By John Moore
Lucha Underground Hits
Aerostar vs. Drago: This wasn’t the best of the encounters between the two supernatural beings. Speaking of such we found out that these two have been bros for thousands of years, because Drago is old as hell in storyline and Aerostar is a time traveling Sentai warrior. This match was good in storyline progression and Matt Striker helped out with that. The story was that Aerostar was purposely pulling some of his punches to try to break Drago out of his spell. The finish wasn’t decisive, which sets up more encounters down the road. As far as the middle portion, it was as solid as always. The only spot that was a bit scary was Aerostar missing the suicide dive wildly and going straight into the fans. Luckily the fans in the path got out of the way! Aerostar does have such great body control so I’ll chalk it up to a freak accident.
Mala Suerte vs. The Mack: I’m not 100 percent sure of this, but I believe Mala Suerte is being played by the person who played Mr. Cisco, whose character was killed off by Dario Cueto and his red bull. I saw Cisco when I was attending these tapings so I assume this is him under a mask. What adds to that theory was the quality of this match. Just like the Aerostar and Drago match, these two have great chemistry. The reason why Mack and Cisco have such great chemistry in the ring is they both were trained in the same Lucha Libre dojo. It also helps that they wrestle like cruiserweights, yet their bodies don’t match what you usually see in lightweights. Talk about body control, Mack and Cisco have better twisting and flying ability than most luchadores/cruiserweights.
El Texano Jr. vs. Famous B: This match lasted less than ten seconds but it didn’t need to go more than that. This Hit will contrast with a Miss that should have also gone a short distance. Famous B is a jobber in Lucha Underground and Texano is in need of squash wins. Within the squash, they also progressed this story where B is trying to find a new client after losing Mascarita Sagrada.
Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo vignette: Lucha Underground can be a bit too cheesy and B-movie at times where it’s refreshing to see them try new things and try quality things as well. This was a breath of fresh air narrated by Michael Schiavello. It was 100 percent sports-like with Shiavello doing the tale of the tape as well as narrating it like an MMA or NFL documentary. It also did a great job in only a few minutes of making the impending Rey and Mundo encounter seem like a big deal. Lucha Underground should not only take note but other wrestling companies like WWE and Impact should produce more of this type of vignette more often. Now if only Lucha Underground would bring back “Ringside with Vampiro” because that was Lucha’s other reliable big match building tool.
Cage Murders Delgado: While this may not be for everyone and the practical effects used in this version of murder were a bit more violent than in the past, this is still a good sample of what makes Lucha Underground different from other pro wrestling dramas. The part where Lucha Underground got “out there” was when Matanza ate B-Boy that one time. Murder in pro wrestling, that’s something different and it does raise the stakes in the kayfabe universe.
Overall Show: As I said in my full review, this episode would make a great first episode for new viewers. The Netflix deal is great for Lucha Underground exposure, but I can see it being a detriment to bringing new viewers to the current first-run shows. Because it’s set up as a serial, viewers who end at Ultima Lucha Dos (if season 2.5 didn’t scare them off) might not want to jump into the middle of season 3 due to missing essentially a whole season. I feel you can jump into this episode clean because they tied up a few loose ends and started new story arcs like the Cueto Cup, Drago’s heel run, and the Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio build. If you didn’t watch Lucha Underground before you even got an on-screen murder via a magic not-infinity gauntlet.
Lucha Underground Misses
Pentagon Dark vs. Argenis: The last time we got Pentagon vs. Argenis it was a quick squash match. This match went nearly seven minutes. Pentagon dominated most of it, so he still looks strong, but he loses a bit in that it took him seven minutes to beat up a jobber. Pentagon was best in season one when he was straight up squashing dudes left and right. Even though the crowd loves the guy, for the television viewer he needs a way to establish his mojo again and competitive matches against dudes he destroyed in the past don’t help him build back his monster mystique.