the season? Make it about Dario’s odyssey from being shot in his office and left for dead, all the way to him defeating the man who shot him and reclaiming his promotion. And it’s at that moment you finally pull the trigger and bring in The Lord for his debut, beginning the war between Dario’s Temple and those who side with L.A. Park. Which at that point will include me; I never go against the Chairman, less I allow this to happen to me!
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