Inside The Temple is a retrospective look at the innovative Lucha Underground. In its short life, Lucha Underground revitalized careers and made a whole host of new stars who would go on to bigger and better things. Our first edition of “Inside the Temple” focuses on the company’s beginning and our first look at the mayhem we would come to know and love from the temple.
Long before All Elite Wrestling was first rumored and before NXT reached its current heights, there was this part-wrestling, part-drama and fully innovative show known as Lucha Underground. In 2014, LU offered a world of wrestling that was revolutionary at the time, and one that has since served as the inspiration behind some of what we are seeing in wrestling today. It is hard to believe that it has been six years since Dario Cueto first opened his temple and after four incredible seasons, it seems we can rule out a comeback officially. But it was those four seasons that truly introduced many fans and allowed them to fall in love with what lucha libre truly can be by bringing it to the United States. Performers like Pentagon and Fenix made names for themselves in the US. Not to mention, all of the incredible moments that were made “Inside The Temple”, which is what leads us to this new special series.
Here at the Last Word on Pro Wrestling, we try to talk about every company there is, was, and ever will be. Now that the temple has seemingly closed its door for good, it’s the perfect time to look back on what LU meant and in some ways, still means to the pro wrestling industry. And we’ll be doing it in a unique way, looking at the show, its moments and its significance as they happened. Our hope is that this will bring back the memories of Lucha Underground all over again, by remembering everything the temple did for one’s fandom and by taking a deeper look inside how four seasons changed the world of wrestling, whether fans realized it or not.
Our series begins at its natural introduction, episode one, where we stepped foot “Inside the Temple” for the very first time.
Dario Cueto Officially Welcomes Us To His Temple
You could have watched just this part of the show and known that there was something up with Dario Cueto. He wasn’t a heel by any means immediately, but he also had that feel where it’d be hard to try and trust him. He had devious tactics inside him that fans could see from the word go, especially since he was attempting to give out money right off the bat. $100K to be exact, as he looked for any of those who stepped into his temple that night to prove they had what it takes to earn that money. Cueto showed the world immediately that he is not going to wait around, but create a reason to be hungry early in.
Chavo Guerrero vs Blue Demon Jr
The first-ever match in the history of Lucha Underground was rightfully started by a family member of the legendary Guerrero family. Chavo Guerrero was the one to do that, as he attempted to bring the name value and show that no matter where the match happens, a Guerrero is no one to mess with. But his opponent was not just anyone. It was, as the announcers Matt Striker and Vampiro told us, the Lucha legend himself, Blue Demon Jr. I could be crazy, but while it was nothing super special, it was the perfect first match for the show. A name many US fans knew going against a Lucha legend. A story was developed here at the end of this one, as Blue Demon Jr. locked on his sharpshooter finisher to make Chavo tap in the middle of the ring.
After the match in the depths of the temple, a dejected Guerrero sat there as Dario Cueto walked in and told him he should be ashamed after losing with the Guerrero name.
Son of Havoc vs Sexy Star
Son of Havoc, who many know as Matt Cross, is fantastic. The man is mega-talented. His opponent on the night was none other than the first woman to compete inside the temple, Sexy Star. Star has since been excommunicated from the wrestling world, but long before that she was set as a star in Lucha Underground. Vampiro made it clear that Havoc was overlooking Star and she was going to kill him. That was the case at times, but this match was rather fast, seeing Havoc use the tights to pin Star and pick up a win. It felt like an upset to me as a first time viewer, but we’d soon learn that Star wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Johnny Mundo vs Prince Puma
Big showings are important in making a first impression. There could not have been a more perfect decision for the main event than this match here. Earlier in the night, LU aired a segment that saw Dario Cueto and Konnan talking in Cueto’s office. Konnan said he had the next huge Lucha megastar in Prince Puma, while Cueto was bringing the prized wrestler of Johnny Mundo in to teach him a lesson. The winner of the match would walk out with the $100K. For those who do not know, Prince Puma is the one and only Ricochet. And for many fans who were not at the time watching New Japan Pro Wrestling, this was likely the first glimpse into the man who would use Lucha Underground as a real launching pad for the next stage in his career. Watching this match, you could see the vision of Lucha Underground right there and then. That vision was bright, exciting, and full of hope. These two men were incredible, as both threw huge shots back and forth while accomplishing utter insanity inside the ring that not many others could pull off.
What was so special about this match is the fact you could feel these two were the faces of the brand moving forward. But also, you weren’t completely sure who would win and who would lose. It came down to the point where the veteran Mundo bested the up and comer in Prince Puma. Mundo hit the End of the World for the win and was prepared for his prize money. Cueto faked out giving him the money before three goons came into the ring, including the former Ezekiel Jackson in the WWE. Cueto revealed to the world that these men work for him and it truly left an exclamation point on the first-ever episode.
Entertaining wrestling with a special feel that is unmatchable. It was a television show, a drama that included wrestling. Ahead of its time? Yes. Pure entertainment? No doubt. This is only the beginning of the “Inside The Temple” series, so make sure to check back as the adventure of reliving Lucha Underground is upon us here at LWOPW.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.