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    Monday, August 14, 2017

    Good Lucha Things (8/9/17): I Am Your Mother

    It's Monday, so you know what that means—it's time for another edition of Good Lucha Things!

    Make Your Momma Proud

    So, there’s a lot of lucha lore to unpack this week.

    Let’s start with the biggest reveal: Captain Vasquez is actually Catrina’s mother. Okay, okay, we knew they had some sort of connection via the broken medallion—but a parental one? Oh, and what about the fact that Vasquez is also immortal (no, not that kind of immortal), and that she was responsible for Catrina being brought back to life? Motherly love aside, this episode also shed some more light on the war brewing beneath the Temple. An Illuminati-like group called The Order is trying to bring back the ancient Aztec gods, with Cage’s gauntlet being one of the ways they plan on bringing them back. Then, there are the people working to oppose the Order, with Captain Vasquez being one of them. Oh, and Catrina doesn’t really care much about gods returning since she’ll just get Mil Muertes to destroy them, anyway. She’s so confident in this that she’s agreed to go after Cage and get the gauntlet in exchange for Vasquez’ half of the medallion—and presumably, her life.

    I love how these have been set up, particularly since the last few weeks have mostly been about the Cueto Cup. It’s the most important thing going on in the Temple right now, but Lucha Underground’s story exists way beyond the confines of a dingy warehouse. We’re talking about an event that could potentially bring about the end of the world (not you, Mundo), so expect this story to begin to take up more time once the Cup wraps up. There are still more questions than answers at this point, of course, but it’s good to see that this is moving again.

    Speaking of Mil Muertes, he had a solid match this week against Jeremiah Crane. This rivalry has been brewing for a while now, and it all came to a head in one of the more violent Cueto Cup matches to date. This was an all-out brawl that made good use of the Temple surroundings, including the bleachers. Crane has looked dominant in his matches so far, but here, he finally met his match in a hulking luchador from the grave. Mil Muertes more than matched Crane’s intensity with his own, and we were reminded just how much of a force of nature he is.

    The result also works because Mil Muertes needs all the momentum he can get in the next few weeks. For one, he’s set to go after Cage, meaning that we may well see that dream match very soon. Lucha Underground has done well keeping these guys away from each other, but they’re on a collision course now. Then, Mil Muertes still has his Cueto Cup semifinals match to deal with, and his opponent isn’t exactly a pushover.

    Cueto Cup Update: The Final Four

    Right after Mil Muertes dispatched Jeremiah Crane, Pentagon Dark punched the last ticket to the semifinals after taking out Texano. Well, he took out more than that.

    This was rather short as far as main events usually go, but it was used to further the angle between Texano, Famous B, and the Beautiful Brenda. Pentagon and Texano were working towards a solid match right up until the interference, which featured a horseshoe being used. The finish sets it up such that Famous B now has legitimately cost Texano something, meaning that the blue-collar brawler now has an actual reason to go after this thorn in his side. Famous B also became a two-time member of Pentagon Dark’s hit list, which is such a prestigious distinction to receive. Good old Pentagon Dark, breaking arms left and right. Lucha Underground wouldn’t be as entertaining without him.

    If you’ve been keeping track, that means we’ve got Pentagon Dark, Mil Muertes, Prince Puma and Fenix as your final four luchadores in the Cueto Cup. If you’ve been following Lucha Underground, this shouldn’t come as a shock because these are four of the very best in the Temple. When the brackets came out these were the four names likely to come out of their groups, which is what they’ve done. I’m fine with this quartet, though I still wish we could’ve gotten someone making a bigger run. A name like Texano, Son of Havoc, Dante Fox, or the Mack could’ve used the boost from a deep Cueto Cup run, which our current four don’t really need since they’re such established names.

    Nevertheless, these last three cup matches should be downright amazing. Fenix vs. Prince Puma looks like a five-star match waiting to happen, and Pentagon Dark vs. Mil Muertes is a match between two of the biggest badasses in Lucha Underground. Past that, any combination of finals matches sound appealing. Mil Muertes-Fenix and Mil Muertes-Prince Puma are both proven classsics. Pentagon Dark-Fenix should be a nice showdown of brotherly love, while Pentagon Dark-Prince Puma is a match between Vampiro’s past and present. All of these sound excellent, and should be a fitting end to the Cueto Cup.

    Quick Hits:
    • THE RABBIT TRIBE WON A MATCH! Paul London, Saltador and Mala Suerte escaped with the surprise win against the Worldwide Underground, meaning they’re the first three names to qualify for an upcoming Gift of the Gods match. Apparently, all they needed was a rabbit’s foot to turn their luck around!
    • The Worldwide Underground’s woes continue. Taya, Ricky Mandel, and PJ Black couldn’t get the job done against a trio that looked to be easy pickings, furthering their descent into Chump City. It’s a shame as Black has been putting on some great stuff lately, and I hoped it would be the start of bigger opportunities for him. Also, Jack Evans stole the show with his whiteboard, despite not actually being in the match.

    This week’s episode of Lucha Underground doesn’t have the in-ring quality of the past couple of shows, but it more than made up for it with some big plot advancements. Mil Muertes vs. Jeremiah Crane was still a fine match, but the real highlight of the show was the reveal of Catrina and Captain Vasquez’ relationship. We should get back to some excellent lucha libre next week, though, with the semifinals matches of the Cueto Cup set to take place. This episode gets a B.

    Photos 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 (8/9/17): I Am Your Mother Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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