by Jimmo Workman (@jimmosangle)
This weeks episode started with the usual recap, followed by the main story of the last couple of weeks; Chavo’s change in attitude.
Match One: Sexy Star vs. Ivelisse
It was nice that we went (pretty much) straight into a match. This is a rarity in wrestling where 20-minute opening promos seem to be the norm. Sexy Star would have a short, to-the-point promo on Chavo’s betrayal and that she will exact her revenge and kick his ass. I loved this promo as I can get behind, and believe, that a fighting female such as Sexy Star would have a good go at trying to kick Chavo’s behind.
The match itself was nice and different to what I’m used to. I would usually skip through diva’s matches on WWE Raw because they are simply awful and scared to get into it. This is not the case in LU; these women are true badasses, who hit hard and aren’t afraid to be hit and that makes women’s wrestling (and characters) something to be looked up to here. As long as they keep presenting women in this way then I will be on board with it all the way.
Something good that I liked from this match was Matt Striker’s logic: he pointed out that Sexy Star took a vicious chair-shot from Chavo a couple of weeks ago, and with the knowledge we now have about concussions, is it wise for her to be competing? How is it possible that she is competing after said chair-shot? I thought that these were wise words from Striker who continues to impress me week after week. Something bad I found from this part of the show was Striker and Vampiro referring to WWE-isms: ‘Anti-divas’, ‘cheer for who you want’ and ‘breaking the code’ when a Codebreaker was performed. These all seemed to be WWE references and digs that LU really don’t need to be using. They seem to have found something different in their presentation, and logic, so far, so they shouldn’t feel the need to lower themselves to such things.
We have a cut-scene featuring Dario Cueto confronting Drago, saying that he will be the first victim of King Cuerno (King Horn – make of that what you will).
Match Two: Pentagon, Jr vs. Fenix
Pentagon, Jr started off in the ring with a promo, thanking Dario Cueto for the opportunity and establishing himself as a hated heel. Well, at least the puppets in attendance bought it and booed him?! This continued as ‘this is awesome!’ chants would come from the temple audience as well as reacting where appropriate. I’m still trying to get my head around the audience being fake and directed; hopefully this’ll pass soon as, for the most, I don’t tend to let them bother me. The 100% boo and 100% cheer is how it should be in a perfect world, but it’s not reality. I get the feeling that this audience would cheer a grumpy cat if it was told to do so…
I didn’t really like this match to begin with. The strikes were so weak and didn’t look like they should hurt. I really want wrestlers to lay it in there a little more to add to the believability. For the main chunk of this match that just didn’t happen and it bothered me. Towards the end, it got a lot better, probably due to the dives to the outside, where these guys always seem to give it 110% when doing so. Surprisingly (to me) all the flips and sh*t meant something in this match as it added to the story of earning respect (Pentagon) versus heart and never give up (Fenix).
We had two hype videos, as is the norm in LU, first for King Cuerno and then Prince Puma. I really like these videos that happen every week as it introduces new guys that we should take note of and also reminds you of the people you’ve seen so that you have a sense of excitement the next time you see them.
Match Three: Drago vs. King Cuerno
This match’s ending surprised me a little. After all the hype of King Cuerno, along with Cueto’s endorsement, you would have thought that Cuerno would have been a certainty to be victorious on his debut. Nope, not to be this time. Thinking about it, though, El Mariachi Loco didn’t do too well after the Cueto endorsement last week, either?!
This was a better match than the one before and was a heavyweight version, if that makes sense. This and the previous match were still high-flying at times, but this one slowed things down and had cut-offs when someone was going to go for something high-flying.
We have another cut-scene where Konnan is (again) reminding Prince Puma that Johnny Mundo’s fight is not Prince Puma’s fight. Puma doesn’t seem to be listening to Konnan so he walks off to let him train. Puma seems as though he doesn’t necessarily agree with Konnan’s words.
Main Event: Big Ryck vs. Johnny Mundo
This match was a nice change to all the masked lucha matches that have populated the last few shows. It was Big Ryck’s huge power advantage versus Mundo’s quicker style. There was a nice story of Mundo not being able to get Ryck off his feet for the majority of the match before Moonlight Driving him to get that feather in his cap. I felt that they could have made that a big deal and directed the audience to make the appropriate ‘yays’ to support it. I’ve seen that dynamic on British wrestling shows where the story of the match is one big guy trying to get the bigger guy off his feet. This goes on for two or three tries before it actually happens and is rewarded by the crowd. That’s what could’ve happened here before the disqualification finish that they had in place.
We saw a backstage ambush by Castro and Cisco on Prince Puma so that he wouldn’t be a factor in them helping Ryck out. I suppose we’ll never know if Puma would’ve helped Mundo, but at least it’ll make Konnan happy that he didn’t, despite him being incapacitated.
Jimmo’s Lucha Conclusion
Another really enjoyable episode of Lucha Underground. All stories progressed, new people were introduced, new-ish people were given more time to shine and develop, and Chavo didn’t appear and, therefore, wasn’t overexposed. There’s enough talent there, and to be introduced, that guys can have a week off here and there!
I really like the use of cut-scenes and backstage segments, including the hype videos. There’s not too many of them and they all have a purpose; they’re not just filler. That’s the good thing with an hour-long show – every minute is valuable and should be used to further something whether it be a story or a character.
I’m still heavily on-board with Sexy Star as a badass, tough, fighting female. She’s not scared to mix it up with the men (although other promotions don’t use that luxury, I suppose) and will give as good a s she gets. I think that she’ll probably be a victim (again) on Chavo’s road to avenging his first episode loss to Blue Demon, Jr, but I have no doubt that she’ll look even stronger for it as the show goes on.
Lucha Underground is on the El Rey network (USA) or at any good download sites…