Lucha Underground was a one-of-a-kind wrestling show that mixed supernatural stories with insane in-ring action. Looking back, it is amazing the amount of talent assembled in the Temple. Let’s take a look at where so many of the luchadores ended up today.
Curiosity on this topic began to brew after Marty Martinez shared the story of his injury struggles and progress in returning to the ring by training at the Nightmare Factory. Martinez is currently a free agent.
The commentary duo of Matt Striker and Vampiro had excellent chemistry. Striker is lead play-by-play man for Impact Wrestling. Vampiro is pivoting to the world of slap fighting as an announcer. You’ll be able to hear him call the fisticuffs for SlapStrike’s, “War from Warsaw,” taking place March 20 at 2 pm ET. The show is available through Fite TV. Let’s hope they can be reunited one day.
Vampiro’s prized pupil was Pentagon. The man with cero miedo managed to reach the mountaintop of Impact Wrestling as Impact World Champion. He also toured the world with his brother, Fenix, to win tag team titles across several promotions, most notably Impact, MLW, and AAA. Fenix also had a run as AAA MegaChampion before losing to Kenny Omega. The Lucha Bros currently hold AAA tag team gold, while wrestling full-time for AEW. Fenix’s superfriends, Aerostar and Drago, currently compete in AAA.
Melissa Santos was the love interest of Fenix in Lucha Underground. In real life, she is the love interest of husband Brian Cage. Santos spent time in Impact as an interviewer. Cage went to Impact to win the X-Division Championship and Impact World Championship. He is currently the FTW champ in AEW with Taz as his coach.
Two of Cage’s rivals during the show were Texano and Willie Mack. Texano is still with AAA, while Mack is with Impact. Texano is a former AAA tag champ with Rey Escorpion, and Mack is a former X-Division champ.
Worldwide Underground turned out to be quite the collection of scoundrels. Johnny Mundo and Taya Valkyrie traveled to Impact before joining WWE. Mundo might as well have changed his last name to Championship by winning various titles in AAA and Impact. He is currently back to his old surname Morrison while producing rap hits with Miz. Taya became the longest reigning Knockouts champion in Impact history. Her time with that company ended with an attempted murder conviction. She currently holds the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship while training with NXT. PJ Black is with ROH. Jack Evans rekindled an old partnership with AAA mate Angelico to form TH2 in AEW.
Angelico’s unlikely trios teammates are still traveling the open road. Son of Havoc and Ivelisse were mainstays on the indie scene prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Ivelisse has popped up for consistent work with AEW, but she has yet to be proclaimed as All Elite. Havoc shed the mask to return working under the name Matt Cross.
Ivelisse moved on from the love of Havoc to bring in a new boyfriend, Jeremiah Crane. That man is better known as the lunatic Sami Callihan in Impact Wrestling. Callihan is yet another former holder of the Impact World Championship.
Crane transitioned away from Ivelisse and into the clutches of Kobra Moon and the Reptile Tribe. Kobra Moon is one of the biggest surprises after the series. She transformed into former NWA Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa. Thunder also wrestles with AEW, while NWA was on hiatus. One of Kobra Moon’s goons was a giant snakeman named Vibora. His head was chopped off by Taya, and it regrew as a dinosaur. Now, Vibora spends his days as Luchasaurus hanging with Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt in AEW.
Another member of Kobra Moon’s tribe was Daga. He is the current AAA Latin American Champion. Daga is a free agent on the American scene and has been keeping a low profile with wife Tessa Blanchard during the pandemic.
The Rabbit Tribe was led by the White Rabbit. That man turned out to be Killer Kross, who made his way to NXT as Karrion Kross. Funny enough, Kross feuded in NXT with King Cuerno, now known as Santos Escobar. Both men picked up NXT gold rather quickly.
Killshot lost his mask to Dante Fox. He exited the Temple on his way to winning the MLW World Heavyweight Championship as Shane Strickland, then signed with NXT using the name Isaiah “Swerve” Scott. Fox is the most exciting of the bunch that has yet to be picked up by the big boys. AR Fox currently works the indies.
3 matches in the past 2 days. Had a lucha libre extravaganza vs @Takuri_Lucha. Then had WILD match w/ Spectre in Debut Match! Topped off wit a damn rocket blaster against @Word_Is_Law at the historic #landmark Arena. @WWA4ATL @gipw #BiGFOX #myownlevel #prowrestling ❤️— AR FOX (@ARealFoxx) March 13, 2021
Prince Puma was Lucha Underground’s first champion. He went on to WWE as Ricochet, where he won the NXT North American Championship and WWE United States Championship. Puma’s pal El Dragon Azteca Jr. changed his name to Rey Horus and competes in ROH. Night Claw stopped by for a quick shot of tequila in the Temple. Under that mask was Flamita. Horus and Flamita teamed with Bandido to become former ROH six-man champs.
Mil Muertes was the man to dethrone Puma as LU champ. After the series, he worked the Latin territories under his previous Mesias and Ricky Banderas monikers. He currently appears with MLW as the same character. Another menacing character in a similar vein is Matanza. He ditched the jumpsuit to work as Jeff Cobb to win titles with ROH and NJPW.
Sexy Star was another former LU champ. Her career faded after an unfortunate incident with Rosemary in the ring at AAA’s Triplemania XXV. Sexy took up pugilistic endeavors to compete in boxing and MMA. She won her last fight via guillotine choke.
Jake Strong was the final person to hold the Lucha Underground Championship. The former Jack Swagger went to his real name, Jake Hager, to compete in MMA and with AEW.
On the acting tip, Catrina (Karlee Perez) has dabbled in some films. Chavo Guerrero Jr. worked with the GLOW reboot series. Chavo primarily served as fight coordinator for the show. Paul London played kung fu Elvis in the short Tiger Man. Lorenzo Lamas played Councilman Delgado and had his skull smashed to smithereens by Cage. Lamas has been picking up film work after he met his demise. Delgado’s replacement, FBI Agent Winter, was played by comedian Godfrey. You can catch him in some DJ Vlad interviews.
The biggest question mark of them all is Dario Cueto. Actor Luis Fernandez-Gil has had a steady flow of acting credits over the years, but he has not returned to wrestling as of yet. We may soon have good news on that front. MLW is heavily teasing that Cueto could be in charge of a group known as Azteca Underground.
Alberto El Patron, Joey Ryan, Big Ryck (aka Ezekiel Jackson), Black Lotus (aka Angela Fong), and Mariposa (aka Cheerleader Melissa) have faded from active in-ring careers for varying reasons. Mr. Cisco, El Mariachi Loco, Cortez Castro, Big Bad Steve, Vinnie Massaro, Ricky Mandel, Famous B, and “Mr. Pectacular” Jessie Godderz are at the indie level. Beautiful Brenda is rescuing cats. Dr. Wagner Jr. is on and off with AAA and now planning for a possible retirement tour. Yurei (Mayu Iwatani) wrestles in Japan with Stardom.
The full list of talent that passed their way through the Temple currently seen in major promotions includes:
- WWE/NXT: John Morrison (Johnny Mundo), Taya Valkyrie, Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Wade Barrett (The Lord), Karrion Kross (White Rabbit), Santos Escobar (King Cuerno), Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (Killshot), Wes Lee (Dezmond X), Io Shirai (Hitokiri), Kairi Sane (Doku), Chelsea Green (Reklusa)
- AEW: Pentagon, Fenix, Brian Cage, Jack Evans, Angelico, Ivelisse, Thunder Rosa (Kobra Moon), Sonny Kiss (XO Lishus), Jake Hager (Jake Strong), Sammy Guevara, Luchasaurus (Vibora)
- Impact: Sami Callihan (Jeremiah Crane), Willie Mack, Tommy Dreamer, Hernandez, Matt Striker, Daivari
- ROH: PJ Black, Rey Horus (El Dragon Azteca Jr.), Flamita (Night Claw)
- AAA: Aerostar, Drago, Texano, Daga, Australian Suicide (Hexagon Dark), Argenis, Konnan, Mascarita Sagrada, Blue Demon Jr., Super Fly
- MLW: Mil Muertes, Daivari, Konnan
- NWA: Thunder Rosa (Kobra Moon)
- NJPW: Jeff Cobb (Matanza)
Who was the biggest breakout star from Lucha Underground?