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Lucha Underground – Where Are They Now?

Lucha Underground

Founded in 2014, Lucha Underground was a revolutionary concept within this weird void that is the professional wrestling multiverse.

It was part pro wrestling show, part soap opera, filmed in front of a Californian studio audience and aired across four seasons instead of a regular weekly touring schedule akin to your traditional wrestling promotion. The idea worked, but only for so long, as interest in the product massively dwindled by its third season, with its fourth ultimately being the nail in the coffin of Lucha Underground.

Budget concerns had risen to such a critical level that a fifth series wasn’t conceivable, with Vampiro, who provided commentary alongside Matt Striker, confirming during a 2020 interview that the series was indeed finished.

The company’s affiliation with Mexico’s Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide meant that they featured many of the same stars, though these names had become an afterthought in lieu of a plethora of ex-WWE Superstars dominating the scene towards its dissolution. Everyone from John Morrison to Ezekiel Jackson was fixtures within the Temple at one stage.

Having aired its final episode on 7 November 2018, this month marked three years since the El Rey Network broadcast any new content from the company. Its roster has moved far and wide in the aftermath, but where, exactly, have they wound up since?

Dario Cueto

Dario Cueto

Arguably, Lucha Underground would be nothing without the talented Luis Fernandez-Gil playing Dario Cueto, Lucha Underground’s on-screen authority figure and kayfabe brother of Matanza Cueto.

While LU lent itself to comedic tendencies at times, Dario was a traditionally serious character, often involved in the implied murders of certain Lucha Underground roster members, with Cueto’s immaculate work earning him the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Best Non-Wrestler award in both 2015 and 2016.

These days, the former Dario and Antonio Cueto can be found in Major League Wrestling’s Azteca Underground – effectively, a spinoff of Lucha Underground, hence the name – under the Cesar Duran alias.

Outside of the wrestling world, the real-life Luis has kept himself busy with a handful of acting gigs, most recently playing a tow worker in 2020’s psychological drama, Horse Girl.

The Monster Matanza Cueto

Jeff Cobb

The word “lucha” means you wouldn’t expect to see literal Olympic wrestler Jeff Cobb on Lucha Underground’s books, but indeed he was, competing as The Monster Matanza Cueto, storyline brother of the aforementioned Dario Cueto.

As Matanza, the Honolulu native lifted the Lucha Underground Championship in his first televised outing, winning the second Aztec Warfare in the process. Understandably, he was one of LU’s more domineering champions, remaining undefeated throughout his entire title run – aired between 23 March and 16 November 2016.

Upon being killed off during the series’ fourth season, reports surfaced in April 2019 that he was seeking a release from his Lucha Underground contract, stemming from the likes of King Cuerno, Kobra Moon, and XO Lishus doing the same.

The nature of LU as a television show rather than a standard wrestling promotion prohibited its roster from taking certain bookings, thus costing them potentially huge earnings. Ultimately, he was released while appearing for Ring Of Honor.

While also reprising his role as Dario Cueto’s brother in Major League Wrestling as Matanza Duran, Jeff Cobb is signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he’s a member of Will Ospreay’s United Empire unit.

He had a 27-day reign as NEVER Openweight Champion there, with other accolades including him being a PWG World Champion and an ROH World Television Champion.

Prince Puma

Ricochet

Lucha Underground’s biggest draw, arguably, was Ricochet, who wrestled in a fetching set of gear as Prince Puma. The inaugural Lucha Underground Champion, Puma was an instant hit for LU audiences, wowing those that perhaps had never been aware of his exemplary work.

His bouts with Cage, Johnny Mundo, and Mil Muertes were defining moments of Lucha Underground’s initial run, while his ultimate Trios Championships-winning alliance with Rey Mysterio Jr. and El Dragon Azteca Jr. was a treat to those watching at home.

After opting out of a new deal that would have allowed him to work New Japan and the indies – thus making him one of wrestling’s highest-paid non-WWE performers at the time – Ricochet would sign with WWE in January 2018, his first match coming in that outstanding NXT TakeOver: New Orleans ladder match.

A former NXT North American and WWE United States Champion, Ricochet perhaps now wishes he’d signed that Lucha Underground deal; he’s floundering in WWE at the moment. A jump to All Elite Wrestling seems likely in the future.

Johnny Mundo

The Miz & John Morrison

John Morrison, Johnny Nitro, Johnny Mundo, Johnny IMPACT, call him what you like, he’ll put in a decent performance wherever he goes.

Under the Mundo name, Johnny had a superlative Lucha Underground career, wrestling from start to end in the promotion until it ultimately fizzled out of existence. His debut match vs. Prince Puma set the precedent for what this new promotion was about, while his final bout there – a Sacrifice To The Gods match vs. Pentagón Dark – concluded his Lucha Underground tenure rather aptly.

Elsewhere, his Steel Cage matches vs. Cage and King Cuerno, as well as his Iron Man bout vs. Prince Puma, were highlights of his LU career.

Now back in WWE after returning in early 2020, Morrison, like Ricochet, is struggling to maintain relevance, having turned babyface following his split from The Miz. Aside from a sole reign as SmackDown Tag Team Champion with “The A-Lister”, Morrison has achieved nothing of note, really, though he did at least challenge Braun Strowman for the WWE Championship at last year’s Backlash pay-per-view.

Cage

Brian Cage

Cage, sans Brian, surprisingly never held the Lucha Underground Championship, though he was a dominating factor within the company throughout his time there. His feuds against Prince Puma and The Mack were some of the promotion’s most iconic, with his Falls Count Anywhere match vs. the latter at the inaugural Ultima Lucha being a certified banger that used the stipulation to perfection.

Additionally, his outing vs. Taya Valkyrie also got the now-former Franky Monet a larger fanbase, being one of modern wrestling’s most progressive male-on-female encounters.

Having debuted for All Elite Wrestling in May 2020 – four months after his initial signing had been reported – Brian Cage can now call himself a former FTW World Championship; he’d been granted the title by ex-manager, Taz.

He’s already participated in a number of high-profile feuds in AEW, too, notably against Jon Moxley, Ricky Starks, and the pairing of Darby Allin and Sting, the latter’s first match, albeit a cinematic one, in six years.

During a May 2021 interview with the Jobbing Out podcast, Cage reflected positively upon his time in Lucha Underground:

“I remember the last time I was part of something that kind of slowly took the wrestling world by storm was Lucha Underground, which is still one of my favourite times in wrestling. I absolutely loved it there. And now that we’re here with another alternative – the biggest problem with Lucha Underground was finances and TV network. [In AEW], we’ve got the finances to back to the company, and we’ve got TNT. If Lucha Underground was on TNT instead of El Rey, it would have done a little better and lasted a little longer, to say the least”.

Mil Muertes

Mil Muertes

Mil Muertes’ Lucha Underground story is quite intriguing; his background was that his family had been killed during a Mexico City earthquake when he was seven-years-old, hence why he headed to the Temple to fight back on his family’s behalf. It all makes sense. Really.

In Lucha Underground, Muertes was a pillar of the promotion’s early run, losing a Grave Consequences match to Fénix that was then counteracted by him becoming the second Lucha Underground Champion during the inaugural season’s finale.

Following an enjoyable 200+ day run as the top name in LU, the remainder of Muertes’ tenure there was spent facing everyone from Cage to The Mack to Pentagón Jr.

Now 46-years-old and redubbed King Muertes, the former Judas Mesias is now in Major League Wrestling as part of their Lucha Underground reboot of sorts. There, he became the IWA Caribbean Heavyweight Champion, having defeated Richard Holiday in July.

More recently, Muertes was joined by Catrina, who also served as his valet in Lucha Underground.

Catrina

Catrina

Catrina, the former Maxine from the infamous NXT outing vs. Kaitlyn, only actually wrestled one match under the Lucha Underground banner, that coming as a loss to Ivelisse during the second part of Ultima Lucha Tres.

Instead, she was more known as Mil Muertes’ valet and onscreen girlfriend, though she’d ultimately later become the new proprietor of Lucha Underground and manage Fénix and The Disciples of Death, too.

She’s wrestled just nine matches since departing the promotion in the mid-2010s, though, as mentioned above, she revised her position as Catrina alongside King Muertes in Major League Wrestling. Outside of the ring, the real-life Karlee Perez is also an actress and model. Her most recent role saw her play Alanza in Seized.

Big Ryck

Ezekiel Jackson

Inarguably, Big Ryck was one of the more surprising successes from Lucha Underground’s early run. He failed, really, in WWE, aside from ECW and Intercontinental Championship runs, but in LU, he performed rather well.

Perhaps best known for his early work vs. Prince Puma, the former Ezekiel Jackson was a potential winner of the inaugural Lucha Underground Championship, though he’d ultimately be unsuccessful in the first Aztec Warfare.

He was eventually written out of the company due to travel conflicts; storyline-wise, he was killed by The Disciples of Death.

Big Rick would retire from the ring that same year, his retirement bout coming for Germany’s westside Xtreme wrestling. He teamed with Absolute Andy and John Klinger to defeat the trio of Karsten Beck, Kevin Roadster, and Marius van Beethoven. Since retiring, the ex-Crenshaw Crew member has been working as a trainer.

Sexy Star

Sexy Star

Intergender wrestling was a focal point of Lucha Underground’s presentation, something Sexy Star was regularly involved in. She faced the likes of Pentagón Jr. and Super Fly on a number of occasions, and also became the only female to hold both the Lucha Underground and Gift Of The Gods Championships.

Both titles would be lost to Johnny Mundo, with her last LU encounter being against Taya in a Last Luchadora Standing match.

That match – taped on 26 June 2016 – never actually aired until 11 October 2017, meaning this came after Sexy Star’s controversial shoot armbar on Rosemary during AAA’s Triplemanía XXV.

Following this incident, Sexy Star was effectively blacklisted from mainstream professional wrestling and therefore stripped of the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship, although she has continued to wrestle until the alias of Sexy Dulce on lesser-known Mexican promotions.

For what it’s worth, in AAA, the Sexy Star moniker has since been taken up by La Hija de Gatubela.

Pentagón Jr.

The Lucha Brothers Thumb

Rising to mainstream fame in Lucha Underground, Pentagón Jr. built a character out of breaking opponents’ arms, sacrificing them to his master, that master ultimately being revealed as LU commentator Vampiro.

He eventually changed his moniker to Pentagón Dark at the request of Vampiro, though their alliance concluded when Pentagón failed to lift the Lucha Underground Championship.

Pentagón would, eventually, lift the title, ending Prince Puma’s Lucha Underground career in the process; funnily enough, both are the only two-time Lucha Underground Champions.

Using the success attained from Lucha Underground, Pentagón has remained busy since the show ended. A former IMPACT Wrestling World Champion, he now resides in All Elite Wrestling alongside Lucha Bros partner and legitimate brother, Rey Fénix.

Together, they’re the reigning AEW World Tag Team Champions, having dethroned The Young Bucks at All Out on 5 September in a critically-acclaimed Steel Cage match.

Fénix

Rey Fenix

Fénix, like his brother, rose to prominence thanks to his Lucha Underground run, where he held all of the championships on offer. He wrestled for near enough the entirety of Lucha Underground’s run, debuting on season one’s third episode, while his final match aired on the opener of the company’s finale episode, where he defeated Dragon Azteca Jr. in a Two out of Three Falls match. Other notable feuds include Fénix going against Mil Muertes and Marty “The Moth” Martinez.

Away from Lucha Underground, Fénix has only improved his in-ring work, with a January 2021 AEW World Championship vs. Kenny Omega being recognised as a potential Match of the Year. Alongside Pentagón Jr., he currently serves as one half of AEW’s World Tag Team Champions, with The Lucha Bros having just defeated FTR to retain the titles at Full Gear 2021.

Taya

Taya Valkyrie

Debuting in the second season, Taya (sans Valkyrie) came into Lucha Underground as an ally for real-life husband, Johnny Mundo, though her debut no disqualifications match against Cage acted considerably well in garnering her a larger fanbase.

She and Mundo’s Worldwide Underground group – also including Jack Evans, PJ Black, and Ricky Mandel, who appeared as Ricky Mundo – became somewhat of a focal point towards the end of Lucha Underground’s tenure, though it eventually dissolved, and Taya defeated Ricky in her final Lucha Underground bout.

Having been released from WWE at the start of November, the now-former Franky Monet is expected to return to IMPACT Wrestling once her non-compete clause expires, where she is the longest-reigning Knockouts Champion on record.

Having only been signed to WWE at the start of the year, she was aligned with The Robert Stone Brand for her brief spell there, and also challenged Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship.

Dragon Azteca Jr.

Dragon Azteca Jr.

Similarly to Mil Muertes, the character of Dragon Azteca Jr. had some backstory to it; El Dragon Azteca was saved from a gang beating in Lucha Underground’s debut episode by a hooded figure, leading to Azteca training this mysterious man in the art of lucha libre. I

n the finale of season one, he formally took on the moniker of Dragon Azteca Jr. after wrestling the original Azteca to a draw, with him then stepping forward to save Black Lotus from Dario Cueto.

He officially debuted in the second Aztec Warfare bout, and would later capture the Trios Championships alongside Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio Jr. Other than that, being the third-last Gift Of The Gods Champion is the only other notable accolade on Azteca’s Lucha Underground CV, although he’s best remembered for his mind-numbing satellite DDT.

Wrestling again as Rey Horus, he’s a firm fixture in both Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Ring Of Honor, the latter of which saw him as a former World Six-Man Tag Team Champion with Bandido and Flamita as one-third of MexiSquad.

Drago

Drago

A forgotten gem of Lucha Underground is Drago. He never quite reached the levels of success post-LU that The Lucha Bros, for example, received, but nonetheless, he remained there for Lucha Underground’s entire tenure.

He had rivalries opposite King Cuerno and Hernandez, challenged for the Lucha Underground Championship, and held the Trios Championships with Pindar and Vibora, but he mostly acted as card fodder towards the end for the likes of Johnny Mundo and Jake Strong.

After stints in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, IMPACT Wrestling, and CHIKARA (where he, Aero Star, and Fénix won the 2015 King of Trios tournament), Drago now primarily competes in Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, where he reigned for 321 days as the company’s Latin America Champion between December 2018 and October 2019.

King Cuerno

Santos Escobar thumb

Having become famous throughout Mexico under the El Hijo del Fantasma moniker, he debuted for Lucha Underground as King Cuerno, instantaneously beginning a rivalry opposite Drago. It was Cuerno who won the feud, defeating him in a Last Man Standing match, which was followed by him lifting the Gift Of The Gods Championship not too long after.

Prior to being released from his contract in March 2019, he entered a feud with Mil Muertes, which ended rather inconclusively.

Now as Santos Escobar in NXT, he leads the Legado del Fantasma faction with Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza, where he is also a former NXT Cruiserweight Champion. He last wrestled on the 12 October NXT 2.0 broadcast, unsuccessfully challenging Isaiah “Swerve” Scott for the North American Championship. A main roster callup seems inevitable for the group, given their lack of activity since the rebranding and NXT 2.0’s presentation going forward.

Killshot

Isaiah Swerve Scott

Speaking of Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, he wrestled under a mask in Lucha Underground as Killshot. His shot on the show came via Ricochet’s recommendation, leading to Konna viewing some training tapes that led to his eventual signing. Lucha Underground bosses can’t have been furious, either, as he wound up being a stellar signing that had countless memorable contests under the banner, with his Hell of War outing vs. Dante Fox being overtly violent; a stark contrast to the traditional Lucha Underground style.

Signing with WWE in April 2019, Scott captured the NXT North American Championship in spring 2021 upon turning heel on Leon Ruff, a title he held for 105 days. Most recently, he was drafted to the SmackDown brand alongside Hit Row stablemates Top Dolla, Ashante Adonis, and, until her release, B-FAB.

In speaking with ESPN in June 2018, he detailed how some of the backstory to the Killshot character came around:

“I asked head writer Chris DeJoseph if I could write the character. Write the background, a little story for the character, and he gave me permission and I wrote three different backgrounds for what Killshot could be. He took a little bit of all of them and combined them together and that’s how Killshot with the military background and the little backstory came about”.

The Mack

Willie Mack

Wrestling simply as The Mack and billed as the cousin of Big Ryck, Willie Mack brought a unique hybrid style to the Temple that ultimately saw him as a Trios Champion alongside Dante Fox and Killshot.

Aside from this, his matches vs. Cage and Johnny Mundo were superlative, with the former, in particular, being a brutal affair that saw a wondrous Falls Count Anywhere match go down during the inaugural Ultima Lucha.

Back using the Willie Mack name, “Chocolate Thunder” is currently signed to IMPACT Wrestling. He’s a former X Division Champion there, having usurped Ace Austin for the strap during the 2020 Rebellion special, while he’s also challenged for the World Tag Team Championships on a few occasions.

Rather interestingly, he and Brian Cage reignited their Lucha Underground rivalry for the Rochester, New York-based Xtreme Pro Wrestling, with “The Machine” capturing their World Heavyweight Championship from Willie on 7 November.

The Son of Havoc

Son Of Havoc

Defeating Sexy Star, Matt Cross wrestled in Lucha Underground’s second televised bout under a mask as The Son of Havoc, becoming a backbone of the promotion in the process. He faced effectively everyone, and would also be part of the inaugural Trios Champions with Angélico and Ivelisse.

He wrestled predominantly on the mid-card for the majority of his time in Lucha Underground, ending his time there by defeating Killshot in a Mask vs. Mask match during the fourth Ultima Lucha.

To this day, Matt Cross continues to wrestle everywhere from the National Wrestling Alliance to Major League Wrestling, having lost at MLW’s recent War Chamber event to nZo – the former Enzo Amore. Away from the ring, Cross has founded the clothing line Wrestling Is Forever and appeared in the crowdfunded thriller, Powerbomb.

Angélico

Angelico

Angélico essentially spent his entire time in Lucha Underground in the trios division, being the inaugural – and two-time – Trios Champions with The Son of Havoc and Ivelisse, with his final match seeing him defeat Johnny Mundo in a San Diego Street Fight, though, along the way, he had a couple of insane dives from atop the Lucha Underground office into the ring.

Angélico then didn’t depart the promotion until April 2018, despite that match being taped in November 2016, which is very telling of the controversial situation surrounding Lucha Underground’s contracts.

The South African wrestled almost everywhere before officially landing in All Elite Wrestling in 2019 alongside Jack Evans as The Hybrid2. Unfortunately, he and Evans have been riddled with the card fodder label, existing solely as meaningless members of The Hardy Family Office. Perhaps their biggest claim to fame, they and Kip Sabian were felled by The Elite’s Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks on the Rick and Morty-themed Dynamite broadcast.

Ivelisse

Ivelisse

With The Son of Havoc and Angélico, Ivelisse made successful defences of the Trios Championships against the likes of The Crew, and the trio of Cage, Big Ryck, and DelAvar Daivari, ultimately dropping them to The Disciples of Death. Her other highlights included challenging for the Lucha Underground Championship and defeating Catrina in the former Maxine’s sole Lucha Underground outing.

Her departure from the promotion is what’s most remembered, though, as she had been attempting to leave the company for over a year to no avail. They reportedly refused to release her from her deal, despite previously promising to do after the fourth season, posting the following to her Twitter account:

I’ve done everything in my power to avoid having to do this but… at this point I literally have no other choice… For a bit over 1 1/2 now I’ve been battling LU to grant me my release. They convinced me to do S4 under the promise that I’d be released after the season concluded and was still unhappy.

“They currently are still refusing to do so despite having been told numerous times that they would. This has caused me an unbearable amount of grief for so long now, I really have no words to describe and don’t know what else to do… being legally held hostage while Pro Wrestling is booming is a matter not to be taken lightly, especially coming from someone who has dedicated their life to their work, it’s everything to me. I am at my wit’s end, so at this point, regardless what happens from here on out, at the very least my story is told.

She was recently a part of All Elite Wrestling, winning last year’s women’s tag team tournament with Diamante, but she was released from there back in April following a backstage misunderstanding with Thunder Rosa. Since then, Ivelisse has competed across the independent wrestling circuit, a run that has included her capturing the Women’s Championship of the Texas-based Southwest Wrestling Entertainment.

Aero Star

Aero Star

Aero Star should have been a bigger deal in Lucha Underground, really. His early best of five series vs. Drago was transcendent of the Lucha Underground style, though Star lost the overall series three matches to two. After he, Drago, and Fénix lifted the Trios Championships from The Worldwide Underground, Aero Star did nothing else of note in the El Rey Network-helmed promotion.

He’s mostly found in AAA these days, being a former 215-day-long AAA World Tag Team Champion with Drago, while also winning the 2015 Rey de Voladores tournament for CHIKARA after defeating Tony Nese in the finals. On the 3 November edition of AEW Dynamite, he also debuted for All Elite Wrestling, teaming with Samuray del Sol – formerly known as Kalisto – as they unsuccessfully challenged FTR for the AAA World Tag Team Championships.