ATHLETE APPRECIATION: The Symbolism of Pentagon Jr.

 

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With a new season of Lucha Underground almost upon us (!),  I thought I’d try something different than a standard Athlete Appreciation piece.

So here is my attempt, perhaps sorry in nature, to understand the deeper meaning behind a truly fascinating wrestling character: Lucha Underground’s Pentagon Jr.

So who is Pentagon Jr.? He is a man in a mask.  He is a master of many wrestling styles, a servant to one crazy wrestling legend. But what does it all mean?  Digging into the history of the Pentagon character leads to more questions than answers.  There are a lot of incarnations of Pentagon – over 8 different versions to be exact. Still, none have too much in common with our current specimen.

The luchador wrestler, Pentagon Jr., was always meant to be the heel or ‘rudo’ to a babyface Octagon, the latter a character inspired by the 1970’s Chuck Norris classic of the same name.  (Yes, you read that correctly!) In ‘Octagon’ the movie, Chuck was busy taking down a shadow terrorist gang of Mexican ninjas.

Post-movie and in his wrestling form, however, Octagon, the luchador, protects the innocent and serves as hero to the youth of Mexico. (Take that, Chuck!) In these wrestling circles, the original Pentagon acted as an “evil twin”to the heroic Octagon. Toward this end, Pentagon dressed like Octagon, and copied his move set…aimed at driving Octagon crazy and/or installing himself as the ‘true’ savior of the masses.

At times the two teamed up, but mostly wrestled for dominance. This eventually lead to a humiliating unmasking, one that would spell the end of Pentagon. The original lucha Pentagon not only lost his mask but also his hair. In doing so, he was named and shamed in front of the whole audience.

Given this history, our current version of Pentagon – Pentagon Jr. – does resemble his original luchador namesake…but only to an extent.  For instance, Pentagon Jr’s current martial artist attire. His Lucha Underground character, however, seems a lot more sinister than the movie original.

To explain,  Pentagon Jr. lacks any code of honor inherent in most martial arts academies.  He also lacks one natural enemy (i.e. Octagon), instead seems to target other wrestlers indiscriminately. Additionally, rather than mimicking his opponents, he sticks to his own style of wrestling: a brutal combination of grappling and submissions.  Pentagon Jr. likes to break limbs, mostly arms, while mocking the compassion of others. All for this is done as a “sacrifice” to his mysterious master, later revealed to be the legend of hardcore, Vampiro. This – as Lucha Underground fans will recall – arguably served as the climax of Season One.

Pentagon Jr.’s attire may also offer some clues to his intentions. Most notably, he bears a 5 pointed star on his mask.  Taken as a pentagram, this could logically be seen by many as as the occultist “Black Magic” star. Of course, the pentagram means many things to many different cultures! A popular interpretation of the 5 pointed star is that it a sign of antagonism and death, a triumph of the ego over divinity and the spiritual self. Thus, pentagrams for Pentagon Jr. seem to connect the 5 elements or senses of humanity.  Taken together, Pentagon Jr., is a demon spirit with no hero to keep him in line.  He’s like kudzo sans herbicide!

So who is Pentagon Jr?  What is his goal?

I guess that all depends on what you see when looking at your own reflection onto yourself.  Pentagon Jr. is the doppelganger; the inverse of hallucinating your worst fear.  He’s the monster lying within, the feared self.

He’s breaking arms and claiming sacrifices for now. But chances are the servant becomes the master at some point. Because after all, we all are our own worst enemies.

 

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