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    Sunday, July 15, 2018

    Good Lucha Things (7/11/18): People Killing, People Dying

    “Holy shit, what just happened?” is a completely fine reaction to the ending of the latest episode of Lucha Underground.

    In one of the trippiest scenes this show has ever aired, the Rabbit Tribe was finally led to their destination—the mysterious White Rabbit. It turns out that the White Rabbit is not actually a rabbit, but a man dressed in a fancy suit. This turned dark quickly, though, when the man ordered Paul London to kill Mascarita Sagrada to prove his loyalty—and that’s exactly what London did. Welp.

    For those of you who aren't familiar, the White Rabbit is Killer Kross—he’s had stints in AAA and several other promotions, and recently debuted for Impact Wrestling. Kross is a big man who’s a natural at playing the cold psychopath role that you never expected to be one in the first place. He’s got a calm voice that wouldn’t sound out of place at a business meeting, which belies his tendency to cause mayhem and chaos. Take a look at this recent video from Impact Wrestling below, and you’ll see what I mean:

    Of course, being in Lucha Underground opens up a lot of possibilities for the White Rabbit in terms of how they’ll portray him. This also means good things for the Rabbit Tribe, as this marks the start of an actual storyline for them. They were just hanging around last season, but look to have hit the jackpot now—things are about to pick up for them.

    The show’s other murder came in the form of Matanza Cueto continuing to sacrifice people to the gods, with this week’s poor victim being none other than Cortez Castro. This was Antonio Cueto’s way of getting rid of the police’s eye on the Temple, which is a reasonable thing to do now that we have a regular murder segment. It is surprising that they’d off Cortez Castro, though, since they’ve never really deemed him as a surplus given that he was involved in a semi-important storyline.

    While it sucks seeing them go, such is the nature of Lucha Underground—there just isn’t enough space for us to witness everyone’s stories. Some characters have more important tales than others, and their deaths made it clear that these two guys have fulfilled their role. Farewell, fellas—at least we’ll have some memorable moments to remember them by. Remember when Mascarita Sagrada threw a bowling ball at Famous B, or when Castro torched Joey Ryan with some scalding hot coffee? Those were fun.

    You Get a Medallion, She Gets a Medallion, Everyone Gets a Medallion!

    This episode’s other main plot point revolved around the ancient Aztec Medallions, and by the end we would find out four more characters who’ll get a shot at the Gift of the Gods Championship.

    Ivelisse defeated famous dick wrestler Joey Ryan in a decent match to pick up an Aztec Medallion. This was pretty standard as far as Joey Ryan matches go, with lots of schlong style antics as Ryan tried to get into Ivelisse’s head. It’s nice to see them continuing to give Ivelisse a chance to shine despite her career being stop-and-go due to the numerous injuries she’s had. Hopefully, this is the season where everything becomes fine again for her career in Lucha Underground.

    The three-way between Trios Champions Son of Havoc, Killshot and The Mack was well done, and was the best match of the evening. Antonio Cueto coming out and giving away another Aztec Medallion was a slick way to continue building the tension between the three. As you’d expect from the three names involved, this was a solid sprint from start to finish. Mack opting to pin Killshot instead of Son of Havoc makes it clear he’s chosen to side with Havoc, which should lead to some more tension when they have to team up again soon.

    Notably, Killshot seems to be growing into more of a heel as the weeks go by. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t regard Son of Havoc as their third member, much less a brother—and it’s easy to see why. Havoc was a replacement for Killshot’s foe-turned-friend Dante Fox, and Killshot seems to be resenting the fact that Son of Havoc just slipped in there and became their partner. What’s great about this is that you see Killshot’s in-ring style slowly evolving to suit his new persona. He’s a little cockier and more erratic in the ring compared to his cold, precise approach from before, and it helps convey that he’s growing to be more aggressive and resentful over what’s been happening.

    Poor Mack, though. Dude just wants to defend those Trios Championships without a fuss, but he’s getting a whole heap of drama on top of it.

    The main event saw Cage and Mil Muertes fight it out in one hell of a mess. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but this match was absolute chaos—referees were destroyed left and right throughout this match. This was a short, but fun hoss battle and the crowd reacted well to the officials getting wrecked. It’s always fun to see these kinds of matches in Lucha Underground, and especially with these two involved—it’s a nice follow-up from the feud they had at the end of last season over the Gauntlet.

    Pentagon Dark hiding in the crowd to get payback on Cage makes sense and helps build up their ongoing feud. It looks like we’re headed there next week, which should be another stern test as the champion continues to be this show’s new standard-bearer. I don’t know how likely a Cage win is, but I’d be fine if it happened—he’s been one of the most over guys on the roster, and a Lucha Underground Championship reign would be a nice accolade to pick up. It probably isn't happening at Pentagon's expense, though.

    Meanwhile, Catrina refusing to give the lick of death continues to build up the tension she and Mil have had in the past couple of weeks. We still don’t know what’s going on with these two, because it doesn’t seem like it was about Catrina restoring her full life back. There’s a lot of possibilities with where they’re going with this, so keep an eye on these two.

    Quick Hits:

    • Man, I just can’t get used to seeing Vampiro with a full head of hair. It just doesn’t look right, you know?
    • The mysterious small man beside the White Rabbit was something they didn’t explain, and I’m looking forward to finding out who he is. Is he an ally of the White Rabbit? Is he just some pet kept around for amusement?
    This week’s show was a nice step up, with some nice wrestling and excellent plot development all packed into one hour. The three-way was a fun show, but really, it was the ending that stood out this episode. 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 (7/11/18): People Killing, People Dying Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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