Welcome to the Over/Under of Lucha Underground for season 3 episode 19, the mid-season finale. Last week we caught up on all the shows we missed over the holidays, so if you haven’t read that yet, go check it out and/or complain about the format here. SORRY I SPENT TIME WITH LOVED ONES INSTEAD OF TELLING YOU HOW TO FEEL ABOUT JUSTIN GABRIEL MATCHES, GUYS.
If you need to catch up on the rest of the episodes — if you aren’t caught up, you should need to catch up — you can read about season 1 here, and season 2 here. Season 3 episode recaps can be found here.
Re-post: If you’re still wondering how to watch the show, it airs every Wednesday night on El Rey Network. If you don’t have El Rey on your cable system, you can get it on Sling. If you can’t do that, you can download the episodes on iTunes. They’re selling a “season pass” right now where you can get every new episode right after it airs. If you can’t do that, and you demand viewing information without just being a cheapskate and googling “watch lucha underground online free,” I don’t know what to tell you. Watch the show.
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season 3 episode 19, originally aired on January 11, 2017.
Under: This Is Not My Beautiful Show
I don’t want this to seem like to harsh of a complaint — remember, even the worst parts of Lucha Underground as a show are as good to me as some of the “best” stuff on other shows — but the centerpiece of this episode might’ve been the most WWE thing they’ve ever done, in the worst ways.
Lucha Underground Champion Johnny Mundo comes to the ring to some fishy crowd noise and cuts a promo about how he’s going to beat The Mack in the All Night Long championship challenge. PJ Black and Jack Evans are there lounging on the ropes, because they’re great. After what can only be described as a Raw-opening promo, The Mack shows up to throw hands at them. Only, oh no, he’s stopped by SECURITY. Because the illegal underground fighting temple built for worship and/or sacrilegious condemnation of Aztec gods that routinely features murder, kidnappings and an announce team anchored by a Satanic vampire lord HAS NPC SECURITY. And all that shit I just listed is in THIS EPISODE.
Security holds back the Mack, and he kinda lazily beats them up with Stunners. It’s so by the numbers that even easily excitable Matt Striker is like, “heh, there goes THAT security guard, oh a stunner for THAT one, heh, heh.” The segment ends with Worldwide Underground fleeing, and Mack up on the ropes holding the belt over his head. All that’s missing is a shot of Mack pointing at the Ultima Lucha Tres sign.
And what’s weirdest about this is how the hell are you expecting this story to have momentum when you have a 16-fighter tournament to crown a number one contender, have the champion humiliate the challenger, have the challenger get revenge on the champ and then take a six-month hiatus before you do the match? Like, I love this show with my entire heart and I’m like 165% sure I’m not gonna give a fuck about The Mack’s title chances in July.
Under: Mid-Season Production Values
Also on this episode, Texano takes on Joey Ryan. Famous B and the Beautiful Brenda want Texano’s services as a client, because legendary luchadors just kinda show up and vanish in the same breath in the Temple sometimes, and they need a guy who’ll actually stick around. Texano doesn’t seem to want their help, and uses the old Eddie Guerrero/Dean Malenko “pull the foreign object away from an interfering third party and accidentally pull back too hard and hit your opponent” thing with a GOLDEN HORSESHOE to win.
The reason I’m giving it an Under, besides the fact that Texano is generally the most non-plussed part of the show no matter how much Striker puts him over as blue-collar and bleeding tequila or whatever (and besides the fact that any Texano segment should be King Cuerno doing ANYTHING), is for a weird production hiccup at the announce table.
Texano puts Joey away and B and Brenda try to celebrate with him, and Striker notices, “I’m not so sure that Texano will be calling 423-GET-FAME, but judging by that look, he may be calling Brenda!” A little discussion happens, and then Striker adds, “While Texano might not be calling 423-GET-FAME any time soon, judging by that look, he may be giving Brenda a call!” Dude went full WWE 2K announce team. I was expecting him to notice that Texano had added something NEW to his, “repertoire.”
Can someone see whether or not Texano will be calling 423-GET-FAME, or if he’s just calling Brenda?
I don’t want to rag too much on the production of this episode, but I’m starting to feel like maybe they made this a “mid-season finale” because they hated it, fired a bunch of people and need a few months to get together a new video team. For example, the show opens with Dario Cueto in his office having a meeting with Evil Lorenzo Lamas when El Dragon Azteca barges in and demands a Death Match with Matanza. What’s weird about it is that aside from a quick panning shot to the door, Lamas and Azteca, despite standing side-by-side like we’ve seen a million times in the office, never appear on-screen together. It’s like two disconnected scenes happening in the same space. Could they only get Lamas for a day? Did the 21 Jump Street and CHiPS sarcastic frat guy movie guys decide to do one about Renegade?
Under: The Gloves Are Off
Again, I don’t want to give this episode too many negative marks (because that always feels wrong), but bruh, Cage won a lengthy-ass best-of-five series for the right to wear an enchanted gauntlet that gives him the power of a God and he takes it off before he wrestles. He puts it back on after the match and they do a One Ring thing where it’s I guess making him aggressive? But this is the guy who tore the championship belt in half and can’t stop screaming about how he’s literally made of metal. Just let him punch people with the death gauntlet and have them sell it like they’ve had their souls punched out.
Anyway, who is Cage’s opponent this week? Let’s see …
Over: MOTHERFUCKER I TOLD YOU TO LOOK OUT FOR A SPIDER GUY
HE’S A SPIDER GUY. I TOLD YOU.
I feel dumb now for not remembering that Cortez Castro’s back-up plan for Temple subterfuge was putting on a mask to be a new character, and that the mask his half-immortal police chief held up had a spider web on it.
Anyway, Castro is now “VENENO,” because the trick to naming Lucha Underground season 3 guys is to figure out which animal they are, name a noun or adjective that describes that animal, then translate it into Spanish. Got a bear luchador? His name is GARRAS. It means “claws” in Spanish! Did a guy with bird wings just show up? Is he feeding a smaller version of himself by throwing up in a mini’s mouth? Maybe his name is Constructor de Nido.
Veneno loses via a Steiner Screwdriver, never thwips anybody, and never gets pounded into the ground with a metal hand like Jax does in Mortal Kombat. The hell is going on this week?
Over: Thanks For Paying Attention
In my favorite bit of the week, Sexy Star runs out after Veneno’s match and puts the boots to him for being a spider guy. I’ve been screaming at her for weeks to stop assuming a moth lady is stalking her with rubber spiders and look for the spider guy. Now he’s here, and she’s like, “OH MY GOD, STAY AWAY FROM ME.”
What I like about it the most is that Castro’s obviously just wearing a spider-themed mask to try to fit in, and isn’t an actual mystical spider guy, so there’s little to no chance he’s responsible for the harassment and is a red herring. There’s probably an actual spider goddess or something living under the Temple with eight arms who’s gonna mate with him and kill him. And her luchadora name is MATA A SU ESPOSO.
Over: El Dragon Az-take-a Fall
If you’re wondering how well El Dragon Azteca Jr. did in his death match against The Monster Matanza Cueto, here’s a shot of him about to be chokeslammed into the bleachers so hard he falls through them and all the way to the concrete underneath. Hope there weren’t any high school teens making out under there, they’re dead now.
The match is a lot of fun, because Matanza is great at catching people and either throwing them in the air or throwing them at the ground, and El Dragon Azteca is secretly a dope mastermind and one of the most fun performers on the show. He just has that Angelico thing going where he’s gonna keep doing stuff that hurts him until his body stops working. Here, my favorite moment is when he ends up scaling the highest points of the Temple and just kinda flip-falling backwards into Matanza. Then, of course, A CHOKESLAM TO HAIL.
With the match over, Rey Mysterio returns to the Temple from his Wolverine Meme Bedroom and ends up brawling with the Monster. He’s the smartest and most experienced character on the show, though, so he utilizes Matanza’s greatest weakness: falling through roofs. That’s how Mil Muertes managed to take him out, and that’s how Rey does it. Mil put him through the roof of Dario’s office, and Rey backdrops him through the roof of that adjacent room behind the announcers.
Cueto’s response to the violence is to shut the Temple down and kick everybody out, which I guess is what’s leading us to our unexpected hiatus. Was anyone actually expecting this to be a mid-season finale, or was this just the best stopping point they could find?
???: That’s It?
Our final image of the mid-season is of Marty the Moth stalking Melissa Santos until he’s kidnapped … by his own sister, who ties him up and taunts him in the Sexy Star Memorial Kidnapping Shed, or whatever. And that’s it. A rudo kidnapped by a rudo he just turned on, neither of whom has really accomplished much, with nothing much resolved. Again, this show just had a guy get chokeslammed through bleachers and saw the arena get shut down by a crazed, God-obsessed Spanish businessman because his murder-brother got backdropped to his death by Rey Mysterio Jr. And the ending is Marty laughing in some ropes?
I dunno. If this was to set up an episode next week I’d be all about it, but join us in like six months for The Mack getting a title shot and the Marty vs. Mariposa feud?