The Lucha Brothers: Have They Lost Their Lustre in AEW?

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All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has a roster of nearly 70 performers (according to their website, they have 52 men and 17 women) and for the most part, have done a great job elevating or handling misused WWE talent and providing a national platform for some of the indies top stars. But one duo, in particular, has fans split on whether or not they’re being used to the best of their abilities – the Mexican brother tandem of Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix, better known as The Lucha Brothers. The Lucha Brothers left a hot run in IMPACT Wrestling to join AEW in January of 2019, also leaving behind Major League Wrestling (MLW) and the sinking ship that Lucha Underground had become. Two years ago, Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix were two of the hottest commodities in pro wrestling around the world and now aren’t even serious contenders in their own tag team division.

In the Beginning: Lucha Underground

Photo: Lucha Underground / El Rey Network

Unless you were a Luchaphile and followed AAA Lucha Libre regularly, chances are most people’s first exposure to the two brothers was during their time with Lucha Underground. Pentagon Jr. really became Lucha Underground’s long term project, with Season One taking an underutilized talent from the AAA roster and making him the show’s most intriguing character. Pentagon Jr. seemed to have all the tools, but consistently lost the bulk of his matches – even feuding with his brother Fenix in the early part of the season. His soul shattered, he took an ominous mentor – which turned out to be former Mexico superstar Vampiro – and ended the season by destroying his teacher and becoming the dark force that dominated the rest of the series, becoming a 2x Lucha Underground Champion. Fenix became of the top stars almost instantly, with big wins over his brother and feuding with Prince Puma (WWE’s Ricochet), Mil Muertes, and Chavo Guerrero Jr. He too would shine as a singles competitor in Lucha Underground, defeating Muertes in the second season. Lucha Underground may have had a cult following, but it launched both Pentagon Jr. and Fenix into the North American indie culture, leading to more bookings with the likes of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), CHIKARA, AAW Pro, and more.

The Big Break: Major League Wrestling

Photo: MLW

Now becoming burgeoning stars on the US indies – where they were more often than not paired together as a tag team rather than singles stars – the first major company to come knocking on their door was MLW. By 2018, the Lucha Brothers had expanded into international superstars – the duo was now also performing in the UK with the likes of Defiant Wrestling, Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE), IPW, RevPro, and more, as well as in Germany with Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw). They were one of the hottest indie darlings as a tag team unit and it was MLW who first brought them back to US television, as the fourth and final season of Lucha Underground played out. While they initially debuted as singles wrestlers – feuding with each other – they were quickly put back together and on the ninth episode of MLW Fusion, won the MLW World Tag Team Championship. The held the titles for a whopping 240-days, feuding with ACH & Rich Swann, Drago & Rey Horus, and the Park family (LA Park & El Hijo de LA Park), before losing the titles to the Hart Foundation‘s Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Smith Jr. in early 2019. They remained with MLW for two more months before departing the company. But MLW had given them another platform to showcase their tag team talents, and they weren’t leaving without work already booked.

Back Home: AAA & CMLL

Photo: AAA

Pentagon Jr. and Fenix had both quit AAA Lucha Libre in 2017 and were now officially free agents in their native Mexico. This new-found freedom in the US indies had given the two much more confidence in their abilities than they had previously in Mexico. But returning as free agents who had conquered a chunk of the US wrestling scene only made them more attractive. Now AAA Lucha Libre – and their rival CMLL – had to book them in more prominent roles in the card. In August of 2018, Fenix won the AAA Mega Championship, which he held for 420-days until losing it to AEW’s Kenny Omega in October of last year. They also increased their time with The Crash Lucha, a rising Mexican indie.

The Cream Rises: IMPACT Wrestling

Photo: IMPACT

The seeds for their jump to IMPACT Wrestling began during WrestleMania Week for WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans when IMPACT and Lucha Underground teamed up for a special event that paired IMPACT stars against those from Lucha Underground. Two weeks later they debuted on IMPACT, with Pentagon Jr. shocking the world by defeating Austin Aries and Fenix in a triple threat to win the IMPACT World Championship. While Pentagon’s reign was brief, it introduced the brothers as serious contenders and they soon entered IMPACT’s tag team division and took down everyone. In January of 2019, they finally captured their first IMPACT World Tag Team titles and lit the world on fire with their feud against LAX‘s Santana & Ortiz. The two teams would put on classic after classic match, elevating both teams to arguably the top two tag teams in the world. Oddly enough, the two teams had first collided a year earlier on the West Coast for Bar Wrestling, but once the feud ignited on IMPACT, it became the tag team feud and was found on cards around the world with the likes of AAW Pro, House of Glory (HOG), PWG, Wrestling Revolver, and the UK’s Fight Club: PRO. It dominated IMPACT’s storylines throughout the first part of 2019, until the Lucha Brothers once again decided to move on to a bigger stage.

The Next Chapter: All Elite Wrestling

Photo: AEW

For the past few years, the Lucha Brothers dominated tag team wrestling in North America. Since their debut with Lucha Underground, they were IMPACT World Tag Team Champions, MLW World Tag Team Champions, PWG World Tag Team Champions, AAW Tag Team Champions, HOG Tag Team Champions, Crash Lucha Tag Team Champions, and Wrestling Alliance Revolution (WAR) Tag Team Champions in South America. In singles action, Pentagon was an IMPACT World Champion, 2x Lucha Underground Champion, Gift of the Gods Champion, PCW ULTRA Heavyweight Champion, and AAW Heavyweight Champion; Fenix was a AAA Mega Champion, Lucha Underground Champion, AAW Heavyweight Champion, Crash Lucha Cruiserweight Champion. An impressive haul for anyone. It was no surprise that in early 2019, they both departed IMPACT for upstart All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and targeting the only team that had the resume to be better tag teams than them – The Young Bucks.

Prior to the launch of AEW Dynamitethey fought over the AAA World Tag Team titles with the Bucks starting at AEW Double or Nothing and carrying over to other AAA and AEW events. They continued strong, heading into the AEW World Tag Team tournament as heavy favorites – but after knocking out Jurassic Express’ Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy and Private Party in the opening rounds, their entire momentum was ended in AEW with a huge loss to SCU’s Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky to crown the first AEW World Tag Team Champions. Arguably the hottest tag team in the tournament was denied the titles to put over Scorpio Sky. They lost the rematch later at AEW Full Gear and then found themselves losing to Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent) after that. Their stock began to slip and so did their place in the weekly AEW rankings. They were becoming “just another tag team” in a division of talented tandems. Even their IMPACT rivals Santana & Ortiz found themselves with rather lackluster entrances into AEW, becoming the low-level lackeys of AEW World Champion Chris Jericho in The Inner Circle. Thankfully, they would score a win over Kenny Omega & Adam “Hangman” Page to close out 2019, but shortly after they lost to Cody & Dustin Rhodes and again failed to defeat Omega & Page for the titles. The Lucha Brothers were becoming the team that had the glitz but continuously failed to win the big matches.

Following their loss to Omega & Page, the Lucha Brothers soon found themselves in the same position as the duo formerly known as LAX – as lackeys. Joining forces with PAC in The Dark Triangle, they now find themselves as back-up to the Bastard, instead of an organized team out to get tag team gold. Two talented men that for years had been pushed by the US indies, IMPACT Wrestling, and MLW as one of the best – if not the best – tag teams in the world, was now reduced to being lackeys for a former WWE Cruiserweight Champion. The Lucha Brothers currently hold a 6-6 tag team match record in AEW, a victim of the same 50/50 booking that fans have criticized the WWE for doing in its failed attempts to create new stars. For those who are tuning into AEW without any knowledge of their work in IMPACT, MLW, PWG or even Lucha Underground, are they supposed to treat these two with any respect or has it just become indifference? In many ways, they’ve become the Killer Bees or Rougeau Brothers of AEW – talented enough to have big matches, but not being pushed enough to actually win them. Hopefully, their alliance with PAC opens the doors to new opportunities and that the Lucha Brothers can reclaim their dominant form of previous years when they were known more for their big victories than their big defeats.

Photo: AEW

Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8pm ET on TNT and AEW DARK Tuesday nights at 6pm on their YouTube Channel.

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