Guys, I’m worried about Lucha Underground.
For the second week in a row, we got a show that was fine. It wasn’t a bad show. The matches weren’t bad, but 2 of the 3 weren’t good either. A couple promo segments were good, a couple were ok. The problem is that nothing that happened felt like it mattered all that much. I find myself having a hard time mustering enthusiasm about any of it.
Ultimately, I have to wonder if this is tied in to the reign of Matanza. Dario Cueto’s baby brother came into the Temple as this force of nature that destroyed everything in its path. This entailed squashing half the roster in Aztec Warfare and treating Fenix and Pentagon Jr. like enhancement talent. Mil Muertes was able to give a decent fight to the champ, but was ultimately beaten (and apparently killed). Matanza’s arrival has shifted the balance of the Lucha Underground universe.
We used to think that Pentagon and Fenix were top guys. They were the baddest of the bad, they were the top of the pile. For Matanza to come along and destroy them, especially Pentagon, it reset the scale. If Matanza’s the new 10, is Pentagon even a 6? If the luchadors we’ve come to know and love are so far beneath the champion, what reason do we really have left to care?
There were two title matches on tonight’s show and I found myself not particularly invested in either of them. The Gift of the Gods championship match had two things working against it. For one, there was no doubt that Cage would win the match. For another, regardless who won, is it even a question how the winner would fare against Matanza? Cage won and will face the monster, but can he beat him? Can he even get him off his feet? So far only Mil Muertes has accomplished the latter and no one has been particularly close on the former.
The trios tag title match was fun, but I couldn’t help but feel like I’d seen it before. It was certainly better than the trios match from a couple weeks ago. There were some great spots and flips. The rudo team played their roles really well and were great heels up against the white meatiest of babyfaces. I don’t know as there’s much I could say was wrong with it, but I found the match hard to connect with.
I don’t want to take anything away from the guys in the match. Prince Puma is one of the best workers in the world right now, Dragon Azteca Jr. has surprised me greatly this season by being a really great (if slightly generic) babyface luchador, Rey is Rey. Jack Evans has been a really fun heel on top of his entertaining work in the ring, Mundo always delivers, PJ Black fits in well with all of these guys. I was prepared to love this match but something was just missing.
Altogether, the episode tonight felt like filler. Which, in a vacuum isn’t the worst thing, but this was also an episode that had two title defenses on it. That’s not good when your title matches come off like filler. Granted, one of them is more of a “title” than a title, but still. No stories were moved forward in meaningful ways and none of the matches were stellar. It was a show.
I’m not sure where they go from here. The season is already in the can, so I hope they had a larger plan that they were working towards, because right now the show feels stagnant. There’s a lack of compelling stories and characters right now and it’s translating to a show that may have some pretty good action, but isn’t giving me a reason to anticipate it every week.
- Joey Ryan def. Mascarita Sagrada – Fine little comedy match. At one point, I’m pretty sure Famous B tried to literally pimp out Brenda. Joey Ryan has officially brought the King of Dong Style gimmick in with this match. Eh, why not a Thumb Up?
- Gift of the Gods Championship Match: Cage def. Chavo Guerrero© – This did nothing for me. Don’t get me wrong, Cage always has some impressive moves, but on the whole this match bored me. Cage wants Matanza next week? Can’t say I like his chances. An apathetic Thumbs Down
- Trios Title Match: Jack Evans, PJ Black, & Johnny Mundo def. Rey Mysterio Jr., Prince Puma, & Dragon Azteca Jr.© – Lots of fun spots, some really impressive stuff. Surprisingly great heel work from the rudos. Was impressed with the way they worked over Puma in the corner and did so without stripping the athleticism from their offense, but kept it from being too fan friendly. Thumbs Up
- Pentagon walks!
- The Taya mirror promo was not only yet another kung fu on random luchador skit, but also seems weeks late.
- Cuerno has Mil Muertes in a glass case with his hunting trophies. Awesome.
- The Bill N Ted gimmick in the Mundo promo is another example that people who think this show is trying to be a serious drama are missing the point. This is Crank, not Goodfellas.
- “Dario and his hot ninja aren’t here, now’s my chance!”
- I legit thought Ryan was going to shoot Mr. Cisco in the head.