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    Saturday, October 22, 2016

    Good Lucha Things (10/19/16): Ghosts of Luchas Past

    Last week’s episode continued the storied rivalry between Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero, with the latter getting the upper hand after a vicious post-match assault on his former ally. Meanwhile, the Worldwide Underground once again fell short, as their antics weren’t enough to help Jack Evans beat Sexy Star for the Gift of the Gods Championship. Son of Havoc and Mascarita Sagrada were also sent back to the drawing board, as the pair failed to get some revenge on Famous B and his client, Dr. Wagner Jr.

    Okay, so this week’s show was a little different from our standard episodes—there was a big theme of things from the past coming back to haunt our favorite luchadors. Now, the past is a touchy subject to talk about, so let’s see how some of our favorite fighters dealt with #ThrowbackThursday.

    Prince Puma: Can Finally Move On

    It took him an entire season and seven episodes, but Prince Puma finally did it!

    By “it” we’re referring to beating Mil Muertes as the two renewed their storied rivalry in this week’s main event. While this match didn’t reach the amazing heights the original encounter did, this was still a very good match that left both men looking very good. Puma and Mil Muertes have excellent chemistry, showing why they were the two guys that headlined Lucha Underground’s first big show.

    Puma picking up the victory is a big statement win for him, and I’m interested to see where he goes next. He’s already blown his Dial of Doom shot, but with Aztec Warfare coming up (more on that below) he’s got a big opportunity to become the first two-time Lucha Underground Champion in history. What’s interesting though is how Catrina was taunting him post-match, which suggests that this feud with Mil Muertes isn’t done yet. With the score at 1-1, a big rubber match is likely in the cards as well.

    Johnny Mundo: Paid Enough to Move On

    Like Prince Puma, little Johnny also got to move on this week. Instead of using his in-ring skill, though, he went with the tried and tested method of tossing some Benjamins at the table.

    Who’d have thought that all it would take for Dario to concede and give Johnny his Gift of the Gods title shot was a briefcase of money? In a great nod to continuity, Mundo gave back the $100,000 briefcase he won back in the very first season of Lucha Underground—back when he, Puma and Big Ryck (RIP) were the Temple’s big attractions. Sure, he used up some of the money, but it was still enough to get his title match. Things like these are what makes Lucha Underground so fun to watch, as you never know when they bring out these little tidbits from the past.

    Drago: Has Long Since Moved On

    Drago, Fenix and Aero Star were scheduled to be in a match, but in true Dario Cueto fashion, it turned out to be a match against each other. As a prelude to the upcoming Aztec Warfare 3, the boss decided that the winner of this match would enter the big battle at the coveted #20 spot, guaranteeing the winner a strong shot at the Lucha Underground Championship. Of course, in classic Cueto fashion, there was a twist—the losers would be out of Aztec Warfare 3. Game on, fellas.

    The Trios Champions put on a short, but memorable match. It did get a bit messy at times, but the entire fight felt like a fresh change of pace. A large part of this is because we’re seeing the Trios champions doing something different other than fight the Worldwide Underground. Heck, this is actually the first time they’ve been in a match sans any of the dirty foursome this season, and this kind of variety is welcome. Drago’s victory was a pleasant surprise—most would’ve expected Fenix to win here, but I’m glad they’re giving other guys a chance. It’ll be interesting to see whether this causes any tension between the champions, as they still have to work as a unit to defend the Trios Championship.

    After the match, Kobra Moon ssslithered her way into this season and told Drago to win the Lucha Underground Championship and bring it back to their tribe. Yes, apparently, Drago and Kobra Moon are from the same Aztec tribe, but Drago cut off his ties with them and has been living in el inframundo ever since. There’s a potential feud/alliance that can be explored here, and I’m all for Drago branching out onto his own storylines once again. He proved in season 1 that he’s one of the more well-received talents in the Temple, and it’s time he got some more character development.
    Killshot: Absolutely Fucked

    Well, not everyone could get something good. LU’s resident war hero put forth a strong effort as the latest luchador chosen by Dario’s Dial of Doom. Notably, he was still selling the injuries he suffered five weeks back at the hands of Marty “The Moth” Martinez in that Weapons of Mass Destruction match. While he gave Lucha Underground Champion Matanza Cueto a run for his money, those injuries caught up, and Killshot eventually fell to the Wrath of the Gods like those before him.

    As if Killshot wasn’t in enough pain, a man with dog tags came out afterwards hugged him, only to slyly lay our hero out like a fox. Our mystery dude then uttered the same words we saw some time back“you left me for dead.”  That’s enough context clues to tell us that this is one of Killshot’s war buddies that he presumed dead, and it looks like they have some scores to settle with him. I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops, but things aren’t looking too good for Killshot right now.

    The Rest:
    -          Rey Mysterio also paid a visit to his past, having a conversation with none other than Chavo Guerrero Sr. Old Chavo Classic’s got a ponytail rocking, but doesn’t seem to like the idea of Chavo Jr. and Rey duking it out. Mysterio then went on to say that the Temple is too small for both him and Chavito, so I guess that’ll lead to a Loser Leaves the Temple match soon.
    -          Aztec Warfare 3 is coming! Midway through the show, Dario Cueto announced that the big dance will take place four weeks from today. Since his brother Matanza has run roughshod over the competition so far, Dario decided that he’ll be entering the match as the first participant, just to prove how strong he is. Ooh, that’s a ballsy move. So far, we don’t know anything else other than Matanza entering as the first competitor and Drago as the last. Expect to see some qualifying matches in the next couple of weeks, especially with how big Lucha Underground’s roster is right now.
    -          The Rabbit Tribe seems to be running a bit late, as we just got another vignette this week. At this rate, they’ll be turning into Lucha Underground’s version of Curt Hawkins a couple of weeks from now.

    This was a very solid episode of Lucha Underground, and one thing going for it was that they executed the central theme very well. It’s rare that we get an episode like this, and this one stands out because it felt like each segment contributed to the overall theme of the show. On top of that, we got three solid matches, and while they could have gone on a bit longer, they were able to deliver given the short time each match had. This might just be my favorite episode (as a whole) of the season so far, and I hope we get to see more episodes like this in the future. A-

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    Item Reviewed: Good Lucha Things (10/19/16): Ghosts of Luchas Past Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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