Welcome to episode ten of season two of the Over/Under of Lucha Underground, our gently reworded Best and Worst report about every episode of the best wrestling show on television. If you’d like to read about season one, you can find all of our previous episode reports on our Lucha Underground tag page. For season two, click here.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Due to WrestleMania week, we’re doubling up on Lucha Underground reports this week. The report for episode 11 will be up on Friday, so check back!
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And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season 2, episode 10.
Over/Under: Tecnico Pentagon Is Still A Terrible Person
I’m giving this both an Over and an Under, mostly because of what other wrestling promotions have done to my expectations.
Pentagon Jr. is, more or less, the most popular guy on the show. He’s a pissed-off ninja skeleton who can break peoples’ arms so hard it makes nearby candles blow out, and his season one arc evolved from “nobody in Mexico respects me and I’m sort of a nondescript monster henchman” to “I AM BREAKING BONES TO SERVE A LOOSELY-DEFINED VAMPIRE LORD MASTER AND CAN SUMMON EVIL SPIRITS IN A DOJO USING MY WRESTLING TAUNTS.” It’s a situation where the wrestler got so cool as a rudo that everyone started cheering him, even if he never, ever acted like a tecnico.
This season, Lucha Underground is forced to work within the guidelines of public (and crowd) opinion, and take advantage of the fact that this guy’s popularity is through the roof. The solution is to keep him exactly the same, but increasingly throw him in the ring with people we ALSO like, but are okay booing. Mil Muertes, Dario Cueto, and now Matanza. Fighting Mil and Dario keeps you in the in-between, but putting Pentagon against “squashed all the top stars at once, come at me cage bro” Matanza makes him straight-up tecnico. Having him threaten to break the authority figure’s arm if he doesn’t get the match he wants makes him WWE babyface.
That said, Lucha has earned the benefit of the doubt, and in truth, it’s still just Pentagon being Pentagon. Of COURSE he’s going to break Cueto’s arm if he doesn’t get a match. He’d break Cueto’s arm for a sandwich. He’d break Cueto’s arm if he was bored. The remainder of the season is going to be interesting, because we’ll see if the Pentagon Jr. we know and love remains, or if he gets Sabretooth’d and Venom’d and turned into the anti-hero. In a perfect world, we just cheer him for being the best rudo, and he defies alignment.
Over: The Bands Are Back!
I love (love love) the touch that now that Dario Cueto’s back, so are the in-house bands. It brings culture and life back into The Temple. If you missed the comics, Catrina and the Disciples of Death used most of the other bands to make Mil Muertes’ skull throne. To make it up, Cueto brought in the ultimate Lucha Underground band: CHINGON, featuring Robert Rodriguez. You know, the guy who owns the Network and is crucially responsible for the show existing.
If you don’t already love Chingon, go back and watch the end credits to Kill Bill.
Over: Johnny Mundo Is The Worst
This episode’s first match continues the weird (but honestly, welcome) dynamic between Johnny Mundo and Taya. I’m into it because it subverts everything you’d expect it to be. Mundo is overly confident, but he’s also kind of a coward. Taya is overly confident but absolutely not a coward, and ends up doing most of the dirty work for the team. Remember when Cage just threw her into and through sh*t for 15 minutes a couple of weeks ago? Here, Johnny and Taya take on the Crew, and Taya once again puts in the work.
The finish is a great example of this, with Cage showing up and Johnny not only running away from him, but running away from him backwards through the ring while Taya gets finished off by The Crew. Like, Johnny is so up his own ass that he’s barely conscious of a tag team match he’s losing because he doesn’t want the living, screaming muscle to keep slowly walking toward him. Good stuff. He really should’ve just considered taking The Crew to SLAMTOWN.
Also, hey, congratulations to The Crew for winning a thing!
Over: Preppy Psycho Butterfly Murderers
It’s been a week and I’m still not totally sure I get the Marty the Moth and Mariposa origin story, but here goes.
So, we find out that Marty was dressed like a prep when he kidnapped Sexy Star because he’s actually SUPER RICH, shown through photos of him standing in front of cars and being surrounded by boobs. He tells the story of the Moth tribe and explains that in every generation, the mask of Mariposa (aka “Womankind”) gets passed down to the fiercest warrior in the tribe. That happens to be his sister, and we watch her brutalize a bunch of World of Luchadors guys. And whoops, it turns out Marty’s reading a book with blank pages, so … in addition to being a rich lepidopteran Aztec descendant accompanied by his mute butterfly murderer sister, Marty’s still confirmed crazy.
Where do I start a petition to get the Moth tribe a Scrooge McDuck money bin?
The best match on the show by far is the Unlikely Trio vs. the Disciples of Death in a rematch for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship. It’s elimination, which allows the match to tell two concurrent stories; that the Unlikely Trio is at their best when they’re working together, and that even when they aren’t, they’re tough singles competitors. That’s a fine line to walk with a Trios team — all too often tag teams become singularly defined and don’t maintain any individuality, or they stay too individual and never become much of an actual team — but Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico are walking it. They’re killing it, too.
My favorite moment from the match (and yours, probably, unless your heart is ice cold) is that double double-stomp into a standing moonsault. That’s BRILLIANT. That’s some Super Mario World-level 1-Up hopping expertise. I also really appreciate the finish, with Ivelisse sticking around to knock out Catrina and zap the Disciples’ power source. The announce team spends the match mentioning that the Disciples (and Mil) are basically invulnerable when she holds the rock up, so Ivelisse cuts the middle man and just KOs her. Hard to hold a rock over your head when you’re knocked out. That lets Havoc score the victory, and the Trios Championships stay around the right team’s waists.
Over: Bull Y Rey
His Lordship Dario Cueto gets two backstage segments this week:
1. He gets confronted by Catrina, who teleports in and out of his office and tells him death is going to come for Matanza. Cueto’s just like, “LOL, thanks for keeping my chair warm, hey are you a ghost?” I love that sometimes Dario Cueto’s our actual eyes into the Temple, and responds to things like a normal person might. That’s a great quality in an exaggerated telenovela Spanish businessman in charge of a supernatural wrestling promotion.
2. He’s much more respectfully confronted by Rey Mysterio Jr., who continues his trend of drinking with people to connect with them. Mysterio wants answers regarding the death of his mentor, El Dragon Azteca, puts over El Dragon Azteca Jr., and drinks to the idea of leaving the past in the past. I love that Cueto’s sly about it, but is essentially all, “ix-nay on the or-way.”
Also, motherf*cker has a nameplate on his desk that says he’s KIND OF A BIG DEAL. That’s the greatest touch. I hope he picked that up in a novelty souvenir shop a few hundred miles away from The Temple.
Under?: The Sexy Star Story Continues
Sexy Star fights Mariposa and loses way too quickly to a Vertebreaker. The Mack shows up to help, and gets jumped by Marty and Mari.
I don’t want to get too negative on the story elements of this (because I’ve been promised it’s going somewhere, and I tend to believe Lucha Underground has a reason for everything they’re doing), but the match was just … not much. I was at this set of tapings, and it just didn’t connect like I think they wanted it to. If that tandem finisher Marty and Mariposa used on The Mack looked weirdly edited, it’s because they had to do it a few times to get it right.
I think I’m more into the idea of the feud than anything actually happening in it. Ah well, let’s wait for it to come around.
Kayfabe Under: BOOOO
Actual Over: Matanza As Serious Business
Finally, we get to the main event.
I love Pentagon Jr. a lot, and as a fan, seeing him get the dogsh*t beaten out of him to the point that he’s frantically throwing up the X while Matanza murders him was pretty disheartening. It felt like they weren’t just cutting off his legs, they were ripping them off and beating him over the head with them.
Admitting that, I honestly like where the story is going. Pentagon Jr. not being in Aztec Warfare was necessary for him to get the jump on Mil Muertes, and the point of the ending to that match was Matanza’s debut and obvious dominance over every top star in the company. Even the new ones. To finish that plot point, you’ve got to get Pentagon Jr. into the ring with him quickly and say, “also, even PENTAGON isn’t strong enough to beat him.” Which makes sense, because Pentagon can’t reliably beat a guy like Prince Puma, and Puma got wrecked.
Sending Pentagon off with an injury humanizes him a little, and gives him that Jackie Chan moment I always talk about babyfaces and tecnicos needing. You can’t just be the coolest and the strongest and the best and win all the time if you want crowds to really get behind you and want you to win beyond superficial reasons or arbitrary side-picking. This is the John Cena problem, and moreso the Roman Reigns problem. They get beaten up sometimes — Roman getting his nose broken by Triple H was great, but undercut by Dean Ambrose getting beaten up way worse and sticking around for weeks — but it never feels like a real loss. Pentagon didn’t just get beaten up here, he LOST. BADLY. Like, shockingly badly. He looked like a chump. That’s (hopefully) going to give him the motivation to power up and come back stronger, and that’s going to make every person in that building or watching at home lose their minds.
So yeah, as a fan of the wrestler, boo. As a fan of the show, let’s do this.