By John Moore
Lucha Underground Hits
Johnny Mundo vs. The Mack: The match overall gets a Hit for being a well wrestled main event quality match without taking any risks that shouldn’t have been taken. Mundo has had some clunkers in Season 3 when he’s had to wrestle Sexy Star. That’s not Sexy Star’s fault since she has developed into a really good wrestler and has had some standout matches against Jack Evans and PJ Black. Johnny usually has good matches with anyone, which is why I feared going into this match (back in January) that Johnny might not be as good as he has been in the past. Luckily, he’s still pretty damn good. Mack is a hidden gem in pro wrestling in that he has the look of an out of shape man but he can do lucha libre moves like none other. One of my favorite non-wrestling spots was the moment where Mack treated beer as his Popeye spinach. One of the sickest wrestling spots was the pile driver from the ring to the outside ground through the table (which was made even more genus since Mack took the bulk of the bump and the table actually broke the fall and made for a good visual).
Outside interference: Usually this ends up in the Lucha Underground Miss section for two specific reasons. 1) Worldwide Underground matches rely too much on outside interference sometimes that it takes away from the match and draws apathy as opposed to heat. Johnny Mundo and Jack Evans are great at drawing heat with a babyface moveset so the outside heavy handed nature of the interference is just extraneous. 2) outside interference sometimes in Lucha Underground is the lack of support that babyfaces have with each other. They even had Rey Mysterio walk to the back as a babyface was being beaten up if I correctly recall. The interference in this all night long match was creative and it added to the match as opposed to detract from it. The MVPs were the disguises of PJ Black and Sexy Star. PJ Black didn’t need a disguise per se. He just ran in one direction and had long hair so it totally worked to fool Mack. It fooled me. Sexy Star as the guest Metal-achi member was brilliant and I had no clue she was up there on the platform. Sexy Star also gets two more bonus points for looking badass in the biker attire, she should wear that more often, and she did one hell of a crossbody from about 20 feet in the air.
Matt Striker and Vampiro: There seemed to be a production snafu early on. The hard camera had a shot of Striker and Vamp doing commentary. Striker was talking while Vampiro was moving his hands like he was talking. It’s post-production, I get it. You can even say it’s charming for the network since it’s a network honoring B-Movies. That said, I like the post-production. Matt Striker and Vampiro brought their A-Game on the headset. Both men treated this like they were calling a sporting event which is what commentators are supposed to do. Striker was well informed and went into great detail as to why certain moves do certain things. Vampiro added the proper ethos that you would expect from a color commentator by verifying what Striker is talking about. Hopefully El Rey is doing more commentary tracks like this one because so far this approach is how most pro wrestling shows should be calling the action.
The Commercials: Several small things on this one. I like that Lucha Underground hits the pause button when it comes to the action so we don’t miss anything in a match. I also thought that the commercials on El Rey nowadays are actually entertaining, especially the Lucha Underground plugs. They had one where Johnny Mundo taught pushups. The best one was the Modelo commercial where Melissa Santos told the viewers some bullet points on Fenix. I even thought the “Return of the Mack [And Cheese]”, which had nothing to do with Lucha Underground, was cleverly placed. Yes, even the commercials get a Hit. Even the El Rey shows seem better. It isn’t just Quentin Tarantino or Bruce Lee movies. I’m actually looking forward to watching that Danny Trejo Show where he tests weapons, which reminds me of the Spike TV show Deadliest Warrior. El Rey is starting to morph into what Spike TV used to be with content which is a positive.
Lucha Underground Misses
None: It’s tough to find a miss in a one match show when the one match was good. Thankfully there was nothing wrong in my first week back doing Lucha Underground coverage. I wonder if there were a lot of new viewers due to the Netflix deal. This was a good match to just jump into even if you don’t know the storylines. Like I said many times, the Season 2.5 stories sucks, so good riddance and Season 3 has been doing some repair work as far as characters are concerned. This episode wasn’t the most “Lucha Underground Esque” of shows in that we got no cinematics or supernatural. Instead, we got really good pro wrestling.