– 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.
– Shares, likes, comments and other social media things are appreciated. Tell @LuchaElRey that you read and love this column.
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground Episode 34 from July 1, 2015.
Over/Under: Super Texano
I can’t decide if I like this version of Texano or not. Let’s talk it out.
I like him because hey, it’s Texano. He’s good at what he does. He fits that Alberto El Patron role of showing that not every wrestler from Mexico is a flippy guy with a mask or an older, slowed-down, barrel-chested guy who used to be a flippy guy with a mask. Some people from Mexico want to kick you in the gut and punch you in the face and maybe powerbomb you, and that’s cool. Plus, I like the idea that Texano showed up in chaps getting “Brokeback Mountain” chants but now he’s Lucha Underground’s Diamond Dallas Page. I don’t really know how it happened, but when he’s hustling around the ring lighting people up with cowbells to the dome, he’s easy to cheer.
At the same time, I don’t know if I totally buy it. With Alberto around, he comes across like Alberto’s spirited little brother. He’s like a shorter, wider, less-direct Alberto. He’s not only beating the mess out of DelAvar Daivari, he’s doing so while also taking care of Big Ryck, who went from one of the most important characters on the show to a total nobody in like 10 episodes. Not only that, but he’s showing up at the end of the show to even the odds in the main event and bail out the champion. Texano? Really? All of that? Did I miss the five episodes or whatever where he became the most important dude on the show?
So yeah, I don’t know. I like him, but I don’t. The one flaw I can find in Lucha Underground’s storytelling is how quickly they go from point A to point Z sometimes. I don’t want you to take a month on each letter, but man, take a second and at least give me the B.
Over: Mind Games
For a while I’ve been wondering what’s up with Catrina. She’s a ghost, right? She teleports, she does the creepy fingerpoke from the cover of House, she can bring people back from the dead and commands an army of electrically-occuring skeletons. Lucha Underground is weird. But yeah, no, she’s a ghost I thought.
She and Mil Muertes (or “Mortis” as she keeps calling him … I guess Catrina is the other person in the world besides me who loved Blood Runs Cold) do their teleportation razzing to the two possible champions at Ultima Lucha: Prince Puma, and his opponent for the night, Chavo Guerrero. They scare Puma, but Konnan immediately and effectively explains the entire situation: “It’s just mind games.”
That’s it. Konnan nailed it. What we see on Lucha Underground isn’t supposed to be taken literally … it’s a Pixar-esque thing where what we’re seeing is the FEELING of the scene, and the emotions manifesting themselves in the ridiculous pulp supernatural. Drago doesn’t actually turn into a dragon and fly away, he’s just so angry that he COULD do it, so we see it happen. Pentagon Jr. can’t actually break somebody’s arm so hard it makes candles burn out, the candles are just blowing out for emotional emphasis. Catrina isn’t actually teleporting or summoning skeletons from nothing, she’s just being sneaky and her friends are being sneaky too. It’s all mind games. It’s all in our heads. In one gesture and sentence, Konnan has deconstructed the reality of a wrestling show. All this showmanship is for effect. None of this is real. You have to stay focused and win your matches. I f*cking love it.
Mil doesn’t have much more luck with Chavo, who just kinda sneers at him and tells him he’ll see him at Ultima Lucha. I mean, Chavo used to hang out with Kane, and even if Mil is a psychologically-damaged earthquake monster living on the brink of death, he’s not a burn victim that wasn’t actually burned who killed his girlfriend because he couldn’t drive a stick shift and then maybe-kinda-sorta had sex with her body. WWE can be weird sometimes, too.
Anyway, Mil makes this face and it rules:
I like that people are taking Mil seriously, but as the old Mil they understand. Not as the new Mil, who will literally throw you through the f*cking ground until you are dead for real. Ultima Lucha’s just gonna be a pile of bodies with Mil Muertes standing on it like Conan, with Catrina hugging his leg.
Over: Coming To Terms With Fernandez
I think Lucha Underground has finally figured out how to use Fernandez, née Hernandez.
If Konnan’s the guy who understands the universe he inhabits and embraces it, Hernandez is the guy who inhabits it and can’t deal. The reason he rolls his eyes and struts around like a wounded Big Bird and does rock-a-bye baby spots to the other wrestlers is because he’s too aware that he’s fictional, and he thinks everyone around him’s stupid for playing along. Striker explains it as his mannerisms and facial expressions “pissing a lot of people off,” and I think that’s it. He’s a fictional character with no reality, obsessed with his own fiction.
He beats up Drago, whips him with a belt and tries to hang him. Typical rudo stuff. Then he gets on the mic and is like, “DRAGONS AREN’T REAL! HE’S JUST A MAN!” The crowd boos, but it’s that boo of, “well duh, of course dragons aren’t real, but we’re all playing along so stop shitting in our cereal.” That’s Hernandez. A cereal shitter.
Over: The Moth Gets Squashed
1. I just realized that Marty ‘The Moth’ Martinez is what Kevin Owens would look like if he had a normal WWE body.
2. Marty The Moth vs. Alberto El Patron is easily my favorite match of the week. It starts with Alberto just bumrushing him and pie-facing him in the corner to beat the bright yellow off him, and Marty gets in like two punches before he’s armbarred into oblivion. That’s exactly how it should’ve gone. Alberto’s post-match promo about how he’s going to rip off “Juanito Mundo’s” face at Ultima Lucha lasted longer than the match. See you never, Marty.
Under?: Puma Vs. Chavo
I put a question mark there because without sourcing it with people who were actually at the show, the match appeared to be short and not much of anything because of Chavo’s shoot knee injury. The match is explained away as a no-disqualification match to allow The Crew to get involved — with the added stipulation that if Konnan interfered, Chavo would automatically win the championship — but due to a combination of Whatevers and Real Life Stuff, it’s the most underwhelming (or “least whelming,” I guess) of Puma’s title defenses.
As I mentioned earlier, Texano shows up (representing Mexico in its ongoing feud with Chavo Guerrero) and ruins the day for the rudos. Puma retains, Texano taunts Chavo about how Mexico isn’t looking for him, Mexico is RIGHT HERE, and we very quickly move into the post-match vignette. I’m not saying Puma vs. Chavo would’ve been a barn-burner either way, but this definitely feels like a “welp” with a big comma after it.
In the post-match thing, Blue Demon confronts the injured Chavo backstage and things get heated when Chavo says Texano stole his thunder, and that Blue Demon’s just a washed-up nobody. Demon gives him a Mil Muertes-style choke and insists that HE IS MEXICO (which is awesome), and Chavo smirks as Demon sulks away. That looks to be our way to shuffle Blue Demon into Chavo’s place in the feud with Texano.
Not a great show this week for in-ring stuff, but the backstage segments were A+. I’m okay with that sometimes. Let’s just keep Santa Claus out of the Temple on Christmas so Fernandez doesn’t run anybody’s holiday, okay?