Lucha Underground Review: Bulls with Butterfly Wings
Forgive me; this Lucha Underground review took longer on account of me throwing ice water on myself to put out the fire this show started. Mother of puss bucket this was a show folks. Better than the ninjas episode? I’ll let smarter people than I judge but it was at least on the level and in some ways more chaotic. There were fists through walls, lizards, dragons, tarantulas, superplexes to the floor and a few really cool spots with chairs. And that’s just the stuff I’m remembering off the top of my head! Bottom line is that it feels like LU is starting to hit that groove they generally do midseason and I’m just thankful to be along for the ride. Let’s strap in and break it down as best we can. Moses, turn it up, bring the meme!
Battle of the Bulls Match
Jeremiah Crane defeated Mariposa, Dante Fox and Killshot
Repeat after me; HOLY FUCK! I often compare many LU matches to Mad Max: Fury Road but this match was pure Fury Road. The pace these four cut was off the charts, all while they went from high flying to hardcore to brawling and back again. It was nonstop wall to wall action and it was beautiful. I’ve got to give big ups to Mariposa; I’ve been critical of her since she’s joined LU but she proved her worth here. I especially loved her hitting the Butterfly Effect on Killshot onto a chair (vicious!) and her reversing Jeremiah’s Brock Lock into a super cool roll up. This was by far her best performance in the Temple and a reminder that she can be this good all the time.
The other three weren’t slouches either. Killshot and Fox can’t help but be electrifying and there’s something mystifying about watching Fox, who seems to take every bump on the head, doing everything he can to end himself. And how about the Artist Formerly Known as Sami Callihan? I still am having trouble reconciling that this is the same dude who was Solomon Crowe in NXT. Certainly you don’t expect to see the chair assault from him there, but he was never allowed to even do stuff like the transition from a pinfall to the Brock Lock like he did tonight. I’m amazed by the dude and he deserved this victory. I’m a little surprised they didn’t do anything with Catrina here (Striker and Vamp only briefly brought up Ivelisse) but I can understand considering all the chaos involved. In the end this was a gorram awesome opener that made everyone looked good (the match was so good the crowd chanted “EVERYONE” after in honor of all four) and kept Killshot-Fox going. I liked that Killshot was the one to force the issue after the match too by attacking Fox; it shows he’s had enough of Fox not forgiving him and won’t be playing it easy from here on in.
Worldwide Underground Documentary!
In a blink of an eye we went from Fury Road to a Judd Apatow flick, cutting backstage to see Taya continuing to film her documentary on Johnny Mundo. What happened next included such things like Jack and P.J. goofing off, Taya looking as though she was one step away from impaling them with her camera stand, Johnny Mundo coming in and getting upset that they were filming his movie without him and then Johnny shaming all three of his pals, followed by Jack Evans making the saddest face in history and P.J. Black, according to my Twitter pal Sailor BatteryAcid, going Single White Female on Mundo. Highest of comedy. Considering the madness we got in the opening I thought this was a nice change of pace and, as it turns out, a pretty interesting scene considering how the show ended. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mundo putting down his teammates turns into something bigger in the next couple of weeks, depending on how Battle of the Bulls ends.
Spiders in the Lockers
It’s a good thing LU had something branching off from this scene later in the show because by itself the ending was kind of lame. It started off well, with Sexy Star shown training around the Temple with some nice somber music, a sly nod to her boxing ambitions. It was afterwards that things started to get freaky. You could tell something was going to happen and I thought for a moment LU was going to have someone jump her. Instead…we got a tarantula in Sexy’s locker. I mean sure, I wouldn’t want to find a tarantula in my locker either, but for all that build up to be about Sexy freaking out over a spider seemed a little silly to me. Luckily they had something else planned to follow this up later and thus the scene made sense in context. Also; I’m pretty sure whoever put that spider there isn’t a Worldwide Underground member. I think that’s what we’re supposed to believe, but I’d venture to guess that all four members of that group are even more squeamish of bugs than Sexy is. It’s someone else and if LU’s “if one picture is worth a thousand words” tweet is any indication, then my guess is its Ricky Mandel. Member how he took those pictures from El Jefe earlier in the season? I’d bank on that being what the tweet referenced, meaning he’s involved. I suppose we’ll find out soon!
Drago defeated Kobra Moon by DQ
There was the match and there was the angle in this block. The match was fine for how short it was; I thought Kobra looked the best she had in the ring besides her Ivelisse match and Drago came off well as the dominant yet slightly hesitant opponent conflicted over whether to put Kobra away. But ultimately the story was always going to be what happened after the match was over and holy hell was that stuff the bees knees. First we had the Lizard Man (who looked and worked very similar to cult lucha hero Steve Pain), who got the match thrown out and looked to have Drago right where Kobra wanted him until Fenix and Aerostar came out and laid waste to him. All’s well ends well right? NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! Just as it seemed like the technicos were out of the woods, Kobra started doing one of her snake seduction dances (this was actually pretty tame compared to the puberty inducing slithers along the turnbuckle she was doing pre-match) and out walked this guy.
Alright it wasn’t that dinosaur, but you can’t blame a fan for being confused. This one was (Mike Francesca voice) YOOOGE in his own right, and proceeded to get in and kick the shit out of Fenix and Drago like he was Sami Callihan. It was quite the visual, made even more impressive by Kobra hysterically laughing/calling out orders from outside the ring. Eventually it all led to Drago being left alone to get Tombstoned by this “Luchasaurus” (as the Temple fans called him) followed by Kobra and the gang proving me a prophet by kidnapping Drago. What else is there to say other than this was completely bad ass and I need to see more of these lizards immediately?! This is why you gotta love LU folks. Before this season Kobra Moon was thought of as a mediocre luchadora whose primary characteristic was that of an obsessed fan fic writer pining over Daga. Now she’s a bad ass, seductive snake queen with a lizard and dinosaur as friends. I’ll let Wayne and Garth some it up.
Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly
This was the follow up to the Sexy Star-tarantula moment, with Sexy walking angrily down the Temple corridor when she came across Mariposa. The latter couldn’t resist poking fun at her old rival, which led to Sexy pinning Mariposa up against the wall and accusing her of putting the spider in her locker. This led to a minute of Sexy threatening Mariposa, Mariposa claiming innocence and taunting Sexy at the same time and then Sexy punching a gorram hole in the wall before cooler heads prevailed. Like everything other than the locker segment it was great; say what you will about Sexy but she cuts one hell of an angry promo, while Mariposa (already having the best night of her LU career) was appropriately creepy and intense. She also appears to be obsessed by butterflies, in case her finishing move didn’t give that away. The lone problem; I’m pretty sure LU wants the focus to be on who put the tarantula in Sexy’s locker, and yet all I could think about after this segment was how El Jefe (absent tonight) would react seeing a hole in his wall? I can’t be the only one who wants a scene of his reaction right? I’d like to imagine he ends up having Vinnie, Mariachi Loco or Argenis fix it while Dario looks on with a grin on his face while simultaneously thinking of ways to get revenge on Sexy for ruining his wall. You don’t ruin El Jefe’s wall dammit!
Battle of the Bulls Match
P.J. Black defeated Jack Evans, Angelico, and Son of Havoc
This Battle of the Bulls match wasn’t as crazy as the opener was, though it wasn’t for lack of trying. While there were no chairs, there were plenty of dives, a Fingerpoke of Doom reference, Angelico channeling kung fu legends and Angelico superplexing Jack Evans to the floor in a spot that would’ve paralyzed any normal man. I told you they tried! My biggest takeaway here was that it’s damn good to see Angelico back in the ring again. I love the dude so I’d be saying that regardless, but he reminded people why he’s just so much fun to watch besides the awe inspiring dives. The kicks, the pace, the charisma, the daredevil attitude were on full display tonight and I couldn’t help but feel the show really missed that while Angelico was out for over a season. It really felt like his night…until he inexplicably lost!
Actually the end result, which was P.J. rolling up Jack after suckering him in with a Fingerpoke of Doom nod, did end up making sense considering the earlier Worldwide Underground segment. Without it I think this would’ve fallen flat and we’d all be wondering why Angelico didn’t win. Instead we got to see Mundo threatening P.J. and Jack’s position in the group (with Mundo going hard on P.J. in particular) and then this. Thus it made perfect sense while also being pretty clever; it certainly didn’t hurt that Jack sold the ending brilliantly too (“HE…TEABAGGED ME!”). I don’t know what this means for Angelico getting revenge on Mundo and I don’t know if this dissention continues between the Worldwide Underground, but it at least sets up several ways each story can go going forward. Plus P.J. is a good enough performer that him taking Angelico’s spot in the finals of Battle of Bulls next week is fine (though I still would’ve preferred my favorite!). Perhaps the better question is what does Son of Havoc do now? He was the afterthought in this match, odd considering his position. He still has that scene with someone dressed exactly like him coming up later this season, so I assume something is on the horizon. Maybe more bagel bites with Mascarita?
“YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD REY!”
No, Azteca didn’t actually use that line but he might as well have. This segment came off just like I expected; Azteca informed Rey about being attacked by Matanza, stated his intention to go after the monster, got the disapproving speech/look from Rey and ultimately decided not to listen anyway. The only development was that it seemed like this could be a clean break between Rey and Azteca; the youngster was that ticked off with the bed ridden legend and he looked legit hurt that Rey was once more telling him not to fight. Does this mean they won’t be pals again soon with Azteca admitting Rey was right all along? Probably not, but it was interesting. The only thing I’m sure of is that Azteca-Matanza is the next feud, as Rey could barely sit up let alone stand here. Probably for the best; if he had been able to chase after Azteca we would’ve gotten the “I DON’T WANT YOUR LIFE” impression. There’s always next week!
That’s a wrap sports fans. I’m off to play a college football video game because why not? I’ll be back tomorrow with…something. Who knows what? Till we meet again, how about a picture of DUCHOVNY with that Luchasaurus dude?!