Who Is Matanza? A Lucha Underground Mystery
Who is Matanza? It's a question I've been asking myself ever since Dario Cueto started talking to that mysterious man locked in a cell in Lucha Underground's Temple. For all the great storytelling the LU has had in this awesome first season, the Matanza story has me the most captivated. I haven't been this excited for a mystery wrestler angle since the third man angle in WCW in 1996, which by my calculation was approximately 19 years ago now. I also haven't been this impatient about something since the release of Man of Steel. Thus, tonight, I've decided to take matters into my own hands. After spending the day doing research, talking with buddies of mine, and getting some info out of the dude from luchablog (which, if you're a lucha libre fan, you should read. Dude is amazing), I've completed an investigation on the question on every LU fan's mind; who is Matanza? Let's start with what we know, shall we?
The general gist of Matanza's story is that he is the brother of Dario Cueto and a member of the Cueto family, which is apparently quite influential despite having no recorded existence in the history of lucha libre. Sometime in the past, Matanza murdered the family of Black Lotus, an event witnessed by at least El Dragon Azteca and Gory Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero Jr's grandfather. Whether or not it was right after those events or not, Dario took control of his brother's life and locked him up, partially to prevent him from committing crimes in the open and to do his dirty work behind closed doors. Black Lotus has since dedicated her life to finding Matanza and avenging her parents death.
The two biggest hints are as follows; Black Lotus was old enough to remember her parents death and Gory Guerrero, Mexican wrestling legend and Guerrero Family patriarch, witnessed the murder (El Dragon Azteca's presence is meaningless, as no one has a clue who he is.) Assuming that Black Lotus' birth year is the same in the LU universe, this would mean the murder occurred between 1985 and 1990, the year Guerrero died. I'd say more, but it be redundant as I'm about to say it in the next section anyway. Spoiler alert?
So, who could play the role? As it turns out, the criteria fits...well, anyone. Considering the time frame of when the kayfabe actions of Matanza took place, common sense says the wrestler portraying him would be older, somewhere between his mid 30s and mid 50s. If Matanza is wearing a mask however, it pretty much opens the door up for anyone, providing they are tall and built like a tank. So with that knowledge right there, and a little help from my friends, here are some potential candidates. Otherwise known as the good part!
The Great Khali
I know, I know. I'm not happy about this option either. I wouldn't go as far to call Great Khali the worst world champion in WWE history, but it's close, and if he were to end up as Matanza, it would be the biggest letdown since the series finale of Lost. That said, Khali definitely fits the build part of the job description, he has acting experience (definitely helpful in the Temple), and is someone that people would recognize in the role. And in all fairness, the LU has done a great job at breathing life into former WWE guys like Alberto El Patron, Johnny Mundo, and Big Ryck among others. Perhaps they can do the same for...nope, can't say it with a straight face. Please don't make Great Khali Matanza Lucha Underground. I don't ask for much.
A tad of a stretch as Corleone couldn't portray Matanza unmasked. Put a mask on him though, and this guy is perfect. Corleone stands at 6'6, 260 lbs, making him the perfect size for the character. He's wrestled in Mexico for years now and is perhaps one of the best performers in lucha libre. And while Corleone does work for CMLL as opposed to AAA, CMLL wrestler Bengala (spoiler alert) will be appearing in the Temple in a few weeks or so. Unless it's a different Bengala than the CMLL one (and it could be, as there's a strikingly large amount of Bengalas out there), this would indicate that CMLL wrestlers are allowed to appear in the Temple after all. If that's the case, Corleone isn't only a possibility, he's the right man for the job. I never thought I would ever say that about the dude who once wrestled as Mark Jindrak by the way.
That's right, I'm going here. Am I the only one who thinks it would be awesome if Bael, the guy Matanza killed off this past Wednesday, was repackaged as Matanza?! Talk about a retcon for the ages. I know it's not going to happen; poor Bael is too small for the role and it may just be too weird for the dude who got his brains smashed in to play the dude who did the smashing. Still, if the LU decided to go this way, I'd be all in. Even if it did mean that wonderful meme I created becomes obsolete.
When I originally began to wonder who Matanza was, this was the first name who came to mind other than Chris Masters (who is sadly taken. Thanks Jarrett!). Those of you who follow AAA know that Chessman is a different dude; he looks like a bulkier version of Wolfpac era Sting, he's constantly involved in gothic groups, and is one of the more brutal luchadores in Mexico. In short, he's definitely the type of guy you could see portraying a convincing lunatic, even if he's under a mask or another gimmick (I doubt Chessman would able to wear the Sting face paint in the LU, as the copyright laws are much stricter here in the US.) I've softened my thoughts on him being Matanza as time has gone on, but if you combine his convincing portrayal of a similar character with his size (ideal), Chessman is a good candidate.
Just kidding. The FIFA Champ is too cool as himself to be Matanza. Not to mention that Evans probably thinks he could beat Matanza in a single blow. He is the man, the myth, and the legend after all. There, does that make you happy FIFA Champ?!
Before I start, all credit goes to my good friend, the "Fan Favorite" Joe Brown, for this one. I don't know how he found out about this Gronda dude, but he did. Good to know he has other talents, besides blindly rooting for the St. Louis Rams and drawing in my female readers of course.
Anyways, Gronda. Not to be confused with the Gronda that broke his leg a few years ago and has been in and out of retirement since, this dude a virtual unknown. He's wrestled in AAA dark matches mostly and the most notable thing about him is that he's super ripped, or his muscle suit at least is. So why is he on here? One, Gronda has the height and the right look to portray the insane badass that Matanza is. Two, he's an unknown and would require little to no alteration of character to slide into the role. And finally, this newest Gronda is, according to everything I've read, in his mid 50's. That's right, not only does he fit the look requirement, not only does he wear a mask, but he is also the right age for someone who would've been in his late 20's when Black Lotus' parents were killed. None of the other guys strike off all the criteria like this dude does. He may not have the skill as some of these other guys, but based on what I know, all signs are telling me that Gronda will be Matanza. Right now, this would be my pick. Hey, he went last on here for a reason.
Alright guys, that will do it. Is the case closed? Not by a long shot; I don't doubt that in the next few weeks there will be yet another twist that may introduce another potential candidate to the "who is Matanza?" question. For now though, I'm pretty confident in the direction this is pointing in.