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    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Temple Rants (5/25/16): The Dick Episode

    The Gift of the Gods was completed last week, with its seven competitors finally squaring off for the chance at a future Lucha Underground Championship shot. In the end, it was Chavo Guerrero who picked up the victory, thanks to some assistance from Cage. We then found out that Cage helped him because he gets a match for the Gift of the Gods this week against Chavo, giving him a chance to pay back Guerrero for stealing his medallion. Elsewhere, Killshot seems to be the latest target of Marty “The Moth” Martinez, while Mascarita Sagrada picked up another unfortunate loss.

    Dick Kick Party

    Jack Evans and PJ Black teamed up once again to challenge for the Trios Championship, after they came so close in the Finals of the Trios tournament. They even got a pleasant surprise, as their former partner Fenix (whom they never really got along with) was knocked out for the match, so Johnny Mundo stepped in to take the masked warrior’s face. In a match filled with some of the best luchadors and high flyers in the world, you probably wouldn’t have expected it to end with a series of dick kicks and shady stuff.

    Now, I know some people may have been turned off by that part (especially when they started doing it again and again), since up until then we had what was a pretty good Trios match. I thought they did it well. Mundo, Evans, and Black are a perfect fit as a team—they’re all douchebags, and they’re supposed to be taking cheap shots and giving out some low blows. Sure, they could pull off a 1080° triple corkscrew reverse moonsault, but why do that when you can just poke an eye or kick someone’s nuts to win? The way this match ended was a nice introduction to what we can expect from our new Trios Champions, and I’m looking forward to watching them find new ways to screw everyone else over. Overall, I thought this match was good. Not 5-star excellent, mind you, but good enough to keep my attention on the screen.

    Moving forward, I expect that Mysterio, Prince Puma and Dragon Azteca will try to win the belts back once, before continuing on their bigger quest of uniting the Aztec tribes and finding out Dario Cueto’s many mysteries. That’s a plot point that seems to have been put on the shelf while they were busy chasing the Trios Championship, so expect it to be brought up again when they move on from the championships.. Fenix might also want to get back at Johnny Mundo, so look for him to get involved in the Trios Championship scene. Things are shaping up quite nicely in the Trios division, and I’m definitely more satisfied with it than I was at the start of the season.

    Chavo’s Comeuppance

    Like we said last week, it takes gutz to be a Guerrero–because you know you’re going to get your ass kicked in the end. That was exactly what happened when Chavo Guerrero was forced to defend his newly-won Gift of the Gods Championship against Cage.

    For the most part, it does seem as though Chavo has recovered from the injury that kept him out of last year’s Ultima Lucha. He looked good in this match, and even got a decent amount of time to work his offense. He fought the match well, wisely targeting Cage’s knee to help keep him down. Eventually, though, Cage overpowered him after Chavo tried the Three Amigos, hitting the Steiner Screwdriver for the pin, the win, and the championship.

    Right after dispatching Chavo, Cage announced that he’ll be cashing in his Gift of the Gods for a showdown with Matanza next week! That sets up Monster vs. Machine for next week, which is something I’ve been looking forward to seeing. Since the second half of last season, they’ve slowly been building Cage up as a force, and that has continued this season with his victories against the likes of Johnny Mundo and Chavo. While it remains to be seen if he can topple the Monster, there isn’t anyone else who can pose as much of a threat to Matanza’s reign as Lucha Underground Champion. Let’s see how that will play out next week.

    Quick Hits

    • Mascarita Sagrada continues to struggle under the guidance of Famous B, losing to Joey Ryan to keep him short of any wins so far. It wasn’t a great match by any means, although this is the first time that the Temple acknowledged Ryan’s penchant for, uh, Dong Style. I’ve been waiting for that to pop up ever since Joey Ryan arrived at the Temple, and we’ve finally seen what it can do. Is it enough to propel Ryan to the top of Lucha Underground? Probably not, but I’ll enjoy seeing him try.

    • On a more serious note, Ryan and his cop buddy Cortez Castro finally got to investigate Dario Cueto’s office, where they looked at some files and stole some cash. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t in their mission order. Their pal Mr. Cisco showed up and threatened to tell Dario, but the cops put him under arrest. That’s still a better fate than ending up dead like Bael.

    • Pentagon Jr.’s slowly progressing in his road to recovery, as he can now stand up after spending weeks on a wheelchair. Vampiro allowed him to go back to the Temple, but he also said that he isn’t ready yet to face the Monster. Does this mean that he’ll have to break some arms again as he builds his strength back up?

    • We saw King Cuerno basking on the success of his latest hunt—Mil Muertes. Our resident magical undead luchador is all propped up in a coffin, being forced to listen to King Cuerno talk about who truly rules the jungle. This was a sight to see, as it’s not everyday that you get to prop your rival up like all those deer heads and tiger skin you get done by a taxidermist.

    Overall, this week was a good show. We got two entertaining matches, some important storyline progression for Pentagon, Joey Ryan and Cortez Castro, and a big match set up for the Lucha Underground Championship this week. This episode also built up the Trios Championship scene quite nicely, giving us a new champion while hinting at the possibility of more teams challenging them soon. I’d put this week’s episode at B once more, continuing Lucha Underground’s run of putting out a quality hour of wrestling every week.


    Anthony Cuello is an HR professional and training designer. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers Lucha Underground for Smark Henry. A psychology nut, he tends to watch wrestling looking for these small nuances of in-ring behavior. He dreams of a wrestling business with good people management practices, and hopes to help make that happen one day.
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    Item Reviewed: Temple Rants (5/25/16): The Dick Episode Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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