Reaction Zone - 2017 Achievement Awards, part 1

It's awards time again. This year, we'll start handing out the hardware with Lucha Underground, which will begin recording season 4 in February or March.

I should also note that we are not going to name the MVP award after Eddie Guerrero any longer. It's just another award now. That said.....

MVP: Pentagon Dark. Now known as Penta OM, Pentagon became Lucha Underground champion at the end of the season, but, months after the episodes were taped, it was reported that Penta OM had quit AAA, the parent promotion of Lucha Underground. Otherwise, he was a perfect fit for El Rey's target audience, the young adults who are into violence for the sake of violence.

Wrestler of the Year: This one's tough, especially considering what he went through, but we're giving the award to Fenix. His on-screen romance with Melissa Santos might give shippers some pause, especially if they know that Melissa is in reality linked with Brian Cage. The lone drawback is that the feud with Marty Martinez went too long, although the payoff was satisfying at Ultima Lucha Tres.

Babyface of the Year: Rey Mysterio edges out Fenix for the award. Rey may or may not be back, and if he doesn't come back, that's a disservice to Matanza and LU.

Heel of the Year: Marty Martinez. Oh. You were expecting Johnny Mundo? Mundo (now Johnny Impact on Thursday nights) may have been a scumbag, but Martinez's relentless stalking of Melissa illustrates a real life societal problem not often addressed. No redeeming value, and storyline sister Mariposa ("Cheerleader" Melissa Anderson) turned on him more than once near the end. You tend to forget that this goober was once on "Tough Enough", he was so deep into character.

Tag team of the Year: Fenix/Aerostar/Drago. I don't know who it was who decided Drago would shift over to the Reptile Tribe, although the title change will remind people of how Cody Rhodes swapped out Hardcore Holly for Ted DiBiase, Jr. nearly a decade ago in WWE. Matt Striker, professional comics geek, dubbed the face trio the Super Friends, given their diverse gimmicks.

Woman of the Year: Melissa Santos. Sure, she lost her only match, and that shouldn't have happened, as Melissa tried to stay above the fray, but then they did give us a story to explain Martinez's constant hovering behind her when she did intros for his matches. She found love, but at the same time had the same dreadful feeling a lot of women have gotten from stalkers like Martinez. Props to the writing staff for injecting some realistic, real world drama to the storyline. Of course, Fenix & Cage happen to be very lucky........

The P. T. Barnum "I Got Played For a Sucka" Award: Prince Puma. Once it got out that Puma was not coming back (we think) for season 4, it became clear that we'd get a swerve and Vampiro would turn on him, reuniting with Pentagon in the process. Well played.

The Beetle Bailey "I Don't Want to Get My Hands Dirty" Award: Kobra Moon. Once Drago became her slave, she refused to compete. Any place else, that would qualify as a breach of contract, but not in the surreal world of LU. Kobra went from being easy on the eyes to just plain annoying because of her refusal to work a match.

Pariah of the Year: Sexy Star. You all know the story by now, how she shot on Impact Wrestling's Rosemary at TripleMania, making the remaining matches in the can worthless by the time they aired, although getting the last laugh on Taya was satisfying anyway. We may never see Sexy on our TV screens, at least in English language programming, again.

What to look forward to in 2018: How about a 3-way crossover with Impact and "GLOW" (because producer Chavo Guerrero is a trainer on the latter)? If Penta OM doesn't return, expect a tournament to crown a new champ. Johnny Mundo/Impact and Taya are expected to return, criss-crossing between LU & Impact. Not so sure about Texano. Ricky Mandel/Mundo will be formally dismissed from Worldwide Underground and return to his former status as a jobber. LU should not have so much lead time in between taping and broadcast dates, as this past season demonstrated how dangerous that can be.

In part 2, we'll look back at Ring of Honor.

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