by Jimmo Workman (@jimmosangle)
The usual recap starts off the show and this is a nice touch to any new viewers. It pretty much brings you up to speed if you haven’t seen LU before.
We open with a segment featuring Konnan explaining to Dario Cuerto that he has some of the best luchadores from Mexico coming in. Cuerto suggests that they go against each other. At one point I was a little worried that Konnan was bringing in El Mojo Rawley, when he said “they STAY ready that way they don’t need to GET ready…” of his debuting luchadores.
Back in the temple, and I’m reminded of how fake I still feel the audience are. I recently read something in last month’s FSM magazine where it had a half-page on the upcoming Lucha Underground shows. Admittedly this was before it had even aired and I’d missed it the first time of reading. In the article, it said that the audience is mostly made up of paid extras. My initial suspicions were right and this kind of sours things a little for me as there isn’t that real emotion from the audience; they will definitely be directed at every turn and I know that a genuine reaction isn’t really there. It’s manufactured. It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise as this is a TV show and not a live, WWE format.
I suppose I’ll have to learn to live with it as everything else on the show is pretty solid.
Dario Cuerto comes out from his ringside office, but instead of a long and winding twenty minute promo that we’re all used to at the start of our wrestling shows, this is to the point and leads straight into the opening match.
First match: El Mariachi Loco vs. Mascarita Sagrada
This was nice to see a couple of new faces (or masks) to Lucha Underground. After a brief look, I can see that Sagrada is one of the most famous minis in Mexican wrestling. This was a fun, fast-paced match that had the typical big-man-underestimates-the-little-guy before getting small packaged (ha!) by the experienced, smaller guy. A nice opener with fresh faces – something that I was hoping for going forward with this show.
Chavo Guerrero comes out and attacks Sagrada after the match and this continues his dastardly actions, with the plastic audience lapping it all up and booing him for this… well of course they’re going to?! We then get a recap of Chavo’s actions from the last couple of weeks before he has an interview with Vampiro. Vamp starts the interview by basically saying that Chavo is the sh*t Gurrero, who has relied on the family name. Nice. Chavo goes onto say that this is his chance to lead the family and be ‘the guy’ in LU. He further fuels the fire between he and Blue Demon, Jr, where you would assume that they will have a rematch when Demon, Jr returns.
In another cut-scene, Chavo bumps into Konnan. They greet each other before Konnan warns him that La Raza have heard about what he did to Demon, Jr and that that could spell trouble for Chavo. Chavo looks a little worried about this. After Konnan walks away the light flashes and Mil Muertes appears from nowhere. After a short staredown, Muertes moves on and Catrina gives Chavo a ‘kiss of death’… unlike Blue Demon last week, Chavo doesn’t completely wipe it away. If Catrina licks you, it should be appreciated more like this and not completely wiped away?!
Second match: Ricky Mandel vs. Mil Muertes (w/ Catrina)
This match served a purpose and is the first squash match that I can remember there being in LU. Mandel got a little offense in, but this match was just so Muertes could tear through somebody to add to his reputation as a monster as the show progresses. Simple and effective. Maybe there’ll be more of Mandel on the show; he’s another new face on the show so who knows at this early stage.
Another cut-scene shows Johnny Mundo bumping into Castro and Cisco (Dario Cuerto’s henchmen). He wants to see Cuerto but they’re having none of it. Because of this he dishes out a beating to both of them before entering Cuerto’s office anyway. He demands a match with Big Ryck (is this the correct spelling?) for the following week, and warns that after he’s done with him then he’ll be after Cuerto, himself. Another scene follows this with Cuerto giving Big Ryck wads of money to protect him and ensure that Mundo doesn’t get to him. Twitchy ass time.
Main event: Drago vs. Pentagon, Jr vs. Fenix
This was a really fast, flowing, exciting main event. It’s also what I’ve been hoping for with LU. This match showcased more new faces (or masks) and that was a nice change from the first two episodes of the show where the in-ring action related to the storylines. Highlights of this match that impressed me included Fenix bouncing between the top and middle ropes before delivering an armdrag, and the finish: Pentagon, Jr performed a Package Piledriver to Drago who was then Rikishi -driven by Fenix, ending his hopes of winning this match. Fenix then gave Pentagon, Jr a Reverse Hurricanrana a la every ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster/’Dynamite’ Pete Dunne match that I’ve seen (?!) before picking up the win.
The end of the show was another cut-scene where Cuerto was pacing, looking worried, before stating that no-one would threaten him. There seemed to be someone else in the room that Cuerto was overshadowed by, too…
Jimmo’s Lucha Conclusion
This episode was the best so far and one that I’d hoped for. I’ve written before about my desire for more characters and a ‘happy ending’ to the show. Take away the Cuerto cut-scene and you have the happy ending that I spoke of; the triple threat ended with the popular Fenix being victorious (well the audience liked it and we should trust their enthusiasm, shouldn’t we?). There were also several new faces (or masks) here from the first match all the way to the main event. Maybe we’ll see these guys again and maybe we won’t, but the variety was nice to see. It was fresh… wow, wrestling AND freshness on the same show?!
This week didn’t see a Johnny Mundo or Prince Puma match but that wasn’t a bad thing. Despite them being the top two stars of this young show, it’s nice that they weren’t overexposed in-ring-wise. We don’t need to see them compete every week – that’ll only lead to us getting bored of them and, probably, booing the babyface when we shouldn’t be. We still had a Johnny Mundo cut-scene furthering his story, and we also had a hype video for Prince Puma, referring to his heritage again. There was also a video before Mil Muertes’ match, pointing out his backstory, too. It’s really nice to see effort being made to show us layers of these characters and it’s something really lacking in the wrestling that I usually watch. I want to know about these characters and understand their motivations and LU has done this very well so far.
It was also nice to see ring announcer, Melissa Santos, back on the screen more this week. I know I complained about her on the first show but she seems more like a ring announcer and less like “look at me!!” this time around.
Lucha Underground is on the El Rey network (USA) or at any good download sites… the way I have to do it to watch it?!