Johnny Mundo defeated Killshot (Fin de Mundo, 4:23, OK)
the Mack defeated PJ Black (Stunner counter, 6:45, OK)
Prince Puma & Pentagon Jr. [O] defeated the Disciples of Death (Siniestro de la Muerte, Barrio Negro, Trece [X]) (Puma 630 senton with Pentagon stealing the pin, 7:36, good)
The main plot followed up on the events from last week. Puma & Pentagon Jr. were paired up in two versus three handicap match. In the locker room, Pentagon thanked Puma for assist in helping him break Mil Muertes arm last week, hoped Puma would do the same with the Disciples so their arms could be broken, and then promised to do the same to Puma. Puma didn’t like this idea, and they fought to a quick indecisive finish. Puma and Pentagon Jr. did win the handicap match despite Pentagon being a poor teammate. They did get it together, and they were aided by two of the Disciples taking each other on a misaimed dive spot. Puma and Pentagon’s fight resumed after Pentagon Jr. stole the pin. Pentagon tried to break Puma’s arm, but Puma got away. Both men made it clear they want Mil Muertes, but equally have problems with each other. For his part, Mil Muertes was back on his throne this week, but his broken arm was in a sling. (There was no hint he might be giving up the belt.)
Vampiro appeared to be conflicted and confused by the Pentagon Jr. thing. He didn’t like it when Striker would ask questions about their relationship (and if Vampiro orchestrated the attack on Muertes last week – Vamp deflected that), but he also didn’t like it when Striker would say negative things about Pentagon.
Everyone’s gunning for Muertes. The opening segment of the night saw Johnny Mundo pick up a win over Killshot (though it took an unseen foul) and issue his own title challenge. Mundo was interrupted by Cage, who added his name to the mix of challengers. Mundo and Cage had an argument over this – and over Cage beating Mundo back in Season 1. Mundo backed off for a fight, tried to sneak attack anyway, and was knocked away. Cage came off as the less detestable of the two.
The night featured a lot of Season 2 characters being introduced. PJ Black, possibly inhabited by the spirit of a wolf, fought off luchador bikers in a vignette but didn’t have the same success with the Mack. Kobra Moon got her own debut vignette and will be on next week’s show. To close out the show, the hooded man from the end of last season (and from the very first segment of the first show) was formally revealed as Dragon Azteca Jr. His new mentor explained he was trained by Dragon Azteca as well, was off the mask but went a different path, but will pass that training onto Azteca Jr. That new mentor is Rey Mysterio Jr., making his first on screen appearance.
(Dragon Azteca Jr. seemed to change people in season one, but now is clearly Tijuana luchador Rey Horuz, the former second Hijo de Rey Misterio. That adds some metatext to this plot.)
There was also a check in on Marty the Moth and Sexy Star. They’re in a new location than the end of Ultima Lucha, with Marty in normal people (normal preppy people)’s clothes, but still obsessed with moths and Sexy Star. Sexy is still locked up. Marty did say “they” would eventually bring Sexy back to the temple, though Marty’s sister remained unseen.
The second episode seems to be the tough one. The second episode of the first season was one of the roughest of that season, and this felt like a marked step down from the first episode. That first episode set a high bar, but this one still felt off by normal measures.
The Killshot/Mundo match appeared to be heavily edited. There were abrupt jumps between spots, and Striker was pushing this as a great Killshot performance when the match was two minuted old and he’d been on offense for maybe 45 seconds on it. It only went about four minutes total and the announcers were reacting to a much longer match. Mundo had a few matches against guys who haven’t been in the big title picture during season 1 (Angelico and Aerostar are the first I can think of) and those matches felt more substantive and just plain better than this one. Killshot hasn’t really connected at all yet. It seems like there’s more plans for him – those military vignettes should air at some point – but he’s missing the match to go along with it.
PJ Black’s vignette was great in it’s over the top Lucha Underground style. The rival bikers taking off their helmets to reveal lucha masks was so ridiculous it was right in the usual style. (Like wise, the Kobra Moon vignette was fun – laser sounds for punches – though her character was less clear.) The match itself against the Mack was missing something. I liked it more than opener easily, but it never clicked for me and the character came off weaker after it. Vampiro being unimpressed with the Darewolf nickname and not knowing much about him only kind of works if Vampiro is impressed by Black by the end of the match. The Mack won, and Vampiro wasn’t impressed, so I dunno what we were doing here. (“Darewolf” is not great, but it’s better than “Black To The Future” – especially when you’re facing The Mack.) Black wasn’t helped by Killshot using Black’s 450 as a near fall in the last match. I understand they want surprises on this show, but Black didn’t get to do his big move (which some else did), he didn’t get any other memorable spot (Mack got that), he was billed as the ‘other’ South African whose cool nickname from the vignette was silly in the match, and he also lost. This was not a successful segment.
(Flipside argument: El Rey aired a very nice Black History Month video right before the Mack’s match, including clips of the Mack in action, and I was suddenly dreading Lucha Underground having their only two black luchadors be used as enhancement talent.)
Main event felt very WWE, with the feuding top guys beating the midcard tag team champions even though they’re still feuding. The difference here is it was even 2 on 3, though they at least set up a sensible finish where the Disciples took each other out and it was suddenly the Puma/Pentagon team that had the numbers. Still – felt like there should’ve been some talk about two guys beating the trios champions, who could’ve been trios champions had they just dragged a third person out of the crowd to stand on the apron all match. The announcers avoided that topic at all. The commentary for that match sounded very post produced, as if they were retaping it to try to get something (Vamp/Pentagon?) more in the direction they wanted. There was a lot more talk about Vamp being in the mental hospital in that match than the entire first episode too.
I did like some stuff on this show! Context aside, the main event match was fun and easily the best match on the show. The intro vignettes were good. So was the Pentagon/Puma bit to start the show. And ending with the Rey reveal felt like a big moment.
When you look back at it – this was not a show with a superb match and this was a not a lot happened that you needed to see. They added some new pieces to the game, but they didn’t advance most of the ones you were interested in last week. Cage/Mundo was set up for down the line. Mysterio debuted, but in a 20 second bit which is only important if you missed the hype for Mysterio debuting (and the plot there was covered better in the comic book last week.) Puma/Pentagon/Muertes is going on, but you knew that last week. The Fenix/Cuerno story and the Ivelisse/Havoc/Angelico stories took a week off. If you took a week off too, you’ll probably be OK. It’ll probably be better next week.