What happened: Máximo defeated Hechicero to keep the heavyweight title. Rush beat Atlantis bloody, but needed help from the rest of the Ingobernables to get the win. Último Guerrero defeated Volador before their match tomorrow. Soberano continues to do very well.
What was good: Pretty much everything. Skip the opener and watch the rest of the show.
What happened: The new version of Revolucionarios debuted with a big introduction and a win. Rayo de Jalisco’s feud with Terrible was toned down; he got the revenge pin in the first fall and the focus was on Mephsito & Carístico (who have a singles match tomorrow in Coliseo.) Nothing else really happened.
What was good: The Revolucionarios match was the most watchable. None was really bad and some stuff (opener) was better than usual, but there wasn’t a lot you need to go out of your way to watch. People watching the stream were generally higher on the show than me.
Where can I watch it:It’ll be on my channel soon enough.(more…)
What happened: Dragon Lee defeated Cavernario to keep the lightweight championship. Takahashi dominated Titan, but had less luck attack Lee after the main event.
What was good: Nothing was bad on this show, but it’s the last three matches which are worth watching. The main event was strong, though possibly ended early due to injury. Titan/Takahashi was a little disappointing but effective for it’s purposes. The Guerreros/Okada vs Mistico/Volador/Juice match was just fun.
Where can I watch it: It’s on NJPW World for subscribers.
What happened: Rayo de Jalisco returned to Arena Mexico again, but this time in a loss. Terrible snuck in a foul on him to get the win. Rayo demanded a trios rematch next week.
Underneath, Guerrero Maya and Bobby Z went to the first time time limit draw in about eighteen months. Ripper continued his feud with the Panther family by helping his trios win (though it was Kraneo who actually pinned little brother The Panther.)
CMLL also brought back pre-match promos during the show, which went much longer than last week.
What was good: The lightning match and trios directly before it were the strongest matches on the show. The top two matches were successful given the limitations of luchadors everyone else had to work around, but aren’t really worth searching out beyond that context.
Dragon Azteca Jr. met his destiny. It turns out Dragon Azteca’s destiny is getting chokeslamed thru the bleachers to the floor. Not all of us are cut out for great things. Azteca put up a fight and survived longer against Matanza than others were managing at the start of the season, but the death match was nearly his own death. Azteca’s mentor Rey Mysterio appeared too late to do anything but check on Azteca. It was the first time Mysterio and Matanza were in the same ring since Aztec Warfare, and Matanza knocked down fans to get a hold of Rey. They fought for a few minutes, with Rey luckily backdropping Matanza thru the ceiling of the storage closet (the fall Fenix took in a death match in season 1.) Dario freaked out, immediately calling for the show to be over and everyone to leave.
Rey & Matanza are headed to a big match, assuming Matanza survived. Johnny Mundo and the Mack are headed to their own big match, an All Night Long title match. Mundo confidently declared the Mack wasn’t in shape to last a full show with him. Mack was good enough shape to surprise attack Mundo, then take out PJ and Jack with stunners in revenge for last week’s attack. Mundo sent security after the Mack, only for the Mack to give them all Stunners as well (in a very obvious Steve Austin homage.)
The other big match very obviously coming is Prince Puma versus Mil Muertes, once again. Vampiro opened the show by threatening revenge on Mil for his attack last week. Later, Prince Puma seemed tormented by thoughts of Mil and their Grave Consequences match. Catrina confronted Puma, and Puma bluffed that he was only distracted by visions of the pain and blood that was coming Mil’s way. Catrina wasn’t convinced or scared.
There were a lot of story this week. The last vision of this “half season” involved the Moth Tribe. First, Marty appeared to be stalking Melissa Santos, but then he was attacked by someone we didn’t see. Mariposa was revealed to be the attacker, and she tied up Marty much like Sexy Star was at the end of season one. Weirdly, Mariposa seemed happy with what Marty had done, and Marty seemed pleased with the approval. It wasn’t clear if Mariposa had new respect to Marty for attacking her last week, or if she liked the idea of Melissa as their next victim, or both.
The middle match on the show saw Cage face debuting luchador Veneno. This is sadly not the pride of Panama Veneno, but someone in a spider mask. Veneno got in a Argenis-like amount of offense on Cage, but was easily beat. Cage wore his new glove out to the ring, but not during the match. Still, the announcers pushed the idea that Cage was suddenly angrier and meaner. (It didn’t come across much in the ring.) Earlier, Councilman Delgado and Dario happily discussed their progress with the glove. Dario explained Cage felt more powerful with the glove, but the glove was actually becoming more powerful over Cage. Delgado said this would soon allow them to become Gods Among Men, though we have little more idea of how that’ll work.
Veneno losing the match wasn’t all his misfortune. Sexy Star attacked him after the match, and told Veneno to leave her alone. See, Sexy Star has been stalked by those spiders, and automatically assumed the mystery new spider themed luchador probably had something to do with it. I guess she could be right, but it seems unlikely. We’ve seen “Veneno” before: it’s the mask Captain Vazquez gave Officer Reyes to go back undercover to the Temple. Veneno is Cortez Castro, which you might be able to tell if you didn’t see the old vignette (shown as part of the previously to start the show.) The tattoo on his arm was exposed, and there was not a great deal of hiding his identity outside of the new outfit. We’ll have to wait and see if Joey & Dario can figure it out.
Joey Ryan was in the building, though as a secondary figure in the opener. Even as the announcers pushed the idea of Joey being a big underdog, he was fighting Texano pretty easily. Maybe Texano would’ve won eventually on his own, but it wasn’t clear. Texano did win, but it was only after some help. Famous B & Brenda came to the ring in cowboy gear and recruitment mood, and Brenda passed Texano a golden horseshoe to help him win. Texano still didn’t seem to be interested in Famous B’s services, but does seem to be interested in Brenda.
After the show ended, a El Rey commercial revealed Lucha Underground would return in Summer 2017. No date or even month was given, but that’s a lot longer then even my most pessimistic April 12th guess. Until they do come back, a run of selected best episodes will fill the gap.
This is a tough episode to evaluate, because it’s positioned as a finale it really doesn’t feel like anything final happened. The Marty/Mariposa/Melissa? stuff just started in the last 10 seconds, though at least it felt like the sort of teaser we got at the end of season 1. They’re early on in this new Cage story, and not much farther in the Texano one. They’re farther along in the Cortez/Joey stuff, but this is more clearly a storyline twist to prolong it, not anything approaching endpoint. Mundo/Mack’s big moment is their next one (and while they did a better job of hiding the audio edits this week, they didn’t do anything to let you know they’d be coming back with that All Night Long match whenever they resume.) Even Dragon Azteca/Matanza wasn’t as much a conclusion as another step to Rey/Matanza.
This is not an Ultima Lucha, nor was it trying to be one. I didn’t think it was as good as the pre-Aztec Warfare break episode from season 1 either. As a more normal Lucha Underground episode, with one big match and nudging along a lot of other storylines (like the Texano/Cage final from two weeks ago), this was fine LU work, but building it as something it was not didn’t do it any favors.
The problem with this episode was Dragon Azteca/Matanza just wasn’t at the awesome level as other shows with one big match and a couple of shorter ones. This was a fully powered up Matanza and it doesn’t make sense for him to do an even fight with Dragon Azteca, at least this point, but but it didn’t allow them to build much drama. Azteca was having enough problems staying alive that there was never even an idea of what a Dragon Azteca win would look like. They covered this up with the big scenery breaking bumps. (You’d think the fans would’ve been given a heads up the bleacher destruction, but those guys looked like they had no idea their seat was going to be demolished. Matanza taking the same bump Fenix did in the same kind of match was a little less impressive, but they were smart to do it in a way where Matanza got taken out by being over aggressive, almost not because Rey did anything.) This was not the epic of other death matches, and it’s a problem that Dragon Azteca hasn’t had an epic match yet on his own, but the highlights should look great when they use them for other shows.
The other two matches were missable. They did a great job of moving lots of things forward – you can see the next batch of big matches starting to take shape – but the action on this show was skippable. The Texano/Joey match didn’t work. Joey seems like he should be on that Argenis level of guys who are easily dismissed, and Lucha Underground wants us to be so impressed with Texano, but they end up having a six minute match as equals. Famous B’s antics were more entertaining than the match.
I wonder if they had a time issue, realizing the main event wasn’t going to go as long as other big singles matches and trying to add time elsewhere. Texano/Joey felt longer than it needed to be, and the Mundo/Mack segment felt like Mundo was stretching for some reason. I can at least grasp the idea of giving Mack an impressive moment – he’s not been a real title challenger until this moment, so have him take out everyone – but it felt a little too much like your local indie doing a recreation of one of their favorite Attitude Era segments. Maybe some of that time could’ve gone to Cage versus Veneno (who’s name Striker couldn’t remember by the end of the match), but I guess Cage has to win dominantly if he’s been powered up. I dunno, it just didn’t all work together for me, even though I appreciated having a sense of direction for where all these ideas are going.
(Maybe some of that time could’ve been used on Dante & Killshot, who looked really great and have disappeared off the map for the last month. They wouldn’t have been on next week either with All Night Long, and their momentum is going to be down to zero by the time we see them next.)
I’m not sure where the show is going. Announcing “Summer 2017” is the bare minimum they could’ve announced and called it announcement, a three-month range which could mean anything and probably means no one’s actually figured out specifically when it’s coming back. (If you’re not locking in a day, or even in a month, you’re not locking in much.) A lot can change between now and then, though the one thing that won’t change is that footage will be more a year old once it starts airing again, and maybe longer than that. Lucha Underground isn’t dead, but they’ve already burned a lot of time when they could’ve been trying to grow themselves. Going into a shell for around six months means negative growth. I expect they’ll be back as promised, but I wonder which people (fans and talent) will be lost in the break.
What happened: Negro Casas unmasked Carístico to set up the expected singles match. Pequeño Violencia cheated to beat Shockercito, which appears to have started a feud between them. Ripper pinned Blue Panther Jr. to keep their issue going.
What was good: Nothing. There were highlights around but this is a show you can pass on without a second thought.
Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel.(more…)
I liked a lot of stuff. I didn’t really love anything. I am a loveless person. Only five recaps, and next week is only four. I have so much extra time that I’m usind to catch up on other lucha things basically waste.
Atlantis, Carístico, Máximo Sexy vs Cavernario, Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas
What happened: CMLL changed up it’s format to feature rematches from 2016 feuds. There was no real storyline progress (and none was really expected with guys checking out for FantasticaMania), so the more interesting happening was CMLL being able to handle the different structure was ease. Seven matches, three of the singles, all of them scheduled for two out of three falls, and they still had no problem finishing in around two hours. Entrances and time in between matches was quick all night to keep the pace, and two matches were limited to two falls, but they probably could’ve gone about ten more minutes without an issue. The concept seemed to work as far as live event presentation and crowd interest (only the UG/Valiente match seemed to be met with disinterest), and this seems like something which should be repeated again.
What was good: Most of the show! I’d advise skipping the opener. There’s nothing you need to see in the Máximo/Marco vs Rush/Marco match, but it got over well. Último/Valiente was kind of the opposite, something that technically fine but not that I’d hurry to recommend. Cometa/Cavernario, Casas/Panthers, Volador/Mephisto and the main event get the stronger recommendations.
The only problem were these matches being sort of homages to the original matches, repeating what made them interesting in the first place instead of trying to expand on it. If you’re picking and choosing matches, you’d still probably rather see the original versions of most of this matches. If you sat and watched on Friday, it was still a pretty enjoyable night.
Where can I watch it:Check my twitter feed or YouTube by Tuesday.