Sometimes you need filler episodes. You’ve gotta move stories from point A to point B and set your pieces up before you play them. Sometimes you need a transition and time to prepare before you deliver the big events. I was ready to chock this episode of Lucha Underground up as just that until the main event delivered on a level I did not think was possible even as it was beginning.
Sexy Star and Mariposa brought back ECW tonight. The “No Más” match between the two for one of Dario Cueto’s “ancient Aztec medallions” would have fit in perfectly in the ECW Arena in the second half of the 90’s. Everything about it was reminiscent of a wild brawl from the company’s heyday, for better and for worse. You had blood, weapons, genital trauma, profanity, run-ins. If you told me New Jack was the agent on this match, I would 100% believe it.
How you feel about this match will almost certainly depend on how you felt about ECW’s more hardcore matches back in its day. Sure, ECW had your Eddie Guerreros, your Rey Mysterios, your Chris Jerichos and Lance Storms. But face it, when you think ECW, you think Tommy Dreamer and Sandman, Singapore canes and chairshots, bloody brawls and Joey Styles screaming “OH MY GAAAAAAAAAAWD!” above the mayhem. Sexy Star and Mariposa delivered that tonight. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic watching the match. It was “garbage wrestling” but it kept popping the crowd and yours truly from his couch. I have fond memories of those matches and tonight’s main event brought them back and made new ones.
There were so many great moments here. Mariposa resting a chair against Sexy Star’s face and then throwing another chair into it, Sexy being dragged up the stairs by her hair, Sexy dangling from the rafters precariously, fans being pretty grossed out by Sexy raining blood down onto them, Mariposa swinging Sexy into the table over and over, Sexy dropping an “f-bomb” three times on cable at 7pm Central, Sexy’s blood soaked smile as she cranked on Mariposa’s arm. It had so many visually striking moments.
I haven’t even mentioned the little things that contributed to it from the others around the ring and in the stands. Striker and Vampiro were great on commentary here. Vampiro sold his fear of being forced to quit and of heights well. Striker told the story of the match in a way that accentuated what they were doing in and around the ring. His call of, “That’s a human being! That’s someone’s daughter!” worked for me big time and the way he pointed out how Sexy had gone from audible responses to head shakes helped tell the story. Melissa Santos, practically off camera, cheering Sexy Star on contributed to the environment in a big way for being such a small thing. Props to the fans looking grossed out by the blood falling on them and that poor woman who looked terrified like a ghost had visited the Temple. And how could I forget Vampiro literally marching at ringside leading chants for Sexy Star? The atmosphere around the match made this feel like a huge deal.
Honestly, it was a big deal. Here’s a match between two women that’s just as violent and brutal as any men’s match they’ve had. They went out there and tore the house down. Sure, it wasn’t the most snug work in the world, but it got the job done. I wonder if that is a feather in the cap of these two ladies. Every other women’s match I can think of that was good to great did that on the merits of the technical ability demonstrated. I’m sure that leaves out some awesome Joshi matches I haven’t seen, but when I think of memorable women’s matches I think of the NXT series with Bayley, Sasha, Charlotte, and Becky in various combinations. I think of Trish and Mickie James at Wrestlemania. I think of AJ and Kaitlyn at that one random pay-per-view that was better than expected.
Here, we had blood. We had passion. We had fans going bananas for a wild brawl. We had commentary selling the brutality and violence. I can’t really think of any women’s matches I could compare this to. For that, I think it may have been a big step forward for women’s wrestling. Not necessarily because these gals are spectacular workers (they’re not), but because they went out there and made the crowd care anyway and put themselves on the line to deliver a memorable match.
If you would have told me going in tonight that I’d write over 600 words on the Sexy Star/Mariposa match alone, I would have found it impossible to believe. I even lamented to some of the Voices of Wrestling staff that I would have to suffer through this match tonight. How wrong I was! There is a giant helping of crow being prepared at Casa de Sexton tonight, because these women delivered tonight and gave me one of my favorite matches of season 2.
For all the semi-recent banter over whether this show is a “tv show” or a “wrestling show,” I will say the latter significantly outshone the former here. As great as this match was, the storytelling leading into it was flatter than Kansas. Where did Sexy Star’s confidence come from? How did she recover from Mariposa’s spell? We have no answers. We’re left to fill in the blanks for ourselves. I, for one, choose to believe she overcame her fears through the magical power of weight lifting. You may write your own story, the Lucha Underground staff surely ain’t doing it for you right now.
It’s a good thing the main event got me so fired up tonight, because the other two-thirds of this show was worthless for the most part. Marty and The Mack had a short match. It was fine. The last remaining Disciple of Death beat Cuerno in a move that was both weird for the choice made and for how short the match was. Mascarita Sagrada got squashed by Cage in what was more an angle to set up Cage and Chavo than anything. It is all skippable save for Dario’s conversation with Sexy Star to set up the main event. Dario Cueto remains the best actor in wrestling by miles.
The cherry on top of it all tonight, though, is the promise that next week’s main event brings. Matanza will defend his title against Mil Muertes in a Graver Consequences match. There will be 4 coffins! What does that even mean? I don’t know! But I’m excited!
The crazy question is… can they top Sexy Star and Mariposa?
I can’t even believe I’m able to ask that. Girl power!
- Aztec Medallion Match: The Mack def. Marty the Moth – Marty is a really great creep. Both these guys are surprisingly athletic. They could’ve probably had a good match, but it never got the time to develop. A Thumb Up
- Aztec Medallion Match: Sinestro de la Muerte def. King Cuerno – This was barely a match. I didn’t time it, but Catrina’s lick of death may have been as long as the match itself. Disappointing! My thumbs can’t really even be bothered to care
- Aztec Medallion Match: Cage def. Mascarita Sagrada – Fine comedy squash. Leads to a match I have zero interest in seeing, but I guess Chavo Guerrero has to be kept busy somehow. Eh, a thumb up, I suppose
- No Más Match: Sexy Star def. Mariposa – I’ve already probably said all I can (or all anyone’s willing to read) about this match. It really was a lot of fun. The first minute or two is pretty brutal in a bad way, but the rest gets brutal in a good way. If you enjoy a good plunder brawl, it’s definitely worth your time. Thumbs WAY Up (****)
- I expected Dario to say 2 coffins: one for wrestler, one for manager. What in the world is the point of 4?
- Marty’s trunks make me uneasy.
- “She better get a tetanus shot, a rabies shot, and take a bath!”
- Melissa Santos was really great on this show. Added to everything she was a part of.
- Why is The Mack a hodgepodge tribute to the Attitude Era?
- “Stop stallin’, start ballin’!” – My new life mantra.
- Dario and I apparently share the same opinion of Chavo Guerrero. He is quite the discerning gentleman.