I feel like I say this every week but I’ll say it again; I’ve enjoyed Lucha Underground’s new season. I didn’t think it had reached its full potential during the first nine episodes of the season but that didn’t mean it wasn’t fun, wacky and ambitious in a way only LU can be. Luckily it feels like we’re getting closer than ever to that break out episode after tonight, with an episode that you could argue was in fact that break out episode. The Matanza angle is still in the same place it’s been, but we got movement on the Rabbit Tribe with yet another death, the implosion of the trios champions, two big matches for next week and best of all two really, REALLY strong matches tonight that were among the best of the season. It’s cool but it’s also a shame as we’re quickly approaching the season being halfway over already with things looking to be on the upswing. Oh well; we can worry about that later. For now I have a review to get out so I can resume watching iZombie!
Drago? More Like Dragone, amirite?!
A good sign that the Lucha Underground episode you just watched was good is when the show begins and ends with hilarity in Papa El Jefe’s Temple. Let’s start with the first scene! After receiving his invitation to Johnny Mundo and Taya’s wedding (“it’ll never last!” Papa El Jefe claimed), Kobra Moon came in and let me just say the lisp was strong with that one. Get it; cause she’s a snake queen! Despite the epic fail that was last week Kobra Moon still wanted a trios title match tonight for the Reptile Tribe. Technically they never got their rematch after losing at Ultima Lucha Tres (so a title shot would’ve made sense) but with Vibora dead, Pindar dead and Drago now enjoying the sweet release of freedom, Antonio seemed less than inclined to grant the match. Kobra was persistent though and that’s how we got our main event of the show. Kobra then slithered out of there, Antonio repeated his “dragone” joke he used earlier and then berated the fact that no one in LU has a sense of humor. I don’t know about that Papa El Jefe; have you seen everything Johnny Mundo has done since the middle of season two?
Matanza wipes Saltador off the Face of the Earth
Hot damn it is not a good time to be a rabbit right now, is it? The only difference this week was that there were no sound effects as Saltador got in some brief offense; otherwise things went exactly the same as they did when Mala Suerte departed for the great wrestling ring in the sky. At least now he’ll have company up there (as will all the other dearly departed luchadores). I will say I did enjoy this sacrifice more though. Maybe it was the fact that it came across more seriously than last week but this didn’t feel as old news as some of Matanza’s squashes have been, and it’s pretty clear that Paul London has spent the past few weeks setting up his former comrades to get killed so he can phase in his “new” friends (it’s also clear that this is a rapidly different London that season three, whereas Saltador and Suerte made the mistake of remaining the fun loving rabbits they always were). So while this was nothing new, it was pretty successful overall.
Trouble in Triosville
Looking back now that the episode is over, we should’ve known here that it was the beginning of the end of the Killshot, Havoc, Big Willie alliance. Who am I kidding; we already knew that weeks ago when Mack pinned Killshot to eliminate him from Gift of the Gods contention! By the way, can we stop pretending Mack wasn’t justified with that? I see a lot of people saying Killshot was right in his behavior towards Mack and Havoc (and I will admit he had decent justification for his new attitude) but, and it feels like I’m the only one who remembers this, this sort of stuff wouldn’t be happening if a) Dante Fox hadn’t disappeared and b) Killshot HADN’T SCREWED OVER MACK IN AZTEC WARFARE IV! I get that was every man for himself but he totally did Mack wrong in that match by rolling him up early on; was he then supposed to be stunned when Mack returned the favor? So no, Killshot isn’t right people; he’s a dude with a few decent points who is still too oblivious to realize he’s in the wrong. Like pretty much every person caught on the wrong side of a scandal ever!
Anyways, back to this scene. Havoc and Mack were getting ready, Havoc was going on about how he felt Killshot didn’t like him and then Killshot came along to confirm all that. Oh and to also reveal he was doing double duty tonight, which understandably didn’t sit well with Mack and Havoc because they only had to defend their trios champions later! This was a great night for Killshot overall and I would make an argument this was his best work (and he was exquisite in ring as we’ll talk about). It’s easy to see what his character is doing but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% guaranteed to be essayed correct. Shane Strickland hit every note that needed to be hit, while Mack and Havoc were great as the two dudes who couldn’t understand how bad things have gotten. Too bad for them it was only going to get worse.
Gift of the Gods Championship Match
El Dragon Azteca Jr. (c) defeated Killshot
Remember last week when Azteca-Mariposa lasted only three minutes, only the crowd reacted like it was the second coming of Buffy season two and no one really understood why? This was the exact opposite of that match in the best possible way. Not only did Azteca and Killshot get the time but they gelled immensely; the pace was terrific, we got some terrific sequences like Killshot hitting an out of nowhere double stomp early in the match and the big move sequences in the match felt built to and earned when we got to them, as opposed to just sprouting up instantly like they did last week with Azteca and Mariposa. Best of all it was a match where both luchadores got some serious shine. Whatever struggles El Dragon Azteca Jr. had in previous seasons seems to be going away; he has been arguably the most consistent performer in season four and this was his best individual performance yet. And he was in that triple threat Gift of the Gods Championship match! Killshot was right there with him, and it was nice to see him have one last match as a (mostly) pure technico before going into his new role. Overall I’d have this match right there with the Mundo-Vibora match from a few weeks ago and it may have been even better. And it was still possibly the second best match on this show!
A Dragon Free
Drago may be free from captivity sports fans but freedom doesn’t heal all wounds. Neither does hanging out on rooftops apparently, which is where we and Aerostar found Drago lost in thought. Aerostar is a good dude and is easily able to look past what happened with Drago, but Drago himself isn’t. Understandable; how long did it take Max Rockatansky to get out of his funk in every single adventure he ever had? Thus no matter how many reassurances Aerostar gave Drago, the dragon decided it was time to hit the old dusty trail, possibly to never return. Only Aerostar knows he will return because a) there may be new Trios Champions who would serve as fitting foils for Drago and Aerostar and b) Aerostar is a time traveler who has undoubtedly seen the future. He’s like LU’s Doctor Strange, only Doctor Strange will never be as cool as this guy.
Lucha Underground Trios Championship Match
Daga, Jeremiah Snake, Kobra Moon defeated Killshot, Son of Havoc, The Mack
I was a little worried about this match when it started a bit slow. Then came the centipede submission spot (Big Willie put Jeremiah Snake in a Boston Crab while everyone else had triangle chokes on each other) and the match never looked back. Watching it the second time I honestly thought it might’ve even been a bit better than the Killshot-Aztec match, and that was superb. And yet everything here just seemed a little bit more in tune, largely because the tornado tag rules allowed for the pace to never slow and for everyone to get their fair share. Daga was again the least utilized of the six, but he was around a lot more than he was last week (where he seemed to disappear for almost the whole match) and was really effective as the glue guy. Big Willie and Son of Havoc were on point as always. Killshot will rightfully get a lot of accolades for his work tonight and he was once again great with a completely different performance than his last match (more on that in a moment). But frankly I came away impressed the most by Jeremiah Snake and Kobra Moon. There is no doubt we’ll eventually need a good explanation for why the Snake Tribe decided Jeremiah was the right guy to bring back from the dead but in two weeks he’s been really impressive fitting in with the group and my Grodd he and Kobra Moon looked like they had been teaming together their whole lives in tonight’s match. We’ve been waiting awhile to see just what Kobra Moon can do as well and, while Jeremiah definitely helped, turns out she can do a whole lot. Those double teams were the highlight of the match and easily contributed to the best work Kobra Moon has done in her Lucha Underground stay. It also gives me hope for more cool double teams from her and Jeremiah; perhaps they can become the Puma and Tiger of the Temple!
We’ll get to find out because LU put the Trios Championships on those two (and poor Daga!) after Son of Havoc inadvertedly hit Killshot with a suicide dive, prompting the former soldier to finally turn on Havoc and Mack for good and cost them the match. This works all around. First the Reptiles (especially this version of the group) should make for great champions with a unit like Jeremiah, Daga and Kobra doing stuff like they did tonight. Most importantly it allows the Killshot-Havoc-Mack stuff to kick into further gear, something some fans have been waiting on. As he did all night Killshot did one hell of a job pulling off his role (he went from pretty much full blown technico in the Azteca match to tweener during this one and full blown rudo afterwards) and luchablog is probably the only guy not rooting for Big Willie and Havoc in this feud. Frankly I’m intrigued by the direction of both parties. The Reptiles can easily spin off into a feud with Aerostar and Drago down the line; hell Ivelisse could even be an opponent given that she’s the reason Jeremiah is now “Snake” instead of Crane. And the possibilities are endless on the Killshot-Mack-Havoc side. Both of those potential singles matches are money and it could be even more appealing if Dante Fox ever does return again. All the more reason this main event was a step in the right direction tonight, with a very strong main event and cool possibilities going forward. At least if Big Willie can overcome his next challenge!
Pentagon and Cage: The Second Course
This Cage-Pentagon confrontation promised early in the show actually turned out to be a mini match of sorts; in fact I think this brawl got as much time as their first match did! Compared to said match this was a lot better showing, with both guys brawling wildly across the Temple and taking out everyone in the process. I’m not even joking. In total Pentagon and Cage took out a guitarist (with his guitar), a camera man, a security guard, what looked to be MMM podcast host Justin Harvey and a priest named Father Rick O’Shea before this brawl was over. And yes, Father Rick O’Shea is both an inside joke about Prince Puma and was to be the priest for Johnny and Taya’ wedding…only Pentagon broke his arm, this opening the door for Jack Evans to get ordained just in time! For that alone this segment was a win. In the end I’d say that this didn’t quite live up to the all out roster brawl from season three (one of the greatest moments in LU history) but this was still loads of fun, was better than the first Pentagon-Cage encounter and did a great job setting up their Last Man Standing match for next week. Oh that’s right; they’re doing a Last Man Standing match next week! In typical LU fashion it’ll probably get overshadowed by the thing LU set up in the close of the show. Which was…
Big Willie Quoting Busta Rhymes
That’s right; The Mack made Busta Rhymes relevant again for the first time since he did that really shitty song with the Linkin Park guys. Or at least that’s the last time I remember Busta being around; as you can tell, I don’t listen to hip hop. Anyways, Antonio Cueto was enjoying a Modelo in his office when Big Willie burst in because he’s mad as hell and not gonna take Killshot’s bullshit anymore. Tell ‘em Steve Dave! Unfortunately that will have to wait because Mil Muertes still wants to off The Mack for kicking him out of the Gift of the Gods match. Due to that (and Catrina getting to Papa El Jefe first), Big Willie was informed that next week he’ll be taking on Mil Muertes in the first ever, wait for it, Haunted House Match.
No, I don’t know what a Haunted House Match is either sports fans. My first thought was that it would be a pre-taped match of sorts. My second was that it be LU’s answer to the shit fest known as the House of Horrors Match Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton had a year ago, which…let’s just say isn’t that appealing. Ultimately I’m guessing it’ll be neither of those things and Papa El Jefe will just merely make the Temple look more spooky when Mack and Mil throw down (which will make it all the more hilarious when everyone complains about it being a relatively normal match after they complained about it being a weird match the week before!). Who knows sports fans. All I know is we can worry about that sort of thing next week because for now the most important thing is Willie ended the scene (and show) by grabbing Antonio’s weird witch hat and uttering Busta Rhymes’ famous line from Halloween: Resurrection. “Trick or treat…mother [censored].” I laughed, I laughed and then I laughed some more. This is why Lucha Underground is the best sports fans. You don’t see New Japan dropping Busta Rhymes lines, do you?
That’s game sports fans. I’ll see you tomorrow for a preview of CMLL’s Super Viernes on Friday. Okada will be there and everything! Till then!
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