Lucha Underground Review: Mundo Mania
Allow me to level with you dear reader; there may be a few less jokes in this review than usual. There are two reasons for that. First, I got a little more analytical with this Lucha Underground episode, probably because there was a shit ton to analyze with several debuts, a title change and in my opinion the best match we’ve seen in season three thus far. Second I must admit to being distracted; I wrote this review while watching Tangled with my mother and brother. Yes I’m admitting to watching Tangled and no I do not think it makes me any less manly. And even if it does, so the fuck what; Chuck Bartowski is in it and I’d literally watch him do a Uwe Boll movie because I respect him that much. But alas you don’t want to hear about this; you want to talk LU! So let’s get to it; Moses, meme it before the white rabbit starts talking backwards.
That damn Paul London; he couldn’t debut in LU without whetting the appetite for everyone one last time. Hence we got one more scene with London and his pals, revealed to be Mala Suerte (mohawk) and Saltador (checkers), goofing off, practicing Carrot-Fu with actual carrots and saying things like “El Bunny will lead us and we will follow him…even if that means into war!” I don’t know if it was the greatest thing I had seen in my life to that point but it was definitely up there with the Hybrid Dolphin thing. And it all led to the best part; the Rabbits actually debuting!
Lucha Underground Trios Championship Match
Fenix, Drago and Aerostar (c) defeated Paul London, Mala Suerte and Saltador
I would’ve thought London and co. might’ve had to start a little lower on the totem pole, but (in a rare moment of wisdom) Matt Striker would explain during the match that the Rabbits were getting the shot on account of London’s notoriety from past years. It was subtle but a decent explanation for why it was happening. Luckily the story of this match was London and his boys proving they were equal, and in some way even superior, to the champs by just being so far out there. This was by far the most Paul London I’ve ever seen from the man on a televised wrestling show. Sure he’s always had the high flying, but unless you were watching PWG you never got to see the loony, LSD charisma London possessed until tonight. The best way to sum up London was that he was a cross between Shawn Michaels and Hunter S. Thompson. Take that however you will.
Ultimately it worked for him, it worked for this teammates and it worked for this match, with the champs having to work their way through the madness in order to finally look like themselves towards the latter end of the match. Even then it was barely enough, with Fenix only barely squeaking out the win on Saltador with the same pin he used on Mil Muertes to win the title last year. That aspect should calm those bummed that another new group lost in LU, not to mention they dominated the whole match. Honestly I can’t think of a better way for these guys to debut. They didn’t go over the top in the ring, but they did enough to show they can be really entertaining later on and the character work was spectacular. A great start for the Rabbits. Bonus points must be given to LU for also continuing the Drago-Kobra stuff outside of the LU bathroom facilities! I tell you; ever since Kobra brought up that Pindar guy Drago has looked absolutely spooked. It’s either leading to him costing himself, Fenix and Aerostar the big one someday soon, him turning on his teammates or something in between. I just got a feeling folks.
Sexy and Big Willie
A Sexy Star Championship win couldn’t be complete without Big Willie finding a way to congratulate her and that’s what happened here. The bigger story however was Sexy refusing Mack’s offer to be in her corner for her match against Mundo tonight, claiming she wanted to prove to the world her win last week wasn’t a fluke. Mack understood it, I understood it…and yet you could tell this was going to end up being a (Mike Francesca voice) YOOOGE mistake on Sexy’s part. The lesson, as always; proving you’re not a fluke is good, doing things by yourself is good, but being a champion one way or another is a whole hell of a lot better.
Dante Fox defeated Killshot
So yeah…can we get the Dr. Cox clip up? Because I couldn’t have been more off on this match.
Granted, I still don’t think these two showed us everything they have in their respective arsenals, which is terrifying considering the vile things they did to each other here! This was straight up, nonstop, balls to the walls action where it felt like both guys weren’t just trying to beat each other, they were trying to end their former friend. Fox was the aggressor from the beginning, breaking out all sorts of dives with a snarl on his face. Killshot, ever reluctant to beat down his former pal, took his time but when he got going he got going. In fact he had the two biggest moments of the match; a Rolling Cutter that looked like it split Fox’s head in two and a top rope Death Valley Driver onto the ring apron, the most diabolical move since the so called Beautiful. I was certain the match was over after he hit than and a devastating double stomp, only for Fox to kick out and these two to go on for a few more minutes before the new guy put Killshot down for good with a Springboard Spanish Fly/Brainbuster combo. What else can I say? It was beautiful, it was my favorite match thus far this season (that’s not hyperbole) and if this doesn’t put Dante Fox on the map then absolutely nothing will. And the amazing thing is that these two are probably going to have an even crazier match down the line and I’m not sure how they can. Good Grodd, one of them is going to break out the first double moonsault in LU history aren’t they? Not sure I can handle that.
The Dario/Mundo Standoff Continues
This was basically the same hilarious spat Mundo and El Jefe have every week with a few new plot points; Mundo believed El Jefe allowed Angelico to cost him Aztec Warfare last week, El Jefe denied it, Mundo ultimately decided it didn’t matter because he had filed a restraining order against Angelico (preventing him from entering the Temple) and the two then proceeded to call each other jerks and pricks. And yes, El Jefe got the last laugh. He always gets the last laugh, hence I expect Angelico to have that restraining order lifted within a few weeks and nailing Mundo with another sick move while El Jefe looks on with that shit eating grin of his. I’ll say this though; Dario was definitely taking Matanza losing better than I expected this week. I figured we would at least get a segment of Dario shaking his head in disappointment at Matanza and that was probably on the tame side. Alas not this week; maybe El Jefe is giving Matanza a week to cope before he lays into him.
Lotus in El Jefe’s seat!
After taking a brief walk, Dario returned to his office to find Black Lotus waiting for him, their first meeting since their partnership dissolved in season two. Once more it was simple; Lotus and her ninjas want Pentagon in order to get revenge and street cred and Dario loved the idea enough to make a Gauntlet Match next week between Pentagon and the Triad. The key; the match only ends when Pentagon gets through every member of the Triad, which doesn’t seem to be a big deal unless Lotus is bringing in even more peeps for Pentagon to go through besides the Stardom girls. All I know is this isn’t going to end well with Pentagon. It’s going to be one of those Harry Potter things where he fights valiantly, gets close and then ends up lying mostly dead in the arms of Draco Malfoy’s mother. I feel bad for him already!
Lucha Underground Championship Match
Johnny Mundo defeated Sexy Star
Maybe I was just a good mood following that awesome Killshot-Fox match, but this match was a hundred times better than I expected it to be. Sure it still wasn’t a masterpiece; there’s only so much Sexy Star can do in ring even on her best day. But the effort from both was significantly better than it was a few weeks ago and that, along with a surprising lack of outside interference (at least till the end) led to this being a decent match overall. Mundo in particular I thought was much better than previously (a sloppy End of the World aside), almost as if he was working with a purpose. I suppose that makes sense considering the result worked out for him, with Mundo getting that first LU title win thanks to Taya, who KO’d Sexy while posing as an injured fan.
I’m sure you’ll be surprised I know that I’ve got no qualms with how this went down. The Sexy Star title win last week was, at least to me, well handled and a nice moment. There was clearly a shelf life to how far she could go as champ though and there’s no question that Mundo, who’s been LU’s best rudo for at least a season now, was deserving of a run sooner or later. Let’s also not forget that this isn’t the first time LU has done this; Fenix won the Lucha Underground Championship last year and lost it a week later thanks to the deck being stacked against him. The differences between his and Sexy’s reigns really aren’t that much different. Thus I think this was the right result and in the end LU, whether you agree with every aspect of the execution or not, did what they needed to do. They got the belt off Matanza without making him look weak, they concluded Sexy’s rise to the top (a story that was going to be told sooner or later) and they put the belt on Mundo in the most rudo way they possibly could (and then raised it up to 100 by having Mundo, Taya, Jack Evans and P.J. Black celebrate in the most grating way afterwards). On top of that the ending could be considered even more interesting on account of Sexy losing because of Taya, a fellow luchadora who clearly doesn’t agree that Sexy’s win last week was as empowering as portrayed and could be set up as the anti-Sexy Star representative for the women (and men) who felt like Sexy was unworthy. That sounds like a win to me. So in the end I have little complaints. It was a decent match with a good ending that moves us beyond the polarizing last few weeks and gets LU moving forward. And much like last week, it’s all about the follow up.
That’s the bell sports fans. I can’t guarantee I’ll have a CMLL preview tomorrow with the holiday and all but I’ll most definitely be back Friday night with a review of Super Viernes. Like I’d miss a chance to rave about Sansón and Blue Panther Jr. Till we meet again, a happy Thanksgiving to you all from myself and DUCHOVNY!