Previously on Lucha Underground: The Mack discovered his dead cousin’s skull (decorated) in his locker. Also, Johnny Mundo and Taya snuck into the Reptile Tribe’s desert temple castle or whatever and cut off Vibora’s head with a sword. Then we missed a few weeks due to scheduling problems, but we’re back and catching up!
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. Watch this instead of watching pre-taped magic shows where people act shocked by camera cuts. At least watch the show where they add foley chop sounds to the cuts.
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season 4, episodes 9, 10, and 11.
Episode 9 begins with Mariposa showing up to Antonio Cueto’s office looking to half-seduce him into giving her a Gift of the Gods Championship match, wearing Sexy Business MILF attire, but hilariously not thinking to maybe take off her catcher’s mitt mask and those lace-up leather gauntlets. When that doesn’t work (because she doesn’t deserve it) (and also because she’s wearing a Sexy Mankind Halloween costume), she just buys him off. THAT works! Antonio didn’t give in to pressure from the sexiest butterfly we’ve seen since that Crazy Town video, but still needs to down an ice cold Modelo™ to chill his safari boner.
She ends up losing that match, of course, because (1) she’s Mariposa, and (2) El Dragon Azteca Jr. just made a big announcement about how he was going to defend the championship over and over and cash it Ultima Lucha Quatro, which is definitely not going to happen, but he’s gotta keep it for a minute to validate the idea. The match only lasts about three minutes and Mariposa looks pretty good in the ring for once, which I’m forever blaming on her wrestling with a pleather Shatterstar helmet covering her eyes, nose and mouth.
Over, I Hope: A Match Made In Heaven
After that we see the team of XO Lishus and Ivelisse (Iveleesh?) versus Jack Evans and Joey Ryan, the two sleaziest characters in the Lucha Underground universe for dramatically different reasons. There are two major hooks, here: the ongoing feud between XO and Evans, and Joey Ryan realizing he might be super into XO Lishus after being forcefully rammed over and over into XO’s big ol’ muscular butt. I mean, can you blame him?
He illustrates this to the home audience thusly:
Yes, I deleted three dense paragraphs about the logistics of a man with a prehensile, nigh-invulnerable penis with life-giving and druid-commanding powers hooking up with an exotico with an OP booty, but I promise you, it was intense and well-reasoned.
Anyway, Jack makes XO pass out to a gogoplata so bad they might as well have called it a “nonoplata,” and the rudos win the match. Joey takes exception with Jack’s unnecessary rubbing-in of the submission, but it doesn’t actually get released until Ivelisse shoves him out of the way and stomps Jack in the face. Vampiro’s like, “he’s mad because Jack embarrassed him,” because you can’t always count on a flatulent Canadian vampire lord to pick up on the intricacies of queer pro wrestling romance. I mean, you should be able to, but you can’t.
OVER: Noble John Mundo
So … I need to take a second here. Before I talk about the actual match or the angles around it, if you need a good reason why I needed to creatively take a step back from Lucha Underground for a few weeks, it’s because — and I won’t beat around the bush here — Kobra Moon brought Jeremiah Crane back to life via snake magic and renamed him JEREMIAH SNAKE.
I literally can’t even. That is the laziest, funniest, most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen, even for THIS show. His goddamn name is “Jeremiah Snake,” that’s not even a pun, they just replaced one animal with another. And he’s not even really a snake guy, he’s just Jeremiah Crane, except he walks to the ring like Frankenstein now and has a snake bandana he takes off before he wrestles. It’s so good, but also so embarrassingly bad, and the sides are so far apart I end up floating in zero gravity between them.
Johnny Mundo and Taya snuck into a snake temple and cut off Baron Cobran’s head, so now Kobra Moon wants PRO WRESTLING REVENGE. They end up bargaining for a trios match, with an incredible stipulation: if the Reptile Tribe wins, Johnny must join them, presumably as “Johnny Snake-o;” but if Worldwide Underground wins, Kobra Moon must GRANT JOHNNY MUNDO A WISH. BECAUSE SHE CAN DO THAT NOW, APPARENTLY. SURE, YES, ALL OF THIS IS FINE.
Here’s the best part: when Worldwide Underground actually manages to win, Johnny Mundo — aka the Worst Person in the World, a guy who has spent the past several seasons throwing people through windows and ganging up on everyone 4-on-1 and briefly reviving Melina’s career — decides to make a noble decision, wishing for Drago’s freedom from the Reptile Tribe. It’s extremely out of character (for the moment), and causes Taya to make a bunch of angry faces like this:
But! There’s a reveal! Johnny does the right thing here because his true wish can only be granted by Taya, and that is the gift of her hand in marriage.
To recap, a man and his girlfriend snuck into a desert temple occupied by a group of snake monsters who have the power to grant wishes and bring people back from the dead with snake powers, cut off the biggest snake’s head, then worked their way into a 3-on-3 pro wrestling match in an underground fighting temple full of delicious Modelo™ brand cerveza to earn a wish that would allow him to free a reincarnated dragon from the very control of the wish-giver, all to set up a MARRIAGE PROPOSAL. Brother, you can get TAYA WILL YOU MARRY ME up on the screen at Dodger Stadium with a polite-enough tweet, you didn’t have to go that far.
Also the guy on their team who currently talks to a talking murder doll wants to murder them. More on that in a bit.
Under: Kill The Wabbits
If you’re wondering about that ongoing “at least one death per episode” tally, episode 9 features Matanza sacrificing Mala Suerte of the Rabbit Tribe to the Gods and making him disappear, and episode 10 quickly does the same to Saltador. Poor Mariachi Loco’s gonna end up with enough dead Lucha Underground characters to fill his own battle royal. I assume this is to write out the placeholder Rabbit Tribe members and replace them with Kevin Kross and his evil Caged Mini, or, I don’t know, they’re going to turn Paul London into a weird Spider-Man villain who shows up with a bag full of actual rabbits and throws them at people.
Matt Striker tries desperately to explain what’s going on — a trend in his life lately — and comments on constantly seeing in-ring murders as the victims having “ascended to the top of the pyramid, perhaps to another place.” That’s the most Matt Striker way ever to say, “he vanished them off the show.” They didn’t even get funerary boxes!
Over: Antonio Cueto, Ladies Man
For the second episode in a row, one of Lucha Underground’s underwhelming attempts at female villains shows up in Antonio Cueto’s office demanding satisfaction, and he rebuffs them by looking in the record books and telling them they ain’t shit. In episode 10, Kobra Moon shows up angry about having lost Drago to her own foolish wish-granting — you’re an evil snake queen, just say no, what are they gonna do, challenge you to another wrestling match? You are controlling a slave, it’s not like you’re on the level anyway. Although they might come to your house again and try to kill you with a sword, but I mean, this time you’d see them coming, wouldn’t you? Can you put up some cameras? Train some snakes to wear GoPros on their heads? What was I talking about again — and demands a Trios Championship match to prove her team’s strength.
Cueto agrees and tell her to “be Dra-gone,” setting up maybe my favorite GIF of the season so far:
You’re starting to grow on me, Safario Cueto.
OVER: Pentagon Breaks The Arm Of A Pastor Named “Rick O’Shea”
get it, do you get the joke, do you get it
Cage and Pentagon Dark get into a brawl to set up their very specific and wordy “Last Man Or Machine Standing” match and some fans get caught in the crossfire, including Pastor Rick O’Shea, who is visiting ahead of Johnny Mundo and Taya’s wedding. I guess to decide whether or not “an old beer storage ice house in downtown Los Angeles that now hosts an underground fighting league where somebody gets murdered every week” is a place he wants to officiate a wedding? Anyway, this Pastor, who I could not tell if he was wearing Puma sneakers, gets dragged to the ground and has his arm broken by a pissed-off ninja skeleton (pictured).
As ridiculous as this is (and as lame as the Ricochet reference played for me), I can’t help but love the combination of a “sign of the cross” Cero Miedo, and Matt Striker being too upset about it to talk, because he’s Mr. Bible Quotes Man.
Over: Aztec-Nine, Or, ‘Snakes One To Know One’
To continue El Dragon Azteca Jr.’s quest to make it to Ultima Quatro as Gift of the Gods Champion and not end up doing the Ring of Honor Champion Austin Aries angle where he defends so much and so often he ends up hurt and somebody just trucks him and takes it away — not a spoiler, just my natural inclination — he defends against Killshot, an increasingly up-his-own-ass kind of guy who approaches you in the locker room all, “I DON’T RESPECT YOU!!” Ugh, what are you, my dad?
Azteca manages to successfully defend his championship again in an extremely fun sprint that lasts about seven minutes. Of course this is good, it’s maybe the two most reliable high-fliers in the company right now (or right then, or however you want to phrase it), because Fenix is “dead,” Rey Mysterio’s off company-hopping, and nobody’s picked up Prince Puma’s mask since he dropped it in the parking lot last season.
If you’re wondering if 1/3 of the Trios Champions wrestling in a singles match right before the Trios Champions are supposed to defend against an evil team of snakes that are looking for blood revenge would hurt his team … yes, yes it would
Killshot, now fueled by anger at himself and a randomly occurring disrespect for his Cueto-assigned tag team partner Son of Havoc, ends up sitting out the early part of the Trios Championship match, leaving his team out there (ostensibly) 4-on-2. When he DOES arrive he’s a big help, until Son of Havoc Dean Ambrose dives through the ropes and accidentally shoves him down. That causes Killshot to retaliate by pushing Havoc off the top rope before he can hit a Shooting Star Press, costing his team the match and the Trios Championships. Killshot: a guy who handled a former squad member he left for dead in actual war coming back to life and trying to kill him with glass in wrestling matches a lot better than he did “not teaming with the guy he wanted to team with.”
That means a guy named JEREMIAH SNAKE currently holds a championship in this wrestling promotion. JEREMIAH SNAKE. Good job, everybody!
HIS NAME IS JEREMIAH SNA-
Oh boy, this one.
In episode 10, there’s a GREAT scene on the rooftop that is so far my favorite “backstage” segment of the season, because it’s tonally closer to the first three seasons of Lucha than anything’s been in season four. It’s the newly freed Drago on the rooftop, sulking, until his good friend Aerostar shows up to ask him why so glum, chum? Drago tells him that he’s ashamed of the things he’s done as a member of the Reptile Tribe, and doesn’t deserve this second chance, or Aerostar’s friendship. Honestly, I don’t think anyone “deserves” the friendship of a time-traveling Aztec Martian with LED lights on his face, but I get what he’s saying.
Aerostar is like, “you were brainwashed, it’s cool,” and Drago won’t accept it. He tells Aerostar this may be the last time they ever see each other, shakes his hand, and flies off into the night as a literal dragon. We see less of the dragon here than we did back in the day, because that Modelo™ money only goes so far. Aerostar cryptically says he knows they’ll meet again.
Under: And He Is Immediately Right
… because on the very next episode, Jake Strong puts Aerostar in an ankle lock to win a wrestling match and here comes Drago with some nunchucks to protect him. I think Kevin Owens stayed retired longer than Drago did. The good news here, I guess, is that nothing would make a Jack Swagger match better than someone in a dragon suit attacking him with nunchucks.
Over: Slamtown Is A Real Place
We get a scene from a pre-wedding present exchange party thing featuring the Worldwide Underground, in which Taya makes Johnny Mundo cry by giving him a picture of himself — The Rock would be proud — and revealing she talked to Antonio Cueto and got Johnny a Lucha Underground Championship match for the week after the wedding. See, aren’t you glad you used your magical snake wish to free a slave?
Two highlights here:
- one of the presents is a gift certificate to a spa in “Slamtown,” and Johnny mentions he loves that place, suggesting that Slamtown is in fact and actual city in which Johnny Mundo serves as mayor, and not just a sassy thing he says to people, and
- a cameo from “Benji,” the terrible agent character they half-assedly added to the group back in season 3 and Guinness World Record holder for Fakest Paul Heyman. To keep up the one death per episode count, Ricky Mundo listens to his haunted murder doll and graphically stabs Benji to death with a pen. I’m guessing he’s going to the BOTTOM of the pyramid?
Under: My Bray Wyatt PTSD Is Kicking In
At the end of episode 10, Antonio Cueto (who is literally just Dario Cueto now, he’s not even playing a different character) tells The Mack that that lady who removed his cousin’s skull and decorated it and like, partially smoked a cigar so it would look smoked while positioned inside a dead person’s head or whatever, has personally requested a match for next week. He then puts on a comical Halloween hat and reveals it will be the first HAUNTED HOUSE MATCH. Mack responds by putting on the hat himself and saying “trick or treat, motherfucker,” which would rule if, well,
You see, back at Payback 2017, WWE put on THEIR first ever “haunted house match,” a HOUSE OF HORRORS MATCH between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. It featured a backwards-driving ghost tractor, multiple teleportations, a refrigerator falling on a guy as a transitional move, and more. It was so bad it managed to replace a Big Bossman vs. Al Snow cage match featuring a bunch of dogs standing around the ring having sex with each other and pissing everywhere as the worst match I’d ever seen. So no, I don’t even want to see the Lucha Underground version of a haunted house match, especially not two and a half months before Halloween.
Lucha’s version is basically the “Ambrose Asylum,” a steel cage with a bunch of comedy weapons inside. It even gets a Snick-quality HAUNTED HOUSE MATCH graphic to start. If you wanted to see Mil Muertes and The Mack wrestle in a comedy cage match with pumpkins everywhere and tables with words like SPOOKY written on them, this is for you …
… until later in the match when Mil Muertes GETS A GODDAMN KNIFE AND STARTS STABBING MACK IN THE FACE WITH IT.
Trust me, I’m no Puritan, my favorite Lucha Underground match ever involved Mil Muertes biting off pieces of Fenix’s bloody face and spitting them into the crowd. But that was an entire match built around violence and emotion and anger and pathos; a symbolic representation of life and death as told through the art of lucha libre. This is a match with funny pumpkins and Halloween chants AND THEN A GUY IS BEING STABBED IN THE FACE WITH AN ORNAMENTAL KNIFE. And then the guy who got stabbed still kicks out of shit, and it takes a wrestling move off the top rope through a table to pin him. WHEN HE HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY STABBED IN THE FACE WITH A MACHETE OR WHATEVER. This felt more like an Ubisoft cut scene than I wanted it to, I dunno.
Over, Though: Catrina
Before the match we have a scene of El Dragon Azteca Jr. putting one half of Catrina’s mom’s estrogen immortality necklace around Melissa Santos’ neck, which is timely and helpful, because Melissa and Catrina get into a very Raw vs. Smackdown, red vs. blue fight on the outside before the match begins. Catrina slams Melissa’s face into a flower vase, but don’t forget that immortality! Although if a vase couldn’t kill Enzo Amore or Daniel Bryan, Melissa’s probably fine.
As a quick side note, Catrina has officially, respectfully started reaching 1997 Sunny levels of GOD DAMN. She refuses to lick Mack’s bloody, stabbed face at Mil’s command after the match, though, so they probably kill her in the next episode, don’t they.
Over: Rage Against The Machine
As you know if you’ve watched any season of Lucha Underground, Cage is an unstoppable muscle monster who is the TOUGHEST CHALLENGE YET for any of the champions, but then always gets his ass kicked by that champion. It happened with Prince Puma, it happened with Mil Muertes, it happened with Matanza Cueto, and now it’s happening with Pentagon Dark. Which is totally fine, because Pentagon getting his masked ripped up makes him look even MORE pissed off and even MORE like as skeleton, and you seriously don’t build to a match by having a guy break a priest’s arm and have him LOSE.
It’s a fun, crazy brawl, but not as absurdly memorable as the other match on the episode featuring a haunted house theme and Catrina being Catrina and also an actual stabbing death. Still, seeing Pentagon defeat Cage by breaking both of his arms, preventing him from being able to function properly, is pretty awesome. As is the conversation between Matt Striker and Vampiro from the previous episode, in which Striker works overtime to explain that Cage isn’t literally a cyborg, he’s just saying he’s like a “lucha libre machine, like being a WRESTLING machine,” and how sometimes we get, “bogged down in semantics.” And then Vampiro, without missing a beat, counters with, “nah bro I think he’s half robot.”
One of the best matches of the season so far, if you join the show in progress about 30 minutes in.
Up Next: Episodes 12 and 13, Which Could Not Possibly Be This Crazy, Could They