Lucha Underground: All Pentagon Everything
Ladies, gentlemen, wrestling fans with nothing else to do so they’re reading this while they’re…doing something, I’m happy to report that Lucha Underground carried over the momentum from that awesome Prince Puma-P.J. Black last week into tonight’s episode. Well aside from the numerous interference spots and the opening match; that was merely okay. Everything else was classic LU though, with another strong main event featuring the aforementioned Black and what I think might’ve been the best match in the Cueto Cup at this point and time. Would you believe it involved a guy who likes to break arms? But enough teases; let’s get into the meat of it all. Moses, meme out and touch faith!
Texano defeated The Mack
The good news; this was the low point of the show and LU got it out of the way quickly! I always appreciate that. Honestly this wasn’t even that bad; Big Willie is always a delight to watch and the crowd was into it every step of the way. The problem here is threefold. First, Texano (his bizarre “Texano Section” thing aside) came off really dull here, with the crowd rallying behind Big Willie much more than the blue collar brawler. Second, compared to the other two matches this didn’t have a lot of sizzle; we had one Big Willie dive, a couple of sequences outside little else. Thirdly, the ending once again featured interference. I know; interference in an LU match?! That never happens. I get why LU is doing it as they need to advance stories, and more Famous B is never a bad thing. But when so many matches in the Cueto Cup have been decided by interference, it makes you wish there was a little less. On top of that, the wrong guy won here in Texano. Nothing against him, but it’s clear the guy’s momentum has cooled and Big Willie is still hot coming off his awesome performances with Big Willie. A bad decision after another bad decision to end what was an otherwise solid, yet unspectacular match.
Remember that shot from the season three trailer (now over 9,000 years old by last count) where Son of Havoc brawled with the then unnamed Son of Madness? Yeah, we got that tonight. Havoc was in a bar, Madness came into a bar, they started to fight and through that fight we got the back story. Turns out Madness is here to try and bring back Havoc to their gang, a group known as the Invisible Cult. That’s right; the Invisible Cult. That’s either the greatest name I’ve ever heard or something that’s going to lead to Claude Rains spirit suing LU. In any event, Havoc was pretty adamant that he wasn’t going back (though he didn’t exactly say why) and Madness was adamant that he was going to make Havoc’s life a living hell until he did. Ultimately they stalemated and Madness let Havoc know, if necessary, he’d even bring back just is head. I guess it’s a Dead or Alive scenario for the Invisible Cult regarding Havoc, huh? Overall, pretty fun stuff, even though it ended up being the third best backstage scene of the night. That should tell you how awesome the other two were!
Rabbits Play Checkers, Mascarita Plays Chess
In what may have been the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, we cut immediately to Paul London and Mala Suerte playing checkers…WITH SALTADOR AS THE CHECKERBOARD! There’s comedy, there’s the highest form of comedy and then there’s straight up high comedy.
And somehow the humor never let up. Mascarita Sagrada, clad in superhero cape, walked in with a present for the Rabbits, who seemed to feel they were unworthy considering their lack of success in the Cueto Cup. Mascarita gave them the present anyway and after getting scolded by London (“READ THE CARD!”), Saltador and Suerte tore the gift open in a way that makes my cousin’s 7 year old opening presents at Christmas look subdue. What ultimately ended up being in the box? None other than a rabbit’s foot. Huh. I’m not sure if this was a good thing or not, but London’s frantic screaming suggests it may have been the latter. Who knows; I was too busy laughing my ass off to give it too much in depth analysis. This is what happens when you start something with dudes playing checkers on a human checkerboard. How I got anything else done with this column after that is beyond me.
Pentagon Dark defeated Drago
There are some things you just know are going to work the moment you lay eyes on it. This match was one of those things. Wow was this great! Everything about it was just off the charts, starting with the crowd energy being vastly different from what we got with Texano-Mack. Sure they were into that, but they were hyper into this, thanks to Pentagon Dark being the most over motherfucker this side of Toru Yano’s bootleg DVD’s. All that was left from there was for him and Drago to deliver the goods and boy did they. Pentagon was as electric as ever in the ring, and more importantly so was Drago. I think we all agree he struggled a little bit in his first match as a rudo a few weeks back and even taking that out of the equation, he really hasn’t had a standout match since he and Aerostar were swinging nunchucks at Jack Evans and P.J. Black. Tonight Drago figured out how to get comfortable in the rudo role while also bringing back the stuff that made him such a fan favorite in season one. And that’s how we ended up with Pentagon and Drago cutting a breathtaking space with killer moves before Pentagon finished off Drago with a Package Piledriver. Brilliant stuff. There was just one problem; the post match stuff may have been even better!
What happened in the post match sequence you may ask? Well Pentagon successfully disposed of Kobra Moon and looked like he was about to break Drago’s arm, to the absolute delight of the Temple (I guess they’re still taking Drago’s turn harshly). I was thinking Pindar and Vibora would run in for the save, but instead we got Aerostar. That’s right; even after Drago betrayed him Aerostar is still the best bro ever, and he successfully fought off Pentagon to huge boos. Unfortunately his act of kindness merely led to Drago flooring him, leaving Aerostar in prone position for a pissed off Pentagon to take his vengeance out on Aerostar’s arm. Now look folks; I get this is upsetting to people. Aerostar is a beloved favorite of everyone (myself included) and his arm getting broken is very sad. At the same time, what the fuck did he think was going to happen here? Not only did he save a guy who was almost guaranteed to betray him, but he attacked (as my good friend Oliver would say) a pissed off ninja skeleton who’s only source of peace is when he snaps a dude’s arm like a Slim Jim. The only thing more predictable than the outcome we got here was the Washington Capitals not making the Stanley Cup Finals next year. I guess our best hope is that Aerostar (being able to see the future and all) saw this would happen, decided to go through with it anyway for the sake of the endgame, and will be back doing awesome dives before you know it. As for now, I can still safely say the aftermath of this match was awesome, the match itself was awesome and Pentagon now moves on to face Texano. If I were Famous B, I’d be getting arm insurance for myself, Texano, Brenda and Dr. Wagner Jr. post haste. I don’t care if Wagner isn’t even there anymore; get the insurance anyway. Better to be safe than sorry.
Continuity with Pentagon and Catrina
Let’s be real sports fans; Lucha Underground could’ve had Pentagon break every arm in the LU locker room and there would be no segment tonight that would’ve topped a stoned Paul London using a dude as a checkerboard. It just wasn’t happening. But this scene came as close to humanly possible to doing it. While walking off his victory, Pentagon came across Catrina backstage, a reminder that Pentagon and Mil Muertes could be locking up in the Cueto Cup semis if things fall the right way. It appears they will, as Catrina reminded Pentagon (and everyone at home) of a very important plot point; that Pentagon once upon a time cost Mil Muertes Aztec Warfare II by attacking him with a chair during his entrance. AND WE ALL THOUGHT LU FORGOT ABOUT THAT! Turns out they haven’t and neither have Mil and Catrina, who want revenge and really, REALLY want Pentagon to win out so they can have the match. You’re not alone their peeps; I’m pretty sure everyone still watching LU wants to see that match too. Pentagon seemed up unphased by Catrina, which only makes me even more confident that that’s where we’re heading. Hence why I say again; GET THAT ARM INSURANCE FAMOUS B! You’re going to need it after Pentagon goes through your boy, your girl, your other boy and you. Hell Jeremiah Crane may need it too if he beats Mil, an act that may make him as popular as Aerostar when he saved Drago tonight.
Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated P.J. Black
This match was a question of how much time these two would get before Worldwide Underground made their appearance and sent my editor into a deep depression. The answer turned out to be nine minutes, which was more than enough time for Mysterio and P.J. to work their magic. For the second straight week, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about P.J. Black in ring. He carried over all the momentum he got from working Puma last week and may have been even better this time around. Then again, his torture rack like maneuver on the floor may be clouding my judgment. Rey Mysterio may be playing a part in that too. As good as P.J. has been, you cannot deny he’s had two great dance partners these past two weeks and Mysterio was just as electric as Puma. Every time I see him in LU, I continue to see glimpses of the man I first saw in WCW, and that was twenty years ago! It’s so good to see Rey being able to do some of the stuff that made him a star so long ago, and even better to see him combining that high flying athleticism with the storytelling chops he picked up in WWE. It’s what helped make the interference in this match work a lot better than it did in the opener. Don’t get me wrong; the interference was as over done here as it was in the opener and I would’ve much preferred they played it straight. But LU does have a match to build to, and if you’re going to do interference than you can’t do it much better than they did here, with Worldwide Underground beating down Rey, El Dragon Azteca Jr. coming to the rescue, Rey fighting back and ultimately overcoming the odds to win. It was good stuff, though maybe not as good as Taya’s reaction to Rey kicking out of the rudo beat down. It was like she just watched a video of Vampiro explaining himself.
The only question I have now is where LU goes with this story from here. Counting tonight, there’s four more weeks before the big match, and Mysterio said all he really needed to say in a good post match promo, telling Johnny how there will be nowhere to run and how he (and by extension the LU audience) will make history when Rey beats Mundo for the title. Do you now go back to those awesome Michael Schiavello narrated video packages? Do we have the first ever contract signing in the history of Lucha Underground? A big multi-person match where Rey finds two partners to take on Johnny, P.J., Jack and Taya? It’ll be interesting to see how LU fills up the final few weeks of build for this, or if they simply choose to keep reminding people it’s coming up (which would be a mistake and is something I don’t see LU doing). For now though, this is a good way to leave things. The interference does put this a notch below the off the walls good Pentagon-Drago match (which I’d argue was the best of the tournament thus far just on sheer energy), but till that point the match was awesome, the finish is awesome and LU has done their job of making me want to see Mysterio-Mundo. They’ve also made me invested to see P.J. Black go farther, which is how you get a guy over despite losing two straight matches. Overall, I’d call this a complete success. Bring on next week!
Game…blouses! That’ll do sports fans. I’ll be back tomorrow with a CMLL Super Viernes preview and perhaps that Gran Metalik column. I’m having trouble figuring out where to go with it exactly, but you’ll be seeing at some point; I promise you that. Till we meet again, THIS!