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Good Lucha Things (1/4/17): You Suck, Bro


Last week, the feud between Cage and Texano Jr. finally came to a close as the best-of-five series wrapped up. Texano won a quick match to even the score, before Dario Cueto announced that we would immediately have the rubber match. A bloodied Cage managed to take out Texano, winning the series and the ultimate opportunity—a gauntlet with seemingly magical powers. Elsewhere, Jeremiah Crane picked up a win over Mil Muertes via a distraction from Prince Puma, while Angelico suffered yet another injury.


All Night Long, Again!

This week, the Mack was set to get his Battle of the Bulls prize—only for Dario Cueto to take it away at the last minute.

Instead of a Lucha Underground Championship match against Johnny Mundo, Dario gave the winner the opportunity to pick what the stipulation for the title match will be. It’s a classic Dario way to get as much violence as possible—have two guys beat each other up for the right to choose how they’ll beat each other up in their next match.



The match itself was fine, though it felt like both men were holding back for something bigger. This was still a nice preview of what will be coming, with Mundo as the quick scumbag heel and Mack as the powerhouse babyface. Mundo won after some unsurprising interference from PJ Black and Jack Evans, and then announced that he’ll defend the championship in an All Night Long match.

Lucha Underground usually hits it out of the park with these one-match episodes (see Aztec Warfare and the first All Night Long between Mundo and Prince Puma), and this looks like it will follow that trend. It should be fun to see how Mack will fight in this war—one, he’ll have to watch his back for the Worldwide Underground for one whole hour; and two, he’ll have to find a way to actually last the whole match against Mundo. The champion made it clear that he doesn’t think a fat Mack can hang with him, so now it’s on Mack to show everyone he can. He should also probably consider having Sexy Star in his corner this time, because going at it alone against the Worldwide Underground never seems to work. This upcoming match should be one whole hour of good wrestling, and I’m looking forward to it.


Zoo-cha Underground


The animals are running loose in the Temple!

Pindar and Vibora made their in-ring debuts this week, as they teamed up with the captive Drago to take on fellow newcomers, the Rabbit Tribe. If you listened to your high school biology teacher, then you should know how this turned out. If you didn’t, here’s a refresher:



Okay, maybe I’m underselling the Rabbit Tribe’s efforts. London, Saltador and Mala Suerte put up a fight here—as much as a fight a group of trippy hippies could put up. Tagging in both partners at the same time is a perfect fit to their random, chemically-induced style and is a unique thing to do. They’re not the best luchadores we’ve seen, but they’re very fun to watch. The reptilian trio also put on a decent show, and we got a better look at how they stack up as a team. Pindar is the burly bruiser, Drago is the agile striker and Vibora is the guy that comes in to fuck shit up.

Speaking of Drago, he’s been brainwashed into servitude by Kobra Moon. It was surprising to see him cooperate with the rest of the reptiles given his defiant attitude, but it looks like Kobra Moon found a way. The odd thing is that he still seems to recognize Fenix and Aero Star, as the Trios champions got Drago back after the match. This is an interesting step to take as it creates some ambiguity with where Drago currently stands. The reptiles looked strong on their way to an eventual Trios Championship shot, and I’m looking forward to seeing what side Drago will be standing on.


The Rest:


  • Sexy Star and Mariposa renewed hostilities to kick off the show this week, with the former picking up her second straight victory over the Martinez sister. After the match, Marty “The Moth” Martinez came out to console his sister, but then laid her out with a chokeslam. That was a bit unexpected, but I can get behind this feud if it means more on-screen time for the Martinez siblings.

  • Mascarita Sagrada is the white rabbit! Unfortunately, he flipped off the Rabbit Tribe and called them loco. Dude had a chance to become a god and actually passed on it, which is one of the biggest missed opportunities we’ve seen on this show.

  • Jeremiah Crane ran into Catrina again, and he gloated about how he beat the man she loves last week. Surprise, surprise—Mil is not the one Catrina loves, leaving Jeremiah more confused than ever. Where is Ivelisse throughout all of this?

  • Mil Muertes isn’t too happy about Prince Puma being alive again, so he attacked Vampiro after the main event. Puma came out for the save, but Vampiro told him to back off and allowed Mil to finish him with a Flatliner. That’s a nice way to distinguish how Vampiro is different from Puma’s old mentor Konnan, because Konnan probably wouldn’t be that heroic.



Overall, this week’s episode was a decent one. None of the matches stood out by being good, but they were there mostly to tell a story. We got some advancement on the current feuds between Kobra Moon’s tribe and the Trios champions, as well as the upcoming Lucha Underground Championship match between the Mack and Johnny Mundo. We also got a start at some new interactions, particularly the Martinez fallout and Mascarita Sagrada with the Rabbit Tribe. This very much felt like a set-up episode, and it did its job at that. C+

What did you think of this week's episode? Let us know 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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