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Lucha Underground Review: The Bat is Broken
In the words of Keanu Reeves back when he was still cool, “whoa”. If you thought Aztec Warfare was the most fun you had in a long time, this week’s episode of Lucha Underground turned around and made things all sorts of grim. Yes we had two really good tag team matches, some awesome backstage scenes and the epic return of El Jefe, but by the end of the show it was pretty clear LU had taken a turn into, as the first episode of season two promised, a much darker place. We saw one hero and one anti-hero fall hard, very hard in fact, with little hope right now of getting up. If this era of LU could be summed up in anyway, I’d say we’re currently in Knightfall. Hey, at least in Batman terms, that means a dawn is coming eventually. For now, let’s see how things got just a little bit darker. ON WITH THE SHOW!
Pentagon Nearly Breaks El Jefe’s Arm, Gets Title Shot
First off, is there any better way to start off a wrestling show than with a Robert Rodriguez cameo and the return of everyone’s favorite homeboy? You put those two things together and nothing can possibly go wrong. What we learned is that El Jefe totally still has a thing for Trios matches (hence why we have a new tournament starting next week) and…well we never learned the other thing because Pentagon came out immediately afterwards and demanded a title shot because of his exclusion from Aztec Warfare last week. One near arm break later and Pentagon had his wish. In retrospect, pretty sure that was the worst decision Pentagon has ever made. And that’s not a man who makes poor decisions at all. No I’m not saying that because he can rip my arms off and beat me with them like he was Keith Moon.
The Crew defeats Johnny Mundo and Taya Valkyrie
I really liked this match. Like a ton. I expected it to be sort of short, and instead we got eight minutes or so of solid action where The Crew finally got to do some stuff, Taya got to be Taya and Johnny Mundo continued to be the best rudo in the world not named Immortan Matanza. For the time they were given this was quite a treat and easily the second best match of the night as far as the quality goes. Great to see Cortez and Cisco get the win too, even if it was only because the Wednesday Night Delight emptied his bowels at the sight of Cage coming to the ring. I’m telling you, the blow off match between those two is going to be crazy. Like Marty the Moth crazy. SPEAKING OF GREATNESS!
Story Time With Marty the Moth!
Ladies and gentlemen I have seen Silence of the Lambs, I have walked through my fair share of well done corn mazes come Halloween; I’ve even seen a grown man satisfy a camel (just kidding. Or am I?). Marty the Moth going all “children, scooch closer” during this segment with his story time was by far the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. AND THOSE DAMN BLANK PAGES TOO! There’s crazy, there’s bat shit crazy, there’s Harley Quinn crazy and then there’s Marty laughing at all of those things as he ascends to a mecca of crazy that can only be reached by Gary Sinese in his darkest fever dreams. Oh yeah, Mariposa looked great beating up those Mafia luchadors too. All in all this did a great job at establishing both the Moths as certifiable haters and set the stage for even more viciousness to be witnessed later in the evening. Now excuse me while I try to get the image of Gary Sinese having fever dreams out of my head.
Seeds for Mil-Matanza are Planted!
And would be in full bloom if not for what occurred in the main event. The long story short is that Catrina wants the Temple back, thinks Mil is the rightful champion and…yeah that’s pretty much it. I did find it interesting that El Jefe, even back in charge, is still a little scared of Catrina. He always has been now that I think of it. Something to keep an eye on going forward I’d reckon.
Elimination Match for the Trios Championship
Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc defeated The Disciples of Death
This match was like Two Face; it was the best bout of the evening and the greatest bout of the Skeletor Army’s career. I know; that joke sucked. I will own it and let Red Skull rub it in.
My humiliation aside, this match was indeed a highly entertaining contest. All three of the Trios Champs looked great and carried the action well, while the Disciples did what they were supposed to do; get their asses kicked and use timely rudo tactics to get the advantage. It’s not rocket science; weaknesses can be covered by effective booking, and this match was no exception. Two things were really great to see here; the first was Son of Havoc having a really great run to pull the match out after Ivelisse and Angelico were eliminated and second was Ivelisse FINALLY getting one over Catrina. Man was that kick the shit or what?! I can’t wait to see what’s next for these three; all of them have now had moments in the sun this season (Ivelisse in episode one, Angelico against Chavo and the Crew and Havoc tonight) and I anticipate this Trios Tournament will give them more chances to be awesome.
El Jefe is Kind of a Big Deal!
Seriously, does anything sum up how awesome it is to have Dario around again then that “I’m kind of a big deal” name plate he’s rocking in the office? There’s greatness and then there’s that. I was actually so impressed with that that it took me a moment to realize that Rey Mysterio was in the office. Poor Rey; he comes in there to confront Dario about El Dragon Azteca’s death, only for El Jefe to convince Rey that he had nothing to do with it. COME ON REY! Yes he may not be lying about Matanza being involved, but that doesn’t mean his other associate (stuck guarding the door all evening by the way. You chose poorly Lotus!) is an innocent party here. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Rey is smarter than this, knows El Jefe is trying to play him and along with Azteca Jr. is plotting a plan to overthrow him. Yeah that sounds good. It’s not “I’m kind of a big deal” nameplate good, but it’s still good. Then again what is as epic as that nameplate? Aside from Candice LeRae of course.
Mariposa defeated Sexy Star
This was like the opposite of Ted Mosby telling his children how he met their mother; short and to the point. It was also, in the words of Super Kame Guru, SOOOOO BRUTAL! If you weren’t convinced that Marty and Mariposa are super crazy/super awesome performers during their back story segment, you were after they left poor Sexy and Big Willie in a battered broken heap. Can I just say how much I love what they’re doing with Sexy Star? Matt Striker pointed out how she’s nowhere near the same person we saw in season one and I couldn’t agree more with that direction. There are a lot of people being broken in the Temple currently (more on this in a moment), and broken people rising up to find themselves again are always a great story (see Batman: Knightfall). Sexy Star has definitely hit rock bottom; let’s see what she does next to climb out of the hole.
Still Just a Rat in a Cage
If you were thinking Matanza’s status as Lucha Underground Champion granted him life outside of his Temple cage…you’d be mistaken. Yup, poor bastard is still hanging out in that cage all the time until El Jefe sees fit for him to go destroy someone. I love you Dario, but I’m pretty sure you treating Matanza like cattle and Black Lotus as the most bored door bodyguard of all time is just going to leave to them rebelling against you, falling in love and running off together. Sure it’ll end badly once Lotus realizes Matanza killed her parents and all, but that doesn’t change the fact you’re going to get screwed worst than Jack Evans at the Step Up in 4D auditions.
Lucha Underground Championship Match
Matanza (c) defeated Pentagon Jr.
First off, bravo to the LU for giving Matanza a Fury Road esq theme song. He truly is the Immortan after all! Secondly, this match followed the previous one of being a short, brutal affair that was even sadder because it involved poor Pentagon getting wiped off the face of planet Earth. This wasn’t an execution folks; this was a retirement, the kind of retirement Deckard used to hand out to replicants in Blade Runner. Matanza truly decimated him, seemingly broke him in half (as Dario demanded he did when releasing him from the cage) and even leveled Vampiro a few times after Vamp tried to call for help post match. This is where the Knightfall theme comes in again people. I’m sure some will not be happy about Pentagon getting his ass handed to him here and it seems like the man of Cero Miedo is going to be gone for a little bit. But don’t lose hope; clearly this match was set up to bring Pentagon back in on that dark horse of vengeance, stronger than ever and hungry for revenge. If nothing else, tonight heavily signaled to me that he will be the man to dethrone Matanza. It may be at Ultima Lucha II, it may be next season; hell it may not be till Ultima Lucha III (remember that Mil Muertes and Pentagon have some unfinished business to attend to). But its coming folks, and after the beating tonight, Pentagon and Vampiro regrouping to slay the monster is going to bring the Temple to the ground. Vamp’s face at the end said it all folks; vengeance is on the horizon.
And with that, the rest is silence. I’ll be back soon guys with that third column I promised you. Till then, go out and read Batman: Knightfall. Not only does it rule, it totally predicts where Lucha Underground is going. I’M ON TO YOU DEJOSEPH!
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