I’m not sure if tonight’s Lucha Underground episode will go down as one that fans will never forget. I can definitely say for sure the opening ten minutes will though. Holy shit sports fans; I hope you’re properly prepared because even the recap of that opener, which featured the conclusion of several angles and a (spoiler) goodbye to one of LU’s most beloved characters, is going to be a wild ride. It was so good it was unfortunate for the rest of the show, which was actually pretty solid all things considered. That’s what occurs though when you have to follow the LU equivalent of Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. To review or not to review? TO REVIEW!
Whether you are a long time Lucha Underground viewer, a first time LU viewer…hell a wrestling fan in general, I guarantee you’ve never seen anything quite like this opening scene that kicked off tonight’s episode. I mean LU has done opening scenes before and has done long scenes before. None of them have been like this.
Let’s go through what happened first before psycho analyzing it. Catrina kicked things off by finally leaving an emotionless Mil in his secret lair, finally revealing she had been in love with Fenix the whole time. On her way out she ran into Melissa Santos (who I guess followed her there?), who quoted the Young Bucks (WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?!) and successfully goaded Catrina into an all out brawl. And brawl they did, from Mil’s shrine to the hallway to the attic all the way to the roof. In the end Melissa was able to fling Catrina over the roof, where she held on for dear life until Mil arrived. And well, Catrina learned what anyone who’s seen Kill Bill Volume 2 would know; there’s a price for breaking the heart of a murdering bastard. And that’s how Catrina, with Mil’s stone in hand (“something to remember me by!”) plummeted off the roof and to her death.
BUT WAIT! Melissa would wander over to Catrina’s body, only to come across Aerostar. Ain’t it great to be a time traveling ancient alien? Taking the stone and the half of the amulet Catrina had given to Melissa, Aerostar did some Dragon Ball Z type stuff and then went back in time all the way to Episode 4, right after Catrina stole Fenix’ life force. He then proceeded to bring Fenix back to life and brought him back to the future, where an overjoyed Melissa was so happy she allowed Aerostar to keep the half of the amulet before he went to…wherever it is Aerostar goes to. I’m guessing a planet where he gets to wrestle Big Bad Steve. Overall it seemed to be a happy ending, though Fenix’ emotionless expression (understandable; he had just been resurrected and brought to the future after all) and weird look in his eye (less understandable) could be future cause for concern.
And that was LU’s ten minute opening scene. WHAT AN OPENING SCENE! It had everything that makes Lucha Underground “The LU”; a little bit of cheese, heartbreak, a cinematic style fight scene, betrayal, death, time travel, resurrection, a potential cliffhanger; the only thing missing was Pentagon breaking someone’s arm while the Worldwide Underground played air guitar. And that just wouldn’t have been appropriate! On top of all that it also brought back a fan favorite in Fenix, served as one of the defining moments of Aerostar’s Lucha Underground stay (and maybe his career!), had Mil finally standing up for himself over Catrina and, while sad in a way, provided a great send off for one of LU’s greatest characters in Catrina. I’m beyond sad to see her go (if she is in fact gone for good; can never be too sure with LU) and it’ll be weird to watch LU without her around, but if Karlee Perez was going to move on, I can’t think of a better way than this. Just outstanding and while the rest of the show was good, you’ll be shocked to know nothing quite lived up to this. The best LU scene to not take place at the end of a season.
Matanza defeated Joey Wrestling
Say what you will about Joey Wrestling but he was true to his word; he did in fact seek out revenge on Matanza for what he did to Johnny Mundo and Taya last week. And to Joey Wrestling’s credit this match turned out to be the longest and most competitive “Sacrifice to the Gods” we’ve seen all season. There’s nothing overtly flashy about Joey Wrestling, but he’s as solid a worker as they come and I liked the story they told of him using his experience to hold off Matanza as long as humanly possible. It made for a more entertaining bout than what Matanza has been doing, but in the end the song remained the same; Matanza was too much and Joey Wrestling is now off to take Fenix’ place in the Great Beyond. At least this should add more fuel to the fire for when Mundo and Taya eventually return.
Killshot defeated Big Bad Steve
This match is going to get underrated for two reasons; Killshot working a much slower style to start this match than usual and Son of Havoc coming out mid match, in a moment that kind of disrupted the flow while Killshot reacted to that. Even with that though I thought this was a really good match, both because Killshot embraced his new evil role and because Big Bad Steve turned into a really likable, plucky technico right before my eyes. I’m not entirely sure that was the intent of the match, but Killshot’s new slower style (as well as his work on Steve’s leg and Steve’s selling) got the crowd super into Steve midway through the match and thus his comeback came off really strong. It doesn’t hurt either that his pop up cutter and that inside out powerbomb are two of the most impressive moves you’ll see anywhere. Killshot also started to turn it up as the match went along (does anyone do a stomp better than him?) and by the end I thought they had done a hell of a job making Steve credible while still having Killshot come off as a killer in victory. The post match brawl between Killshot and Havoc was interesting too, especially with the wrinkle of Havoc taking Killshot’s mask from him. Is it possible we’re heading towards a mask match between these two? Time will tell. For now LU got to keep that ball rolling, and the match beforehand did what LU does best in making both guys look good coming out. I thought this was the best bout on the show.
Lucha Underground Championship Match
Pentagon Dark (c) defeated Hernandez
You may recall that this match was originally supposed to be Johnny Mundo challenging Pentagon for the LU title. Alas with everything that happened last week Johnny (mentally or physically) was in no condition to perform and thus the match was canceled (or maybe postponed?). This is why you never schedule a wedding a week before a big match; you don’t know what could go wrong! Luckily Pentagon was still in a fighting mood and issued an open challenge to anyone in the LU locker room. Out came Hernandez to accept (remember that Pentagon broke his arm in Aztec Warfare IV), leading to Pentagon mocking him in a moment that would’ve been my favorite of the night if not that ten minute opening scene. It may has well been LU’s version of that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Oh, and a match. It was pretty good, though I enjoyed the previous match more. It’s easy to forget because he’s been around for so long (and because he’s been in some real stinkers over the years) but Hernandez can have good matches; look no further than that epic match he had with Prince Puma back in season one. This was never going to be that good because a) Prince Puma is no longer around and b) no one in their right mind thought Hernandez had a chance to beat Pentagon (unlike the Puma match where it was at least feasible) but I thought they made the most of it. Hernandez gave a good effort and Pentagon was on the ball, especially in moments like the finish where he twisted Hernandez just right to put him down with the Pentagon Driver. They kept it simple, smooth and overall I thought it was a good match. I won’t deny however that the post match stuff with King Cuerno was far more enticing, with good ole Deer Antlers taking out the LU Champion with a Cuerno Driver onto the title. Not only does it make sense for Cuerno to be next in line (he did help Cage beat Pentagon in a handicap match last month after all) but Pentagon vs. King Cuerno? Oh man! It’s fresh, it’s got two talented guys and it should be a whole lot of fun whenever they do it.
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles sports fans. I’m off to play some N64, but I shall return tomorrow with previews for AAA and CMLL, who are both running shows on Friday. TILL THEN!
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