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Lucha Underground Review: Episode 35 (Pentagon, the Master of Puppets)
So you guys know how I said yesterday's Lucha Underground episode would be awesome? Guess what; it was awesome. Once again, the best wrestling promotion going today delivered, giving us three good to great matches, a out of nowhere rudo turn and a show long continuation of what is quickly becoming the most compelling feud in wrestling today. Yup, that good. But enough about me saying it, let me show you it. ON WITH THE SHOW!
Obey Your Master
Reason #9,001 to love Lucha Underground; the never ending homage's to the films of Robert Rodriguez's childhood. We'd seen everything else from the grindhouse repertoire, it was only appropriate we finally get a return to the ninja dojo of Pentagon Jr's training. And what we learned was this; Pentagon wants to ruin Vampiro (in a great touch, he called Vamp by his real name, symbolizing how little he thinks of the current version of our favorite color commentator), the Master wants Vampiro as the next sacrifice and the Master is in fact an actual human being. I'm pretty sure there was little doubt about that at this point, but I thought you'd like to know all the same. The best thing I can say about this segment though is that its payoff later on was "tears in rain" monologue good. But more on that soon!
The Mack defeated Cage
I actually had to watch this match back because it felt like it was too short. And well, it was too short. I totally understand there was a lot going on this evening, but come on LU; I need more Mack vs. Cage! Seriously, the action we did get here was outstanding, particularly from The Mack's standpoint. This was definitely a coming out party for him (I believe it might've been his first singles match in the Temple) and he looked as crisp as you can get. Hell, so did Cage, who doesn't exactly have a whole lot to prove at this point, and did a great job at making Mack look like the tank he is. In the end, I left this match wanting more, and I believe we're going to get it, especially since big Willie scored the win on a roll up. You thought this match was good? Imagine what will happen if these guys are given 15 minutes or so. Every big man in wrestling with athleticism will be booking their flight to Boyle Heights quicker than Speed Racer at the Grand Prix.
Catrina, Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and the Awkward Silence
Man, the rest of the LU locker room has got to start locking the doors. One of these days, Catrina is just going to pop into the shower while Johnny Mundo is cleaning himself up, leading to either a really embarrassing moment for the Palace of Wisdom or the most awkward sex scene since Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Let's give credit where credit is due here though; Son of Havoc had no fear of Catrina, the polar opposite of Prince Puma's "I NEED AN ADULT" look last week. Hell, Ivelisse really wasn't afraid of her, and I loved the fact that the LU introduced the thread of Ivelisse finally getting her hands on Catrina. Let me tell you, the Temple is going to explode when Ivelisse is finally healthy enough to give the first lady of darkness a beating. Of course, nothing about this segment was going to beat the end, which saw Ivelisse and Havoc on the floor with thoughts of a romantic reunion (a moment that likely broke the hart of Ivelisse fan and buddy of mine Joe Brown), followed by Angelico (fresh off of being awesome) coming in and introducing the world to the "Good lord, I traded Jack Evans for this" face. Then again, perhaps walking in on those two is better than having to look at the lion mane of terror known as Evan's hair. #CutEvansCut
Vampiro: Falling Faster
Yet another great interview segment between Vamp and a guest, and this one may have been the best yet. Remember how I said that opening segment with Pentagon Jr and his master would pay off? This was part one, as you could see the plan the two formed kicking into high gear. Pentagon was excellent as the young, vicious upstart trying to goad Vampiro into fighting him. And Vamp...I mean, what can you say? This is one of my favorite wrestlers ever here, and even I'm struggling to recall him ever being this good as a character. A lot of people would think that the whole "old gunslinger/legend wrestling with coming back for one more shot of glory" would be too simple, but the LU has nailed it here, and nailed it in this segment. Absolutely great stuff from both men, setting the stage for more later on. Let's just say, it involves one of Beavis' favorite things.
Mil Muertes defeated Son of Havoc
This was exactly what I expected to be, and a little bit more. It's been said a million times, but it's true; it's often the most simple stories that end up working the best. Mil Muertes vs. Son of Havoc was that, a sort of wrestling David vs. Goliath that would've (and still could) worked well for WWE if they had gone with Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan in the past year or so. Mil was Mil, the Beast King who dominated the match to the point that the Temple couldn't help, but cheer him. Havoc was the resilient technico who wouldn't go away, and in a testament to both competitors and the LU, I honestly did think he could've won this match. If he had, I might've caused an earthquake from marking out so much. Alas, we at least got a pretty good match out of it, a decent preview of what Mil-Puma might be (provided Puma ever leaves his Fright Night state of mind) and hopefully a preview to what could be a major league rematch between these two one day. Also, is it just me or are the Trios Champs actually starting to, gasp, GET ALONG?! Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seemed like Havoc sacrificed his chance at victory just to make sure Ivelisse and Angelico were alright after the Skeletor Army attacked. What a nice dude that Havoc is.
YO SOY MEXICO TEXANO! YO SOY!!!!!
This was the most likely candidate for, "I'm sorry, what?" moment on the show, especially considering that Blue Demon Jr was a) a technico last week and b) was demolished by The Crew and Chavo Guerrero (absent last night) no too long ago either. But honestly, I don't mind it one bit. It was pretty clear after Blue Demon's 300 outburst last week that Chavo had planted the seeds of evil inside him, and with Chavo injuring his hamstring against Prince Puma, you knew this would be coming sooner or later. Overall, not a bad segment; Texano's promo hit the mark and I'm intrigued by Demon's turn, if only because his family name is so legendary that you generally don't see someone of his stature cross over to the dark side. Only thing missing was him screaming "YO SO MEXICO TEXANO!" like he did to Chavo last week. I would've marked out more than Chad Muska at a Metallica rock concert if that happened.
Johnny Mundo, Jack Evans, Hernandez and Super Fly defeated Alberto El Patron, Aero Star, Drago and Sexy Star
Some matches are great because they tell stories, some are great because they provide awe inspiring moments, and some are just plain old fun. This match the latter; I've seen better matches in Lucha Underground over this first season, but I don't know if I've had as much fun watching a match as I did this one. The action from beginning to end was just excellent. The interactions between El Patron and Johnny Mundo were appropriately intense, and I absolutely loved El Patron leading that Johnny Puto chant at the beginning of the match (the fire he brought to that was just really cool). Aero Star was mind blowing in this match (spoiler alert; this guy is a star. Keep an eye on him), and at one point did a move I don't believe I'd ever seen before. Sexy Star was crisp as hell and took advantage of her spots. Even Super Fly, arguably the least over of the eight, got some good shine in and looked really impressive. Really, only Drago and Hernandez didn't really do a whole lot, and even then, they had some great moments here and there. Hey, I guess that's what Hernandez gets when he decides to bolt to the Beat Down Clan.
As excellent as all those other dudes and dudettes were in this match, I have to single out the FIFA Champ right here. The record will show that I probably did more moves last night than Jack Evans, and that he spent the majority of the match taking a bigger beating than Masato Tanaka did in every match he ever had against Mike Awesome. But holy freaking hell, did I find everything Evans did last night entertaining. Whether he was dancing/taunting El Patron to start the match (something he's done to the likes of CM Punk and Samoa Joe over the years), getting his hair slapped the hell off, bumping like crazy or getting a few slivers of offense in, I couldn't take my eyes of the "inventor of modern lucha libre" (it likely helps that Evans was just as entertaining on Twitter last night following the match). Everyone involved in this match made it incredibly fun, but it was Evans who really put it over the top. And here I was thinking he couldn't top his awesome promo that he cut for the LU's youtube page the other day! Well done FIFA Champ. Next time, just make sure you're the one slapping El Patron. I can still hear the sound of his palm smacking your poor head.
Master, Master, Where's the Dreams That I've Been After?
Just when we were all thinking the last match would be the best part of the show, Pentagon Jr arrived to deliver the post credits scene of a lifetime. Which is to say he pretty much kicked Vampiro's head off (surprise kick!), beat him with a chair and then threatened to LIGHT HIM ON FIRE! Yes, evidently Pentagon's plan to get Vampiro to fight was to threaten him with death by inferno. Which, as far as plans go, is brilliant; even someone trying to move on from the past as much as Vamp is would prefer risking the demons coming out to looking like an extra from Backdraft. Just excellent work all around (I'm talking from the opening to the close of the show), and I don't think we'll be hearing about anyone bitching or moaning about how Pentagon looked weak against Sexy Star any time soon. The best part; next week should be even better, as I think we may finally see Vampiro take it to Pentagon. I'm marking out just thinking about it now!
That'll do it guys; I'm off till later. Till next time, check out my buddy Rob's awesome breakdown of the Vampiro-Pentagon angle, go visit Masked Republic for all your lucha merchandise needs, listen to our master Eric Van Wagenen talk about the LU on Steve Austin's podcast (we're going national!), drink Pepsi, not Coke, live the plug life, #FlyEvansFly, get Angelico back in the ring already dammit, and of course, DUCHOVNY is #LuchaKliq!