Sunday, April 10, 2016

Before you watch Lucha Underground, read this...

After watching Vampiro vs. Pentagon Jr. "Cero Miedo" match, i already became a fan of Lucha Underground. As a Mexican, i am excited to see a pro-wrestling promotion that is centered on Lucha Libre and Mexican culture. While it's geared generally towards a Hispanic audience, Lucha Underground also welcomes all other ethnicities. If your an American, it's important to have a basic understanding of the wrestling in Lucha Underground.

Lucha Underground often gives a "novella" feel when they film promos or any other short clips usually of masked wrestlers. Why are they masked? Enter the tradition of Lucha Libre.  

The rules of Lucha Libre are basically the same as American matches with some differences. Luchadores can only remain for 20 seconds outside of the ring. It's also legal for Luchadores to simply touch the floor in order for a tag team partner to switch places with them. 

 Lucha Libre is characterized by Luchadores (wrestlers) wearing masks which can be symbols of gods, animals, ancient heroes, or other archetypes. Lucha Libre date as far as the Aztecs. Luchadores will remain masked unless they are retiring or ending a gimmick and starting anew. The mask is so sacred, a Luchador can get disqualified for trying to remove it. It is the custom for Luchadores to wear their masks and conceal their identity at all times. The mask is the Luchador's pride, honor, dignity, and reputation. If it's removed, the Luchador looses all of it on top of his career. El Santo (left) is an example of a Luchador who continued to wear his mask till death and was buried with it. Although not every Luchador wears a mask.

Masks can be put at stake to settle a heated feud. The loser will have his mask removed in a match. 

The style of Lucha Libre relies on high flying acrobatic and aerial moves within the ring. Luchadores catapult themselves into their opponents usually from the outside of the ring. Luchadores usually execute high flying moves in the ring to pin their opponents as opposed to severely hurt them like Jeff Hardy does which would get them disqualified in a Lucha Libre match. Tag teams are usually made of 3 Luchadores and have a captain. The match can be won if both members are pinned or the captain is pinned. If a Luchador rolls out of the ring or is knocked out, a tag team partner can take his place. There is a code of honor expected from Luchadores. They are for instance expected to take the shame of having their masks removed than failing to honor their wager. Rudos (heels who brawl) are expected to turn into technicos (faces with technical skills like Martial Arts) after a career defining event. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of Lucha Libre, be sure to take note of every action taken by the Luchadores in Lucha Underground. That being said, i hope that you take full appreciation of Lucha Underground. 

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