Lucha Underground Preview: Bulls (and Snakes) on Parade
Happy birthday to the "late" Mr. Cisco. Don't go chasing rabbits in the afterlife.
You know the one positive about CMLL being mediocre right now; it makes me look forward to Lucha Underground even more than I already did! I mean it sure helps that LU is rocking and rolling right now (did it ever stop some would ask?) but it’s a special kind of ray of hope in the midst of the Arena Mexico winter doldrums. It looks like LU will continue that trend this week too, at least as far as carrying over your interest goes. We’ve got two more Battle of the Bulls matches to get to, Kobra Moon’s return to the ring and a whole lot of other stuff that could be a big deal. Will it? Let’s find out. Moses, get away from the snakes and meme.
Azteca visits Rey
What to Expect: Just when El Dragon Azteca Jr. thought he was out of the hospital, the hospital pulls him back in. Or at least that’s what I’m guessing; where else could Mysterio be after Azteca turned him into mulch? I reckon this will go the same direction every other Azteca/Rey thing goes; Azteca will want to fight Matanza post haste, Mysterio will go “NO AZTECA! YOU AREN’T READY YET!” Azteca will be all “YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD!” and storm out and Rey will determine that he needs to make it back to the Temple to save his protégé. That’s all well and good, but what I want to know is which one of these two is the endgame for Matanza? Are they building long term to Rey facing him with Azteca as the go between or is it vice versa? This is important sports fans; even with his defeat in Aztec Warfare III Matanza has still yet to be beat one on one. Hell even his loss in Aztec Warfare III was flukish. He still has a rub to give and both Rey and Azteca, who lest we forget are there to stop Matanza, are the ideal candidates to do it. This should give us a clearer direction to which one it is.
Winner: LOL like I can sit here and tell you that El Dragon “YOU JUST DON’T GET ME REY!” Azteca Jr. is going to come out on top in a segment with Rey. Please. PLEASE! Rey schools his protégé easily, even if his protégé doesn’t realize it for another few episodes. And even then Azteca will still be going all James Van Der Beek on us.
Worldwide Underground v. Sexy Star: Psychological Warfare
What to Expect: You’re reading this correctly sports fans; Sexy Star vs. Johnny Mundo in a cage for the Lucha Underground Championship will not happen this week. Its next week. Put your pitchforks, pessimism and hot takes away till then. In the meantime get ready for Mundo and his pals to play some mind games with Sexy Star. What are these mind games I speak of? No idea. Mind games in pro wrestling are generally something the Undertaker does that commentators don’t understand and try to explain away with a buzz word. I reckon what Mundo, Taya, Jack Evans and P.J. Black will do to Sexy won’t be exactly the same but it’ll be along the same lines. Maybe a little taunting here, maybe some trickery there; good Grodd, you think they’d actually try to turn Sexy against Big Willie? Think of the hearts you’ll break Worldwide Underground! Whatever it is I welcome this reprieve from Sexy vs. Worldwide Underground in ring. Sexy works far better as a character backstage, the Worldwide Underground gets to be their wonderful smarmy selves and best of all I don’t have to hear people bickering about another Sexy Star match and whether she’s worthy or what not. Who am I kidding; they’ll do it anyway! At this point Sexy is so polarizing she might as well just put on a SWAT vest and change her name to Sexy Reigns.
Winners: I get the feeling Worldwide Underground has this one in order to rattle Sexy and make her vulnerable going into next week’s big match. Whatever the plan is I’m betting Taya is the brains behind it and Jack Evans ultimately tries to take credit for it, all silently building to the match where Taya throws Jack around like a ragdoll. Sorry, just a dream I had.
Battle of the Bulls Match
Jeremiah Crane vs. Mariposa vs. Dante Fox vs. Killshot
What to Expect: The first of two Battle of the Bulls matches for this show and the only one where we know all the participants. Other than Mariposa it looks pretty good. Fox and Killshot were extraordinary just a few weeks ago and there’s little reason to believe they’ll be anything less here. And yet I find myself more interested in what Jeremiah’s doing. I’ve been highly impressed with “The Artist Formerly Known as Sami Callihan” since he arrived in the Temple; the intensity, the extra oomph and the character have just clicked for him in a way it never did as Solomon Crowe back in NXT. And not only has he brought that intrigue to the ring but he’ll be bringing it out of the ring now he's involved with Catrina. Does she make her presence felt in any way? Does Mil? Does Crane work the match and then encounter them afterwards backstage? There are many layers to this, and that’s without taking into account that LU is still covertly building Ivelisse vs. Catrina for Ultima Lucha Tres; everything that happens between Jeremiah and Catrina feeds into that arc. More than anything that’s what I’m watching for in this match, as well as the craziness of Fox and Killshot. I just hope Mariposa can raise her game for this. The woman is an exceptional talent and yet has been so unmotivated and uninteresting that her only notable occurrences since joining LU are the No Mas Match (which was carried by Sexy Star, as hilarious as that is to say) and being overshadowed by her bro Marty. I hope she turns it around here, but I can’t help but feel she’s someone who should’ve been replaced with a better talent.
Winner: This is a pretty easy call; Fox and Killshot won’t allow the other to win, Mariposa has no momentum and Jeremiah has several important stories orbiting him. He takes this one and then runs into Catrina backstage after to further that angle.
Kobra Moon vs. Drago
What to Expect: My Grodd is Kobra Moon everywhere right now or is it just me? I turn on Lucha Underground, there’s Kobra in the men’s room, the roof or a bad ass snake throne. I go to sleep and there’s Kobra and her minions chasing me through what looks to be a Turok level. I log onto the LordsofPain forum and a poster, the most diehard of diehard WWE fans mind you, is asking me about when Kobra Moon and her snake people are debuting. For the love of all things, yesterday someone asked me if I wanted a shake, only I misheard it and reacted like this.
Its Kobra Moon’s world sports fans and we’re merely living in it right now. That includes Drago, who’s none too happy about it and will try to end KobraMania when they collide during this episode. This is an interesting one sports fans. Kobra has been prominent in LU since coming aboard last season but has thus far only worked four matches; a solid singles match with Ivelisse, a short but okay four way against former love interest Daga, Mascarita Sagrada and Argenis, a dud of a match with everyone’s favorite Sexy Star and her debut match against Bengala, an unintentional classic that was hampered by Bengala showing up and working like a cross between old Marlon Brando and Seinfeld era Wayne Knight. In short she’s made no impression in the ring yet and some people have the perception she’s a mediocre worker (ironic given Kobra has had numerous good matches outside of LU). Basically this is a big test for Kobra. Other than Ivelisse she’s never had an opponent as good as Drago on the opposite corner (the two showed some nice flashes at Aztec Warfare III) and she’s never come into a match with a storyline like the one she has now. I’m looking forward to seeing what she and Drago do together, and it wouldn’t shock me to see this match go longer or if it ended quickly after the appearance of the Lizard and the Dinosaur. And yes, they’ll be appearing; don’t just give people Curt Connors and a Velociraptor one week and then not debut them. That’s blasphemy I tell you!
Winner: Kobra’s taking this one after the Lizard and the Dino assist her. Don’t be surprised if they then kidnap Drago after the match; remember the scene where Drago is chained to a pillar in Kobra’s snake dungeon? It hasn’t happened yet, and with this story about to reach high gear now may be the time to pull the trigger.
Battle of the Bulls Match
Angelico vs. Luchador Sopresa vs. Luchador Sopresa vs. Luchador Sopresa
What to Expect: HAIL TO THE KING BABY; the great Angelico has returned to wow us with his awe inspiring ability and to get revenge on Johnny Mundo. First he’s got to work his way through this match though and, as of now, we still have no freakin clue who he’s facing. That's a whole lot of Luchador Sopresa sports fans. This is LU, which means it could be anyone from the Rabbit Tribe to a now masked Cortes Castro to Bengala, who would now return just to spite me after I made fun of his weight. If I had to make an educated guess though I’d go with the other three being Taya, P.J. Black and Jack Evans. I know; they’ve got a lot of work to do playing mind games and all, but this is the logical move on all fronts. For El Jefe, making this decision allows him to stack the deck against Angelico and get some personal satisfaction after Angelico owned his ass last week. For Mundo it gives him the double bonus of a) having his pals eliminate the threat of Angelico and b) have one of the Worldwide Underground make it to the finals, increasing the chance of Mundo having a friendly face to defend the title against (get ready for the Fingerpoke of Doom, Worldwide Underground style!). And for Angelico and his quest, it gives him a nice challenge to overcome while also giving him sympathy with the crowd to get them even more on his side. I like this move and I hope LU goes with it. I reckon it’ll be a fine match regardless of how it turns out but Angelico vs. Jack vs. P.J. vs. Taya is the best choice both from a story standpoint and a match quality standpoint. You see any busts in there? Plus it allows me to potentially see an Angelico-Jack confrontation AND Taya tossing Jack around after he accidentally ticks her off. I don’t ask for much LU, just give me that.
Winner: The only way Angelico isn’t winning this match is if he gets hurt again. I’m going to assume/hope he doesn’t, which means Angelico moves on to the finals of the Battle of the Bulls tournament. That match by the way, if my predictions are correct, will be Cage vs. The Mack vs. Jeremiah Crane vs. Angelico. Where’s that gif of James McAvoy fanning himself when you need it?!
And scene. Thanks for the read folks. I’ll hopefully see you later tonight to review CMLL, though I can’t promise anything if the show depresses me again. That’s starting to become an unhealthy trend with CMLL lately. Till we meet again, DUCHOVNY steps aside for SCULLY!