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Lucha Underground Season 2: A Much Darker Place Review
IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN! Just a little over four hours ago, Lucha Underground returned for the premiere of their second season and, unbelievably, out did themselves yet again. There were hallucinations, title matches, title changes, friend vs. friend vs. friend, two evil yet awesome authority figures, broken arms; if Mad Max: Fury Road had been filmed with everyone wearing a lucha mask, it would’ve looked like this episode of Lucha Underground. And after dousing myself off and taking a few hours to soak it in, here I am to recap it all. Are you ready? Are you set? Let’s go. ON WITH THE SHOW!!!
Out of the Asylum
Turns out my prediction from my sixteen thoughts on the LU trailer column were half right; Vampiro was indeed in a psychiatric facility, but it didn’t appear to be by choice and (judging by his constant recalling of past events and a fantasy about killing his doctors and the orderlies) it didn’t seem like treatment had really worked. No matter; thankfully Vamp is out now, he’s got his job commentating at Lucha Underground once again, and he totally, TOTALLY, wasn’t lying about having all those same urges he had at the end of season one that caused him to manipulate the entire world, while turning Pentagon Jr. into the most diabolical hater since the so called Beautiful. Oh, he also has to take two pills a day to control said urges and was told not to go back to places that caused his previous issues. He’s already broken the latter rule. As for the former, I give it about five episodes before he’s doing a Duncan Kane and tosses those bad boys down the sink. Embrace your inner evil Vamp!
Fenix is SCREWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWED!
And screwed mightily may I point out. No more than a few seconds back into the Temple and Catrina, now running things with El Jefe on the lamb, is stacking the deck against her former…were they lovers? What exactly was the nature of their relationship again? Don’t make me do an investigative column LU, because I will! In any event, Fenix wanted to give up the Gift of the Gods Championship, and while Catrina obliged, she forced him to first defend the title against King Cuerno. I don’t recall that being in the rule book, but hey, evil bosses are going to be evil bosses, so I won’t complain.
Gift of the Gods Championship Match
King Cuerno defeated Fenix (c)
Two things you need to know; yes, Mil Muertes was indeed watching all of this happen while sitting on a throne near the stage the band usually plays on, yes it’s better than the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones and yes, the Vampiro drinking game is back and better than ever. Normally this would all be a top highlight of the particular segment, but seeing as this match was the best match I’ve seen in 2016 thus far, it gets moved to the side. What an effort by these two men. Both picked up right where they left off, with Fenix delivering some amazing aerial maneuvers and good old Deer Antlers keeping things steady with his methodical, deer hunting ways. And my goodness, did you see that Styles Clash/Tombstone Piledriver fusion he used as his finish? Cuerno deserves all the titles after that move, not just the Gift of the Gods. With that chemistry, thank goodness we’re likely going to have more of these matches between the two, as I doubt Fenix is going to just sit back and let Cuerno keep the belt. Hell of a way to kick off season two in ring!
The Greatest Trios Team That Ever Lived EXPLODES!
After getting the same scene from the trailer showing the arrival of The Greatest Trios Team That Ever Lived, the trio encountered Catrina in what looked to be the Temple’s gym. And well, mind games ensued, with Catrina offering to put the three in a triple threat match where the winner got to face Immortan Mil Muertes for the title in the main event. Great to see she went to the Dario Cueto school of evil authority figures, even though Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc seemed just fine going against each other for one night. What I loved the most about this sequence; a) Ivelisse continuing to tease that match with Catrina, which is Star Wars: Force Awakens levels of money right now and b) LU continuing the trend of those in the Temple not knowing what’s going on backstage. The shock from Striker, Vamp and the fans when the contestants of this match were announced really added an extra layer.
You know how you were thinking King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertes for the LU Championship would be a killer match just a few minutes ago? NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! Turns out, old Deer Antlers made a secret deal with Catrina where he pretty much agrees to hold the title forever while Mil serves as Lucha Underground’s redeemer. I’d say this was a brilliant move because a) who wants to face Immortan Mil Muertes and b) all Cuerno would have to do is wait for Mil to lose the belt, then immediately strike against whoever happened to beat him. The problem; Mil’s almost unbeatable, and if he did happen to lose, Catrina would just give him a title shot the next week that he would likely win. No wonder Cuerno looked sad there; he knows the dream is dead just as much as we do!
Triple Threat Match to Become #1 Contender for the Lucha Underground Championship
Ivelisse defeated Angelico and Son of Havoc
In normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have been happy to see this bout now; Ivelisse, Angelico and Havoc squaring off after the team has completely disintegrated is a huge match waiting to happen and not something that should get the hot shot treatment. Thankfully, this wasn’t it. Despite Catrina’s best efforts, all three largely worked as technicos here, with only Ivelisse really getting vicious. As such, the big money match remains just that, and this bout proved to be an excellent preview of it. Angelico looked crisp, Havoc was flying all over the place (if not for Fenix, he might’ve had the most showy performance of the night) and Ivelisse, healthy in the Temple for the first time since midway through season one, showcased some great brawling offense. Her viciousness compared to her partners’ more subdued style also proved to be the difference maker, giving her the win and setting up a historic main event.
Black Lotus: Fake Hitchhiker?
Turns out the season two trailer was misleading; while first appearing to be alone, Black Lotus quickly reveals that she and El Jefe (unseen here) are still in cahoots, running a Temple some 300 hundred miles away from the actual Temple. That’s good news for us who want to see that story continued; that’s terrible for the three dudes who stopped to ask Lotus where they could find this Temple. At least mutilated ghost Bael will now have some company I suppose. The lesson, as always; look for the positives.
Lucha Underground Championship Match
Mil Muertes (c) defeated Ivelisse
First off, great move having the Disciples of Death not only come out to even the odds against Angelico and Havoc (who stayed out there after the match in support of Ivelisse) but also taking the two out and carrying them out of the Temple. Forget the Dario Cueto school of evil authority; clearly El Jefe and Catrina went to the Adrian Veidt school of villainy!
Much like the previous match, I was uneasy at first. If it’s me, I would’ve waited until a time where Ivelisse could believably win (let’s be real; no one thought she was taking the belt on the first night back), thus making the crowd even more on edge with excitement. The second lesson; this is why I write the review columns and Chris DeJoseph, Chris Roach and co write the shows. I loved this match; it wasn’t as long as the others and it didn’t feature the splashy, high flying assault that the opener did. But man, what a story they told here with Ivelisse, the first woman to have a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship, going against the evil Immortan Mil. He was excellent as the unstoppable bully looking to torture Ivelisse, while she did a great job trying to outsmart him AND use submissions, something high flyers like Puma and Fenix didn’t really try in their encounters with him. I’ll gladly admit that they almost had me when Mil hit the spear on Catrina and was rolled up for a pin that, if it had reached three, would’ve probably leveled the Temple from the pop that would’ve occurred. Alas, Mil pulled through, and Ivelisse’s time for glory will have to wait.
The Arm is Broken!
In what was an otherwise great night for the rudos, Catrina and Mil finally made the mistake of playing with their food a little too much. Instead of just giving Ivelisse the lick of death and going back to the office for who knows what, Catrina wanted Mil to put Ivelisse down once and for all. Naturally, this led to Prince Puma coming out and saving the day, followed by a stare down between him and the Immortan. That was good; Pentagon Jr. coming out to a Hulk Hogan/Steve Austin esq pop, taking out an unsuspecting Mil and then BREAKING HIS ARM was even better. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been to the Great Wall of China, I’ve seen the Boston Red Sox come back from a 3-0 deficit in playoff series; hell I’ve even seen a grown man satisfy a camel (spoiler alert; no I haven’t). This moment was special; Pentagon looked like the greatest thing ever (most appropriate), Puma added more heroic notches to his belt, Mil and Catrina came off as the most dastardly rudos ever, and the potential of a Puma-Mil continuation, an Ivelisse-Mil-Catrina continuation, a Puma-Pentagon feud and especially a Pentagon-Mil feud were all established here. Oh, and the look on Vampiro’s face when Pentagon entered the ring told stories that I’m not even sure I get yet, and how that dynamic plays out has to be the most interesting story of season two right now. What a way to end the show. Except…
El Jefe’s Fight Club
…not so fast again my friend! What, you didn’t think there’d be a Lucha Underground episode without El Jefe, did you? Indeed, the former boss of the Temple made his return, swindled those three dudes Black Lotus encountered out of their money so they could see a fight in the Temple, only for them to realize they were the ones fighting Matanza in this Temple. We didn’t get to see what happened, though I’m pretty sure it ended with only a few bones remaining and the floor looking that Tokyo restaurant from Kill Bill. My only question now are how long to Lotus and El Jefe plan to run this murderous scheme before they and Matanza head back to the Temple? Let’s be real, we all know its coming. I’m guessing it’ll be around the time Vamp runs out of pills, or Duncan Kane’s them down the sink.
And I’m spent. Hope you all enjoyed the show and this review. I’ll be back tomorrow with a non LU Lucha Tribute and potentially something else. Till then, can we figure out how to make it next week right now?! The people want more Lucha Underground! THE PEOPLE NEED MORE LUCHA UNDERGROUND!
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