– 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 28 from May 20, 2015.
Over: Marty The Moth Needs To Get Penta-Gone
I remember seeing Marty Martinez at some of the later-season tapings and wondering why he kept flapping his arms like a bird. He’s a moth, apparently, but moths don’t flap their wings like that. He should just be holding his arms out straight and bringing them in and out really fast. This guy’s not descended from the Aztecs AND he’s never seen a moth.
This week’s opening match is Marty getting a non-title shot at Prince Puma, and it’s honestly pretty great. Marty’s not in Puma’s league, so they have him get an early advantage by pretending to pose for a mark photo and cheap-shotting him. That sets up the early portion of the match with Puma not having his head in the game, because that’s Puma’s big weakness and why he needs Konnan yelling at him at ringside. See how everything on Lucha Underground makes sense and matters, even when it’s ridiculous?
Puma eventually gets his cat-sh*t together and 630s Marty to death, but Marty looked good enough hanging with the champ to be taken a little more seriously going forward. I say “a little” because he’s still wearing a bright-yellow shirt that says AZTEC PRIDE across the front and flaps his arms like a mothbird. That sets up a post-match thing where Fernandez shows up and Konnan calls him “baby nuts,” which wouldn’t be funny unless he was talking to f*cking Fernandez.
Seriously though, Lucha Underground’s found the perfect use for Hernandez: as an entitled wiener pretending to be hard, but he’s really just bratty and coasting on his freak body. That guy’s never put in a day of work outside a gym.
Over: Johnny Mundo’s World
We live in a world where Xavier Woods is one of the best parts of WWE TV, so this shouldn’t come as a shock: Johnny Mundo delivered a really good promo. Dude, I know.
I kinda love Vampiro as an interviewer, because he gets really fussy and upset about everything. He’s a total mark interviewing these big celebrities, and it’s like the pro wrestling version of The Chris Farley Show. Mundo’s all, “Alberto thinks he can push me around and he can’t” so Vamp puffs up his cheeks and throws away his notes and shuffles around in his seat and is all NO, BRO, NO, SERIOUSLY, BROTHER, LET’S TALK, MEAT AND POTATOES, BRO. It’s SO GOOD.
Johnny’s point is rudo as hell, but totally valid. Vampiro asks him if he’s jealous that he’s getting overlooked by Alberto, so Johnny denies it and then immediately verifies it in his own words: He was here on day one because he wanted to be, not because he had nowhere else to go. El Patrón just showed up with a championship belt from another promotion and got whatever he wanted. The best heel motivations are the ones that are true from a certain perspective, and allow jerks like me to go, “hey, he’s RIGHT.”
Some former WWE guys have shown up in Lucha Underground and done great work. John Morrison is doing the best work of his career in the ring and outside of it. Alberto Del Rio has reignited his passion for pro wrestling and shown us what he could do without the shackles of a “WWE style” and story. Daivari is … uh, wrestling like he’s on Smackdown.
It’s not a huge complaint, I guess. We’ve only seen him in two matches. He’s got a great character and is doing some fun story stuff, but the matches just don’t fit on this show. It’s lots of vertical suplexes and chinlocks and stuff you’d expect to see on Superstars or whatever. My brain just goes, “where’s King Cuerno?” This is Lucha Underground, man, I want Aztec medallions and a dude with a severed deer-head hat and, worst-case scenario, a guy pretending to be a moth. Give me something.
Over: Character Relationships That Make Sense
The match between Daivari and Texano wasn’t hot and it was another non-finish, but it made a lot of sense. When we were introduced to Daivari, we were told he was extremely rich and got whatever he wanted without having to work for it. We also saw a backstage segment where Big Ryck explains to The Mack that while he’s a good enough dude, he’s motivated by money and would hurt his own family to get it. This week, they tie those strings together by having the rich, lazy guy pay the money-hungry monster to do his dirty work for him. That’s perfect. Like, kiss-your-fingertips-and -make-“mwah”-noises perfect.
Over: GHOST MATCH
I’m not sure what face Dario Cueto made after he was goaded by the Ghost of Catrina into booking Fenix vs. Mil Muertes in a Death Match, but it was magic. It was somewhere between frustration and ecstasy? I don’t know. Cueto loves ultraviolence and weird situations, so having a death match suggested to him by a teleporting succubus is probably the best moment he’s ever had.
Over: Dear Diary, Gotta Go Kill A Cage Monster, Love Ya, Bye
Black Lotus has bailed on El Dragon Azteca’s training and is headed back to The Temple to confront Wemantanye. He finds this via her journal, which we hear in voiceover because Lucha Underground is not afraid of pitch-perfect pulp melodrama. He’s interrupted by a shadowy figure in the doorway that is revealed to be CHAVO GUERRERO JR., and we cut to commercial.
Over: A Game Of Human-ish Chess
In a rare two-part segment broken up by a commercial break, we find out the motivations for Chavo being there over a Japanese-style brunch, or something. Chavo knows that El Dragon Azteca (who is hilariously dubbed in Son of Havoc’s old voice, I think) has a lot of power in Mexico, so he proposes that he will go to The Temple and protect Black Lotus in Azteca’s place in exchange for his debt being cleared. Mexico stops haunting and attacking him and forcing him into seclusion, and he’ll defend Black Lotus with his life, “like she was familia.”
One of the things I love most about Lucha Underground is how it creates its non-player characters and builds them up like Gods. We’ve never seen Dario’s cage brother, but he’s a constant topic of conversation and a looming threat to pretty much everyone who knows about him. We haven’t seen El Dragon Azteca do anything since that opening segment of Episode 1, so is he a wrestler, or an epic tecnico God, or what? Was that Prince Puma he found and trained? They establish these zombies and dragons and evil ninja skeletons and somehow there are still these compelling, mystical characters above them, pulling the strings. That doesn’t even begin to ask about Dario Cueto’s dad.
I would give ANYTHING for a Lucha Underground companion show that was just an hour of these character-building segments to fill in the blanks. I would also volunteer to write it, probably for free.
The Unlikely Trio takes on The Crew in the night’s main-event, and if I type “it beats the piss out of every WWE TLC match you’ve seen since like TLC 2,” I want you to know I’m being serious.
Most ladder matches are these mindless (and super entertaining) spotfests where guys set up ladders and tables as props, and it’s a whole lot of standing around. The drama comes in the bigger moments, when everybody’s at the top of the ladder or a guy takes a big fall to the outside. It’s not a match story, it’s a collection of moments. That’s fine. Wrestling can be that sometimes.
This was so much better than that, because it had the big moments, but set them up logically as part of the story of a match. Cueto has put The Unlikely Trio in a ladder match against The Crew because he knows Ivelisse is injured, and theoretically wouldn’t be able to climb a ladder. That effectively makes it a handicap match, but semantically it’s a fair fight. It’s so evil. The Crew is trying to make a statement and make up for their embarrassing loss in the Trios Championship Tournament, so they focus a little too much on trying to hurt and eliminate these guys instead of capitalizing on their advantages and winning. The broken window of Dario Cueto’s office comes into play multiple times, and we get a callback to the most insane moment in Lucha Underground history by totally topping it:
Yes, that is Angelico at the top of the picture. Yes, he is DROPKICKING CORTEZ CASTRO OFF A LADDER FROM THE TOP OF DARIO CUETO’S OFFICE. It is the sickest f*cking dropkick I’ve ever seen, and despite all the garbage they waded through to get here, it should be biologically impossible to root for anyone against Angelico, Son of Havoc and Ivelisse. Holy crap.
They manage to pull off another unlikely victory thanks to Ivelisse hopping up the ladder on one foot, and next week will hopefully begin with Bael getting fed to a cage monster. I can’t wait.