One of the things I was looking forward to the most in Lucha Underground was seeing the transformation that the winner of Texano and Cage’s best-of-five series was in for. What would the new look be? How wacky is this transformation going to be? Why, I bet they’ll have something crazy up their sleeve to pay this off!

This week’s Lucha Underground let us see what we’ve all been waiting for and boy, oh boy, was it underwhelming. In fact, I was barely whelmed at all. The climactic match came out of nowhere and when we finally got to see what was in the box and what it would do to the winner, there was virtually nothing to see.

Let’s start with the match itself. In truth, we saw two matches in the main event. One, an incredibly short one which saw Texano winning to tie the series at two wins a piece. I didn’t notice how much time was left on the show, so when it ended as anticlimactically as it did, it was super disappointing. The story was that Texano had taken advantage of a turnbuckle mishap and it allowed him to beat Cage quickly. Initially, I was bummed because these guys had delivered in their past couple outings, but it ended up being ok as it lead to the fifth match immediately.

The fifth match was really good. There was a lot of brawling, plenty of ill-advised bumps and chair shots, but if you’re into that sort of thing, it was solid. I happen to enjoy a good plunder match and dug what they did here.

I can’t help but feel like I would have rather had more time to build the fifth match, though. It didn’t feel nearly as anticipated because it happened so quickly. Even having them go on first, then Dario making the fifth match for the main event later would have given them an episode to build it.

That’s not the fault of Cage and Texano, though, and they went out and had a really good match. I do not know why Cage takes these back bumps on the bleachers, but I will gladly watch through my fingers as he does it.

When it was all said and done, we went into Dario’s office for the prize reveal. At first, this seemed great. Of course they can’t do this transformation of Cage into an ancient god in the ring, they need to dress it up with special effects, or so I thought. I was pumped going into the closing segment.

Instead of delivering something awesome, we got this goofy segment. Dario revealed that the reason the episode was called The Gauntlet was that the prize was this relic, a metal gauntlet. Cage turned it down, declaring he wasn’t in to renaissance fairs, which gives you an idea of what the thing looked like. Finally, Dario convinces Cage to try it on and when he does, basic Adobe After Effects Lightning effect wiggled around the screen while a thunder sound effect played.

That was it. That was seriously all they did.

No transformation. No new costume. No makeup. Nothing that sells how cool this idea is. Instead, Cage wears a Power Glove now. He shows his new powers by lifting Dario off the ground by his neck, a move that I’m pretty sure he can just do as a regular person. There were so many cool things they could have done here, but instead Cage put a glove on and made faces. They didn’t even bother to change his voice.

Look, I’m not expecting this show to be Game of Thrones, but I am expecting it to be more than a YouTube video. Which, I admit, is unfair. FreddieW and many others have way better stuff on their YouTube channels.

We’ve built all season to the winner of this series being the new host for an ancient god and this payoff couldn’t be more of a letdown. Thankfully, Cage and Texano had a heck of a match and no amount of creative balls dropped by production can take that away.

The Matches

  • Jeremiah Crane def. Mil Muertes
    • Short, basically an angle for Puma and Mil.
    • Mil looked unstoppable at first, then a kendo stick shot and a mafia kick put him away. I don’t understand what they were going for.
    • I do appreciate Lucha Underground taking Ricochet’s superhero landing spot and turning it into a meaningful thing for Prince Puma.
  • Jack Evans & PJ Black def. Son of Havoc & Angelico
    • Mostly, these four did a good lucha thing, as you would expect.
    • It got a little sloppy towards the end and then fell apart completely when Angelico seemed to legitimately get hurt.
    • I still don’t get why even though Jack Evans is screaming about his history with Angelico in the middle of the ring, the announcers don’t mention it.
  • Best of Five Series: Texano(2) def. Cage(2)
    • Quick and simple.
  • Best of Five Series: Cage(3) def. Texano(2)
    • ***3/4
    • One thing I noticed while they brawled in the crowd is that there seemed to be a lot more women in the audience. Is it possible the Sexy Star experiment was a success for the live crowd?