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    Friday, July 20, 2018

    Good Lucha Things (7/18/18): Machine vs. Cero Miedo

    This week’s main event was the much-anticipated showdown between Pentagon Dark and Cage for the Lucha Underground Championship.

    I’ll be honest—I expected them to give this more time, something in the veins of a 15-20 minute match. It made sense given how much focus has been on these two beating the shit out of each other, so I was surprised that this match started well into the hour. Not that it was bad, of course—they made very good use of their limited time by putting on an entertaining brawl. Pentagon Dark eventually powered through Cage to pick up the win, much in the same way that he did against Matanza a couple of weeks ago.
    The post-match angle shed some light on why this match was short, though—it looks like we’ll be doing this for a while. Cage escaping the traditional arm-breaking ceremony and declaring his machinehood leads me to think that we’re going to see these two clash once again, with a much more violent stipulation. Something like a match where the only way to win is by breaking a bone makes perfect sense, and is my guess as to where they’re headed after this.

    I’m a fan of letting this feud continue for at least one more match. It feels like we’ve been going through a ton of one-and-done challenges going all the way back to Dario’s Dial of Doom last season, and this is a great feud to buck that trend with. Let these two continue fighting.

    Much Ado About the Medallions

    This episode also saw the final Aztec Medallion given out, as well as the latest twist in the Temple courtesy of Antonio Cueto.
    Say hello to Dezmond X, everyone! You might have heard of him from his stints in Impact Wrestling and Dragon Gate as Dezmond Xavier, and he’s the latest addition to the Lucha Underground roster. His style looks to fit right in with Lucha Underground, though whether he’ll stand out or not remains to be seen. He didn’t really get much time in his debut, as the focus seemed to be on the much darker Paul London, but he’ll get that opportunity to shine in next week’s Gift of the Gods match.

    Speaking of London, they wasted no time introducing this darker, meaner version of him coming from last week’s big reveal. Of course, an all-black attire is the best way to communicate this kind of character change, so that’s exactly what they did here. I’m going to miss the old, wacky Rabbit Tribe, and time will tell whether this darker incarnation turns out to be for the better. They aren’t off to a good start, though, and London looking angry at Mala Suerte and Saltador at the end makes me fear for these two.

    Going back to the Aztec Medallions, I did love Antonio Cueto’s twist of kicking one of the medallion winners out of the match. It’s a very Cueto thing to do, and allows the show to insert some more drama into the match. The Mack (and Son of Havoc, presumably) kicking Mil Muertes out of the match sounds like a good idea at first—eliminating the biggest threat sounds like a good strategy. On the other hand, this pretty much results in Mack painting himself as a target for Mil Muertes, and with the level of violence in the Temple, you can expect the big guy to take his revenge immediately. That makes the Gift of the Gods Championship match the perfect opportunity for Mil to do so, so Mack might have just cost himself his chances next week.

    As far as who wins this match next week, I think there’s really only two guys to look at—El Dragon Azteca Jr. and King Cuerno. Both men would make for worthy Gift of the Gods recipients—Cuerno has been more involved in storylines and looks to be in top form since returning, while an Azteca win would fit right in with the notion that he’s their next breakout name. I’m leaning towards King Cuerno for now, as seeing him trying to hunt down Pentagon Dark would be fun, but I wouldn’t be surprised at Azteca wining either.

    Quick Hits: 

    • In a huge upset, Vibora pinned Johnny Mundo after an entertaining match. The big reptile won the crowd over with his athleticism and solid wrestling, and looks to be a breakout star this season. Keep an eye on him. 
    • Johnny Mundo is finally being billed as hailing from Slamtown. I can’t believe we only got this now. 
    • Son of Havoc and Ivelisse acknowledging each other during the collection of Aztec Medallions is a nice nod to the history these two have had. I can’t even recall when was the last time we saw these two in the ring at the same time.
    • While we’re talking about the Dysfunctional Trio, just what did Ricky Mundo do to Angelico? The South African’s absence this season leads me to believe that Ricky may have done something very, very bad to him. Like, Matanza sacrificing people level of bad. Jack Evans better watch out. 
    This week’s episode was another solid hour, with the latter two matches being good. Lucha Underground has been doing fine in its fourth season so far, but it seems that we’re still lacking that jaw-dropping, mind-blowing spectacle we’ve had in seasons past. 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 (7/18/18): Machine vs. Cero Miedo Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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