The SmarK Rant for Lucha Underground S01E16–“Caged Animals”

The SmarK Rant for Lucha Underground S01E16

“Caged Animals”

Your hosts are Matt Striker & Vampiro

And we open with a car driving away with Black Lotus lashed to the trunk after finding Matanza’s lair last week. That’s probably not good.

Aerostar v. Drago

Aerostar dumps Drago immediately and follows with a springboard dive, but hurts his leg in the process. Back in, Drago rolls him up for two and comes back with a springboard tornado DDT and an F5 variation into a facejam for two. He whips Aerostar into the corner, but Star does a front flip into a Pele kick to block the charge and hits a missile dropkick for two. Drago puts him on the floor again and follows with a tope con hilo, but Aerostar springs back in and follows with his own. Back in, Drago brings him down from the top rope with an armdrag and does his crazy rollup combo, but Aerostar counters into a cradle for two. Drago with his own cradle for two. Drago goes for a springboard from the apron, but Aerostar leaps over him for a powerbomb to the floor, and then back in with a springboard splash to finish at 5:00. They share a moment of sportsmanship afterwards, and you know that’s not gonna fly with Dario Cueto. So he comes out and he wants more out of them. So they’re going to wrestle a best of five series now, and the winner gets a “unique opportunity” out of it. Short but very entertaining. ***1/2

Cage v. Prince Puma

This is non-title, but if Cage wins again, then Dario will give him a title match. Cage charges in and beats on Puma, but Prince hits a sloppy rana and goes to the apron, at which point Cage just CLOBBERS him and sends him awkwardly crashing to the floor. Ouch. Cage suplexes him back in from the middle rope and gets two off that. Delayed vertical suplex, but Puma escapes from it and he tries a bodypress. Cage casually catches him, does some curls with him, and then throws him with a fallaway slam and goes to a neck vice. Puma escapes with a jawbreaker, but Cage throws him with a wheelbarrow suplex and powerslams him out of the corner. A moonsault misses and Puma makes the comeback. Cage bails and Puma follows with a springboard in the corner into a shooting star press on the floor! Back in, Puma with a springboard 450 that gets two. Cage overpowers him with a powerbomb, but Puma turns it into a rana for two and throws high kicks to put him down, but misses the Phoenix splash. And then Cage MURDERS him with a lariat for two. Pumphandle driver gets two. Cage with a stretch muffler, but Konnan returns from the dead or the hospital or whatever to lend Puma some moral support. Cage again destroys Puma with a corner powerbomb into Weapon X, and Konnan throws in the towel at 8:40 to give Cage a title match. That’s, like, the exact OPPOSITE of moral support! Hell of a deal this was. ***1/2

Mientras tanto, Konnan assures Puma it’s all part of the plan.

Mientras tanto, Sexy Star goes to Dario wanting the Crew again, so he offers her Big Ryck. But not as a partner, as an opponent. And whoever wins, gets the Crew. Dario is so wonderfully evil.

Vinny Massaro v. Pentagon Jr.

Matt Striker wonders if perhaps Pentagon’s submission move will make its way to UFC, while Vampiro isn’t really sure that breaking someone’s arm is a submission move, technically. Pentagon dedicates the match to his master and then goes to work killing the shit out of this geek and finishes him with the “Three up, Three down” driver at 1:00. Then he powerbombs him through a table just to be a dick and breaks his arm to really teach him a lesson.

Evento Principal: King Cuerno v. Johnny Mundo

Striker notes that Mundo is a trophy that a “lot of guys” would like to have on their mantle. Really? Is there a large-scale contingent of people hunting human beings for sport that Matt knows about and we don’t? I mean, you could say that it’s a metaphorical trophy, but Cuerno’s deal is that he’s literally hunting people. So, you know. Cuerno comes in quickly, but Mundo kicks him to the floor and follows with a crazy flip dive, and back in for some clotheslines until Cuerno takes him down with a backbreaker and legdrop for two. Dropkick in the corner, but Mundo fights back with a spear for two. They have a whole awkward deal where they exchange forearms and try to get into position for whatever, and Mundo rolls him up for two, but misses a blind charge and hits the turnbuckle. He comes back with a springboard kick and tries the Moonlight Drive, but they’re out of position AGAIN and the move falls flat in the corner. Mundo bails for a springboard and Cuerno spears him into the railing like Big E, but even more suicidal. Back in, Cuerno hits Mundo with a corner-to-corner running dive, which sends Mundo into the announce table. Cuerno lets him recover, then hits him with ANOTHER tope suicida to put him down again. And then they stare each other down for the double countout at 7:37. That’s a strangely weak finish for Lucha Underground, but they got over huge despite the sloppy technique and missed spots. ***1/4 They continue brawling on the floor and up the stairs of the Temple, where Mundo powerslams Cuerno through a fenced wall to end the show.

But first, Lotus finds herself hauled out of the trunk of the car by another masked luchador who I didn’t recognize. Now, my experience in these matters is admittedly limited, but typically I find that if you find yourself getting hauled out of a trunk by a masked man while bound and gagged, it doesn’t really bode well for your future prospects. But we shall see.

The Pulse

Hell of a show this week. Three great matches and Pentagon Jr. continues to become the hottest heel on the show while building up the mysterious Master.