Last night on Lucha Underground’s second edition of Aztec Warfare, the wrestling world was introduced to Matanza, El Jefe’s younger (possibly demonic) brother who in ten minutes brought the Temple to its knees and took over for Mil Muertes as LU’s Immortan. It was an awe inspiring level of domination that you only find in…well pretty much nothing, and I’d dare say it instantly made Matanza one of the hottest names in pro wrestling. But who exactly is the man behind that Jason esq mask he wears? For almost a year now I have investigated who was portraying Dario Cueto's monster of a brother, and now that we have finally gotten a good look at him I think it’s only fair that some background is shed on wrestling’s newest star. So grab a cold one and pull up a chair; this is the story of how a young man went from an amateur wrestling phenom to the first Hawaiian World Champion and the most dominant monster in the best wrestling promotion going today. Ladies, gentlemen, T.O., I give you a Lucha Tribute to Matanza Cueto, aka “Mr. Athletic” Jeff Cobb!
What You Already Know
My how a day changes everything, including what will be in this opening section. Yesterday what you knew about one Jeff Cobb would’ve been next to nothing. Today you now know him as the Monster Matanza Cueto, brother of Lucha Underground owner/promoter Dario Cueto and the most diabolical hater since the so called Beautiful. Oh, he’s also the fourth ever Lucha Underground Champion after winning Aztec Warfare last night by eliminating Fenix, Big Willie Mack, Aerostar, Texano, Joey Ryan, El Dragon Azteca Jr., Chavo Guerrero, Prince Puma and the legendary Rey Mysterio is rapid succession. Let’s just say a Brock Lesnar array of suplexes and a STANDING SHOOTING STAR PRESS were involved. That’s right I just compared Cobb/Matanza to Brock Lesnar. I can hear the complaints right now; this is blasphemy, this is madness!
What You Didn’t Know
A first thing first; no, last night wasn’t Jeff Cobb’s first rodeo in professional wrestling. Wrestlers just don’t appear out of thin air guys! The truth is Cobb, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, has been a wrestling veteran of the squared circles for nearly a decade now, having debuted in 2009 for the Hawaiian based promotion Action Zone Wrestling. He spent a year there before heading to the Californian indie scene (what do you know, another LU guy/gal who made his name in Cali!), where he’s wrestled primarily for All Pro Wrestling, PREMIERE Wrestling (where he’s a former Heavyweight Champion), Gold Rush Pro Wrestling, Supreme Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Revolution. His success there was enough to get him a tryout with AAA alongside fellow Californian indie stars/LU stars Famous B and Vinny Massaro, where he impressed Konnan enough to bring him into the fold for a then unknown project AAA was developing for American television. Can we safely say that the rest was history? Seems like a moment where we can say the rest was history.
Of course Cobb’s wrestling exploits extend far beyond the realm of pro wrestling. Those who saw Matanza destroy everyone last night on Lucha Underground, as well as those fortunate enough to watch Cobb compete on the indies, have noticed that he’s very adapt in the amateur wrestling style. That’s an understatement; before his pro wrestling career, Cobb was an excellent amateur wrestler and in fact represented Guam at the 2004 Olympic Games. That’s right, Matanza is a freakin Olympian guys and not just any Olympian; Cobb was the country’s flag bearer for the opening ceremonies, a pretty high honor. While he ultimately didn’t go home with the gold that year, it’s pretty clear that Cobb’s amateur background easily allowed him to transition into the world of professional wrestling, not to mention it’s always cool to say you competed in the Olympic Games. In fact, Cobb is now only the third man in wrestling history to compete in the Olympics and be a wrestling World Champion; the other two are two dudes named Mark Henry and Kurt Angle. Pretty good company.
And now for the real kicker; much like seemingly every other member of the LU roster, Cobb almost was a WWE wrestler. The former Olympian tried out for the mother ship of wrestling back in the first weeks of September 2014 and was widely believed to be coveted by the WWE after they failed to sign Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo (Cejudo has since gone on to do pretty well in UFC). The tryout went for three days with two a-day workouts, with it concluding with Cobb and his fellow tryouts cutting a one minute promo and a match. Cobb ultimately believed it went well, but the WWE never ended up signing him to a deal, allowing him to eventually find his way to the LU. In the words of...some wise man, their loss!
I think it’s safe to say there’s two here for Mr. Cobb; his run in the Olympics and the Aztec Warfare II victory from last night. It doesn’t matter how things went for him in the Olympics; the fact that he represented his country and was the flag bearer no less is something few people ever get to achieve. A special kind of triumph can only top that, which is why his performance last night is only able to tie it. Trust me; you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. Unfortunately I can’t show anything from either of these two moments here, so instead I’m going to show you a compilation of Cobb’s best moves. Hey, he’s still a guy wrestling fans should get to know, and what better way to do that than with a video showing him absolutely wiping dudes off planet Earth?
Ladies and gentleman I have seen great wrestlers of all shapes and sizes; I’ve never, ever seen anyone quite like Jeff Cobb before. Dare I say from an in ring standpoint he’s the total package, a fusion of Kurt Angle, Taz, Brock Lesnar and a pre insane Scott Steiner, capable of amazing feats of strength, speed and athleticism. For crying out loud, this is a 260+ lb man who has one of the best shooting star presses I’ve ever seen and can flawlessly do a freakin standing shooting star press (as evident by last night). That’s special, and so is Jeff Cobb. I will admit I was skeptical when I first heard he’d be Matanza (mostly, and unfairly, because of his height), but those doubts are long gone by now. Jeff Cobb is the real deal and he will undoubtedly continue to be so as LU’s unstoppable monster. Consider this; in ten minutes last night, Matanza was able to completely get over as the companies top rudo, something that generally takes months, maybe years for some people. A lot of credit certainly goes to the LU creative team for putting Cobb in the right place at the right time, but make no mistake; Jeff Cobb made Matanza just as much as anyone else did. This is a special talent people, and you should get used to him being around for a long time. He has star written all over him.
And scene! Hope you guys and gals enjoyed this look at a young superstar who deserves to be talked about. I’ll be back later; have some Rudo Can’t Fail work to get too! Till next time, get hyped and stay hyped for Batman v. Superman tomorrow! Damn the critics; save the Snyder!