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Lucha Underground: Tell Your Children Not to Walk Pentagon's Way
It’s beginning to feel a lot like season one again in Lucha Underground. Granted it never stopped for some of us, but others haven’t quite been in love with the show as time has gone on. Ever since season three returned from hiatus and kicked out the interference in every other match, LU seems to be getting its second wind and for the second straight week they delivered what I’d call top notch TV. Once again LU produced a match that many will be talking about long after the great war between the olds gods and the new, and while the rest of the matches were hit or miss, the storytelling in the ring and backstage more than made up for any flaws. Like I said, it’s truly beginning to feel a lot like season one again. And with that, let’s get reviewing so you can see why. Moses, you know what time it is!
Paul London, Mala Suerte and Saltador defeated P.J. Black, Ricky Mandel, Taya
Much like everything else involving your favorite Jefferson Airplane loving luchadors, your feelings towards this match will depend on how much you like what London, Suerte and Saltador are doing. For me, I found it to be entertaining, though not quite as well worked as Paul London’s match with Mil Muertes a few weeks ago. That bout found a way to play to London’s trippy character while still showing glimpses of his old “Please Don’t Die” days. Here it was mostly about the rabbits being weird, Taya getting revenge on Saltador for being the biggest creep this side of Marty the Moth (and thank Grodd she did; the way Saltador acted towards her was borderline uncomfortable and would’ve remained so if Taya didn’t get revenge) and Jack Evans making great use of a whiteboard. Honestly that may have been the most impressive part of this match (not counting London’s game winning Shooting Star), which is probably all you need to know. Nothing terrible, but nothing essential either, especially compared to what we had coming later on.
Johnny Mundo: Life Coach
After making me wish we he could be shot out of a cannon a few weeks ago, Low Rent Paul Heyman (aka the Worldwide Underground’s manager) returned with a much better performance this week. Why? Because he actually was actually trying to be Low Rent Paul Heyman, instead of…whatever the hell he was trying to do the last time. The gist of all this was that Low Rent Heyman was ticked at Worldwide Underground for losing to “dudes who worship carrots” and that they’d all be gone if Mundo wasn’t such a kind hearted individual. Johnny then took them all to verbal Slamtown himself, saying they needed to step up in order for him to keep the title. Otherwise, it’s bye bye Mundo and off to greener pastures. I get the sense this may all be building to some sort of split for the group; they’ve been less successful since Low Rent Heyman came along and the losing ways (combined with this speech) should only add to the strife. Well that and the fact that Mundo has now revealed himself to be anti-sick children. Was I the only one who loved that by the way? Johnny Mundo has done some dastardly shit in his day, but knocking the sick kids; that may now move to the top of the list. I’d say it make Johnny one of the most despicable peeps in the world, but then I remembered North Korea existed.
Mil Muertes defeated Jeremiah Crane
You know, as I was watching back this match a second time, it dawned on me that the story in this match was so much deeper than I thought. And that’s saying something because I thought the storytelling in this match was phenomenal. So much so that you almost forget why we’re here; Jeremiah is in love with Catrina, Catrina has rejected him (for both Mil and someone that isn’t Mil, whoever that may be!) and in a fit of rage Jeremiah nearly broke Mil’s neck with a chair. Throw in the long forgotten angle that Ivelisse (Crane’s girlfriend) has a bone to pick with Catrina and this match had every reason to get as personal and violent as it did. And thanks to that, we now have a second straight week where LU’s had a match of the year contender in the middle of the show. It’s like the semi-main has become the must see spot while the main event has turned into Ted Mosby when he gets left at the altar.
But enough How I Met Your Mother jokes. Even taking away all the story developments that played into this bout, everything here was phenomenal. Mil was every bit Grave Consequences/Death Match Mil from season one, destroying Crane with some of the gnarliest offense you’ve ever seen. For his part, The Artist Formerly Known as Sami Callihan never stopped fighting; every time all looked lost he’d just get back up, hit a kick and kept plugging away, as if he could prove himself to Catrina by sheer will. I dare say he even looked sympathetic at points; then again, the stuff Mil did to his back (powerbombing it into the apron and, even more gruesomely, side slamming Crane into the edge of chairs) will do that. I think we all expected a little bit of this going in (alright, maybe not Crane sliding down the railing), but not as much as they went for given it seemed like this was destined to be a standard single fall match. Instead they brawled to start, Dario decided (during commercial) to turn this into a No DQ match and here we are talking about the second straight gonzo match Lucha Underground has done two weeks in a row. I may have cut off a few minutes of it to make it a tad tighter but that’s a nitpick; this was violent, it was devastating and it was awesome in every single way. And best of all we got the right result with Mil winning to set up…well, we’ll get to it in a few minutes. This saga between Crane and Mil ain’t over yet though if Catrina’s lip lock with Crane after the match is any indication. Man do Catrina and Mil juggle a lot of issues? They’ve got Crane, Pentagon and Ivelisse all gunning for them and now they OH MAN I NEARLY SAID TOO MUCH! Don’t worry; we’ll get to that near spoiler before the end of this too.
Agent Winter; FBI
We’ve had cops, dragons, dragon slayers, aliens, zombies, ninja skeletons…honestly the only thing I don’t think we’ve had in the Temple thus far are talking apes and FBI agents. Guess what; we now have the latter, and he’s played by that comedian you used to always see in those VH1 specials from back in the day. For real; look for yourself.
If you had told me ten years ago that Godfrey would be playing a major role in a wrestling show I watched that wasn’t WWE, I’d have probably thought we had discovered a way into parallel universes. Alas this is the real one, Godfrey in his LU and boy oh boy is he playing an important role as Agent Winter. The Special Agent walked into Dario’s office and informed him that he was the new liaison between El Jefe and the Lord, replacing Councilman Delgado (whose death appeared to come as a shock to El Jefe. News must travel slowly to the Temple these days). They made small talk, Winter revealed the name of the Lord’s group (The Order) and talked about how much he loved Pentagon Dark…and how unfortunate it would be when his flesh fried like all the rest in the war to come. Basically the gist of all this Lord stuff is that he’s leading a hostile takeover of the entire world (starting with the Temple), peeps like Winter and Delgado have latched onto him in order to survive and Dario, Matanza and Cage all play a part. How much of a part? I don’t know. Dario’s been going along with this the whole time, but he looked very disturbed by the end of this conversation, and his conversation with Matanza last week now looks more interesting than ever. Is it possible Dario and Matanza aren’t really all in on this plan and were just using the gods power for their own gain? Will they switch sides? What happens to Matanza when/if they do so? I feel like the Crane-Mil match (and the last segment) may overshadow this one, but there was a lot of interesting stuff here in regards to where LU may be going. You know, provided Rodriguez and Burnett get off their asses and get season four going.
Pentagon Dark defeated Texano
For the second straight week, the main event of an LU episode got lost in the shuffle behind an extraordinary match right before it. Quite a shame because, like last week, the main event was once again very good. I probably would’ve given a few of the extra minutes the last match got to this one, but in the seven minutes these two got they made the most. Texano in particular came off very well to me. He remains a guy who should be more consistent, but tonight was definitely one of the on nights and it looked like he relished a chance to work with Pentagon, who is so good that he can go at medium speed (like he did tonight) and still come across as one of the best workers in the world thanks to his charisma alone. Even the arrival of Famous B and Brenda worked. I figured once they came out that Texano would go full blown rudo potentially, but he instead ignored them and carried on with Pentagon till Famous finally went for the assist by throwing in (of all things) a golden horseshoe. Sadly (for Texano) he threw it too far, Pentagon picked it up and we now have the semi-finals we all wanted; Pentagon vs. Mil Muertes on one side and Fenix vs. Prince Puma on the other. HOLY GRODD! It certainly doesn’t hurt that they’ve made all four guys look like a beast, with Fenix conquering the giant Pindar, Puma and Mil having classics back to back weeks and Pentagon getting medieval on Famous and Brenda tonight. Can we safely say that Pentagon has fully recovered from not winning at Ultima Lucha Dos? I think so. He was definitely positioned as the top man in LU tonight and if they’re smart, they’ll have him and Puma in the finals. LU would also be wise to use the broken arms of Famous and Brenda as a reason to realize he’s not the guy they want, leading to Dr. Wagner returning to start that feud. It writes itself really; hopefully for Texano it writes itself in a way that people care about him more consistently.
That damn LU end tag. Just when you think everything is wrapped up in a tight bow, here it comes to rock your world and leave you questioning the meaning of existence. For those of you who have been wondering about the connection between Catrina and Captain Vasquez, we now have it. After last week’s tease, Catrina arrived at Vasquez’ office and wasn’t happy about it (it appears the two had an agreement to stay out of the other’s way). From there it became all about Vasquez pleading to Catrina to have Mil Muertes take down Cage, take the power glove (which is still oh so bad) and prevent the ancient Aztec Gods from rising up to kill us all. Catrina wasn’t really concerned about this…until Vasquez upped the ante by offering up the other half of the amulet both have. With the full amulet, Catrina no longer has to be the phantom bride that she is and can regain her mortality, something she’s been looking for ever since LU began. Only then did Catrina accept Vasquez’ offer and then dropped an even bigger reveal on us by calling Vasquez mother. And that’s the story of why Danzig’s best song is playing in this column!
That’s right folks; Catrina is the daughter of Captain Vasquez, which means Vasquez was the little girl from thousands of years ago who first received the amulet and probably a whole slew of other things. It’s some pretty big stuff that leads to a slew of other questions (who is Catrina’s father? Is Aerostar, who is also from a thousand years ago, involved with these two? And how the hell does Jeremiah play into this?!) and also makes clear which side Catrina and Mil will be in the great war to come. It also reveals Mil’s next opponent; Cage. Sign me the fuck up for that one! Not only is Mil starting to round into season one form, but Cage is the type of dude who seems to have his best work with the big guys (see his match with Matanza last season). Throw in the power glove (which, in case you’ve forgotten, is so bad) and this has the makings of an epic rivalry. You know, on top of all the other stuff Catrina and Mil have going on. At this point, it really wouldn’t stun me at all if these two just end up fighting everyone come Ultima Lucha Tres. I mean we already have Ivelisse vs. Catrina booked, Mil-Jeremiah isn’t over, Cage-Mil looks to be beginning; it just never ends with these two. And Grodd willing it never will. Stories like this are why we keep coming back to LU and another reason, along with that awesome Crane-Mil match, why tonight’s episode was what the kids call the bees knees. Can we just pretend I didn’t end the review like that?
That’s game sports fans. I’m back tomorrow to preview Friday’s CMLL and…yeah that’s probably it. But you never know; I may have some other tricks up my sleeve. Till we meet again, THIS!