Lucha Underground: At the Mountains of Havoc and Madness
Last week was the first time I’ve missed a Lucha Underground episode in…well it’s been awhile. Probably a few years at least? It turns out it was a blessing in disguise, as most of the people I respect most called it one of the most disappointing LU episodes ever, thanks to Vampiro, interference in the main event, Vampiro again and…well Vampiro again. Man do people really hate Vampiro these days. In any event LU needed to get back on track this week and they did just that. I’m sure some will still have the bad taste in their mouth from last week, but they did at least explain one of the angles, gave us three undercard matches that did their job and were overall pretty good before delivering on a main event that rose to the standards of LU matches prior to last week (and even those who didn’t like the show thought Pentagon-Puma was up to that level last week anyway). It was just what the doctor ordered I guess. So with that, let’s see how LU got things righted. Moses, just meme it!
I Was Wrong
Having not seen last episode (on account of me hearing it wasn’t worth my time), there was two things I saw in the opening sequence that immediately made me think the criticisms of Dario Cueto interfering in last week’s title match were grossly unfair. For one, we clearly saw Johnny Mundo threaten to leave Lucha Underground if he lost the title that evening; Dario is many things, but he’s not one who wants to lose stars, so of course he interfered to help keep Mundo around. Two, did we all just forget that Dario is the brother of Matanza, a dude who was last seen being sent through a roof by Rey? Put that together and it would’ve been weirder if Dario hadn’t done anything. I think this just goes to show the bigger problem last week was less that Dario interfered and more that there was interference all together. Because it’s pretty clear that things did make sense. That or I’m just a fool. Yeah, probably the second one.
Anyways, this was about El Jefe apologizing to his brother. Yeah he may hate Rey for what he did to Matanza and he may have wanted to keep Mundo around, but that didn’t mean El Jefe wasn’t still against Matanza’s quest to get revenge on Rey. What changed his mind was when Rey attacked him; that according to El Jefe made him realize that without Matanza he’s in grave trouble. So true! So he’s now letting Matanza free and giving him the revenge he so desires, booking Matanza vs. Rey Mysterio two weeks from now on LU’s 100 episode. I’m both amazed that Dario booked that match for a show that wasn’t Ultima Lucha Tres and that we’ve actually reached 100 Lucha Underground episodes. BRING ON THEM SYNDICATION CHECKS BABAY! Oh, and this match because someone is gonna get wrecked. And by someone, I’m pretty much talking El Dragon Azteca Jr. He’ll find a way, even if he’s not in the match.
Son of Madness defeated Mascarita Sagrada
This match only got about four minutes, which makes it pretty difficult for anyone, let alone these two, to have a really good match. It does allow you enough time to accomplish what you need to however, and this match did just that. The point was to make Son of Madness look like an evil brute by taking his anger out on Mascarita Sagrada, who you may recall has a bromance of sorts with Son of Havoc from earlier in season three (they shared pizza rolls together!). Sagrada even came out wearing Havoc’s biker jacket, which I think just made Madness go even harder at the poor sap. Sagrada tried and got some offense in, but ultimately Madness prevailed and looked like a beast, exactly what LU needed considering what was coming later tonight. Speaking of that, no sooner was this match over that we got Son of Havoc running out for the save, Paul London appearing to carry Sagrada to the back (he is the Rabbit King after all) and Dario coming out to cut jokes (“Security! Stop this madness…and havoc! See what I did there?!”) before making the main even a Boyle Heights Biker’s Brawl between Madness and Havoc for an Aztec Medallion. I’d say more, but I’ll be saying it more a few paragraphs from now so let’s just refrain.
Marty “The Moth” Martinez defeated Argenis
If that Cueto Cup match with Pentagon a few weeks ago didn’t make it clear what Argenis’ role in LU is, this match did; he’s the dude who is put in a no win situation, somehow makes the match competitive and then gets shot down in a blaze of glory anyway. Not the most prestigious thing ever, but the dude does it as well as anyone so it could be worse. No seriously; he could be one of the brothers of his Matt Striker name dropped. Well that’s not entirely true as being Carístico wouldn’t be too bad. Being Argos would be though; that be like going from Kieran Culkin to Macaulay!
But enough about Culkins; a solid match did happen here after all. I don’t know if it’s because of how well both guys have mastered their roles or because Argenis bled more than the cast of Natural Born Killers, but this was an interesting, very well worked match for the amount of time it was given. Like I said, Argenis has become so good as a guy who will continuing fighting hard in a hopeless situation, and Marty is so good at playing his role that the only way he could have a bad match at this point is if he got put in a match with Sexy Star and Sexy just shot on him the whole time. Too soon, or not soon enough?! It didn’t hurt either that this match was built around Marty targeting Argenis’ mask and then ripping it off afterwards, important considering where they’re going with him and Fenix. Oh yeah; Marty made sure to tell us where that’s going, officially challenging Fenix (via Melissa Santos, awesome as always at being creeped out by Marty) to an Apuesta match at Ultima Lucha Tres. Fenix quickly came out to lay out both Marty and Mariposa, and then raised the stakes by asking Marty to put his hair on the line. Gee, if only someone had called that back when Marty first tore up Fenix’ mask weeks ago and stabbed him with a fork…OH WAIT! I did! I think I speak for everyone when I say I can’t wait for that one either, especially since the crowd has really gotten behind this feud in the past few weeks. Just please Marty; no more forks. Once was enough I tell you!
Joey Ryan defeated Sexy Star
Considering what happened this past Sunday at Triplemania, this match was simultaneously (all caps alert) HYSTERICAL and somehow a million times better than it had every right to be. Maybe Sexy Star managed to travel back in time and give a performance here to make up for her unprofessional conduct this past Sunday? Nah; I’m going with Joey Ryan being really good at his job being the reason this worked. That man, who was one of Sexy’s biggest critics this past weekend, sold like crazy to make this woman look good, which makes it all the more frustrating that she isn’t willing to do the same for her opponents. But that is what it is and there’s no point wasting more time focusing on that then we should; the bottom line is this was a good match, Joey Ryan did a hell of a job, Taya was great on the outside taunting Sexy Star and this did what it needed to do. Also, for the third time tonight, LU chose not to go the interference route (I’m not counting Taya as someone who interfered, as Sexy attacked her) and had the rival attack after the match when Cortes Castro ran down and blasted Ryan with a kendo stick several times. This will definitely be a harder feud for LU to get over considering how sloppy they apparently handled things last week, but Castro looked strong here and Ryan’s performance in the match should lead to some goodwill. I’m honestly just more amazed that Taya-Sexy Star is the plan for Ultima Lucha Tres. That just makes things that happened in recent memory even funnier, and makes me want to see Taya destroy Sexy that much more. In a safe way of course; we don’t condone vigilante vengeance here unless it involves Batman. And I don’t think Taya is Batman…or is she?! What a twist that would be.
Justice for Cisco, Indifference for Bael
Turns out Cortes Castro/Officer Reyes wasn’t done after he made Joey Ryan run like Scott Evil. He then barged into Dario Cueto’s office with the intent, and this is true, to arrest El Jefe for murdering poor Mr. Cisco. ARE YOU SERIOUS MAN?! You couldn’t make the charges stick when he didn’t know you were a cop; now you expect to get El Jefe when he’s game planned for you and knows who and what you are? Thank Grodd El Jefe quickly dismissed Castro and instead offered him a unique opportunity; a street fight next week between him and Joey Ryan with an Aztec Medallion on the line. Was Castro smart enough to realize this wasn’t a trap? OF COURSE NOT! He accepted the match and this will surely not end well for him next week, despite the fact that he was really good in this segment and the fact that Ryan’s performance tonight leads me to believe they can pull off a good match next week. But still; you can’t come at the king like this again Castro! Shouldn’t you of all people know what happens when you do? I’d like to believe that somewhere, in the great ring in the sky, Cisco and Bael both face palmed before going back to their lengthy discussion of how Cisco would be LU champ by now if he hadn’t taken a red bull to the head. No discussion about Bael’s status though; he was always destined to be a sticky paste on Matanza’s floor.
Boyle Heights Biker Brawl for an Aztec Medallion
Son of Havoc defeated Son of Madness
After last week’s disappointing show, all LU needed to get back on track tonight was a strong main event after three solid matches. They got just that out of their two biker boys having a barnburner of a brawl. Numerous trash cans were used. The ring post got involved for the second time tonight. The Double Stomp was used often and viciously. Brawls in the crowd were the norm. The barricade near El Jefe’s office was bent more than that Matchbox 20 song of the same name. Honestly I think the only thing not used in this match was the motorcycles at ringside for decorative purposes. And that’s the only thing holding the match back from being the best thing ever. How can you have motorcycles out there and then not use them as weapons? I’m not saying run over the guy, but someone couldn’t have gotten tossed into one? Come on Madness and Havoc; I expect more from you two.
That nitpick aside, these guys were tremendous. In many ways I’d compare this to the Mariposa-Sexy Star Before She Was a Complete Jackass No Mas match from last year, a bout that was for an Aztec Medallion and yet so much more. The story between these two has made it clear they want to kill each other for various reasons (Havoc to break away from the unnamed Biker gang, Madness to get Havoc back) and they essayed it great here. Son of Madness had what I’d call a star making performance. I really liked the work he did against Havoc in their first match, but this was even better; he’s so good at being a brute and yet also capable of doing some high flying and bumping like crazy. Some of the licks he took in this match were absolutely insane (that backdrop to the barricade in particular was nuts) and he deserves full marks for going out there and making Son of Havoc look awesome. Luckily even if he hadn’t, Havoc does that just fine by himself. This felt like, for the first time since he took Matanza to the limit in the season three premiere, that Havoc was really letting loose. His dynamic offense was on full display and more importantly so was his heart and grit, the exact thing that turned him from a nomad rudo into inspiring technico back in season one. No matter what Madness did, Havoc just kept coming and coming, surviving everything Madness threw at him (including a Death Valley Driver onto one of them hard trash cans) till he caught Madness flush with a beer bottle, leaving the rudo prone for a Shooting Star Press. After everything Havoc has been through since Dr. Wagner Jr. took his UL3 title shot at UL2, this match served as his most important win and perhaps a step in the right direction as UL3 quickly approaches. And not to worry about Son of Madness; I think his career will be just fine given how good he was here. An outstanding street fight to close this show and, after last week’s disappointment, the perfect match to get LU back on track. If it was ever off the road to begin with!
That’s game sports fans. I’m off till tomorrow afternoon, where I will be previewing the CMLL Gran Prix. The big lucha shows just never stop coming this time of year. Till then, THIS!