The last two episodes of Lucha Underground have demonstrated the influence former WWE talents such as Chavo Guerrero, Jr., Rey Mysterio, Jr., Johnny Mundo (nee Morrison), and producer Chris DeJoseph have had on the product.
Take for example the show ending angle from this week. After Rey had lost to Pentagon Dark in a three-way, one-fall match also involving Chavo, they revisited an angle Rey & Chavo did on Smackdown about 10 or so years ago, only this time, Rey was hung on the top rope in the tree of woe while Chavo hit him repeatedly with chair shots.
Been there, seen that. Don't need to see it again.
A week earlier, Killshot had received an envelope delivered to him by Joey Ryan while the masked man was working out. All there was to be had was a crudely written note that read, "You left me for dead!".
This one is a variation on an angle that had been done twice in WWE.
In 2002, Jamie Noble was recalled from Heartland Wrestling to work a cruiserweight feud with former rival Shane Helms, at the time going by Hurricane. The idea was that Hurricane was being hassled by an unknown party, which turned out to be Noble, who then beat Hurricane for the cruiser title. Around the same time, over on Raw, I think there was something similar involving Rob Van Dam and Booker T or Goldust. I forget which, but cryptic notes were involved there, too.
It'll be a while before Killshot's new opponent is revealed, but it's sure they won't take the lazy way out and just use this to continue the feud with Marty Martinez. The Moth has moved on to Ivelisse Velez and her new on-screen squeeze, Jeremiah (Sami Callihan), who will make his in-ring debut soon, one would think.
Dario Cueto's Dial of Doom, which will create title matches for Matanza on a bi-weekly basis for now, is also a variation on the infamous Raw Roulette wheel, which was introduced also in 2002. I may be wrong, but Chris DeJoseph may have been with WWE back then. We know Mysterio would soon arrive by July 2002, but Chavo was already there. At least now you know why these old angles dating back 10 years or better are being used in Lucha Underground.
The idea, then, is to attract older fans who've seen this stuff before. Good idea, yes, but aside from the Mysterio-Guerrero angle, which isn't quite as fresh when you think about it, it would help if El Rey Network, Robert Rodriguez's other pride & joy, did more to call attention to the show. You know, the same way they're doing it with "From Dusk 'Til Dawn" on Tuesdays. The relentless promotion of "Dusk" is doing its job, one would think, although, again, I could be wrong about that, and since cast members from "Dusk" were seen at the temple, a crossover could still happen.
Digression over. Getting back on topic, one can assume that Worldwide Underground, the stable established in season 2, is LU's answer to WWE's Evolution (2002-5, 2014), with Mundo in the Triple H role as the title-obsessed leader. However, WU hasn't been as dominant, and that's actually a good thing. Evolution's problem was that it was perceived as a vanity vehicle for Triple H. Mundo, on the other hand, has a kindred spirit in Jack Evans, who matches him in terms of arrogance, ego, and athletic ability. Still, Mundo cut a promo in Dario Cueto's office not long ago acknowledging that WU is meant to ensure he becomes LU champion. Yeah, straight off the HHH assembly line. Bleecch.
It's unfortunate that the episodes are already in the can, taped weeks in advance. What LU could use now would be some writers with fresh ideas. Otherwise, it could end up suffering a slow, painful death, and then it'll be a footnote in wrestling history. I say that because if there are more old angles from WWE and elsewhere being used in the coming weeks, older viewers will look, then turn away if they don't like what they see.