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    Monday, September 4, 2017

    Good Lucha Things (8/30/17): Madness and Havoc

    So, this week's episode of Lucha Underground was rather odd, to say the least.

    After the Cueto Cup finally wrapped up with Prince Puma as the victor, it feels weird seeing none of the big stars in this week's episode. Rey Mysterio was out, Prince Puma was nowhere to be seen, Pentagon Dark was probably breaking some arms out there, and Johnny Mundo stayed in Slamtown. We've been so used to seeing these guys as the Cueto Cup wound down that it's such a jarring image to see none of them on this week's episode.

    It’s similar to watching a Golden State Warriors (using the most popular team so everyone gets it) game where Curry, Durant, Draymond and Klay are all sitting out. Instead, you’re watching 48 minutes of Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee running the floor. They aren’t bad players by any means, but let's be honest—they’re not the reason you wanted to watch the game in the first place.Thankfully, there's still some stuff worth talking about on this week's episode, so let's get down to business.

    From the Open Road

    Much of this week’s episode focused on Son of Havoc and Son of Madness’ issues, which culminated in a Boyle Heights Biker’s Brawl as the main event.

    I liked how they set up the match with Son of Madness manhandling Mascarita Sagrada first. Everyone’s favorite mini has been close buddies with Son of Havoc and even has his own biker vest, so it made sense that Madness went after him. Mascarita is a guy inducted into the biker cult by a guy that isn’t in good graces with the gang, and I loved how they tied that moment in with Son of Havoc’s current problems. It’s these little bits of continuity that Lucha Underground does so well—it’s rewarding for fans who have tuned in to the show since the beginning.

    The Biker’s Brawl was a fun, solid main event, with Dario Cueto even putting one of the Aztec medallions at stake to up the ante. Most of this was a brawl around the ring, with Son of Havoc getting a boost from the believers every now and then. It’s a nice way to remind everyone that Havoc is still a huge fan favorite, and the crowd’s reactions to him and Son of Madness showed why. Son of Madness’ slow, heavy-hitting style was a nice contrast to Havoc’s faster style of flips and counters, and it was the latter that picked up the win after an exciting match. Son of Havoc hasn’t really been doing much after feuding with Famous B and Dr. Wagner, so it’s nice to see him back in the limelight since we’ve been too focused on the Cueto Cup.

    Son of Havoc gaining entry into the Gift of the Gods Championship match made me realize that the match is going to feature a bunch of guys we haven’t really seen in the spotlight yet. So far, the lineup is Havoc, all three members of the Rabbit Tribe, and one of either Joey Ryan or Cortez Castro (more on this later). It’s a collection of guys we know are good, but haven’t been given the time to shine this season. Sure, you could have Rey Mysterio play the “I’m Rey Mysterio, recognize!” card and get himself a medallion, but he doesn’t really need that to challenge for the title, does he? Making the Gift of the Gods Championship a stepping stone to the Lucha Underground Championship is a good way to elevate these guys.

    Mask vs. Hair

    We also got some continuation on Marty “The Moth” Martinez, though it looks like he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

    The Moth dispatched of a returning Argenis rather quickly, beating the masked luchador to a pulp before ripping off his mask in a show of disrespect. This prompted Melissa Santos and Fenix to come out and accept Martinez’s challenge to put Fenix’s mask on the line, but only if Marty put his own hair at stake as well.

    While I like that we have an actual luchas de apuestas at Ultima Lucha Tres, I’m not yet sold on the significance of it. Traditionally, both competitors have to bet something very important to them. However, it feels like the stakes aren’t balanced properly—Fenix is betting his mask, his whole persona and identity as a luchador, and Marty is betting nothing more than whatever is on the top of his head. Is the Moth someone that would be lost without his hair? Is he going to become less/more crazy if he ever goes bald? This is something I hope they can flesh out in the next couple of episodes—maybe Marty really loves his hair, or maybe it gives him his powers (like Samson), and so on.

    Quick Hits:

    • I LOL’d at Taya’s interruption to cost Sexy Star her match. It’s ironic that this has to air now that Sexy Star has received so much backlash over the Rosemary incident, but it goes beyond that! Supposedly, Sexy Star was the reason why Taya was abruptly stripped of her championship in AAA, which led to her departure from the company. Art imitating life, folks.
    • What, exactly, is a "5-0 Street Fight"? Dario Cueto has gone ahead and booked this match for an Aztec medallion next week, and Cortez Castro is finally set to get his revenge on Joey Ryan. Is the ringside area going to be covered with police tape? Will nightsticks be laying around the ring to be used? Good god, are there going to be live K-9s surrounding the ring?!

    This week's episode is a departure from the Cueto Cup-fueled madness we've gotten used to, but is actually solid on its own. I wasn't a huge fan of it at first, but after some time I've come to realize that this is just good ol' Lucha Underground again. Storylines were moved forward, continuity was well in place, and we got a solid main event with Son of Havoc getting his due revenge. 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 (8/30/17): Madness and Havoc Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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