– 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!
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And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground Episode 30 from June 3, 2015.
Over/Under: Evil Chavo Guerrero, Already
OK, so I should probably take this as one big thing.
Instead of the normal Lucha Underground tendency to devote one backstage segment per week to a storyline, we get a show-long narrative about Black Lotus returning to The Temple and being swerved by basically every person working there. The show opening is Chavo having a clandestine, sunset conversation with Dario Cueto about his meeting with El Dragon Azteca, and leveraging Dragon’s promises against what Cueto can offer. Cueto agrees to give him “round-the-clock protection from Mexico” in exchange for Lotus being served up to him on a silver platter, and Chavo agrees because he’s the Worst Guerrero Ever.
A little later, Chavo finds Lotus in the rarely-seen luchadora locker room and tells her that he talked to Cueto, and she has a match tonight. Because I guess she’s watched the program before, Lotus is like AW HELL NO and starts KARATE FIGHTING HIM, giving him the E. Honda hundred-hand slap into the lockers. Chavo springs Lucha Underground’s least effective trap — the remaining members of The Crew — and after some absurd ninja fighting, they incapacitate her and put her down with a filtered kendo stick shot and some handcuffs.
That leads to the final segment, in which Black Lotus has been bound and gagged in Cueto’s office.
The payoff is that Cueto’s going to lock her up in his mysterious cage room across from his monstrous, murderous cage brother so he’ll “never be lonely again.” I’ve been worried for a while now that the payoff to the cage monster is killing Dario, and this makes me even more nervous … locking up Matanza and Black Lotus together is a total Sloth and Chunk situation, and if they don’t end up putting their differences aside to team up and go after the real monster (Cueto) I’ll be shocked. My only hope is that maybe the show’s ridiculous enough to have Dario survive a Matanza “death” and get half a robot face, or maybe have his body split in half to reveal a demonic version of Dario played by the same dude.
Hey, this is the show where a guy turned into a dragon and flew away. Anything can happen.
My only complaint I guess (besides my constant fear of losing my favorite character) is that the pacing of the Black Lotus story is still super jumbled, and it barely makes sense. So Dario Cueto has an evil cage brother who killed this girl’s parents in a wrestling match (?). Cueto has him locked up in The Temple for undisclosed reasons and Lotus showed up to hunt him, but as soon as she found him, she was stopped and kidnapped by an old, sage luchador. He promised to train her so she could take out the monster that killed her parents once and for all, which she probably could have also done by standing on the other side of the cage and shooting him with a gun or like, stabbing him with a spear, but I digress. He says she has to stay with him and train and she does, but she bails early. The luchador puts THE LEAST REPUTABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY GUY IN THE HISTORY OF THE COMPANY in charge of making sure she’s OK in exchange for protection. That guy immediately sells her out, gets protection from Cueto instead, and now she’s just bound and gagged again. Did she not see this coming? Why was she like, “let me wander around in the open in this place full of monsters where everybody’s trying to kill me, and get support from a guy who sold out his entire country and once bashed a lady in the face with a chair.” She knows where Matanza’s cage is, right? Why is any of this happening? I feel like there’s a major plot point we’re missing that’ll tie it all together.
Over: Poor Argenis
Right, so, wrestling.
The opening match is Jack Evans, inventor of modern lucha libre, vs. Argenis, the least important brother of a major lucha-libre family, in a match for one of Cueto’s Aztec medallions. Matt Striker talks about Argenis’ family and nonchalantly mentions that he’s related to both Myzteziz and MINI MURDER CLOWN, and I know this isn’t shocking to anyone who follows lucha in Mexico, but let’s not gloss over the announcement that the original Sin Cara is related to something called “Mini Murder Clown.” Doesn’t that help explain Sin Cara? Like, he’s one of those angry characters from TV shows who are dicks to everyone, but you find out they’ve got a disabled brother or sister or something and it softens them. Dude botched all his moves because he was worried about MINI MURDER CLOWN.
Anyway, Jack gets the victory with a bridging backslide because Argenis might as well be named “Player Two.” Fenix and Jack Evans have Aztec Medallions now, and the fact that they’re polar opposites but have never interacted is exciting. I’m excited to see what Evans can do when he does his I’M FROM WASHINGTON AND I INVENTED LUCHA LIBRE act against someone who isn’t a harmless tecnico.
Over: Mack Meets A MACHIIIIINEEEE
This week’s show is very yellow, in case you haven’t noticed.
In one of the non-Lotus backstage segments, we get a nice moment of character development for Big Ryck. If you’ll recall, Ryck is a mercenary for hire and has made it clear that he’d take out a member of his own family if the money was right. He’s currently under the thumb of DelAvar Daivari, a man who has basically nothing to offer but right amounts of money. Daivari has weaseled his way into a Trios Championship match for the night, and tells Ryck that they need to find a third. Ryck suggests his cousin, The Mack, but motherf*ckin’ CAGE shows up and says he’s taking the spot.
That causes a melodramatic backstage fight with SUNSET PAUSES and Cage slamming Mack to death onto a turned-over block of lockers. Daivari welcomes him to the team, and shouts for Ryck to “come on” when he shows a moment of concern for his cousin. It’s subtle, and one of those things that makes you go, “Come on, Ryck, didn’t you learn ANYTHING from being pals with Sexy Star? PUNCH THE BAD ONES.”
Over: The Magical Luck Powers Of The Unlikely Trio
The miracle run of Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico as Trios Champions continues. And hey, Angelico didn’t have to jump off anything this time!
The Unlikely Trio is forced to defend their championships against Daivari, Big Ryck and Cage despite Ivelisse still having a broken leg. They survive thanks to two very important things:
1. Texano, who has Digivolved into Alberto Del Patron for some reason, and
2. Daviari, who is basically the worst wrestler in The Temple
I’d give a third to “Angelico continuing to secretly be the best competitor on the show,” because holy crap, it is impossible to boo that guy recently. Aside from that one damn week where he decided “pretending to put my dick in a female opponent” was a hilarious joke, he’s been the most spectacular, entertaining in-ring performer they have. He’s got the balcony dives and the ladder dropkicks from hell or whatever, but it’s the little stuff, too. He kicks people in the head the way CM Punk imagines himself doing it.
Anyway, Ivelisse sits in the crowd because nobody will tag her in, but she gets on the apron at the perfect time for Texano to run out, bash some fools in the head with a cowbell and give Havoc and Angelico the momentum they need to pull out another unexpected victory. It works for me because TUT are jerks who have stumbled into nobility, and not the other way around.
Over: Submission Match
One of the things we always write about is how Dario Cueto is an evil authority figure who actually seems to DO EVIL, and how great it is that when he’s punishing tecnicos for existing, he does it in ways that might actually hurt them. When Triple H is trying to punish Roman Reigns, he’s like “you’re in a title match, but only if you can beat THREE OF THE EASIEST-TO-BEAT PEOPLE ON THE SHOW, OVER A PERIOD OF THREE HOURS WITH HOUR-LONG BREAKS BETWEEN EACH MATCH!” It’s like, why not just … uh, not let him be in a title match? Cueto wants to punish the Unlikely Trio, so he puts them in a ladder match because one of the members has a broken leg and can’t climb a ladder. Cueto wants to punish Sexy Star, so he puts her in a submission match against Pentagon Jr., the guy who has spent the past four months or whatever breaking every arm he can find.
The match is perfect, too, because Sexy can fight valiantly and survive for a while, but she’s outmatched. She can’t just suddenly be a submission master and make MR. SUBMISSION DEATH tap out to some weak-looking shit. She grabs him for submissions, but they’re never quite right. She grabs a Fujiwara armbar but she isn’t sitting out on it, and she’s not hyperextending the joint. The announcers do a great job of pointing this out, and it’s the story they should be telling … she’s got the heart of a champion, but Pentagon’s just better at this specific wrestling thing.
What does Pentagon do, you ask? Welp:
The finish is great because it ties together two important story threads:
1. The one time Sexy actually locks in a basic submission hold and has Pentagon reeling, SUPER FLY returns dressed like an Uso and punches her in the face. Pentagon Jr. broke his arm, sure, but Sexy took his face. It wasn’t her fault, but sometimes that isn’t important. Sometimes you’re just driven to madness by a pissed-off ninja skeleton and have to take it out on somebody.
2. After Pentagon gets the submission win, he tries to break Sexy’s arm. She’s saved by Vampiro of all people, and Pentagon and Vamp have a staredown. They give Vampiro a great reason to interfere, too, beyond the crappy “oh no he’s beating up a girl” stuff you might expect: Vampiro mentions that Sexy Star is the idol of his 14-year old daughter, and how that’s made Vamp realize how important she is to the world. That’s an AWESOME rationale for interference, and lets Sexy be saved by a guy without being “saved by a guy.” It’s not Chavo chivalrously giving her a pin, this is a man showing her respect for what she’s accomplished in the business, and stepping in to right a wrong before it happens. Great stuff.
Vampiro refuses to actually fight Pentagon, then goes to the rest room and bashes his face into the mirror. Yeah, Pentagon better watch out, I’ve seen this guy light Sting on fire and throw him off a TitanTron.