Welcome to episode 13 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.
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PROGRAMMING NOTE: We’re doubling up on the reports this week, so check back for episode 14 later this afternoon!
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season two, episode 13.
Over: A Bird, A Lizard And A Time-Traveling Aztec Spaceman Walk Into A Bar
I just want to take a second to let this image sink in. Really look at it for a while. It gets funnier the longer you look.
I should be used to absurd stuff happening in Dario Cueto’s office by now — he’s had teleporting ghost ladies choke him, people have been thrown through his window, he’s shared a Miller Lite with Fernandez — but there’s something I just can’t handle about Aero Star in his light-up entrance attire sitting quietly at a booking meeting. It’s a bridge too far.
The story here is that Dario’s finishing up the booking of his Trios tournament and wants to change it up from last year. He’s a dynamic booker, you see. Instead of doing a big regular tournament he’s abridged it so everyone who wins in the first round moves on to a four-team tournament finals (including the current Trios Champions) with the winners being the new champs. He acknowledges some of last year’s best teams, like the Drago/Fenix/Aero Star trio, but purposely f*cks it up a little just to keep things violent and interesting. Instead of letting the friends be friends and wrestle like normal … whatever they are, Dario puts Fenix on a team with Black Evans and pits former best-of-five rivals Drago and Aero Star against each other one more time for an Aztec Medallion. A to B to C with an acknowledgment of the past and a quirky twist. Perfect Lucha Underground place-setting.
Over: Best Friends Forever
That leads directly into said Aero Star/Drago medallion match, and if you’ve seen any of their work together last year, you know they’re in-unvierse best friends for a reason. These two have amazing chemistry with one another. I love to talk about how Aero Star always tries to bring in a new move or move setup in every match, but we don’t talk about how good Drago is enough. I mean, we do … he’s a f*cking reincarnated dragon that is good at nunchucks, but as an actual in-ring performer he’s really, really good. Him being a dragon just overshadows that in my brain sometimes.
Aero Star pulls off the win this time with a springboard Codebreaker and a splash, and that’s where Aero Star needs to be. We got that quick vignette of him in the past using ROCKET BOOTS to propel himself into the future or whatever, so I’m ready for him to become an actual functional part of Lucha Underground lore, and not just the cool creative Lite Brite man who falls from high places. I’m ready to start pulling these strings and tying everything together. I see you, matching diamond print on El Dragon Azteca Jr. and Kobra Moon’s gear. I know you mean something.
Over: Despite All My Rage …
1. “Slamtown” continues to be my favorite catchphrase.
2. Johnny Mundo is the best. This motherf*cker is in his beautifully lit seaside dojo or whatever, getting news from his Canadian Equestria Girl familiar about how he’s got a steel-cage match against a guy named “Cage.” Only Johnny Mundo would find himself in a play on words like that, and only Mundo would acknowledge it. I’m just sad he didn’t put on his sunglasses before he hit the “Cage, in a cage” line.
If we ever get a Lucha Underground movie — and God knows the only reason I’m making independent feature films is to get famous enough to be put in charge of it — I want a bunch of matches where the characters use their super secret backstage powers. I want Mundo to be able to punch at super speed. I want Drago morphing into a dragon mid-match to bite someone in half, and I want Aero Star countering a balcony dive by rocketing up. I want people getting their hearts ripped out.
Over: There Goes My Heart
Okay, forget what I said about anything being the best part of anything because Siniestro de la Muerte just murdered his Disciples of Death electric skeleton partners by RIPPING OUT THEIR BLACK ELECTRIC HEARTS. Hang on.
So, the Disciples of Death have a Trios match against PJ Black, Jack Evans and Fenix. The Black/Evans/Fenix team has a great dynamic that’s almost the Steen/Generico pairing taken to a three-man booth. With Steen and Generico, you had a very obvious heel and a very obvious babyface working together as partners and friends, and it wasn’t (usually) about “how they can co-exist.” They co-exist because they’re friends and great partners, even if their ideologies don’t match. Here you’ve got Fenix as the big popular tecnico and Jack Evans as the worst person in the world, with PJ Black playing intermediary. He gets a long with Jack because they’re bathroom nunchuck pals or whatever, but he’s also pretty impressed with what Fenix can do. That pisses off Jack, because he’s too far on the other end of the spectrum and wants all the glory himself. So not only do you get fun in-match arguing, you get Jack Evans — secretly the best guy on the entire show — getting accidentally motivated to win by his own horrible personality. It’s great.
Anyway, the Disciples lose again, because they are just color-coded Putties. Catrina threatens to destroy them (again), and Siniestro de la Muerte — our favorite Disciple of Death, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, nope — takes a stand for himself by straight-up Kano’ing his friends. It’s not just a heart rip, either, it’s like a blurry karate heart rip. And their hearts are BLACK AND ELECTRIC. I am … really ready for that Siniestro singles push. I want him to try that sh*t on Pentagon and realize it doesn’t work because dude ain’t got a heart.
Over: The Unlikely Trio Gets A Name, Sort Of
During the office segment that actually sets up the Trios Tournament finals, we have Cueto officially naming the Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico team “Team Havoc.” They don’t like it and argue about it, but Cueto tells them to shut up and leave. I’m with El Jefe on all matters of booking and team nomenclature.
Spoiler alert: None of this goes well for them.
Over: DEADLY HOSS BOSS FIGHT
I was tempted to give this a tiny “under” modifier because of the pacing of Lucha Underground booking, and how their schedule and storytelling style don’t really let things gestate. We don’t get to spend a while being excited about an upcoming match, because they set it up and do it and move on before the emotions can even settle. Mil Muertes vs. Matanza is a thing we should’ve built to for an entire season, right? That’s the big boss vs. the big boss. That’s the booking confrontation you avoided so well in Aztec Warfare being shotgunned only a few weeks later. How has it only been four episodes since Matanza’s debut and you’ve already given us him vs. Pentagon Jr. AND Mil Muertes? Relax, guys! Matanza vs. Argenis for a sec!
That said, how Disciples of Death does your heart have to be to not like watching Lucha Underground’s two most unstoppable characters throwing hands? I liked this a lot for Matanza, because it showed that he is extremely powerful, but able to be hurt. He’s not overpowered, really, he’s just extremely powerful. Lucha is great at establishing that even the toughest characters have weaknesses, or can be beaten under the right circumstances.
Here, the circumstance is a pissed-off zombie personification of Mexican death giving a God in the body of a Splatterhouse protagonist a Flatliner through the roof of a Spanish businessman’s underground fighting office. Holy sh*t that sentence.
Like the Pentagon match, this felt like a tease of something much more important down the line. As a reminder, I try to stay away from spoilers as much as possible so maybe this is just the blowoff and I’m dumb, but the injury in the Pentagon match and the double injury here make Matanza’s early title defenses feel like sneak previews. I’m gonna stay optimistic about it. Also, poor Dario Cueto, always having to rebuild entire sections of his human dog-fighting arena.
Over: Ridiculous Cop Show Endings
Then, suddenly, COP SHOW.
We get a funky bassline from 1987 to take us back to the police department that is currently trying to … do something with Dario Cueto by sending Cortez Castro and Joey Ryan in as undercover wrestler cops. I’m not totally sure what they’re doing or why, but the art direction in these segments is AMAZING. Look at that “MISSING” wall with Hernandez, Alberto Del Patron and Blue Demon Jr. headshots underneath. This police department doesn’t watch Raw I guess.
Then, suddenly, LORENZO LAMAS.
The last thing I expected on this telenovela about a supernatural wrestling promotion was TV’s RENEGADE. He’s got a Wolfram and Hart thing going on where the police think he’s working for the mayor, but he’s working for someone much more powerful. Is … he working for the devil? IS HE WORKING FOR AN EVIL Machete-ESQUE PRESIDENT? Is he, uh, working for the USA Network? I can’t wait to see where this goes, especially if we’re going with f*cking Lorenzo Lamas. I hope his evil master is Mario Lopez pretending to be a vampire.