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Lucha Underground: Cups and Power Gloves
With the Cueto Cup officially getting under way on tonight’s Lucha Underground episode, one of the concerns was whether four matches per show (at least for the next four weeks) would leave little time for the matches to reach the levels of quality they did the previous two weeks. Tonight proved to not have a definitive answer yet. Overall none of the matches reached the quality of the first two episodes back from hiatus (and one of the matches was in fact a tad disappointing), but there were also no duds on the show, the first two matches were surprisingly fun and, in the wake of a standout match, LU went back to the other thing they do best; having standout scenes that leave us questioning the meaning of life. I guess you could say it was a Lucha Underground episode without an essential match but with an essential moment. You know if you find a guy getting his head punched through essential (as you should). What do I mean? You’ll find out in about ten minutes. Till then, let’s get through the rest of the show. Moses, just meme it!
The Return of Our Arm Breaking Savior
We started off hot tonight with the return of Pentagon Dark! Finally healed from his two broken arms, he walked right into El Jefe’s office (where Dario was admiring the largest, most over the top Cueto Cup bracket I’ve ever seen) and demanded Black Lotus. Sadly he would not get Lotus as she’s returned to Hong Kong, so Pentagon decided to take things out on Dario by, and this is true, nearly breaking his finger. If only that was the most violent thing on this show tonight! Dario finally got his head on straight at this point and offered Pentagon a spot in the Cueto Cup. Pentagon accepted and vowed to win the Cup AND the LU title at Ultima Lucha Tres…and if he didn’t, every bone in Dario’s body was getting snapped like a Slim Jim. UH OH! If that doesn’t make Pentagon one of the two favorites here then I don’t know what will, as I can’t see any scenario where he breaks every bone in El Jefe’s body. Then again, after what happened tonight, I guess any and all physical violence is still on the table.
The Mack defeated Mala Suerte
I was expecting this match to be more back and forth than most; what I didn’t expect was that it would be as fun as it was. The story (as it was in the next match to a lesser extent) was the underdog pushing the favorite much further than anyone expected. I though Mala Suerte would push Mack but I never expected him to come close to winning; instead there were several points where it looked like that crazy rabbit could pull it off, particularly when he hit a sweet Crucifix Driver late in the match. He came off looking really good here and, best of all, did so without making Big Willie look weak. Some of the stuff wasn’t that crisp in the beginning and it was nowhere near the level either of Mack’s match with Johnny Mundo were, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you one of those matches was a classic and the other was great in its own right. There’s no shame in this match being really good, which is exactly what it was.
This was merely a prelude to the greatness (or wackiness, depending on your point of view) that took place at the end of the show. Cage was lifting weights while admiring his Power Glove (which, yes, is still so very, VERY bad) when El Jefe walked in. He told Cage that he shouldn’t be thanking Dario for the glove and instead talked up Councilman Delgado, who a) has the first name Lawrence and b) wanted to meet Cage for reasons unknown. Cage said no, but as El Jefe does he kept pushing until Cage relented and was given a card with Delgado’s address. In retrospect, maybe not Dario’s best move…although now that I think of it, maybe this was El Jefe’s plan all along. Holy fuck, it probably was! Leave it to Dario to set up something that seems to have nothing to do with him, only for us to later learn that he planned for it all along and is now reaping all the benefits. This is why he’s the man!
Pentagon Dark defeated Argenis
I’m stunned to say this was the best match on the show, mainly because I expected Pentagon to finish off Argenis in about 30 seconds! In fairness, this match was basically a one sided destruction, with Pentagon owning Argenis with slap after slap, slam after slam, kick after kick and punt after punt. But, in a move similar to the first match, Argenis was allowed to get stuff in, made the most of it and at times had me wondering if he could actually pull this off. Scratch that; he had me DREADING he could pull it off. That’s how close I felt he was to winning when he was suddenly pulling out weird ass neck breakers and catching Pentagon with cutters. In the end though Pentagon was just too much, the people willing him forward were just too much and all Argenis has to show for his effort is another broken arm at the hands of Pentagon. Overall that may be one of the more interesting things coming out of the bout, aside from the fact that Pentagon is still very much the most over dude in Lucha Underground (you know, despite people saying LU has ruined him. I’ll never understand that criticism). I figured when Pentagon came back he would be different; not entirely, but definitely in a way where I didn’t see him snapping arms anymore. Instead he was right back to it. It’ll be interesting to see if he continues to do that and if he starts targeting old enemies whose arms he broke. As if there weren’t reason to be worried for Vinnie Massaro already!
Texano defeated Famous B
This is where the show started to go downhill from an in ring standpoint. Not that I blame LU for what they did here; Texano is a really strong worker and Famous B is entertaining as hell, but there’s no reason any of us need to sit through them having a six to ten minute match when more time can be given elsewhere. Thus we got exactly what we needed; Famous continuing his quest to recruit Texano to his side (complete with laying down and dressing as the most ridiculous cowboy in the history of the western hemisphere), Texano refusing and picking up the quick win the right way and Brenda continuing her slow seduction of Texano (who is definitely into her). In short, this was a nothing match that absolutely needed to be a nothing match.
Honestly, the most interesting thing about the video package that hyped the upcoming Rey Mysterio-Johnny Mundo title match was the voice over guy. WHO WAS HE?! At first glance he sounded like Ultima Lucha Uno announcer Michael Schiavello, but I can’t swear to that any more than I can to the Sega Dreamcast 2 being released in the next ten years. Whoever it was, I’m all for Australian dudes doing LU voiceovers from here on in. It was neat, it was different, and it did a lot to make this hype video, one that was otherwise not really memorable, pretty decent. That said, hopefully the next thing they do for this feud features more Mundo comedy. I need a follow up to “No Time for Pants” dammit; especially since Mundo was clearly shown wearing pants tonight. Did he lie to us? Was there actually time for pants? I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS!
Drago defeated Aerostar
Let’s start with the positives here. Aerostar was tremendous in this match; I don’t know what it was but he seemed determine to try everything in his arsenal and even some stuff that wasn’t there. I think the only things he left out were the no look Cannonball Dive to the floor and the Brillo Aerostar; everything else was on display, including an awesome and terrifying suicide dive where it sounded like Aerostar’s head collided with one of the front row seats. He was terrific, and the story of the match (with Aerostar reluctantly fighting Drago, who slowly seems to be giving in more and more to Kobra Moon’s influence) was really well done. Unfortunately, I think it was too well done for this match to be on the level of their previous bouts. Furthermore, Drago looked uncertain at what to do at times. I don’t know if he was playing it off that way or if he was just adjusting to his new role, but it kept him from truly going all out and thus forced Aerostar to carry the bulk of the action. I can’t entirely fault LU for that; they’re trying to tell a story here and ultimately the match was fine. But compared to the previous matches these guys have had, fine is kind of disappointing. I guess I just expected more; maybe that’s a little unfair and maybe I should give more credit to the story, but I just didn’t get into the match as much as I hoped. Oh well; these two will definitely meet again and I’d venture to guess it’ll be better and more emotional the next time around as Aerostar is forced to dig deep to either save his friend’s soul or put him down for good.
Pop Goes the Councilman
Since returning from the hiatus Lucha Underground has had all but one thing; an awesome closing scene. Tonight, with the in ring action finally going down after two awesome weeks, we got that in the form of Cage making that trip to Councilman Delgado’s office. I wasn’t thinking much of the scene at first, even with Cage at one point nearly putting Delgado through a wall; all I was expecting was for Delgado to either inform Cage of what his master plan was or for the mysterious lord character to appear in a way that wouldn’t completely reveal his identity. Instead, we got Delgado making the mistake of saying Cage was still be controlled by his human emotions, the Machine’s eye twitching and the Power Glove turning Delgado’s head into a busted fruit. I believe it was something like this.
Actually that picture doesn’t do it justice; I’m pretty sure Cage pulled out Delgado’s brain with the Power Glove, thus sending his eyeballs, nose, teeth...if there was anything left for the medical examiner then I shudder to think what it could possibly be. The point is that Councilman Delgado is, as my brother would say, donzo, whatever plan he, Cueto and the unseen lord had may be up in smoke (or may not be) and Cage is now inching closer and closer to losing his humanity. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing for the show, but I’m certain it’s terrible for Vinnie Massaro, who only happens to be Cage’s opponent next week. Vinnie, if you’re reading this (and he may be), send Veneno out in his place. Trust me; no one is going to miss him that much, whereas we’d all miss you if Cage punched a hole through your face.
That’s game sports fans. I’m off to play NHL 17, but I may return tomorrow to preview the Gran Alternativa Final. Should be good stuff. Till we meet again, THIS!