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    Friday, January 13, 2017

    Good Lucha Things (1/11/17): Break the Roof Down

    Last week, Kobra Moon’s reptiles made their in-ring debut, picking up a victory against the odd Rabbit Tribe. We saw Drago cooperate with his captors before being pulled away by Fenix and Aero Star, though it seems that this may be a different Drago from the one they knew. Meanwhile, Mack lost an opportunity to determine the stipulation for his Lucha Underground Championship match against Johnny Mundo, with the latter picking a grueling All Night Long match for his title defense. Things also continued to escalate between Mil Muertes and Prince Puma, with the former taking out Puma’s new mentor Vampiro.

    How To Kill Your Dragon

    Lucha Underground capped off the first half of season 3 with a deathmatch between El Dragon Azteca Jr. and Matanza Cueto.

    The match itself was quick considering it was hyped up to be a huge affair, with Matanza winning after tossing the young Azteca through the bleachers. Post-match, Rey Mysterio returned to the Temple and gave Matanza a dose of his own medicine, sending him crashing through the warehouse roof. You’d have thought Dario would buy some stronger materials considering Fenix crashed through that roof long ago, but it seems like they want this to keep happening.

    When this show was announced as a midseason finale, I was worried that they wouldn’t have a way to make it look so. Having an angry Dario shut down the Temple is a nice way to put the show “on hold”, because it makes sense for him to want to do so. That allows some “time” for both Dragon Azteca Jr. and Matanza to recover, and when the Temple opens again expect this rivalry to pick right back up. It’s also going to be interesting seeing Azteca on the same side with Mysterio, considering that they were bound to go their separate ways.

    A Blue-Collar Client?

    Famous B’s quest to make Texano famous continued this week, and he may have finally found a way to get the blue-collar brawler to listen.

    Texano kicked off this week’s show with a match against Joey Ryan, and we got a solid start to the show. Ryan got his fair share of offense in, but ultimately fell to Texano thanks to some assistance from Brenda. Famous B and Brenda came out in some Texas-inspired attire and a hilarious Texan accent, just in case you didn’t know who they were rooting for. They only way they could’ve gotten more Texan was if they rode a mechanical bull to the ring while yelling “yee-haw!”, and now I’m fully hoping that actually happens.

    Is this the boost that Texano sorely needs to progress? His hesitation at accepting Famous B and Brenda’s help seems to point towards going down a cleaner path, but we saw that he’s willing to get down and dirty if it meant getting the win. Perhaps he’s also tired of losing—he did just fall short of beating Cage in their best-of-five series. Him accepting Brenda’s help, but not Famous B’s, also points to some interest in the now-famous lass. This can be a nice way for Texano to get further development, so let’s see if having a manager can improve his fortunes when the show comes back.

    The Rest:

    • With the midseason break announcement, it was common to assume that we’d be ending with the All Night Long match between the Mack and Johnny Mundo. Instead, it seems like we’ll be getting that after the show returns. The Lucha Underground Champion cut a promo on the match this week, before he was once again interrupted by the Mack. Hey, at least the Mack has the next couple of months to work on his cardio.

    • The Mack-Mundo scuffle was broken up by security. Yes, apparently Lucha Underground has had security this entire time, which makes you wonder just what the fuck these guys have been doing. We’ve had so many run-ins and interruptions (AND DEATHS) in the show—where were they when Drago was literally kidnapped!? These guys are just as bad as NXT’s security.

    • Cage returned to action with his brand-new gauntlet, making quick work of the debuting Veneno. If that mask seems familiar to you, it’s the mask Cortez Castro received so he could continue keeping an eye on the Temple. Unfortunately, Sexy Star is having some spider problems right now, so she attacked Veneno thinking that it’s been him leaving her with the spiders. Not a warm welcome back for our favorite undercover cop, really.

    • Prince Puma’s got the resurrection blues, so Catrina pays him a visit. They talk about blood and pain and how it’s never really the same once you’ve died. Meanwhile, Vampiro swore revenge on Mil Muertes, regardless of how long it’ll take. Now I’m picturing a wheelchair-bound Vampiro whacking a cane at post-2000th death Mil. Hopefully, it doesn’t take that long.

    • The tables have turned! Marty “The Moth” Martinez went from captor into captive as he seems to have been abducted by Mariposa. We don’t know if this is an actual abduction or just another one of their sick games, but this is an intriguing follow-up to last week’s attack. This was a nice throwback to the ending of the first season when Marty kidnapped Sexy Star.

    If you watched the episode until the very end, you’ll find an announcement for a Summer 2017 return for Lucha Underground. That’s USA summer, so expect the show to be on break for around five months before returning in June/July. That’s a long, long break (it’s even longer than the time between the end of season two and the start of season three!), and it’s a risky one as it might kill whatever momentum they’ve built up in season three so far. 

    The frustrating thing as a fan is that we had no idea this was going to happen. This feels like their way of stretching out content so that it lasts until they start taping season four, which went from being done in late 2016 to the fall of 2017. At this point, they need to maintain some sort of presence while they’re not airing new content. They’ve made some inroads with live shows and touring, so that’s one avenue that they can explore to get more people talking about the show. A better distribution method would also be welcome—El Rey is such a niche channel as it stands. They also have an iTunes deal going on, but let’s face it—nobody really cares about iTunes anymore since Netflix rendered it obsolete (OBSOLETE!).

    Overall, this was a fine episode. We had a good, albeit quick, main event, and some further set-up for feuds that will continue into the second half of season three. I feel like they could’ve ended the show with a bigger bang, however—they needed that big jaw-dropping moment to make the audience anticipate the return. Matanza being thrown through a roof was nice, but it didn’t feel as big simply because we’ve seen him matched by so many others this season. At least we’re likely to get the All Night Long match between Mack and Mundo when we resume, and that should be a classic. B-

    On a final note, given the amount of downtime coming up, I’m not yet sure how often Good Lucha Things will be popping up. Perhaps we’ll cover what our Lucha Underground talents are doing elsewhere while no shows are airing, so this can still be a space where we can talk about them. In the meantime, expect a wrap-up of the season three’s first half in the next couple of weeks, where we look at the studs (and duds) of Lucha Underground so far this season. Until then, see you!

    Photos taken from Lucha Underground.


    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: Good Lucha Things (1/11/17): Break the Roof Down Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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