The Over/Under On Lucha Underground Episode 36: Ian’s Rotten

Pre-show notes:

– 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.

With Spandex is on Twitter, so follow it. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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 36 from July 15, 2015.

Over: Your Standard Weekly Glorification Of Pentagon Jr.

It’s fun to go back to the beginning of the season and see how Pentagon Jr. was portrayed then, as opposed to now. When he debuted, he was the third-most interesting person in a triple-threat match. He got a cool martial-arts vignette, but it didn’t really mean anything at the time, and he ended up being Chavo Guerrero’s jerky subordinate. Somewhere in the 30-ish episodes in the in-between, he became the pissed-off ninja skeleton we all love and run in fear from … the type of guy who can sit in Dario Cueto’s office in Halloween facepaint doing Dikembe Mutombo finger-wags and look like the roughest dude on the block. I love it.

Cueto offers him a medallion just for being a bad-ass motherf*cker, and Pentagon turns it down. If he wanted one of Cueto’s medallions, he explains, he’d just break Cueto’s arm and take them all. YEAH HE WOULD. He promises to make “Ian Hodgkinson” his final sacrifice to his Dark Master, and Cueto asks one of the most important questions of the season: “What’s up with that whole thing?”

Pentagon reveals that even he doesn’t know the identity of the Master, and all the sacrifices and arm-breakings have been to prove himself worthy to know. That’s AWESOME. Part of me wishes it was Pimpinela Escarlata in a plastic skeleton mask.

Under: Daivari Can’t Beat A Housecat

I need to come to terms with the fact that the Lucha Underground roster is big enough now that not everybody has to be super cool and important. Case in point: DelAvar Daivari had that cool intro pissing off Dario Cueto by being a total millennial, then got absolutely nothing. His only real plot point is that he’s annoying, and that he’s rich enough to pay Big Ryck — formerly one of the show’s best and most important characters — to stand around at ringside and cheat for him, but not very well. Did Ryck have a heart attack or break his leg or something 10 episodes ago?

Daivari wrestles BENGALA for one of the Aztec Medallions, and this has gotta be the least prestigious medallion match ever. Not to throw too much shade at Bengala — I love me a cat gimmick, especially one that takes time to groom itself after matches — but man, they could have just went with six medallions (or given Sexy Star two) and left these guys off the card. How does Mascarita Sagrada and Pimpi’s cat gimp get a shot at immortality, anyway?

Because Big Ryck is operating on the effort level of Carlito in a sauna, he accidentally hits Daivari and gives Bengala the win. A cat now has a medallion. How much better would it be if they went full Japan indies and had an actual cat win one? I want Jack Evans falling on his head to sell clotheslines from Mr. Money.

Over: Lucha Underground Goes Old School

On last week’s episode, Pentagon Jr. attacked Vampiro from behind and covered him with gasoline, threatening to set him on fire (!!) if he didn’t accept the challenge at Ultima Lucha. This week Vamp gets into the ring as “Ian Hodgkinson” and once again explains that his time has come, and that he’s not interested in doing this. Pentagon shows up and hilariously berates him, and we find out that no, Ian Hodgkinson isn’t going to face Pentagon Jr. at Ultima Lucha … Vampiro is. One massive chokeslam later and Pentagon is out, and Vamp is in the crowd celebrating with fans.

What I like about this show is how it isn’t afraid to think outside of the box, but doesn’t ignore what works. This is a total old-school kind of wrestling moment. Lucha can build stories by having a ghost lady manipulate an immortal bird into killing her zombie boyfriend to make him more powerful, or they can have a love triangle run into a group of teleporting, electric skeletons, or whatever. People turn into dragons. Here, you’ve got a guy who doesn’t want to fight being prodded and prodded by a jerk until he snaps and accepts. That’s A to B to C without any bullsh*t, and sometimes that’s wonderful. Sometimes all you want from wrestling is, “I want to see that guy get his ass kicked. Hey guy I like, kick that guy’s ass!”

Pentagon is gonna f*ck Vampiro up, though, I ain’t even worried.

Over: Hunter Vs. Hunter

We’re getting close to Ultima Lucha, so all the minor stories are starting to pay off. One of those is the ongoing maybe-beef between King Cuerno and Kill Shot, presumably over which one of them is the best at killing sh*t. Spoiler alert: It’s King Cuerno.

Cuerno is just so damn good, you guys. If I can only have two things in season two of Lucha Underground, I want (1) Pentagon Jr. going after the Lucha Underground Championship, and (2) King Cuerno being a true, important fixture on the show and not just the cool, athletic and jacked-to-the-moon jobber to the stars. Cuerno only seems like he’s around to lose to guys like Johnny Mundo, which is a travesty … in my brain he’s the only guy that approaches Pentagon’s coolness, and he doesn’t get half the buzz and acclaim. The Arrow From The Depths Of Hell is still the best move on the show, and I want to see him start wrecking people with it and Bow and Arrowing them (get it) for wins.

The match with Kill Shot is Kill Shot’s best performance to date, and easily the best match on this week’s show. Kill Shot’s got a little too much of that Northeast indie wrestling Cutters And Leg Slaps thing for my tastes, but he’s good at what he does, and his handstand headscissors to the outside was amazing. I’m still waiting for that origin explanation for why chill-ass The Mack runs in a crew with a masked assassin, but maybe we’ll get that later.

Good stuff. Push Cuerno forever.


Over: Sexy Star Runs The Goober Gauntlet

Sexy Star earns an Aztec Medallion this week, but only after defeating the two opponents:

1. Super Fly, who is still mad at her for unmasking him and getting his arm broken, even though she was forced into the luchas de apuestas match and saved him from a PREVIOUS attack. He’s emotionally compromised, I guess. They’ve wrestled twice before and each won a match, so this was the rubber match … for like 40 seconds, until Sexy whipped out La Mistica and tapped him out. Whoops!

2. Marty ‘The Moth’ Martinez shows up all upset that the medallion she won has a moth on it (meaning it’s “his tribe”), so he challenges her for it right here, right now. The good news for Sexy is that Marty has no idea what he’s doing, so she taps HIM out to retain. (Seriously though, Marty’s pretty great, and I want them to do a full-on Running Zack thing with him in season two.) (He still doesn’t know how a damn moth flaps its wings, though.)

Over: Whoops, Dario Cueto Didn’t Know The Confrontation Involving The Dead Guy With The Ghost Girlfriend And The Skeleton Army Would End In Violence

This week’s main event is a “face-to-face” confrontation between Prince Puma and Mil Muertes, ahead of their championship match at Ultima Lucha. Cueto seems surprised when Catrina and the Disciples of Death roll in with the Grave Consequences casket, but what did he expect? He organized a moderated discussion between two guys that don’t talk, one of whom is the lucha libre manifestation of death.

The big moment of the segment is when Puma gets jumped by the Disciples and Konnan shows up with his cane of death, forged from Valyrian steel. He fights off the Disciples but gets caned in the guts by Mil, and Catrina blasts him in the face with a rock. Well, the rock. They roll Konnan into the casket and fridge him for the remainder of the season (at least) while Puma watches.

Maybe they should change the name of the season finale to You Dead.