Lucha Underground – S2E4: Cero Miedo

Lucha Underground – S2E4: Cero Miedo
Date: February 17, 2016

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Note: Because I’m so late on this review, the Lucha Underground YouTube account already has Prince Puma vs. Pentagon Jr up, so enjoy!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYipyNbZimg]
Previously on Lucha Underground…

Ivelisse won a triple threat against Son of Havoc and Angelico to earn a title shot against Mil Muertes. Mil Muertes defeated Ivelisse, and tried to hurt her, but Prince Puma made the save, and Pentagon Jr seized the opportunity to sneak in and break Mil’s arm.

“An eye for and eye will make the whole world blind” – Mahatma Gandhi

Revenge, and the ultimate value of it, was the theme of tonight’s episode, both in terms of the action and the story. The Prince Puma/Pentagon Jr main event, which if there’s any criticism I have about it, it’s that it was only 10 minutes long when these guys could have burned the place down with 25 minutes, saw Puma outsmart Pentagon to score a crucial win on his road back to the championship. Pentagon, furious that he’d been duped, disposed of the referee and went back after Puma, but got knocked out by an enziguri. With Pentagon lifeless on the mat, Puma was in the reverse position of Pentagon from just two episodes earlier — Puma had a chance to break his arm in revenge for Pentagon’s attempt to break Puma’s two weeks ago, and really, in revenge for the carnage Pentagon has inflicted on the temple all throughout the run of the show. Puma set him up in the position, grabbed the arm, yelled something at Pentagon, then dropped the arm and bailed. Vengeance was an empty proposition for Puma. He’d already accomplished what he wanted and it wouldn’t further his true cause.

This same lesson is what Rey Mysterio Jr tries to impart on El Dragon Azteca Jr in their excellent vignette that colors in the Cueto/Dragon Azteca backstory. Mysterio tells a tale of how Cueto Sr and Dragon Azteca Sr came together in friendship seeking to reunite the seven Aztec tribes to do honorable battle once more (Translation: promote wrestling that glorifies the Aztec heritage). Cueto Sr, however, quickly became corrupted by greed, power, and the “darker side” of the Aztec legends, and sacrifiecd his son, Matanza, to let a god inhabit his body. Cueto Sr and Azteca Sr parted ways, agreeing to a treaty where one would not enter the other’s territory, and Cueto Sr sealed the treaty with “dark magic” (Guess: Matanza murdering Black Lotus’ parents, a sacrifice to the Aztec gods). The treaty was violated when Azteca Sr entered the temple at the end of last season, and he died because of it. Rey tells Azteca Jr that despite all this, he must not focus on getting revenge. He must focus on the ultimate goal of reuniting the seven tribes to do battle with Matanza. If Lucha Underground ultimately mirrors a morality play, this is likely a larger theme of the show that will play out over many episodes — the idea of satisfying one’s base, personal desires, like revenge, and the emptiness that ultimately brings versus taking the higher road, and truly discovering and restoring one’s identity and the more lasting satisfaction that brings. It’s a very deep, nuanced, and potentially complex story arc, wrapped in a basic good vs evil struggle, and whether or not it can hold up through the lens of a wrestling show will be fascinating to watch, but I love the fact that they’re trying it.

Elsewhere on the show, we saw the boiling of two potential feuds. First, Ivelisse and Catrina, in which Ivelisse again told Catrina that sooner or later, she will get her hands on Catrina and kick her ass. Catrina, who’s only seldom betrayed any emotion other than amusement or seductiveness, shook off Evie’s aggressive advances, denied her and her teammates (Angelico and Son of Havoc) a rematch at the Trios titles, and told them they’d have to earn a shot. Angelico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc did win their match, putting them one step closer to a confrontation with the Disciples of Death and keeping Catrina entangled with Ivelisse.

Johnny Mundo starred in a fantastic vignette highlighting his belief that he’s the star of Lucha Underground. In between clips of his parkour training, sparring, and highlights from Ultima Lucha and past Season 2 episodes, Mundo explained that he hasn’t been treated like the star he is. He stated he was disrespected by being placed in the opener of Ultima Lucha (a direct dig at a shoot complaint Alberto El Patron had about his time in LU), but stole the show anyway. He said he’s the main event guy, and ran Alberto El Patron out of the promotion. Then he said he’d break Cage and take the title from Mil Muertes. Later in the show, after Cage had defeated Joey Ryan, Mundo blindsided Cage with a spear, and went for the kill, but Cage fought back and hit Mundo with Weapon X, setting up a showdown for next week.

The show ended with another piece of the Sexy Star saga, this time showing Sexy stumbling through the hallways of the temple having just escaped captivity. Finally, she runs into The Mack who tries to calm her down. Sexy tells Mack that “Moth” did this to her, and Mack says he’s going to kick Marty’s ass, but Sexy adds that it wasn’t Marty but “her.” The show ends with Mack looking towards the camera, a look of horror on his face, setting the table for the debut of Marty’s sister. Both The Moth “tribe” and the idea of The Mack playing the white knight here are very fun ideas. The Mack fits the role perfectly, and it plays off his Season 1 arc where he was very reluctant to accept his cousin Big Ryck’s pessimistic views about money being the only purpose to all of this.

All in all, a very entertaining show. I thought it was a step above the last two weeks, but not quite as good as the premiere.

Misc. Notes

  • Speaking of The Mack, MLW Radio did an excellent interview with him a couple weeks ago that really gives some insight to this guy’s journey. You can find it here.
  • El Dragon Azteca Jr’s job is to reunite the seven Aztec tribes. We know Prince Puma is a descendant of one, and we know Kobra Moon was introduced as another tribe member. Do we know of any other wrestlers affiliated with the tribes yet?
  • Vampiro put over Pentagon Jr huge in the open of the show, but was extremely upset by the end of the show at Pentagon’s lack of focus on winning the match throughout his commentary, and looked very annoyed after Pentagon was outsmarted and lost. The slow build to Vamp breaking and joining Pentagon again has been nicely done so far.
  • I didn’t touch on it in the main section of the review, but we did get our first Joey Ryan/Ricky Reyes temple vignette. It was basic back and forth sniping at each other. Joey Ryan’s not a bad actor. Ricky Reyes….ehhhhhhh….no comment.
  • Ratings: Lucha Underground cracked the cable Top 150 on Wednesday night, placing #140, and pulling 152,000 viewers for the 8PM show with 0.06 in the 18-49 demographic. This is a first for the show, and very good news. The combined 8PM and 9PM ratings were slightly down at 204,000 due to less views on the 9PM replay. But the first run audience has increased almost 40% since the premiere.

Matches

Match #1 – Trios Match – Angelico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr and The Crew (Cortez Castro & Mr. Cisco)

Ivelisse seems to have been cemented as the captain of her trios team as she led them out for the match, and has been the vocal leader so far this season.

The match started with Cisco hitting chops and kicks on Angelico, but Angelico taking him down with an arm drag and tagging in Ivelisse. Cisco tagged in Castro, who took kicks and knees from Ivelisse, but then planted her with a straight right hand (sure to draw the ire of the critics of the intergender matches). Chavo tagged in and alternated choking, with working her over in his team’s corner, but Ivelisse fought back with thigh kicks, and a back heel kick. Cisco jumped back in and Ivelisse missed an enziguri, but kicked him away with both legs, and tagged Havoc.

Havoc took Cisco down and hit his standing moonsault for a near fall, followed by his handspring back elbow in the corner. Havoc went up top, but Chavo knocked him off the turnbuckle, and the Crew hit their corner dropkick spot, although the camera cut away making me wonder if it was botched live. Cisco hit a suplex for a nearfall and applied a chinlock.

Havoc got whipped into the rudos’ corner and fought out of it twice, taking down all three members, before flipping over Cisco to get the hot tag to Angelico. Angelico jumped in with Castro and hit a series of clotheslines, knee strikes and Pele kicks culminating in a Pele kick to Chavo, knocking him outside with the rest of his teammates. Then all three of Angelico, Ivelisse, and Havoc hit a triple dive to wipe out the rudos. Angelico got Castro back in the ring, hit a springboard knee strike, then a top rope double foot stomp for the pin. After the match, Chavo berated The Crew, before Texano ran in and attacked The Crew with a bullrope wrapped around his hand. Chavo escaped.
Winners: Angelico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc
Rating: **1/4

Match #2 – Joey Ryan vs. Cage

Ryan is playing an undercover cop in vignettes, but doing his normal 70s porn star gimmick in the ring, and entered pouring baby oil on his hairy chest and down his trunks. Cage slapped hands on his way to the ring, and Striker put him over as a warrior cementing that Cage has done a full babyface turn this season.

The match started with Cage powering Ryan into a corner, but Ryan punched out. Then Cage threw Ryan into the corner and hits punches, and a clothesline, before nailing a hip-toss into a backbreaker. Cage hit a running elbow, but missed on a running shoulder tackle in the corner. Ryan hit a single-arm DDT, and a dropkick for a nearfall, then worked the arm, before hitting a northern lights suplex.

Cage fought out with punches, but Ryan cut him off with kicks. Ryan went for a slam, but Cage blocked it and hit a clothesline, elbow, and a single-leg dropkick. Ryan briefly cut him off, but Cage hit a powerslam. Cage went for a middle-rope moonsault, but missed, and Ryan hit a spine buster for a near-fall. Cage fought back with a pump-handle slam for his own near fall, and then went for a discus lariat, but missed. Ryan countered with three superkicks: one to the gut, one to the shoulder, and one to the face.

Ryan went for one more superkick and had it blocked. Cage grabbed Ryan and hit a nasty looking powerbomb onto his knee, then picked Ryan up in the standing suplex position, before dropping it into a spike Michinoku driver for the pin.

Winner: Cage via pinfall
Rating: **

Match #3 – Prince Puma vs. Pentagon Jr

This was the hottest the crowd has been so far this season. The two exchanged some stalemate offense early before Puma gained a quick advantage with a headscissor, followed by a dropkick that sent Pentagon outside, and then Puma teased a dive, before flipping back into the center of the ring, striking a pose.

Pentagon pulled Puma outside hit a chop, then threw him into the post. Pentagon got him back inside and hit a wind-up chop, then a leg sweep. Puma countered with a chop, but Pentagon grabbed Puma and powerbombed him into his knee for a near fall. The two traded punches, but Pentagon cut Puma off and laid in forearms. Pentagon ran to the ropes, but Puma followed and hit a running cutter, followed by a running shoulder tackle, and a turnbuckle head smash, followed by an enziguri, and a springboard diving elbow drop. Pentagon bailed after all this, so Puma hit a running moonsault, from the ring to the outside, rolled Pentagon in, and got a near fall.

Pentagon regained control with a leapfrog into a backcracker. Then he attempted a pump-handle, but had it blocked. Pentagon persisted with knees, but Puma reversed it into an arm drag and a European uppercut. The two traded chops, and Puma gained the advantage with more European uppercuts, but Pentagon countered with a back kick. Pentagon attempted a package piledriver, but Puma slipped out and hit a reverse roundhouse kick, followed by his awesome northern lights suplex roll through into a standing suplex roll through into a near fall move.

Puma attempted a springboard 450 splash, but Pentagon caught him with knees, and rolled him into a small package for a close near fall. Then Pentagon hit a superkick, and a vicious package piledriver, before setting up Puma in a surfboard submission. Pentagon pulled Puma back all the way to where both men’s shoulders were on the mat. The referee counted one, two — Puma bridged up with his head and neck to lift his shoulders off the mat — three.
Winner: Prince Puma via pinfall
Rating: ***1/2