– If you missed it last week and got this far without reading the headline, we’re doing recaps of Lucha Underground. You can find our recap of episode 1 here, and follow all the Lucha Underground news at its official tag page.
– The most commonly asked question I get about Lucha Underground is, “how do I legally watch the show?” So far, the only answer is, “have the El Rey Network or UniMás.” Sorry. If they start putting it online somewhere, I’ll let you know.
– Shares, likes, comments and other social media things are appreciated. Let’s spread the word about this show, because it’s the most fun wrestling thing on TV without “NXT” in the title.
Please click through for the Over/Under on Lucha Underground episode 2, originally aired 11/5/14.
Under: Nothing Says ‘Tough Guys From The Streets’ Like A Mouseketeer Roll Call
At the end of episode 1, Lucha Underground proprietor and fashionable male Dario Cueto revealed his creative masterstroke: He’d invited the greatest fighters from around the world to an Aztec-themed Los Angeles warehouse under the ruse of a $100,000 cash prize so he could trick two of them into getting Wrestling Beaten Up by some guys he knows.
Episode 2 begins with those guys wearing the same clothes, standing shoulder-to-shoulder and introducing themselves to the crowd. You know, like hard-ass barrio types do. Ezekiel Jackson will now be known as “The Boss, Big Ryck.” Unless he starts wearing stunna shades and turning people heel by making them stare at themselves in a mirror, he’s not the boss. He says that Johnny Mundo “knows his face,” which is the most TNA thing Lucha Underground’s done so far. I wanted him to start yelling “I WAS INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION! I WAS IN THE CORRE!”
The other guys have finished alerting CJ about the yay leaving San Fierro and have the most hilariously “Mexican character from the first draft of a Denzel Washington movie” names ever. Former ROH tag champ Ricky Reyes will be known as CORTEZ CASTRO. The Hunico-looking guy will be known as CISCO. He has been practicing his accent ALL DAY. “ÓRALE VATOS! THEY CALL ME CISCO, HOLMES!” Allow me to (hopefully) be the first person to make the “CISCO failed to connect” joke.
Under: Dario Cueto’s Office Location Makes Him The Laziest Teddy Long Ever
Johnny Mundo rushes the ring and goes FULL JACKAL on Castro and Cisco, which is disappointing, because this Cisco kid was a friend of mine. Okay, okay, sorry.
But yeah, Mundo runs in and starts fighting them, which leads to Prince Puma joining in to even the odds. Dario Cueto literally opens the door to his office and leans out into the arena to say HOLE ON A MINNET PLAYAS and make the sudden issue between four people a TAG TEAM MATCH! I won’t give it too much grief because it starts the show off hot and takes about a minute total, but man, that office is hilarious. It’s right next to where fans are sitting, so the guy doesn’t even have to walk to the ring to make executive decisions. He could just tap on his window and gesture at people.
“Do the … do the thing. The thing. THE THING. DO THE THING, THE aw hell”
*leans out into the hallway*
“THE THING, RICK.”
“We’re about to turn things up a hundred million percent!” – Vampiro, master of the understatement
The actual opening tag is pretty awesome, and I’m excited to live in a world where a wrestling promotion figured out how to use John Morrison. You don’t ask him to emote, you don’t ask him to tell a story in the ring, you just put him in there with a guy in a leopard mask who can emasculate him with his flips and tell him to keep up. Everybody’s timing is on, the pace never slows down, and the heels get their comeuppance for last week in the form of stereo 450 splashes. I know we’re like 1 1/4 episodes in, but this is what we’ve needed on TV for a long, long time. A Wrestling Society X that stops yelling for five seconds.
Prince Puma is legit, by the way. I know he’s the hottest thing on the indies right now as himself, but the Prince Puma thing gives him a creative hook. If I can choose between cheering for a guy who can do a double moonsault or a guy who can do a double moonsault while dressed like an AZTEC JUNGLE CAT, which one am I gonna pick? I’m not sure how Lucha Underground’s contracts and licensing work, but if I was Ricochet I’d just do this everywhere.
The only downside to the match is Matt Striker. I want to say nice things about him, but he always finds a way to ruin it. This week, he says he asked Cisco how he’d describe his in-ring style. Striker puts on his worst Mexican accent and says, “Yo, call it prison shower style, holmes!” Striker says he then “just walked away.” So what, Matt? You thought it was weird that a luchador you just met said his wrestling ability is best described as “ass rape,” but not weird enough to keep the conversation to yourself? YOU DIDN’T TALK TO SHIT ABOUT SHIT.
Over: The Only Place For Catrina … Is On Top!
Chavo Guerrero’s failures in episode 1 have caused Dario Cueto to enlist the help of MIL MUERTES, an evil luchador who is accompanied to the ring by former NXT cult favorite Maxine. If you don’t remember Maxine, she’s a phenomenally beautiful woman who had one of the worst matches in WWE history, got her gimmick usurped by Aksana, slummed it developmental for years and STILL won a “which Diva would you like to see return” poll in 2013. Somewhere between the middle of NXT season 3 and the end of Redemption, she got really good at what she does.
Here, her role is to be the SEXY MESSENGER~ for Mil Muertes, a Black Racer type who emerges from the Lucha Underground locker room shadows to seductively lick the faces of people he’s about to kill. She makes me feel boy feelings.
The best part is that after she’s done Kiss Of Deathing Blue Demon, he melodramatically wipes it away with his forearm. It’s SO AWESOME. My real life reaction was, “Ha! HA! HA! HA!” Big, singular HAs with spaces in-between.
Under: The Lucha Underground Bathrooms
Konnan tells Prince Puma that Johnny Mundo isn’t his friend … only Konnan is his friend. “Don’t turn your back on the wolf pack,” he adds. “You might wind up in a body bag.”
The whole time, all I can pay attention to is how scummy the Lucha Underground bathrooms are. Is this what the john was like in Aztec temples? Shouldn’t Dario Cueto over a $995,000 cash prize and use some of it to pay a cleaning service?
The second match of the night is Chavo Guerrero and Sexy Star teaming up against Son of Havoc and Ivelisse. Maxine, Sexy Star and Ivelisse is a pretty goddamn great way to start your women’s division and it only took them two years. WWE’s had a women’s champion for 50 years and the best they’ve come up with is “I’m nice, you’re a bitch, WHAT A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS.”
If you aren’t familiar with Ivelisse Vélez, she was a Tough Enough revival contestant who got signed to a WWE developmental contract and competed in FCW and NXT as Sofia Cortez. She’s shown up a few times on TNA as well, most notably as a Gut Check contestant who won her match but didn’t get signed because Gut Check was judged by the stupidest people in the world. She’s also the current SHINE Champion and a member of Los Perros del Mal in Mexico. She’s pretty rad. Striker and Vampiro won’t stop calling her a “tough Puerto Rican chick,” which at least makes me happy they’re continuing to clarify nationalities. In WWE, everyone on the show would be “From Mexico.”
Over: Sexy Star’s Redemption
The match is a lot of fun, which is something I’m shocked to have said about Chavo Guerrero two weeks in a row. He and Sexy Star get the win when Chavo hits a frog splash, tags in Star and lets her pin Son of Havoc with a rollup. This gives Star some revenge for last week’s tights pulling, and puts Chavo over as “chivalrous.”
It’s such a weird line, you know? Lucha Underground works overtime to explain that women and men are equal, and that there are no gender separations. Men can fight women, women can fight men, and it’s about who is the toughest fighter. That’s how it should be, because it’s 2000-f*cking-14. At the same time, you can’t just spring that on a wrestling audience and have them accept it, so they still drop in stuff like “men and women are totally equal, and some women MAY ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO BEAT SOME OF THE MEN BELIEVE IT OR NOT.” It’s like, yeah, that’s what you were saying in a less shocking way with the “men and women are equal” thing. Chavo tagging in Sexy Star to get the win shouldn’t be chivalry, it should be a guy letting his partner get the win because she got f*cked over last week.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the message is great (and correct) I like and appreciate where they’re going. I just hope they let this be how things operate going forward without Striker not getting it and feeling like he’s gotta explain it. It’s not safe to let Matt Striker talk about ANYTHING for more than a minute straight.
Over: Catrina > Lana
Come at me, bro.
Over: Mil Muertes vs. Blue Demon Jr.
1. Striker sticks with “Blue Day-mon” this week, so good on him for picking one and sticking with it.
2. You may recognize Mil Muertes as Judas Mesias of AAA, TNA and Wrestling Society X fame. They’ve improved him 100% by turning him into a feathery, death-themed luchador for hire with a foxy, serpentine valet and a DARK SECRET. He carries around a hankie that he holds before matches, and only trusts Catrina to hold. Theory: Sailor Moon accidentally left it at his house and he’s smelling it because he loves her. Also, she has his broken pocket watch.
3. Blue Demon Jr. battling a death-themed luchador is what I want to see when I tune in to a lucha libre show. I want some of the youthful flippy stuff, too, but at the end of the day my bread is buttered with barrel-chested guys in plain masks and capes doing big overhand chops to each other. Muertes gets the win because he’s the new guy who’s gonna be around every week, and if they don’t build the entire promotion around him being an unstoppable super villain who can only be reasoned with because of his emotional attachment to objects they are dumb as bricks.
4. (Don’t tell Putin what I said about Lana, I was just being contentious.)
After the match, Mil Muertes continues delivering “a thousand deaths” by aggressively wrist-punching Demon in the face, which brings out Chavo Guerrero for the save. Muertes sorta holds up the hankie like it’s the Eye of Tyr, and the unthinkable happens: it turns Chavo Guerrero into a compelling character.
Over: Chavo Goes Nutso
Chavo turns on Blue Demon, whacking him with a steel chair. He continues beating him down until some random jabrones show up, and THEY get beaten up. That brings out Sexy Star, who is close to Blue Demon and tagged with Chavo earlier in the night. Chavo just straight up brains her in the face with the chair, then sits it it and laughs while everyone gets taken away on stretchers. This is so good, you guys, and Chavo Guerrero is doing it. Chavo hasn’t done anything worth a damn since he briefly made “holding a hobby horse” funny.
He even tries to hold Blue Demon’s feet to keep the EMTs from taking him away. There’s something to be said for a heel being dastardly enough to attack an already injured man as he’s being wheeled away to the hospital, but even more to be said for one hateful enough to OBSTRUCT MEDICAL ASSISTANCE. That’s ICE COLD.
So here we are at the end of Lucha Underground episode 2. You’ve got an evil cartel running the place, a monstrous luchador who shoot kills people having been unleashed by a mad-for-power boss who loves lucha tradition but also wants to own it, and a possibly-possessed former star who is not above kabonging women in the dome with furniture. Your heroes are either only here for the fame and money, being corrupted by self-serving legends or on the verge of retirement.
That’s pretty compelling for two episodes, right?