Marty Martinez defeated Ivelisse (4:11, half nelson suplex, OK)
Texano beats Cage (7:35, small package, good)
Johnny Mundo defeated Sexy Star to win the Gift of the Gods championship (11:26, knucks to the face, below average)
“This is incredibly wrong. I’m not feeling this at all.”
That’s how Vampiro ended the show. He was saying it because he was appalled with the result of the main event. I concurred with the sentiment if not the reasoning, but we’ll get to that.
The show was built around Sexy Star versus Johnny Mundo. Sexy earlier confidently informed Dario she’d cash in the Gift of the Gods title next week to fight Matanza, and considered Johnny Mundo no more than warmup match. She was unconcerned when Dario informed her Fenix, Drago and Aerostar would be banned from the match. The match told a different story: Mundo absolutely dominated her for the early portions of the match. Sexy mounted a minor comeback, then referee Marty Elias was taken out on a Mundo airplane spin. Things degenerated from there.
Sexy immediately got the visual pinfall on Mundo, with Striker pushing that Sexy had a count of nine. She got only a count of two when Elias recovered. Mundo then accidentally speared Elias, leaving him out of action for minutes. Sexy quickly got another visual win, a submission choke with Mundo tapping out then starting to pass out until Jack Evans and PJ Black made the save. They took out Sexy with double superkicks and a swinging gate bomb (!), with backup referee Rich Knox sliding in to count, but only getting two. Evans & Black pulled out Knox and took him out with another double superkick. (The announcers were surprisingly unbothered by this, simply speculating that third ref Justin Borden was too smart to come out and get similarly taken out.) The Mack made the save and helped Sexy clear house, for another two count when Marty recovered. Marty took away a chair from Mundo, Mundo pulled out brass knucks from his trunks, and punched Sexy Star in the face for the three count. Vampiro declared this victory null, void and utterly meaningless, while Mundo celebrated with his first ever Lucha Underground singles championship. Sexy won’t be cashing in next week, and it remains to be seen if Mundo will.
The other big item was handled in an abbreviated Mysterio/Cueto vignette (which seemed to be join in progress – by the show or by El Rey, it wasn’t clear.) Rey said much the same he said to Chavo Sr. last week – Rey’s got big things to do in Lucha Underground and he doesn’t want to waste his time fighting Chavo Jr. again, so one of them has to go. Rey wants to stay, but proposed making a loser leaves lucha match next week to get rid of Chavo. Dario was fine with this. This seems to contiue a pattern of a match being announced for the following week each week.
One more match which appears to be coming, but we don’t know when, is Prince Puma versus Mil Muertes in a Grave Consequences match. To close the show, Vampiro congratulated Puma on beating Mil last week, but told him it wasn’t enough. Mil “sent Konnan to an early grave” by putting him in the casket way back in Season 1, and the only way Puma would ever make it even is to do the same to Mil. Puma was a little skeptical, noting Vampiro didn’t like Konnan at all. Vampiro emphatically agreed, but insisted he always respected Puma. I’m not sure about even that much; it’s clear Vampiro (and probably “Vampiro Vampiro and not “Ian Vampiro”, if there’s a distinction) is manipulating an easily fooled Prince Puma, but Vampiro’s ultimate goal aren’t clear.
We did find out someone’s ultimate goal. Dario caught up with Councilman Delgado, who revealed their big boss has fully descended. They both thought this was great news and I don’t know enough to disagree with them. Delgado explained more, and what I got from this is the big boss needs a new body to inhabit – some god is inhabiting Matanza’s body, now they need another one. Dario was one step ahead of the game here, explaining he had a couple candidates, really strong and powerful people, and he was having them determine who would be the host. Yea: the “ultimate opportunity” for the Cage/Texano feud is the winner rents out their body to an all powerful (possibly evil) god. Delgado handed over a mysterious package, probably having to do with making this happen, and definitely being the other gift of the gods referenced in the episode title. In the ring, Texano beat Cage to make the series two wins for Cage and one win for Texano, but I’m no sure either guy can actually ‘win’ this situation.
The opener was another woman vs man match; the women went 0-2 tonight on the scoreboard. Ivelisse lost much cleaner to Marty. Mariposa got involved, but Marty was too much crazy person for Ivelisse to handle. (Or for Melissa, who Marty creeped on before the match; the cameras shot her reacting negatively to Marty during the match too.) After the match, and for no apparent reason, Ivelisse’s new boyfriend Jeremiah hit the ring and attacked both Moths. This worked for about 30 seconds before the numbers got to him, and Ivelisse reluctantly made the save. Jeremiah and Ivelisse ran off the Moths, but Ivelisse was rather upset with Jeremiah for getting involved and continued to let him know after they had left the Temple. Jeremiah revealed Dario had offered to let him fight at the Temple – “It’s always been my dream to hurt people!” – and Ivelisse eventually was worn down enough to agree to it. The “good guys” on this show have remarkably bad instincts on who to trust – but then they’re in an underground fighting league run by Dario Cueto so they’re made many bad choices already.
Paul London revealed he was “found” by the Rabbit Tribe. He’s been the voice over all this time. They’re coming soon. OK.
I need to break things up here. Let’s do a one off feature
Things Matt Striker Actually Said
“raven haired Ivelisse” – Ivelisse currently has red hair. Ravens are black.
“The flame burns on the porch of destruction.”
noted they had done too many sports puns, immediately does a sports pun
“I don’t need to do the math for you” – he immediately then did the math
“Sexy Star is what Lucha Underground is all about.”
Striker didn’t have the line of the night. That’s either Vampiro’s line at the end of the show, or this one to send it to the first match:
“If you are a fan of intergender wrestling, you don’t have to wait until the main event!”
Never has there been a more blatant trolling line on a wrestling show. That line was written to anger people. I haven’t been on Twitter tonight, but I’m assuming it worked as planned. The small issues is this entire show felt like a troll. If last week was everything people love about Lucha Underground, this was pretty close to everything that turns (some) people off from Lucha Underground. Vaguely distressing intergender wrestling, check! Unreal and sometimes hard to follow sci fi plotlines, check! Sexy Star being treated as a super wrestler while having bad matches, check and double check! The announcers, who treated the first half of Texano/Cage with disinterest because of the obvious certainty of the outcome, don’t even make the list this week. Striker’s line about Sexy Star being what Lucha Underground is about felt distressingly accurate during this show.
That main event. I don’t know. I think Sexy Star wouldn’t have put Sexy Star as over as strong Lucha Underground put her over tonight; they went over the top to make you know the result didn’t matter and Sexy is as great as ever. I kind of understand why, I know what’s coming and why they don’t want to diminish her going into it, but then maybe they shouldn’t have laid out a match where Mundo basically humiliates Sexy Star for about five minutes until the ref goes down. It was clear, not just from a “yow, Sexy Star’s offense looks bad and she’s taking way too many steps” reality view that Sexy Star is not in Johnny Mundo’s league, but the match itself was so the opposite of the Sexy/Jack match for a long time. Sexy didn’t seem credible, and she didn’t come off as sympathetic – not while trying to be strong in the skit with the vignette, not by whining to the referee about not getting the three count. (The announcers tried to cover for Sexy Star’s early ineptitude by explaining Sexy doesn’t really get going until she gets hit, but if the concept is that the domestic violence survivor only can find strength when she’s physically attacked – no no no this is a terrible concept, I need a new paragraph to cleanse myself of this.)
There’s obviously something Lucha Underground sees in Sexy Star as a face, but they’ve failed to communicate that in her actions and are relying on people projecting their own feelings onto her. That’s really hard for me to do with the last decade plus I’ve seen of Sexy Star. This was supposed to be a moment where we hated Johnny Mundo for stealing the title away from victimized Sexy Star, but the difference in talent between them is so obvious and the match itself was so ridiculous that I just hated the whole thing.
(Having the Mack make the save was a nice touch, anyway.)
This show can be bipolar. Vampiro leading into the opener by pushing the idea of this great intergender concept, and the story of the match itself being a win for Marty because he’s much bigger and a man and maybe making Ivelisse wrestler intergender (or at least people twice her size) is really actually dumb – which way did they want it? Ivelisse did pin Mil, on a surprise roll up after interference spot went bad (something that could’ve been referenced here but was not), but that’s now even more clearly positioned as a fluke. And, in the end, it’s clearly set up where Ivelisse is going to need Jeremiah’s help to win this battle against the Moths, because she’s not enough to do it on her own. I’m not sure what the alternative is (Ivelisse choking out a still hurt Marty in the first match, Mariposa beating Ivelisse in the second to make it more about numbers), but if the concept of the intergender is that the women are just as capable as the men, then this episode was fighting back against that concept. Ivelisse wasn’t as good as Marty, Sexy Star wasn’t as good as Mundo until she was suddenly overwhelming much better than Mundo. The words don’t match up to the acts if you pay attention.
Cage and Texano got the most time so far, and smartly used the early portion to brawl outside instead of going for lots of near falls. It was going to get the crowd to care for a while because the outcome isn’t in doubt – that’s why you make these 1-1 after two matches, so there’s only one dead match instead of two – but they did enough that the fans got into by the end. The announcers themselves went from a little bit of goofing around and not being into it (I’m pretty sure Vampiro pronounced both guys to be the least nervous in the first two minutes) to enjoying the last few minutes. These matches aren’t knocking me dead, but they are improving. The fifth match should be something, which I wasn’t sure about before.
I wish the announcers would find something else to talk about than hooking the leg. It’s so repetitive, it doesn’t help the wrestlers get over the match, and it’s so repetitive.
The vignettes were all generally good. I don’t have a big problem with the god possessing the winner of the Best of 5 deal, but I could only think about how that was going to push people’s buttons while watching it. Prince Puma’s was portrayed as someone Konnan could manipulate in season 1, so Vampiro doing the same isn’t a stretch. There’s still more Rabbit Tribe footage in the trailer that we haven’t seen, so I don’t actually have much hope we’ll see them soon. I wish there was some follow up on the Killshot bit from last week, but that’s the issue with having only 44 minutes to work with a week. (Still, I’d been happy to take a couple away from that main event.)