Do you like bad movies? Is How Did This Get Made one of your favorite podcasts? Were you a big Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan? Did you really enjoy the Crank movies? Do you know the exact moment to yell, “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”? Yes? Well, do I have an episode of Lucha Underground for you!
This episode was, as HDTGM host Jason Mantzoukas would say, BONKERS. We got a good, if spotty match. We got a really good match. We also got basically the wrestling equivalent of a Vin Diesel/The Rock fight from a Fast & Furious movie and some of the best worst skits all season.
We first got Fenix, Drago and Aerostar sitting in Dario Cueto’s office. For a second, I wonder if this is just another of Will Graham’s fever dreams, but nope, that really is how Drago just walks around backstage. It sets up two of our matches, with Fenix doing the wacky partner thing with Drago’s enemies and Drago and Aerostar renewing their rivalry for an Aztec Medallion. So far, this episode looks promising.
The first match was for the medal and it was pretty good, but was brought down severely by some bad botches and some miscommunication between the guys. The story of the match was supposed to be how well they know each other, leading to reversals and dodges, but it often just looked like they weren’t on the same page. What also really hurt them was a huge slip from Aerostar, totally blowing a springboard and causing him to crash to the floor, possibly hurting his back. It looked painful and threw them off dramatically. Drago looked lost, not knowing what to do next.
They recovered reasonably well and got to some nice dives and spots. Drago’s Dominator was brutal and awesome and Aerostar’s springboard Codebreaker looked great. I couldn’t tell if Aerostar was legit hurt or if he was just selling really well for most of the match. The match wasn’t bad, as I don’t know if these guys could have a bad match, but it felt disjointed. That’s the problem with building around missed spots and trying to be bad on purpose, sometimes it just ends up being subpar.
Speaking of, boy oh boy did we get a horrible segment with Johnny Mundo and Taya. Mundo was hitting his kung fu blocks while Taya walked in to talk to him. What followed was some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever seen in any TV show. Mundo literally said the line, “If I have to take Cage to Slam Town one more time, that's what I have to do.” Now that I think of it, that’s not a bad euphemism. I’m not sure what for just yet, but surely “taking Cage to Slam Town” needs to become a thing.
We got another trios tournament match with the former champs, the Disciples of Death against Fenix, Jack Evans, and PJ Black. Evans was a really entertaining weasel here. He refused to get in the ring, at one point telling Black, “But why? You’re doing so well!” Fenix and Black looked good on offense and the Disciples of Death got the total Putty treatment here. They got a little offense, but largely were beat down and vanquished. All in all, there were some fun flips and dives and it was super watchable.
What followed was one of the craziest things they’ve done yet on this show. Catrina berated the Disciples of Death, asking why she should spare them after they failed her and Mil. Sinestro de la Muerte seized this opportunity to go full on “Kali Ma” on the other two and ripped their still beating hearts from their chests! It then occurred to me that Striker had called him the “life blood of the Disciples of Death” in the previous match. He really should have went with “heart and soul”. Missed opportunity. This was completely insane and I kind of loved it. They went all the way crazy with it and it worked much in the same way Matanza eating a man’s face last season did.
Our main event was a title match between Matanza and Mil Muertes. I was personally starting to lose interest in Matanza squashing everyone and was worried we were going to get another one here. We did not.
This match was two big dudes just beating each other senseless all over the ring, ringside, and the whole arena. Striker described it as Galactus and Thanos and that pretty much captures it. This was two super villains fighting to the death.
For an actor with no previous work in pro wrestling, Dario Cueto makes a fantastic heel manager. His facials are top notch, which makes sense, but he’s also already quite adapt at reacting to the crowd and the match. He did great with the heel manager hits the babyface and then tucks tail spot and took a pretty nasty bump afterwards. He was so good in this match.
The days of Matanza not even being taken off his feet are over. Mil clubbered him to the mat and took it to him in a battle of equals. They brawled all over the place and eventually made their way to the roof of Dario’s office. The whole time, the crowd is going insane, Dario is losing his mind, Catrina is looking on in horror. It built so well to the big spot, which did not disappoint. Mil Muertes delivered a Flatliner to Matanza through the roof of the office sending both of them crashing through to the floor below.
I loved everything about this. It was such a fun monster battle and the hot crowd and solid manager work at ringside really elevated it. The big spot at the end was spectacular and the final shot of Dario holding high the key screaming, “War!” at Catrina who held high the magic rock was a great image to close the show proper on. I’m excited to see where they go with this and absolutely look forward to the next match between these two.
We could’ve ended the show there, but no, we were treated to more time with Captain Vasquez in her office. We see a board with Bael listed as “Deceased” and Hernandez, Alberto, Blue Demon, Big Ryck, and some other guy listed as “Missing”, which I liked. When someone knocked on her door, she covered it up with a map like she offices out of an elementary school classroom. A new character, Councilman Delgado was introduced and his boss, a man even more powerful than the mayor, was alluded to. Vasquez responded to his veiled threats by pounding her desk and getting an ice cream headache. I have no idea where this is going, but I can’t say I’m not intrigued.
For those who aren’t fans of Lucha Underground because they can’t get past the campiness, this episode is exhibit A of why they don’t like it. I embrace the camp and really dug it. It’s completely insane, but that’s why I love it.
- Aerostar def. Drago – The blown spot threw them for a loop and they seemed out of sync, but these guys probably couldn’t have a bad match if they tried. Thumbs Up
- Fenix, Jack Evans, & PJ Black def. The Disciples of Death – Some cool dives, some cool spots, it was a fun trios match. Not something you need to go far out of your way for, but it was pretty good. Thumbs Up
- Lucha Underground Title Match: Matanza© NC Mil Muertes – Solid monster match capped by a crazy spot at the end. I thought this was so great. Thumbs Way Up
- Finally noticing this show is super orange. Felt like I was watching it through that iOS Night Shift mode.
- “Matt, can you see the look on Drago’s face?” Vampiro asks, as though the man’s not wearing a mask.
- “Bob Ross’ youngest son loves it, happy little trees for everyone!”
- I call BS on Vampiro not knowing anything about drugs.
- “Cage… in a cage.”
- Gotta love the fast motion sound effects while Johnny Mundo moves at clearly normal speed.
- "Many do say that Sinestro de la Muerte is the life blood of the Disciples of Death." WHO? Name one person!