Welcome to episode 19 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.
Shares, likes, comments and other social media things are appreciated. This show doesn’t have the built-in WWE audience behind it, so it needs your word of mouth. Tell @LuchaElRey that you read and love this column as well.
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season two, episode 19.
Over/Under: Forbidden Snake Love
Hey, we’re caught up! Just in time for a guy to lose matches because a snake’s in love with him.
This week’s opener is Daga versus Son of Havoc. The story here is Kobra Moon walking down in the middle of the match to be Daga’s … familiar? Is that what you call it when dedicated animal spirits follow you around? Everything I know about the occult I learned from playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. She gave him the pin in the four-way match last week, and this is the romantic (?) followup.
Season 2 of Lucha Underground is really into people wandering to the ring in the middle of matches to interfere. It’s their Distraction Rollup. Kobra tries to interfere and grab Son of Havoc’s leg, but he shakes her off and hits a shooting star press for the win. After the match, Kobra tries to … I don’t know, attract Daga? By kneeling in front of him and wrapping herself around his leg. Part of me’s like, “LOL what, seriously,” and the other part’s like, “I am extremely interested in a snake lady’s supernatural telenovela romance.”
Theory: Have we ever learned Kobra Moon’s ethnicity? I know she’s supposed to be descended from an ancient Aztec tribe and all, but “Daga” means “mouse” in Tagalog and I’m so unbelievably into the idea of Kobra Moon sucking up to this dude because she wants to eat him. I hope Ultima Lucha ends with like, The Mack walking into the locker room and seeing Kobra Moon on her stomach on the ground with Daga’s feet hanging out of her mouth.
Over: The Dick Kick Express
This week’s short on backstage stuff, but it’s full of great work in the ring. For example, here’s Johnny Mundo, Taya, PJ Black and Jack Evans in matching sunglasses and bandanas, playing entrance air guitar before spending like 20 minutes on dick-based offense.
The best part of season 1 of Lucha Underground was how the show dared to be a fresh, creative set of eyes in a stale, homogenized, Caucasoid wrestling world. It took a knowing approach to wrestling, modernized the presentation of lucha libre and bravely expanded the possibilities of creative expression for wrestling on TV. It deftly blended fantasy, pulp, a world of varied wrestling styles and even a little science fiction. The best part of season 2 is these assholes who won’t stop kicking people in the balls.
Rey Mysterio Jr., El Dragon Azteca Jr. and Prince Puma (the first of his name) get their Trios Championship rematch, and it’s seriously just a constant barrage of creative dick-kicking. It builds and builds until the tecnicos can’t take it anymore, and Puma just blatantly boots Johnny Mundo between the legs in front of the referee. That gets the tecnicos disqualified, costs them their only guaranteed title match, and sends Puma into an awesome post-match rage.
What’s great about this is that
1. Johnny Mundo’s team of impossible jerks remain the champions, and will presumably go undefeated until they run into Joey Ryan and break their feet, and
2. It gives us an out for the Superfriends not just automatically winning back the championships, and allows two of the biggest stars on the show and its most promising newcomer to go their separate ways and play with some non-Trios match stories. Dragon Azteca’s got a lot to do, and Puma and Rey have been caught in these team-based matches since Aztec Warfare. Open it up!
Under: Dragon Azteca Is Not Gonna Win Any Emmys
All that said, I’m not in love with this week’s backstage stuff. El Dragon Azteca Jr. is absolutely my dude in the ring, but he’s … not a great actor. I guess you can’t expect every pro wrestler to be adept at cheesy acting — not everyone can be King Cuerno — but so many acting-based stories are built around the character that you can almost see them dragging their feet until he’s more comfortable delivering scripted lines onscreen. I’m willing to wait because for real, the guy is an A+ in the ring, I’m just not sure how many more times I can see him say, “YOU KILLED MY MENTOR” without somebody escalating the situation.
Finally, we get Cage cashing in his Money on the Waist contract against The Monster Matanza Cueto. If you’re a fan of big guys doing crazy sh*t big guys shouldn’t come close to being able to do, this is the match for you.
I appreciate the way they’re handling Matanza on the abridged Lucha Underground taping schedule. They’ve got a finite amount of episodes per season, so they’ve got to hit some important story points quicker than WWE might. For example, you need to build up Matanza. You have him debut in Aztec Warfare, surprise-beat-up all the tecnicos except tweener-ass Pentagon Jr. and win the Lucha Underground Championship. Once he’s the top dog, you have him murk Pentagon and put him on the shelf for a while, because he’s everyone’s favorite. While Pentagon’s on the DL, you have him systematically go through all the guys you’d think would have a chance to beat him. Here, it’s Fenix, Mil Muertes and now Cage. Then, once you’ve gone through all the “wow, I can’t believe he beat that guy too” opponents, you bring back Pentagon and have him either defeat Matanza straight-up or have him cost Matanza a match and build to the singles.
Or, knowing Lucha, literally anything else.
Cage vs. Matanza is pretty f*cking great, though, I’ve gotta say. Matanza is secretly super dope in the ring, and Cage getting to go full-crazy with dives and moonsaults and power combinations is always good. Amping Cage up to 11 is the only way to go. He’s such a ridiculous human being. Sorry, machine.
I’m excited to see where Matanza goes next, and to see if a straightforward loss like this will change Cage in any way. Cage actually becoming a human being and no longer believing he’s a machine could be fun. Do a full Bicentennial Man angle with him.