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    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    Good Lucha Things (9/28/16): Go 2 Sleep

    Last week saw the continuation of Dario’s Dial of Doom, with the Mack getting his turn for a shot at Matanza and the Lucha Underground Championship. Like Son of Havoc before him, though, the Mack put up a fight but was eventually subdued by the Monster. Trios Champions Aero Star, Drago, and Fenix also successfully defended their titles, beating a Johnny Mundo-less Worldwide Underground after some discord between Jack Evans and the team. Finally, Cage beat Texano for what he thought was the ultimate opportunity, but it turned out to only be the first match in what Dario Cueto turned into a best of five series.

    A Feud Reborn

    El Dragon Azteca Jr. and Chavo Guerrero faced off for the chance at a match against Pentagon Dark, with Rey Mysterio as the guest referee to keep things in check. Unfortunately, this match felt a tad too underwhelming.

    Despite this being the main event, it lacked the air of a match that deserved to close the show. The story of the match was the wily veteran Chavo outmanuevering the younger El Dragon Azteca Jr., using his experience to get the better of Rey’s protégé. He did it without breaking a sweat, but that meant that this match never really got out of second gear. It’s a shame, as we didn’t really get to see Dragon Azteca bust out his exciting offense here. Despite the schooling, El Dragon Azteca Jr. still picked up the win after Chavo had a brief scuffle with guest referee Mysterio.

    The biggest problem with this match is that it didn’t do anything for El Dragon Azteca Jr.’s case for facing Pentagon Dark. Sure, he won, but does anyone really believe that he’s ready for his revenge? Rey Mysterio voiced this concern last week, and that worry still stands this week. If El Dragon Azteca Jr. couldn’t handle a 45-year old Chavo Guerrero on his own, how is he supposed to beat the Temple’s most vicious fighter in Pentagon Dark? Dude still looks like a chump, and at this point, he may as well get his other arm broken soon.

    The other direction we’re heading towards is a likely feud between Rey Mysterio Jr. and Chavo Guerrero. I was excited when Mysterio debuted at Aztec Warfare 2, because it meant that he could face the newer generation of luchadors like Prince Puma and Fenix. This old guard feud isn’t really getting me pumped up, but I’m willing to give this a shot because Chavo has shown that he works well as a foil to any big tecnico.

    Also, there’s a ton of history between Mysterio and the Guerrero family, and you can count on them to play it up. Maybe Chavo can claim that Rey’s son Dominic is actually his son in some bizarre domestic custody angle, but that sounds too ludicrous even for Lucha Underground standards.

    Oh, right.

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Boyle Heights

    On the other hand, things seem to be looking up for Prince Puma.

    The first ever Lucha Underground Champion took on Sinestro de la Muerte to kick off the show, and it marked a distinct change in his approach to wrestling. Gone was Prince Puma’s flashy, fun style, replaced by a more serious and deliberate style of fighting. It felt as if he was here to fight, not show off, and he even got some mind games going when he pinned Sinestro in front of Mil Muertes using Mil’s own finisher, the Flatliner.

    I’m glad that they’re putting an emphasis on Prince Puma’s growth into a more serious and aggressive fighter, as this is exactly what he needs to vault back to a position of relevance. He felt like a lost character for much of last season, taking part in a couple of feuds but never really capturing the heights he reached in the first season. Vampiro’s pep talk lit a fire in him, and he looks much, much better right now. This black mask version of Prince Puma looks like the kind of guy that can finally get one over Mil Muertes, and I’m looking forward to when these two get in the ring once more.

    The Rest:

    • The Worldwide Underground finally got something going, picking up a win over champions Aero Star, Drago, Fenix, and Sexy Star in an atomicos (8-person tag) match. Notably, this was a much better affair than their previous matches this season, mostly thanks to Johnny Mundo being involved in the action again. Mundo has made it clear that his target is Sexy Star’s Gift of the Gods Championship, so expect the quartet to continue hounding the champions in the next few weeks.

    • Cortez Castro received a warm reception upon his return, getting a hug and a match from Dario Cueto (who now knows he’s a cop.) Unfortunately, that match was against Pentagon Dark, and it predictably ended with the officer getting his arm snapped. Anyone who wants to place bets on whether or not Cortez Castro dies this season?

    • Speaking of dead people, Catrina might have killed Sinestro de la Muerte. I mean, it’s hard to tell with all these undead guys if they’re done for, but that’s what it looked like. I can’t even be bothered to write something nice in memory of Sinestro, because the only thing he did of note was kill off Barrio Negro and Trece that one time. He will not be missed.

    • Black Lotus showed up at the end, said a quick prayer in memory of her dead parents, and vowed to get revenge on Pentagon Dark with some ninjas. NINJAS! IN THE TEMPLE!

    Well, I’ll be honest: this might have been the weakest episode of this season to date. Prince Puma put on a good match with Siniestro de la Muerte, and the Worldwide Underground were their usual entertaining selves, but everything else felt like it fell short. The main event wasn’t great, and the rest of the show just felt like it was there. This fits right in line with a C-, and it’s not the kind of show I’d let people watch if they wanted to start getting into Lucha Underground. Hopefully, things pick back up in the next couple of episodes.
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    Item Reviewed: Good Lucha Things (9/28/16): Go 2 Sleep Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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