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    Monday, October 9, 2017

    Good Lucha Things (10/4/17): There Will Be Blood

    It’s time for another episode of petmaLucha Underground (sorry, I had to), with Ultima Lucha Tres continuing after last week’s opener!

    Moths and Masks and Melissa Santos, Oh My!

    Let’s start with the biggest result of the show: Fenix still has his mask on; and Marty “The Moth” Martinez is now bald.

    The Mask vs. Hair match was the perfect culmination to this feud, which has been going on ever since the Cueto Cup began. Fenix took a ton of punishment throughout the match, ending up having his mask basically ripped off and losing a ton of blood in the process. Seriously, Fenix bled so much in this match that the ring canvas turned redder than ever before. I know some people might have been uncomfortable with that much blood flowing around, but it really helped convey the lengths Marty “The Moth” Martinez was willing to go to.

    Outside of the blood, this was a solid match with Fenix playing the face in peril for the most part. Melissa Santos got her revenge against the Moth in those closing moments, which her character has deserved ever since Marty started creeping on her. This was a solid, entertaining match that had the good guys triumph in the end. It’s your classic tale of the knight in shining armor vanquishing the deranged villain, but they all played their roles perfectly. This has always been one of the feud’s strong points, and they carried it with them until the end.

    Special mention goes out to Mariposa, whose sudden change of heart was a nice surprise to cap off the match. This was Marty’s asshole self coming back to bite him in the ass, and Mariposa got her due revenge by letting Melissa and Fenix cut off Marty’s hair. This sibling dynamic should be interesting to watch unfold when Lucha Underground comes back, and is something I’ll keep an eye on in the future.

    The Baddest Bitch is Back

    Prior to that luchas de apuestas, though, Ivelisse made her return to Lucha Underground to take on Catrina.

    I don’t think we’ve ever had a match that got that bloody really quick, but that was what happened here. This was more of a brawl than an actual lucha, with Ivelisse getting busted open early on through some glass bottles. It felt as if they could’ve given this more time, though, because this was the culmination of three seasons’ worth of buildup. A couple more minutes would’ve helped this match become better, but most of the time in this episode went to Fenix and the Moth. They nailed the intensity this match needed to have, at least, which was evident in how much punishment both women were willing to give and receive. Ivelisse getting the poetic win by nailing Catrina with the mystical rock was great, and is a nice way to end their feud.

    The opening segment between Ivelisse and Jeremiah Crane was needed to close the door on that relationship, while also helping people rally behind Ivelisse after being out for so long. Crane’s post-match attack makes it very clear whose side he’s on, and looks to be Ivelisse’s next chapter if we do get a fourth season. Heck, it could even come back to bite him in the ass next week, since Crane does have that three-way against Cage and Mil Muertes to handle first.

    A Unique Opportunity

    Dario’s unique opportunity matches returned to Ultima Lucha Tres, with this year’s edition being a battle royal for everyone else who wasn’t on the card. Talk about getting that big show payday.

    The battle royal itself wasn’t all that interesting, and thankfully it was kept short. The actual highlight of this match was Pimpinela Escarlata coming back to the Temple, with most of the action revolving around the exotico’s antics. The Mack won, as expected, despite not really doing anything in the match until that stunner on PJ Black. Nevertheless, this was a feel-good moment for the Mack after all those near-misses he’s had this season. It’s nice to see him win something for once, and at least it keeps him relevant moving forward.

    What was interesting, though, was Mack’s unique opportunity. A Trios Championship match (called it!) was the last match Ultima Lucha Tres needed to be completed, and it plays off the fact that Mack does have some beef against the Reptile Tribe. Dario choosing Killshot and Dante Fox as Mack’s partners is both evil and awesome, and is exactly the kind of twist we’ve come to expect from him. On one hand, we’re getting another Ultima Lucha Tres match from Dante Fox and Killshot, which should be just as awesome as that Hell of War match they just put on in the previous episode.

    On the other hand, we’re getting another Ultima Lucha Tres match from Dante Fox and Killshot after their bodies went through hell in that Hell of War match. Neither man is going to be at 100%, and they might still have shards of glass jutting out of their torsos. Nevertheless, this should be a match to look forward to, and it’ll be interesting to see how a battered and bruised team will manage to take on a trio of well-rested reptiles.

    Dario’s makeshift team already has some bit of history behind them—Killshot and the Mack actually debuted as part of a trios team alongside Big Ryck. They’ve fought different battles ever since, but now they’re finally back in the trios division. Talk about coming full circle.

    Quick Hits:

    • “Accompanied by Mil Muertes, from beyond the grave, Catrina!” is such a weird and bizarre phrase to hear. We’ve been so used to Catrina accompanying Mil Muertes all this time, apparently.
    • This episode explains why the ring was already so bloody before last week’s Hell of War match. Astute watchers might have noticed that the ring was already dirty and bloody (excessively so by Lucha Underground standards) by the time Dante Fox and Killshot had their match. We found out why here—that was all from Fenix! Seems like the Fenix/Moth match was taped earlier than Hell of War, which would explain why the ring already looked like that even last week.

    Overall, this episode was a solid continuation of Ultima Lucha Tres. It didn’t quite reach the heights that the Hell of War match did, but still hit its own high notes. Fenix and Marty “The Moth” Martinez put on a solid main event, while Ivelisse and Catrina got a little time to settle their own feud as well. The set-up for the Trios Championship match next week was well-done, and it’ll be interesting to see how Killshot and Dante Fox fare when they’re forced to do double duty. 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 (10/4/17): There Will Be Blood Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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