Welcome to episodes 21 and 22 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. Holy crap, we’re almost to Ultima Lucha Dos.
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And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground episodes 21 and 22.
Episode 21: Six To Survive
Over: Pentagon Insults Fenix’s Mother
The entirety of episode 21 is devoted to the “Six To Survive” match, in which the six members of the winning team from episode 20’s 12-person tag face each other in an elimination match for the chance to get possibly literally eaten alive by The Monster Matanza Cueto at Ultima Lucha Dos. A lot of words in that sentence. As you might remember from One Night One Fight (aka “All Night Long”) or either Aztec Warfare match, Lucha Underground does a fantastic job with one-match episodes. It’s a great use of the format. This was no different.
As always, even though it’s just one match, there are a lot of stories happening involving a lot of intersecting plotlines. The Taya vs. Ivelisse beef is continued with Taya Nothern Lights suplexing and double-stomping her out of the match, Johnny Mundo continues his obsession with/comeuppance regarding complex nutshots, and, most importantly, Mil Muertes jogs out with Level 3 power and TAXIDERMIED STUFFING BODY to destroy King Cuerno. Because for real, when a guy steals your dead body and mounts it in his cowboy cabin, sh*t’s gonna get real.
The major talking point of the match, I believe (and I’m backed up by El Rey’s highlight video, which is just this) is the finish. The match comes down to Fenix and Pentagon Jr. Fenix is hesitant to fight at first, but Pentagon goads him in with, “chinga tu madre.” Possibly “padre,” but the sentiment is the same, and it’s just as funny because they have the same parents. It’s like when Stephanie McMahon calls Shane a “son of a bitch.”
If you’ve watched like half of one episode of Lucha Underground, you know that, objectively, Fenix and Pentagon are the best two guys on it. Rey’s the biggest legend, Puma’s the most athletically gifted, Mundo’s got North American TV experience and everybody’s got something — the show is full of amazing, amazing talent — but Fenix and Pentagon Jr. are the #1 and 2 guys you think of when you say “Lucha Underground.” They’re also DOPE AS BALLS in the ring together, and the final 12 minutes (!) of the match is just them beating the dogsh*t out of each other until they’re on their knees slapping each other in the face. It cuts through a lot of the pageantry bullsh*t I love so much about the show and gets right to the brutal pathos of good and evil punching each other in the mouth. A+.
I think the best part is the finish, wherein Pentagon ups the hand-to-hand combat with the ultimate 2000s Pro Wrestling combo: a Canadian Destroyer off the second rope, held and transitioned into a package piledriver. I don’t care how many lives you have, that’s going to end all of them plus one.
Pentagon Jr. wins, because of course he did, and he’ll go on to Ultima Lucha Dos to face the guy who broke his back, because of course he will. The show ends with one of those great “one dude in the ring, one on the steps” confrontations Lucha Underground does so well.
And man, I want Pentagon to win, but (having not read the spoilers, mind you, so don’t Um Actually me in either direction) there’s no way Pentagon pulls off that win. They don’t drop in that “you aren’t ready/yeah I am shut up” convo between him and Vampiro without it costing him. Black Lotus wasn’t ready to return to the Temple and now she’s a henchman with a murder secret.
Episode 22: Why Famous B, Why
This week, Dario Cueto redistributes the ahn-see-ent Aztec medallions and sets up a series of matches for people to win them, all in the same episode, because Ultima Lucha Dos is coming up fast and we’ve got to sh*t or get off the ancient pot. The show opens with him just giving a medallion to a “mysterious” new luchador named NIGHT CLAW, and, well …
Over: EVIL KITTY CAT MAN
1. Does Wakanda have lucha libre?
2. I am never going to give a first impression “under” to a guy with an elaborate cat gimmick. I love the Mumbai Cats, Tiger Mask is one of my all-time favorites, hell, I’m probably the world’s biggest Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller fan. He’s a black cat in a cape and he’s got spiky gauntlets. I guess my only complaint is that they aren’t calling him BENGALA NEGRO. Or like, DARK BENGALA.
2. Again, this is based on nothing but what I’ve seen in this episode and I haven’t looked (and don’t want to look) at the spoilers, but that’s totally Brian Cage, right? There aren’t any other white guys on the show with muscular ham fists that large. Is Cage going through an emotional crisis that turned him into a shadow cat? Is he just finally embracing lucha libre culture? I might be totally off, but I hope I’m not. DESPITE ALL MY RAGE I AM STILL JUST A CAT IN A CAGE.
That’s a total fan Under, by the way.
Mascarita Sagrada faces Daga for the second Aztec medallion, and at the risk of numbering this entire episode, there are two important plot points:
1. Kobra Moon is still stalking Daga, this time from the roof of Dario’s office. Nothing good happens up there.
2. Sagrada has been losing a bunch of matches since throwing in with the Get Fame crew, and now it’s officially too much. He taps out to Daga, causing Famous B to flip out and beat him to death with a shoe. Like, he actually attacks him with his shoe. Not since the days of Miss Elizabeth have we seen such shoe-related violence in the ring. I say “beat him to death” because the attack ends with B draping his custom Mascarita Sagrada jacket over Sagrada like he’s dead, which is a pretty harsh statement for a hard-working, middle-aged mini who agreed to take advice from an As Seen On TV con-artist. He’s like the Ol’ Gil of Lucha Underground.
A supplemental “Over” for Brenda’s lips leaving cartoon lip marks on Sagrada’s mask. We know luchadores wear white masks for bloody matches for the aesthetic, but hey, it works for lipstick too!
Over: Black Lotus Gon’ Get Got
In the next chapter of the classic he-said she-said misunderstanding between street urchin turned roof-dwelling second generation karate luchador El Dragon Azteca Jr. and his frenemy Black Lotus, the Asian lady assassin who infiltrated a supernatural underground wrestling promotion to kill a God-inhabited Spanish cage monster only to believe an evil guy’s lie and either betray or fulfill a prophecy by killing a FIRST generation karate luchador … wait, where was I?
EDAJ and Dario have a conversation about how he thinks Matanza killed his mentor, and Dario shows the true level of his evil by lying while telling the truth: “My brother is a monster, but he’s not a killer.” It’s the truth; Matanza didn’t kill El Dragon Azteca Sr., Black Lotus did. But she only did it because Dario convinced her of a lie (we assume). Also, Matanza is SUCH a killer, unless Bael recovered from having his face eaten and all those hapless white dudes paying admission to get into the second Temple just got roughed up and sent home. I love that we don’t actually know and haven’t seen the full backstory between Cueto’s family and the Aztec crew, so a lot of these mysteries and historical talking points are still open for interpretation.
Over: Marty The Moth Is Weird And Great
The remaining matches on the show are ones that on paper might not read as killer contests, but are both a hell of a lot of fun and better than you’d expect. Yeah, I know, there have been like five bad Lucha Underground matches ever, but we’re talking contextually.
The first is a Trios match for three Aztec medallions, because we’re hustling through this. On one side is The Crew (featuring poor, against-the-wall Mr. Cisco) and Joey Ryan. On the other is Siniestro de la Muerte, Killshot and Marty The Moth Martinez. I keep typing “the mouth,” which also works. As a show of brotherhood slash a plea of PLEASE DON’T KILL ME FOR REAL WITH GUNS, Marty offers Killshot the dog tags he stole. It’s enough to get them working together to the point that they’re hitting combo finishers to win the match, which makes it even better when Marty just steals the tags again when it’s over. So good. Marty’s such a scumbag he makes Joey Ryan look like Dean Malenko.
Because Dario is a very realistic kind of evil and both identifies with Sexy Star and hates her guts, the third Aztec medallion match (for two medallions, because again, we’re hustling) teams up pairs of rivals: Ivelisse with Taya, and Sexy with Mariposa. And sure, one of them’s a beef about hitting each other and the other’s about brutal kidnapping and torture with severe PTSD issues, but it’s pro wrestling, so “two pairs of rivals.”
The story in matches like this is seeing which team keeps it together the longest, and waits for the other to mess up. WWE could benefit from matches like this. They always do “how can they co-exist???” stories, but having two operating concurrently in the same match allows fans to actually consider it and wait and see. They don’t automatically know that the answer is “no” on both sides.
This time it’s Taya screwing up, because Taya is Johnny Mundo’s Twin Flame and they’re just inherently screwy. She tries to spear Sexy and instead hits Ivelisse, allowing Mariposa to lay her out and toss Sexy onto her for the win. Is she sorry about the whole kidnapping thing, scared to death of Sexy following No Mas, or just interested in getting into that title match?
As of now, the match stands at: Daga vs. Siniestro del la Muerte vs. Killshot vs. Marty Martinez vs. Sexy Star vs. Mariposa vs. Mysterious Nightshade Kitty Cat Cape Man. That’s Sexy Star’s match to win, right?
Over: The Prince And The King
Lucha Underground doesn’t do a lot of main-event promos, but when they do, they matter.
This week’s gave us a dream match that didn’t have much of a build, and benefits from it. Prince Puma wants to prove that he’s the greatest, so he has to beat the greatest: Rey Mysterio Jr. Rey accepts the challenge, because he has to prove he’s still the best. It’s such a simple A to B to happy clapping story, and that’s all it needs to be.
Plus, it features the ultimate Lucha Underground mic drop: “You’re still a prince, but I am El Rey.”
I see what you did there.