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Lucha Underground Review: Snakes in the Bathroom
Now see, this is more like it. After last evening, which featured a good but not great CMLL show and a depressing Chicago Cubs loss, tonight the ship has been righted. The Cubs are leading as I write this (and hopefully will continue to lead!) and Lucha Underground was back with another excellent episode. I’m not sure it was better than last week’s show (I’m a sucker for entrances featuring bikers and dudes in a side car), but I may be in the minority there. This show was packed from top to bottom with returns, surprise cameos; debuts El Jefe doing El Jefe stuff, cool announcements and three good to great matches that didn’t resemble each other in the slightest. Looking good LU, looking good. But enough set up; let’s get down to the nitty and gritty. Is that how you say it? WHO CARES?! Moses, meme as if your life depended on it.
For the first time since episode one of this season Vampiro and Prince Puma crossed paths again. Vamp wanted to wish Puma luck. Puma, even more strongly than last time, sensed an ulterior motive from Vamp and declined any help. I believe the direct quote was “I’d rather die at Mil’s hands then live by yours”. Vamp did seem to get under Puma’s skin anyway though by stating he was sure Mil’s life would end at Puma’s hands, leading to what seemed like a hesitant growl. LU is definitely still playing the long game with this one folks; the question is whether or not Vampiro is as well. That’s right; I’m still going with the “Vamp is getting close to Puma only to screw him and help Pentagon at the opportune moment” theory. It’s going to happen. It’s as sure a thing as the Cubs getting a run tonight.
Lucha Underground Championship Match
Matanza (c) defeated Killshot
It was actually pretty easy to call this match happening considering LU showed Killshot in the preview prior to the start of the show. It worked just fine in the end and this match ended up being pretty good, if for different reasons than expected. Killshot was still selling the injuries he suffered from that WMD match a few weeks ago (he was bandaged up coming out to the ring), so instead of the typical Matanza match we’ve seen we got the champ showcasing his stuff throughout while a weakened Killshot got spurts of offense in. It wasn’t the back and forth people may have wanted, but there’s little to complain about when Matanza’s offense looks so good and Killshot’s bright spots (such as him countering a top rope tombstone with one brilliant flurry of kicks and a rope assisted DDT) are as emasculate as they are. It also helped that there were bigger fireworks waiting after the match, which saw Killshot getting a standing ovation for his effort when someone walked out…
Yes sports fans; the Fox is in and boy is he not happy with Killshot. Sadly Killshot was too stunned about the sight of his long lost friend to notice, at least not till after he went in for a hug and got KICKED THE FUCK OUT OF HIS HEAD. Fox then proceeded to kick the ever loving piss out of Killshot for a few more minutes before planting him with a Brainbuster DDT, throwing his own pair of dog tags down at his former friend and repeating the phrase he scribbled on that burnt piece of paper Killshot received a few weeks ago; “you left me for dead!” First, let me just say I called this happening. Yay me! Second, I cannot wait to see where they go with this. Fox was definitely promoted as the rudo tonight and the fans booed him for attacking Killshot, but the fact remains that we have no idea what happened between the two. For all we know Killshot is a diabolical liar that really did leave Fox for dead and Fox has come to collect. There are a lot of layers to this story potentially and it’s going to be fun exploring them. This was a good start to it.
THOSE DAMN RABBITS!
They’re coming…better late than never. WHY CAN’T IT BE NOW?! DAMN YOU PAUL LONDON!!!
Drago defeated Fenix and Aerostar
This looked like a trios match until El Jefe came out to make a few major announcements. First he informed us Aztec Warfare III is in four weeks. This is great news because the first two Aztec Warfare’s have been Batman v Superman Ultimate Cut good. Second, he revealed that Matanza would be defending the title in the match AND would be entering number one so he could have a real challenge. This is great because it continues the subtle storyline of El Jefe running Matanza into the ground, with Aztec Warfare III likely leading to El Jefe’s hubris finally costing his brother the title. Third, and most importantly pertaining to tonight, he announced that the trios champions would instead be fighting each other tonight with the winner getting the number twenty spot in Aztec Warfare III…while the two losers would be kicked out of the match. El Jefe giveth and El Jefe taketh away!
So this trios match quickly became a triple threat match and you’ll be surprised to know it was really exciting with off the wall action from open to close. I know; who would’ve thought that was possible with these three world class fighters? It wasn’t as polished as I thought it could be and I was disappointed that Aerostar wasn’t allowed to do as much crazy shit as humanly possible. But those are minor nitpicks. Aerostar did have a few cool dives, Drago got some more offense in than usual and gorramit Fenix is tough. I think he may have legit broken his nose in this match when Drago hit him with a crossbody and his face was covered in blood by the end. It naturally didn’t affect him at all, and his kick game tonight was so good that Club America may want to sign him up once his lucha days are done. What else can I say? It was fun and also featured a surprise ending with Drago pulling off the upset victory. Of all the people to win he was the least likely, although LU made it clear why he did soon after. I wonder what this means for Aerostar and Fenix. Will they get involved with Aztec Warfare III somehow, will they take the night off or does El Jefe have something else planned for them that evening? The plot thickens!
Snakes in the Bathroom (featuring Pizza)
If you were left confused as to why Drago was the winner of that triple threat, LU followed up quickly to make us understand why. Drago was admiring himself in the bathroom mirror (he does love that bathroom huh? Every big segment of his is there!) when Kobra Moon slithered in for her first appearance of the season. This led to a series of events that added up to the segment of the evening and the best thing Kobra Moon has done in LU thus far. The Snake Queen revealed that Drago was part of her tribe and that she hoped he would bring the LU title back to them. Drago countered by revealing he left her tribe a thousand years ago and that he was never going back, which pretty much means the LU title won’t be even if he does win it. A roar later and it looked like we were about to spend the next few minutes contemplating Drago’s connection to the Snake Tribe…until Vinnie Massaro returned to the Temple with a piece of pizza in tow.
Ladies and gentlemen I have witnessed Triple H’s return in Madison Square Garden, I was there when Goldberg returned to the squared circle for the first time in two years; hell I’ve even seen a grown man satisfy a camel (just kidding. Or am I?!). Vinnie Massaro’s return to Lucha Underground > all of those things. The charisma, the crunchiness of that pizza, the way Vinnie informed Kobra that this was indeed the men’s room, followed by him no selling Kobra’s hiss! Between that and the fact he was eating pizza in the dirtiest bathroom known to man, Vinnie Massaro may in fact be the only non Pentagon Dark person alive to have cero Miedo. If you didn’t like this segment, I can only assume Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez have possessed you and are controlling your decision making (seriously guys, HOW DID YOU NOT LOVE HAVOC AND MASCARITA?!). This was great, even if it made no sense and was done just for kicks. As James Ellsworth has shown, sometimes you gotta do things just for kicks. It’s when you do it too much that it becomes a problem. Dear LU; don’t do this too much!
Sadly we couldn’t stay in the bathroom watching Vinnie eat pizza forever, so LU quickly brought us into El Jefe’s office, where Johnny Mundo (dressed like a Red Dead Redemption cosplayer) once more tried to get a shot at a singles title. This time it worked, mainly because Mundo brought back the $100,000 he won from El Jefe back in season one (though some was missing, on account of some internet photo scandal Mundo went through. LOL). That got Dario enough on Mundo’s good side to give him a Gift of the Gods Championship match against Sexy Star next week. Not the main title but it’s at least one step closer to what Mundo wants. Here’s what I’d like to know, and no it’s not whether Mundo will win or not; can he get as much out of Sexy Star as Jack Evans did last week? Enquiring minds need to know, mainly so we can inform our Sexy hater friends whether to skip it or not.
Prince Puma defeated Mil Muertes
The only knock I have against this match is that it wasn’t anywhere near the level these two delivered back at Ultima Lucha Uno. Of course they didn’t really get the chance to top that considering they only had ten minutes or so to work with. With what they had they did the best they could and their best tonight was a really fun match with both men delivering solid work. I actually think what helped this bout the most was the different dynamic. Almost every Mil Muertes match features him being the aggressor, including his many legendary bouts with Fenix. Not this time. Puma was the aggressor from the word go and it felt like he remained so throughout the match, even when Mil came in with some pummeling strikes towards the end. It was a fitting choice on how to take the match and made all the sense in the world with Puma ultimately pulling out the win to avenge that Ultima Lucha loss. I’m fairly certain this wasn’t the end though. Puma may have found redemption (and Vampiro’s acceptance, whether he wants it or not) but Catrina didn’t look satisfied afterwards and I can’t imagine Mil is either. On top of that I think we all know that these two have better in them; better than tonight and even Ultima Lucha Uno, where these two probably delivered what many consider to be the most underrated classic LU has ever put forth. I may be off base but I’m betting there’s one more match between these two and it’ll come before Aztec Warfare III. Just a feeling I have.
CHAVO CLASSIC CAMEO!
We got the return of the end tag this week and a huge surprise alongside it; the first appearance of Chavo Guerrero Sr. (aka Chavo Classic) on a wrestling TV show in years. The lucha libre (and California) legend was hanging out in his dojo (all LU peeps have them) chatting with Rey Mysterio over the issues Rey is having with Classic’s son. Because Rey is a no bullshit kind of guy, he cut to the chase and asked Classic what would happen if he went after Chavo? Classic was hesitant, but his final answer appeared to be that he’d live with it; “The Guerrero Family didn’t die with my father and it’ll go on after Chavo” was the quote. So it appears Rey has Chavo Classic’s blessing. Of course Chavo Classic is a Guerrero, and is the Guerrero that taught Chavo Jr. everything he knows, including the “lying” aspect of lucha. Can Rey trust Chavo Classic? Beats me. All I know is this was a cool nod to old school lucha fans to close the show and I hope we see more of Classic. Not as an in ring performer mind you, but a few appearances here or there wouldn’t hurt.
That’s a wrap sports fans! Hope you enjoyed the column and the show. I’ll return tomorrow with a preview of CMLL’s Super Viernes, provided I’m not swamped with things to do (which may happen). Till whenever, let's crack jokes at Felicity Smoak's expense.