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Lucha Underground Review: Bring Death to the Dead
You’re never going to believe this; Lucha Underground delivered yet another episode that can be described as something between epic and amaze balls. I know; who would’ve ever guessed it?! Whereas a lot of the episodes this season have been great because of one match and a handful of scenes, tonight was all about the matches, which ranged from good to great to WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I JUST SEE?! Oh yeah and the scenes were still their usual high quality self as well. But enough teasing; let’s get into the lightest Lucha Underground episode since the Knightfall era began!
El Jefe Works His Magic Again
It took a few weeks and several really good scenes, but the opening to tonight’s show was the best El Jefe we’ve seen in season two. We saw the return of the “I’m kind of a big deal” name plate! We had Dario hilariously mocking Cage and his catchphrase, as well as him just flat out refusing his idea for a Cage-Mundo match because “I like my idea better”. Only Taya really didn’t get burned by El Jefe and that’s because she was too busy spurning the man’s handshake (not a good omen for her going forward). All of that campy goodness was an excellent way to start the show and let us know that Cage, Taya and Mundo would be the first victims of the Lucha Justice League. Come on, how did you think that match was going to go? Cage, Taya and Mundo made Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc this time last year look like three best friends and, again, they’re facing the Lucha Justice League. You can’t stop that group; you can only hope to contain it!
Killshot defeated Argenis
This match was exactly what it needed to be; a showcase for Killshot, who perfectly embodied his new role as the man who fights to forget. I liked how he was now rocking both military esq gear (camo jacket, dog tags and the green shorts) and seemed to move around with more precision than previously. This was as good a star as any for where he’s going and I thought he looked mighty impressive in victory, especially with his new Kenny Omega esq finisher. And hey, bravo to Argenis too. He may have his faults and he’s seemingly obsessed with literally kicking people in the ass, but Caristico’s bro looked good here and wasn’t made to look like a scrub by any means. A solid opener to start the show.
Lotus Still Guarding the Door
I fear this scene will be forgotten soon and it shouldn’t. Big stuff happened here folks and I’m not just talking about Lotus continuing her bodyguard duties. We had El Dragon Azteca Jr. confronting her, revealing that the two did know each other at least a little from their days of being trained by El Dragon Azteca Sr. and most importantly, Lotus flat out lied to Azteca’s face about what happened to Azteca Sr. My goodness that is going to be a big deal sooner rather than later, especially considering Azteca Jr.’s thirst for vengeance in the name of his master; in fact, I’d say Lotus-Azteca Jr. at Ultima Lucha is the stone cold lock to end all stone cold locks. Let the record also show that Lotus finally gave the “what have I done?” look as soon as Azteca left. She knows she’s done wrong, she knows he’s going to figure out she’s not on his side and I’m pretty sure she’s coming to grips with the fact that El Jefe has completely and utterly hoodwinked her. The lesson as always; never believe diabolical but charismatic rulers. Am I right Dathan?
Daga Meets El Jefe
As it turns out our introduction to Daga wasn’t in the ring but in El Jefe’s office, where Dario revealed that the Aztec Medallions were being distributed once more so that the Gift of the Gods Championship could return to circulation. What I liked about this segment is that Daga, for all intents and purposes, didn’t seem to give a single solitary crap about this. In fact, dare I say we can call him the Temple skeptic? We’ve had wrestlers in LU be doubtful about certain stuff; remember how Hernandez wrongly believed Dragons weren’t real? This was the first time however I’ve seen a performer just being so indifferent towards the mystical powers of Lucha Underground and the champion. It really stood out for Daga here, even if it’s already put him on the bad side of El Jefe. And you never, ever want to be on the bad side of El Jefe.
Aztec Medallion Match
Texano defeated Daga
Remember in season one where Jack Evans debuted against Aerostar, had an amazing match and looked great even in a loss? That was what this match was, only with more brawling instead of high flying. Daga looked GREAT here in his debut; I really liked the fast paced brawling style he brought (especially out of the gate where he and Texano had some really quick mat wrestling) and he even showed off some high flying chops. For someone who has hardly wrestled in the U.S. and never has wrestled in front of an American TV audience, Daga really carried himself well here and looked like an absolute pro. The best part of his performance though was him bringing out the absolute best in Texano. Texano hasn’t caught on entirely in LU as much as expected (despite some solid performances), mainly because he’s been put against the wrong people. Against the right guy tonight Texano looked like the absolute badass LU has portrayed him as. This was the breakout performance he needed and I’m happy to see him get it. Great match by both, and yet another example by LU that losing in your debut can be just as good as winning. Now to find out who joins Texano in the quest for the Gift of the Gods.
Catrina: Motivational Speaker
This was probably the weakest part of the show tonight and that’s mainly because all this scene featured was Mil screaming, Catrina motivating Mil by berating him Nefertiri style and the Disciples of Death teleporting into the room only to leave the room (they’re also in the Trios Tournament now. Poor bastards). Not exactly the Kenneth Branagh Hamlet here. Still, this accomplished what it needed to by allowing Catrina to continue her domineering ways over Mil as well as serving for the official announcement that Mil will take on Matanza for the Lucha Underground Championship next week! That’s right folks; Beast King vs. Immortan, irresistible force meets immovable object, Catrina vs. El Jefe (come on, you know that’s going to play into this match). Looks like we’ll find out whether Matanza is in for a challenge this early into his reign of if Mil is going meet a fate so painful that even Pentagon feels bad for him. And I’m pretty sure Pentagon Jr. feels bad for no man.
Trios Tournament Match
Rey Mysterio, Prince Puma and El Dragon Azteca Jr. defeated Johnny Mundo, Cage and Taya
There’s going to be a million and a half words used by every other wrestling fan alive to describe how awesome this match was so I’ll keep this brief; if you missed this bout, you should really watch it sometime in the next ten to fifteen minutes. This was right up there with the Trios Tournament final from last year between The Crew and the Greatest Trios Team that ever lived; the only thing that was missing was the unforgettable spot (though not for lack of trying) and the can’t miss story. Otherwise the action here was out of this world. Johnny Mundo and Taya (more on her in a moment) were both excellent during the early stages by working a slower, more deliberate pace , Cage was an explosion of power as per usual, Puma was Puma (his 630 to win the match was his best yet)and Rey continued to look better than he had in years. In fact, aside from the yet to be named final participant of this match Rey and Taya may have been the best performers. He’ll never be in 1996 form again, but Rey still has moments where he jumps off the screen and that was apparent tonight. And man, Taya doesn’t get enough credit for being a complete bad ass. She continues to show she’s the toughest woman in the Temple not named Ivelisse and at times looked dominant against her opponents. Somewhere Dave Meltzer felt a cold shiver down his spine I’m sure.
Oh yeah, and then there’s El Dragon Azteca Jr. Can you say future superstar people? I said in my preview that this match would be a great showcase for him and he didn’t let us down. Some of the stuff he did here, be it the top rope hurricanrana to Mundo (who was perched up on Puma’s shoulders when Azteca jumped!), his dives or the best damn tornado DDT I’ve seen in a long ass time. Azteca Jr. has got it guys, and as memorable as this match is, the thing that will stick with me is how well he shined in his first big performance. Great match, great performances all around and best of all every story continues due to the result. Does it even matter who the Lucha Justice League faces at this point? Unless it’s three clones of Villano III they’re going to have a great match against whomever; hell I wouldn’t doubt they could drag the three Villano III clones to greatness at this point.
Bring Death to the Dead
We got the return of the LU end tag scene this week and what we learned is that El Jefe is a much, MUCH better motivational speaker than Catrina. I mean sure she had Mil fired up and all after their talk earlier, but Dario here had Matanza (still just a rat in a cage) literally looking like he was going to bring the Temple down to its foundation just from him shaking the cage door alone! The best part of this final scene however was the additional evidence that the bond between these two brothers is both beautiful and massively twisted. It’s clear that Dario cares about Matanza on a deep level; it’s also clear that he’s using his bro for his own dark purposes, considers him more of a possession than a human and has one hundred percent control over everything Matanza does. Good lord it’s going to get ugly the day it blows up in El Jefe’s face. For now though he still has control over Matanza and you can’t say he doesn’t have the Immortan raring to go for next week. How high should we set our expectations for that match considering both Mil and Matanza ended their scenes rage quitting to holy hell? On a scale from one to LUGER WON THE TITLE, I’d say this is a full blown LUGER WON THE TITLE!
That’ll do girls and boys, that’ll do. I’m out for the evening to play some Uncharted, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a preview of Friday’s Super Viernes show for CMLL. Till then, this.
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