I’m of two minds about this episode of Lucha Underground. Case in point, our musical act for this evening, Metalachi. On one hand, that’s a great name for a band. On the other hand, they played the absolute worst version of La Bamba I’ve ever heard in my life to kick off the show. The good is really good, the bad is really bad. That’s the theme of this episode.
We kicked off with the finals for the Battle of the Bulls. Unlike the four matches that lead to this, our final match was elimination rules. It may seem impossible from that build anything for the losers of the match this way; after all, that means they all must take a pinfall. However, I thought they actually did a great job of making Cage and Crane especially look great before they were defeated.
It almost became a little bit silly. Cage dominated the match and looked amazing, then got eliminated. Crane was getting in all kinds of offense and looking sharp, then he got eliminated. If you were getting beat up in this match, you had the guy right where you wanted him.
Despite that, they did a good job of building more Cage and Texano matches, with the latter costing Cage the match. Not that he was able to even do that solo, it took a Texano rope shot, a Crane kick (see what I did there?), a Mack Stunner, and a 450 from Black to seal his fate. Cage looked like a world beater even though he didn’t win. It makes me wonder if he wins the series with Texano and gets god powers how he can possibly get better, but we’ll burn that bridge when we get there.
— Andrew (@TypeAndrew) December 22, 2016
Crane also looked impressive right up until taking a Mack Stunner off the top rope and being pinned. After the match backstage, he set up a match with Mil Muertes that seems like it will be pretty good. It also introduced some weird parts of the lore, with Crane having left something in the Temple has a child and seemingly knowing Catrina since they were both kids.
Which, really, doesn’t make sense. Catrina is hundreds of years old and Crane knew her as a child, but he placed this wooden Ouija board in a ceiling when he was a child and that ceiling is a drop ceiling in an office. How did the board not fall out of the ceiling when Muertes and Matanza fell through it? Surely they would’ve landed on it, if not dislodged it completely. I know, there’s literal dragons on this show, but this doesn’t make sense! Follow your own rules, Lucha Underground!
The Battle of the Bulls match itself was great, I thought. Just as good as last week’s, if not better. Everyone shined at times and there was plenty to like here and less to feel guilty about. The one move that looked rough was Crane dropping Black face first on the apron in a way that seemed terribly violent. I mean, I dug it as a viewer, but you couldn’t pay me to go out there and take it.
The things you kind of expect from a Lucha Underground multi-man match were all represented well here. There were crazy dives, fast-paced action, chaos all around, it was great. This match made the title feel important, that these men were willing to go out there and put everything on the line for it like they did. Making this one an elimination match aided that goal. You couldn’t squeak out one pin and go home with a title shot. You had to work your way through all three of your opponents. This lent credibility to the title, something it sorely needed.
Speaking of which, the main event served to erase all of the credibility the four-way created and then some! Sexy Star and Johnny Mundo hit the ring with nearly twenty minutes left in the episode, at which point I started wondering how much worse 2016 can get. The proceeded to have a boring steel cage match in which Sexy looked bad as usual, which made Johnny look bad by extension, which made the belt look silly when Johnny needed to cheat to beat her.
Why could you not just beat Sexy Star here? Seriously, why not? What are you preserving by making Johnny cheat? He’s the champion for crying out loud. Not to mention, they completely burn the Sexy Star getting her mask stolen spot on something that will get little to no followup. Striker pointed out that the mask is what saved her and helped her heal, that it meant everything to her. Hey, guys? Maybe tell that story in the ring, too?
— Andrew (@TypeAndrew) December 22, 2016
That was one of the few moments where I noticed the commentary tonight. Another was definitely when Vampiro said the J Driller could “put your spine through your butthole.” The rest of the time, I didn’t even recognize the words they were saying. It was just background noise to me. I don’t know how I’ve achieved this blessed state, but I’m able to mostly ignore the commentary completely. It might as well be Japanese. This has made the show so much less frustrating to watch. I recommend it. (Now, if only I could do this during WWE pay-per-views…)
Look, I’m sure that Mundo and Mack will have a good match for the title, but this show didn’t do the title any favors. It’s one thing to have a cowardly heel champion, but a cowardly heel champion who has to cheat to beat someone who is demonstrably terrible is not lending credibility to your belt.
Here’s an honest question, why does anyone want to be Lucha Underground Champion? What does it do for you? We’ve not established that it pays more. It doesn’t necessarily prove you’re the best. The show feels small and large in scope at the same time, where we’re in the middle of an intergalactic war, but also don’t feel like any of the luchadors are famous because of Lucha Underground, so the belt isn’t making you famous. What is the point? If there’s no point? Why do we care?
It’s ultimately a failure of the writing of the show. The wrestlers are capable of having great matches and they often do, tonight highlighted that well. They’re not being served, however, by the random and arbitrary nature that the show tells its stories. How many stories have they traced out vaguely but failed to really nail down for the viewer?
It’s got me thinking the Bard, ol’ Billy Shakes. He wrote something once about life that, wouldn’t you know it, rings true about Lucha Underground the past couple seasons.
…it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
– MacBeth Act V Scene 5
- Battle of the Bulls Finals: The Mack def. Cage, Jeremiah Crane, & PJ Black
- I really really liked this.
- Just carnage bell to bell, which I am always down for.
- Finish was kind of out of nowhere and that dragged the rating down a little for me. If they had a solid closing stretch that lead to that finish, it’s four stars easy.
- Lucha Underground Title Cage Match: Johny Mundo© def. Sexy Star
- I will say this, the camera crew was killing it tonight. That rack focus, mang…
- Sexy Star briefly winning a test of strength against Mundo is ridiculous.
- I wouldn’t believe Jack Evans winning a test of strength against Mundo!
- This was just bad. Thank goodness it wasn’t the full 18 minutes it looked like it could’ve been.