Octagóns and Pentagóns
Octagón debuted in 1989. His name comes from the film “The Octagon” starring Chuck Norris (some claim it was Chuck Norris’s movie that also inspired the shape of UFC rings, while others assert it was George Harrison, a student of Rorion Gracie).
Octagón became extremely popular, especially among children. He grew to be even more of a fan favorite through his charity work. His stardom grew powerful enough to produce not one, but two action movies based around himself and his partners (Atlantis and Máscara Sagrada). Octagón was so magnetizing that CMLL gave him a reign with the Mexican National Middleweight Championship.
The idea came to Antonio Peña, the booker of the newly established AAA, and the man who helped imagine the Octagón persona, to capitalize on his creation’s popularity. He began to think of clone-like characters of Octagón. The first of these was Octagoncito, a “miniature version” of the famous hero. The second was a mortal enemy for Octagón. This was the birth of Pentagón.
Octagón and Pentagón would both have several legacy characters in Lucha Libre, the most notable of these being current AEW star Pentagón Jr.
Octagón Jr vs Pentagón Jr
Octagón Jr was previously known as Samuray del Sol. One day, during an autograph signing, Samuray del Sol witnessed Octagón being ambushed by Silver King and Toscano, and chased them off to defend the lucha legend. In return, Octagón gifted the younger luchador a mask and a new title: Octagon Jr.
It wasn’t long after the creation of Octagón Jr that Pentagón Jr came into existence. Their rivalry, though, was not as legendary as one might expect when two characters are, quite literally, made for each other.
The odd thing about our Penta is that he’s outlasted three different Octagon Jrs. The first, as discussed, was gifted the mask and title by Octagon Sr. He’s now moved on from that title, and competes as Kalisto in WWE. The second and third Octagon Jr did not have the approval of their senior, and were instead told to take on the character by AAA. Both have moved on to Ring of Honor and Impact under the names Flamita and Golden Magic, respectively. Though it is possible they could take up the mantle of Octagon Jr again, or that a fourth luchador could be given the title by AAA, it is highly unlikely that any Octagon Jr will reach the same caliber as their rival. This leads us to the second half of the article.
Can there be a Venom without Spider-Man?
I doubt anyone would argue that Pentagón Jr is incomplete on his own. He is one of the most charismatic wrestlers on the scene today. How many wrestlers, after all, can get a pop from the crowd for just taking off their glove?
However, I think the character of Pentagón Jr gains a lot more depth when his origins are remembered. Pentagon Jr, along with all other Pentagóns in Lucha Libre, exists to show a contrast between themselves and their respective técnico (babyface). That being said, who in AEW, or in Mexico, is best suited to take the place of Octagon Jr? In other words, who is Penta’s Peter Parker?
The Lucha Brothers and the Young Bucks are perfect, natural foils for each other. Both are (obviously) brothers, wherein the older brother being the charisma of the team with a power-centric move set, and the younger brother being a dare devilish high flyer. Since Matt and Penta are both the older brothers, this makes them natural rivals individually.
Matt is emotional where Penta is stoic. Matt, though he is the powerhouse of the Young Bucks, comes across as a glass cannon of sorts with his constant injuries. Penta, on the other hand, has seldom had a vulnerable moment in his life. Their personalities, along with their roles in their respective tag teams, makes Matt Jackson and Penta perfect, yet warped, reflections of each other.
Though they’ve been on a phenomenal run as a tag team, I would still make the argument that Fenix and Penta could be just as successful as rivals in AEW. Their contrasts were brought out especially well in Lucha Underground, where Fenix was one of the top babyfaces and Penta often played the role of an anti-hero.
The two personify the contrast between light and darkness. Fenix, the man of a thousand lives, the bird of fire, is the polar opposite of Penta, who embodies death and nightfall. Though they are an incredibly cohesive tag team, I believe that a singles run from Penta and Fenix as rivals in AEW could be just as powerful as their tag team run has been. It would be beneficial for both of them, but especially for Fenix, who I feel is a natural babyface pent up in a heel’s role.
As I said before, Penta is not an incomplete wrestler on his own. However, I do believe that examining the origin of his character brings a new sense of depth to him and his relationships with his rivals. It also illuminates the depth of Lucha Libre culture as a whole, which is something AEW has so far failed to do in favor of presenting more American-centric styles (at least in the men’s division). In reality, both styles can and should coexist, and treating the Lucha Brothers with the depth they deserve could be a great start to that coexistence.
“El Amo de los Ocho Angulos / The Lord of the Eight Angles”. Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. 2005.