On this week’s episode of Major League Wrestling, Dario Cueto debuted as the assumed head (or El Jefe) of Azteca Underground. It has taken months of teasing to reach this point and it appears to have paid off. Cueto, played by the brilliant Luis Fernandez-Gil, is something of a cult icon in professional wrestling. For three seasons of Lucha Underground (though Fernandez-Gil did play Cueto patriarch, Antonio Cueto, in Season 4), Cueto was the enigmatically brilliant kingpin of Lucha Underground’s Temple, a traditional fight-pit built to give Dario what he most craves: violence. His philosophy and lust for violence helped create his “baby brother,” Matanza Cueto (played by Jeff Cobb); a freakish, Frankenstein’s Monster of a human who literally lived off of the flesh of Dario’s enemies. With Dario having returned to screens, let’s now take a look at Matanza.
Matanza Cueto Debuted in Season 2 of Lucha Underground
Whereas Matanza Cueto did not debut until partway through Season 2, his presence was heavily teased. Often, in backstage segments, Dario could be seen having one-sided conversations with someone we were not able to see. Then we would eventually see the cage, where Dario would go to visit his “baby brother.” If you can remember Dario’s henchmen, The Crew (Bael, Mr. Cisco, and Cortez Castro,) you might also remember that – having grown tired of them – Dario fed one of them (Bael) to his younger brother.
That’s right; Lucha Underground was notorious for killing off characters. Dario, of course, did most of the killing (and was eventually killed.) Eventually, at Aztec Warfare II, “The Monster” Matanza (as he was dubbed) debuted at last. In a 21-Man Aztec Warfare match (think Royal Rumble), Matanza won the Lucha Underground Championship from Fenix in a dominant debut unlike any other.
He would then begin feuding with the man widely believed to be the dominant monster of Lucha Underground, Mil Muertes. Whereas Matanza was the cannibalistic younger brother of a rich sociopath, raised to gift his brother the violence he craves, Mil Muertes was an un-dead, Undertaker-like monster that wasn’t necessarily evil, though certainly destructive. For much of that season, Muertes had been the Lucha Underground Champion and dominantly so. Now that he had another monster on the scene, he was unhappy.
In a match dubbed “Monster versus Monster”, Matanza vanquished Mil Muertes, finally establishing himself as the top monster in the Temple. Shortly after, he would destroy Pentagon Jr., the anti-hero of Lucha Underground – sending him to the hospital on a stretcher, which is an impressive feat given Pentagon’s mantra of “Cero Miedo” which translates to “Zero Fear”. He would remain undefeated until Aztec Warfare III, where he would lose the Lucha Underground Championship to Sexy Star in the annual Aztec Warfare match.
The Death of Matanza
Following his loss of the Lucha Underground Championship to Sexy Star, Matanza remained dominant. Whereas he would never recapture the championship, like any good monster, he did not need to. His character is not about championships; he exists to destroy. One of the show’s heroes, Black Lotus (Angela Fong), held a grudge against Matanza from the beginning. In Lucha Underground lore, Dario and Matanza were responsible for the murder of her parents (you can guess how.) Therefore, one of the underlining stories throughout each season was her quest to enact the ultimate revenge by taking out Dario and Matanza, though especially Matanza, who she saw as unjustifiably evil.
This came in the very last episode of Season 4. In this episode, Johnny Mundo (WWE‘s John Morrison) defeated Matanza with the help of what was referred to as the “Gauntlet of the Gods,” a sort of magical super glove resembling the infinity gauntlet worn by Thanos in ‘The Avengers.’ With this gauntlet, Mundo had the power to do what nobody had properly done: defeat Matanza. At the conclusion of the match, with Matanza injured by the sheer force of the gauntlet, Black Lotus acquired the gauntlet from Mundo, who did not want to be corrupted by its power (now think ‘Lord of the Rings’ and the One Ring). She used the gauntlet to destroy Matanza once and for all, avenging her parents at long last and bringing closure to the story. Since then, with the end of Lucha Underground, we have not seen Matanza. Jeff Cobb, who played Matanza, is, of course, a heater for Will Ospreay in NJPW‘s United Empire faction. With the character of Matanza being dead, we may never see his return.
Could Matanza Cueto Somehow Make It to MLW?
Whereas we mentioned earlier that Dario Cueto was killed off, he did return. At the culmination of the series’ final episode, Dario was revived from his coffin by Aerostar, which has presumably led to his joining Azteca Underground in MLW. Therefore, with Dario being revived, could Matanza, too, be brought back to life? It is potentially a long shot, with Cobb busy elsewhere, but who knows? Additionally, with the nature of Matanza and his being a masked wrestler, should they have the right to do so, they could quite easily cast someone new to play the role. While Dario is an excellent character and can quite easily thrive on his own, Matanza was an important part of that character. Should MLW hope to revisit Matanza, it would be a welcome addition to the roster.
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