When coming off a “down” week, Lucha Underground has a tendency to bounce back strong. Previous seasons have seemed to arrange the weak episodes in between strong ones to prevent multi-episode stretches of mediocrity. Unfortunately, after last week’s lackluster episode, this week brought us an episode that wasn’t much different.
It’s hard to render any enthusiasm for an episode that peaked at “pretty good, I guess” and floored at “eh, not that bad, I suppose.” Don’t they know there’s a bunch of us trying to write reviews of this thing? What is there even to say about this episode? If you want a wrestling show that you won’t remember tomorrow, have I got an episode for you…
If you just list out the details of what they’re doing with the stories that got time this week, they’re all pretty interesting ideas on paper. You have a woman conquering her fears and rising above her past. There’s a rivalry between the best of the best. There’s the story built on the intrigue of an undercover cop being set up by a trusted partner. A wise mentor stands by as his apprentice works his way to a goal too dangerous for him to conquer. You have the raw material of interesting drama, but nothing tonight made it over the hump.
Sexy Star’s story rises and falls on her performance, and given her performance, it does far more of the latter. The locker room interactions with Dario and Johnny Mundo were fine, but the segment was capped off with a kick to a locker that looked soft. How do you fail to kick a locker and look angry? She hit the door with all the force of a big sneeze. It looked silly.
The atómicos match later in the show featured some especially bad work from Sexy Star, who seemed just a little slower and less athletic than everyone else out there. It reminded me of UFC fighter Bethe Correia, who looks similarly uncoordinated in her outings (yet still finds ways to win which has always puzzled me, but I suppose that’s a post for Voices of MMA). I know Lucha Underground is really shooting Sexy Star to the moon here, but I’m just not on board. This role would’ve been much better served by someone else.
The atómicos match was also notable for being the nail in the coffin of the Worldwide Underground. At this point, the 3 guys on the team are basically cartoon villains. They bumble around, they do goofy comedy, they have plans backfire in silly ways. For a team that last year was pretty cool and easy to hate with their cocky, bully bro persona, the Worldwide Underground has now become a joke.
Two other women had segments that ended up producing far more questions than answers. Catrina killed Siniestro after he lost to Prince Puma, then sucked his soul out of his body and blew it into Mil Muertes. I suppose the idea here is that Mil has absorbed Siniestro’s power and added it to his own, which makes this a giant opportunity wasted. They had a match with Prince Puma earlier in the show to get Siniestro over, or more specifically get a talent of his over. This story would be so much better if he had a trademark move or technique that he excelled at that Mil could roll into his repertoire in his next match. Instead, if Mil did gain one of his traits through inhaling his soul, I would have absolutely no way to discern what that may be.
Black Lotus was referenced earlier this season as having disappeared and tonight we saw her again. She was at a shrine to someone, presumably her parents, flanked by ninjas. It seems now that she truly believes Dragon Azteca was responsible for killing her family, despite the seeds of doubt she showed last season. Rather than focusing her energy on finally eliminating Dragon Azteca Jr. and seizing the mask of the man she killed, she has pivoted to Pentagon Dark and has sent the triad after him. I presume this means she’s the leader of this triad, since they’re named after her and she’s dispatching them on missions.
Everyone wants a piece of Pentagon. He’s the fighter whose stock rose the most this episode, as he made incredibly quick work of Cortez Castro and was the target of several characters. When people are fighting each other to get to you, you’ve at least made quite the name for yourself.
Ultimately, this episode just wasn’t that memorable. Not even Catrina separating souls from bodies seems like something I’ll be thinking about after I click publish on this review. After a big miss last week, the show whiffed again tonight. Next week is a new week, however and I can only hope we have a home run waiting for us.
- Prince Puma def. Siniestro de la Muerte
- This match was average at best.
- Puma looked streets ahead of Muerte here, as Siniestro was often a bit slow in comparison.
- We did get a little development for Puma, who showed some attitude, beating Mil’s goon with Mil’s move.
- Pentagon Dark def. Cortez Castro
- I will give Castro this, he is actually doing a great job with the dramatic irony of his character’s situation.
- The match was unbelievably short, though, as Pentagon steamrolled him and broke his arm for good measure.
- After last week, I can’t decide whether or not I’m hoping Pentagon’s mention of his mother was foreshadowing.
- Worldwide Underground (Jack Evans, PJ Black, Johnny Mundo & Taya) def. Aerostar, Drago, Fenix & Sexy Star
- There were some good moves and dives, but ultimately the match was a bit flat.
- Jack Evans headbutted or punched Sexy Star in the butt, but I have no idea which.
- The camera went to a bird’s eye view and it was hard to see.
- Vampiro called the move, “I don’t know what that is.”
- So… I don’t know what that was either.
- Aerostar, Fenix, and PJ Black I thought looked really good in the match over all.
- Aerostar’s avoidance of the corner off an irish whip was incredibly creative.
- Taya’s leg seemed to be a work, but after Ivelisse’s woes, it’s not out of the question that was hurt there.
- El Dragon Azteca Jr. def. Chavo Guerrero
- This match seemed much shorter than I thought it would be.
- Overall, it wasn’t bad, but it never felt like it really got going.
- They told the story you’d expect them to, with Chavo using veteran cunning and clashing with guest ref, Rey Mysterio.
- Curiously, they didn’t really sell Rey’s trepidation that his pupil would now be going up against Pentagon.