As discussed on Episode 50 of the show, Lucha Underground season one is a sprawling, 39 hour affair that is difficult to binge watch. As such, I’ve taken it upon myself to dig through all 39 episodes and separate the great wheat from the really good wheat…there really isn’t much chaff. I’ve put each episode into one of three categories: Must Watch, Should Watch, and Skippable. If you’re looking for the shortest way to get through the season, just watch the Must Watch episodes. That knocks it down to about 16 hours or so. However, if you want to dig a little deeper, look at the Should Watch episodes, and see if they deal with stories you’re interested in.

Without further ado:

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Episode 1: Must watch – Introduces the temple, a lot of the constructs that will come to define Lucha Underground, including the stories of the Aztec tribes, and the way the vignettes are shot. It also introduces some of the main players, including Dario Cueto, the announce team of Matt Striker and Vampiro, and two of the biggest stars throughout the season, Johnny Mundo and Prince Puma.

Episode 2: Should watch – This episode has a really good tag team match between Cortez Castro/Cisco and Prince Puma/Johnny Mundo. While it is kind of important to build the relationship between Puma and Mundo for what happens later in the season, they do enough later to make this episode not necessary for the enjoyment of season 1 as a whole. There’s also a good scene between Konnan and Puma that sort of sheds some light on their relationship. The big reason why this is a “Should Watch,” though, is because of the introduction of Mil Muertes. He and his handler Catrina become very important. If it weren’t for that, this would actually be skippable.

Episode 3: Skippable – This episode is notable for two reasons. First is a vignette in which Catrina reveals Mil Muertes’ background, as well as his first match…although, he’d go on to have far more important ones throughout the rest of the season. Second is the introduction of three important Lucha Underground characters, Drago, Fenix, and Pentagon, Jr. That’s only about 12 minutes out of the approximately 43 that the show takes. You’ll see a lot more of them, so it’s not necessary to watch this particular show.

Episode 4: Must Watch – This episode features four solid matches: Fenix vs Pentagon, Jr; Drago vs King Cuerno; Sexy Star vs Ivelisse; Big Ryck vs Johnny Mundo. Seven of these eight characters will come to mean quite a bit throughout the 39 episodes of season one, and Big Ryck has his moments. This is also the first time that we hear Pentagon, Jr on the microphone, and the first utterance of his motto: “Ciero Miedo”, or “Zero Fear.”

Episode 5: Should watch – The main event of this match is the big draw, obviously. Prince Puma vs Big Ryck in a Boyle Heights Street Fight (which is really just a street fight) is a solid match, and does some great character/situation building for Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo. The rest of the show is fine, as it features Mil Muertes vs Drago, and Sexy Star vs Chavo Guerrero, Jr. I was not a huge fan of Chavito’s story in Lucha Underground, but this was probably his best match in his time there.

Episode 6: Skippable – I really hate to say that this episode is skippable, but for people who are trying to get through this as fast as possible, it has to be that way. The main stories of the season aren’t served in this episode, especially since the main event is my least favorite story, featuring Chavo Guerrero, Jr. There are things to enjoy, including Sexy Star and Fenix in the main event, as well as the introduction of Pimpinela Escarlata, who is part of the Exotico sub-culture of Lucha Libre, and would go on to become a recurring minor character throughout the first season. Also, this is the episode where it was revealed that Drago is a legit dragon. I know.

Episode 7: Must Watch the Main Event – You can skip the first half of this show. Super Fly vs King Cuerno is a short squash, and while Chavo Guerrero, Jr vs Fenix is a solid match, it’s, again, a part of my least favorite Lucha Underground story. However, the main event of this show is bananas. Big Ryck, Prince Puma, and Johnny Mundo wrestle a triple threat ladder match for $100,000 in cash. Puma and Mundo do same insane things with their bodies, and Ryck is the perfect foil for what these guys can do.

Episode 8: Should Watch – In putting this guide together, I’m trying to get the broad strokes of the most important stories across, so that people can get a good idea of what season one was about without having to watch all 39 hours. There are some small strokes that are going to be missed that way, though. This episode is full of those small strokes. This match contains two multi-person matches: a ten person scramble and a battle royale. Both matches flesh out stories between specific competitors, that are really helpful if you’re watching for those fine details.

Episode 9: Must Watch – When I think about the first season of Lucha Underground, there are three episodes I think of. This is one of them. We’ll get to the other two later. This episode is one long match that features almost the entire Lucha Underground roster, and it’s called Aztec Warfare. Aztec Warfare is a new match type. It’s a variation on the Royal Rumble idea, although it’s not a battle royale. It’s a staggered entry elimination match. So it starts with two combatants, and after a specified interval, another combatant enters the fray. Eliminations are done by pinfall or submission, which adds a nice wrinkle. Almost every story is touched on in this match…oh, and did I mention that this is how Lucha Underground crowned their first champion? If you asked me for one Lucha Underground episode to watch…this would be the one.

Episode 10: Should watch – This episode features the debut of Cage, a hulking monster of a man, who looks to be the antithesis of what most people consider Lucha Libre to be. He faces off with three luchadores making their LU debut: Aero Star, Argenis, Angelico. We also get to see Prince Puma and Fenix try to out-ridiculous each other in the main event. It doesn’t push forward the major stories, but it’s a fun watch.

Episode 11: Skippable – This episode features quite a bit of Big Ryck’s “Crew”, who, at a certain point, stop being a thing in Lucha Underground. I’m not a huge fan of those guys, and they don’t add a whole lot to the show. Also, the main event of this episode, Drago vs King Cuerno, is a bit disappointing. Definitely not an essential episode.

Episode 12: Must watch – The opening match of this episode is the first chapter in a story that becomes extremely important later on. It is, figuratively, a life and death battle: Fenix (the recurring spirit of life) vs Mil Muertes (1000 deaths). We also get a fun trios match, and Prince Puma vs Cage…with Cage doing something unexpected that made me lose my mind when I saw it.

Episode 13: Should Watch – Again, a lot of the “Should watch” episodes are filled with details and world building that are important, but not critical. This is another one of those episodes. We have Catrina (Mil Muertes’ handler, and possible ghost woman) manipulating Fenix, which will be important later. We get the start of a fun story between Drago and Aero Star. This episode features the first instance of Pentagon, Jr. breaking someone’s arm (now we know what Famous B is famous for). We find out a little more about Dario Cueto and some secrets that he has hidden in the temple. We get a solid match between Johnny Mundo and Cage, which ends up with a third person getting subtly involved. Oh…and we get the first appearance of Alberto El Patron (aka Alberto Del Rio).

Episode 14: Skippable – While he debuted at the end of the previous episode, this episode’s focus is Alberto El Patron. He shows up in a fancy car to open the show, and delivers a promo before getting a beat down to end the show. In between are a couple of solid matches: Fenix vs Argenis; Son of Havoc vs Johnny Mundo. There is some movement in the Son of Havoc/Ivelisse story, but that doesn’t really get interesting until later. Pentagon, Jr breaks another inconsequential arm. Also, Big Ryck goes to confession…oh…I forgot to mention that Ryck had his eye burned out by the Crew a few episodes back.

Episode 15: Skippable – The only reason to watch this episode is to see the beginning of Angelico’s involvement with Ivelisse and Son of Havoc. The other stuff that happens involves Chavo Guerrero getting close to beating Mil Muertes, Texano (who beat down Alberto El Patron in the previous episode) getting a proper introduction, and Ryck lets the Crew know that he’s coming for them.

Episode 16: Must Watch – The Aero Star/Drago story continues in this episode, and while this match isn’t their best, Dario Cueto turns it into something interesting. Prince Puma and Cage have a fantastic match, as do Johnny Mundo and King Cuerno. The Puma/Cage match is interesting, because it furthers the Puma/Konnan story, and pushes it to a very interesting place. You’ll have to watch to see.

Episode 17: Should Watch – The Fenix/Mil Muertes feud gets furthered here, and it keeps moving us toward their big confrontation later in the season. They have a really good chemistry, and I’d watch them wrestle more times than the end up wrestling in this first season. Big Ryck gets some much needed character development, as he “fights” Sexy Star for the “right” to a handicap match with the crew. We also get Alberto El Patron vs Texano. I’m not the biggest Alberto fan, but his work in Lucha Underground is the best of his career, and this match is really good. Plus, we get to see what King Cuerno looks like outside of the ring.

Episode 18: Just watch the main event – Johnny Mundo vs King Cuerno in a steel cage is great. Go here and watch that match – Forget the rest of the episode…it’s a mess.

Episode 19: Must Watch – This is the second of the three episodes that I think of when I think of the first season of Lucha Underground. It’s got the next in the series of matches between Drago and Aero Star, and it’s got Big Ryck trying to get his revenge on the Crew for putting a cigar out in his eye. But this episode really boils down to two words: Grave Consequences. Grave Consequences is a casket match between Mil Muertes and Fenix, but it’s not just any casket match…it’s a casket match between the force of life and the man encapsulating 1000 deaths. Also, the Dia de los Muertes pageantry that surrounds it really adds a lot. It may be the best casket match in wrestling history….sorry, Undertaker.

Episode 20: Should Watch – The turnaround for the Ivelisse/Son of Havoc/Angelico story starts here, and it’s a lot of fun, and the beginning of something that seemed minor at the time, but would become pretty important. El Patron and Texano have another match, as do Cage and Puma. Cage and Puma have a really good match that includes a stellar contribution from Konnan, and a less than stellar contribution from one of my least favorite wrestlers of all time: Hernandez.

Episode 21: Must Watch – This introduction of a couple of new characters (The Mack and Killshot) as Big Ryck’s new “posse” (a.k.a. The Fam), is only one reason to watch this episode. There’s also a hell of a martial arts based match between Johnny Mundo and Angelico. However, the biggest reason to watch is because Dario Cueto announces that he is going to crown Trios Champions, and there will be a tournament to decide them. A Trios Tournament? Yes, please! We also get the first match of the opening round, and it’s The Fam vs Cueto’s thrown together team of Super Fly, Sexy Star, and Pentagon, Jr. We also got the announcement that Cueto is making Son of Havoc, Ivellisse, and Angelico work together as a trio, which ends up being one of the biggest stories of the season.

Episode 22: Should Watch – I struggled with this one. There are parts of this episode that are must watch, and there are parts that are skippable. Basically, Dario Cueto calls Prince Puma into his office and demands that he find two partners and enter the Trios Tournament. Konnan recruits Hernandez, and in one of the greatest Lucha Underground cut scenes, Johnny Mundo offers himself as the third member. Since their first match will be against King Cuerno and his partners, Prince Puma is forced to defend his title against King Cuerno, with his partners at ringside. It’s a really good match, but not necessarily essential. Closer to essential is Angelico, Ivellisse, and Son of Havoc taking on an outstanding trio…Drago, Aero Star, and Fenix (something about that team seems familiar). It’s a great, albeit somewhat bananas, match.

Episode 23: Should Watch – Prince Puma, Hernandez, and Johnny Mundo taking on the trio of King Cuerno, and Texano is a good match, but it doesn’t rise to the level of must watch. The same can be said of the final match of Aero Star and Drago’s best of 5 series. It’s great, and probably the best of the five matches. Dario Cueto’s response to the winner, who he has promised a “Unique Opportunity”, is amazing. I haven’t said it much, but Dario Cueto is the best authority figure in wrestling. THE BEST! This episode also features a triple threat match between representatives of the three teams who will vie against each other for the Trios Championships, which is really good, and has The Mack, who is awesome!

Episode 24: Must Watch – Again, we have an episode where maybe the whole thing isn’t must watch. We get some furtherance of the Sexy Star/Pentagon, Jr. story, and we get the sort of debut of a new character (former WWE manager Shawn Daivari). Technically, he’s been in the crowd for the past few weeks, but he actually gets physically involved here. However, this episode hinges on the finals of the Trios Championship tournament…and it is a god damn barnburner. If you’ve ever heard about the wacky things that Angelico does in Lucha Underground, there’s a very good chance that what you heard about was from this match. That man can do some amazing things. Watch this match!

Episode 25: Should Watch – I almost made this episode skippable. However, it’s got a really good Prince Puma/Drago match. That match suffers a little bit because of some things that happen during it, but it’s still really good. Also, we find out in this episode that Drago can turn into his dragon form at will. There’s some other stuff that is skippable, like a match between all the people whose arms Pentagon, Jr. has broken.

Episode 26: Skippable – Here’s what you need to know about this episode: despite being two-thirds of the Trios Champions, Angelico and Son of Havoc still don’t really like each other. That’s unfortunate, because they have a tag team match against The Crew. Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron wrestle each other for the right to wrestle Hernandez in a number one contender’s match. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to figure out how that goes in a couple of minutes. Oh…also, Mil Muertes rises from the dead.

Episode 27: Must Watch – The concept of the Aztec Medallions (which will be important) is introduced in this episode. Jack Evans, which is a name known by certain types of wrestling fans, makes his Lucha Underground debut against Aero Star, and it’s great. Fenix wins a big match that nets him the first Aztec Medallion…and a visit from a trio of scary skeleton guys. The main event features Hernandez vs Alberto Del Rio, but the real story is Johnny Mundo. The ending of this episode is one of my favorite things.

Episode 28: Must Watch – For episode 24, I said that if you’ve heard about Angelico doing crazy things, you were probably hearing about that episode. Alternatively, you may have heard about this one. Ivellisse, Angelico, and Son of Havoc have a great ladder match against The Crew, and Angelico does one of the most .gif worthy things in the history of wrestling. This episode also features Marty The Moth’s in-ring debut against Prince Puma in a non-title match, and an interview with Johnny Mundo explaining his recent actions.

Episode 29: Should Watch – This episode isn’t must watch, but it does have some great stuff. For example: Crew member Bael gets killed by Dario Cueto’s cage monster brother. Yup…that’s a sentence I just wrote. Johnny Mundo and Aero Star have a fun match, that is like the Jack Evans/Aero Star match with a little bit of sauce on it. Prince Puma and Hernandez have a match, and I’m not the biggest Hernandez fan in the world, but it’s fine. There’s also the renewing of the Mil Muertes/Fenix rivalry, which is good, but doesn’t approach Grave Consequences.

Episode 30: Skippable – This episode is sort of the beginning of the Vampiro/Pentagon, Jr. story, which turns out to be pretty important. However, I can tell you what happens as easily as you can watch it. After beating Sexy Star in a submission match, Pentagon, Jr. goes to break her arm…Vampiro sees this as an injustice and steps in to save her. This prompts Pentagon, Jr. to challenge Vampiro, who immediately backs down. That’s really all you need to know.

Episode 31: Should Watch – Drago comes back and wins a match to be the number one contender. Thus setting him up as the challenger for the title at Ultima Lucha. However, Catrina shows up in Dario Cueto’s office and chokes him until he agrees to let Mil Muertes fight Drago to see who will go to Ultima Lucha. The match is fine, and that scene is great, but I can’t call it a must watch.

Episode 32: Must Watch – Along with Aztec Warfare and Grave Consequences, “One Night, One Fight” makes up the triumvirate of important matches in Lucha Underground season one. This one hour match between Johnny Mundo and Prince Puma is ridiculously awesome, and it’s one of those things that takes a tired concept like an Iron Man match, and breathes new life into it. It was one of the best matches I saw in 2015…and I watched a lot of matches in 2015.

Episode 33: Should Watch – Drago vs Mil Muertes headlines this episode, and basically, what we discover, is that Mil Muertes has evolved to a higher level of strength, power, and violence. These guys put on a good match, but more than anything, they’re setting up how difficult a task Prince Puma has ahead of him. We also move the Vampiro/Pentagon, Jr. storyline along, with Pentagon pointing out that because Vampiro interfered with his sacrifice to his dark master, he now has to be the sacrifice.

Episode 34: Skippable – Revolving around Chavo Guerrero is a good way to get a “skippable” from me, and that’s exactly what this episode does. Here he gets a match against Prince Puma, which doesn’t make sense at all, and there’s this whole thing about Chavo’s feud with all of Mexico, personified by Blue Demon, Jr. and Texano. I don’t get it…and it didn’t do a whole lot for me.

Episode 35: Must Watch – There is a distinct lack of Chavo in this episode (granted, that’s because he got injured during his match with Prince Puma), which makes it right up my alley. There’s a great hoss fight on this episode between Cage and The Mack, a match between Mil Muertes and Son of Havoc that is not only building Mil as a monster, but also playing into the storyline between the Trios Champions and Catrina’s scary electro skeletons, The Disciples of Death. There’s also one of those multi-man matches that moves a bunch of smaller stories along their arcs all at once. In this case, it’s an 8 person tag team match, that is killer. Then the episode ends with Pentagon, Jr. dumping gasoline on Vampiro and threatening to burn him alive if he doesn’t accept his match. Wow.

Episode 36: Should Watch – This is one of the last episodes before the two part finale of Lucha Underground, entitled Ultima Lucha. As such, it does a lot to push feuds to the point where only one last final match is necessary to settle things. Pentagon, Jr. pushes Ian Hodgkinson (Vampiro’s real name) until he basically has no choice but to fully unleash his alter ego, the vampire cultist known as Vampiro…as opposed to the version of Vampiro that has been on commentary all year, which is just Ian using a different name. Sexy Star beats Super Fly and Marty the Moth, and we get King Cuerno the Hunter vs Kill Shot. Also, Konnan gets killed off during a confrontation between Puma and Mil Muertes, so Puma is now on his on.

Episode 37: Should Watch – This episode really ties things up, and shows that Lucha Underground is a show with a memory, in a way that WWE’s shows sometimes aren’t. Granted, there is some waiting around for Ultima Lucha, especially in the case of Cage and The Mack, but we also find out what the Aztec Medallions were all about. Dario Cueto announces the Gift of the Gods title, which basically a match to join all of the Aztec Medallions into one belt, which provides one of Dario Cueto’s patented Unique Opportunities.

Episodes 38 and 39: Must Watch – This is Ultima Lucha…so, of course, it’s a must watch. I’m not going to say anything except this: why wouldn’t you watch a show where Hernandez gets whipped with leather straps by the crowd?

Here’s the full card for these two episodes:

The Mack vs Cage
Disciples of Death vs Angelico, Son of Havoc, Ivellisse (Trios Championship)
Drago vs Hernandez(Believer’s Backlash Match)
Alberto El Patron vs Johnny Mundo
Vampiro vs Pentagon, Jr.
Aero Star vs Bengala vs Big Ryck vs Fenix vs Jack Evans vs King Cuerno vs Sexy Star (Gift of the Gods Championship)
Texano vs Blue Demon, Jr
Prince Puma vs Mil Muertes (Lucha Underground Championship)

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