The Lucha Brothers’ time in MLW coincided with their rise to dominance in the United States alongside their runs in Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling; not to mention, dozens of other promotions across the globe. You could show a simple picture of the Lucha Bros to a non-wrestling fan and they would immediately be interested in what these guys are about (I am speaking from personal experience). Simply based on aesthetics, there may not be a more intriguing tag team on the planet. Beyond the immediate hook, the Lucha Bros had some of the best matches of the late 2010s in both singles and tag competition. MLW looked to highlight a pair of those matches in their most recent instalment of the MLW: Anthology series.
Pentagon Jr. vs Rey Fenix (Orlando, Florida, January 2018)
We kick off Anthology with the first main event in MLW Fusion history, Rich Bocchini and Tony Schiavone calling the action. Both of the competitors ooze charisma on the way to the ring and once inside the show begins almost immediately. Penta does his usual “Zerio Miedo” shtick, which some people find a bit tiresome, but every time Penta takes off his glove and throws it to the official with the aura of a Kung Fu master, I pop for it. Especially when the referee doesn’t catch the glove and gets booed out of the building, as he did here. Ah, wrestling.
The first sixty seconds of this match tells you everything you need to know about these two. Yes, Pentagon Jr. may LOOK insane, but what these real-life brothers are about to do to each other is actually insane. You always hear about friends and relatives being just a little bit stiffer than they would be with a stranger. This match sees the trope confirmed post haste. The series of kicks and counters has the crowd immediately excited for what they are about to see. Rey Fenix might be the most exciting active wrestler in the world and this is exemplified by a triple springboard arm drag that doesn’t even look possible for a spider monkey to perform correctly. While both of these performers are incredibly similar, they couldn’t be more different in some immediately visible ways. Just after the rope acrobatics by Fenix, Penta responds simply by chopping him to death. Fenix counters this with a suicide dive about ten feet into the crowd. Welcome to a Lucha Bros match.
These guys have obviously wrestled each other on many occasions. Every move, every counter performed thousands of times. However, this is not one of those matches that reminds you more of a dance than a fight. The chops on the outside of the ring quite literally make the crowd visibly cringe. Speaking of the crowd, let’s just say the Lucha Brothers are… interactive. Stealing hats, sipping drinks, starting chants. A match such as this reminds you why it’s worth going to live wrestling events on a regular basis.
Simply describing how excellent these guys are together is an exercise in futility. This match is brutal, athletic, and gorgeous. If you are a wrestling fan, WATCH.THIS.MATCH.
Elimination Tag Match: Lucha Brothers vs. Team TBD vs The Dirty Blondes (Orlando, Florida, June 2018)
After a promo package explaining how Salina de la Renta brought the brothers together in order to make a run at the MLW Tag Team titles, we join Col. Robert Parker in the ring introducing The Dirty Blondes. I was not familiar with either of these gentlemen before the match, but they obviously have a slovenly southern redneck gimmick that is pretty easy to get your head around. Team TBD, made up of Jason Cade and Yuta, are also mostly unfamiliar names to me, as I hopped on the MLW train in the middle of 2019. Cade did have a match with Marko Stunt on a recent episode of AEW Dark that is absolutely worth checking out. TBD doesn’t have the girth of The Dirty Blondes, so I was definitely expecting a flippy-do-dah or two out of these fellas. The stars of the evening are the last to enter the ring.
If you enjoy kicks to the noggin, the beginning of this match will fill you with joy. This match is obviously meant to exemplify the clash of styles that MLW is known for (hence the name Fusion). Side note: Col. Parker fanning himself with his hanky outside of the ring made me laugh out loud. The Dirty Blondes act as the bruisers from the very beginning, getting the upper hand using their beefy heftiness to their advantage. Apparently the Blondes put too much energy into neutralizing the Lucha Bros because TBD uses their cooperation and agility to eliminate The Dirty Blondes surprisingly fast.
The real completion begins when the Lucha Bros take TBD down a peg with their patented physicality. The match hits the next gear with more high octane offence than the Blondes would probably be able to keep up with. Other than Fenix finding ridiculous methods of breaking up pinfalls, this match was your basic indie fare of 2018. Don’t get me wrong, 2018 was a landmark year for independent wrestling, but I could go the rest of my life without seeing a ¾ speed suicide dive.
This particular match was most definitely more about the moment the Lucha Bros won the Tag Titles than it was about the match itself. The Lucha Brothers are always worth watching, especially when they begin pouring tequila into the crowd’s mouth after a title victory, but it was not quite as spectacular as the singles opener.
MLW continued their Pulp Fusion segments after the Anthology matches. It’s more of the same, but don’t fix what isn’t broken. Mance Warner screaming about calling his friends so he can finally kick a bear’s ass; Hammerstone putting Mexican steroids in his coffee; Filthy Tom failing to indoctrinate his children. Absolutely incredible stuff. And that’s before we get to the incredible and shocking return of Selina De La Renta! Brilliant stuff as always.
The Lucha Brothers are one of my all-time favourite tag teams, not solely due to impeccable in-ring work, but because both Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr. are absolute psychopaths. Fenix is mind-boggling; I can’t even comprehend how he conceptualizes what he does night each night. Pentagon Jr. is a scary Mexican Death Samurai. Need I say more? Be it against the Young Bucks in AEW, LAX in Impact, or two guys you may have never seen before, The Lucha Brothers are worth the deep dive. As, of course, is MLW.