Previously on the Over/Under on Lucha Underground: Famous B attacked The Mack with a squirt gun, Mascarita Sagrada harassed the Rabbit Tribe by giving them a rabbit’s foot, and everything ended in a run-in. On the plus side, YO SOY PENTAGON DARK, CERO MIEDO.
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.
Hit those share buttons! Make sure to spread the column around so people can share in our love of all things Lucha, and encourage folks to finally bite the bullet and watch the first two seasons on Netflix. It’s on Netflix. Until the next installment of The Ranch, please watch Melissa Santos enjoy the smooth, rich taste of Modelo.
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season 3, episode 29, originally aired on August 2, 2017.
Over: Caged Eat
Lucha Underground is at its best when it’s being Great Gatsby-levels of blatant with its symbolism, so here’s Dario Cueto putting a tray of raw meat just out of Matanza’s reach to teach him to control his hunger.
If this Cueto segment is so on the nose, it makes me wonder about the other. Is Dario Cueto trying to turn Worldwide Underground into the Power Rangers?
I think I’ve said it every time he’s ever appeared on screen, but Dario Cueto is, pardon the pun, the key to Lucha Underground’s success. He’s such a versatile actor and screen presence that he can be deadly serious and incredibly campy simultaneously, and his attitude toward the wrestlers and the venue gives the show the context it would crumble without. There should never be an episode of Lucha without Dario on it, and I sincerely hope dudes like Matanza and Jack Evans and whoever else take advantage of and learn from getting to be on-screen with an actor like that.
If Lucha doesn’t get a season 4, WWE should stop hiring every empty-ass indie dude on the planet and sign Dario to take over 205 Live. I want to see the WWE arena backstage area suddenly turn into a murky bathroom. Better backstage than in the ring, you know?
Under: I Am The Very Modelo A Modern Major-General
I’m a Lucha Underground hipster, I was around when the best beer sponsorship they could get was Miller Lite, and the only person on the show lame enough to drink it was Fernandez.
If Modelo represents “fighting spirit,” what are pizza bagels? King’s Road?
Speaking of Melissa Santos — and I swear I’m not trying to bag on her this much — the only hook for the Fenix vs. Pindar quarterfinals match in the Cueto Cup Tournament is the weird out-of-nowhere romance between Melissa and Fenix. Whenever a big move happens, they cut to Melissa like, blowing Fenix kisses at ringside. While I love that (for once) the match had a clean finish and didn’t involve Marty the Moth and Mariposa running in, I wish we could take the focus off the corny romances and put talented dudes like Fenix back into stories where zombies are literally eating parts of his face and trying to throw him in Día de Muertos caskets. Funerary boxes, whatever.
I’m not really into Pindar, but I think it’s because his look is so low-rent Drago. There isn’t really anything to differentiate him. Vibora is Baron Corbin in a snake mask, Drago is a dragon with big wings and a jelly tongue and fire breath, Kobra Moon is a slithery floor lady with a Serpentor throne and a sensible jacket. Whether he’s good in the ring or not, Pindar as Pindar is just “additional reptile.” He looks like player one selected Drago and player two had to select the alternate skin.
Over: … DIVE
Two positive things I need to make sure I say about this week’s episode:
- The interference that’s been cramping the show’s style the past … several weeks is under complete control here, with two of three matches involving a run-in angle, but during the post-match. The first is Prince Puma Dark vs. Dante Fox, which by Lucha Underground booking procedure has to include an attack from Kill Shot, so it saves it for after the actual match. In the main event, they come up with a great reason for Worldwide Underground to not interfere in the match — Cueto’s giving them ahn-sient Aztec medallions if they don’t — and still having them show up to be dicks after the bell. That’s how you do it. Even in a chaotic wrestling environment, save the “pile of people interfere” shit for the spaces between. It’s not 1997 anymore, and that shit was pretty tired in 1997.
- The match variety was fantastic. While all three matches had a fast pace and a lot of flying, they were all subtly different. Pindar/Fenix was your straight-forward Lucha Underground style match. Puma/Fox was a crazy sprint built around non-stop diving and showboating, and Mundo/Azteca leaned on the rudo/tecnico dynamic to tell a story. Even in an hour-long, there should be variety and something for everyone. Like crisp, delicious Modelo!
Fox/Puma is like the contextualized Ricochet/Ospreay. They just start the match diving onto each other, and the entire front-end is built around one guy knocking the other to the outside, diving on them, trying to follow it up and getting caught. Rinse and repeat. It works because not only is it an escalation of the style of the show — instead of something random tacked onto the middle, like too many spot-heavy matches — it’s reasonable for what we know of the characters. Puma is the king of extraneous jumping, it’s like 80% of his offense, live or die. Fox is motivated by proving he’s the equal (and superior) of anyone he’s in the ring with, and sort of adapts his style to meet them. So if Puma’s jumping his ass off, Fox is gonna say, “anything you can do I can do better” and jump-ass with him. It’s stupid, really, but it’s also great, and that’s the shortest way to describe pro wrestling.
Another thing: I love that the Cueto Cup is confirming that the O.G. Lucha Underground stars are still the best. Unless something truly unexpected happens, we’re looking at a semi-finals involving Fenix, Prince Puma, Mil Muertes and Pentagon. That rules.
Under: Starship Pain
He’s never going to stop using it because it was his finish when he first became popular, but The End Of The World née Starship Pain is still the worst finisher in the company. He never, ever hits it right. Look at that picture, he just spins his body into the ground and hits you with the back of his head, which is actually moving AWAY from your body thanks to the momentum of the rest of him. Best case scenario, he’s swirling his hair into your stomach like he’s about to wring out a mop. Everything else Mundo does looks better than Starship Pain. Pull the guy out farther! If Jeff Hardy can jump from the top rope and land ass-first on somebody’s stomach for 20 years, JoMu should have enough seniority to finish guys with a little impact.
Not a Global Force joke.
Over: I’m Your Papi
Wait, wrong picture.
Johnny Mundo defeats El Dragon Azteca Jr. in a great match, because heel Mundo is a spectacular piece of shit and Azteca’s probably the best pure underdog tecnico on the roster. Rey Mysterio’s got an overall rating of like, 98 and can beat Matanza, he’s not the Biggest Little Man anymore. Azteca’s got like a 78 rating but his moveset’s dope so he can fire up and beat anybody on the right day. Rey Mysterio’s family is in the crowd, which becomes important later.
After the match, Mundo attacks Dragon with a chair until Mysterio completely falls for it and runs out to make the save. The match is technically over, so Worldwide Underground is there to blindside him. It’s all a ruse for them to hold him back so Mundo can blast Mysterio’s son Dominick in the face with the championship. If you don’t remember Dominick, he used to be a tiny Eminem-looking kid who was once the prize of a ladder match in WWE. Seriously. Now he’s grown into a large Fred Durst-looking adult who does not totally understand the phrase, “talk shit, get hit.” I super hope they hang him from a pole in the Temple in a couple of weeks.
Aside from a few tiny complaints, this was a really good episode. It’s everything you want from Lucha Underground: good in-ring action, variety, some crazy backstage lore and plot advancement. Oh, and speaking of that, one more thing …
So Is Lucha Underground On TV In The Lucha Underground Universe Or What
One of the things that’s always confused me about the world Lucha wants to create is this: is Lucha Underground on television in the Lucha Underground universe? They have announcers that talk to a camera, so you’d think, sure, this is a TV show. But then they do the pulp backstage segments, and the announcers act like they aren’t able to see them. And they televise shit like councilman murders and humans turning into dragons and time travel, so it’s never been totally clear.
Now we have this week’s Undercover Brother segment with Cortez Castro showing his captain Lucha Underground clips on an iPad. It’s the television production, so … like, can the cops investigating Lucha Underground just watch Lucha Underground? Is the wrestling portion of the show supposed to be live TV, but the backstage segments aren’t? Like, we’re the only people who can see the stuff outside the ring? It’s weird that Dario runs an illegal underground fighting ring and regularly appears on “live” portion of the show if he’s trying to operate under the radar, right? Do they just film the shows to spread them on the black market? Does in-universe Castro just have clips from one of those?
Somehow this is more confusing to me than, “Brian Cage is a machine who is also a God because Lorenzo Lamas gave Dario Cueto a magical glove that Cueto gave Cage because he was able to beat Texano four out of seven times.”