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:

 

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

AAA on Televisa: 2016-11-26 

never change Averno
never change Averno

Recapped: 11/27/2016

What happened: OGT won the titles by DQ. Tirantes was helping them all match, but actually fairly ruled the DQ since the Apaches got involved and attacked him. (This might have been a Zorro plan, but everything Zorro says confuses me.) Psycho Clown is now losing to the likes of Murder Clown.

What was good: Nothing. This show is in a dry spell for matches and doesn’t seem to be getting better any time soon.

Where can I watch it: It’s on AAA’s channel. Read More

great match roundup, week of 2016-11-19

20161121cmllpuebla-5-1dragonlee
Dragon Lee

Noted army men Polvora, Killshot & Dante Fox all had pretty good matches. Dragon Lee is sort of his own one many army.

rating matches TV Show taped
great Dragón Lee © vs Pólvora for the CMLL World Super Lightweight Championship LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 21 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL Internet Exclusives: 2016-11-21 2016-11-21
great Dante Fox vs Killshot Lucha Underground: 2016-11-23 2016-04-10

Other matches watched Read More

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2016-11-25

the smaller Panther hits much harder
the smaller Panther hits much harder

Recapped: 11/27/2016

What happened: Dinastia Casas won a trios tournament to earn a title shot at some undetermined times. Ultimo Guerrero cheated to beat Caristico. There were a lot of matches.

What was good: Panthers/Casas is still pretty good and I enjoyed the main event.

Where can I watch it: It’ll be on my channel tomorrow (and you can find it already if you’re bored.)

Read More

Lucha Azteca7 Elite: 2016-11-19

new champ
new champ

Recapped: 11/22/2016

What happened: Carístico won the Liga Elite tournament when Rey Escorpión decided to listen to Cibernetico’s music instead of covering Carístico. Bandido won the new welterweight title with a partially botched spot. Willie Mack got flown all the way out to Mexico City for a forgettable match.

What was good: Nothing. Nothing was good. All the matches were disappointing and most were badly booked. This is somewhat historically important – either it’s the first season finale or it’s the last episode – but there’s no reason to watch the show otherwise.

Where can I watch it: It’s on the Liga Elite channel.

This is the last Season 1 Elite show (with the idea that they’ll be back for a season 2 at some unclear point.) They’ve skipped a week of tapings to show the last episode they’ve taped. There’s no highlight package of an undercard match and it’s a slightly shorter episode than usual as a result. The second season idea does come up in a Rey Escorpión promo but isn’t particularly pushed in the show beyond the concept of this being the Liga Elite final. There’s no hint of when they’ll be back. Read More

AAA on Televisa: 2016-11-19 

20161119aaa-1-3
dives

Recapped: 11/12/2016

What happened: Pentagon Jr. beat Johnny Mundo and challenged to a singles match. The Piratas continue to have problems.

What was good: I liked the main event in spite of the usual things I didn’t like. There were parts of the opener I liked but it struggled early.

Where can I watch it: It’s on AAA’s channel. Read More

CMLL Martes de Nuevo Valores: 2016-11-15

Recapped: 11/20/2016

What happened:  Mephisto beat everyone, Volador included, in a joke of a main event. That sets up a title match next week. Drako and Magia Blanca made a streaming show and didn’t look good.

What was good: The fourth match was good, but don’t waste your time with the rest of this (and even that’s a stretch.)

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel. Read More

Lucha Underground 3×12: Every Woman is Sexy, Every Woman is a Star

this got delightfully out of control
this got delightfully out of control

Matches

Fenix, Drago, Aerostar b The Rabbit Tribe (Paul London, Salatador, Mala Suerte) for the Lucha Underground Trios championship (5:42, Fenix bridging cradle Saltador, good)
Killshot defeated Dante Fox (8:10, Foxcatcher capture brainbuster, great)
Johnny Mundo defeated Sexy Star (11:06, Fin de Mundo, OK)

Developments

Rabbit Tribe
Rabbit Tribe

Johnny Mundo is the new and 6th Lucha Underground champion, defeating Sexy Star in the main event. Earlier, Mundo revealed he’d gotten a restraining order against Angelico, and Dario confirmed Angelico would not be in the Temple tonight. Independently, Sexy Star asked the Mack to stay out of the match, wanting to prove her win last week was not a fluke and not luck. The match itself was contested one on one, without the numerous interference spots of the Gift of the Gods match, but still a match Mundo dominated early until Sexy Star seized on a mistake and could forced it to at least an even battle. The fight spilled outside, where Mundo grabbed a crutch from a masked Sexy Star fan and hit Sexy. Sexy tried to bring the crutch in the ring moments later, but the referee stopped that. Sexy decided to instead return the crutch to her fan, only for her fan to knock Sexy Star out with brass knuckles. Mundo pulled Sexy back in the ring, landed (or “landed”) the Fin de Mundo, and won the championship. The fan revealed herself to be Taya, of course, and Jack and PJ joined the post match celebration.

Drago, Fenix and Aerostar didn’t lose their titles. They defended them over the debuting Rabbit Tribe : a mad hatter like Paul London, the checked Saltador and the mohawked? Mala Suerte with a general Alice in Wonderland theme. The idea is the Rabbit Tribe are on some or all of the drugs, making them unpredictable opponents. (Striker seemed to back away from this idea near the end after both announcers spent the whole match talking about it.) The new trio was definitely unpredictable, but the champs were able to outsmart them in the end. Kobra Moon watched this match from the top of Dario’s office, and promised Drago that he would bow before his queen – which I assume is her, but I guess we’ll see.

Drago & Aerostar
Drago & Aerostar

The middle match allowed Killshot and Dante Fox to have it out. Killshot seemed to want to talk some sense into his friend, but Dante Fox wanted to fight and fight they did. In an extended and exciting match, Fox survived Killshot’s top rope double knee smash and used his capture brainbuster (Foxcatcher) to get his first win in the Temple. The announcers were certain this would not be the end of this.

The only other piece of business was picking up on Black Lotus’ return last week. Lotus explained she and the Black Lotus Triad wanted revenge on Pentagon for breaking her arm at Ultima Lucha 2. Dario, as a welcoming back gift to his former (current?) bodyguard, gave her a gauntlet match next week as a present. Pentagon Dark will have to face each member of the Triad, one one one.

(No sign of the Catrina/Crane bit mentioned in the preview.)

Thoughts

My general thought is I don’t want to make this 2000 words this week.

ringpost SSP is something they teach you on day 4 of basic training
ringpost SSP is something they teach you on day 4 of basic training

When the words put in Sexy Star’s mouth are her reign will be looked at as a fluke or just luck if she loses after one week, and she loses after one week, then what do I got to say? The championship was stolen away from Sexy Star because of Taya’s interference, but Sexy Star lost her last title to the same exact foreign object – she’s culpable for not preparing for the same thing to happen again. I didn’t like the idea of Sexy Star being the first women to be Lucha Underground champion but, if they were going to do, they should’ve gone all the way with it. This was doing the first women’s champion primarily as stunt, and a stunt that doesn’t seem to have particularly paid off. I’m sure I’ll like the matches better with Johnny Mundo as champion, but this two week stretch seems like a wasted chance.

At least the match itself came off noticeably better than the previous try. I have it as OK, but wouldn’t argue with anyone who rated it slightly higher. It was weird to see Sexy Star and Johnny Mundo wrestling as equals during the second half of the match, and I’m not sure it really got to a moment where Sexy seemed like she was going to retain, but the execution of the match was a lot smoother. The presentation is still just weird. This is a total nitpick, but Striker calling Sexy Star one of the most athletic people on the roster after the athleticism of the last two matches was one of the craziest things he’s said.

out cutting the cutter
out cutting the cutter

Dante Fox & Killshot killed it. They could go do anything with Dante Fox after that match and people would buy it; he fits to Lucha Underground’s style like a fish to water. There was this (accidentally?) hilarious shot before the match of a single man standing up and clapping for Fox as he came out for the match, with the people around him looking apathetic. About four minutes later, the crowd was loudly chanting Dante Fox’s name, so into him that they might have felt a little bad about abandoning Killshot and they gave him a pity chant after. Killshot kept up and these two have definite chemistry; the bit about this not being over was the best news on the show.

The Rabbit Tribe also fit in, as distinctively weird characters. It was tough to take them seriously because they were so heavily comedy, but LU has a way of making guys low on the totem pole interesting. They were definitely interesting.

This was a generally good show; the Fox/Killshot is a match to go out of your way to see, and I hope that’s the match that goes up on YouTube instead of the default pick of the title match. The title situation ended up in a way where it feels like a waste to have cared about it in the first place, and that’s not a great place for the title to be, but it didn’t hurt the rest of the show.

ehhh
ehhh

CMLL Puebla: 2016-11-14 

teamwork!
teamwork!

Recapped: 11/19/2016

What happened: Pólvora beat Dragon Lee to set up a title shot next week. Pequeño Joker beat Astral to win a cibernetico, which may yet set up a title shot. Rush had his last match before heading to Japan for a while, though that wasn’t acknowledged.

What was good: The cibernetico’s totally watchable. Nothing else you need to see.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel. Read More