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    Monday, October 16, 2017

    Good Lucha Things (10/11/17): Climb That Ladder, Make Yourself Famous

    Welcome to another edition of Good Lucha Things, and to the back half of Ultima Lucha Tres!

    The last two weeks have been packed with so much action and violence, it's a miracle we're still looking for more. We've had some of the most intense rivalries settled—Killshot finally buried his demons when he slammed that ambulance door, Fenix humiliated his tormentor Marty "The Moth" Martinez when he shaved his hair off, and Ivelisse finally settled her longtime score with Catrina. Now, the championships come into play—both the Trios Championships and the Gift of the Gods Championship were up for grabs this show. Let's take a look at how these matches went down, and who closed out this season with championship gold around their waist.

    Finally A Champion!

    Ultima Lucha Tres has had a solid streak of main event matches so far, and the ladder match between Pentagon Dark and Son of Havoc fit right in.

    Both Son of Havoc and Pentagon Dark put on a solid outing, and the crowd was right there to eat it up. They had a hot crowd for this match, which was expected when Dario decided to pit the Temple’s two hottest acts against each other. While this was another Ultima Lucha Tres match where weapons were allowed, I liked that they kept it simple with objects we’re already used to. Whereas the Hell of War featured a ton of innovative and shocking moments, this ladder match was a little less flashy, but still did enough to make you want to keep watching. They had a couple of highlight moments, with Pentagon’s piledriver into some chairs and chokeslam down through a table being the big ones that put the match away.

    They set up a very nice parallel between two men who’ve had some tough luck. Pentagon Dark almost won the Lucha Underground Championship one Ultima Lucha ago, but was cheated out of it by Dario Cueto. Son of Havoc almost won a title shot at the very same event, but was also screwed out of it by the Lucha Underground proprietor. Someone was going to get a break one way or another, and it ended up being Pentagon Dark winning his first championship in the Temple. You have to feel for Havoc coming up short again here, but Pentagon Dark was the bigger favorite to win this match. It’s unusual to hear Son of Havoc getting cheered less than his opponent, but that’s exactly what happened here. Pentagon Dark is still as hot as you can get in the Temple, and he’s another step closer to a match for the Lucha Underground Championship.

    The Mack, Killshot, and Dante Fox’s Happy Ending

    No, not that kind of happy ending. We’re talking about actual, legitimate happy endings—the kind you get in Disney movies.

    The Mack, Killshot, and Dante Fox are your new Trios Champions after dispatching the Reptile Tribe, and there isn’t a more fitting end to their season than this win. This was a decent match in the middle of the show, with Kobra Moon’s boys more than holding their own against the challengers. I liked that they played up how Killshot and Dante Fox weren’t at 100% after that Hell of War match, allowing them to fulfill that face in peril role that we often get in tag team matches. Well, it’s hard to be in tip-top fighting shape when your back looks like this.

    Hopefully, this means that we’re going to get the spotlight on the Trios division again when Lucha Underground returns. Mack, Killshot, and Dante Fox are too good to not be featured, and this should put the division back on the map. It’ll also be interesting to see if Fox and Killshot continue to get along. That makes for a dynamic similar to how the original unlikely trio (Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico) played out, which should be fun. On the other hand, they hinted at a little dissent in the Reptile Tribe, with Pindar defying a couple of Kobra Moon’s orders. Whether this is the start of a dissension remains to be seen, but at least there’s something for them to do when the show returns.

    The Blowoff Match that Blew

    The back half kicked off with a Last Luchadora Standing match between Sexy Star and Taya, but unfortunately, it felt like the weakest part of this episode.

    I mentioned earlier how Ultima Lucha Tres has had no shortage of these hardcore-type matches, and here's where we see the drawback to that. This match didn’t look good because everything else that came before it was better. Now, Taya and Sexy Star put on an okay match, but it’s hard to be impressed by it coming from the first two hours of Ultima Lucha Tres. You wanted an absolutely violent match featuring insane spots? Killshot and Dante Fox already did that. You wanted to see a brawl between two women who hate one another? Ivelisse and Catrina had that covered. Even that match-ending fall for both women wasn’t anything spectacular, because we just saw Dante Fox fall to his death in their Hell of War match. This might have been fine if it was one of the first matches in Ultima Lucha Tres, but placing it halfway through the event just makes it look lacking compared to everything we’ve seen so far.

    Where both women go from here is interesting. Taya is likely going back to becoming another cog in the Worldwide Underground, and this might be the last we see of Sexy Star in the Temple after she pulled off a literal Pentagon Dark on Rosemary some time ago. She’s had a solid career and run in the Temple, but it won’t be a big loss in the long run. Her character arc as the strong, independent woman standing up to abuse has run its course, and I think it’s time they give the big spotlight to another lady. Taya and Ivelisse (as long as she doesn’t get injured) are fine choices, and Mariposa has been flying under the radar so far. It’d even be nice to get the Black Lotus Triad back in the Temple, though I suppose they need to replace Doku. There’s a lot of talent waiting in the wings to shine if Sexy Star does leave, so she won’t be a huge loss

    Will the Real Maestro Please Stand Up?

    In lieu of a Quick Hits section this week, I want to highlight that final segment between Prince Puma, Vampiro, and a mysterious maestro.

    Previously, it looked as if Vampiro was the one pulling the strings, picking up Prince Puma as his new disciple after the last one basically threw him away. Apparently, however, Vampiro actually has his own maestro calling the shots, and we can assume that our mystery man is also behind Vampiro’s guidance of Prince Puma. Now, who is this guy? Could it tie into the (late) Councilman Delgado’s boss, who’s been in the shadows for the whole season? Is Vampiro working for one of the known powers in the Temple (Dario Cueto, Catrina, or maybe even the Worldwide Underground), with some devious plan to be hatched? Those are all logical answers, but we actually know who it is already.

    At the close of Ultima Lucha Dos, Pentagon Dark attacked Vampiro and said he was the master now. What if everything Vampiro has been doing has been a ploy to put Pentagon on top of Lucha Underground? It means good things for Pentagon Dark, and very, very bad things for Prince Puma. What a long con this would be if they went that route, right? Fortunately, we don’t have to wait any longer to find out.

    Overall, this was a strong episode of Ultima Lucha Tres. Both championship matches were great, and gave us some deserving first-time champions in Pentagon Dark, The Mack, Killshot, and Dante Fox. The Last Luchadora Standing match wasn't as good, though, so that gives this show a couple of minus points. Overall, it's still a solid episode, and is a nice way to get fans pumped up for the upcoming finale. With two hours and only three matches scheduled, expect a couple of surprises here and there. 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 (10/11/17): Climb That Ladder, Make Yourself Famous Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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