The SmarK Rant for Lucha Underground S01E19
Your hosts are Matt Striker & Vampiro
Funny bit at the beginning, as the Netflix auto-subtitles translate Dario Cueto’s Spanish in the recap as “The Greek” (Big Ryck) taking on “The Crud”. Well, they are kind of cruddy.
Also, the more Observer recaps I do where Dave talks about how Vampiro is a pretty boy soap opera star in Mexico, the more disconnected it feels from the grizzled old veteran that he’s become today.
Aerostar v. Drago
So this is match #3 in the best-of-5 series made by Dario, and they’re 1-1 so far. They trade some gymnastics on the mat to start and Drago wraps him up in a leglock, but Aerostar makes the ropes while Vamp makes a cute Ted Dibiase reference when talking about how Dario hasn’t bought his soul yet. They do a chase out of the ring and Aero catches him with a kick from the apron on the way in and hits a senton for two. Collison and both guys are down off bodypress attempts, but Aerostar recovers first with a springboard dropkick to put Drago on the floor, then follows with an insane springboard dive to follow. Drago with a draping DDT for two. Spinning uranage gets two. They get tied up in the corner and Aerostar double-stomps him off the top, but misses a springboard splash and Drago hits him with a corkscrew dive. Drago with a running powerbomb, but Aerostar crotches him on the top rope and does a wacky run across the ropes into a rana, and then finishes with a splash at 8:25 to go up 2-1 in the series. Another fun, high-flying match between these two. ***
Mientras Tanto, Konnan is playing chess with Prince Puma. EXTREME chess! And he’s so angry that he smashes the clock dealie with his cane. Remind me never to play Yahtzee with him.
Big Ryck v. The Crew (Bael, Cortez Castro & Mr. Cisco)
I love that the Crew is just introduced as being from “the streets”. The metaphorical ones, I’m assuming. Otherwise mail service would be ridiculously complicated. Where would they have their Archie subscription delivered to? The Crew triple-teams Ryck to start, naturally, and they take turns with shots in the corner as Vamp reveals that Cisco had to “earn his stripes” by burning Ryck’s eye with the cigar, implying he’s new to the gang. That actually pays off later. Bael puts a chair in the corner, but Ryck fights them off and sends Bael into it instead, then fires up and no-sells all their gimmicks. Ryck whoops some ass with a kendo stick, actually breaking it on Cisco, and then pins Bael with a tree slam at 3:26 to eliminate him. Cisco and Cortez try a double suplex and Matt notes “if you’ve ever watched wrestling before you can probably guess how this is going to turn out”. Ryck clotheslines Cortez with the kendo stick and pins him at 4:26, and Cisco is left alone. And he walks out, but Sexy Star kicks him down the stairs and back into the ring, and Ryck straight up punches him in the face to bust him open. A sick uranage on an open chair finishes at 6:18. Jesus. Well, I’d say he got sufficient revenge there. **
BREAKING NEWS: Next week sees Alberto defending the AAA championship against Texano, plus Puma defends the Lucha Underground title against Cage in a street fight!
Coffin match: Mil Muertes v. Fenix
The coffin gets carried in by Day of the Dead characters, which is kind of funny because my daughter is literally watching “Coco” on the big TV while I’m reviewing this. So this match hopes to answer the philosophical question that has troubled man for centuries: What happens when the man of a thousand deaths faces the man of a thousand lives? I’m assuming God books a DQ finish. Fenix tosses him and follows with a tope to start, but Mil rams him into the coffin and smashes the flower arrangement into his face to take over. Fenix manages to DDT Mil onto the coffin (and DENTS it!), but then he brings new meaning to “suicide dive” by launching himself at Meurtes and smacking headfirst into the coffin. Now that was about as metaphorical as you can get. Mil rips at the mask and pulls a wrench off the turnbuckle, and he goes all Sami Callihan on him and Fenix is busted open. Fenix with his mask all torn up with a bloody face is a great visual. So they fight up the stairs and out to the balcony, where Mil tells the fans to move lest they have Fenix dropped on them. Well that’s considerate. Sadly, he is unable to suplex Fenix to his literal death, and they head down the bleachers and back to ringside, where Mil powerbombs him onto the announce table. The coffin gets dragged into the ring and Mil slams him onto it and bites at the cut, but Fenix fights back with a superkick. Mil puts him down with a DDT and tosses him, and they head back into the crowd again. Mil smashes wooden chairs on his head, but Fenix puts him down with a high kick and follows with a swanton off a railing, onto a pile of smashed flowers. So many layers of symbolism to this one. Back into the crowd and Mil just smashes him headfirst into the railings, as Matt points out that exposing open wounds to the dirty Temple might not be terribly healthy. We call that “Pulling an Onita” in the recapping business. They slug it out on the floor and Mil accidentally hits Catrina with a lariat, allowing Fenix to hit Mil with an enzuigiri. Back into the ring, which by the way is now missing the bottom rope due to Mil literally ripping it apart to fashion weapons of destruction, and they fight for a suplex as Catrina opens the coffin. Fenix kicks him into the coffin from the apron, and Catrina throws in the magic stone and closes the lid at 14:51. Amazing old-style ECW brawl with violence and hatred and great bumps, easily Mil’s best match in LU by far that I’ve seen. ****1/4
Hell of a show this week, as the coffin match overdelivered and then some.