Previously on Lucha Underground: Son of Havoc and Son of Madness brawled for the rights of a lucha mini to wear a vest, and we all learned how awkward it now is to watch Sexy Star matches where we’re supposed to cheer her.
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. It’s the best Netflix show about pouring coffee down the front of someone’s shorts and tasering them in the balls!
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season 3, episode 34, originally aired on September 6, 2017.
Over: Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You
Have you ever wondered what a comedy death match would look like? Hey, here’s one.
To recap, police officers Ricky Reyes and Joseph Meehan were sent to an underground, supernatural lucha libre wrestling promotion by their immortal captain in the hopes of finding out information that would lead to the arrest of Dario Cueto, a Spanish businessman who keeps his face-eating monster brother locked in a cage and may or may not be working with Lorenzo Lamas and comedian Godfrey to bring back a bunch of Aztec Gods and destroy the world. Reyes decided to pose as “Cortez Castro,” “The Killer,” the most competent member of a three-man Hispanic pro wrestling gang. Things got complicated when one of his friends had their face eaten by the aforementioned monster brother, and the other was beaten to death with a bull statue. Meehan posed as “Joey Ryan,” a sleazy Internet sensation with a powerful dick who enjoys candy, pours baby oil down the front of his shorts and rats out his co-workers. Meehan snitched on Reyes to Cueto, causing Cueto to have a pissed-off ninja skeleton break Reyes’ arm and having said monster brother beat him out of the promotion. The immortal police captain whose daughter is currently a half-dead ghost lady using a magical rock to power a twice-dead zombie got Reyes back into Cueto’s building by having him go double-undercover as a spider-themed luchador. That ruse didn’t last long, and the culmination of the story is the wrestling promoter two undercover police officers were supposed to investigate putting them in a police officer-themed wrestling match.
Really all you need to know is that during this match, Castro pours hot coffee down the front of Joey Ryan’s underwear and then shocks him in the cock with a taser.
Pro wrestling, everybody.
While I think the tone of a death match involving two violently opposed secret cops should’ve been a little more serious, the 5-O Street Fight is a lot of fun for what it is. You’ve got the coffee taser spot, you’ve got a police car with the lights going parked in the aisle between seats at a wrestling event so wrestlers can do moves on it, you’ve got donut goofs, and you’ve got a finish involving a guy being slammed onto a bunch of riot shields. I’m not sure they could’ve done more with this without turning it into a live action adaptation of NARC. Lucha Underground deserves some kind of achievement trophy for humorously modifying street fights to fit storylines and getting away with it by making them ridiculous and awesome.
Under: Missed Opportunities
The worst thing Lucha Underground does — which, again, is not as bad as like the sixth worst thing on an average episode of Raw — are these filler matches, where guys you like who have or should have interesting stories wrestle for a few minutes, outside interference happens and we quickly move on. They’re bad because season 3 has really beaten the dead horse into pulp with the screwy finishes, and because shit, they’re missing opportunities.
For example, Stockholm Syndrome dragon man Drago wrestles charismatic, chubby Blaxploitation acrobat The Mack and … it’s over in three minutes and ends with a distraction finish. I don’t want to suggest making the show two hours, so can we cut out one of the movie marathon commercial breaks and let this go eight with an ending as good as the beginning?
Similarly, Dario Cueto gives his brother Mantanza an exhibition workout against the entire Rabbit Tribe to show what he’s going to do with Rey Mysterio. And while it was fun at points, why are the Rabbit Tribe the guys getting destroyed? You’re heading into the Gift of the Gods match and every member of the Rabbits has an Aztec medallion. Three guys in one of your marquee matches can’t go 3-on-1 with a guy and do better than this? I know it’s the silly Rabbits and Matanza and yeah, this is how it’d go down, but I think my bigger point is, “aren’t there three less important guys who could be doing this?”
Lucha Underground has fallen into a “pay-per-view vs. weekly shows” trap. One of the things I loved so much about the first two season and the Hulu era of NXT is that they were truly weekly shows, so anything could happen on any episode. There wasn’t a Very Special Episode where major storyline points and title changes happened, like on pay-per-views. NXT started doing TakeOvers so now the weekly shows are basically worthless, and Lucha’s started doing “event” episodes like the Cueto Cup finals or next week’s 100th episode, so the shows between them turn into filler. You could go straight from one to the other and not lose a lot.
Over: Career Opportunities
This week’s main event is a Face-to-Face Confrontation™ between the two most important characters on the show: original protagonist Prince Puma, and, let’s face it, original antagonist Johnny Mundo. They’ve been around since the beginning, defined the show before Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio showed up, and frankly should be main-eventing the four-night event that could be the show’s series finale. I’m glad they are.
This needs to be the most important match in the history of the promotion, but they just spent months putting over sports-entertainment-ass Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio for the Cueto Cup finals. How do you top that, and get back to the core of what makes Lucha Underground so great? You have Prince Puma agree to a title vs. mask match, only to have Dario Cueto show up, say that’s not good enough, and convince Puma to put his career on the line. Given what we know about the current ecosystem of pro wrestling we know how that story’s probably going to end, but man, that’s great. That’s intense. That’s bringing us full circle from episode one. That’s how it should be done.
Next week, we continue setting that up with Worldwide Underground taking on Prince Puma and three partners. Also, Rey Mysterio Jr. takes on Matanza Cueto in a “try not to get literally eaten in one gulp” match.