In Block A matches of the Cueto Cup.
The Mack defeated Mala Suerte (7:30 Stunner, ok)
Pentagon Dark beat Argenis (5:43, package piledriver, ok)
Texano beat Famous B (0:25, sit down powerbomb, ok )
Drago beat Aerostar (7:23 Dragon’s Lair, good)
(Second rounds matches will be Drago vs Pentagon and Texano & the Mack.)
Uh, where to start? This episode (and the next three) are all first round matches in Dario Cueto’s 32 person Cueto Cup. The winner faces the winner of Rey Mysterio/Johnny Mundo for the Lucha Underground championship at Ultima Lucha. We know the bracket because Lucha Underground posted it on social media but, for the purposes of the story, it appears Dario is still putting it together as the show starts. (At the very least, he’s still assembling it on his own big bracket board.) It’s not clear if the announcers know the matchups – they do most of the show, but Striker is surprised by Pentagon Dark appearing. Only this week’s block of matches is shown on the tournament graphic they used.
Rey Mysterio & Johnny Mundo aren’t around, but we got a video package giving their backgroudn as they set up for the fight. It seemed like the beginning of something we might be seeing for a few weeks.
There’s no story to Mack/Suerte, Suerte just lasts longer than expected. Same really for Argenis, thogh Striker notes this is a rematch from season 1. It ends the same way, with the package piledriver and an arm break. Pentagon definitely hasn’t learned his lesson about breaking random people’s arms and still seems to want revenge on Black Lotus. Dario tells him Lotus has gone back to Hong Kong (unclear if he’s telling the truth) and gives Pentagon the tournament spot as a way to keep him from breaking Dario’s arm. Pentagon warns Dario that he’s either going to be champion at Última Lucha 3 or he’s going to break Dario’s arm at Ultima Lucha 3. Dario doesn’t seem thrilled with either possibility.
Famous B offers to throw his match with Texano in exchange for Texano taking Famous B on as his manager. Texano declines, powerbombing Famous B quickly instead. Texano and Brenda keep flirting though.
Drago and Aerostar was the match with the most attention to it. Drago is now wearing red, and still is has the collar and leash, even though it doesn’t seem like he’s going to leave. Drago’s in a weird place: he’s mostly under Kobra Moon’s control and responds quickly to her orders, but there’s still a little bit of his técnico side left in him causing him to hesitate when left uninstructed. Aerostar tried to talk some sense into his friend, then tried to springboard some sense into his friend. Neither worked.
In between, Dario caught up with Cage. Cage is wearing the metal glove all the time now. It’s later revealed the mental control the glove has over him is making it impossible for him to take it off. Dario insists Cage visit Councilman Delgado (even offering to trans!), and Cage eventually relents and agrees. Cage goes to city hall, where Delgado clearly is seeing Cage less as a person and more as an empty vessel to pour their ideas and/or god in. Cage argues and nearly punches Delgado, apologizes, and then loses it when Delgado calls him just a man. He’s not a man, he’s a machine, Cage explains as he punches Delgado so hard in the head that Delgado’s head explodes. The closing shot is an unbothered Cage walking away from Delgado’s headless corpse, squishing an eyeball with his foot.
Is it good if I’m laughing for a couple minutes after the show ends? I think it might be good, but I’m not sure if it’s meant to be that way. That closing scene, which will totally overshadow any thoughts about the matches on this show, came off going so far over the top as a challenge to the critics: “you thought we were going too far with our murders on this show? Well, here’s far we’re really willing to go, check the eyeball!” It was so over the top that it was hard to take seriously and maybe not meant to be taken that way.
It also seems to have major plot ramifications. A decapitated body in City Hall is going to be noticed, even in this universe. The police plot was about getting to Delgado and his people, so where does that go now? Dario and his people have to know they’re going to have a hard time possessing Cage or whatever it is they’re doing if he’s smashing heads, so what happens there?
Drago/Aerostar was the match of the night for me. It wasn’t the match the announcers were making it out to be, and it didn’t work for a story of two guys now more aggressively fighting each other because of the break up. It actually was Aerostar going full Aerostar, unloading his notable of tricky lucha moves because he might not get work with a guy he trusts as much as Drago again on this show and so he was going for it. Aerostar’s creatively is unmatched, as is his willing to dive head first into things, and this was an amazing exhibition. Maybe it wasn’t what it should’ve been but it was totally unique and I liked it.
The Mack/Mala Suerte also didn’t follow the expected story and that hurt it for me much more than the main event. The Mack, coming off nearly winning the big title two straight shows, should have no problem with one of the lesser members of the Rabbit Tribe. Instead, he was pushed for about eight minutes and could’ve believably lost a couple times. We know the guy under the Mala Suerte match is good and this might have been the best showcase of his skills on this show so far, but it was just an odd occasion for it to happen when Mala Suerte is such a blank slate.
Pentagon & Argenis was much more of what I was expecting. It was long too, longer than their first match, but it was a one sided fight. Argenis got in offense and even a dive, but most of that was to space out Pentagon’s offense so he could get in a lot of his arsenal. The fans went nuts from Pentagon showing up again, he didn’t lose much with them by getting his arms broken, and they definitely wanted to get that same idea over to the fans at home. This worked to reestablish him as a threat.
Texano & Famous B seemed to exist to remind you that plot was still around. It is! And the interaction with Brenda and Texano made it clear it’ll still be around when Texano’s second round match takes place.
Last week’s show was one only Lucha Underground could do. This one was one only Lucha Underground would do. I’m not sure it works the same, but it does keep you on your toes.