Lucha Underground Review: Who is the Mystery Man?!
How does one follow up one of the most emotional, violent matches in recent memory? If you’re Lucha Underground, it’s doing an even more violent match the very next week. That’s what happened tonight with Grave Consequences II: An Afterlife Boogaloo that saw Mil Muertes and Matanza just go full throttle on each other. And that wasn’t even the best part; a misstep at the beginning aside, Lucha Underground was once again on point, with another fun match to balance out Mil-Matanza and three amazing scenes that both captivated AND changed the complexion of the promotion going forward. No seriously, read all about it. You’ll see what I mean.
El Jefe Walks Into a Nightclub
In what I can only describe as one of, if not the, best opening sequences in LU’s history, Dario Cueto found himself in a nearby tavern confronted by that same councilman that was warning Captain Vasquez to lay off her investigation a few weeks ago. And boy did we learn some shit. Not only did the Councilman (his new name from this point on) reveal to El Jefe that the cops are onto him (bad news for the Undercover Luchadors!) but a) he’s clearly not in El Jefe’s employment, b) whoever he’s working for clearly has El Jefe by the balls (why else would Dario being paying him $50K, which he couldn't wait to give away) and c) this mystery man is looking to come to the Temple really soon. Whoever it is must be pretty bad ass considering Dario seemed nervous as hell at the mention of this mystery man’s arrival. I’d say more, but then I’d have nothing to talk about in the final section of this column. We’ll get to it peeps!
Triple Threat Match for the final Aztec Medallion
Joey Ryan defeated Mr. Cisco and Cortes Castro
This is going to be one of the rare times I express some disappointment with a Lucha Underground match. And it’s not because any of the three men did anything wrong; I actually thought all three guys looked good in their limited time. And therein lies the problem; they got almost no time. No sooner did this match begin was it ending with Joey Ryan rolling up Castro and getting the pinfall. I get why; there’s still more to this story between the three and there were two pretty big matches following it that needed time. Still, we couldn’t have given these guys a little more time? Better yet, was there no time for the Ryan-Mascarita Sagrada match that was teased earlier today? It was just a tad unfortunate to see this match and the rest of the developments get rushed. The positive is that it was cut short for some pretty important stuff, even if that doesn’t completely wipe the bad taste out of the mouth.
Catrina’s Best Motivational Speech Yet and OH MY GOODNESS KING CUERNO WAS THERE THE WHOLE TIME!
Quick note; people are going to focus on the two primetime matches tonight and rightfully so; they ranged from good to bonkers good. But for my money the backstage scenes tonight were even better. The opening scene was great, the final scene…well we’ll get to it and this one right here with Catrina and Mil was dynamite. First we learned that Catrina is almost 200 years old and has been trapped by darkness for…I guess pretty much that entire time. God help her if it’s been longer; that would put her at almost the same age as Angel! Secondly, I absolutely loved how Catrina, who usually spends these speeches just tearing Mil a new asshole, went a complete 180 this time around. Sure she was tough on Mil, but by the end she was delivering her speech so well (and doing it in the sexiest way possible may I add) that I’m pretty sure she could’ve convinced anyone to go out and destroy Matanza for her. Hell I’m pretty sure those 300 Spartans would’ve actually beaten the Persians if she was in charge.
And yet, all of Catrina’s smoldering hotness and all of the dark imagery couldn’t compare to the moment where a wild King Cuerno appeared! As it turns out, good ole Deer Antlers had been in Mil’s secret cavern THE ENTIRE TIME, listening to Catrina’s speech and carefully stalking his prey. Not only was it bad ass, it completely re-established Cuerno as the bad ass hunter that he is and likely silenced a whole bunch of people who felt that last week’s loss to Sinestro de la Muerte was the beginning of the end for him. The lesson as always; patience is a virtue. If you don’t believe me, this sequence with Cuerno biding his time and waiting to strike should be proof enough. I’d just like to know how he found this place AND how he was able to go unnoticed. Is Cuerno part ninja as well? Was he responsible for those ninjas who captured Samoa Joe all those years ago? Am I the only one who remembers that terrible angle? Why am I asking all these questions?
Trios Championship Match
Lucha Justice League defeated Ivelisse, Son of Havoc and Johnny Mundo
Some clarification quickly; during the replay I caught Striker and Vampiro pointing out that Mundo, seemingly an unlikely partner for Ivelisse and Havoc to pick, was actually chosen by El Jefe to team with the odd couple for this match. So it was less a random event and more El Jefe being El Jefe. Are you that surprised? The man just learned another enemy of his is coming to the Temple and the only way he knows how to unwind is making other people suffer.
This match was everything it needed to be and everything you’d expect it to be; fun. Mundo and Taya were the annoying rudos who quickly isolated themselves from their team by cheating and just being annoying. Ivelisse, aside from a slight slip during a kick up, looked great and had an excellent opening sequence with El Dragon Azteca Jr. Puma and Rey looked great; I’m amazed that in three short matches Rey has looked more interesting than he has in years, while Puma, in a role that would seem like a step back, seems more refreshed as well (his 630’s this year have been amazing by the way). I’m going to throw some special props here to Son of Havoc. That man clicked with everyone in this match and the best parts were him tangling with Mysterio and Azteca. Havoc brought up on Twitter how big of a moment it was for him to face Rey earlier in the day and it showed; he clearly brought his A game. Overall a fun, excellent match that saw the Lucha Justice League retain (shocking I know) and Taya attack Ivelisse following the match. I wonder if they’ll be fighting soon. A better question is who comes after the Lucha Justice League next.
Grave Consequences II: An Afterlife Boogaloo for the Lucha Underground Championship
Matanza (c) vs. Mil Muertes
It began with an eerie, powerful scene where the day of the dead peeps (including that beautiful bastard on the stilts!) brought out the coffins. From there it descended into absolute carnage. I wouldn’t say this was better than Grave Consequences I (Fenix-Mil had more heat) or even the main event from last week (which had unparalleled storytelling), but beyond that there’s very few that compares to this match. These two beat the crap out of each other and, appropriately, this match did what all good sequels need to do and was bigger and badder than the initial encounter. There were multiple (I repeat, MULTIPLE) powerbombs onto the coffins, Mil did a Flatliner from the apron onto multiple coffins; my personal favorite moments were when Mil actually speared Matanza into the front row (one of the most painful things I’ve seen in quite awhile) and Mil actually punching through one of the coffins thanks to the help of a chain mail glove. That wasn’t just impressive, it was bloody cool. Not since A Knight’s Tale has armor been used that well.
In the end though, Matanza once again proved to be too much for even Mil’s best shot and won the match by nailing Mil with his bad ass slam into the coffin. Not only that, but he also put Catrina AND her stone into another coffin minutes before (after nailing Catrina with a chair to the back), once again making me look like a profit for predicting that not one but two people would find themselves in a coffin tonight. Naturally all of that proved to be less interesting than what happened afterwards; El Jefe would open Catrina’s coffin only to find it empty, while it was revealed that King Cuerno had commandeered Mil’s coffin near the entranceway. Basically we ended this match with Matanza being proven to be the superior luchador (as expected), Catrina being nowhere to be found (was she rescued? Did she use her supernatural powers to escape?) and Deer Antlers further establishing himself as the man. Personally I preferred that ending to what I expected, which was Cuerno costing Mil the match. Instead Matanza got to win clean, continuing his run of just owning everyone and now Cuerno is possession of Mil’s body. Anything can happen now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cuerno hold Mil hostage from Catrina, take control of the former Immortan himself or stuff him and hang him from the walls of his beautiful log cabin. That’s what rock’s about LU; you could talk me into any scenario at this point and I’d believe it.
Somehow, someway, LU managed to top themselves yet again with this closing end tag. The Councilman returned, this time nervously waiting in some shady ally for a limousine to arrive. Who was in this limo you may ask? Why none other than this mystery boss of the Councilman’s, who proceeded to hear his henchman relay everything from El Jefe’s belief that Matanza is the strongest warrior alive to the Councilman sucking up to him Thomas Lennon in Out Cold style. Other interesting things of note were the Councilman referring to the mystery man as “My Lord”, the mystery man having a fondness for cigars and pretty much just about everything. We now have the replacement for the Matanza angle in Lucha Underground and you can count me very excited to start the journey to find out who this man is. Do I have a guess? I’ll have a column tomorrow investigating who the man might be, but as of now, I’d lean towards this lord being a certain Doctor with a PHD in lucha. You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to use that line!
And that children is how a column becomes…a column. Walked right into that one! I’ll be back tomorrow with that investigative column on the Lord of the Councilman. Till then, don’t bet on Mil Muertes in a Grave Consequences match. He’s 0-2 people; there’s a better chance of seeing Tottenham actually win something of value than him putting someone in a coffin for good right now.
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