Lucha Underground 3×13: Breaker of Bones

this was perfect
this was perfect

Matches

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.)

Developments

Pentagon wasn't playing
Pentagon wasn’t playing

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.

elbow drop did look great
elbow drop did look great

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.

simple spots can look vicious
simple spots can look vicious

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.

Thoughts

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.

lands the tope and avoids the stairs
lands the tope and avoids the stairs

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.

maybe the most brutal moment
maybe the most brutal moment

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.

this dive and Pentagon's bump
this dive and Pentagon’s bump

Extra Gifs:

 

Pentagon versus the Black Lotus Triad tonight, LU notes, CMLL Tuesday results

a Fuego GIF
a Fuego GIF

CMLL (TUE) 11/29/2016 Arena México [CMLL, Culticon]
1) Bengala & Sensei b Apocalipsis & Grako LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 29 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Sensei replaced Leono.
2) Astral, Eléctrico, Último Dragóncito b Mercurio, Pequeño Nitro, Pequeño Olímpico LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 29 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Fuego b Forastero [lightning] LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 29 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Forastero replaced Arkangel.
4) Misterioso Jr., Olímpico, Sagrado b Oro Jr., Pegasso, Star Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 29 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
5) Ephesto, Luciferno, Pierroth b Blue Panther, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 29 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Pierroth replaced Ripper. Rudos won in straight falls, Ephesto sneaking in a foul Maya.
6) Ripper, Shocker, Vangellys b Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Mistico LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 29 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Ripper replaced Mephisto (though Pierroth was listed there this morning.) Rudos took 1/3.

I didn’t watch the card. It seemed OK. The deal with Pierroth remains weird.

Diamante Azul is off all cards. Volador replaces him Saturday. Atlantis is in on Sunday. Not sure if it’s an an injury or he’s gone back to France (he indicated he wouldn’t be going back any time soon on his last Informa appearance.) Forastero also replaces Sangre Azteca on Sunday.

Today’s Lucha Underground episode is 3×13, “Breaker of Bones”. Matches announced

  • Pentagon versus the Black Lotus Triad
  • and nothing else

Lucha Underground has revealed the names of the Triad: Doku (Kairi Hojo), Yuri (Mayu Iwatani), Hitokiri (Io Shirai – or Oyuki if you have a deep memory of short term AAA gimmicks.) The clip they’ve released appears to be the open of the show, which leads into Pentagon Dark versus Doku. (Also, Vampiro telling scary campfire stories.) There’s no other match hinted at, which suggests the gauntlet may last the whole hour. I’m just not sure how that’ll work; if they go one match per segment, they’re still short at least a segment. Maybe there’s another match or surprise coming, but I generally suspect they’ll catch up with a lot of other people in cut scenes.

Lucha Underground EVP Eric Van Wagenen was on last week’s Masks, Mats & Mayhem for about the first half of the show. He was very excited for this week’s episode, saying it’s a rare episode where he watched the live cut of the show the same night it happened because he just wanted to see it again. For him, it’s one of their “top two or three” episodes. They love the Stardom women. DeJoseph saw them at the first Stardom USA show and call Van Wagenen raving: “I just saw the three greatest female Japanese wrestlers, and one of them (Io) is the Japanese Fenix. You’ve got to check them out.” Van Wagenen went the next day to see the second show, was similarly impressed, and tried to sign them right away. I had thought they were only used for a limited time because the travel/cost, but Van Wagenen says he was told their schedule was already pretty much full. Shirai, Hojo, and Iwatani happened to be coming over this weekend for a convention, so they worked the scheduled around it.

(Mia Yim/Jade and Santana Garrett were mentioned as two others LU tried to sign off those Stardom shows. I think they came up before.)

There was a fair bit of talk about the Sexy Star title win and loss. To his knowledge, Sexy was not the long term original plan, but something that came up “fairly close to the match.” Chris DeJoseph and Chris Roach dropped the idea on him, he asked “you know we’re going get shit on for doing this, right?”, they did, and they went with it. The general idea they don’t want to ever be playing it safe: “We’re not traditional, and we don’t want to be traditional.” Once they decided to do a title match, it was always meant to be a one episode thing, they didn’t have cold feet and change their minds or anything. Van Wagenen’s feeling is the fan reactions the last couple weeks was about what they expected, but more towards the positive side, and they figure/hope that if you don’t like that, there’s something else they’re doing that’d keep you watching.

That did leave me – and the hosts – with one big question: if Sexy Star was a late decision, who was supposed to be champion? Van Wagenen was evasive on that, only saying they had to change the first half of the season because of “injuries and other travel issues.” Angelico & Ivelisse are the most obvious injured people, and the hosts pressed about Ivelisse. Van Wagenen thinks the fans would’ve bought into it, and the Season 2 opener was testing the waters for it, but didn’t seem to think it was the plan.

(The travel issue might have been related to Taya based on a later discussion, or it might have been more people. Travel/immigration comes up again when talking about a discussion about who’s really dead, so maybe it was a Daga joke?)

The other thing that came up about the title change was the shot of the four women in the front row cheering for Sexy Star right at the finish. Plenty of people, myself included, wondered if they were plants. Van Wagenen’s explanation is they were the wife of a cameraman and her three girlfriends, in Los Angeles for a bachelorette party. They were on VIP guest passes, and they were moved to a camera friendly position as part of a normal policy of trying to make the crowd look as diverse as possible on TV. (That’s a thing you can do when you don’t charge for tickets.) Van Wagenen were not paid to be there, and the show generally can’t afford to pay to cast people as plants if even they wanted to do that. Later, when talking about the camera people who love to work on the show for the experience, Van Wagenen mentions an Emmy award winning cameraman turning up one weekend to ask to film the show, but they had no room in their budget to pay him. (In that case, the camera guy still wanted to work for free, and they used the footage for some of the “previously” show opens.)

The big picture question is when Season 4 will be taped. That’s still up in the air. It won’t be January, and the closest to a date is Van Wagenen saying “Ideally, we’re taping in the spring”, to avoid taping in the hot summer. He was careful with his words, noting a lot of things are in the air. He made it clear he expects the show will return for season 4, but as of yet they don’t have a pick up or a set budget and don’t expect to have that by the end of this year. They can’t work on taping dates until that happens.

I’m already cribbing too much, so I’ll cut if off there. You should go listen to the podcast for the stories about Mil Muertes punching Van Wagenen at the last LU live event and why there were so many Rabbit Tribe vignettes.

CultIcon has a preview of the show.

Kahn-Del-Mal promoted the upcoming Chilapancingo taping as “the last one before Guerra de Titanes.” My guess has been AAA would start 2017 with their usual year end show (which I guess is now the usual year start show) and that seems to be happening. The date and location is still unknown; it was 01/22 in Mexico City this year.

A LA Park vs Pentagon vs Pagano match in Nuevo Laredo ended with some of the usual challenges, but also LA Park expressing his feelings about AAA’s office (and portraying Pentagon as their puppet.)

Averno brags about the OGT’s trios title win and Drago & Aerostar talk about their tag title match.

CMLL’s health announcement with the senate turned out to be participation in a campaign against prostate cancer. Hechicero & Estrellita represented CMLL. The cancer is currently not discovered/treated until it’s in an advance state for 75% of Mexican men, so they’re working on prevention and awareness in a campaign starting next year. Hechicero says his father has fought this cancer for 20 years.

CaraLuchas says the Hechicero/Fly Warrior vs Ultimo Guerrero/Templario match on 12/03 will be the first part of a Gran Alternativa like tournament they’re doing. They’ll be announcing more on this tournament later today.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report, including a recap of the newly named +LuchaTV podcast, EN+CARADOS. On that podcast, Extreme Tiger said he’ll be out 2-3 months after hurting his shoulder on The Crash. The podcast also mentions Caifan said Sunday was his final Lucha Memes show, though no one seemed to know why.

Kcidis draws LA Park & Rush’s Christmas wishes.

Bandido sees his first season in Elite as improving from making a lot of errors in his debut to improving enough to win the welterweight title match in the end. (That generally would be true if not for the harsh ending to the title match.)

The New Yorker has a video story on Cassandro.

CultIcon pleads for Valiente to put on some pants.

Lineups

CMLL (TUE) 12/06/2016 Arena México
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Pequeño Universo 2000 & Pequeño Violencia
2) Príncipe Diamante, Sangre Imperial, Sensei vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Metálico, Nitro
3) Star Jr. vs Raziel [lightning]
4) Blue Panther Jr., Drone, The Panther vs El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
5) Blue Panther, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Pierroth
6) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Carístico vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja

Semimain is a rematch; not sure if Ephesto/Maya has a better chance than Ephesto/Idol but who knows. Fourth match should be fun. Principe Diamante gets booked two straight weeks, which maybe justifies working all year for a bodybuilding contest.

CMLL (TUE) 12/06/2016 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Mágico & Reyko vs Carlo Roggi & Thunder Boy
2) Leono, Magnum, Star Black vs Artillero, Ráfaga, Rey Trueno
3) Princesa Sugehit, Silueta, Skadi vs Amapola, La Comandante, La Seductora
4) Johnny Idol, Máximo Sexy, Titán vs Cavernario, Felino, Terrible
5) Mistico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs La Máscara, Mr. Niebla, Último Guerrero

A Sky Team main event with Mr. Niebla.

CMLL Puebla: 2016-11-28

gun fight
gun fight

Recapped: 11/29/2016

What happened: Valiente & Ultimo Guerrero are feuding too.

What was good: The tercera was fun in the usual way terceras are.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel now and 52MX in a couple weekends. Read More