Cage defeated Texano, Dr. Wagner & Joey Ryan [X] (8:37, Texano powerbomb→Cage stealing the pin, good) in a Battle of the Bulls Semifinal
Sexy Star defeats PJ Black (6:28, ok, sunset flip into inside cradle )
The Mack b Mil Muertes, Dragon Azteca, Marty Martinez [X] in a Battle of the Bulls Semifinal (8:36, running stunner on Marty, good)
After some weeks of lots of unconventional drama, this week’s episode of Lucha Underground was more of a traditional wrestling show. A tournament, new feuds, and the back story of the Snake Tribe army. Maybe that last one isn’t so normal.
Dario had a busy, if unhappy night, setting up matches for the future. There’s a lack of contenders with Matanza unwilling to take his rematch, so Cueto took a couple steps to get Mundo some opponents. First, Sexy Star was given a match against PJ Black, where she’d get a cage match with Mundo if she won, and be denied any more shots if she lost. She won, of course, thanks to some botched interference from Jack Evans and will get that cage match at some point in the future.
Dario’s other plan to determine a challenger is a 16 person tournament called the “Battle of the Bulls.” It’s a series of four way matches, one fall to a finish, with the winners facing off in another four way for a title shot. Cage won the first semifinal to open the show, and the Mack got a bit of a surprise win in the second semifinal.
We know Angelico will be in one of the semifinals next week. Dario offered him the spot in lieu of getting him the direct shot at Mundo he wants, forcing Angelico to earn the chance instead. We know Matanza won’t be in the tournament. He originally had Dragon Azteca’s spot, but is set on facing Mysterio and Mysterio only. That’s not happening any time soon, as Mysterio is out injured after Matazna’s attack. Dario used Azteca as showcase of what could happen to Matanza if he stays focused only revenge: this was Dragon Azteca’s first match in nearly two months because he was so set on revenge against Chavo Guerrero that it got his head nearly caved in. Matanza responded to this thought by grabbing Dario’s head, bashing into it into the cage, and using the key to free himself. Matanza decided Mysterio’s protege was the next best thing to Rey and attacked him in the main event. A bloody Dario appeared to lead Matanza away with the key. The interference still cost Azteca the win, though Azteca was in the process of costing it himself by not going for a pin when he should’ve.
We also know the Texano/Cage Best of 5 is still ongoing, though it doesn’t seem to be going on right now. They’d have to sneak in match four next week to keep going, because Cage is going to be busy with this tournament final soon enough. Texano & Cage did keep the issue going by feuding in their match.
In a scene disconnected from everything else, Kobra Moon gave her side of the breakup with Drago: there was a Snake Tribe war against an enemy, one of the generals (Drago) abandoned them, and they lost badly. Kobra, sitting on a new snake throne and apparently now the Queen of her tribe, revealed two soldiers who had survived. One was a reptile, one was a dinosaur looking guy, and both are going after Drago in revenge.
One more plot moved slightly alone: Officer Cortez, with an arm in a sling, reported back to the captain that his cover was blown. The captain has figured out enough about Joey not to trust him to be in their alone, so she pulled a mask out of her drawer and encouraged Cortez to go back while hiding his identity. Sneaking a guy who’s been seen under a mask to hide his identity seems so unlikely to work in Lucha Underground, but I guess it’s worth a shot. I just want to know why Captain Vazquez had a mask sitting in her desk.
I don’t think I have all that many. Both tournament matches were all right. The first one was more all over the place and didn’t settle in for quite some time, with most of the focus on Texano & Cage. I liked the second one a bit more, though it was still nothing super memorable. The Mack is getting some attention suddenly, having finished third at Aztec Warfare, moving to the final here, and being Sexy Star’s one friend. He’s not normally a contender, but he could work as a challenger against Sexy or Mundo at the moment.
Sexy Star/PJ Black was a pile of whatever. It was fine, I guess. Sexy’s supposed to be resilient, taking all the offense from PJ but refining to give up. In practice, it comes off as she’s just giving up selling at points, popping back to life perfectly fine to get in her offense. Sexy can’t seem to win or lose by herself; it’s weird they she could beat Muertes but they had to do the Jack interference to protect PJ. I’m really done with Sexy Star singles matches. There’s so many more interesting people they could be spending time on instead of her. There was no way she was losing this match, but there’s no interest in having her beat Mundo. Even if I liked her wrestling, there’s so many other people to see.
The Kobra Moon ex plainer looked great, but she came off stilted. Maybe it was something with the editing, because there were many different camera switches and transition bits during it. For what it’s worth, the Snake Tribe friends are new people to the program, not ditched wrestlers being recycled. The Dario/Matanza was really well done. Matanza attacking his brother made sense but was a surprise when it happened, and they left Dario’s status unclear until he popped up in the main event. I guess Matanza will find someone else to play with while he’s waiting for Rey, but they’re keeping him far away from the title for the moment.
Recapped: 12/06/2016 What happened: Ephesto pulled Guerrero’s mask to set up a DQ. Pequeño Violencia was hurt or in no condition to wrestle or something, and CMLL was so angry at him that let him go back to the ring a second time.
In the wrap up, JCR very slightly teased big shows yet to come for this year, but it was such a small thing that it could’ve just been a generic mention with nothing in mind. Maybe this sentence is just proof I watched the entire thing.
What was good: The fourth match, with the Panthers, Drone and the Nuevo Dinamitas, was great.
Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel.Read More
CMLL (TUE) 12/06/2016Arena México [CMLL, CultIcon, thecubsfan, Yahoo! Deportes]
1) Acero & Aéreo b Pequeño Universo 2000 & Pequeño Violencia 9:56. Tecnicos took 2/3, Pequeno Violencia was terrible.
2) Inquisidor, Metálico, Nitro b Príncipe Diamante, Robin, Sangre Imperial 18:52. Rudos took 1/3. Robin replaced Sensei on Monday Inquisidor replaced Arkangel.
3) Raziel b Star Jr. [lightning] 8:16. Raizel submitted Star Jr.
4) Blue Panther Jr., Drone, The Panther b El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón 10:50. Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Blue Panther, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa DQ Ephesto, Luciferno, Pierroth 8:26. Tecnicos won in straight falls, the last when Ephesto unmasked Maya to set up a singles match.
6) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Carístico b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja 9:42. Tecnicos took 2/3.
What I got from this show is Inquisidor’s beard is out of control and someone (Polvora?) needs to buy him a beard trimmer for Christmas. There was also wrestling. The fourth match is worth going out of your way to see. Most of the rest was Tuesday show. Pequeno Violencia appeared to be either totally disinterested, wrestling injured or in no condition to wrestle for other reasons in the opener. (He did not wear his face paint, which was always the tell when Mr. Aguila would show up in no condition.) Violencia all but laid down to get pinned in the third fall. CMLL punished him by letting him second Pierroth for his match later. My recap will be up today or tomorrow depending on when I get done with the Gifs.
Tonight’s Lucha Underground (03×14) is “The Bulls of Boyle Heights”
Texano Jr. vs Cage vs Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Joey Ryan in a Battle of the Bulls tournament (video clip)
LU teased match 4 of Texano/Cage via photo, but that video preview reveals they’re up to something else. Maybe Dario will explain why the Best of 5 seems to have been put on the shelf. That soul/god/whatever is going to be stuck in his box for so long. I’ve got a guess that second match is also part of the tournament. CultIcon also previews this show.
The highlight of that preview video clip is Striker deciding to describe everyone with just one word, and then running out of ideas after one person. It’s the audio equivalent of someone trying to pull the tablecloth off and all the dishes tumbling onto the floor.
Lucha Underground executive producer Eric Van Wagenen was on the Mid Week War podcast this past week, talking about the Pentagon Jr./Black Triad episode and other things with Lucha Underground. I did story points first and big picture stuff second last time, so let’s needlessly switch that around. There’s still no info on when Season 4 might happen, but some on the mindset on Season 4:
Season 4 has really got to be a make or break for us – we really have to step on the gas when it comes to touring, merchandise, and a second or a third way of seeing the episodes. Right now, if we put it out there, the eyeballs are more important to us than the money, if we can grow eyeballs, the money will follow.
LU to Netflix isn’t dead, but he was careful not to mention it by name (seemingly to get people’s hopes up.) There was one change planned for season 4: Van Wagenen felt they were burning on the fans/staff/luchadors by taping 5-6 episodes per weekend, so they’re cutting back. Each taping will tape two episodes, each weekend four, which makes 10 weekends for 40 episodes. None of that is certain until they get the pick up, but the third show tapings. They feel the Cricket sponsored shows were useful as proof that they draw a crowd beyond those who just get El Rey, and they’re talking with a promoter about running shows in the Spring, but it doesn’t seem close at the moment.
The title changes came up here; I think it says something positive for LU that people care about the title reigns to still be discussing that change. Between the different interviews, it seems pretty clear the plan was always to go from Matanza to ??? for one week to Johnny Mundo, and the ??? was the only thing that changed along the way. (No hints at who else it could’ve been; I wonder if the other person even knows.) They really wanted to get title to Johnny but beating they didn’t want to go directly from Matanza to him.
They’re really happy with last week’s episode. The only problem was they expected the matches to last the full episode, and they went faster than they were expecting. The matches were barely touched in editing for that reason (“maybe the least edited matches in LU”), and vignettes scheduled from other episodes were moved into this one to fill out the time. This possibly only matters to myself and CultIcon, but that’s why the Crane/Catrina vignette aired a week late. Io Shirai & Pentagon worked out their match in Spanish, which caught them off guard – they didn’t know she had trained in Mexico. Io had never done the finish she used before this taping, and Pentagon & Io testing it out was a bit frighting.
Some random odds and ends, more of which you can hear if you listen to the podcast: the Crane/Catrina pairing was a plan from Crane’s debut, not something thrown together because Ivelisse was hurt. Crane & Dante were the two who kept EVW up at night the most with their risk taking in matches, and their best work is still to come on this season. MGM legal declared no foreigner was allowed on set without having the immigration papers completely worked out, which luchadors aren’t always great at taking care of, and it caused a few close calls and changes. Daga was not so lucky: they like him, but they couldn’t use him for those reasons, and so “Lord Pinder tore him to shreds” was a way to write him out when they weren’t sure if they’d get him back. (Since we still haven’t seen those scenes with Daga & the sword, and I don’t think they flew to Mexico to do them, that’s probably not the end of the story.)
Los Revolucionarios attended a series of lectures on the actual Mexican revolutionaries. As I am a foreigner with an appalling lack of appreciation for Mexican history, the most interesting thing to me here was CMLL actually acknowledging Bobby Z as part of the trio. He’s the captain of their army (Polvora is a coronel, Dragon Rojo a general.)
There’s an ongoing community dispute in the area of Coyoacán. A building that was originally a movie was shut down in 2014 when owners tried to convert it to a lucha libre arena without having the right permits. Those owners, or someone else, new have started working on the building to turn it into a lucha libre arena again, seemingly still without having got the permits. The neighbors, who’d like it to just be back to being a movie theater, are unhappy. There was a protest in front of the site yesterday and they’re equally upset at the government for not stopping the owners. A new lucha libre arena in Mexico City would probably attract attention from lucha libre promoters.
IWRG’s annual royal rumble match almost got forgot this year. Last year’s winner is Ricky Cruz, who isn’t around now (he’s in GALLI that same day.) Speaking of people who aren’t around: Hip Hop Man may have returned to Argentina, but he forgot to win his title back! Early match guys Dragon Fly & Demonio Infernal will fight for it in the meantime.
UG pointed out how many times Valiente has challenged (and failed) already, which made me feel like Valiente might actually win because that seems odd to point out otherwise. On the other hand, Ultimo Guerrero. UG and Hector Garza once did a feud where it took Garza until his fifth challenge to win the heavyweight title and maybe they do the same here. Or maybe UG beats Valiente twice in a row after the Universal tournament win.
I don’t know what they’re setting up in the semimain and I’m probably not going to like it. This is Rush’s return to Mexico; he lost the match he had to win in World Tag League and will finish out of the running, and reports on his performance have generally been mildly negative. (I have a NJPW World subscription but haven’t bothered to watch.)
Astral is back in circulation so his teased feud with Mini Joker is also back. 12/26 makes sense for a big show.
CMLL (TUE) 12/13/2016Arena México
1) Fantasy & Último Dragóncito vs Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Violencia
2) Magia Blanca, Oro Jr., Príncipe Diamante vs Cancerbero, Raziel, Sangre Azteca
3) Blue Panther Jr., Pegasso, The Panther vs El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Blue Panther, Drone, Fuego vs Bobby Z, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys
5) Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Ephesto
6) Dragón Lee, Stuka Jr., Volador Jr. vs Hechicero, Luciferno, Mephisto
I dunno why they’re doing Maya/Ephesto. If it’s a general philosophy switch of doing more (or any) midcard non-title feuds, it wouldn’t have been one I’d pick but at least it’s a start. Ephesto definitely is in the point of his career where any feud he has could be the last big one. A bigger match is a possibility with the holidays coming up, but would he lose his mask right before going to Japan? Seems unlikely. Let’s assume CMLL randomness and move on.
Third match is a rematch from this week, only Drone got moved up and Pegasso’s back around. In theory, the second match could be Magia Blanca’s last masked match in CMLL if he loses his mask match in Cueranavaca in Thursday (but I think we can guess how that’s going to go.) Principe Diamante is getting booked a lot. Pequeno Violencia shouldn’t be booked at all.
CMLL (TUE) 12/13/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Explosivo & Sky Kid vs Furia Roja & Sádico
2) El Divino, Robin, Sensei vs Grako, Maléfico, Metálico
3) Esfinge, Soberano Jr., Stigma vs Disturbio, Nitro, Virus
4) Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa vs Kráneo, Olímpico, Ripper
5) Atlantis, Máximo Sexy, Valiente vs Niebla Roja, Terrible, Último Guerrero
Valiente & Ultimo Guerrero are the only repeats from last night’s show, which suggests they’re feuding here too. They’re one week behind in that program, which would suggest a title match on 12/20 (or maybe even 12/27) and normally not a title change in Puebla.
The full lineup for the DTU show is pretty much what we expected. The poster cautions that the first three matches will be exclusively for the live crowd, with the streaming pick up with generation battle. I’d expect the order of the matches to change on the day of the show, because it doesn’t make sense for the Casas/Flamtia/Ronnie match to go out after they’ve changed the ropes to barbed wire (“rancho de texas”.) The details for the iPPV are supposed to be on DTU.com.mx, but weren’t up there last time I checked.
What happened:Valiente beat Último Guerrero, twice, to set up a title shot next week.
What was good: Every single match was rated OK, which is not a positive show and not a really great help to you. Most were towards the upwards level of OK, flawed but with some value. Third match was the best match of the night for me.
Where can I watch it:It’s on CMLL’s channel.Read More