Lucha Underground 1×16: Caged Animals

ropes work differently when you’re Aerostar

the matches

  • Aerostar b Drago (4:56, springboard splash)
  • Cage b Prince Puma in a non-title match (8:41, towel thrown in)
  • Penagon Jr. b Vinny Massaro (1:01, “3 Up 3 Down” half cradle powerbomb driver)
  • King Cuerno DCOR Johnny Mundo (7:28)

gifs here

the developments

Black Lotus was shown to be trapped in a car at the start of the show. Later, at an unknown location, the trunk was opened, and a mystery person asked her what she knew about lucha libre. The person was shown for a brief instant – and it was the mystery masked man who saved Prince Puma in the vignette that opened the series.

Puma got amtracked

After Aerostar defeated Drago, Dario Cueto announced they would be spending more time together. Drago & Aerostar will continue in a best of five series (tied 1-1) and the winner will receive a Unique Opportuinty.

Cage dominated most of the match with Prince Puma. Konnan appeared late to encourage Puma to make it to the ropes after a hold. Cage later dropped Puma with his Weapon X finisher, but opted to punch Puma in the face repeatedly instead of covering. Konnan yelled for Puma to cover up, grabbed a towel, and threw it in to call the submission. Later in the locker room, Konnan told Prince Puma that Puma just needed to stick to the plan – it appeared at least part of what we just saw was that plan, but it was unclear what part.

Sexy Star confronted Dario Cueto in his office. She was sick of men bailing her out, and wanted the Crew all by herself. Cueto suggested a match with Big Ryck, but Sexy insisted on going it alone. Cueto clarified: Big Ryck wanted the Crew as well, so he and Sexy Star would have a match next week and the winner would get to face the Crew. Sexy Star was satisfied with this.

Pentagon Jr. defeated Massaro with ease, even doing his #0M pose while holding Massaro, then dropping him with a piledriver, then powerbombing him thru a table and then armbarring him.

King Cuerno’s tope got a vignette! It made a lot of sense later, as three straight topes lead to both men being counted out. Mundo and Cuerno continued to brawl around the ring, up the stairs and finally thru a fence.

random thoughts

Pentagon Jr.’s master demanded more violence

I kind of feel like I know as much as what’s going on with Lucha Underground as anyone who doesn’t actually work for them, but I have no idea what’s going on in multiple cases! I never thought we’d see the mentor type guy from the first episode again, just writing that of as a thematic bit, but there he was and I have no idea why. I’d assume the trunk bit was to sneak Black Lotus away from where Cueto might spot her, but he could just as much be the guy Dario was talking to on the phone about the situation. I dunno!

I also have no idea about Konnan’s scheme but also want to know what it is. My first assumption was Konnan meant the towel throwing was part of the plan, but maybe I shouldn’t limit Konnan’s plans into being so narrow. He’s a world of possibilities.

The thing I do know is this week’s show in-ring was great. The 3 big matches were all great in their own ways – Drago/Aerostar was a fun flying exhibition, the other two combined action with advancing their stories – and even the Pentagon squash match was pretty memorable. (I’m guessing Striker called the finish “3 Up 3 Down” because he hasn’t put together that Pentagon Jr.’s doing “0 M” handsigns – it took a while for me too.) Not to keep criticizing lsat week’s show, but any of those matches would’ve been the best match on that show.

all three topes!

There were a couple of cheap finishes. The Puma bit – both being in desperate enough trouble to need the match stopped and his reaction to Konnan actually doing it – didn’t get enough time to really sink it. The follow up discussion muddies that a little bit. They did sold the Cuerno topes – again 3 of them – as killer to explain the countout, and the brawl after the match was a much better way to keep the feud going than a screwy finish, so that one worked better than it reads.

This was a really good episode of this show.

Lucha Underground 1×15: “Eye For An Eye”

chair definitely jobbed in this match

the matches

Mil Muertes defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr. [DQ for chair usage, 5:35]
Ivelisse defeated Angelico [double leg cradle, 2:41]
Texano Jr. defeated Super Fly [reverse neckbreaker, 1:31]
Sexy Star, Mascarita Sagrada, Pimpinela Escarlata defeated The Crew (Bael, Mr. Cisco, Cortez Castro) [Sexy bodyscissors cradle on Bael, 7:41]

the devolpments

Catrina was not with Mil Muertes to start the match, but came down with the stone during the match. Catrina distracted Mil with the stone, allowing Chavo to hit Mil with a chair for the DQ. Mil no sold it and took out Chavo with flatliner on the chair. Mil pulled Catrina in and tried to force her to lick Chavo, but Catrina wanted no part of it. Mil choked Catrina, then teased the flatliner, but Fenix made the save. They escaped, and Catrina kissed Fenix while eyeballing Mil Muertes.

Texano = me IRL

Dario was really happy with the Crew’s work this season. They have new jersies! Dario gave them a main event, but demanded they prove it by destroying their opposition so he’d know they would do that to anyone who defies him. Dario named “three freaks” who the crowd love – Sexy Star, Pimpinela Escarlata, and Mascarita Sagrada – in a no DQ match. Dario wanted the Crew to hurt the tecnicos so bad that they would never come back. Following those orders, the Crew dominated the match. Pimpinela was injured early and taken to the back by the medics. Poor Mascariata took a curb stomp on the chair. Sexy made a 1 on 3 comeback, then was able to hold it even when the Crew fought her 1 on 1. The Crew were about to finish off Sexy Star when Big Ryck appeared – and Sexy used the distraction to cradle Bael for a win.

Son of Havoc was supposed to face Angelico, but Ivelisse was sick of the SoH losing and demanded to take the match herself. Angelico did not want to fight here and was quite a jerk at times. Havoc snuck in a kick, Ivelisse got a schoolboy trip, and a cradle for the win. Ivelisse appeared to be unaware of the kick. Angelico hit on Ivelisse after the match.

Vampiro had a sit down with Texano! Texano objected to the idea of being called ex-champion. Texano says he beat everyone for two years and then Alberto stole his title. Texano says he’s only here to destroy Alberto and get his title back. Announcers put Texano over strong in commentary. Super Fly may not have gotten an offensive move in during the short Texano squash. Alberto calmly walked to the ring, chased Texano out of it, and got the best of Texano on the outside. Albert got the bullrope and attacked Texano in a replay of last week. Indy wrestling security broke it up. Alberto scattered them with the lasso.

bad week for the back of Mascarita Sagrada’s skull!

Cage demanded to be declared as champion by Dario. Dario pointed out Cage lost, but gave Cage a non-title match again Puma next week where Cage could earn a title match if he wins. Cage was satisfied and threw the broken belt to Dario, insulting it and demanding a better one for when he wins. Cage left, and Chavo entered to announce he was quitting and going to El Paso. Dario (unconcerned): “Chavo, I wish you the wish the best in your future endeavors.” Chavo wasn’t thrilled with that line, but Dario amended to say Chavo was welcome back at any time. Dario looked at the broken belt and declared the gods would not be happy. On this show, he may have meant that literally.

Black Lotus searched around the temple and found the caged monster. Lotus explained that when she was little, all she wanted to be is the woman who killed “you” with my bare hands. A flash of movement or action obscured the view, and that was the last we saw of either of them.

There’s a Cricket Signature Move Of The Week now! It was Prince Puma’s 630 splash.

Vampiro declared Lucha Underground the #1 promotion in the universe. Take that, Mars Championship Wrestling!

thoughts

This was the weakest in-ring show so far. There were a lot of angles going on to distract from that, but none of them came across very strong. Maybe the new Cricket sponsorship was the most important thing to happen all night.

Mil Muertes lost one match and Catrina dumped him. She has some high standards. (They’ve never brought up Catrina taking that kick again.) Chavo vs Mil Muertes was a match I was out on early on. It was a spot they could’ve used a better match in given the rest of the show and it didn’t really happen. I guess they wanted to visual of Mil no selling a chair shot over having a clean finish. Not sure I would’ve done the same, especially with it being Chavo’s exit from the show. Catrina’s reactions indicated she may be just using Fenix to get back at Mil; she was saved, but the kiss was more for Mil’s benefit than a thanks.

Ivelisse/Angelico was all angle – was this the intergender wrestling Voices of Wrestling has been warning me about? It fit that template of a man not taking a woman seriously and a woman needing to prove something. It didn’t exactly fit the story they’ve been telling here: Son of Havoc keeps screwing it up on his own, but had no such problem when it came to gifting Ivelisse a win. Ivelisse doing what Son of Havoc could not makes sense in the story, but Ivelisse doing it because Son of Havoc suddenly found a way to win doesn’t really.

Maybe the treatment of Texano was the best thing on this show. They put over Texano so big on commentary, but in ways where it din’t feel like they were just blowing smoke. That’s kind of the debut he needed to have, though getting trashed by Alberto after the fact felt a bit too soon.

Sexy Star spinning DDT

Main event was as good as a match with that layout is going to be, but it was just not a match layout that was going to produce something on the level of their usual main events. The punishment to Mascarita looked good, Sexy Star’s comeback spots were nice, it just wasn’t a match designed to get a lot of stars and that was missing on this show. It does appear to be designed to be the farewells for now Mascarita Sagrada & Pimpienla Escarlata, who have not appeared on the tapings since this show. (Chavo’s also really gone.)

Three women got in the ring on tonight’s show. Catrina got in trouble and was saved by Fenix. Ivelisse got in trouble and was saved by Son of Havoc. Sexy Star got in trouble and was saved by Big Ryck. That feels like a pattern, but sometimes things just align in unplanned ways. I’d be more concerned if I didn’t know how those stories turn out. Most people don’t know how those stories turn out. (Black Lotus probably didn’t need a guy to save her, but what happened we left her was very unclear.)

The funny thing is next week’s show has three matches which appear like they might have been the standout match on this show. It’s almost like a correction to this show, only it was actually just taped 20 minutes later. Maybe it’ll turn out that these matches had to be this week and others next week, but doing Cage/Puma this episode and saving The Crew match or Chavo/Muertes for next week might have been a better mix.