Welcome to episode 17 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 a week behind, but we’re catching up!
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season two, episode 17.
Over: Grift Of The Gods
This week is the GIFT OF THE GODS show. If you’re clicking one of these columns for the first time (and don’t mind it being a week late, sorry), here’s what you need to know: Dario Cueto has a WMAC Masters championship belt that is powered by several ancient Aztec gold medallions. It’s kinda like the Megazord, except instead of piloting a giant mech with a big sword that can cut colossal monsters in half, you get a cool title belt and a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship.
This week’s opener is the “everybody put your medallions into the belt” ceremony, which we learn is a binding, moment-to-moment thing. You have to compete to win a medallion, but if you just steal someone else’s and put it in yourself, you’re bound to the Gift of the Gods match and nobody can take it away from you. We learn this via Chavo Guerrero stealing Cage’s medallion and tricking him via a washer in a little baggie to get in. It’s the ultimate in unnecessarily complex and manipulative cheating, perfect for a Guerrero, and a great way to start a show. Unfortunately, Chavo did not consider that Cage is still breathing (or whatever machines do to live), and that he’d probably get his head separated from his shoulders within the hour. More on that in a bit.
I loved (loved loved) this. Dario Cueto is the best ring announcer ever. There’s also a lot of fun character stuff happening, like Aero Star using his medallion like it’s Tony Stark’s reactor, Joey Ryan licking the back of his to stick it to the belt when (1) that’s not how gold medallions work and (2) it was resting against his junk all week, and so on. I love that the show isn’t afraid to go all the way with its own universe.
SEXY SEXY SEXY SEXYYY STAR
Over: Famous B
Okay, Dario Cueto might be the second best ring announcer ever.
Over: The Love Betwixt Man And Snake
The first match of the night is a four-way match featuring four very different competitors: Argenis, the returning Daga, Kora Moon, and Mascarita Sagrada, who now hails from “Little Hollywood, California.” Striker and Vampiro hit the little people jokes like it’s the first time they’ve ever had the chance to do so. JBL and Michael Cole listened to this commentary and it made them see colors.
There are two stories at play here:
1. Mascarita Sagrada keeps losing matches, because Famous B’s commercial-proven Brenda techniques don’t really translate into wrestling rings, and
2. Kobra Moon is in love (?) with Daga.
Not sure on the last one, but that seems to be the case. She plants Mascarita Sagrada on his head and has the match won, but slithers back into the corner to give Daga the pinfall. He doesn’t seem like he’s too into it, but we’ve got an interspecies love story happening, so let’s go for it. Maye she thought his name was Naga?
Anyway, here’s a shot of their first date:
Over: Killshot Vs. Marty
This one took me by surprise.
My favorite match and story of the week go to Killshot and Marty “The Moth” Martinez. Marty gets all military crazy in Killshot’s face backstage and ends up on his back with some finger guns pointed at his face. When Marty loses, he jumps Killshot anyway and steals his beloved dog tags. It’s the most straight-up pro wrestling thing they’ve done in a while, and I like it. These basic good and evil, “oh no you didn’t” stories really pop sometimes, and as much as I like cosmic time travelers befriending dragons and getting into glow-in-the-dark nunchuck fights with daredevil werewolves, “you did a bad thing to me so I’m gonna kick your ass” is forever.
The best part is that the match is the same way. It’s almost old school in its simplicity, which is a breath of fresh air for Lucha. As good as the wrestling is on the show, it can sometimes blend together. The camera work and the pacing and the sound effects can get a little monotonous, which I think is why I gravitate towards the amazing backstage stuff so much in my preferences. The wrestling is GREAT, mind you, don’t get me wrong, there’s just something to be said for variety, and Marty vs. Killshot provided it.
Marty dominating with strength and getting better and better is a good story, and Killshot as a scrappy underdog literally forced to repeatedly fight his way out of a corner is great. Really surprised by this, in the best kind of way. Marty is kind of the jam right now, and I’m okay with Mariposa cocooning for a while so we can have fun with it.
Over: Rage Of The Machine
So, as you might’ve guessed, Cage shows up in the middle of the Gift of the Gods 7-way and f*cks up everybody’s Christmas.
Normally I wouldn’t like such an important match being distilled down to one Chavo-centric storyline, but I think it works here. Having the Gift of the Gods match on a normal episode and not saving it for Ultima Lucha means you can use it as a setup for something else, which I assume is “sending Chavo Guerrero into oblivion.” Cage destroys everyone, pulls Chavo into a pin and gives him the Gift of the Gods title win JUST to reveal that he’s got a match next week against the Gift of the Gods champion.
I love that Cage would take on 7 people and spend an hour arguing with his boss so he could help a guy who f*cked him over win so he could THEN beat him up. That way he not only gets the beating he wants, he gets the belt he would’ve gotten from cashing in the medallion in the first place. Way to be an intelligent machine!
… Under?: Pissed-Off Ninja Sex Party
I wasn’t sure what to give this because I like what they’re going for — Pentagon is feeling sorry for himself because he has a broken back, so Vampiro’s just beating the crap out of him until he gets so angry he forgets the pain and starts using it and controlling it instead of letting it hold him back — but yo, the show ending with Pentagon on a sex swing did not give me the right impression.
I’m guessing they probably wanted to suspend him from the ceiling via hooks or something to show that it was really masochistic pain, and then they were like, “oh, we can’t actually do that to a human being who doesn’t routinely do that already,” so they were like, “cuffs n’ collars.” Although I’ll be honest, if Pentagon Jr. comes back with a hypersexual gimmick where he like, beats up Mil Muertes with a riding crop, I’ll probably give it an Over. I’m not gonna front.
But yeah, over for the intent, under for the image of Vamp being a step away from breaking out the anal hook. (If you don’t know what that is already, you probably don’t want to google it.)