Kobra Moon defeats Bengala (2:46, Dragon (Snake) Sleeper, below average)
Jack Evans defeats Drago (bridging backslide foot on the ropes, 7:19, good)
Fenix defeated King Cuerno in a last man standing match (11:19, great)
Where to even start with this one?
The Cuerno/Catrina/Muertes pact to keep Fenix away from the main title continues, though with some setbacks. Catrina, disappointed Fenix still had enough spirit to challenge for a rematch with Cuerno, demanded Cuerno finish him off in a last man standing match. Cuerno liked the challenge, but disagreed with Catrina’s notion that he would be no match for Mil. At any rate, Fenix got the win in a back and forth match, tipping over a ladder and sending Cuerno crashing thru a table. This was a non-title match, but Fenix has a good claim on a rematch.
The other matches did not have as much advancement, but served to introduce (and reintroduce) some characters. Kobra Moon defeated Bengala in the opener, in a match more memorable for the shape Bengala is in. He, uh, graduated from the cruiserweight division. We didn’t learn much more about Kobra Moon except she appears to be a snake. Jack Evans defeated Drago in a much better match, using a bridging backslide and a foot carefully placed on the bottom rope to win. Jack declared himself the Dragon Slayer after his narrow victory.
The vignettes stole the show, as they often do:
A skit with Prince Puma and Catrina dropped the bombshell that Konnan actually died last season when he stuffed in that casket. This didn’t appear to be news to the characters.
A vignette set “a thousand years in the past” had Aerostar meeting ancient Mexican people and insisting on the necessity of bringing peace among the seven tribes. Aerostar said the gods are returning in the form of Men. The ancient people seemed doubtful Aerostar could achieve this goal. The tribesman said Aerostar had returned, so this is likely happening (for Aerostar) after Season 1. It’s not exactly clear, and this was the hardest one to follow. It definitely appears he can travel space and time.
A character profile on Texano established him as a hard working, hard drinking cowboy who still had issues with Chavo Guerrero and the rest of those who attacked him on Ultima Lucha. He’ll be back next week. Texano handled the first section of the promo in English, which is coming along. It’s better than my Spanish, for sure.
The show closer changed what we though was happening for the entirety of season 1. The Crew’s Cortez Castro was revealed to be undercover police, an Officer Reyes. He’d gone deep cover to track down Dario Cueto, and had wanted to bring him in after Mantanza had murdered Bael. His commanding officer, Captain Vasquez, declined at the time (or was just annoyed Reyes brought it up now) and isn’t interested in Catrina or the rest – she wants Dario, who Reyes says hasn’t been seen in months. Vasquez agrees to send Reyes back to the Temple, where Catrina’s invited them back, but not alone. The other officer (who’s unnamed, but is Joey Ryan) will be going as well, though they’re told to pretend as if they don’t know each other and do what they can to bring down Dario. Ryan and Reyes don’t like each other.
The vignette briefly mentioned Blue Demon Jr. had retired back to Miami. Bael was said to be just a street thug. Mr. Cisco and Chavo were touched on.
I think the feelings about tonight’s episodes are going to be heavily dependent on how interested your are in the Lucha Underground mythology (and maybe your feelings on Joey Ryan in general, since he’s a pretty polarizing figure.) Those last couple of minutes flipped some of season 1 on it’s head, and was totally unexpected at this point. Most of all, The Crew betraying Big Ryck to ally themselves closer to Dario makes a little more sense and seems much more significant. This is a pretty interesting deal if you’re into the storylines, and I am.
Even if you’re not, if you’re someone who’s just watching for the matches, that main event was a pretty strong match. They defied the expectations of what you’d expect from two flyers in a last man standing match, even bringing a ladder in play but not using it for a big dive while still coming up with a compelling finish. Cuerno’s running smash to Fenix’s head was pretty great too. Fenix was good, but Cuerno looked super impressive even in a loss. The pause for ten counts doesn’t usually work for me because it disrupts the flow of a lucha match too much, but they made it work by the end.
Drago & Jack was also good, though again not exactly in the way you’d expect. The announcers even noted it wasn’t until late in the contest before either man tried a dive, and it was much in ring strike battle than it was high risk out of it. Jack was also aiming for an over the top heel than a crazy move exhibition with taunting like his first match with Aeorstar. The eye gouging and thumb biting might mean less snowflakes, but it did his still kind of new character some good. His promo after the match was fun too.
Kobra Moon’s debut did not go well. The editing stuck out, and even then it was one of the least successful matches on Lucha Underground. Her offense looked light and unconvincing. It’s hard to put too much blame on her, because Bengala looked sadly out of shape. He’s been heavy in his entire AAA run and kind of got away with it, and seems to have added another 10-15 pounds since we last saw him and couldn’t get away with it. This is Bengala’s only TV match of the season. Kobra Moon has a cool look and will be back in a few weeks, hopefully it goes better then.
There were farewells to a few people on this show. The Puma/Catrina vignette seemed to only exist to get Puma on TV this week and declare Konnan well and truly dead. That was weird. (Since it came from Catrina, it’s also something that could always be revealed as a lie later down the road.) Blue Demon Jr. retiring to Miami seems to be his write off – he doesn’t appear on the tapings this year. People going in and out is the way of TV shows, but those were names pitched as being pivotal to the success of the show at the start and no one would’ve guess at them both being gone now.
I think I’m going to need to draw a diagram to figure out the Aerostar timeline. (It does bring back the Seven Tribes idea, which hadn’t been seen in a while.) With that, and with Captain Vasquez (who appeared to be a new reoccurring character and not a one off), the advisory that the season would start with a lot of material outside the Temple at first is correct. It’s not bad stuff by any means, but I suspect LU will continue to feature a few minutes of look-ins elsewhere each week until everyone makes it back to the Temple.