Into the Lucha Underground
Written by PTC | Published September 10, 2016
Professional wrestling with a storytelling twist.
Lucha libre is a tradition in Mexico. A form of professional wrestling characterized by more frenetic action and “high-flying” acrobatic moves than usual in the U.S., many though not all luchadors wear colorful masks as well. Also unlike the U.S., where with rare exeptions wrestlers are mostly known only to wrestling fans, in Mexico masked and costumed wrestlers assumed characteristics and fame similar to comic-book superheroes. In addition to being a champion wrestler, the masked El Santo also starred in movies pitting him against vampires, robots, gangsters, mad scientists, and Aztec mummies, as well as fellow wrestlers.
Lucha Underground brings the lucha libre subculture to the USA. Each hour-long episode features several wrestling matches. In between the wrestling are short segments detailing various ongoing story arcs, such as the head of the wrestling company El Jefe also running a crime empire, or an immortal Aztec priestess, now working as a police captain, recruiting officers to battle a supernatural threat.
Violence is similar to that found in the USA’s professional wrestling programs, with the occasional fight ending in a wrestler bleeding from his forehead and onto his face, or getting slammed through ladders, tables, et cetera. Sex was not even referred to in the episode screened.
One area of possible concern for parents of young lucha fans is the language employed, not by the wrestlers, but by the fans in the arena. Chants of “Ho-ly S**t! Ho-ly S**t! Ho-ly S**t!” are not uncommon, and other foul language is used occasionally.
With this caveat, Lucha Underground is an interesting and unusual take on professional wrestling, with a colorful Latino twist.