11/30 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Pentagon Jr. vs The Black Lotus Triad in a Gauntlet, Japanese stars Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, and Mayu Iwatani make their debut, Matanza speaks

luchaundergroundBy John Moore

Lucha Underground TV
Taped April 2016 in Los Angeles, California

This week’s intro video focused on Dario Cueto manipulating Dragon Azteca Jr. and Black Lotus against each other. Pentagon Dark was shown breaking both of their arms at Ultima Lucha Dos. The Black Lotus Triad were shown beating up Pentagon at Aztec Warfare 3. This week’s episode was titled “Breaker of Bones”…

Pentagon Dark was walking around in the Lucha Underground weight room. He bumped into Vampiro who told Pentagon that eventually Pentagon would have to pay for his sins. They cut to flashbacks of Pentagon’s beatdown over Vampiro. Vampiro said even if Pentagon makes it out of here tonight alive, there was going to be hell to pay. They continued to flash back to the beatdown. Vamp said just because he isn’t Pentagon’s master anymore doesn’t mean Vampiro can die. Pentagon just did the Cero Miedo hand sign in front of Vampiro and walked away. The camera held on Vampiro for a bit until we cut to the actual in temple action.

El Conjunto Nueva Ola was the house band again as Vampiro and Matt Striker checked in on commentary. Vampiro held a blank stare at the camera as Striker went over the gauntlet match happening today. Striker tried to get Vampiro to chime in to no avail. Striker revealed the three Black Lotus Triad members to be named Doku, Yurei, and Hitokiri (Kairi Hojo, Mayu Iwatani, and Io Shirai). Melissa Santos introduced Pentagon Dark first. Matt Striker said that the fans disliked Pentagon and do his chant because they are taunting him…

John’s Thoughts: Nope…. No, Striker… That excuse sucked! I’m assuming the writers want to sell Pentagon as a heel just like they did in Season 1, the problem is that the fans, and Los Angeles in particular loves the guy. It’s astonishing that they never rode that wave of popularity from their version of Stone Cold. Also! Pentagon plays to the crowd for cheers so how is he a heel?

1. Pentagon Dark vs. Doku. Doku managed to trap Pentagon in the corner and hit him with many hand strikes topping it off with a kick to the shin. Pentagon ran right back with a running dropkick. Doku fought back with another kick to the shin. She took Pentagon to the center and hit him with a backfist chop. Doku took too much time playing to the crowd and ate a kick from Pentagon Dark. Pentagon did his signature loud chop to the chest.

Doku was tossed outside. Pentagon kept in pursuit with a low kick to the face of Doku. Doku was slammed into the entrance ramp. The crowd was cheering this beatdown. Pentagon kicked Doku in the core. Pentagon then snake eyed Doku on the ring Apron that looked vicious. Pentagon then whipped Doku into Dario’s office. Pentagon followed that up with a kick to Doku. Pentagon took the action in the ring and kicked Doku in the shin. Doku went for a spear but it was blocked. Doku escaped and managed to execute the spear.

Doku went to the top rope and hit a top rope elbow drop. Doku went for another one but got caught into Pentagon’s arm breaker. Pentagon broke Doku’s arm for the victory.

Pentagon Dark defeated Doku via ref stoppage in 6:12.

Matt Striker mentioned how this was the first of four matches Pentagon will have tonight and we cut to commercial… [C]

John’s Thoughts: I’ll try to be positive. Kairi Hojo has the names of cool video game characters and she sells like a champ. It will be cool to see her in NXT if WWE can sign her. She sells well but in this match she sold a bit too well and too much for my taste. There was just too much man on woman violence here that the match was uncomfortable to watch. This reminded me of how counterproductive the Cage vs. Taya Valkyrie match was from last season. I guess they are about to go overboard with the intergender thing tonight.

Jeremiah Crane (former NXT Wrestler Solomon Crowe/Sami Callahan) was doing bicep curls in the weight room as he was approached by Catrina. She said it was a shame what happened to his girlfriend. He said especially after she challenged Catrina to a match at Ultima Lucha and he hopes she makes it back. Catrina teleported behind him and said she didn’t think that Jeremiah would return, in the flesh. She said shouldn’t he be happy to see her again. Jeremiah said yeah. She said he was not in love with Ivelisse because he’s in love with her. Why else would he wear the stone he stole from her around his neck. Catrina said the problem was she’s in love with someone else. Catrina gave Crowe the lick of death. She then performed instant transmission like she usually does…

Back to the temple! Pentagon Dark grabbed a microphone for a promo. He said it wasn’t important how many people there are. He was going to break all of their arms. He said for Black Lotus, he swears as he kisses to the sky. He said he was going to break her arm and break her in two. Yurei was the next opponent… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Cool two segments. I had the feeling coming out of the Season 3 finale that they were going to push Jeremiah Crane as a main eventer, but he shows up as a strange boyfriend to Ivelisse. Now it looks like they are going to make him more important. Back in the temple, I know the American writing staff is afraid to give wrestlers promo time due to the language barrier (and why I thought that Konnan was a huge asset to Lucha Underground), but language doesn’t matter when you’re as talented as Pentagon on the mic and in the ring.

2. Pentagon Dark vs. Yurei. Pentagon did his Cero Miedo sign and started a chain wrestling sequence. Yurei managed to dominate with the lucha libre armdrags. Yurei put the brakes on her tope and instead hit a crossbody on Pentagon. Yurei kicked the hamstring of Pentagon with Pentagon yelling back at her. Yurei tossed Pentagon into a fan (accidently not warning the fan that got some Pentagon thrown into him). Yurei slammed Pentagon into the announce table and hit him with the ring bell. Pentagon was thrown into the bleachers. Pentagon fought back with hamstring shots.

Yurei fought back with a slap and slam into the rail to Pentagon. Yurei took Pentagon back in the ring as the crowd acted like an indie crowd with “This is Awesome” chants. Yurei gave Pentagon several knees to the head which Pentagon converted into a half crab. He then locked in the grapevine and turned it into a triangle leglock. After some struggle, Yurei reached to the ropes. Striker said Yurei could have tapped out but it would have meant “Shame” if she did.

John’s Thoughts: I feel bad ragging on Striker all of the time and he pointed out a decent detail there. The problem is that he just should have held back since I forgot that these matches ultimately mean nothing since Dario said there was no punishment or reward to either side for winning or losing this match.

Pentagon continued to target the left leg of Yurei. Pentagon did his signature chop to Yurei’s chest. Yurei blocked Pentagon with a kick and did a high risk huracanrana. Yurei then followed up with a double stomp. Striker did some good commentary for once and mentioned how Yurei’s long limbs are giving her an added tool to fight Pentagon. Yurei landed a sweet multi rotation tornado DDT. Yurei went for a top rope senton but was caught midair into a seemless package piledriver by Pentagon Dark. Pentagon broke Yurei’s arm next to call for the ref stoppage.

Pentagon Dark defeated Yurei via ref stoppage in 7:12.

Striker noted that Pentagon was half way through. Melissa Santos did the formal ring introductions again with Hitokiri being the last one… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Still the same formula. Still uncomfortable for my taste. But… Iwatani did get to look good here. She showed some good Lucha. And that senton into the Package Piledriver was a thing of beauty.

Matanza was fighting a wall in his cage. Dario Cueto said this was good because Matanza will win back his title next week. Matanza roared and turned around. He said “no”. Dario was confused and said the title was his for the taking based on the way Matanza dominated Mundo in Aztec Warfare, like taking candy from a baby. Matanza yelled no again. Dario asked Matanza what he really wanted if he doesn’t want the title. Matanza said “Mysterioooooooo!”. Dario looked shocked as he saw Matanza’s bloody fists. Matanza drew a Rey Mysterio question mark in the wall he was punching with his blood…

John’s Thoughts: I know this was a serious injury that will happen, but it’s interesting that before Matanza will suffer a legit life threatening injury due to him bleeding out due to punching the wrong glass, we see Matanza with bloody knuckles in a scripted cinematic. There’s no way they could have predicted that injury.

3. Pentagon Dark vs. Hitokiri. Pentagon was looking around for Hito which allowed her to sneak up behind him from the top rope and hit him with a missile front dropkick. Hitokiri followed up on the outside with a springboard moonsault. Hitokiri then followed up with a tope that would make King Cuerno blush, that was nice. Striker pointed out how Hitokiri was the most dangerous of the Triad. Hitokiri threw the chair into Pentagon’s head (protected). Hitokiri dominated Pentagon on the outside.

Pentagon was tossed into the wooden chairs this time with Hitokiri managing to warn the fans. Hitokiri pulled the padding off the floor. She went for the body slam but it was blocked. Hito kicked Pentagon in the shin and managed to execute the body slam. Hitokiri was toying with Pentagon on the floor with kicks. Vampiro was making creepy almost sexual noises at this point. Vampiro said he liked the violence. Hitokiri gave Pentagon some forearms. Pentagon came back with a front kick. Hitokiri went for a handstand move but ate a dropkick from Pentagon.

Pentagon returned the favor by toying with Hitokiri with the kicks. Pentagon followed his formula and did the chest chop to the chest of Hitokiri. Pentagon kicked Hitokiri in the face. By the way, Pentagon is still the master at making his kicks sound loud. Pentagon then followed the pattern of the last two matches by tossing Hitokiri in the chairs. He whipped her with a camera cable. He then choked her with a cable which was not a cool scene. Shouldn’t Marty Elias stop this? This was not cool and it lasted a while!

Pentagon spanked Io with a chair. Pentagon followed up with a kick to Io’s chest. Striker tried to sell that the Fans were against Pentagon even though they were clearly with him. Dammit Striker! Why you so bad today? Pentagon gave Hitokiri an attitude adjustment into the exposed floor. Vampiro made more sexual noises again? Hitokiri managed to stop Pentagon’s attack with a droptoehold into the chair. She then ran to the top of Dario’s office and did the Angelico thing of doing a crossbody to Pentagon to the ground. Pentagon both sold that like a champ and also managed to protect Hitokiri really well. Hitokiri took Pentagon back in the ring and went for a piledriver. Pentagon countered into the Package piledriver but Hitokiri escaped. Hitokiri set up and planted Pentagon Dark with the Canadian Destroyer to pick up the pinfall victory over Pentagon Dark.

Hitokiri defeated Pentagon Dark via pinfall in 12:49.

Black Lotus and the other two triad members walked down the ring for Lotus’s match next… [C]

John’s Thoughts: I’m not sure why they thought they should follow the same pattern with all three matches with Pentagon getting prolonged beatdown sequences on the women. He’s not going for heat no matter what Striker says because he plays to the crowd for pops (for good reason, he’s the people’s champ!). If they were going with the intergender match overload, what they should have done here was just have Io Shirai dominate Pentagon completely because it doesn’t hurt to put over a debuting wrestler for once especially when she’s one of the top women wrestlers in the world. Other than that, Io looked great in her offense. What’s a bit Ironic though is Black Lotus, former WWE Ring Announcer Angela Fong, is probably as green as fellow ring announcer Brandi Rhodes. Luckily, we’re only going to get about 5 minutes according to the clock.

Black Lotus was lying down in the ring as Marty Elias was waiting for him to get up for his match. Black Lotus kicked Marty and we had a ref bump before the match. She then put the boots to Pentagon. Angela Fong then did an extremely terrible version of the Pentagon arm break. Pentagon had to sell it though. Vampiro made creepy facial expressions. Suddenly a watermelon rolled onto the steps, I mean, Dragon Azteca Jr returned with his green hoodie. He stared with Lotus while in the ring but Lotus backed down with no protest to what he was about to do. Striker correctly pointed out that Azteca is also out for revenge against Pentagon. Azteca stepped on the “broken” arm to cause Pentagon to raise his other. Azteca then broke that arm in much better fashion. Striker did the outro to the show as Lucha Underground ended…

But wait, there’s more. We were at some undisclosed location now, possibly a mortuary with the religious symbology. Prince Puma woke up from “the dead”(?) with a freaked out look on his face. Zombie Vampiro was standing over him as he said “come with me”. Now the show ended…

John’s Thoughts: Okay, that was for the better! Angela Fong practices hard, and I’ve seen the work she put in the ring with people like Ivelisse and Puma, but she’s just not quite ready for the ring yet and it’s tough since they surround her with three extremely talented individuals. Black Lotus had a good story to start then they put her on ice. I hope this victory over Pentagon leads to something. I hope it doesn’t lead to Pentagon recovering in a fetish dungeon again with ropes and sticks. I also hope we don’t get electric scooter Pentagon. That was hilarious, but not fitting.

This was a mixed bag episode. Ultimately, the episode get’s a thumbs up from me with it slightly being pulled down. The Triad got a chance to show that they are good wrestlers, but we did get intergender match overload with the prolonged man on woman violence (and that choke scene was not cool). They could have pulled it off better but it should have been shorter in that case. Not three matches following the exact same formula with different finishes. The three finishers did look cool and well executed. The cinematics were also good. I’m going to try to ignore the majority of Matt Striker’s bad night and Vampiro’s sex noises by the end. I’ll have more to say in my audio review and Hit List which should be out for members on Friday.



Readers Comments (1)

  1. Man on women violence? How stupid are you? They’re warriors in an underground fighting temple, not wives getting beat up by abusive husbands. God, you PC social justice warriors are such idiots.

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