Total Divas Season One Review – The Main Cast

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Total Divas debuted in 2013 on E!, capitalising on a more realistic age for WWE in terms of social relevance and mainstream media. This was their take on reality television, featuring the top divas from WWE. Your favourites divas from the Bellas to Natalya had their personal lives brought to our television screens.

There were a fair amount of wrestling fans (including wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler) who were against the reality show with the show focusing a lot more on the entertainment than the sports in sports entertainment. It was soap opera storylines that never seemed to sit right with hardcore wrestling fans.

For female viewers however, it was completely new territory. Coming after the Kardashians on E!, they could seize an opportunity to attract casual viewers on E! to their main WWE product. Whether it worked is still up for debate, considering RAW ratings are at their all-time lowest. And no, I’m not blaming Total Divas for the reasons RAW ratings have went down!

I’m just saying that the chances of many E! viewers suddenly becoming interested in RAW and SmackDown! after watching this are extremely unlikely when looking at the numbers.

With that being said, the show is still on the air as of 2017 and even a Total Bellas spin-off has been premiered. So it seems E! are happy with the ratings of this show!

Reality shows aren’t really something I’d ever watch and I’d been hugely disappointed by the reality shows I’ve seen before this. However, could this female-tailored reality show about the women of wrestling turn me around?

I’ve finished watching the full first season of this show and will provide a follow-up in-depth review of the season after this article. In the mean time, I wanted to produce a blog post basically looking at the characters of the show.

There were seven divas cast as the leads for this series – Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Natalya, Naomi, Cameron, Eva Marie and JoJo. One by one, we will break down each female’s involvement on the show, their likeability factor and whether they are actually good television characters for this show. SPOILERS for season 1 of Total Divas are to be expected…

Nikki Bella

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The “star” of the show as well as the then-boyfriend to John Cena. Most of Nikki’s storylines revolve around John Cena as well as certain episodes where she fights with Brie and, to an extent, Eva Marie. Nikki is the centre of the majority of episodes, with the Bella hoping to take things with John to the next level. It’s very easy for me to see how a character like this would be interesting to a female viewer, with typical soap-opera storylines about love and marriage. Everyone has a storyline like this on the show but Nikki’s relationship with John is the biggest.

I, as a man, personally do not connect with Nikki’s storyline. It comes off as an extreme negative with Nikki’s almost dead-pan delivery of subjects that your average dude is not going to be interested in. Visually, she comes off appealing to men which I guess is a fine way to garner some interest from that audience. The issue overall with Nikki is the superficial nature of her character that makes her seem just like any other E! reality show lead like Kim Kardashian. I could see why an E! viewer may find that attractive but from a narrative standpoint, it puts her in a tough writer’s block with her character. Are we just going to keep to doing the same storyline with her and Cena going into the 2018 episodes where Cena actually proposes?

 

Brie Bella 

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I personally really like Brie Bella. Maybe it’s down to Daniel Bryan’s affect on her or how bad Nikki looks in comparison but this is the type of girl that, if I met in real life, I could see myself having a positive conversation with her. Brie is one of the more mature women on the show, even in her “Brie Mode” state. In one particular episode, she has a heart-to-heart with Natalya when they’re all drinking in Vegas and Brie comes off extremely composed.

In the rare times that she comes off unlikable, it mostly feels extremely forced like with Natalya (which I’ll get to later) and therefore, doesn’t strike me as real. I’d like to think that Brie on this show is exactly like Brie would be in real life. Maybe that’s me giving the show the benefit of the doubt but whatever… as long as I have characters that I can find likeable!

 

Natalya

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I mentioned that some of the unlikablity factors on this show feels extremely forced upon. Natalya is the biggest victim of this. Natalya never struck me as an unlikable person whenever I’ve seen her on RAW, SmackDown! or in any other setting, prior to watching this show. Watching this show however, Natalya strikes me as having more “bitchy” storylines than anyone else.

She constantly complains about other women taking her spot on television, not getting enough attention for her husband TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd) and the work of other women in general. She comes off as irrational in a lot of cases, like when she sees TJ working with Eva Marie and then decides to feel up Fandango to get TJ jealous. TJ and Eva act all professional just training while Natalya overreacts.

Again, it’s hard to believe that Natalya is actually this awful in real life which is an issue. In this show, Natalya is the “veteran” out of everyone and you’d think would be the voice of wisdom to the younger talent. Instead, she outright complains about them. We hardly get to she her in an advisory role which would make for better storylines, particularly for the newbies.

 

Trinity (Naomi) 

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Naomi doesn’t particular strike me as interesting character but at least she comes off somewhat as a fun character. Naomi basically buckles down and works hard, trying to work her way onto television the old fashion way. She is a witness to her partner’s shenanigans on the road while in a relationship with Jonathan Fatu (Jimmy Uso).

Naomi’s specific storylines however are pretty hard to enjoy especially when it’s regarding her relationship with Jon. Naomi has to put up with a demanding boyfriend in Jon, who himself is irrational in a lot of different scenarios. He’s upset that Naomi is not wearing her engagement ring, upset when Naomi allows her dad to stay with them for a little bit and upset that Naomi is set to be in a romantic angle on television. Naomi having to put up with this nonsense rubs off badly on her storylines as you mostly want her in a background role more than having her own storylines with Jon. I guess her stuff with Cameron is somewhat tolerable but there’s not too many storylines of the Funkadactyls actually working together.

 

Ariane (Cameron)

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The Cameron character on Total Divas is a very much welcome part of season one of Total Divas. Why’s that? Well Cameron is the only character on the show who actually strikes me as unique. In professional wrestling itself, you need a wide variety of characters that make people stand out and be recognised. On television, this is even more important. All the other girls are almost interchangeable and similar in terms of their storylines which really kills interest in them.

While Cameron does have similar storylines, her mannerisms on the show are a one-on-a-kind. It’s a person that you’d never believe would actually exist in the real world and that’s what reality television shows should be about. Her casual drops of catchphrases like “thebomb.com” and “girl bye” as well as the outlandish ideas she has for the likes of her boyfriend Vinny just makes her “must-see” TV. She’s so crazy that it’s a change in pace from everyone else and she’s one of those people that you look at and would honestly want to hang out with for a day to see the world from their eyes. She’s tremendous!

 

Eva Marie

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The most hated woman on this show for many viewers but NOT as unlikable as you’d think. In fact, there’s actually not a lot wrong that Eva does. Her most “unlikable” traits are just being stupid… that’s it. I don’t know if Eva is actually like this in real life and I’d like to think that she isn’t but her unlikeness comes from just the plain ignorance and laziness she portrays on this show.

Things like pretending to be an experienced dancer so she can be on television and not being able to pronounce future WWE World Champion Jinder Mahal’s name (she, in fact, called him “Ginger Mahal”) doesn’t strike me as things I want to see but I guess, as a rookie, Eva needs to do these things from a narrative standpoint. A “learn from your mistakes” character if you will. Other than that, she actually doesn’t do anything wrong to other people. She does brag a lot about several opportunities but it mostly leads to characters like JoJo getting all jealous and it’s really not Eva’s fault that they get jealous of it. If you consider being an idiot the same as being unlikable, then Eva probably wouldn’t sit well. Otherwise, not TOO much wrong with Eva at this point.

 

JoJo Offerman

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JoJo was clearly a character they gave up on in the middle of the season or possibly early on during the production of the series. JoJo wasn’t particular an interesting character and her particular storyline is mostly an extension’s of Eva’s. They’re both the rookies so either JoJo is watching Eva during these shenanigans or she becomes jealous of Eva’s success. JoJo’s deadpan reactions to Eva’s success with the likes of Maxim does not make JoJo come off well. In fact, she comes off WORSE than Eva in a lot of these episodes.

JoJo seems like a girl that treats these issues by stropping around like a teenager (which she technically is during this season… she was 19) and not being mature enough around the adults. JoJo is essentially every young girl that wanted to hang out with her older sister’s friends but was told she wasn’t old enough. Even during the Vegas episode, she clearly just seemed more of a burden to Eva in particular while being unable to drink. With all this in mind, it’s pretty clear why she would be dropped from the main cast in the next season.

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Overall, the casting of women for the show is somewhat disappointing. There’s nothing particularly wrong with these women but there’s not lot of interest for the actual character’s unless you’re REALLY into the Nikki Bella storyline with John Cena for example. If you are, more power to you. These girls don’t really stand out as fun and interesting, giving you hardly any interest in them in the sense that you’re not going to bend over backwards to find out what happens to them next. Cameron is the only character so unique and out-of-this-world that gives you that feeling.

The show’s attempt to make the girls bicker constantly about petty things don’t really strike me as massive selling points for the show, which makes one refuse to rally behind a character like Natalya as she complains about the work of the other women. The Bellas seem the most INTO the show in terms of their “performances” but Nikki’s constant troubles over John Cena and Brie being witness to this isn’t a particular healthy relationship from a narrative storyline. Why should I care about Brie if the show is just to be centred around her sister? Brie’s engagement to Daniel Bryan was suddenly into an arc in the season finale where Nikki wants Cena to marry her.

Then there’s the newbies, who are a little hit and miss in a lot of ways. Eva, I guess, is the closest to Cameron in terms of having a unique character… not a likeable one, but still unique. JoJo, on the other hand, became more of a burden on the show in terms of scrambling to put together storylines for her. This, of course, leads to her removal from the show all together. Nice try JoJo, but it didn’t seem to work.

If you’re watching this show, I guess it’s mostly not for the individual character’s themselves. The writers’ biggest issue is making each of these women stand out in their own right. Each of them have similar storylines with their men, their work in the ring and with each other as spats spill out between the girls. I guess each of them provide at least something to meet all three of those things but it’s gonna take a lot more for me to personal be invested into the storylines of them individually.

Stay tuned to the Armbar Express as a I give you the full review of season one of Total Divas.

Lucha Underground: Aztec Warfare II Review

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NOTE: The following was written several months ago, days after the episode took place. Therefore, no aspects of future storylines after Aztec Warfare II will be discussed.
Season One’s Aztec Warfare match was one of my favourite matches in the first season. It saw the best in the Temple battle it out to crown the first Lucha Underground champion. When the smoke cleared, Prince Puma won the title. In Season Two they brought it back, with Lucha Underground Champion Fenix being forced to defend his title as the number one entrant. Did Aztec Warfare II deliver just like the first one?
As Catrina had declared at the end of the last episode, Fenix was the #1 entrant. He was the first entrant in the first Aztec Warfare match so this was a little case of deja vu. It was also funny, because Lucha Underground had their champion defend the title in a multi-man match that was taped in December. Fast-forward to January and the WWE had Roman Reigns defend the WWE title in a Royal Rumble! Think about that for a moment.
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#2 was the debuting Rey Mysterio. Mysterio revealed that he was in the match the week before but these fans obviously had no idea as they went nuts for Rey. As soon as Melissa Santos said “From San Diego, California,” you could hear some rumblings as if the fans started to figure out where this was going. As soon as Melissa said “Rey,” there was an eruption in the Temple!
I have to say that Rey looked in great shape during the match. Rey was very active throughout the match and he did a tremendous job in lasting the entire match. I remember watching him in the 2013 Royal Rumble and he looked blown up after like a minute. I couldn’t help but notice when I watched that particular Rumble. This Rey Mysterio was nothing like that Rey Mysterio that was in WWE a few years ago. Rey looked great and it was probably helped by the fact that this was in a taped show. If Rey was blown up at times, then Lucha did a great job in editing it out!
Fenix was, by far, the biggest mark for Rey as he came out. He showed respect for Rey and encouraged him to go up to the turnbuckles for his entrance. We started off with a great exchange between the old veteran and the young lion. Great to see and Rey was able to keep up with the pace of Fenix. Number three was King Cuerno. Mysterio, Fenix and Cuerno threw down for a while.
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Argenis was #4, making his return to the Temple as Argenis. He was actually a part of the Disciples of Death. I don’t actually think that the Disciples of Death are done yet though. I’ve seen a teaser Instagram post from Lucha that promoted a trios rematch between Ivelisse, Son of Havoc and Angelico against the Disciples of Death. They might wrap up that trios team after the rematch and let Argenis do his own thing. Argenis was fine in this match but he was really there to be the first of Rey’s victims. He was the first man eliminated after eating a 619. Johnny Mundo came out as #5 and then they went to the adverts.
There was a clever spot where Fenix used Mundo’s foot to boot Mysterio. Joey Ryan was #6 and his plan was to handcuff himself on the rail to keep himself from being pinned. It was a clever spot but all I kept thinking about when I watched this was when Big Show pinned Essa Rios on the wall in a hardcore match! Thankfully, this was not a Falls Count Anywhere match so Ryan was safe… FOR NOW!
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Prince Puma was #7. He ran wild and hit everyone (except Joey Ryan) with a Springboard Shooting Star Press. That was an incredible spot. Jack Evans was #8. King Cuerno tapped out to Rey Mysterio’s cross armbreaker to be eliminated. The luchadors (Mysterio, Puma and Fenix) then teamed up to take out the “rudos” Mundo and Evans. Rudos is another term for heels in case anyone was wondering. Evans and Mundo got together and waited for #9 to come out, who was in fact Taya. Big pop for Taya when she came out. There was awesome spot with the luchadores and the rudos faced off in a six man tag confrontation. Cage was #10 and ran wild, as we went to the adverts.
Cage beat up all the rudos until Mundo threw him into Catrina’s office. If you’ll recall, he turned heel by throwing Alberto El Patron threw the same window. Mundo has a thing for pulling a Shawn Michaels on the luchadors! Mascarita Sagrada was #11. Cage quickly re-entered the fray and hit a big discuss clothesline on Mundo. He hit the Weapon X on the outside and Prince Puma hit the standing moonsault to eliminate Mundo. Marty the Moth was #12. He dominated the match for a while. Drago came in at #13.
Drago went after the “Dragon Slayer” Jack Evans. They brawled into the crowd and Drago spit mist into Joey Ryan’s eyes. Sagrada and Mysterio teamed up to eliminate Marty. The Mack was number 14 and he hit Marty with a stunner for good measure.
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Then there was an awesome moment in the ring, with Mack and Cage having a stare down. As they started trading punches, there was a shot of the ring with the entrance steps behind them. So as Cage and Mack are fighting, Jack Evans starts rolling down the steps and to the floor! It was one of the funniest aspects of this match but it was also one of my biggest criticisms of the match too. There was so much going on during the match that it was hard to keep up. As stuff was going on in the ring, Drago and Evans were doing big spots in the crowd. At least in the Royal Rumble match, they make it clear over who the spotlight was on and who they wanted the fans to focus on at one time. In Aztec Warfare, it just seemed like there was too much going on at once. It was all great but it was all clunked together it seems.
There was also another spot where Fenix threw Mascarita Sagrada into Joey Ryan, who was obviously not in a position to catch him! It was almost like Sagrada hit one of the bouncers on a pinball machine and bounced off him and onto the ground! Poor Sagrada!
Chavo Guerrero was #15. Sometime during all of this chaos, Drago hit a powerbomb on Evans onto with outside benches. Chavo eliminated Mascarita Sagrada with a camel clutch submission, getting him his redemption for losing to Hornswoggle every week on RAW in 2009. Cage was eliminated by Taya, after Mundo hit him with a cinder block. I’m totally expecting a cinder block match between Mundo and Cage, with the winner having to a break a cinder block over the head of the other. Maybe that’s a bad idea for a gimmick match but that’s where it looks like it’s going with all of these cinder block attacks. I don’t know whether that’d work but I’m willing to give it a chance!
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PJ Black came out as #16 and Fenix eliminated Taya with a German suplex. Black double-teamed Drago with his new buddy Jack Evans. He hit a suplex to Drago on the benches. That spot and the powerbomb spot from earlier did not look pretty. Not sure whether all of this was really necessary but the crowd was going nuts for this crowd-brawling. Aerostar was #17, which lead to a tag team battle with Aerostar and Drago battling Evans and Black. There was a double elimination with Aerostar beating Evans and Black beating Drago. Aerostar put Evans away with a top rope Canadian Destroyer-looking move which got a huge reaction.
Dragon Azteca Jr was #18. Here’s the issue with the way that the Lucha Underground shows are put together. We, at home, knew who Dragon Azteca Jr was. We got the big story with Dragon Azteca Jr and Rey Mysterio and by watching the television, it’s easy to understand his stake in Aztec Warfare. However, this crowd had no clue about who this guy was and he was met with little reaction! Vampiro did mention that he recognised the mask but it was not like anybody else in the crowd did. Dragon Azteca Jr did turn the fans around with a few high spots including an awesome dive over the ring post and onto the outside.
Texano Jr was #19. He was running wild and he eliminated PJ Black. Mil Muertes was #20, as declared by Catrina in the last episode. Pentagon Jr, who was not given an invitation to compete, took out Mil with a chair. This got an incredible reaction from the Temple. He threw him back into the ring and Mil was pinned by Rey and Puma. Catrina was angry at Vampiro and slapped him. As this confrontation was going on, the timer was counting down. Then came out Dario Cueto….
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I was beaming with joy when I saw Dario come out! Dario may have possibly gotten the biggest reaction of the night! He declared that he was back in charge and that there was going to be a 21st entrant into Aztec Warfare. He revealed the entrant to be his brother… Matanza!
I like Catrina a lot but seeing Dario back in charge put the biggest smile on my face. Nobody can out-do Dario Cueto as being an authority figure in Lucha Underground.
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Matanza did the big roar spot as he came out, pushing away everybody that was left. I loved what came next. He immediately targeted the champion Fenix, hit a German suplex and pinned him. The fans were all stunned as the champion was the FIRST man to face the wrath of Matanza. It made you realise that this Matanza fellow was not someone to mess with!
The Mack took on Matanza but saw his Stunner on Matanza no-sold. Matanza eliminated Mack and Aerostar to boos from the Temple.
Texano tried to choke out Matanza with a bull rope but he was taken out with a sit-out powerbomb. Matanza then targeted Joey Ryan, who was still handcuffed on the railing. Matanza broke the steel to set Ryan free. He killed Ryan with three rolling gut-wrench suplexes and pinned him. I was impressed at how Matanza was able to pull this off as it would be a very difficult sequence to pull off.
Chavo tried to form an alliance with Puma, Rey and Dragon Azetca but then quickly turned on them all. Matanza and Dragon Azteca battled but Matanza quickly disposed of him. Chavo then tried to form an alliance with Dario Cueto but Dario told Matanza to kill Chavo. Matana eliminated Chavo and Puma until it was down to Matanza and Mysterio.
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They had a great little final two and Rey had done really well to make it this far and looked fine at this stage. Rey hit the 619 but then Matanza caught him with a running powerslam and pinned him to win Aztec Warfare.

Dario then handed the Lucha Underground title to Matanza. It’s almost like Matanza had no clear what to do with this belt until Dario told him to raise it! It would have been awesome if Matanza had tried to eat that belt or something!

I have to say that Lucha Underground knocked it out of the park with this Aztec Warfare match. Rey Mysterio’s debut was well executed. There was rarely a dull moment as there was a lot of action. There were a number of instances where there seemed to be too much action going on at one time, preventing the fans from properly keeping up with everything. Dario Cueto’s return was awesome and Matanza came out of this looking like such a star. He destroyed everyone like few monsters had dominated before. Rarely has a monster been booked as convincingly as this. Brock Lesnar was booked dominantly but it’s not like he eliminated everyone else that was left in this year’s Royal Rumble for example. Matanza eliminated the champion right off the bat and everybody else had no hope in hell of beating him.

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I’ll end this with two things. I do agree with Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez with the sentiment that “Matanza” maybe should have been a much bigger fellow. It was built up on television that Dario Cueto’s brother was a lot taller as Dario would be shown to be looking up at this monster. Maybe they were planning on having someone bigger but they changed their mind. I’m really sure what their mindset was but I was expecting someone much bigger.
With that said, Matanza was great at being Matanza. He decimated everyone. I was just in awe about this entire ending with Matanza running rough-shot on everyone left in that match. He threw everyone around like it was nothing to him. Nearly everyone was hit with one move and beaten. This dude was able to pull off standing moonsaults among other incredible feats. This guy was something else.
HUGE THUMBS UP FOR LUCHA UNDERGROUND!

Top Five Worst Swerves In Season One Of Lucha Underground

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Let me just state before I get a lot of angry comments that I LOVE Lucha Underground. It is by far the most exciting product in wrestling today. It’s developed an incredible television program with a great mix of wrestling and drama. HOWEVER, it is not totally in-excusable. There were a lot of questionable writing decisions that took place in season one. I’m going to take you through the five worst swerves in season one of Lucha Underground and recap each of them in depth.

Blue Demon Jr Heel Turn

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One of the more frustrating angles for me to watch was the one featuring Chavo Guerrero and how “Mexico” was coming for him. It was revealed that “Mexico” turned out to be Texano Jr., who had turned face to get revenge against Chavo. Chavo berated Blue Demon Jr. (who he turned on at the start of the season) and got at Blue Demon for letting Texano fight the battles for “Mexico” instead of him. Blue Demon’s response was to attack TEXANO and to turn heel, declaring himself to be “Mexico.” All it took was one jab by Chavo Guerrero and Blue Demon was turned to the dark side. Wow.

Blue Demon Joins Forces With Chavo Guerrero
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Unfortunately, things got worse in this storyline. So after Blue Demon Jr. turned on Texano, a match was made for Ultima Lucha. This was no disqualification, so the Crew got involved on behalf of Blue Demon. Chavo Guerrero then came out and it was teased as if he was going to hit Blue Demon with a chair. There was a few problems with this. Firstly, there was no reason to believe that Chavo would act as a babyface to save Texano. Secondly, you already knew where this was going if you’ve ever seen a Chavo Guerrero heel turn. Chavo hit Texano with the chair and it was revealed that Chavo had formed an alliance with Blue Demon Jr. The reason that this is a problem was that Chavo ALWAYS hits someone with a chair whenever he turns heel! Ask Rey Mysterio and well… BLUE DEMON JR! After an entire season of promises for revenge from “Mexico” and Blue Demon Jr, Chavo and Blue Demon joined forces. This was a swerve just for the sake of swerves. And it wasn’t the only swerve at Ultima Lucha
Vampiro Revealed As Pentagon Jr’s Master
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As of me writing this list, season two of Lucha Underground has already started. At the moment in the series, I’m not too bothered by Vampiro being Pentagon Jr’s master. After watching Ultima Lucha and the literal blood feud that Vampiro and Pentagon were having, I thought this swerve was so dumb. The idea that Vampiro was pulling the strings the whole time just seems like a waste of a legitimately interesting angle. You could have brought up an enemy of Vampiro’s past or somebody new. Even Konnan would sort of be OK if you consider Konnan’s feud with Vampiro. But VAMPIRO just seemed like such a downer of a swerve. Maybe I’ll completely changed my mind later on in season two and I’ve sort of accepted it at the moment.
Davari Turns On Big Ryck
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This was swerve THREE at Ultima Lucha. If this were to have happened on any other episode of Lucha Underground, I wouldn’t have been too bothered. But this took place in the middle of THREE swerves during the show and it was a struggle to just care when Davari attacked Big Ryck. I don’t think it matters anymore, as Big Ryck was killed off in the Lucha Underground COMIC BOOK! Yes, a wrestling character was killed off in a comic book. Let that sink in. However when looking back, I just struggled to see the point of it.
The Black Lotus Season Finale Swerve
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The only reason why I was mad at this was because of all of the build that went into building up this angle. The angle of Black Lotus, who was training to take out Dario Cueto and his brother. All of this build and all the scenes filmed outside of the Temple. After ALL OF THIS… Black Lotus turned on her master. They had better make all of this worth it in season two. I would be so mad if nothing exciting happens with this.
A lot of these swerves actually took place in the last half of the season so maybe it could be put down to the writers losing their steam towards the end of the series. If that’s the case, then it’s probably a good thing that season two is expected to feature less episodes. I’ve always talked about the fatigue issues with writers in WWE and I really hope there’s not similar problems in Lucha Underground. Please guys, keep the swerves to a minimum!

Top Five Best Storylines In Season One Of Lucha Underground

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One area where Lucha Underground succeeds is its storylines. Here’s the Armbar Express’ top five storylines in season one of Lucha Underground.

The Rise Of Mil Muertes
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If any professional wrestling booker wants to know how to book a big monster heel properly, take notes from Lucha Underground. I hate WWE’s treatment of heel monsters and the aftermath of these pushes for the likes of Ryback, Braun Strowman, Umaga and Rusev. They’ll go on some great unbeaten run, they’ll get beat and then there’s no recovery attempt made in order to keep them strong. Lucha Underground did a tremendous job with the rise of Mil Muetres. It was not like Mil beat every wrestler that stepped in his way. He’s been beaten and Fenix even beat him in the Grave Consequences match they had in the middle of the season. Rather than hurting Mil, the defeat only made him stronger as he came back and killed Fenix in a rematch. He became stronger than ever as he won the Lucha Underground title at the end of the season. Just perfect booking of a monster heel. Every time a monster should get beat, he should come back stronger than ever and look more of a threat each time. This was well done by Lucha.
Prince Puma As Lucha Underground Champion
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Prince Puma was such a star during season one of Lucha. He lived up to the promotion of being the “heart and soul” of Lucha Underground. He’s put on tremendous matches over and over and was really well booked as champion. Every challenger seemed like a legitimate challenge but Puma fought them off. Each challenger presented something new for Puma to deal with. Cage was just a force to be reckoned with that Puma had to overcome. Hernandez had the psychological warfare that Puma had to deal with. Johnny Mundo was someone that had beaten Prince Puma in the first episode of the season and forced Puma to try and put away his past demons. Drago was a rival luchador in terms of style that Puma had to overcome. Chavo Guerrero had the Crew to back him up. King Cuerno was someone that was cold and calculating. Every challenger was unique in the way that they presented a challenge to Puma and Puma had to overcome the odds. This is how a babyface builds momentum.
Pentagon Jr’s Path Of Destruction
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I’ll admit right now that I am such a huge fan of Pentagon Jr. Initially, this guy was really shown to be just another midcard heel on the show. However after Pentagon was double-crossed by Chavo at Aztec Warfare I think, Pentagon began being booked more seriously. He developed a mean streak which saw him break the arms of all his opponents after he beat them. It was a slow but well planned build for Pentagon. He went after the lower card talent, worked his way to the mid-carders and then started going after stars like Sexy Star. He wasn’t thrown against a top guy right off the bat. He built a reputation. What’s that lead too? Why Pentagon Jr is now a top guy in the second season of the show. All the little victories add up.
Son Of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico’s Trios Turmoil
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Teams put together that don’t get along are a common thing in wrestling, especially when developing rivalries. The way Son Of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico were put together and presented though was pulled off so well. It started with a number of weeks with angles between the three of them as singles stars, with Angelico causing issues between Ivelisse and Son of Havoc. All of this tension led to Dario Cueto making them a trios team for the tag team titles, which really told a good story. They had to work together in order to succeed and defied the odds to win the trios titles. It’s the simple case of a team that really shouldn’t work that you’re cheering on to get on the same page. Plus, the chemistry between Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico was really good as well.
Drago Banished From The Temple
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Drago’s another favourite of mine and I’ve always enjoyed his work on the show. He’s got a cool look and a great gimmick that just grabs your attention. He was actually given a decent story arc which started off with a really well put together best of five series against Aero Star. The winner would earn a “unique opportunity” and as the series progressed, things intensified between the two luchadors. Drago won, which led to Dario Cueto announcing that Drago would get a Lucha Underground title shot. If he lost, he would be banned from the temple. Drago did lose and was banned from the temple until he found a loophole in one of Dario’s number one contendership matches. Drago was given one last chance to return to the temple and fight for the title but would unmask if he lost. Drago won in a great storyline which really put him over as a babyface.
The development of stars is the thing that really impresses me when I watch this show. These stars are developed through the storylines and it’s the little things that made all the difference. The impact of all the rivalries and events that happen in these luchadors’ lives matter. Nothing is a waste and it’s really a testament of the writers. Good job guys!

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 – SEASON ONE RECAP

Previously on WCW EWR….

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There’s been a war waged between the two Co-Presidents of WCW, Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff. WCW President Flair began running the show after Eric Bischoff abruptly left WCW (in the game, he was sent to rehab). However, Ric Flair would cause a huge problem between himself and other members in the locker-room. He would influence World Title matches and attack a number of wrestlers on the roster. With that, Bischoff was reinstated into power. He became Co-President of WCW and worked with Ric, but still had the majority power in the partnership. This meant he can pretty much veto any of Flair’s decision. Tensions between the two caused for one final match for 100% control to be contested at WCW Fall Brawl 2000. It would be WCW Champion Booker T, Chris Jericho, Hollywood Hogan and Sting representing Flair going up against Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Curt Henning representing Bischoff. This would be an elimination match. Randy Savage returned to the company going after the Team Bischoff members. However, Bischoff’s crew would win after a botched attack by Savage onto Jericho. With that, Flair was ousted from power and Eric Bischoff became permanent WCW President with 100% control of the company.

However, the wars in WCW will never truly be done with. Particularly with the Exiles stable running around. The group, headed by Raven, have proven to be a force to be reckoned with in WCW. Raven himself has been turned into a main eventer, becoming a two-time WCW Champion in the process. At our last PPV Fall Brawl, he recently won another championship…

The WCW United States Championship has been one of the most fiercely craved championship in the company, with some of WCW’s finest battling over the belt. When Rowdy Roddy Piper won the championship, he renamed the championship to the WCW European Championship. However, a match on Nitro would result in the title being vacated. A new championship was created at Superbrawl in it’s place called the WCW International Championship, and was won by Rob Van Dam. RVD was champion for months until Raven won the title from him at Fall Brawl. With such a prestigious title in his hands, Raven has gained back power and influence in the company for the Exiles.

The WCW Television Championship is currently held by AJ Styles, whose had some amazing matches for the title with the likes of Eddie Guerrero and Steven Regal. No doubt AJ is looking to shine in WCW. The WCW Tag Team titles are currently held by the “Diamond Enforcers” DDP and Arn Anderson, having beaten Steven Regal and Roddy Piper to win them. The Crusierweight Championship is currently held by Silvio Maldini. He’s a game-generated character that has shot up through the ranks in developmental and made instant impact by beating WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio to win the title.

The Asian Invasion stable is no longer led by Keiji Mutoh due to his loss at Fall Brawl, the Steiner System is currently headed by Scott Steiner and features rising star Jamie Noble in their ranks. Rowdy Piper and Steven Regal had a British stable alongside Fit Finlay but now it’s just them two as a tag team. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero are currently “Paul Heyman Guys” and the nWo is no longer a thing in WCW. This came after the likes of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall both left the company and Hogan turned face. And I think that’s pretty much the jist of the main storylines currently in WCW.

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To be honest, it’s not really much of a recap of the season but hopefully it does help bring everybody up to speed. Whether its those new to the blog or those coming back, I want to help you guys understand the storylines going forth. In our last PPV at “Fall Brawl“, we ended with a pretty big storyline development so it’s a crucial part of what comes next.

Do check out our latest EWR update for more details of what you can expect to see in the future.