Pentagon Dark b Doku (6:10, ref stop broken arm, OK)
Pentagon Dark b Yorei (7:10, ref stop broken arm, good)
Hitokiri b Pentagon Dark b (12:46, Far East Destroyer, good)
(Black Lotus vs Pentagon Dark never really starts.)
Pentagon Dark’s battle against the Black Lotus Triad took up the entire hour. (Helpfully, the introduction recapped the build up to this feud and nothing else.) Pentagon faced the three new women one by one. Doku tried to strike with Pentagon, and quickly paid the price. Pentagon brutally destroyed her for a long period of time before Doku was able to mount a comeback. Doku landed a famous elbow drop, but went for it again and was caught in the armbreaker.
Yorei found more success with speed and traditional moves, then even beat an off balance Pentagon around the ringside area. (She tried to use the ring bell on him, with comically soft results.) Pentagon was able to turn it around once they got back in the ring, smiling Yorei made one more charge, but was caught right in position for the package piledriver. She was done, but Pentagon made sure to break her arm too.
Hitokiri had the best plan, sneaking in behind Pentagon, dropkicking him out of the ring, and then taking him out first with a moonsault, and then a tope. This was the most back and forth of the matches, the longest, and maybe most violent. Hitokiri even dove off Dario’s office (the first woman to do so, which might be a bigger trophy than winning the title in Lucha Underground.) Pentagon tried to break her arm, but instead was beaten by Hitokiri’s Far East Destroyer for the second time.
The final match, with Black Lotus, never really took place. Lotus decked the referee before he could call for the bell. Yorei & Doku returned to help Lotus and Hitokiri break Pentagon’s arm. Pentagon was too worn down to fight back. As soon as they did, Dragon Azteca appeared on the stairs. Azteca came to the ring and, despite their antagonistic history, Azteca & Lotus didn’t fight. Lotus took the Triad away while Azteca grabbed Pentagon’s good arm, and broke that too. Pentagon broke both Azteca and Lotus’ arms at Ultima Lucha 2, and they both broke his arms tonight. Vampiro, who’s been thrilled by the violence (in general and to Pentagon Jr. in particular) was very pleased by the outcome.
That wasn’t the last of Vampiro. The show closed with a shot of Prince Puma waking up in a half opened casket, with a demonic Vampiro looking over him. Vampiro told Puma to come with him as the show ended.
There were no other matches on the show, but a couple of other vignettes. Catrina ran into Jeremiah Crane, who seemed hopeful Ivelisse would return in time to face Catrina as Ultima Lucha 3. Catrina wasn’t there to really talk about that, but the necklace Crane’s been wearing (one that’s been unremarked upon until this point.) Catrina claimed the stone in the necklace was from her Stone, and “his flesh” was here for her; he was still in love with Catrina. Catrina declared she was in love with someone else. She could’ve meant Mil Muertes or Fenix by that, and she could’ve meant some ancestor of Crane was in love with her. As with most Catrina segments, the truth wasn’t really clear, but it was accurate enough to leave Crane uncomfortable.
We did briefly see Dario Cueto, attempting to make the obvious match from Aztec Warfare 3: his brother Matanza getting a title rematch against Johnny Mundo. Matanza loudly bellowed he didn’t want that, much to Dario’s confusion. Matanza wants revenge on Mysterio instead, revaling he’d bloodied his fists by pound the wall, and used the blood to draw a question mask. Dario was freaked out. It was that kind of episode.
Matt Striker: “It’s violent, it’s disturbing – and Vamp, it is awesome.”
Vampiro: “I’m so happy.”
Vampiro’s occupied and delighted all episode by the violence. Both just the existence of the violence, and that it happens to be his old estranged student Pentagon. We’re meant to be a little concerned by his behavior. Striker’s the voice of the writers, and his line was more a mission statement of what we were supposed to feel. I was most of the way there. It was definitely violent and it was definitely disturbing.
Near the end of the show, I wrote about how this episode would likely be more polarizing than even Sexy Star winning. I got some push back on that, and it’s not with out merit. If you’ve found yourself uncomfortable with men on women violence, you probably have not made it to episode #80 of this series. (Though, I’d expect – just like with the Sexy Star win – those who did give up on this show to react to this as validation for their decision.) Those who are left have made either no issue with it at all on a scripted television show, or have decided the overall positives of the show outweigh the negatives. I think I started out in the first category and moved to the second somewhere along the line, and then felt myself moving past that a bit tonight.
I know these are all trained skilled professionals. I know the women would and probably have taken the same level of punishment in matches against other women as they took from Pentagon. The rational part of my brain knows Pentagon and Doku performed an excellent looking superkick spot, and still the irrational part is not all entertained by seeing that man kick that woman very hard. This is a ruthlessly rational website, and yet that’s not the part of the brain that’s winning this argument.
The match with Yorei was the most resembling a normal wrestling match (and, thanks the comedic bell shot, definitely the least violent.) The opener with Doku, and large portions of the fight with Hitokiri, were disturbing and meant to be so. The best art leaves you a little disquieted. It’s a too much to call an episode of Lucha Underground art, but they definitely wanted to get feelings out of people and they surely succeeded.
One bit I’m sure they wanted to get out is Pentagon, at least up until the end of this episode, was meant to be the bad guy in all of this. Striker had the unenviable task of trying to portray the rabid Temple crowd as secretly trolling Pentagon by loudly chanting his catch phrase. I’m not sure a single person bought into it, but it was obviously a way to prepare the audience for both Black Lotus and Dragon Azteca getting their revenge without making them into the bad guys. (This might be the first time Azteca has actually succeeded at something since the trios title win!) This was Pentagon’s past catching up to him, and hopefully he’s reborn without baggage when he comes back. The Puma/Vampiro skit suggests he (or we) won’t be that lucky.
In a more strictly wrestling perspective, Pentagon took the loss and had his arms broken, and he still seems more over than when he started the night. The deadliest man has been crippled twice in two seasons and still comes across as ferocious in the process. And, while all three women did fine for themselves (and looked more gifted than “the best athlete in Lucha Underground, Sexy Star”), Hitokiri shined brightest. She’s obviously a superstar, they realized it enough to make sure she was the one who didn’t get her arm broken, and I hope they do whatever they can to get her back for Season 4. (Sadly, it’s one match an out for Season 3.)
I liked the Crane/Catrina segment, if only to look forward everyone else trying to make head or tails out of it. If El Rey had the budget for these things, they ought to cut together a special of Catrina’s scenes with in between explainers to help people out with the plot. (Or, maybe a fan should do it, if it was possible to do those sort of things on YouTube without getting a takedown notice.) Matanza came across menacing in his promo, though the bloody hands might be some unfortunate foreshadowing. The Puma/Vampiro bit to end was a nice bit of weirdness, and probably an intentional call back to Catrina/Mil reawakening scene in episode 1. Coming back from the dead has it’s consequences.
- Yorei’s plancha
- Yorei’s double stomp
- Yorei’s spinning DDT
- Pentagon’s dropkick to a handspring-ing Hitokiri