Monday, June 8, 2015

Lucha Underground S01 E30: Master, Master!

The cast
Graphics via
Hello and welcome to a review of the latest episode of Lucha Underground, one of the best wrestling shows on the planet right now. Feel free to skip some of the following paragraphs if you are already familiar and conversant with the show.

A Short Introduction to LU for People Who Haven’t Seen the Show

If you have never seen LU, but know the typical layout of a Monday Night RAW/Impact/Nitro etc., then prepare to be pleasantly surprised. LU takes the best aspect of your regular wrestling show i.e. wrestling and episodic storytelling and combines it with film noir aesthetics and kung fu bravado to create a unique atmosphere. Unlike RAW, LU has no delusions of being “real” and exists in its own fictional universe where the backstage segments are presented much like an action movie. The live audience is not privy to these spots and there isn’t a fourth wall you can break. The announcers (Matt Striker and Vampiro) in the storyline are completely oblivious to these shady backroom deals.

Wrestlers on this show you might have seen before include, Chavo Guerrero, Johnny Mundo (Morrison), Alberto el Patron (del Rio), “The Golden Warrior” Daivari, and Big Ryck (Ezekiel Jackson). If you thought that the above named wrestlers were just mid card second stringers in WWE at best, well, insert the Judas Priest standard right here. After seeing them on LU, I would have no problem in buying any of the aforementioned career midcarders as capable of main eventing WrestleMania (except Daivari who is pedestrian, mostly). LU has the capability to get the best out of all of its characters and make them important parts of the show. It’s a one hour per week thingy and has more story line development, character build up, and bell to bell action than most episodes of RAW, let alone Smackdown/Impact etc. I would encourage everybody even casually interested in wrestling to check this show out starting right from the very beginning. If you are indeed planning to do that then don’t keep reading because SPOILERS. If you don’t want to go back and watch 29 episodes of wrestling fun then you can just start with this week’s show with the help of a short primer.

A Short Primer for People starting with THIS WEEK’s show

Ok, so there are multiple storylines, and some of this will sound extremely weird and doesn’t come out well in print but trust me, it’s awesome on screen.


The Lucha Underground promotion is run by this evil genius guy, Dario Cueto, the best character on the show, who calls the arena “a temple” and loves violence. He is a manipulative son of a bitch who likes to see people suffer and adheres to a very strict purist version of what a luchador should be like and dislikes oddities like midgets/women/transsexuals/pretty boys from South Africa. Oh, and he also has a brother, called Matanza who he keeps locked in the basement because said brother is a monster to whom Dario feeds people he is distraught with. Matanza killed two people a long time ago and the victim’s daughter known as Black Lotus is out for revenge. She shows up initially as a mysterious stranger on the shows before we find out her origin story. She plans to attack the monster in the basement but is kidnapped by a legendary luchador who is basically the Mexican version of Mr. Miyagi. Black Lotus trains like hell with said legend but leaves too early to confront her parents killer. Concerned about her, said legend receives an offer from Chavo Guerrero who has been AWOL for some time, that in exchange for the goodwill of Mexico, Guerrero will protect Black Lotus. Why he needs protection from Mexico? Find that out on your own.


The Lucha Underground promotion, instead of a tag championship, hosts the Trios Championship which is currently held by the team of Ivelisse, Son of Havoc and Angelico. They are an odd pairing, often dysfunctional who have managed a few successful title defenses. Cueto hates them and wants the belts off them, but his chosen henchmen failed him. Also, said Angelico is an amazing wrestler and spot monkey and if you don’t believe me just check out Episodes 24 and 29. Not to say that the others are push overs but seriously Angelico.


Cueto likes making matches interesting by giving incentives like title shots etc. Said incentives include gold Aztec “medallions” supposedly sacred but we just got his word for it.


Pentagón, Jr. is a character straight out of Mortal Kombat. He breaks the arm of the opponent after he has pinned them as a sacrifice to an unknown entity he calls “Master”. He tried this stunt on a guy called Superfly and was interrupted by the purest baby face in the universe, Sexy Star. She saves Superfly but is forced to compete against said Fly in a mask v. mask match by Dario Cueto (you will find him mixed up in every story here). She wins and with great regret is forced to unmask Superfly. However she is unable to stop Pentagón from breaking his arm. She vows revenge and gets a quick pinfall victory with a reverse code breaker over Pentagón. However that ain’t the last of it.


Daivari is a rich asshole who wrestles for fun. He is feuding with Texano, who bores me really, but is still more interesting than Dolph Ziggler/Sheamus/Stardust etc. Recently Daivari hired the services of Big Ryck who is this tough mercenary only in it for money. Big Ryck has a cousin, the portly Mack.


There is a man that they call Cage and he is a MACHINE.


The announcers are firstly Matt Striker, who used to be in WWE till he started “marking out” at the announce table and got pushed out. He is OK on the play by play, much better than Michael Cole, not that that’s a big compliment but still, he knows the names of the moves. However I like his partner on color, Lucha legend Vampiro a lot. By the sound of his voice, Vampiro seems to be a chill stoner dude.


Now that I am done with the initial clap trap (for the first and only time!) let us see what happened this week.

Chavo Guerrero and Dario Cueto meet in the latter’s office. Chavo Guerrero reveals the fact that Black Lotus is here to finish off Cueto’s brother. Being the dirty heel that he is, he agrees to capture her for the boss behalf in exchange for “protection”.

We transition to the ring with the live band playing and immediately start off with Jack Evans v. Argenis. Cueto comes out of his office and says that the winner will get another one of his precious gold Aztec medallions. Evans beats Argenis with a modified backslide. (Yes you read that correctly. A backslide.)

Backstage, Daivari has good news for Big Ryck. If they can find a third man, they got a shot at the Trios Champs with the title on the line, TONIGHT! Big Ryck proposes his cousin, the Mack who is up for it. However, the man they call Cage comes up, beats the piss out of the poor Mack and gets the job. We have a title match, and its next, playah!!

Uh, oh. Before we get to that we witness the unfortunate capture of Black Lotus by Guerrero with the help of the dastardly Crew but not before Black Lotus does a lot of kung fu/judo/karate.

The Trios Champions retain after Son of Havoc pins Daivari with a Shooting Star Press after a slight interruption from Texano who has a major beef with the Golden Warrior and Big Ryck.

Cut to Cueto’s office. Guerrero brings in the Lotus while Cueto gloats. He lets the Black Lotus know that he is gonna be locking her up in the basement….with his brother for company.

It’s time for the final match of the evening and it’s a submission match. After a hard fought match, Pentagón, Jr. makes Sexy Star tap out to the Mexican surfboard but not before Superfly runs interference by powerbombing Star.

After the match, Pentagón goes for the armbar to break the arm but is stopped by none other than Vampiro!! Holy Shit!!

In the last segment, Vampiro is seen in the washroom, breaking the mirror with his bald head while we get to hear those voices like in the opening of the Dark Side of the Moon.

Pithy Observations

-To people who say that there is not enough “psychology” in LU matches, suck a dick. Jack Evans is this arrogant douchebag who claims he invented modern Lucha libre. Argenis is the traditional Mexican luchador from the toughest streets of the mafia riddled Aztec proving grounds. They do tons of flippy shit but it all works, provided you can suspend disbelief that people will stand around outside the ring so that you can jump in a variety of unusual and neck breaking ways. And the backslide finally gets the pin!! After 15 years of watching wrestling, that’s a first. Does anyone remember somebody getting pinned like that?

- Guerrero is delightful as the heel. His older cousin would have been perfect on this show, no? Dude made Smackdown! must see TV. Candy from a friggin’ baby.

- Big Ryck becomes even more remorseless by the minute. You have to be cold hearted to let some roided out freak like Cage beat on your cousin in front of you, just because your new wealthy paymaster said so.

-Great trios match as usual. The champs retain even though Ivelisse is still out of it with that broken leg. Son of Havoc is still the delightful underdog, Angelico is still taking a BEATING and getting up from it. You think he is this surfer laid back guy with the party boy gimmick/pervert thingy, an unholy combination of Fandango and Adam Rose and he turns out to be….well, Angelico. As said before, Texano is the least interesting person on the show so I am not really pumped for a Texano v. Big Ryck and Daivari feud. However Texano just screwed his old partner Cage out of the titles so something could be done with that because we need more of the MACHINE!!

- I could do without the martial arts on my wrestling show, but I’ll give it a pass here because I always like to see Mr Cisco and Castro (The Crew) take a beating.

- Cueto is evil. Deliciously evil.

- Now what a great main event that was, even though marred by the interference by Superfly. The transitions between the submissions were great, not a moment or movement was wasted, the ref wasn’t continually sticking a mic into the faces of the wrestlers to ask them whether they quit. Awesome. I have always been on the Sexy Star bandwagon though and I love the Pentagón storyline so could just be me, though I really doubt it. The announcers kept pointing out that Sexy wasn't very good at submission moves while Pentagón was putting her into wicked predicaments. Great babyface fire by Sexy Star though. And the somewhat expected save by Vampiro in the end was cathartic!! It was clearly building throughout the match, you could hear the active concern in Vampiro’s voice on commentary. The best way to describe this show is to say that its a logical fantasy which is internally consistent. Now I want to see what happens next!! Which should be the norm, not the exception.

That’s all from me folks. See you next week for Episode 31.