Dark Match Dungeon: Vampiro’s Bloodline

Welcome back to the Dark Match Dungeon! As always, this is where I take your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to find forgotten footage of today’s wrestling stars and sit you down in front of a feast of nostalgia. Like many of you, there’s still a Lucha Underground-shaped hole in my heart. The doctor says it’s a miracle I’m still here, but someone’s got to make these jokes. And while I was thinking fondly of season one, I realized I owe the denizens of the Temple another trip to the Dungeon. So, let’s turn back the clock about 15 years and find the WCW origins of Lucha Underground’s commentator/Sith Lord, Vampiro.

What To Look For:

– Maybe you’re hearing Mike Tenay refer to this as a “re-debut,” and that’s for a reason. Vamp’s actual WCW television debut happened about nine months before this on Nitro, when he defeated Brad Armstrong in decisive fashion. You can catch all four or so minutes of that match here.
– Also, this is when he was still “El Vampiro.” Eventually, he took the Facebook approach and dropped the “The.” It’s cleaner.
– Prince Iaukea. As a kid who followed WWF much more closely than WCW, pretty much all I knew about Iaukea is that he basically existed to be a punchline for Chris Jericho.
– One of my new favorite lines from Bobby Heenan: “Don’t worry about the people, Vampire Man.”
– Vampiro landing a flip like Sage Northcutt before hitting his Nail in the Coffin finisher.

As listed in the video title, this is taken from the March 18, 1999 episode of WCW Thunder. Vamp’s career in WCW led him to only one championship reign, during which he held the WCW Tag Team Championship with The Great Muta for one day. After three decades in the world of wrestling, I think I can safely say he’s got one of the most colorful backstories of anyone in the industry. I hope he writes a book about his life and dedicates at least one chapter to his time on a Mexican paranormal investigation show. Don’t believe me? Here he is investigating a storm drain because he suspects it’s a portal to hell.

Wait… el inframundo? Oh no, he’s coming after Drago in season two of Lucha Underground!