By Will Pruett
Lucha Libre USA: Masked Warriors
Ontario, California at Citizens Business Bank Arena
The arena for this show has become part of WWE's regular rotation through Southern California and was also recently ran by TNA. For this show, they curtained off half of the building, only seemed to be selling the first bowl, and still had a large amount of empty seats. The floor had far more seats than they were selling and the first bowl was maybe one-third full. It was a dreary day, which may have discouraged people. The ring announcer/M.C. for the show tried hard to get the crowd pumped up, but it didn't connect.
The show didn't start until about twenty minutes after the official start time. Well, it wasn't quite the show starting, it was the preshow starting. This was a long preshow with the M.C. for the event and Melina attempting to hype up the crowd. Eventually, a dance contest broke out with Rocky Romero (who did awesome heel work in this, his only appearance of the night) and Mini Park picking teams and dancing. Mini Park's team won.
Between the preshow and the actual show starting, a a portion of a documentary about Lucha Libre's tradition was played. It was a long clip to show a live crowd and it seemed to kill off any momentum they had gained with the preshow.
1. Mini Park and Vladimiro defeated Pequeño Halloween and Celestrial. This was the only minis match of the night and may have been the best match of the night. The wrestlers were able to bring the crowd back from boredom with the documentary and get them invested in the match.
Vladimiro is very small and a vampire. He was pretty spectacular making babyface comebacks as the match progressed. Ultimately, Mini Park and Vladimiro prevailed in a fun opener.
The opening match was followed by a best-dressed contest. Between every match Melina and the host of the show would get in the ring and chat. This brought out some rather horrible acting from Melina. The host was often speaking in English and Spanish to make sure the whole crowd understood what was going on. They often clued people into who was to be cheered and who was to be booed.
2. El Nuevo Macho defeated Psicosis. El Nuevo Macho is a wrestler sponsored by Dr. Pepper Ten, which was also one of the main sponsors of the show. This was silly corporate sponsorship at its best. Macho was beat up for a fair potion of the match, until Psicosis tried to drink a Dr. Pepper (like you do mid-match). Macho took the Dr. Pepper away and bathed himself in it.
This lead to the discussion of why a soda company would promote itself as exclusively for men. One of the running bits of the night was Melina not being allowed to taste Dr. Pepper 10 because she has a vagina and it is a drink exclusively for those without one. Odd advertising. It was also an odd thing to see in action in the ring frequently.
In the end, El Nuevo Macho won and the world wept.
3. Super Nova defeated Super Crazy. This was billed as "The Battle of the Supers" and it was one of the main events of the show. Super Crazy has put on some weight since I last saw him (WWE's ECW in 2006 or 2007), but he was still very impressive. Super Nova was fun, but not quite as dynamic as Super Crazy.
Crazy was the heel in the matchup, despite occasionally performing impressive moves like the standing Moonsault. Nova ended up winning the match in a slightly flukey way when Crazy missed a big move. It was a short match.
4. La Mascara defeated Mr. Agula. This was the Lucha Libre USA debut for La Mascara. He came to the ring in a hoodie and even wrestled a fair portion of the match with it on. I found this odd. This match suffered from being after a long intermission and late in the night (it was over two and a half hours after the show's scheduled start time).
La Mascara won the match with a cool looking Surfboard/Boston Crab type of maneuver where he held Agula's feet and hands.
5. Shane "Hurricane" Helms defeated Lizmark Jr. by disqualification. This was the semi-main event of the night. It was also the time when it was most evident this show was not courting WWE fans. There was no mention of Hurricane in the preshow or any other portion of the show. This seemed a little off to me, given he was the most recognizable name on the show.
The match itself was also designed to get Lizmark Jr. and his interaction with audiences (He likes to tell people to shut up. Audiences like to chant it back at him. Everyone goes home happy.) over. The match was short and involved many of the classic Hurricane spots you likely remember.
The end of the match came when Hurricane was about to Chokeslam Lizmark. Lizmark kicked him in the man parts and was disqualified. Hurricane ended up recovering and landing that Chokeslam before leaving. This was essentially a house show, so the disqualification was odd.
6. Blue Demon Jr. and Solar defeated R.J. Brewer and "The Firewall" Jon Rekon. For those that don't know, R.J. Brewer calls himself "The Arizona Patriot" and has been doing a Zeb Colter-esque gimmick for far longer than Zeb himself. He does it well. There was a dissonance seeing Brewer get so political on a show so based on fun. It worked for the families in attendance and people strongly disliked him. It was just slightly odd.
Jon Rekon is basically a much more bulked up version of Ryback (I know that sounds crazy). He is very muscular (one only knows what Lucha Libre USA's Wellness Policy is). His gimmick was also that he was very dumb. He is a part of Brewer's stable "The Right."
Blue Demon Jr. and Solar were the interchangeable cartoon heroes from Mexico coming to conquer the evil forces of "The Right" (and you thought WWE's stories were heavy handed). Their offense consisted of primarily punching and kicking with a few larger moves thrown in.
The finish came when Demon an Solar put Solar's bonus mask on Brewer and Rekon gave Brewer Shellshock (as if he wasn't enough like Ryback) and pinned him. Brewer being pinned, even by his own team, somehow meant he lost. I was lost too.
Pruett's Pause: This show was an odd experience for me. The wrestling wasn't very satisfying (You're more likely to see great wrestling on Raw). The breaks between matches with Melina and the nerdy guy talking in overly staged bits were tedious and, by the end of the night, frustrating. The show was even structured in an odd way (Rocky Romero getting some of the best heel heat of the night in a dance contest, but never appearing again).
Despite all of this, the show was fun. There were a few kids behind me that absolutely bought in. They booed the heels. They cheered the faces. They were passionate and having a great time. Even if the show wasn't great to me, it was to them. They crowd (although small) made the show for me. I don't know if I would go to another Lucha Libre USA show again or if I would recommend the experience, but it was a fun night.
Hey people! Let's talk about this show and Lucha Libre USA! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me and chat me up on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
Pruett's Lucha Libre USA Masked Warriors in Ontario, California Live Show Review - Hurricane Helms, Melina, Solar, Blue Demon Jr., R.J. Brewer, and more in a live event!
Posted in: MISC Live Events
Apr 19, 2013 - 11:15 AM
Apr 19, 2013 - 11:15 AM
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