By John Moore
Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Taped May 2016 in Los Angeles, California at The Temple
The intro teaser for this week’s Lucha Underground was different. It still focused on the Dario Cueto Cup but instead was a montage of the round winners. The return of Gift of the Gods was shown. Texano and Mil Muertes were also shown in the teaser. The teaser ended with Jeremiah Crane (Sami Callihan) looking like he was in pain. This week’s episode was titled “Bloodlines”…
At the Temple, the masked band El Conjunto Nueva Ola were providing the music for the episode and were singing about luchadores. Matt Striker and Vampiro were on commentary. Vamprio talked about the quarterfinals of the Cueto Cup. Striker said we were taking a tangent from the Cueto Cup with Aztec Medallions on the line…
1. Paul London, Mala Suerte, and Saltador vs. “The Darewolf” PJ Black, Taya, and Ricky Mandel (w/ Jack Evans) for three Aztec Medallions. Ricky Mandel tried to do the Johnny Mundo entrance but Taya pushed him away. The checkerman (Saltador) started off the match against Taya. Taya and Saltador traded waistlocks. Saltador shoved Taya. Black tagged in. Saltador did some unorthodox offense. Saltador hit a crossbody on Black and a superkick. Suerte tagged in and gave Saltador a boosted huracanrana. Suerte got a nearfall after a running senton.
Black hit some Kenshiro punches on Suerte in the corner. Taya tagged in and slapped Suerte. Taya worked on Suerte in the corner. Suerte managed to knock Taya and Black off balance. Taya was about to hit Suerte with the double knees but Saltador covered up Suerte and begged Taya to come at him. Saltador did some awkward humping motions. London said they do everything together and joined in the corner. Taya hit all three with the knees. London and Saltador broke up the pin attempt on Suerte.
The crowd chanted “lucky bastard”. Mandel tagged in and did some Mundo poses. The Rabbit Tribe did a ring-around-the-Rosie around Mandel. They took down Mandel. Black hit London with a missile dropkick. Mandel tried to jackknife pin London to no avail. Jack Evans crotched London on the top rope. Saltador took out Taya and Black with a plancha. Suerte hit Mandel with a neckbreaker. London hit Mandel with the Shooting Star Press for the victory.
The Rabbit Tribe defeated The Worldwide Underground via pinfall in 4:36 to win three Aztec Medallions.
Paul London sold the joy of victory. Striker went to hyping up the Cueto Cup with Jeremiah Crane vs. Mil Muertes coming after the commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A fun trios match with the right outcome. The Rabbit Tribe guys need more wins and are even starting to etch out an in-ring identity for each member. Thumbs up for Striker not making drug references. The Underground guys don’t lose anything because they have a designated enhancement wrestler in Ricky Mandel to take all of their crap. These was right winners for a match with the wrong McGuffins. Shouldn’t this match have been related to the Trios Division rather than Gift of the Gods? This just screams that Lucha Underground is rushing through the latest GotG chapter.
Mundo’s agent, Benjamin Cooke, was berating the Worldwide Underground for losing to the comedy Rabbit Trio. Cooke threatened to fire them but he said Mundo has a heart of gold and spared them. Mundo said Benjamin has gotten him offers from many outside sources. Mundo said he can get whatever he wants but he wants to remain Lucha Underground Champion. Taya said they want him to remain champ too. Mundo said they better step up or the Chingoncisimo (badass) is going to leave. Cooke then took Mundo away for some photo ops…
John’s Thoughts: Random note, Benjamin Cooke is portrayed by Hollywood actor/writer Dave Arnott. Arnott currently hosts a board game show on YouTube called “GameNight!” where he plays board games with his friends while also teaching the viewers how to play.
Mil Muertes attacked Crane during his entrance. Mil tossed Crane into a stack of boxes… [C]
2. Jeremiah Crane vs. Mil Muertes in a No-DQ Quarterfinal Cueto Cup Match. Striker said Dario Cueto made this a No-DQ match. Mil threw Crane through a door. Crane and Mil brawled next to the balcony atop of the announce table. Mil tossed Crane on top of the roof of a closet area. Mil slammed Crane’s face on the floor. Crane rolled to the crowd. Mil and Crane brawled in the bleachers. Mil slammed Crane’s back into the ringpost. Crane gave Mil a kick form the apron. Mil blocked a huracanrana and powerbombed Crane on the ring apron.
Crane sidestepped Mil to send him outside. Crane went for a suicide dive but Mil shoved Crane aside. Mil tossed Crane into the wooden steps. Crane came back with several pump kicks and put Mil on the seats. Mil no-sold chops while sitting. Mil didn’t no-sell the pump kick. Crane made a victory lap but right into a spear from Mil. Mil tossed Crane over the announce table. Mil threw chairs into the ring. Mil gave Crane a sidewalk slam into the top of set up chairs.
Crane kicked out at one. Mil slammed a chair into the back of Crane. Crane tossed Mil into a set up Chair in the corner. Crane jabbed Mil in the head with the chair. Crane trapped Mil under a chair. Crane hit the chair with another chair. Crane then taunted Catrina while setting up a table. Predictably, Mil gave Crane a spear into the table. Sadly, the table didn’t break. Mil broke the table by giving Crane a powerbomb on it. Mil went for the spear on Crane but Crane converted the spear into a Guillotine Choke. Crane rolled Mil away from the ropes. Mil powered up and shoved Crane into the corner which allowed him to push Crane off. Mil gave Crane a swinging chokeslam to get a nearfall.
Crane gave Mil a pump kick and carried Mil into a table with a cannonball. Mil no-sold the next set of Crane pump kicks. Mil caught a midair crane and hit Crane with a flatliner to pick up the win.
Mil Muertes defeated Jeremiah Crane via pinfall in about 13:00 of TV time to advance to the Semi-Finals of the Cueto Cup.
Instead of giving Crane a lick of death, Catrina made out with Crane in front of Mil. Mil gave Crane a boot and Flatliner. The winner of Pentagon Dark and Texano will be facing Mil Muertes… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This was a great and safe hardcore match. Crane is a great pro wrestling magician in how he can have strong hardcore matches with minimal real life damage. Mil is starting to pick up steam again after losing a few matches. Here’s hoping for more matches between Crane and Mil, but that’s how Mil Muertes is, it’s just fun to see him have these brawls with anyone.
In the latest Dario Cueto Office cinematic, an FBI agent entered to have a meeting with Dario. He said his name was Agent Winter. Dario was scared about being arrested. Winter laughed and said “hell no” to arresting Dario. Winter said “The Order” made Winter the replacement for Delgado (I’m guessing they ran out of money for Lorenzo Lamas). Dario was shocked that Delgado was gone. Winter informed Dario of Cage blowing up Delgado’s head. Winter talked about Cage going through an adjustment period after having a god put in his body. Winter said he was ordered to keep an eye on Dario and The Temple. Winter then fanboyed about loving Lucha Underground and being a Pentagon Dark fan. Winter then talked about some sort of war coming that will burn everyone. Dario said he didn’t know “The Order” had people in the FBI. Winter said they will do whatever it takes to make sure the gods rule again. Winter left and Dario clutched his red bull… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I’m starting to get intrigued by this “god” storyline. I also think that Lucha Underground has some in-ring storyline potential with “The Order” being mentioned. They are starting to get a bit contrived with their storyline but there are parts of the convolutedness that make for a good sci-fi tale.
3. El Texano Jr. vs. Pentagon Dark in a Quarterfinal Cueto Cup Match. Pentagon shoved his Cero Miedo hand sign in Texano’s face. Texano gave Pentagon some punches. Pentagon tried to come back but Texano hit him with a Ruff Ryder Leg Lariat. Texano fell outside which allowed Pentagon to hit him with a flip dive. Texano gave Pentagon a codebreaker in the ring. Texano then hit Pentagon with a flip dive to the outside. Pentagon dropkicked Texano to the outside. Texano came back with an elbow. The camera then focused on Famous B who was walking in like he was riding a horse. Texano argued with Famous B showing that he doesn’t want him there.
Pentagon gave Texano three Sling Blades in a row for a nearfall. Texano hit Pentagon with some nice Chop Lariats (more people should do that move if they can pull it off). Texano hit a running forearm and a standing enziguri. Pentagon gave Texano a lungblower. Texano came back with a front dropkick. Texano locked in a reverse Indian Deathlock. Pentagon got the rope break. Texano tuned up the horn and gave Pentagon a hesitation dropkick. The camera constantly cut to Famous B. We get it!
Texano caught Pentagon with a boot and gave him a top rope Ruff Ryder Leg Lariat (which Striker also called the Rough Ryder). Famous B grabbed a horseshoe. Brenda distracted Marty Elias. B accidently gave the shoe to Pentagon who used it to punch Texano. Pentagon picked up the win.
Pentagon Dark defeated El Texano Jr. via pinfall in 6:10 to advance to the Semifinals of the Cueto Cup.
Famous B begged Pentagon not to break Texano’s arm. Pentagon let go, superkicked B, and broke B’s arm (again). The crowd fired up with Cero Miedo chants. Brenda went into the ring to check on Famous B who cried about his broken arm. Pentagon also broke Brenda’s arm. Pentagon soaked up the Cero Miedo chants as the credits rolled…
But wait! There’s more! It was an LAPD post credits scene. Catrina came in to visit Captain Vazquez. Vazquez asked for Catrina’s help against the gods. Vazquez talked about how the gods are trying to take over Cage. Catrina tried to walk away saying it’s not her concern. Vazquez said she gave Catrina life twice. She held out her half of the magic immortality medallion. Catrina said she’s not alive since she’s like a ghost. Vazquez asked Catrina to send Mil after Cage. Catrina told Vazquez that Vazquez won’t be immortal if she gives Catrina the whole medallion. Vazquez said she doesn’t fear death, only gods. Catrina said the gods will fear death, a thousand. She then called Vazquez “mother”…
John’s Thoughts: That match was on its way to being El Texano’s most memorable performance since facing Alberto El Patron, but instead we got a lame finish and the focus being on the comedy figure Famous B. I also usually give Lucha Underground’s editing team a lot of credit for trimming the matches seamlessly. Whoever is editing these matches these days is doing a horrible job because this isn’t the first time they’ve done this. Rather than focus on the match, the camera was constantly cutting to the ringside manager. They did this with Melissa Santos a few weeks ago. They also did it earlier with Jack Evans (but that one fit better than my other two examples). This has to stop!
As for the post-match stuff, not a fan of the babyface Pentagon breaking the arm of the defenseless woman. At least Pentagon is an edgy babyface so there’s at least that. The post credits cinematic was good. This mystic LAPD storyline is way better than last year’s Joey Ryan comedy antics LAPD. The “Mother” announcement was a bit too much given how we already got “the order” early on. It also looks like Lucha Underground is starting to hit M. Night Shyamalan levels of plot twists for the sake of plot twists. Minus the mother twist, I like that Catrina is a cursed witch due to only having half of the medallion! Lucha Underground is going a bit overboard with the introduction of new elements and as I’ve said for weeks, they should try to work more with what they have. Gift of the Gods and the Trios titles are examples of story elements that get out phased by other story elements.
Aside from Famous B’s usage in the main event, this was a good show. Texano vs. Pentagon was a good match between the ropes before the story became all about B’s comedy. We got some good cinematics. Benjamin Cooke is starting to grow on me, he was more original and less of an agent stereotype. Mil continues to destroy dudes. The Rabbit Tribe are starting to pick up steam. A lot was good in this episode. I’ve already stated the flaws. I’ll have more thoughts in my Lucha Underground Hit List and member exclusive audio review.