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Good Lucha Things (11/9/16): Caskets and Cream Pies



Welcome back to Good Lucha Things, everyone!

Once more, I have to apologize for missing the last two weeks’ worth of shows. A broken down laptop coupled with a quick vacation to Cambodia (where I almost died off the shores of Koh Rong) rendered me unable to watch Lucha Underground, and I’ve only caught up with the show this week. Nevertheless, we’re one week away from Aztec Warfare, so let me quickly go over what’s happened before we take a look at this week’s show:

  • Johnny Mundo is your new Gift of the Gods Champion. It finally happened. Mundo’s finally claimed singles gold, taking the title away from Sexy Star after two ref bumps, some Worldwide Underground interference, and a pair of brass knuckles. He’s finally found his path to the Lucha Underground Championship,

  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. is gone for good. Chavo’s swan song came at the hands of Rey Mysterio Jr., who prevailed in a Loser Leaves Lucha Match that saw the legendary Chavo Guerrero Sr. get in on the action. Some good old-fashioned lying, cheating and stealing could not get the job done, thanks in part to Dario Cueto’s demands for bloodlust and violence.

  • Prince Puma challenged Mil Muertes to Grave Consequences. Yeah, apparently winning wasn’t enough for our hero, as he’s now gone on to challenge the literal embodiment of death in a match involving death-related stuff. Shockingly, Mil Muertes is 0-2 in these kinds of matches, so the challenge actually makes sense.

  • Believers’ Backlash is back! Last seen in Ultima Lucha, the believers get another chance to partake in violence as Mascarita Sagrada finally gets his former manager Famous B in a match. The difference this time is that all weapons are legal, so expect the Temple to throw everything, including the kitchen sink.


Gravest Consequences

It’s been a long time coming, but Mil Muertes finally won a casket match!


Once again, we saw just how much chemistry Mil Muertes and Prince Puma have. This was an amazing main event from two of the Temple’s best fighters, and is an easy candidate for one of this season’s top matches. Puma’s aggressive approach played up his desire to get some revenge for Konnan very well, and it gave this match some fresh air instead of just being the typical “fan favorite face vs. big monster heel” match we’ve grown accustomed to. At the end, though, it seemed that Prince Puma bit off more than he could chew, as like his mentor he too was locked in shut and carried away in a casket.

While this likely means that Prince Puma won’t be in next week’s Aztec Warfare match (more on Aztec Warfare towards the end of this review), I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of him. Lucha Underground’s heavy fantasy element allows for anyone to come back (just look at Mil Muertes), provided the characters capable of doing so help out. Vampiro’s smile at the end of Grave Consequences makes me think that he’ll be the one to do so, especially given how he was the one who started planting the idea of revenge in Puma’s mind. Let’s see what happens this season.


423-GET-BEAT

I’ll be very honest—when Son of Havoc and Mascarita Sagrada announced last week that we would be getting a Believers’ Backlash match, I was incredibly hyped (moreso for this than Grave Consequences). I have fond memories of the very first Believers’ Backlash match when Drago whipped Hernandez all over the Temple, and really wanted another moment like that.

Well, what we got was very different from that match at Ultima Lucha, but it was still absolutely worth it.



Typically, Lucha Underground’s hardcore matches have an air of violence and brutality surrounding them—this was not one of those matches. Instead of the bloodshed we’ve come to expect, we got 7 minutes of Mascarita Sagrada running around and laying into Famous B like a hyperactive toddler. This match was ludicrous, but it was the good kind of ludicrous—from Mascarita rolling a bowling ball into Famous B’s nuts, to the announcers and fans really getting into the insanity, you can tell everyone was just having fun. Just look at this list of weapons that all played a part in this match:

  • Helmet and shoulder pads from the local Boyle Heights football team
  • A bag of popcorn
  • Arrogance, Rick “The Model” Martel’s cologne
  • The Harry Potter starter kit (wizard’s hat, wand, some basic magic spell)
  • A bowling ball
  • A painting and a giant cut-out of Famous B
  • A cream pie (used on, of all people, the Beautiful Brenda)
  • Matt Striker’s shoe
If that doesn’t make you want to watch the match, I don’t know what will. This was a good, fun match, and is probably Mascarita Sagrada’s best moment in the Temple to date.


The Rest:
  • Caught in between the madness of these two matches was a 10-man tag team match, with the winning team all gaining entry in next week’s big Aztec Warfare match. After some shit went down, Marty “The Moth” Martinez, Mariposa, The Mack, Ivelisse and the debuting Jeremiah Crane picked up the victory. The match just felt like a mishmash of strange bedfellows and fighting, which all ended abruptly when Ivelisse picked up an injury. Nothing to write home about, really.



  • The opposing team was also a mix of strange partners, and they lost because they were the more dysfunctional team. Dante Fox continued his passive-aggressive approach to Killshot, while Cage and Texano Jr. just bickered in a way that would’ve made Sheamus and Cesaro proud. Oh, and Argenis was there, because reasons. None of these five will be in next week’s Aztec Warfare match, and our reactions thus range from “meh” (Argenis) to “FUCK!” (Cage).

  • Drago and Kobra Moon ran into each other this week, and we got some more information on the history between these two. The highlights: Drago used to be a “slave” of Kobra’s tribe, there’s someone called Lord Pindar involved in all of this, and Daga (remember him?) may or may not have been used as a sacrifice. Apparently, Kobra Moon wasn’t stalking him just to get in his pants.

  • When Mascarita Sagrada slammed that pie into the Beautiful Brenda’s face, Matt Striker yelled out “CREAMPIE! ALL OVER HER FACE!” Despite the fact that it sexually doesn’t make sense (how is it a creampie if it was on her face?), I legitimately fell out of my chair upon hearing that. A+ punditry—never change, Matt!

  • Aztec Warfare arrives next week, and the past weeks' events have created a very intriguing scenario heading into the big show. We have 8 names confirmed for the match—Matanza coming in at #1, Drago coming in at #20, Rey Mysterio Jr., plus the winning team from this week's show. We also have names confirmed to not be in the match, and some big names like Cage, Fenix, Prince Puma and Chavo Guerrero Jr. won't be competing. Mil Muertes is fresh off a huge win, and with Matanza coming in first it's possible that the champion is out by the time ol' Millie comes into play. Otherwise, this looks like a field the Worldwide Underground can take advantage of via the numbers game, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Johnny Mundo become Lucha Underground Champion and Gift of the Gods Champion at the same time. Matanza, Mundo, Mil Muertes—that's where my money is.

Overall, this week’s episode was very good. We saw one of Season 3’s top matches with Grave Consequences, in addition to a really fun match between Mascarita Sagrada and Famous B. There’s a bit of a lull in the middle due to the 10-man tag team match, but that’s easily outweighed by the two great matches we have. We also got some more build towards next week’s Aztec Warfare match, as we’re slowly finding out who will (and will not) be participating. This episode gets a solid B rating, and has gotten me excited enough for next week’s spectacle.

What did you think of this week's episode of Lucha Underground? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!


*****

Anthony Cuello is an HR professional and training designer. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers Lucha Underground for Smark Henry. A psychology nut, he tends to watch wrestling looking for these small nuances of in-ring behavior. He dreams of a wrestling business with good people management practices, and hopes to help make that happen one day.

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