Reviews

Lucha Underground Review 3-4-15

Hello again everyone and welcome to another look into the land where luchadores remove their hunting outfits and don cowboy outfits sure to make any eight-year-old’s birthday party jealous, Lucha Underground. Ok, seriously, someone tell me what the hell King Cuerno was wearing at the end of the show. I’m so confused. Anyways, we’ll get to that. Tonight’s show features a lot of matches with one theme, and Alberto El Patron’s in-ring debut for Lucha Underground. Should be a fun show. As always, I’ve broken down the events in chronological order before giving you my takes on some key happenings. I’ve pasted a link to the show at the bottom of the page if you’d like to watch before reading on. Let’s Lucha!

What Happened

Recap of Alberto El Patron’s arrival in Lucha Underground and Texano attacking him; Mil Muertes issues with Catrina and Fénix; the Crew taking out Mascarita Sagrada and Pimpinela Escarlata before Big Ryck showed up to help Sexy Star

Alberto El Patron in Dario Cueto’s office to set up match with Texano

Mil Muertes defeats Fénix via pinfall

Konnan vignette highlighting Cage attacks, Revenge is coming

Backstage segment with Ivelisse, Son of Havoc, and Angelico in Dario Cueto’s office

Puma backstage segment working out, Del Rio tells him he should listen to Konnan because after he is done with Cage, he’ll have to deal with Del Rio down the line

Big Ryck defeats Sexy Star via pinfall to win match with The Crew, post match the Crew attacks Big Ryck, Sexy Star tries to help and gets taken out, Big Ryck escapes a and takes the Crew down

Alberto El Patron vignette talking about his history

Texano defeats Alberto El Patron via DQ

Post match El Patron works over Texano with the bull rope

King Cuerno meets with Dario Cueto to set up cage match with Johnny Mundo for next week

 

Vengeance

The show had a running theme this week, and that theme was vengeance. Matches and vignettes that focused on revenge were featured throughout. A central theme isn’t something viewers usually get out of their wrestling shows, but it was here tonight and it really made the show more enjoyable. I’m sure the writers planned this out and I’m hoping to see more central themes in future episodes.

A Rivalry Continues

I’m expecting great things from the Alberto El Patron and Texano feud, and tonight was an excellent start. Patron opened the show in Dario Cueto’s office, demanding a match with Texano as he sought retribution for Texano’s ambush that spoiled Patron’s first night in the Temple. Cueto tried to give Alberto different opponents, but Patron wouldn’t take no for an answer. Cueto finally capitulated, and the main event for the night was set.

They are doing a great job giving this rivalry a good amount of heat right out of the gate. You are certainly familiar with El Patron’s work, but Texano is an amazing talent as well. The two have styles that work well together and I’m looking forward to a series of matches going forward. I’ll have more on the main event later.

A Stone’s Throw

Fenix_Catrina

You know what’s shocking to me? The fact that there are only two luchadores currently battling for the affection of Catrina. The woman is just absolutely gorgeous, and killing it with her take on her character. Mil Muertes and Fénix continued their rivalry tonight in the opening bout. Catrina showed up fashionably late to watch the battle, with the announcers questioning whose side she was actually on.

Fénix and Muertes battled under Catrina’s watchful eye in yet another revenge themed match, and this match upped the intensity of the rivalry. Fénix dove onto Mil on the outside of the ring to get the match started, and Mil Muertes exhibited his own anger with vicious brawling during the match, you could feel the hatred between the two. The match ended with Mil Muertes getting the upper hand in the feud with a Flatliner and a pinfall victory. For those not keeping track, that’s two wins for Mil and one for Fénix. Judging from the post-match fireworks, this feud isn’t over by a long shot.

After his victory, Mil demanded Catrina get into the ring and give Fénix the dreaded “lick of death”. Catrina refused, and an enraged Mil Muertes dragged her into the ring by the hair. That gave Fénix time to recover, and when he did he found the black stone Catrina carries at his feet. Fénix used the stone to stun Mil, then took him down with a vicious enziguri. Catrina upped the embarrassment level for Mil by giving him the lick of death, then grabbed Fénix to plant a kiss on him while men all over America wished they could be Fénix for that moment. I don’t think this rivalry is done, and I’m thinking we may get some kind of winner gets Catrina match down the line.

A Return to Action?

I found the Konnan vignette that aired this week very compelling. The piece featured quotes from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, the most telling of these to me being “When you are strong, appear weak” followed by a cut to Konnan’s cane. The vignette focused on Cage’s attacks on Konnan, and ended with the words “Revenge is coming”.

Could this be the start of an in-ring debut for Konnan? I’m honestly not sure how I’d feel about Konnan stepping into an active role. I know he still wrestles down in Mexico, but the dude is 50 years old and the temple is full of young, quick luchadores. It will be interesting to see if this vignette means Konnan is coming back or if it’s just hinting at him getting revenge via his protégé Prince Puma.

Equality is Hard

BigRyck_SexyStar

I’ve written on a few occasions what a great job Lucha Underground does of portraying their female competitors as women who could keep up with the men, while also stating it can be hard to watch those kinds of matches even when I’m all for equality. Tonight was one case where I felt the balance could have been done better in the match between Sexy Star and Big Ryck.

Sexy Star got a little bit of offense, but Big Ryck mostly shrugged it off. When Big Ryck had finally had enough, he got the pinfall when he set up Sexy Star for his Rock Bottom type finisher, then gently setting her on the mat and powering her shoulders down so she couldn’t escape. This was tough because it kind of kills some of the “women can do anything the men can do” attitude Lucha Underground has been pushing.

I get why the finish was done the way it was. Ryck is a face now and you can’t have a monster sized face just lay waste to a woman. The problem for me with this match is I believe more could have been done to give Sexy Star credible offense against Big Ryck. If you don’t believe she could, think of all the matches Rey Mysterio or similar smaller men have had with much larger wrestlers. I just feel like Sexy Star could have gotten some of that type of offense in to make this match feel more compelling. To be fair, I think Lucha Underground portrays their female performers better than any other organization right now, but tonight was just not indicative of that.

Sexy Star was further shown as weak when the Crew came out to attack Big Ryck, and she attempted to help before being laid out by the Crew. Of course Ryck was able to take down all three members of the Crew. I think that Sexy Star could have been better served by at least getting to take out a member of the crew, maybe have her take somebody over the top rope to the floor so Ryck could come back against the other two Crew members. That’s the kind of finish that shows that women can be strong.

 

Patron is on a roll

ElPatronTexano

Tonight was Alberto El Patron’s night. He showed awesome fire in the opening segment, demanding his match with Texano. Following that Patron made a stop to chat with Prince Puma, basically letting the champ know if he held onto the belt long enough, at some point he was going to have to deal with Alberto. He was also very eloquent in a pre-main-event vignette where he spoke of his family’s proud wrestling heritage and how he had done everything in his career to do that heritage proud.

I liked El Patron when he was in WWE, but since he’s been in Lucha Underground I’ve really begun to see what a talent he is, and he’s now a favorite of mine. Not only has he been great in promos and vignettes, he’s still money in the ring.

The main event match with Texano was another vicious match between two luchadores with a lot of animosity for each other. Texano impressed me with his in ring performance tonight as well. His future is very bright, but this is El Patron’s time. Texano threw all he had at El Patron but Patron kept coming back. This caused Texano to get frustrated and at one point he went for his bull rope. Unfortunately for Texano, El Patron saw it coming and was able to avoid getting hit. He countered and the bull rope fell at his feet. Patron thought about it for a second, and then decided revenge was much better than a victory, and started whooping on Texano with the bull rope. There were some pretty brutal looking swings of the rope in there.

Texano may have won via DQ but the night ended with Patron standing tall and celebrating while Texano writhed on the ground in pain. This is just the opening chapter in this one. Luckily for all of us, there’s a lot more to come in this feud.

Cowboy Up?

The show ended with King Cuerno in Dario Cueto’s office. King Cuerno was wearing a cowboy outfit for some inexplicable reason and until I saw his mask I didn’t realize it was him. It was just weird. That being said, the visit yielded our main event for next week, King Cuerno vs. Johnny Mundo in a steel cage! This will be the first cage match in Lucha Underground, though not the first Cage match. See what I did there?

Cuerno the Kid promised Dario Cueto that next week he’d mount Johnny Mundo’s head on Cuerno’s wall. Great tease for next week! The show just ended and I’m already anxious for the next episode. Just don’t let Cuerno wear that cowboy outfit again or Mundo will laugh him out of the ring.

The Wrap

That’s it for me this week. I thought the show was good this week but didn’t enjoy it as much as the last two episodes. That’s ok, sometimes you need an episode or two of story build to get to the really good stuff. Next week’s cage match should be epic. Can’t wait for that.

What did you think of the show? Do you think more could have been done to show Sexy Star as a viable challenger to Big Ryck, or was it played correctly? Do you think Konnan will come back to in-ring action soon, if so are you excited about it? Finally, seriously, what was up with King Cuerno’s outfit? Let me know in the comments section or hit me up on my social media, all available in my writer profile.

It was a tough week for all of us here at TJR with the passing of our colleague and friend Tom Briggs. I didn’t know him nearly as well as some of the other writers here did, but I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time and loved his sense of humor. It’s a tragedy when someone so talented and who is such a good person is taken so young. Farewell Tom, I hope you find the clearing at the end of the path. Thank you everyone for reading, now take a moment to go hug your loved ones and let them know how much you love them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0trfxNf0oNM