Friday, June 19, 2015

Lucha Underground S01 E 31 and 32: The Long Hard Road to Ultimo Lucha

Hello and welcome back to the Temple. I will be covering two episodes of Lucha Underground in one go here, and be forewarned - one of them is an Iron Man Match

Epsiode 31 : A New No. 1 Contender

-Drago is on the roof

Drago is a dragon from Mexico or Infra Mundo or whatever Melissa Santos says. After losing to Prince Puma he had to leave town i.e. he was banned from the Temple.  

- The show opened with Vampiro apologizing for his actions last week when he saved Sexy Star from Pentagón Jr. 

I can almost feel the slow burn here to a return to the old Vampiro because I doubt that Pentagón Jr believes in bygones being bygones. This is not going to end well. Also it is so nice to see characters remembering things from the past. 

-Dario Cueto's major announcement. 

Ultimo Lucha will happen in eight weeks, with Cage vs. King Cuerno vs. Hernandez in a triple threat to decide the No. 1 Contender to face the champion at Ultimo Lucha, and a legend will return.

- Chavo Guerrero beat a returning Blue Demon Jr in a no disqualification match with the help of the Crew. 

Again, Chavo Guerrero and Blue Demon Jr have a history dating back to the first episode of the show. Dario Cueto was excellent here because you could just feel that he only brought back Blue Demon Jr so that he could get beat up by his henchmen.  They subverted expectations here by starting the match with Demon in a suit. This spontaneity and "anything can happen" feel is sorely missing from the mainstream wrestling shows right now (i.e. WWE). Everything made sense. In WWE, Demon would have been pitted in three matches against three jobbers before he could get through to Guerrero. Knowing his jackal like tendencies and Cueto's love for sadistic violence, that wouldn't make any sense. The best part was that the Crew (minus the dearly departed Bael) didn't wait for Guerrero to get his ass kicked for ten minutes before interfering. They got in there, whooped Blue Demon's ass and got the hell out. Excellent heeling and looking forward to Guerrero vs. Demon at Ultimo Lucha.

- "I am a Guerrero." He taunted Black Lotus and promised hell to whoever came from Mexico to save the day. Drago confronted Cueto and demanded that he be placed in the No. 1 contender match. He agreed but if Drago loses he remains banned and also loses his mask!!  

Cueto is like half the reason I watch this show. 

-Disciples of Death w/ Catrina beat Mascarita Sagrada, Pimpinela Escalata and the debuting Bengala

The best part of this match up apart from Catrina and Bengala, was the interchangeable nature of the Disciples of Death; they are so homogeneous, like they were born for competing in the Trios Division. LU has had so many great match ups that sometimes you don't appreciate the good matches. This was mostly an extended squash but had some great moves by a debuting Bengala, who seems to have the spirit of the Royal Bengal White Tiger indigenous to West Bengal in my country i.e. India. Finally an Indian gimmick!! Another best for Vampiro who didn't suddenly transform into a white bread babyface all of a sudden and still gloated when the Mascarita Sagrada got his midget ass handed to him. That's the Vampiro I love.   

-Johnny Mundo met Dario Cueto in the office. Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo scheduled for in an Iron Man match for the Lucha Underground Championship next week.

Again, Cueto is like hal the reason I watch this show. Also, Alberto el Patron is probably going to show up the next episode and cost Mundo the match, right? Come on LU, you can do better than this.

- Drago defeated Cage. King Cuerno and Hernandez in a Fatal Four Way to become the No. 1 contender who will face Prince Puma at Ultimo Lucha.

Another amazing match, but that's par for the course by now. The best part about LU is that a character doesn't become stale just because he has been on the show for some time after debuting. I don't feel as intimidated by Cage as I did when he debuted, but I never feel that he isn't a threat to the babyfaces. That is a very big achievement, to break away from Monster of the Month booking and to keep your heels a major threat. I hope King Cuerno and Cage never get Cena'd. I still think Hernandez is a drag on the show because he is just not that good. Drago developed his character here by showing purpose and ruthlessness at the end when he won with the assist from the Tajiri-like Dragon Yellow Spit on King Cuerno into the senton - armdrag - backslide for the pin.  

-Nope, spoke too soon, Mil Muertes vs. Drago was announced to decide the number one contender in two weeks.

Catrina choking out Cueto to get what she wants was glorious, but I just got to wonder, will his hand be forced to release Matanza to counter Muertes' threat? When did this show become X-Men? 

Epsiode 32 : Not Shawn Michaels v. Bret "The Hitman" Hart 

-Prince Puma beat Johnny Mundo five falls to four to retain the title.

I didn't quite know how they planned to have an iron man match. Would it be a pure technical contest ala WrestleMania XII? A Dusty finish? A Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar? Answer: none of the above. LU can give you such a sock in the gut sometimes. Here I was thinking that there would be one or two falls at the most. We had nine pin falls and it never felt forced. However. it was also the first time on the show when the result felt a foregone conclusion. Of course Alberto el Patron was going to appear and cost Mundo the match. Of course Puma was going to retain. The match was great, and hardcore to boot, what with the tables and crowbars but I expect better of LU.

The whole time I was sitting around waiting to emit a loud groan for when el Patron would show up - that has never happened before on this show. I suppose its the cost of building towards a PPV - you lose some creative freedom and have to start putting up some bridges and signposts on the way. Plus I hated the fact that Mundo lost. They have done a very good job of making Mundo heelish and a sympathetic figure at the same time. Vampiro keeps emphasizing that Mundo has never been the "man" in all the Ric Flair-ian sense of the word. Mundo has never held a world title - and it makes no sense at all. It also hurt me, being a Mundo fan when el Patron showed up with his smug face and tried to push Mundo around - fuck off Alberto. I hope he gets his ass whipped. So yeah, the fact that I have such strong feelings about this angle shows that LU has yet again done something right, and if Johnny Mundo vs. Alberto el Patron is built up in the future, I will be HYPED for it. 

That's wrestling done well folks. See you next week for the Mil Muertes v. Drago fight. Poor Drago.