Lucha Underground: Stick a Fork in 'Em!
Tonight’s episode of Lucha Underground was…let’s go with unique. Yes, that seems to be a good word for it. I’m not even using that word because I’m trying to find a way to say LU wasn’t that good; at this point in my wrestling fandom, LU does so much of what I want as a wrestling fan that I can’t imagine not liking an episode, no matter how much others lose faith (and by the way; that’s fine. People can have other opinions you know!). So I’m more saying the word “unique” when it comes to other viewers. There was one sure fire good match tonight, another match that had a great ending and a “depending on your tastes” beginning and middle, and a main event that seemed to be crazy on paper, ended up being normal and only afterwards descended into crazy. I’m feeling better about describing this show as unique already! So with that, let’s get to breaking it down. Moses, meme it before Liv, Major, Ravi and Clyde find that damn zombie cure!
Jeremiah Crane defeated Taya
There’s going to be a few people (*cough* Bryan Alvarez *cough*) who turned this match off thirty seconds in after Crane wrecked Taya with a kick, suicide dive and a running senton into the first row as the crowd went wild. What a mistake he made! No sooner did that end did Taya start fighting back and my Grodd was she just excellent in this match. No disrespect to The Artist Formerly Known as Sami Callihan; he remains as electric as ever in the Temple and seems like he can pull a good match out of anyone. But Taya was far and away the story for me. I figured that LU would try to replicate the magic Taya had with Cage during the first half of season two and they did, but in a different way. Where Taya came off as the toughest woman alive against Cage by just getting up, here she came off as such by dishing out as much punishment as she took. Fuck, I nearly woke up the neighbors downstairs marking out when Taya took a wash kick to the face, only for her to immediately push Crane away and whale on him. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This was just as good, if not better, than her performance with Ayako Hamada earlier this year, and so good that I think it made Sexy Star look like a rudo when she helped cost Taya the match by distracting her. Either that or Sexy did that herself by channeling her old AAA character instead of her usual LU character. Other than that (and the fact that it appears LU is just ignoring the spider storyline), this was a great way to start the show and further convinced me of what I already knew when I wrote about it for Rudo Can’t Fail yesterday; Taya is the toughest woman alive. Sorry Ivelisse.
See the Future, Fight the Future
I guess Fenix needed to get in on one of those “work out backstage” scenes, because here he was doing pushups on a punching bag when his good pal Aerostar walked in. Aerostar talked about putting cash on Fenix to win tonight, Fenix scolded him for betting when he’s a time traveler and then the subject turned to Drago. Fenix seems to be under the impression that Drago can be saved because he left the Reptiles once before. Aerostar…is less convinced, which is concerning seeing as he can see past, present and future. Does he know something we don’t? I guess we’ll find out. This was apparently too grim a way to end the conversation for Fenix, so he asked Aerostar if he did win tonight. Aerostar responded by smiling, being cryptic and walking away. There’s comedy, there’s Jake Gyllenhaal in Bubble Boy and then there’s Aerostar trolling Fenix. Absolutely brilliant.
Mil Muertes defeated Paul London
I find myself really, really torn on this match, largely due to this acid tripping guru Paul London is playing. On the one hand, it’s hard to deny, even as big of a London mark as I am, that the character is a little silly and very unorthodox. It’s certainly unorthodox in the way most wrestlers act when they’re trying to pull off a great match. On the other hand, London is so good at playing this character that it’s hard to dislike it when he starts pulling off shit like running away from Mil and acting like he just hung out with Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo. As such I spent some of this match wishing for more of “Please Don’t Die” London while also giggling over London doing his best Hunter S. Thompson. A contradiction I know.
As such, it’ll lead to a lot of polarizing views on this match, particularly the first half. If you were into London’s antics then this match was excellent; if not then you probably were cringing and wondering why we were getting another squash… until the final few minutes, when The Rabbit Tribe started to run in and “Please Don’t Die” Paul London suddenly made an appearance. I’m honestly surprised in some ways this match got that far; there were numerous points where Mil put London down in a way that made me think the match was about to end, only for London to prolong it. Thank Grodd he did. I absolutely loved watching London fight back with a Young Bucks esq Super Kick party, and his second rope Shooting Star Press (quickly followed by a top rope Shooting Star Press) was exactly the thing that made London such a cult hero a decade ago. Stuff like that, and Mil absolutely annihilating London with a phenomenal Spear and a great Flatliner, helped make the second half of the match legitimately great. Great enough to influence one’s opinion on the first part? I don’t know, and frankly I’ll let smarter people than me figure that out. The best I can tell you is that the first half of the match was something to behold (one way or the other) and that the second half was awesome. Let’s move on before I keep saying stuff that makes no sense.
Down at the Saloon
Hey, Texano’s bar from season two. I missed that place…said almost no one ever. Regardless, we were back there, Texano was back there and Beautiful Brenda and an incognito Famous B (at least I think he was incognito, seeing as Texano never noticed him) were there as well. Brenda flirted with Texano at first and then said what almost everyone who’s watched LU from the beginning has thought; Texano is boring. I wouldn’t go that far these days (I’m of the opinion that Cage feud did a lot for Texano), but she definitely isn’t wrong about before. Texano initially got mad, but Brenda continued to be flirty and eventually Texano and her seemed on the same page while Famous looked on like he just got a flight in Dr. Wagner Jr.’s new jet. Speaking of Dr. Wagner, where the hell is he? Did Famous fire him? Is he too busy getting ready to face Psycho Clown to appear in the Temple again? These are the things I need to know, especially since I can’t imagine Wagner being cool at all with Famous recruiting one of his rivals to their little group.
Fenix defeated Marty “The Moth” Martinez
This match had the unfortunate distinction of not being as electric as the first match and not as unique as the preceding match or the post match activities we saw here. Note that doesn’t mean this was bad. The story was Marty getting to Fenix early, going after his head (including a mask tear that I think will go lost on people considering what happened after) and thus keeping Fenix from ever truly turning into Fenix. This was a performance from the technico more in line with the one he had against King Cuerno in that ladder match from season two; there was some high flying, but not nearly as much as usual, with Fenix having to rely on perseverance and striking to keep himself alive. I can see that not working for people who wanted more high spots, but it worked for me considering a) I don’t want to see Fenix using up all his dives if they’re doing a rematch (and come on; they’re doing a rematch. Did you see the post match shit?!) and b) he still did a lot of great stuff. That spin kick he hit on Marty in the corner was a thing of beauty, and I loved the call back to his Lucha Underground Championship victory when he pinned Marty using the same roll up he used to defeat Mil Muertes. If LU keeps using that pin attempt smartly, it may become One Winged Angel esq. I will now hide in the corner so Kenny Omega doesn’t smite me down.
But enough of the match; the real talking point (and the most controversial part of the show) is what happened after the match, where Marty whacked Fenix in the head with a lunchbox and then stabbed the technico in the head with a fork. You read that right. Oh, and he did this while Mariposa held back Melissa Santos, who had earlier intervened on Fenix’ behalf to stop Mariposa from giving Marty the lunchbox during the bout. As with most things LU does, I wasn’t bothered by this one way or the other. I don’t know if my first thought would’ve been for Marty to use a fork here or not, but the bottom line is that Marty is nuts, the spot is unique in the US (unlike Mexico, where it happens in DTU every other day), it’s not like LU hasn’t done crazier shit (remember Mil biting Fenix’ bloody head?) and, most importantly, it got heat. And while there was heat between Marty and Melissa before this, there wasn’t much between Marty and Fenix outside of Fenix’ connection with Melissa. Now Marty has both brutalized and humiliated Fenix in the most violent way possible; it makes Marty look even more evil than he already was (and he’s been a roll with that since the Cueto Cup began), it gives Fenix sympathy and it gives you reason to want to see Fenix whoop his ass in the inevitable rematch. So while the fork thing is definitely uncomfortable and there were perhaps other ways you could’ve done it, I don’t see any harm in what LU did here. What I do think could be problematic is if they go back to the well again. The fork should only be used for when Fenix gets his revenge on Marty and nothing more; otherwise I’m banning LU from using the silverware from here on in!
That’s the show folks. I’ll be back tomorrow to preview the big CMLL Friday show. I know; my first preview in Grodd knows how long! Till then, THIS!