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    Friday, October 7, 2016

    Good Lucha Things (10/5/16): The Prince and the Monster

    Last week wasn’t the best of times for Lucha Underground. El Dragon Azteca Jr. beat Chavo Guerrero in an underwhelming main event, winning the right to face Pentagon Dark at a later date. This was in part thanks to Rey Mysterio, who seemed to reignite his longtime rivalry with the Guerrero Family once more. Meanwhile, the Worldwide Underground got some measure of revenge against the Trios and the Gift of the Gods Champions, pinning Sexy Star to win an atomicos match. Finally, Prince Puma and Mil Muertes continued to tease a potential match, with the former pinning down Catrina’s underling Siniestro de la Muerte.

    Payback on the Prince

    Dario’s Dial of Doom has been a solid addition to the chaos within Lucha Underground, as it’s given us a pair of very good title matches. Once again, it did not disappoint this week.

    In what may be the biggest match Dario’s creation has given us, Matanza defended the Lucha Underground Championship against inaugural champion Prince Puma in one hell of a match. They followed the simple story of power vs. speed, with Matanza trying to slow things down and ground Prince Puma, while the latter tried to use his agility to move around and wear the champion down. That said, we still got impressive feats of strength from Prince Puma, including this beauty of a deadlift suplex:

    Mil Muertes coming in for the surprise attack right after Prince Puma hit the 630 splash made sense, especially as these two have wanted to get at each other for weeks. I liked the finish because they avoided halting Puma’s momentum with a clean loss, and right until the attack, he legitimately looked like he was about to pick up the victory. A big blowoff match is in the cards for these two, and we might see the return of Mil Muertes’ classics such as Grave Consequences and the Deathmatch.

    On the other hand, Matanza’s booking continues to be pretty good this season. He still looks like a legitimate threat without resorting to squash matches, especially because it seems like he’s always one Wrath of the Gods away from retaining his title. It allows for more variety in how Matanza’s matches pan out, and he’s been having consistently good matches this season so far.

    Ultimate Opportunity, Pt. 2

    This week also saw the second match between Cage and Texano for the ultimate opportunity, with Cage currently 1-0 up in this best-of-five series.

    Both men had a much better outing than their first match a couple of weeks ago. Cage and Texano went out and tried throwing everything at each other, making this a more fun match to watch.

    In addition to the usual dose of power moves, both men also showed that they have some aerial game, keeping the match well-paced and varied. Matt Striker had fun calling out where each guy got their moves from, with the obvious throwbacks to guys like Hardcore Holly and Hirooki Goto being nice touches. Cage won after an F5, putting him up 2-0 and just one win away from clinching the series.

    Now, there are a couple of directions they can move this from here. There’s the cliché Texano comeback plot, where he wins the next 2 matches to set up a big decider. The other one would be Cage dominating again, ending things quickly with a clean sweep. While I honestly prefer the second scenario, I wouldn’t want to see Texano look like too much of a chump, either. Thus, I think they’ll give him the comeback wins a la the recent Cesaro-Sheamus feud on Monday Night RAW, with Cage still winning the series in the end. That would vault him back up to the top of the Temple, while not letting Texano look like a complete dud.

    Here Comes a New Challenger!

    So, apparently Ivelisse is going to do something other than feud with Catrina all season long.

    The baddest bitch in the building’s return match was against the winged warrior Mariposa, who was again with his brother and resident creepy bastard Marty “The Moth” Martinez. The two worked a pretty standard affair, with Mariposa controlling most of the match thanks to some shenanigans by the Moth. Ivelisse picked up the win from out of nowhere, but was beaten down by the Moth Tribe right after. This just sets Ivelisse up to get some measure of revenge against the siblings, because you just know she isn’t going to let this pass.

    Of course, she’s going to need a +1 to even the odds, so right on cue Sami Callihan makes his Lucha Underground debut! He’s going by Jeremiah here in the Temple, and is apparently Ivelisse’s current man. Jeremiah’s introduction was good, and in that one minute he showed more character than he ever did during his run as Solomon Crowe in NXT. Expect them to build to Jeremiah getting his hands on the Moth tribe one way or another, even if Ivelisse doesn’t necessarily approve of him getting payback for her.

    The Rest:

    • Johnny Mundo’s campaign to get a title shot continued to fall on deaf ears. He paid another visit to Dario Cueto, who gives a Gift of the Gods Championship match to Jack Evans, seeing as how he pinned Sexy Star in last week’s atomicos match. The best part of this is Dario is actually booking things very fairly, which is irking Mundo to no end.

    • A vignette for the Rabbit Tribe aired, telling everyone to “follow the white rabbit” and that they’ll soon be here. That sounds much better than “follow the buzzards”, because who doesn’t want to follow a cute, furry little thing? There’s a reason why rabbits are domesticated and buzzards aren’t.


    • Killshot received a surprising letter (by way of Joey Ryan) with some mysterious words: “You left me for dead.” His backstory has been well-explored in Lucha Underground, and it looks like the past is about to come back and haunt him. Think Andy Diggle-style from the Arrow TV series. Killshot’s picking up more steam now, and I’m very excited for this next chapter.

    This week was a much, much better outing than last week’s episode. We had an amazing main event between Prince Puma and Matanza, as well as a solid middle match with Cage and Texano duking it out again. They also introduced new characters and built others up—Jeremiah, the Rabbit Tribe, as well as Killshot’s mysterious past are things I’m looking forward to seeing in the next few weeks. This just feels like a step up from last week’s episode, so I think a B is a sound rating for it.

    What did you think of this week's episode of Lucha Underground? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

    Cover photo taken from Twitter


    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 (10/5/16): The Prince and the Monster Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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