Lucha Underground 1×4 (2014-11-19)

Fenix tornillo tope

the matches

  • Sexy Star b Ivelisse (6:18, casita)
  • Fenix b Pentagon Jr. (7:54, Spanish Fly)
  • Drago b King Cuervo (4:53, springboard armdrag in Skayde Special cradle)
  • Johnny Mundo DQ Big Ryck (4:40, interference from Cisco & Castro)

the developments

Sexy Star is in one piece and wants revenge on Chavo for Demon and Mascarita.

None of the other Pentagons like Pentagon Jr. :(

Dario Cueto put Drago in a match with the debuting evil hunter King Cuerno to test him. He passed!

Konnan warned Prince Puma not to interfere in Mundo’s fight. To the surprise of anyone who’s watched a TV show, Prince Puma actually listened to him and stayed out of it – only Cisco and Castro just assumed Puma was going to interfere and laid him out before he could. Mundo was put thru a table (which broke remarkably clean) to end the show.

thoughts

Drago can fly

Still a good show, but the weakest of the four so far. There wasn’t a big wow moment as there had been on the other ones. Fenix/Pentagon was pretty good, but not at the level of the standout matches from the other shows and didn’t really have the time to be one. Everything moved along, nothing was bad, they’ve just set a really high mark with the other shows and it’s going to be tough to do that every week. Probably the most wrestling time on the show so far though.

This was the first show where it felt like a Spanish language show first. Sexy Star and Pentagon Jr. both did (subtitled) speeches in Spanish to start their matches. I wonder if that means Ivelisse (who did hers in English) gets subtitled on Saturday or if they found a way to hide that.

Sexy Star did a lot of wrestling in her match with Ivelisse to showcase her as someone tough enough to fight Chavo. That match felt a little long, but it’s also a small roster and they needed to give Ivelisse her moments too.

Fenix and Pentagon was the expected showcase spot fest. It wasn’t as absolutely insane as last week, it’s tougher to keep that pace with just two guys. They still do a bunch of crazy moves and near falls. Pentagon got promo time before the match, probably to balance out him taking the loss again. The announcers very directly built up Fenix as on an equal level to Prince Puma and one of the stars of promotion. There were some lines clearly inserted after the fact to that specific extent.

(I don’t want to do much announcer talk this week, but Vampiro started to grate a bit with mentions of what he would’ve done in matches. I don’t believe he would’ve hooked the leg, no.)

Hijo del Fantasma worked very different as King Cuerno. He was much slower and even more purposefully heelish than he has in AAA. It didn’t quite click for me – and maybe it wasn’t totally supposed to, since Striker made a point of saying Cuerno’s posing had cost him the match. I’d be concerned, but there were plenty of mentions of better matches for him later on, so I’m not really concerned.

you know it’s not AAA because the table actually broke

Cuerno got a vignette before he debuted to make him feel like a big deal, and Drago had a moment with Cueto (more to show off Drago’s tongue.) Announcers talked about Pentagon & Fenix having history but didn’t explain it. There’s work to be done with those two.

Big Ryck and Johnny Mundo had a match that felt very choreographed in trying to make it work for both guys (and their different styles) and was probably about as good as they’re going to get from that match.

No Chavo on the show. Maybe he took Konnan’s advice. Konnan and Cueto were less of a presence than other shows. No Muertes either. They’ve got a hard job of juggling characters – Puma won’t have a match for two weeks (and was busy elsewhere this weekend in reality) but they managed to give him a story beat on the show to set up something for next week.

(more gifs after the bump)

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Lucha Underground 1×3 (2014-11-12)

Sagrada tope con giro

the matches

Mascarita Sagrada beat Mariachi Loco (4:38, front facelock choke cradle)

Mil Muertes beat Ricky Mandell (2:37, flatliner)

Fénix [O] beat Pentagón Jr. [X], Drago (7:45, inverted huracanrana)

the developments

Dario Cueto and Konnan met prior to the first match, with Konnan explaining he’d brought the three top young talents from Mexico: Drago, Fenix, and Pentagon Jr. (Dario asked if there were visa problems, Konnan said they were cleared up.) Dario booked them in a three way match to prove who was best.

Dario came to the ring and mocked complaints that there weren’t enough lucha. He introduced Mariachi Loco as working at the Mexican restaurant down the street (with his band!) and would perform if he won. He did not win. Sagrada was introduced as part of Lucha Underground’s open door policy – anyone who shows up can fight.

Sagrada won cleanly, but was attacked and laid out by Chavo. A sit down interview with Vampiro and Chavo explained Chavo’s turn – he’s sick of playing the nice legacy carrier, he’s doing it his way now, and he thinks Blue Demon Jr. is just a famous name who’s never actually been any good.

Mil Muerte has a stone, has a stone punch

Chavo was later confronted by Konnan (who warned him about Mexicans coming after him for his attacks on Demon and Sagrada – no mention of Sexy all show) and Mil Muertes/Catrina (who were upset THEY didn’t get to beat up Demon.)

Mil Muerte’s backstory was explained: he’s Pascual Mendoza, his family were all killed in the 1985 Mexico City earthquake when he was a kid and the stone is from the wreckage. He’d like revenge on the world.

Johnny Mundo laid out Cortez and Castro again in route to demanding Cueto give him a match with Big Ryck next week. Cueto accepted, and Mundo vowed he’d take out Ryck and then Cueto. Cueto paid Ryck to take the match. He was seen in a prison like setting at the end of the show, apparently talking to a back up plan. (This part seemed to fit with the key he’s been wearing, as if Dario’s keeping his secret man in a, uh, uh, I can’t think of the word. Eh, can’t be that important.)

Another Prince Puma vignette was shown.

Fenix and Pentagon and Drago were awesome – classic situation where they all got over, though Fenix was slightly pushed above the other two.

Thoughts

Of all the shows where I was indirectly referenced in the first segment, this was my favorite.

how to beat a dragon

Fenix, Pentagon and Drago knocked it out of the park in their debut. That first minute would’ve been good enough, but they kept turning up the gas to the end and everyone looked like superman. Fenix’s stage dive looked crazy, especially since that’s the first we’ve seen anyone use the Temple in that sort of way. A lot of the spots would look familiar to people who’ve followed them in Mexico, but they all looked great and the finish was perfect. Fenix won but all three guys were made by the match, and it’s just a matter of following up on it. It looks like they do. Either Striker hadn’t seen a lot of these guys before or did a good job pretending they were knew, because he was totally (and pleasantly) caught off guard at times.

Mascarita looked good in his debut and they used him the right way: Mariachi got the better of him a lot, lost advantage when he didn’t take Sagrada seriously, and Sagrada used his speed to get the win. Crowd was into the character.

The regulars from the last few shows didn’t have matches, but they did a lot of work on moving the characters a little bit forward a step. The Chavo interview was great, both in terms of getting over his character and in terms of appealing to this particular author. The Johnny Mundo skit was straight of those action movies he’s looking to film (though poor Cortez/Castro have been dropped pretty low on the totem pole already. Someone’s got to be on bottom.) They set up a match for next week and a mystery for down the line. The Mil Muertes backstory was creative and we got answers a lot quicker than I’d expect.

This show is rolling on all cylinders right now. It’s not better than I thought it would be, it’s better than I thought it COULD be.

(more than a dozen more gifs on the full entry)

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CMLL on Fox Sports (Mexico): 2014-08-23

heavyweight champion at work (not the masked guy)

 

recap
taped 2014-08-15 @ Arena México

Universal Tournament notes: there are no good notes. I did end up watching the Azteca version, but I don’t think the extra 4-5 minutes would have made this any less a waste of life.

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