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Lucha Underground Review: The Machine
The break is over boys and girls! Yes, after a few days of just taking it easy, I’m back with, as my good pal Matt Mortensen would call it, the best Lucha Underground review in the history of the western hemisphere. Or is that how Bill Walton would call it? In any event, the LU had another new episode tonight and, in typical LU fashion, it did a lot of stuff right, made me mark out several times and set up an even more epic show next week! That’s just Temple life for you. But enough time has been wasted; let me tell you more about it! ON WITH THE SHOW!
Vamp is Off His Meds!
Whoever had week five of season two being Vamp’s breaking point, congrats; you win. I don’t know what you win, but you win. Clearly “Ian” is neglecting his doctor’s advice and is back to dressing as a Sith Lord and hanging out in dimly lit dojos while Pentagon kneels before him. Hey, I can’t think of any better way to start off the show. Look for this to be a recurring theme going forward. It’s no coincidence that this meeting happened a week after Pentagon came up small against Prince Puma, and this is the beginning of Vamp trying to lead his protégé back on track.
Jack Evans defeated P.J. Black
First off, can we safely call Jack Evans one of the best mic workers in wrestling today? On the list of the great orators of our time, I’m safely putting him between President Tom Whitmore and Charles de Mar after his work tonight. Great rudo work. Watching this match back a second time, I think it might just be a tad underrated. Neither Jack nor Black (who looked more comfortable this time around than his debut) did anything out of this world flashy, but they were both very crisp, seemed to have a good flow together and did really well to keep the crowd into it. The best part of this match though; Drago’s horns. Move aside Deer Antlers, there’s a new king of creature headwear in the Temple! Looks like Drago will need those too seeing as he accidently screwed Black out of victory, leading to the Darewolf making the same face I made when FIFA 16 didn’t work in the Playstation last week. Does anyone else smell a Dragon Slayer/Darewolf alliance? Can the universe handle it?
I’m going to be honest; I’m not quite sure what happened here. All I know is that one minute there was an El Rey commercial followed by Famous B being the greatest used car salesman in the history of the western hemisphere. And while I foolishly didn’t dial 423-Get-Fame (I know I messed up. Let me own it), I’m told from those who did that it was pretty damn spectacular. In the end, the only thing I know is that more Famous B is good for the soul. Trust me; the dude is really, REALLY good and just needs an opportunity to show it. As long as he doesn’t go all The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, this feels like winner.
King Cuerno defeated Killshot
An unexpected and welcome surprise was this match! In fact, thinking about it again it may have been just as good, if not better, than the main event. Then again, are we really surprised given the level King Cuerno is performing at right now? Deer Antlers has been so good against Fenix, and it carried over here with Killshot as the two proceeded to kick the living shit out of each other. I’m not even joking; some of these kicks sounded like that Pentagon slap from last week. Overall, a really good encounter that clicked all the way through; even the supposed botch of the match was saved thanks to Killshot’s instincts. I’m telling you, big things are coming for that guy the further we go this season.
Texano defeated Mr. Cisco, Texano defeated Cortez Castro, Chavo Guerrero defeated Texano
In a night with some really good stuff, this match here was the thing that felt like it was just kind of there. That’s not to say it was bad; I thought Texano played his role well, the encounter between him and Castro was really well done (nice to see the undercover luchador get some shine in), Chavo is still really good in his rudo role and the finish, which saw Cortez hold Texano down by the legs with his bull rope as Chavo made the pin, was a nice touch. As far as excitement goes however, this one was lacking compared to the rest of the card. Hopefully that changes as we go forward. I still think Texano needs one notable singles match to really establish himself in the Temple. Thus I’m hoping we get him vs. Chavo soon, with that either being the match that gets Texano moving or leads to the one that does.
EL JEFE EXPLAINS THE RED BULL!
This is where the show took off into another gear. Still 375 miles away and still charging $20 for dudes to have the opportunity to be eaten/sliced and diced by Matanza, Dario took some time to let Black Lotus in on his back story. That back story involved El Jefe’s mother being Mommie Dearest until Matanza wiped her off the face of the earth with that beloved red bull figure Dario carries around everywhere. So there you go; the bull is a symbol of El Jefe a) being free from his evil mother and b) the first time he realized how much he enjoyed violence. I did find it interesting that El Jefe didn’t bring up his father though; didn’t Rey hint that El Jefe’s padre wasn’t exactly the coolest dude in the world last week? Furthermore, was Matanza possessed by that Aztec God when he killed Mama Cueto or was that after? I need to know these things! Unlike Black Lotus, who made a face after all this that screamed “OH MY GOD I’VE MADE THE WORST MISTAKE I’LL EVER MAKE!”. This is what happens when you trust a dude who trusted Chavo Guerrero.
Pentagon vs. Catrina: The Fight You Never Knew You Wanted
Somehow, someway, LU managed to follow up El Jefe telling the most warped bed time story of all time with a segment even more bad ass. What started out with Pentagon demanding Catrina set something up between him and Puma quickly degenerated into Catrina flat out saying no (spoiler; she’d be saying that a lot this evening), leading to Pentagon and Catrina ENGAGING IN FISTICUFFS AND CATRINA HOLDING HER OWN! Mother of puss bucket, this was the greatest unexpected gift I’ve received since my Lucha Underground shirt I got for Christmas (thanks mom!). The best part of the whole thing was that they managed to both make Catrina look like a legit bad ass that could be a force in the ring while also making sure that Pentagon got the better of her. You couldn’t have accomplished either goal better than how LU did here. Oh, and before I forget; Catrina did end up giving in and making Puma vs. Pentagon II for next week. After the classic they put together last week despite not going full gear, I am more than willing to hand over my money quicker than those dudes lining up to be killed by Matanza. Seriously guys, you know people aren’t leaving El Jefe’s double secret Temple and yet you’re looking for it anyway? Save your money and your lives and go watch a Knicks game. The only thing dying from that is the Knicks!
Johnny Mundo defeated Cage
Like last week’s main event, this was a bout where neither Mundo nor Cage showed everything they had in their arsenal. Even still, the match was quite good, though I did think the crowd was a little dead towards the end for whatever reason. Ultimately though this bout will be remembered as the moment where Taya Valkyrie FINALLY fulfilled her destiny and arrived in the Temple, assisting Mundo with a victory by handing him a pipe and then making Justin Borden look like a fool while the Wednesday Night Delight Jorge Soler’d Cage with it (no way Marty Elias falls for that. COME ON JUSTIN!). About damn time I say! Taya is one of the more charismatic women’s wrestlers going today, can go in the ring and is the perfect partner for Mundo; perhaps they can call themselves the Wednesday Night Delights now?! Whatever the case, this is a winning partnership going forward, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Taya vs. Cage (especially after that double knee smash at the end by her) or another Cage-Mundo match. There’s more they can do there those two, and I hope we get a chance to witness it.
Cuerno Tries to Screw Catrina, Gets Screwed Instead
In keeping with the tradition of every final scene from an LU season 2 episode being the best thing ever, LU delivered an episode ending scene that was the best thing ever. Okay, maybe not the best thing ever (I mean Famous B did unleash 423-Get-Fame on the world, El Jefe explained the red bull and Catrina and Pentagon engaged in battle for my soul) but this was still damn good. What we got was poor King Cuerno looking to pull a trump card on Catrina by cashing in his Gift of the Gods Championship next week against Mil Muertes (which would’ve given us one hell of a show between that match and Puma-Pentagon II), only for Catrina to shockingly decline and force Cuerno into a ladder match with Fenix next week for the Gift of the Gods Championship.
There are a few things to cover here. First off, NEXT WEEK IS GOING TO HAVE PENTAGON-PUMA II AND FENIX-CUERNO III IN A LADDER MATCH!!! If that’s not a reason to get excited then I have no idea what is. Most importantly however is that Catrina is actually giving Fenix a chance to get back the Gift of the Gods Championship despite the fact that her and Immortan Mil want to face Fenix as much as I want to go see How to Be Single. Don’t sell that development short. Do Catrina and Mil actually feel threatened by Cuerno? Do they believe that putting him against Fenix and coming out on top just barely is enough to motivate him to stay out of their way? And what happens if Fenix actually wins?! A whole lot of options were opened up by Catrina’s decision here, and I think the most interesting aspect is that this may have indicated that we’re heading more towards Cuerno-Mil than Fenix-Mil regardless of the result. Trust me, Deer Antlers isn’t forgetting this one guys. Win or lose next week, Mil is the next target of the hunt.
And that’ll do it! Hope you enjoyed everyone. I’ll be off till tomorrow with some CMLL previewing and maybe another column. Till then, I’m going to find Aerostar. The man is a time traveler after all and I just got to get to next week to see LU’s next show! It’s Puma-Pentagon II and Fenix-Cuerno III dammit!
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