Lucha Underground Review: The Ninjas Are Coming
There are two modes to Lucha Underground; set up and balls to the wall chaos. Tonight was the former, with LU choosing to build towards things to come as opposed to bringing the house down with a WMD style match. Of course even when LU cools down it never freezes and tonight was no different. We got two really good matches, a good story told in the main event despite a lack of excitement and Pentagon Dark proving that he’s still the most diabolical hater since the so called Beautiful (and still someone the fans cannot get enough of). Oh, there was also death and Prince Puma nailing a guy with Mil Muertes’ own finisher, which I only just remembered now. This is why we love LU; so much happens that you only realize later on! But that’s for later; for now let’s review. Moses; meme time!
Sexy Star Makes Friends in the Locker Room
El Jefe can’t help himself; he’s right here again to kick off the show and this time he’s trying to push the buttons of Sexy Star. And by push buttons I mean he tried to goad her into ending her life by cashing in the Gift of the Gods Championship against Matanza. I don’t mean to give anything away but I’m pretty sure if that match happened it would end up looking something like this.
Luckily Sexy didn’t fall for it and held pretty firm, which led to El Jefe eventually informing her that she would be in an Atomicos Match tonight before leaving. Sexy wasn’t done though as Johnny Mundo came in looking for Taya and instead found her. To make a long story short, Johnny wants that Gift of the Gods Championship (duh, it’s the quickest way to the Lucha Underground Championship) and his intimidation skills need work because Sexy wasn’t fazed by him at all. We’re definitely getting that match sooner or later and if we get more backstage scenes like this I’m all for it. Say what you want about Sexy Star the wrestler, but she’s very good at this sort of thing and was very good again here. Does that make her the Broken Matt Hardy of LU?
Prince Puma defeated Sinestro de la Muerte
It was pretty obvious once we saw Sinestro that Puma was going to be the opponent to continue his issues with Mil Muertes. What was pleasantly surprising was that this match managed to be a competitive affair that also showcased a new side of Prince Puma. He may never admit it, but that Vampiro pep talk has definitely gotten to Puma and I’m not just talking about the change of attire; Puma is suddenly darker, a little more serious and a little more methodical than ever before. The highflying was still there, but it wasn’t as apparent as before and honestly that was welcome. It’s nice to see Puma can work another style and he came across looking more of a bad ass here than he ever has from just flying around. To his credit Sinestro kept up with Puma and made the match fun, but in the end dark Puma was too much for him to overcome. And that’s even with Mil and Catrina interfering! The question now becomes when LU is pulling the trigger on this match and just how good this can be. I’m going out on a limb to say it’ll be better than their initial match at Ultima Lucha Uno. I’ve got a good feeling about this Puma and that short brawl between him and Mil after the match was brilliant. Twenty minutes of that or so mixed in with the other stuff these two can do and we’ll have more magic than a Now You See Me film.
El Jefe Knows It Was You Cortes! AND IT BREAKS HIS HEART!
I’m not sure if I’m more surprised that Dario went the Godfather route in this segment or that it took LU this long to have a Godfather reference on this show. Basically Cortes Castro walked into El Jefe’s office and instead of meeting death got a hug; the kind of hug that reminded me of when Michael kissed Fredo right before shit hit the fan in Cuba. After a hilarious vow to bring the killer of Mr. Cisco to justice, El Jefe let Castro leave and it was good timing as you could hear Melissa Santos announcing Castro was wrestling next. El Jefe tried to spin it as the biggest match of Castro’s life, when in myself and everyone else was thinking that Castro would be meeting Fredo at the bottom of that lake.
Pentagon Dark defeated Cortes Castro
The good news for Cortes Castro; he didn’t die and he didn’t face Matanza, which is where I was pretty sure this was going. The bad news is everything else. Pentagon turned out to be Castro’s opponent and he proceeded to wipe Castro off the face of the earth in a quick and painful squash. And yes this beat down came complete with a broken arm, the first of what should be many punishments for Castro throughout the rest of the season. The best part of that LU was easily able to transition from Castro’s story right into Pentagon’s, and everyone complaining about Pentagon’s recent losses should take note that his stock was so affected that he was still the most over guy in the Temple. And if he wasn’t he certainly was after his promo, where he said he respects no one in the ring (including his own mother) and would lay waste to the winner of Chavo and Azteca tonight. In short; Pentagon is just fine, Cortes Castro is not okay (music and lyrics by My Chemical Romance) and I wouldn’t want to be El Dragon Azteca Jr. Oops, spoiler alert!
Johnny Mundo, Jack Evans, P.J. Black and Taya defeated Fenix, Aerostar, Drago and Sexy Star
This was exactly what everyone hoped it would be; a really fun match between two really fun teams. Not only was it fun but it was well booked too. I’ve been as big a Sexy Star defender as they come in the LU circle but it’s becoming clear (at least right now) that she’s either lost a serious step or isn’t going full out like she did during season’s one and two. That was especially apparent at the end, where Sexy heavily contributed to the lone sloppy section of the match. Luckily LU perfectly positioned her here for every part but the end, keeping her with Taya (who she clicked with far better this week than their season opener a few weeks back) or making her the technica in peril, allowing her teammates to get in most of the action. And boy did they deliver; Aerostar remains as hot as any luchador alive today, Drago looked really impressive in short bursts and Fenix stood out far more tonight than he did last week. He also revealed he has the loudest superkick in the history of superkicks; it sounded like a bullet colliding with an explosion. Worldwide Underground was better tonight too, and as enjoyable as Sulking Jack was last week it’s clear that the team is better when a) Johnny Mundo is involved and b) they’re playing it straight in ring then going for comedy. What else can I say other than this was really good and there should be more to come considering Jack got the win over Sexy Star. I’m not sure if that means he gets Sexy in a title match or if there will be a Trios Championship match with Johnny now wrestling in place of Taya (who hopefully was just selling a leg injury and didn’t actually have one), but there’s more to come here and that’s perfectly fine by me.
There was a whole lot of death on tonight’s LU episode. First we saw the death of Cortes Castro’s arm, then the end of Sulking Jack (can’t sulk if you win folks) and then there was the demise of poor Sinestro de la Muerte. Yes the man named in honor of the Green Lantern villain has gone to join his fellow undead brothers along the river Styx after Catrina snapped his neck and sucked his soul right out. Or did she eat it? Whatever the case Sinestro is dead, Mil now has his power/essence in him after Catrina transferred it (in a very hot way as only Catrina can) and Puma is next if these two have anything to do with it. Fun stuff for everyone except for Sinestro. It’s bad enough that he’s dead; he’s also now stuck in the afterlife with his two teammates who he brutally murdered just to save his own skin. Let’s go live to Trece and Barrio Negro getting ready to welcome Sinestro to the afterlife.
Winner Faces Pentagon Dark
El Dragon Azteca Jr. defeated Chavo Guerrero (with Rey Mysterio Jr. as Special Guest Referee)
This won’t be a Match of the Year contender but this match, from a story perspective, was excellent. Some people may be confused as to why the action was so slow with Chavo controlling the pace but really it only went to confirm what last week hinted at; El Dragon Azteca Jr., while talented, is very raw and not yet ready for the big time unless Rey and Prince Puma are by his side. As such the story was Chavo (a smart enough worker to know this was the right direction to take the match) dominating this match, forcing Azteca to work a slower, more deliberate style instead of going to the air as he normally would. Prince Puma did the same thing in Azteca’s match with him last year; the only difference is Puma wrestles the same style as Azteca and thus it didn’t hurt him. It did here and Chavo for all intents and purposes should’ve won. So why didn’t he? Because Chavo let Rey Mysterio get inside his head throughout. Rey called the match down the middle but it wasn’t enough for Chavo, and ultimately it cost him the match and a chance to get at Pentagon. Of course with Chavo that may just be the point. We all saw what Pentagon did tonight to Castro; perhaps Chavo intended to goad Rey into costing him the match so Chavo could avoid facing Pentagon while feeding Azteca to the wolves (while also securing a match against Rey, a match that makes more sense for Chavo given their history). They didn’t spell it out, but it’s something to keep in mind and it’s another layer to a match that had a ton of layers. It won’t go down as the most exciting match ever but they told a good story, they forced Rey to make a decision he didn’t want to make (I can’t imagine he’s happy about Azteca facing Pentagon) and they set up one, maybe two matches in the near future in Pentagon-Azteca and Chavo-Rey. I’m already ordering an arm shaped coffin for Azteca’s arm as we speak.
Here Comes the Triad
That damn Lucha Underground end tag strikes again (while also giving me a title for this column)! El Jefe told us last week that Black Lotus was in Hong Kong and we got to see just what she was doing there, which was gathering troops from the Black Lotus Triad (coincidence she shares the same name? I think not!) to bring with her back to the Temple. Their mission; destroy Pentagon Dark for breaking her arm and preventing her from taking the mask of the man that killed her parents (El Dragon Azteca Jr. for those who forget). A few things here. First, Lotus is still buying the lie El Jefe told her about Azteca Sr. killing her parents, which means that’s still something we’re going to be exploring down the road. Second, this may be the only group right now capable of stopping Pentagon, the same man who has broken countless arms and dominated Rey Mysterio and Matanza. And yes he did dominate those guys, regardless of what the results say. Lotus clearly recognized she cannot demolish him alone and with at least three ninja warriors by her side (and for all we know there’s more) she’s at least got a shot. I’d say she had better than a shot, but it is Pentagon and chances are this will likely end with him breaking her arm and the arms of the other three ninjas at the same time. He’s a bad man folks. A bad man.
We are done here folks! And barring a change of heart you won’t see me tomorrow, as I got all the writing I needed to get done today. I shall be back Friday night/Saturday morning at the latest though with a review of Friday’s huge CMLL show. Till we meet again, this!