Thursday, November 19
We open this week’s episode of Lucha Underground with a recap of the ongoing issues between Johnny Mundo and Dario Cueto. These opening recaps haven’t gotten a ton of attention, but like most of the production aspects of Lucha Underground they’re very well done.
Sexy Star vs Ivelisse: Sexy Star cuts a promo in Spanish and talks some smack to Chavo Guerrero (this was all subtitled), vowing to get revenge for his attacks on Blue Demon and Mascarita Sagrada. Ivelisse enters with mic in hand, calls Sexy Star ugly, and proclaims herself the “baddest bitch” in LU. Those were obviously fighting words, so off we go.
Vampiro takes a cheap shot at “divas”, and Striker cackles. That stuff can be fun sometimes, but it’s a fine line, and this came off very TNA-ish, which obviously isn’t a compliment. Ivelisse controlled nearly the entire match until Sexy Star used a drop hold into a La Magistral to steal the win. Ivelisse sold the loss like she was stunned, and even though it probably wasn’t the idea, you came away from this thinking Ivelisse was the better
wrestler fighter. There was nothing wrong with this, but it was just a match. No better or worse than a run of the mill “divas” match when they get some time on Main Event or Superstars. *1/4
Cueto is in a dirty bathroom with Drago giving him the business, running him down and questioning whether he may have wasted his time bringing him to Lucha Underground. Cueto says he’s booking Drago in a fight with King Cuerno, Drago responds by drooling blood and walking off. Pretty gangster.
My new favorite wrestler, Pentagon Jr., is in the ring, and we’ve got another subtitled promo. He says nobody in Mexico respects him, and thanks Cueto for bringing him to the temple. So if it wasn’t already obvious by his overall bad ass-ness, he’s a heel with a chip on his shoulder. Fenix makes his way down to the ring, and we have our second match.
Pentagon Jr vs Fenix: These men are no strangers to each other in Mexico, having faced each other many times. Fenix finished 6th in the WON Awards Rookie of the Year balloting in 2011, and Pentago Jr. finished 10th (as Dark Dragon). This was a great match, in a totally different way than the crazy three way from the week before that featured these two men plus Drago. They packed in plenty of crazy spots, but in between there were cool, logical transitions and some really great selling from Pentagon Jr. — he’s developing into a total package. He’s got a great, menacing look, he’s a tremendous brawler with vicious looking offense, but he can fly too. And as shown in this bout, I really like his unique selling. Fenix used a soccer kick to the head on the outside and Pentagon folded his body over in a way you don’t normally see. Later, Pentagon was on the top turnbuckle and Fenix hit a leaping kick to the head. Pentagon flopped like a rag doll, twisted and tied up in the turnbuckles. This ended up leading into the finish, with Fenix hitting a top rope Spanish Fly for the win. Great stuff, awesome action. ***3/4
A video package aired for King Cuerno (El Hijo del Fantasma in AAA). He was shown CHOPPING WOOD and said some generic jibber jabber (in English). He wears antlers, and talked about hunting and stalking prey.
Drago vs King Cuerno: Drago is super fast, and maybe the fastest rope runner not named Masato Yoshino. Everything else he does is super quick too. Cuerno was very methodical here, catching Drago and using power strikes and holds to slow him down. The big spot was Cuerno throwing the ref down in front of Drago who was coming off the ropes, but Drago jumped off the ref’s back and used flying head scissors to toss Cuerno out of the ring. Drago then followed up with a a tope con hilo to wipe out Cuerno on the outside. Drago tossed Cuerno back into the ring but sassed for too long on the apron, allowing Cuerno to recover, knock him to the floor, and hit a tope of his own. I can’t even describe the finish. Drago came off the ropes, used an arm drag, rolled through, did a crucifix cradle, and tied Cuerno up for the pin. Vampiro wondered if that was the “freshest” finish he’d ever seen. It was indeed fresh. What I like about this promotion, is Cuerno wasn’t the first person to lose his debut. They really keep you on your toes with finishes, because I figured Cuerno would win since they just introduced him minutes earlier. I like that kind of non-standard booking. Another really good match. ***
Prince Puma is doing leg lifts on some 1980’s exercise equipment. Konnan implores him to not get involved in Johnny Mundo’s fight with Big Ryck under any circumstances. Puma gives a halfhearted nod, but it’s clear he isn’t fully on board with this advice.
4. Big Ryck vs Johnny Mundo – The one flaw with showing the previous Konnan/Puma scene is that it foreshadowed Ryck’s goons getting involved in this match. The match itself was pretty simple psychology – Big Ryck is a massive powerhouse, and Mundo has to use his quickness to stay out of reach of his power moves. Big Ryck kicks out after a Moonlight Drive, and we cut to Puma having his leg lifts interrupted by Ryck’s gang. With Puma taken out, they do a run in, triple team Mundo, and put him through a table. Mundo wins by DQ, but the show ends with Mundo left laying in the ring, and Puma left laying in the back. **
Another strong episode, carried more by the action this week than by the story advancement. The Fenix/Pentagon Jr and Drago/King Cuerno matches are worth seeking out. Overall, this show is doing an efficient job of introducing new characters, establishing motivations and advancing storylines. Chavo and Prince Puma haven’t wrestled the past few weeks, but they’ve managed to keep both of their stories going in other ways, while also effectively getting new people into the mix. The show really makes the most out of all 60 minutes, with no throwaway segments. We’re now a month in to this thing, which is about the time the novelty of a new show should be starting to wear off and/or the warts start showing, but neither of those things are happening yet. Two weeks ago, I said I wasn’t sure whether this show was good or not, but I did say it was fun. It’s still fun, and it’s also good.