Welcome to episode 15 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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And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season two, episode 15.
I don’t know how else to phrase this, but I love that Lucha Underground has architectural continuity. If someone goes through a window, the next week, the window is in repair. The previous show’s main event ended with Mil Muertes Flatliner’ing The Monster Matanza Cueto through the roof of Dario Cueto’s office, so this week’s show begins with him repairing the roof. It’s great. It’s a little touch to add a totally unnecessary but constructive (pardon the pun) realism to the most unrealistic wrestling show ever.
Oh, also, this segment is used to set up goddamn GRAVER CONSEQUENCES.
1. Lucha Underground is the only show cool enough to be like, “how do we top a casket match? How about a match with FOUR CASKETS” and have that seem cool. That’s a miracle. Why are there four caskets? So you can quarter a dude and put a piece of him in each one? I wouldn’t expect anything less from a show that’s already shown a guy get his face eaten by a cage monster and had people’s skulls removed for chair decorations in the comics.
2. Lucha Underground is the only show that can get away with having a casket match called “Grave Consequences” in the first place, much less do a bigger version and call it GRAVER CONSEQUENCES. That’s like a joke somebody would make, but they’re doing it straight and without sarcasm or irony so you’re like F*CK YEAH GRAVER CONSEQUENCES.
3. Season 3 better have an electrified casket match or whatever and call it GRAVEST CONSEQUENCES.
Under: King Cuerno Isn’t Important
I always feel like I’ve got to type a “hey, hold on, it ain’t like that” disclaimer when I “worst” things on Lucha Underground, but man, I am sick of King Cuerno not being an important character. I suppose a lot of that has to do with the guy himself and the Mexico obligations and whatever else, but looking at it purely as a fan of the show and not knowing any of the backstage stuff, Cuerno’s relative futility really pisses me off. He’s KING CUERNO. He comes to the ring with a deer’s entire dead body on him. He was my favorite character before Pentagon Jr. really became a thing. Why’s he so pointless?
Here, he’s positioned against Catrina and her new charge, the powered-up Siniestro de la Muerte. And yo, SDLM is my dude. But even I don’t want to see King Cuerno losing to guys who were 1/3 of a helpless Putty team a few weeks ago. Maybe electric heart ripping to save your life (for a second time?) levels you up, but Siniestro over Cuerno’s gotta be one of the biggest upsets in the show’s history. I am not comfortable with King F*cking Cuerno being the Lucha Underground Dolph Ziggler.
Over: Poor, Poor Mascarita Sagrada
So one of the stories from this week is Famous B making good on his “make you famous” promises by booking Mascarita Sagrada in a match with … uh, Cage.
There’s so much to break down here. First of all, FAMOUS B of all people wants to make legitimately legendary and already pretty famous Mascarita Sagrada famous. Sagrada’s been in WWE, WCW, TNA and is one of if not the most recognizable minis of the modern era. He’s also 51 years old. Second of all, B’s plan to do this is to (1) make a Jimmy Hart-style Mascarita Sagrada jacket which f*cking rules, and (2) MAKE HIM WRESTLE BRIAN CAGE. I would not put a Johnny Mundo in the ring with Cage and expect him to survive without bottles and cinderblocks and pipes. The f*ck is Mascarita Sagrada supposed to do?
The match goes like you think it might, with Sagrada looking as good as he can look (because as a reminder, he’s dope) and Cage just kinda throwing him to death. Like, to actual death. The F-5 that ended the match kinda felt like a guy being thrown out of a crashing helicopter.
After the match, Chavo Guerrero runs in and steals Cage’s Aztec medallion, because he’s a goddamn fool and doesn’t value his own life.
Over: The Kidnapping Story Pays Off, Part 1
An act in three parts.
The first match of the show is actually this one — Marty The Moth Martinez vs. The Mack for an Aztec medallion. If you’ve been watching, you’ll recall that Marty kidnapped Sexy Star at the end of season 1 and (alongside his crazy butterfly sister) f*cked her up in the head something fierce. The Mack is Sexy Star’s friend, because Big Ryck didn’t come back for season 2 and they’re kayfabe related so it’s close enough.
Anyway, this is the cold open to the major story of the night. It’s just a fun match between two surprisingly athletic, surprisingly charismatic guys who aren’t afraid to do Stone Cold Stunners and make Matt Striker do absolutely unforgivably terrible WWE impressions. Mack wins, because Marty is not exactly Prince Puma when it comes to LU win/loss records.
Over: The Kidnapping Story Pays Off, Part 2
I tend to call whatever new Dario Cueto segment exists the “best thing Lucha Underground’s ever done,” but from a character development standpoint, the interaction between Cueto and Sexy here is absolutely phenomenal.
Dario is a rudo. A heel. That’s putting it mildly. He’s a corrupt, sometimes cruel, violence-obsessed Spanish businessman trying to lord himself over the sport of lucha libre and North American Hispanic culture in general. He kept his deformed, possessed-by-a-God brother in a cage. He makes people who hate each other team up in matches so everyone gets hurt. Objectively, he’s way, way worse than your Stephanie McMahons or Dixie Carters or whatever. Dario Cueto might actually kill you in real life, or get someone to do it.
He’s got a code, though, and a consistent character. In his interactions with Sexy Star, he softens in a way that makes sense for who he is and how he sees things. He doesn’t know what happened to her, but he’s seen a change in her, so he knows it’s bad. He holds his beloved red bull statue and tells her about being a child, and suffering at the hands of his mother. He understands, so he makes a “No Mas” (I Quit) match between Sexy and Marisposa and straight-up tells Sexy to murk her at the end of it. She’s got to make Mariposa fear her the way she’s feared Mariposa or it’ll never end. As we know (but Sexy doesn’t), Matanza killed he and Dario’s mother with that bull. Dario knows a thing or two about ending suffering.
I loved this so much. Brilliant character work.
Over: The Kidnapping Story Pays Off, Part 3
And then, No Mas.
Remember how Grave Consequences changed the game for this show? Before it, the matches were fun, but were mostly just guys diving around and armdragging each other and that was what you got. It was good, but it was just the WCW interpretation of lucha libre. With Grave Consequences, we got the pathos of lucha. The true battle between good and evil, and life and death. It set the stage for every great LU match that followed, and that follow still.
No Mas is for the luchadoras what Grave Consequences was for the luchadors. I know there’s not a gender line or whatever, but Lucha Underground’s been trying to build up their female talent and really make them a thing, and aside from some standouts (read: Ivelisse) it hasn’t totally gelled. Kobra Moon is fine, but she’s young. Mariposa hadn’t really worked well until this point, even if the human playing her is good at what she does. Sexy Star’s always been more about the passion and emotion of the story and moment than technical in-ring wizardry. No Mas is where it finally worked.
There’s so much to love here. It’s not perfect — why’d they climb up onto that catwalk just to calmly climb down? — but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a bloody, gutsy fight. It’s a woman whose season 1 character was built on saying “no more” and standing up for herself saying no more (by NOT saying “no more”) and defeating her demons. She’s physically illustrating the fight people with mental illness and trauma face every day. She’s stepping into a wrestling ring with a thing that looks like a monster and making sure it bleeds to death before she does. It’s great. It’s what we needed.
Marty shows up to help his sister, of course, and The Mack runs interference to keep him from hurting Sexy again. The match is Sexy Star standing up for herself and being the hero we need her to be, with just a sprinkling of, “it helps to have a support system.” A+.
Here’s what Sexy said about it herself, in Forbes:
“My match against Mariposa has been one of the best things that have ever happened to me because it allowed me to make it clear to everyone what true women wrestling is. It’s not scratching each other followed by glamorous poses. We are not two beautiful women pulling each other’s hair. A real female match is a match between to gladiators, two warriors who are ready for anything and who are willing to leave their blood splattered in the ring if it’s necessary. In a true female match, participants defend their dignity with their moves, high flying action, hits, chairs and whatever else might be need, because when two women truly want to win, they are willing to risk it all, including their lives. “For decades, due to poor representation, female wrestlers have been expected to step into the ring to show off their bodies and model. It feels great to know that the public is clear that my fight with Mariposa was not that. That fight demonstrated that the public has been living in a fog. Thanks to Lucha Underground and their belief in women and their power, we have been allowed the platform we deserve and we the women have made sure to defend our space and value within the company at all costs, even blood. That match was only a little sample of the type of fight women who truly love lucha and defend their dignity with much more than a nice body and pretty face are capable of.”
That’s what it means to say “no more.”