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Lucha Underground S2E13: Monster Meets Monster

Lucha Underground – S2E13: Monster Meets Monster
Date: April 20, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.49.46 PM

Previously on Lucha Underground…

The teams of Joey Ryan and The Crew, and Rey Mysterio/Prince Puma/El Dragon Azteca Jr advanced in the Trios Tournament. Mil Muertes granted the Disciples of Death one more chance to gain his favor by entering the Trios Tournament. Dario Cueto prepared Matanza for a war with Mil.

Guerra! Guerra! Guerra!

Before we talk about the monster mash, let’s talk about last week very briefly since I didn’t review that show (I’d apologize, but I also do this for free so we’ll call it even).

Last week’s show was just a fun show all around. Three very good matches bookended by two excellent Dario Cueto vignettes. It was easily Lucha Underground’s strongest episode of the season, but also not extremely noteworthy in terms of advancing the plot or storyline developments. It was just a lot of good action, some good acting, and a real breezy show filling time until this week’s showdown, and the conclusion of the Trios Tournament next week. I’d recommend it heavily, especially if you’re on the fence about LU, as it’s a really easy hour to watch.

Now, back to this week…

Guerra! Guerra! Guerra!!!!!

The showdown of Lucha Underground’s two monsters was one of the best moments of Season 2. Mil Muertes, who dominated the early run of the season, showed up in total badass fashion, and Matanza, who has dominated the middle part of this season, showed up in total unhinged man-eating monster fashion, and these two just beat the shit out of each other all over the temple until they went crashing through Dario Cueto’s office roof courtesy of a Mil Muertes flatliner.

I mean, what more could you want from a wrestling show.

No doubt Mil and Matanza will live to fight each other on another day. In fact, if you even doubted that while watching this, it was made abundantly clear when an out of his mind Dario Cueto, standing on top of the roof that just had two man-sized holes put through it, held up his key and screamed intermittently “Guerra!” and “War!” (because this is a bilingual show), while a defiant Catrina held up her magic death rock.

I could easily watch 10 more matches between these two.

Elsewhere on the show…

Sub-Zero_Fatality_MK2

The Mortal Kombat references (or outright rip-offs) in the first two seasons of Lucha Underground have been pretty prominent from Mil Muertes’ Shao Kahn throne, to the Temple being an intergender fight club. But it kicked up a notch when Sinestro De La Muerte (the purple Disciple of Death), fresh off his team’s loss to Fenix, Jack Evans, and P.J. Black in the Trios Tournament, answered Catrina’s post-match question of “Give me one good reason not to destroy all of you,” by literally performing MK-esque fatalities on his teammates, Barrio Negro and Trece, in the form of ripping their hearts out of their chest, reducing them to piles of dust. This scene is every thing you love (or hate) about this show. It’s campy, and low-fi in terms of production values, and overly dramatic, and yet totally ridiculous and fun in a 70s Grindhouse sort of way. I find these types of things endearing, and a really key part of the whole vibe of the show, and why I was drawn to it in the first place, and this scene in particular was tremendous in its wackiness.

Also, this week, the second Aztec Medallion for the Gift of the Gods Championship was settled with another Aerostar/Drago showdown. These two had the Best of Five battle of mutual respect last year that cemented their friendship and produced a series of really nice matches. This match was solid, but there was a botched springboard by Aerostar that looked like hellacious bump. It was such a huge botch, it actually kind of worked in the flow of the match. He went for a high risk move and failed spectacularly, hurting himself in the process. And you know he hurt himself, because with all due respect to LU’s luchadors, they don’t ever sell nearly as much as Aerostar did for the rest of that match. So if you have to botch a move, that’s the way to do it, rather than half-hitting the move, or missing it, but forcing the guy to still sell it, breaking the suspension of disbelief.

Finally, this week’s episode ended with a police vignette between Joey Ryan and Cortez Castro’s police chief, and a new character named Councilman Delgado who warned her to stay away from investigating Dario Cueto. The scene was just there, and not overly consequential until we learn more, but in it, we saw a number of person of interest photos on a board. One, Bael, was marked as dead (he was eaten by Matanza). The other five were marked as missing. Let’s go over them briefly, and what we know:
Hernandez – Whereabouts unknown, but no longer with the company
Alberto El Patron – Whereabouts unknown, but no longer with the company
Blue Demon Jr – Retired to Miami per Chavo Guerrero Jr
Konnan – Killed by Mil Muertes and Catrina when they put him in a coffin
Big Ryck – Murdered by the Disciples of Death in the Lucha Underground comic.

This was a another fun follow-up to a really good show last week. Really solid wrestling all around with just a few brief vignettes, highlighted by the insane Sinestro De La Muerte sacrifice scene. Another show well worth a full watch.

Misc. Notes

  • Johnny Mundo’s vignette with Taya this week is both the best and worst of Johnny Mundo: Actor. The delivery of his lines in this are just horrible, and yet strangely in line with the essence of the Johnny Mundo character. Just listen to the delivery of “Making me work for it, huh? Classic Cueto” and “Fine. If I have to take Cage to SlamTown one more time, that’s what I’ll do” and tell me this is not the worst delivery of words you’ve ever heard, and yet at the same time exactly what you’d expect Johnny Mundo to say and how you’d expect him to say it. Which means John Morrison is either a genius in understanding his character and in fact a really good actor. Or Johnny Mundo is a complete facsimile of John Morrison, and he’s a horrendous actor.
  • The Trios Tournament Final is set and it sounds like it will be a clusterfuck of awesomeness. Team Havoc Angelico Ivelisse, vs. Rey/Puma/Azteca vs. Cage/The Crew vs. Fenix/Evans/Black in a fatal fourway elimination match for the titles. Bodies will be a-flyin’
  • Lucha Underground drew a combined audience of 198,000 for this week’s airing (149k first run, 49k for the replay). The show’s leaked some audience in the past two weeks, but that’s kind of a general development for all TV shows as we inch closer towards the summer, so I’m not sure if I’d say there’s a particular issue here as of yet.
  • I’m just going to leave this here, courtesy of Uproxx:

That’s right, David Arquette is not only aware of the crown jewel of the El Rey Network, he also wants in. At the Dallas International Film Festival, Arquette was promoting his new movie Orion when his sordid wrestling past came up. Thanks to the folks at Boomstick Comics, we have the video evidence of how Arquette would fold himself into the LU canon. Jump to about 4:05 if you want to get right to it.“I tried to pitch myself for El Rey, the new one, the lucha stuff… I want to be a masked manager. They’d call him ‘El Borracho.’ And I’d just be drunk all the time, and I’d have amazing wrestlers that I’m in charge of… When they’d get in trouble, I’d go up and break the bottle on people’s heads.”

The Matches

Match #1 — Aztec Medallion Match — Aerostar vs. Drago

Drago has really upped his dragon costume game, now sporting a full dragon headpiece for his intro.

The two start quickly with Aerostar shoving Drago right off the bat, and Drago countering a wastelock into a half crab, and then flipping an escape by Aerostar into a near fall, followed by a series of reversal near falls. The chain wrestling continues until Aerostar breaks an armlock with an overhand clubbing blow and the two reset.

The two go through another series of chains and reversals until Drago counters a back handspring from Aerostar with an enziguiri to gain the first advantage of the match. Aerostar gets to his feet and dodges a running attack from Drago. Drago misses a legsweep on Aerostar, and Aerostar grabs Drago and backs him into a turnbuckle and goes for the whip, but Drago reverses, Aerostar runs to the other corner, up the turnbuckle and hits a corkscrew cross body. Drago pops back up and comes back with a springboard arm drag. The two reset again and Aerostar offers a handshake, but Drago just dropkicks him into a corner and charges for a spear, but Aerostar dodges and Drago hits the ring post and falls to the outside.

At this point, Aerostar attempts some triple jump springboard maneuver from the ring apron, slips off the top rope, and takes a wicked fall off the apron and steps looking to have legitimately hurt his hamstring and knee. The announcers sell this botch well playing up Aerostar taking ridiculous risks because of the stakes and that they sometimes don’t pay off. Drago pounces and rams Aerostar’s head into the railing outside, then rolls Aerostar inside. Drago goes up to Aerostar and waits a little bit, clearly looking like he’s checking on Aerostar to see if he’s ok, then Drago whips him, and Aerostar comes back with a hurricanrana that sends Drago to the floor, followed by a running, single-legged, top rope springboard flip to the outside taking Drago out. Hmmm…guess Aerostar will power through! He’s still grabbing at his knee and hamstring as he’ll do through the rest of the match.

The two make their way back in the ring after the dive and trade kicks, then Drago just picks Aerostar up, lifts him over his head rushes him to the edge of the ring and tosses him out to the floor, then follows it up with a corkscrew plancha. Drago returns to the ring, and Aerostar makes his way back to the apron, so Drago charges to knock Aerostar off, but Aerostar dodges and hits Drago with an enziguri, then misses a middle rope springboard splash. Drago seizes the opportunity and hits a top rope hung DDT and covers for a near fall. Drago misses a splash in the corner, and Aerostar kicks his legs out from under him, and hits a running middle rope springboard corner dropkick, then perches Drago on the top turnbuckle, walks the ropes, and attempts a hurricanrana, but Drago pushes him off and hits a top rope missle dropkick, following it up with a dominator for a nearfall.

Drago misses a dropkick, and Aerostar misses a springboard senton. Exhausted, the two just trade forearms from their knees, before Drago gains the advantage. Drago backs Aerostar into the ropes, then turns his back to run to the opposite side to build momentum for a move, but Aerostar follows him step for step and hits a 619 to Drago’s lower back then a middle rope springboard codebreaker (!), followed by a springboard diving splash for the pin. Good match.

Winner: Aerostar via pinfall
Rating: ***

Match #2 – Trios Tournament Match — Fenix, Jack Evans, and P.J. Black vs. The Disciples of Death

Black starts with Trece and takes the early advantage with a headlock and a shoulder block, then an arm drag into an arm lock. Black goes to tag Fenix, but pulls his hand away, making Fenix mad, then goes to tag Evans, but Jack tell P.J. he’s “doing so well” and “keep going” and refuses to take the tag. Meanwhile, Trece escapes the arm lock and attempts a clothesline on Black, but Black ducks and hits another arm drag into an arm lock. Trece escapes again, and Black dodges another clothesline and hits a superkick, and covers for a near fall that’s broken up by Barrio Negro running in, and Fenix cutting him off by running in and using Black’s back as a springboard for a hurricanrana. Fenix celebrates, but it’s short-lived as Sinestro de la Muerte hits a springboard missile dropkick to take him out. Evans teases a springboard move on Sinestro, but stops short and jumps back down onto the apron, but the distraction allows Black to hit a wheel kick on Sinestro.

Sinestro and Barrio regroup outside, so Fenix hits a middle rope springboard corkscrew plancha on them (or as Matt Striker calls it: “Oh! Ho! Ho! Ho!”), leaving Black and Trece in the ring again. Black puts another arm lock on Trece and goes to tag Evans again, but Evans screams he’s stretching and needs to warm up so he doesn’t get hurt, while doing jumping jacks on the apron and screaming he’s the leader. Finally, Evans tags in, and tells the crowd they’re about to see the greatest thing ever, but Sinestro grabs Jack from behind and crotches him on the ring post. Black yells at Evans, then tags himself back in, and immediately eats a clothesline from Trece. Sinestro tags in and hits a corner splash then punches Black into the Disciples’ corner. Barrio comes in and hits some chops, then Trece comes in and punches and kicks Black into the corner. Sinestro comes back and tries to whip Trece into Black for a splash, but P.J. leaps him and rolls across the ring to tag in Fenix.

Fenix goes for a springboard double foot stomp, but misses, and Sinestro kicks him. Sinestro whips Fenix to the ropes, but Fenix jumps over a drop down and hits a standing moonsault to Sinestro’s back. Fenix follows up with a back handspring arm drag for a near fall. Fenix continues with chops, then hits a superkick followed by a springboard missile dropkick, then a running corner drop kick, then a brainbuster for a near fall.

Sinestro gets back in it and the two play a little cat and mouse before Sinestro plants Fenix with a superkick, then a DDT into a cradle. Sinestro puts the boots to Fenix then fishhooks him. Barrio tags in and rams Fenix’s head into the turnbuckle then methodically strikes him. Fenix gets whipped into the Disciples’ corner and fights two off with superkicks and one with a forearm, then hits an enziguiri on Barrio and tags in Jack Evans who hits a springboard spinning kick on Barrio, a pele kick on Sinestro, and a reverse spinning roundhouse on Trece. Jack celebrates his moves then yells at his teammates. Meanwhile, all three Disciples get to their feet and kick Jack into his corner. Fenix tags himself in, and turns a pop up from Barrio into a double drop kick on Trece and Sinestro. Barrio comes back with a mafia kick, and lifts Fenix into a fireman’s carry, but Fenix turns it into a hurricanrana into a pin for a near fall. Barrio hits him with a front face slam, though, and covers for his own near fall.

Barrio charges Fenix in Fenix’s corner, and gets lifted up onto the turnbuckle and hit with a palm strike, then Fenix hits a top rope hurricanrana while tagging in Black. P.J. hits a springboard 450 splash on Barrio and covers for a near fall broken up by Trece. Fenix and P.J. superkick Trece off the apron, then toss Sinestro over the top into Trece. Black follows it up with a suicide dive tagging Fenix as he leaps out of the ring. Fenix attempts to jump in the ring, but Jack cuts him off and tells him he’s going to show him how it’s done, then plants Barrio with a kick and hits a running cartwheel plancha onto the bodies on the outside. Fenix, still the legal man, hits a middle to top rope springboard 450 splash to pin Barrio. Another really good match. Fenix, Jack, and P.J. are a fun dysfunctional team. After the match Jack hams it up much to the dismay of his teammates.

Winners: Fenix, Jack Evans, and P.J. Black via pinfall
Rating: ***

Match #3 — Lucha Underground Championship — Matanza (c) vs. Mil Muertes

The bell rings and the two get face to face, then Mil screams and the two trade punches. Matanza gains a quick advantage, and screams back, then Mil kicks him in the stomach and clubs the shit out of him, beating him down into the ground. Mil picks Matanza up and spins him around, but Matanza shoves Mil into a corner and hits him with a vicious lariat. Matanza grabs Mil by the throat and whips him out of a corner and into another, but Mil dodges a charge and powerslams a confused Matanza, then mounts him and beats on him more with relentless punches again until Matanza grabs Mil by the throat and powers up from underneath, then shoves Mil into a corner and hits him with shoulders to the gut. Matanza charges again and Mil cracks him with a straight right hand that stuns Matanza, then another. Then Mil picks Matanza up and tosses him into the corner and hits a series of 10 clotheslines leaving Matanza hurting. Mil charges Matanza three times, but Matanza hits him with a boot to the face each time, then Matanza goes for his series of rolling gutwrench suplexes, hits the first two, but Mil rolls away on the third and holds himself up on the ropes. Matanza charges Mil, and Mil hip tosses him over the top to the outside, following it up with a tope.

Mil mounts Matanza on the floor and does more ground and pound. An upset Dario Cueto runs over and hits Mil in the back. Mil gets up and grabs Dario by the throat, lifting him off the ground, but Matanza makes the save (Dario still bumps when Mil drops him). Mil and Matanza fight over to the announce table and Matanza works Mil over with gut punches then slams his head off the table. Catrina runs over and hits Matanza in the back of the head with her rock, but Matanza turns on her and grabs her by the throat. Mil saves her by hitting Matanza in the back with a chair.

Matanza regains control bouncing Mil’s head off a ring post, but Mil comes back grabbing a metal cooler and beating Matanza up the stairs with shots from it. Matanza regains control and beats on Mil with the cooler. The two fight up the steps and out onto the office roof, with Dario in close pursuit behind them. Mil beats on Matanza and tries to toss him off the roof, but Matanza holds on to the rail, so Mil tries to German suplex Matanza off the roof, but Matanza won’t let go. Finally, Mil grabs Matanza and flatliners him through the roof, both men crashing down into the office. With this the match just ends. Dario Cueto, looks crazy holds up his key and starts screaming “Guerra” and “War” at Catrina who holds up her rock in response.

Winner: No Contest
Rating: ***

About This Column

These reviews are a little unpredictable in terms of when they’ll be done. I shoot for Thursdays most weeks because I watch the show on iTunes on Thursday afternoon, and usually write it Thursday night. Occasionally it’s Friday, or Saturday morning, or never (like last week). Also I do, and will continue to do, occasional LU columns. For instance, if I get the time this weekend, I may do a halfway point of the season column. If you enjoy reading this, and want to keep up to date on when this is actually posted, or anything else I write, I’d suggest following me on Twitter (link at the top) as I do tweet out the links (and that’s about it). I usually tweet out the link as soon as it’s done. I usually will also post it in BoD’s Daily/Nightly thread whenever it’s done, if you frequent those. Also, even though I don’t really tweet anything else, if you do have questions for me, or a particular topic you want me to address, or a particular part of a show you want me to talk about, you can hit me up there and I will try and incorporate it into this each week.