By John Moore
Lucha Underground Hits
The Mack vs. Cage: This was the match of the night and probably could have been better if this was Mack and Cage’s only match of the night because it was a good callback to last year’s show stealing match. What made this match stand out was the fact that it wasn’t a carbon copy of last year’s encounter. There were references to last year’s match, but the formula was a bit different and Cage was a babyface this time. One of the funny parts of this match was when Willie Mack brought out the piñatas and his had a wrench in it. Cage’s piñata had candy in it because that’s what’s supposed to be in them. The finish was logical match-continuity wise where Cage lost because he slipped on Mack’s beer.
Son of Havoc vs. El Texano Jr: This was a fun bar fight and the two wrestlers utilized the mini bar at ringside very well. What makes this match work is that visually it was really violent, but under the surface it was safer than most epic standard singles matches. Having a hardcore match where they are essentially throwing sugar at each other is insanely safe. My favorite part of the match was Texano hitting Son of Havoc in the head with a beer bottle only to have him nod his head humorously because he was dressed up like a firefighter with a helmet. There were two nitpicks. One was they kept zooming into Texano’s back which showed no cuts and rather melted sugar. Another personal nitpick is since this was “violent” visually they should have ran a few disclaimers that told viewers to “do not do this at home”. I just get a bit nervous that a child would see this match and start playing with glass bottles.
Dr. Wagner Jr: This is a minor Hit for the comparison to his analog form Season 1, Blue Demon Jr. Dr Wagner is a much better wrestler talent-wise compared to the Demon dude. The guy looks more ripped than he should be for 50 years old though.
Overall Show: This was a fun show, albeit it was more of a standalone episode devoid of association to Ultima Lucha. What stood out was the non-stop in ring action throughout the show with four of the most talented forgotten wrestlers on the Lucha Underground roster trying to make a statement and proving why they should have been involved in storylines on the main show.
Lucha Underground Misses
The Mack vs. Son of Havoc: I do commend these two wrestlers for providing the correct psychology for the match by slowing things down to sell their fatigue. This match suffered from the lack of a babyface/heel dynamic which was what this entire episode suffered from. This match suffered in particular because Mack and Havoc are two of the most sympathetic figures in the Temple so it was simply a bummer to see either lose. At least if a heel was there the sympathy would be drawn to one person. The post-match angle made the bummer even more of a bummer and thus making the show pointless.
Ultima Lucha branding: The branding of the show as “Ultima Lucha” seems more of a blank marketing ploy as opposed to proper branding. This episode should have just been titled “4 A Unique Opportunity” somewhere in the middle of the season and you wouldn’t even have to book it differently. This episode was also extremely outside of the Lucha Underground continuity, so much that it reminded me of a TNA One Night Only special. I know Lucha Underground likes to break the mold of professional wrestling norms, but sometimes they look a bit to contrarian. WrestleMania-type shows usually have happy endings to send the crowd home happy and wanting to see the next new story develop. This one had two bummer moments with Mack losing and then Havoc losing. That’s even more credence to the belief that this should have been a mid-season episode. It was a good episode, but not a part of a three part saga.