– In case you always skip the pre-show notes and still haven’t picked up on this, there are now legal ways to watch Lucha Underground online. You can check out the UniMas website for episodes streaming in Spanish or find El Rey Network on Sling TV for the English language version. Watch this show!
– If you’d like to read about previous episodes or catch up on the latest Temple news and gossip, head over to the Lucha Underground tag page.
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And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground episode 27 from May 13, 2015.
Over: The Aztec Medallions
The downside to attending the season finale of Lucha Underground — technically hours two and three of ‘Ultimate Lucha’ — is that some of the show’s mysteries aren’t mysteries to me anymore. That means I’ve gotta sit here and write about them without getting excited and typing six paragraphs about what they mean, which as you may know is my natural state. What I can tell you is that the Aztec medallions are leading to something creative and wonderful, and that Lucha Underground is (mostly) bulletproof when it comes to satisfying payoffs. They don’t have a lot of time to work, but they don’t introduce something cool like “here are seven mystical medallions I that represent ahn-see-ent tribes and make my father who is probably the Shoot Devil very proud” without knowing where it goes.
But hey, if you didn’t see this episode, I’m getting ahead of myself. The show opens with Dario Cueto having a conversation with his monstrous cage-brother about his idea to offer the luchadors in his temple a chance to win medallions, which can then be cashed in for dot dot dot question mark. He’s so happy about it he jokes about how he’ll bring up a TV and let the Cage Monster watch the show.
1. No, I have not been spoiled about the identity of the cage monster, but he might be a giant spider (?)
2. No, at no point during Ultima Lucha does The Crew get attacked and eaten by a giant spider
Over: Jack Evans, The Most Important Wrestler In History
Okay, he’s not, but the announce team is ALL IN on making Jack Evans sound great. It’s the opposite of what WWE did with The Ascension, I guess. Evan shows up walking down the aisle on his hands and Striker becomes a living Wikipedia page. Dude references MATRATS, for God’s sakes. If you don’t know what that is, it was a Wildstorm comic from the ’90s. I’m kidding, it was a Canadian wrestling promotion run in part by Eric Bischoff and Wayne Arnold from ‘The Wonder Years’ where they put platforms on the tops of the ring posts so teens could jump from them. It’s a great reference, ruined almost immediately by Striker pronouncing “Great Sasuke” as “Great Sa-SOO-kay.” Meanwhile, Vampiro’s rambling about how he was trained by Homer Simpson. It’s … kinda awesome?
Anyway, Jack Evans is here! Imagine Angelico’s shorter, stoner brother with hollow bones. The guy’s natural state is flipping. I once watched him walk through the New Yorker hotel lobby, hear someone yell “HEY JACK, DO A BACKFLIP” and then do a full backflip onto his feet mid-stride. Like, he never stopped walking, he just backflipped mid-stroll, on command.
He takes on Aero Star, and it’s … well, it’s Lucha Underground, what do you think it is? The bad matches are crazy exceptions. Aero Star needs a win after losing the best-of-five series to an Actual Dragon, and Evans is good enough to look like he SHOULD win, but enough of a natural prick to have a reason not to. He’s getting the fans to chant culero before the match even starts, when he’s existed in the Lucha universe for like 20 seconds. The big selling point to Jack is how he looks like he dies when anything happens to him. He’s got built-in ragdoll physics. So hey, imagine a human crash test dummy eating a Canadian Destroyer off the top rope. That’s Jack Evans vs. Aero Star.
I hope Jack stays on and becomes an important part of the show. Here’s a suggestion: he hangs out with Angelico a bunch and gets him to go get high and ride dirt bikes when he’s supposed to be defending the Trios titles.
There’s a great backstage bit where Big Ryck is counting his money and The Mack wanders up all, “hey, we’re related right, give me some of that money.” Ryck explains that money is his primary motivation, and that he’d even beat a family member’s ass over it if necessary. It’s good stuff, kinda-sorta ruined by Willie Mack wearing puffy white trunks while standing in the bathroom. It looks like he’s wearing a diaper and forgot to pull up his pants.
(Lucha Underground should probably tape fewer segments in the men’s room.)
Over: Aztec Warfare?
The first Aztec Medallion match features six of the best wrestlers on the show and Kill Shot in a one-fall-to-a-finish sprint, and it is THE BEST. When you’ve got Pentagon Jr. and Fenix involved in the same thing, that thing’s going to get typed in capital letters.
The structure of the match is a little frustrating at first, especially when you watch a match like this life. You’ve got seven people in the match, but you only want the crowd to focus on two of them at a time. So you find convoluted reasons for five wrestlers to fall out of the ring and just lie out there forever, sometimes holding each other, sometimes just kneeling against the apron and watching. There’s a moment in the match where Cage and The Mack are stuck on the outside and Cage is kinda trying to Cobra Clutch him, and it’s such an obvious stall tactic the announcers have to put it over as a devastating attack. This isn’t a knock on Lucha, mind you, don’t get me wrong. WWE ladder matches are like this. The good news is that the action they build to is almost always worth it.
This was so good, you guys. It managed to work in a little bit of character development — Pentagon and Sexy Star hating each other, King Cuerno being calculating and taking advantage of everyone else’s mistakes, etc. — and lots and lots of sudden gasping. It’s guys (and ladies) being like, “oh, the other five luchadors are down? I’m gonna run up to this one turning around and HIT THEM WITH THE MOST POWERFUL THING IN THE WORLD.” To put it another way, imagine a scenario that builds to Pentagon Jr. doing THIS:
Yes you are looking at that correctly.
Pentagon Jr. is doing a package piledriver and a Gory bomb at the same time. Pentagon Jr. is life, the rest is just details. Anyway, find and watch this match. If you aren’t watching this show and have ever even considered liking pro wrestling, you’ve got a screw loose my friend.
(when did I start typing like Mongo?)
Over: Are You Kidding Me
Fenix wins the match and earns the first Aztec Medallion, which I guess grants him a visit from Catrina. She explains the stuff I was typing about last week, about how she manipulated him into killing Mil Muertes so he could be reborn in a more powerful form. He tries to grab her, but she teleports away because she is a ghost, dammit, I swear.
My Catrina’s A Ghost joke isn’t too far from the truth, apparently, because Fenix is then attacked by either (1) an army of spooky death skeletons, or (2) Cobra Kai in their Halloween costumes. Either way, that’s scary.
Over: Dario Cueto Is True Evil
Dario Cueto is the best heel “GM” character ever, because his punishments actually make sense and are applicable to the events happening in his universe. For example, he didn’t want Ivelisse, Son of Havoc and Angelico to be the Trios Champions. He wanted The Crew to be, but they screwed the pooch and lost. Ivelisse has a broken leg, so instead of just booking everyone in a rematch, he books them in a LADDER MATCH, the one match where she physically has to use her leg to win. The alternative is them giving up and admitting defeat. He offers it to them, but he knows they won’t take it.
Dario is more evil than an army of spooky locker skeletons AND the unrelated pissed-off ninja skeleton.
Over: Johnny Mundo Goes Full HBK
The main event is kinda weak because it involves “Fernandez,” but the greater point is perfect: that Johnny Mundo is tired of playing second-former-WWE-fiddle to Alberto El Patron and is going to get RUDO about it.
John Morrison has always been better as a heel than a face, because … well, look at him. Regular people can’t cheer a guy who looks like that and acts like that, and wears a jackal jacket and sunglasses with crosses on them. He’s this weird impossible person. Why do you think Prince Puma wears a mask and never talks? Why do you think he wears hoodies and gets bossed around by people? Because even though he’s the same kind of impossible person, the crowd has to use him as a link to the universe. They have to say, “hey, Prince Puma’s a normal person.” Johnny Mundo’s never gotten that. He’s gotten dramatic hallway fights and quippy one-liners in Cueto’s office. The next step is for him to come to terms with his rudoness and start amping up the arrogance, and this is that. It’s his world.
The big moment (pictured above) is Mundo dragging Alberto out of the ring as he’s about to win the match and tosses him through one of Dario’s windows. For added effect, the camera jumps inside the office to catch Dario reacting. Alberto gets rolled back in with blood and glass all in his face and Hernandez pins him, cementing the idea that Hernandez is the worst person in the world and deserves nothing. Here, he gets the assist from a guy who believes he’s the best person in the world and deserves everything. He got into the business on a game show. We’re supposed to cheer him over lucha royalty? Get real.