If you need a primer on what Mondo Lucha is at this point, you haven’t been paying attention, but we’ll try anyway. Mondo Lucha is the distinctly Milwaukee show that combines a winning mix of live music, burlesque, and professional wrestling. This year’s band is Platinum Boys, who should be a perfectly lively pairing to the wrestling action and artful burlesque dancing during the sold-out display at Turner Hall this Friday.
The wrestling show that Mondo Lucha puts on is always a lot of fun. It’s well paced with a nice bit of comedy mixed in, clear good guy and bad guy alignments, and the show always builds to a thrilling crescendo. In years past, that crescendo has featured long-time homegrown stars like El Chivas Blanco and The Russian Beast (a 1980s Cold War strongman in a mask), but over the past couple of years, Mondo Lucha has been upping the game in the ring and this year’s main event could be the best match the company has ever put on.
Last year, we saw Johnny Mundo (aka Johnny Nitro aka John Morrison aka Boone: The Bounty Hunter) and Matt Cross (aka M-Dogg aka Son of Havoc) from Lucha Underground fame win the tag team titles. This year, we’ll see them defend those tag titles against two genuine luchadores and top talents on the independent scene as they face Penta El 0M (formerly known as Pentagon Jr.) and his brother Rey Fenix.
This is simply a fantastic main event. This is the type of match that you would expect to see in a super-indie promotion like California’s Pro Wrestling Guerrila, not something that you’d see in Milwaukee alongside burlesque dancers and a band. This match is a treat and the capacity crowd should get more than their money’s worth.
What is even more exciting about this match is that there will actually be lucha libre at Mondo Lucha! American pro-wrestling, the pro-wrestling that most of you know, is all about strength: which guy is stronger than the other guy, who is tougher, who is the most macho. Lucha libre isn’t about that. Lucha is actual superheroes trying to outdo each other with high-flying moves and flash. The matches are less about telling a story and more about a sort of athletic one-upping.
Penta and Fenix are luchadores in the truest sense of the word. Their real names are unknown, you won’t ever catch them without their masks on and they embody the superhero spirit of the luchador. They are second generation stars who came up in AAA (the top promotion in Mexico) and have since made names for themselves in the states.
This isn’t to downplay their opponents whatsoever. Matt Cross has wrestled everywhere, 25 countries and counting, while his partner Johnny Mundo went from being Snooki’s tag team partner to becoming the Lucha Underground champion to now holding three titles simultaneously in AAA. If anyone knows how to bring out the best in Penta and Fenix (and bring the house down in the process), it’s these two.
There was a time that Mondo Lucha was headlined by a guy in a goat mask. That was okay for its time, but it wasn’t the main event that this bonafide Milwaukee tradition deserved. The night’s variety show will build to something, and it should be something special. Penta El 0M and Rey Fenix vs. Johnny Mundo and Matt Cross is special and Milwaukee is in for a treat on Friday.