In How I Met Your Mother’s magna opus of a fourth season, the episode “Shutter Island” establishes a key rule; never, ever invite an ex to your wedding. We’re now going to have to add monsters to that rule as well after tonight’s Lucha Underground. Johnny Mundo and Taya Valkyrie finally decided to tie the knot and were 99% there when things went terribly wrong. At least for them; for us watching at home the wedding was one of the most entertaining fifteen minutes of television LU has produced and a nice launching point for a big storyline in the second half of the season. In addition to the wedding, LU was also kind enough to move along the Jake Strong vs. Lucha Best Friends angle, while also giving us a dynamite No Mas match. All in all it was a damn fine episode; damn fine. Let’s get to reviewing it, shall we?
Great news for those who’ve been waiting for an MNM reunion minus Melina; we got it tonight! Johnny, PJ, Ricky and Jack were getting ready for the wedding backstage (alright maybe Jack wasn’t; he had a match to get ready for after all!) when PJ announced a surprise. It was none other than Mundo’s former tag partner Joey Mercury (now called Joey Wrestling), who was named best man after PJ graciously stepped aside. It may just be me but Joey Wrestling getting a name suggests that he may be sticking around for a bit? In any event everyone was mostly happy…except Ricky Mundo, who was relegated to ring bearer and basically treated like Hayden Christensen at a dinner hosted by the original Star Wars cast. It almost made me root for him later in the show. Almost. Ultimately I cannot side with a man who takes orders from Chucky’s third cousin.
Jake Strong defeated Drago
This was definitely the best performance we’ve gotten from Jake Strong during his stay in the Temple thus far. I’m still not sure it’ll be enough to appease the people who have doubts, especially since this was mostly a one sided beat down. Personally I thought the match was more like Mack-Mil Muertes from last week than most of Strong’s other matches though; Drago was in it at times and got some brief moments of offense, but overall it was all Strong with power moves, amateur wrestling and back dropping Drago into the seats. That worked, especially since Strong showed more than in previous efforts and looked imposing as holy hell as the emotionless brute. Will it work for everyone else? I don’t know, but it worked for me the most it ever had in this match. A nice little semi-squash and I’m interested to see what they do next with this angle, which is definitely continuing seeing as Aerostar came out to save Drago. Does it become a 2 on 1 situation? Does Strong have a friend he’s bringing in?
No Mas Match
XO Lishus defeated Jack Evans
I didn’t think this match would get anywhere close to the Sexy Star-Mariposa No Mas match…and yet it almost bested it. It did not because, for the first time all season, LU made a mistake regarding interference. I understand why Ivelisse and Joey Ryan came out; Ivelisse is friends with XO Lishus and Ryan was definitely leaning towards befriending the flamboyant up and comer during their tag match a few weeks ago. It wasn’t that the interference didn’t make sense; it was that it disrupted the flow and dampened XO’s victory a little bit because it legit took three people to beat Jack Evans. Then again maybe that’s what it takes. Jack did invent modern lucha libre after all!
The interference aside this match was AWESOME, and well on its way to being the best match of the season until the run ins occurred. You knew the match would play right into Jack’s strengths (lots of opportunities to dive and handle a mic) and he was in peak form. Only Teddy Hart can walk the line of exciting daredevil and jackass heel quite like Jack, and this was arguably one of his best performances in LU. And XO Lishus was outstanding. It’s been pretty clear since we first saw him that XO had it, but he finally put it all together in this match with great athleticism and even better fire. Maybe LU tried a bit hard at times to replicate the “F YOU MARIPOSA!” spot, but even without that XO Lishus’ spirit came across well, especially in the early sequences when he pounded on Jack. I loved that, I loved the fast start, I loved how they slowed it down later to focus on submission spots; basically the only thing holding shit back were the run ins. And you can’t fault either Jack or XO for that. They were fantastic, the match was 95% fantastic and it’s a shame this was the feud ender because I could watch Jack and XO wrestle all day. I am interested to see how this XO/Ivelisse/Joey Ryan team goes though. How is it that Ivelisse always finds herself in these dysfunctional teams?!
THE RINGS AREN’T STUPID RICKY!
I know it turned out well for Ricky Mundo in the end but my Grodd was it a rough night for the lackey to end all lackeys up to that point. He was chillin with Johnny, Joey and PJ as Jack Evans crawled back to the locker room (he would not return, much to my dismay) and proceeded to get shut down by Johnny when he asked if he could take Jack’s place in the wedding party. It may have worked if he hadn’t insulted the rings. THEY AREN’T STUPID RICKY! Johnny, Joey and PJ then headed to the ring after some air guitar and Ricky stayed behind to get more words of encouragement from his doll. Only in a Lucha Underground review will you get that sentence!
Meet the Wedding Party!
It was then we got to be introduced to all the major players in this wedding! First there was Famous B as the minister. He will be mentioned again before the review is over! Then there was the introduction of PJ, Joey and Johnny to Welcome to Slamtown. Personally I thought the best part was when Taya came out; not only was she introduced as Taya Valkyrie (the first time her famous last name has been mentioned in LU), but her bridesmaids were Beautiful Brenda and Cheerleader Melissa! Real life references galore there. Also, is it just me or does Cheerleader Melissa look a lot like Mariposa? An investigation may be in order! But first…
That damned Ricky Mundo. I understand he was being picked on all night and he’s under the influence of that creepy as doll but come on man; surely there was a better way to ruin the wedding than this! As far as I’m concerned the only thing Ricky accomplished with this scheme was revealing that a) Antonio Cueto’s keeping Matanza up in the basement and b) the security to Matanza’s room is complete and utter shit. It’s like Antonio hired Jenny and Artie from GLOW to guard the door. Or James Harden.
Stay on target Cult! The point is there were better ways to go about this than unleashing Matanza Ricky! And yet there he was cutting those chains holding Matanza’s door and letting the monster loose. I don’t want to spoil anything but…nah I won’t spoil anything. You’ll read about it very soon in the next section!
99% of a Wedding
Never say Lucha Underground doesn’t give you what you want sports fans. We were promised an over the top wedding and that is what we got, and I’m not just talking about the part where Matanza ran out. Antonio Cueto made an appearance, which had me worried for a moment until he revealed he had hired a taco company to cater the wedding! There is a heart inside Papa El Jefe after all! There were some legitimately funny and endearing moments as Taya and Johnny said their vows to each other, such as Taya’s declaration she loved Johnny “more than a bunch of fluffy puppies” or how Johnny thought he’d never find someone as good looking and tan as himself. That would’ve been the funniest part of this whole thing if Famous B as Famous B didn’t trump it all. There have been many a great moment in the history of the man who owns 423-GET-FAME but by Grodd Famous reached his apex tonight. He has never been as entertaining or as funny as he was here, to the point that I would seriously take him up on his offer to officiate a wedding. I’d even pay extra to bring Texano and Dr. Wagner Jr. there, though I would keep my eye on Wagner at all times. I’m pretty sure the movie Wedding Crashers is based off that man!
Alas all the funny, wildly entertaining moments couldn’t prevent Matanza from running out at 11:59 to screw it all up. In Matanza’s defense, him ruining the wedding was quite a sight. PJ and Johnny both wound up going through the taco tables. Beautiful Brenda (a secret weapon throughout this whole thing with some of her comments) fainted on the spot. Cheerleader Melissa put up a valiant fight by hitting Matanza with some flowers before getting put down. Taya momentarily made me believe she could put the Monster down in a fit of rage before she too got laid out and thrown through her wedding cake. Somehow all of that was topped by Famous B (yet again), who took a Matanza suplex in his wheelchair, perhaps the highlight moment of this whole ordeal. All of this occurred while Ricky Mundo sat ringside laughing hysterically, his revenge finally complete I guess. Well at least for now. In the end I can’t think of any way to describe this as anything other than absolutely brilliant. I laughed, I said “aww” one or two times, I laughed some more and through it all I never stopped being wildly entertained. And the best part is LU managed to establish two programs going forward, as the Worldwide Underground can now seek revenge against both Ricky and Matanza (and my oh my does Johnny vs. Matanza sound appealing or what!). Throw all that together and this wedding segment worked even better than I could’ve imagined. I’d have it as one of the three best wrestling weddings I’ve ever seen in terms of per entertainment (right there with the Macho Man/Miss Elizabeth wedding and the Laurel Van Ness/Braxton Sutter nuptials from Impact not too long ago) and one of the best non match moments in LU history. Yes, right up there with the all Temple brawl from season three.
That’s game sports fans. Time for me to go conquer the Fire Temple. Oh Grodd, that means after that I have to go to the Water Temple. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Till next time.
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