If you’ve previously followed my pre-season, post-season, and in the case of Season 3, mid-season coverage, you’ll know that I like to post some luchador previews for the episodes ahead. It’s no different this time around, except given the unique situation that we have, knowing that the show is returning yet so far away – I want to dedicate a column to each of these Temple battlers.
I think it’s only fair to start with the man who I think was the poster boy of Season 3. I mean, if you had to choose one star to put on a DVD cover for this season, why wouldn’t you choose the man who captured the Gift of the Gods Championship and most importantly, the Lucha Underground title? Why wouldn’t you put the man who sent the internet into a rage throughout the season as your talisman for the product? Why wouldn’t you choose… Johnny Mundo?
After all, he made the promo video right?
That video didn’t even need to tell us what Mundo’s main goal is this season, and yet, I’m glad that it did. What we got was an ever-confident but a somewhat desperate sounding Prince of Parkour, left alone in the darkness to rue his loss. He was without his stablemates, he seemed perhaps lost in the wilderness with his own bruised ego. Are we going to see a lone Johnny Mundo fighting to get back on his podium?
Now you’re probably thinking, Ryan, why would Johnny be without the Worldwide Underground? It’s simple really. I’m sure you remember how he seemed to start seemingly pushing them away as he allowed himself to become even more self-obsessed, all thanks to one Benjamin Cooke. What was once a brotherhood quickly became all about how the group could be used a platform to launch Mundo. He even had his own documentary and superfan by the time the season had ended.
But he didn’t have the title.
Who is to say that the Darewolf will not want to compete for the gold, following some great performances both in and out of the Battle of the Bulls and Cueto Cup Tournaments? Will the charisma of Jack Evans lead to a breakout run in which he embraces the Believers? What if the easily-led Ricky Mundo chooses to imitate one of the other members of the group, should Mundo go on a losing streak? Anything can, and most likely will happen. Though we may be talking about a different product here, the life of a stable can be short, and this is a stable that was formed midway through Season 2. I personally don’t think it has run its course, but you do have to wonder what else is left for them to do.
It’s not as if the former Lucha Underground Champion doesn’t have any more friends in high places though. In Lucha Underground’s somewhat-sister company AAA, Johnny was recently a Triple Crown champion all at the same time – and it was the emergence of the debuting Kevin Kross back on March 19th 2017 that made it all happen. For those unaware, Kross is a 6ft 4in, 250lb monstrous presence of a man; think what would happen if Randy Orton performed the fusion dance with Batista. Though Mundo has since lost the AAA Latin American and Cruiserweight Championships, he hasn’t lost the main title – the AAA Mega Championship – and he hasn’t lost Kross either!
The reason why I’m convinced that Kevin Kross will have a role in this season is purely because he has been competing in the odd dark match for Lucha Underground since the taping of the thirteenth episode of season two! Doesn’t that suggest that Lucha Underground were just waiting for the perfect moment to introduce him? After all, they did the same thing for Jeff Cobb, and then what do you know? He’s Matanza. We all know that desperate times call for desperate measures and when dealing with someone as dangerous as the skeleton ninja, Pentagon Dark, you’re going to want a certified killer on your side, perhaps not your Bill and Ted buddies.
Another factor that could well affect his success is the emergence of new management. Ever since Season One, Johnny Mundo had shared a volatile relationship with Dario Cueto who at first downright refused to accept Mundo as his star of the promotion before the star’s rudo turn seemed to change the situation. It’s only as Johnny’s actions provided more and more detriment to the show that Dario started to act particularly displeased with the leader of the Worldwide Underground, banning his stable from interfering on several occasions.
With Dario out of the picture, you may assume that things would get easier for Johnny, and yet if new management turns out to be Agent Winter and co, it’s probably not gonna be the easiest situation to be battling against Pentagon Dark when the promoter of the show is a self-confessed huge fan of the man with Cero Miedo. Again, it’s all the more reason for the former Triple Crown champion of Lucha Underground to introduce a new hired gun to help him recapture the gold.
One loyal soldier I haven’t mentioned throughout is Taya, and that’s because I highly doubt that she would turn on Johnny. The pair are now engaged to be married and I would be stunned if Lucha Underground would insult their viewers’ intelligence by proclaiming that all is not well in Slamtown Paradise. Taya is here to stay folks, and I definitely think it is essential for she is living proof as to why Johnny can be so cocky. If Mundo loses the girl, he loses a big part of why his character is allowed to be so damn self-assured.
With rumours that certain stars would not be re-appearing for the promotion – Rey Mysterio, Sexy Star, and depending on who you speak to, Pentagon Dark himself – Johnny Mundo is perhaps the biggest truly confirmed name to return having been used to promote the announcement of the new season. I actually am going to be bold and suggest that he wins the title once more this time around as he is a confirmed star whom the show seems to be placing a continued amount of good faith into, but that may change as the smoke starts to clear from the announcement of this hot show’s re-emergence.
Either way, Johnny Mundo continues to be one of the ones to watch even with this upcoming season, as we get to see how his character reacts to losing the one thing that gave him and his stable true validation.
Welcome to Slamtown.
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