There was a time when I would watch professional wrestling religiously. However, by the late 90s, I grew bored with the "sport" and, other than an occasional match or two (when nothing else was on) had pretty much abandoned it. However, my wife and I recently discovered Lucha Underground on Netflix and, thanks to that, I am regaining my love for pro wrestling. Here are the three main reasons why.
Three Reasons Why Lucha Underground Made Me a Pro Wrestling Fan Again
I haven't been a professional wrestling fan in years but Lucha Underground changed that.
I Love the Comic-Book-Like Storylines
Professional wrestling, among other things, is supposed to make you want to suspend reality and, as part of that, wrestlers (especially in the 80s) were almost superhero (or villain) like. A lot of the major promotions got away from that and, while their stars were more relatable to the average fan, they just weren't as exciting as a result.
The thing I love about Lucha Underground is the way it embraces the entertainment aspect of professional wrestling and even kicks it up a notch. The wrestlers aren't just men (or women) in masks, they are humanized versions of dragons, jungle cats, etc. This makes the backstage stories more fun to watch and makes their ability to get up and continue fighting after leaping off the top rope onto the cement floor a bit more believable, at least when taken into context with what their characters are.
The Constant Rotation Keeps the Wrestlers Fresh
Back in the old territory days of professional wrestling, promoters understood the importance of rotating wrestlers out before they began to wear out their welcome. Lucha Underground seems to understand this as well.
While wrestlers aren't completely phased out of the promotion, Lucha Underground does continually shift the focus. The star one week might be just another guy (or girl) another week or an "injury" might take them out of the spotlight completely for a few weeks. As a result, when they are rotated back to the top, the fans are happy to see them.
The promotion also doesn't drag out rivalries. If two wrestlers hate each other, that feud is typically resolved within a couple of weeks. That's so much better than waiting for the next pay-per-view event.
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The Champions Are Fighting Champions
One of the biggest reasons Ric Flair is my favorite all-time wrestler is he defended his titles on an almost nightly basis. Today, with most promotions at least, you're lucky if the champion steps in the ring once every few weeks and, more often than not, if you aren't paying to watch it on pay-per-view, it's either a non-title situation (like a tag team match) or it's a teaser match that ends in disqualification or count out.
With Lucha Underground, the champions defend their titles on a regular basis. It doesn't matter if the belt is on a hero or a villain, this adds some legitimacy to the championship, especially when the champion (good or bad) finds a way to defeat an opponent that should have crushed them.
Along similar lines, I also like the fact Lucha Underground doesn't have a dozen different titles (like some other promotions). Not counting the Gift of the Gods title (which is more of an opportunity to win the championship rather than a championship in itself) there's one singles champion and one trios (three-man tag team) champion. Just like in any legitimate sport, like football or basketball, having just one championship to chase makes it that much more valuable.
At some point, I'm sure I'll start to lose interest in professional wrestling once again. I do tend to be a bit finicky that way. But, for the time being, this show has renewed my interest in something that used to be a big part of my life and I do recommend taking the time to watch it if you get a chance.