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    Monday, August 21, 2017

    Good Lucha Things (8/16/17): Away at Gulo

    It's Monday, it's a holiday, and it's also Summerslam day—but more importantly, it's another edition of Good Lucha Things!

    And Then There Were Two

    The Cueto Cup semifinals took place this week, with four of the biggest names in Lucha Underground competing for a title shot at Ultima Lucha Tres.

    Prince Puma was the first man to punch his ticket into the Finals, capitalizing on a distracted Fenix to score the win. This isn’t the first time they’ve met (Fenix was actually Prince Puma’s first-ever title defense!), and as expected they put on a very good match. It’s a bit more grounded than I expected from these two, but it worked nonetheless. Having Fenix lose due to Marty “The Moth” Martinez creeping around but not actually interfering in the match was a nice touch, because it paints Fenix as being responsible for his own loss. He saw Marty creeping around Melissa, decided to prioritize that over his match with Prince Puma, and was punished as a result.

    The second match saw Pentagon Dark putting away Mil Muertes, with the latter suffering the effects of a Cage beatdown prior to the match. This was also a fine match (not as good as the first, though) with the main story being how a wounded Mil Muertes tried to keep pace with a fresh Pentagon Dark. I liked how they showed a different side to Mil Muertes aside from the invulnerable hulking undead he normally is. He still  held his own here, but it wasn’t enough against a Pentagon Dark at full strength. Having Pentagon Dark try to break Mil Muertes’ arm again, but failing, helped to give some credibility back to Mil Muertes as well. On another day, he likely would’ve won—but this was the day Cage jumped him in the locker room.

    Finally, we’re down to two men, and it’s a very interesting matchup—Prince Puma vs. Pentagon Dark. This should be a fine showcase of lucha libre, but the biggest factor here is likely going to be Vampiro given his relationship with both Puma and Pentagon. I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out and tipped the scales in Prince Puma’s favor, though I’m banking on Pentagon picking up the win and taking down the Cueto Cup. He was almost Lucha Underground Champion last year at Ultima Lucha Dos, and for all his skill he’s never actually held the belt. It’s about damn time he does so.

    Absolute Chaos

    To top off the Cueto Cup’s two semifinal matches, we also got a face-off between Lucha Underground Champion Johnny Mundo and his challenger, Rey Mysterio.

    The pre-match face off is one of my favorite things to see before a title match. It’s supposed to serve as the calm before the storm, where competitors get their final words in because the only thing that’ll matter in the ring is how they fight. We see things like this often in boxing, where it has led to some very iconic and fun moments. Mundo continued mocking Mysterio here, even insinuating that he isn't Dominic's real father. Yeah, I think all of us knew that already.

    Naturally, things went to shit, and we got one of the most entertaining brawls in Lucha Underground history. It’s reminiscent of those brawls that ended WCW shows back in the day where the whole roster just spills out and fights their way around the ring. This one started off as a chain effect—the Worldwide Underground came out, followed by a bunch of guys they’ve had issues with (El Dragon Azteca Jr., Mack and Sexy Star.) Then Prince Puma and Pentagon Dark came out as they could face either Mysterio or Mundo, followed by Mil Muertes going after Pentagon after the latter tried to break his arm. Then Cage came out (and Jeremiah Crane a little later), and past that it was all just a bunch of random fighting just so they could up the body count. Dante Fox was just chilling in the rafters watching everything, only for Killshot to strike him from behind. I laughed hard at Joey Ryan and Vinnie Massaro just going at it for no apparent reason other than there was a fight going on. It’s exactly the kind of chaos that would bring a tear to Dario Cueto’s eye, and was really fun to watch.

    Quick Hits:

    • Can we have Dario Cueto do the ring introductions for every big match moving forward? Melissa Santos is good and all, but holy shit, Dario is on another level when he does it. Every big match should have him introducing the competitors because the way he does it is just so fun.
    • Oh, right, Veneno is still around. Joey Ryan let Dario in on the secret, so he’s gone ahead and booked Sexy Star vs. Veneno in a mask vs. mask match for next week. It’ll probably serve as the opener to the two big matches, but I’m interested in seeing Cortez Castro again. Being Spiderman just wasn’t a nice fit for him.
    • I really wanted to listen to Paul London’s hokey commentary on the brawl. The dude was just there watching shit go down while eating some carrots! Striker should've tossed him the microphone while they were hanging out on the office roof.

    This was another solid episode from Lucha Underground. Both Cueto Cup matches were great, and while I could’ve done away with the interferences, those still did enough to propel storylines forward. They managed to hype up next week’s show very well, and I’m excited to see who wins the Cueto Cup and who gets a title shot at the Lucha Underground Championship. We’ll know our main event for Ultima Lucha Tres at the next show. I’d give this show a B.

    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 (8/16/17): Away at Gulo Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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