LUCHA UNDERGROUND AUSTIN WARFARE AT SXSW
The stars of El Rey Network’s Lucha Underground brought their exciting brand of professional wrestling to South By Southwest. The setting, with it’s combination of music and film, was perfect for this organization that has proven that it isn’t afraid to mix a bit of “telenovela” with some of the most entertaining wrestling that you will ever experience.
In the past, pro wrestling TV shows would try to explain why the camera was where it was. Lucha Underground consistently has multiple camera angles in a single “scene”. I say scene, because the backstage vignettes are shot as such. While this might be strange to people used to “the cameraman just stumbled onto this conversation” style that other organizations have used for ages, once you buy into it , it really does work. This style lets the characters be characters, not just athletes with a bit of odd personality.
All this drama would be nothing without the in ring product to keep the wrestling fans coming back for more. Lucha Underground definitely has some of the most exciting, innovative performers in the industry. A lot of them are well known to fans and some have done their time in WWE and other high profile organizations. In the press conference, the differences between WWE and Lucha Underground are stressed as the freedom and comradery in this organization are acknowledged by all. The “TV show style” seasons are also a big draw for the talent as the stories are set out and steer clear of the repetitive nature of the big feds. The self contained seasons also allow for down time that help Lucha Underground avoid the rash of injuries that have plagued WWE as it heads towards it’s biggest show of the year with half the roster unavailable.
The SXSW show was titled AUSTIN WARFARE and it definitely lived up to the name. Being their first live show outside of the confines of The Temple, all the performers knew that this was their time to show exactly what their organization was about. Crowds were lined up all day at the Austin Music Hall, waiting to get the best seats. You had your mix of die hard fans and newcomers who had heard that it was a show not to be missed. As soon as doors opened, the crowd rushed in, grabbed their seats, and bought their merch. The house band, complete with decorative luchador masks, kept the crowd pumped as they waited for the action to start.
The card itself was phenomenal, with each wrestler showing off their skills and proving why Lucha Underground has been gaining such a following. Every match was given plenty of time to develop and tell it’s own story. The night culminated in a fantastic 6 Man Tag Team Match with Johnny Mundo, Jack Evans and PJ Black Vs. Cage, Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio Jr. A mainstay of WWE for years, Mysterio Jr. is a huge addition to Luch Underground and will help to bring in the wrestling audiences that might only be acquainted with WWE. For a veteran who has seen many matches and has had his share of injuries, Mysterio definitely had a spring in his step and a smile on his face. Leaving the event, the crowds had the same smiles on their faces. Lucha Underground had invaded, conquered Austin, and left with a many new fans.
LUCHA UNDERGROUND airs Wednesdays at 8pm ET on EL REY NETWORK.