By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Aired August 1, 2018 – Season 4 Episode 8
Taped March 2018 in Los Angeles, California at the Union Central Cold Storage Warehouse
This week’s Lucha Underground teaser started off with a clip of Big Ryck (a.k.a. Ezekiel Jackson) telling his cousin Willie Mack about how this business is all about making money (I almost thought they accidently aired a Season 1 episode. I miss Big Zeke on this show). Other clips on the teaser included Mack eliminating Mil Muertes from the Gift of the Gods Match pre-emptively, Johnny Mundo vs. Vibora, Cage vs. Pentagon Jr, and the Gift of the Gods match. This week’s episode was titled “The Ranks of the Reptiles”…
Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary. Metalachi was this week’s house band and they sang a song about Lucha. Matt Striker talked about Pentagon Dark and Brian Cage being at war. Striker announced that Cage and Pentagon Dark will face each other in tag team action. Vampiro noted that each man had a choice of their tag partners. Vampiro sent it over to Melissa Santos…
Melissa Santos introduced Daga first followed by PJ Black. PJ Black came out by himself, but as most viewers know the Worldwide Underground guys usually run out during the matches…
1. Daga (w/Kobra Moon) vs. “The Darewolf” PJ Black. Daga and Black started the match with chain wrestling. Daga went for a tornado DDT but PJ Black blocked it into a suplex. PJ Black locked Daga into a pendulum and hit Daga’s head into the bottom turn buckle. PJ Black locked Daga into a modified Rings of Saturn. Striker noted that Black and Daga are known for high flying but this is more of a ground-based match (Striker’s right with PJ, but Daga has been known as more of a technical wrestler than as a luchador). Striker then decided to get very metta by talking about how too many people doing backflips makes backflips less special.
Black and Daga traded strikes. PJ Black gave Daga a stiff forearm. PJ Black overshot a lionsault and Daga came back with a kick. Daga caught Black in a spike DDT and then followed through into a guillotine choke. Black made it to the bottom rope for the rope break. Black turned a Asai Moonsault into a Dragon Sleeper on Daga. Daga escaped and hit a series of strikes on Black. Black countered and the two started trading blows. Black caught Daga with a Rolling Sobat. Daga tripped Black on the top rope. Black reversed a frankensteiner and both men traded rollup attempts. Daga locked in a crucifix wristlock for the submission win.
Daga defeated PJ Black via submission in 7:31.
John’s Thoughts: Black is one of the feel-good stories in pro wrestling. He looks to be in good shape after a horrendous base/sky diving accident (his second accident) where he crashed into a building and he broke a bunch of bones in his body, even losing a finger according to him (I’m assuming the missing finger is under his gloved hand). It’s great to see him back and he was also one of the unsung in-ring MVPs of season 3 with that great Rey Mysterio match. Moving to current times, he looked very limited here and the commentators were even pointing out how this was not the same high-flying PJ. It’s a bit like Matt Sydal after his motorcycle accident. Anyway, coming from Vibora’s show-stealer, the crowd was confused here. Worldwide underground may or may not be heels and Daga isn’t interesting because he’s just a random guy who showed up as a reptile tribe guy. This is one of the many examples of “Shades of gray” going wrong.
Daga held PJ Black in a Rear Naked Choke after the match. Kobra Moon did a shriek which summoned Drago and Vibora to the ring. The reptiles put the boots to PJ Black. Johnny Mundo and Taya ran in for the save to cheers (they’re babyface this week?). Ricky Mundo/Mandel fumbled in the ring and failed at his part of the save. PJ Black used some kendo sticks to help Johnny from Vibora. After tagging Vibora on the shoulder they dispatched Vibora with a clothesline. Kobra Moon said the Reptile Tribe is in Johnny’s future. Johnny joked that Kobra was medusa and that she is going to turn the crowd to stone. Johnny challenged Kobra to a fight. Kobra Moon proposed a Worldwide Underground vs. Reptile Tribe match. Kobra said that Johnny will bow to Kobra as a queen if the reptiles win and if Johnny’s team wins the Reptiles will grant them any wish they desire. Johnny ended the promo by saying that the reptiles will go to slam town… [c]
John’s Thoughts: To Johnny’s credit, his promos are getting better. Not at the level of improvement that we’ve been seeing from Matt Sydal recently (two Matt Sydal references in the same Lucha Underground review, weird), but he’s sounding more confident. The Slamtown schtick is holding him back here too. It works better in Lucha Underground, but at this point it comes off as forced and in turn hokey. It’s the same weakness I pointed out in Dave Crist last year when he used to end all of his sentences with “…because Ohio vs. Everything”. This cornball catchphrase thing is not the main problem, but a part of what is keeping Johnny from being taken seriously as a World Champion level wrestler.
The Mack was getting geared up in the locker room. Red Dress Catrina teleported in the locker room and scared Mack. Mack joked that Catrina needs a bell on her to make people aware of when she arrives. Catrina warned Mack that Mil was coming after Mack for what he did a few weeks ago. Mack said Mil in fact scares the hell out of him and that Mil better back off before Mack drops Mil’s ass. Catrina said death swirls around him and that Mack should breathe in the death, just like Big Ryck. Mack opened up the locker and found a skull with an eyepatch and cigar. Mack noticed that this is the skull of his cousin…
John’s Thoughts: Ok… that was a bit comical, but if I were Mack I’d just run the hell away (even though the skull looked like it was bought straight from Michaels).
El Dragon Azteca was cutting an in-ring promo. He cut a Spanglish promo, with subtitles. He talked about how last week was the most difficult fight of his career. He said winning the gift of the gods title was the proudest moment of his career. He talked about how he intends to win the Lucha Underground Championship. He said he would be dishonoring his mask if he doesn’t win the Lucha Underground title. He talked about how his Eagle Tribe is legendary and he wants to make the Dragon Azteca Jr. name legendary too. Azteca said he will defend the gift of the gods against anyone who wants to challenge him. Azteca then said that he will only cash in the belt for a main event shot against the champion at Ultima Lucha 4… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Not bad. This guy can actually talk, in English and in Spanish. It was basic babyface stuff, but it was pretty good. I like them explaining why he doesn’t cash in immediately here. I also know where this leads to so I’ll stop there. We’ve been getting a lot more in-ring promos recently. I guess Lucha Underground season 4 is more of a traditional pro wrestling show than the cinematic show that it’s been in past seasons.
2. The Mack, Son of Havoc, and Killshot vs. “The Rabbit Tribe” Paul London, Saltador, and Mala Suerte for the Lucha Underground Trios Championships. Striker noted the divide between Son of Havoc and Killshot. The match started off with a face-off of all six wrestlers. Brawling ensued when Saltador shoved Mack. Killshot and Mala Suerte (a.k.a. Lil’ Cholo). Suerte and Killshot showed off some fun lucha libre. Havoc blind tagged Killshot much to Killshot’s dismay. Suerte rolled up Havoc after an armbar. London tagged in and hit a stomp on the shoulder of Havoc. London hit a series of roundhouses and a finger poke on Havoc.
Havoc tripped London and hit him with a falling elbow drop. London blocked Havoc with a boot but Havoc hit London with a backbreaker. Saltador and Mack tagged in. Mack hit a flying shoulder block on Saltador and then did a kip up into a moonsault. Saltador rolled to ringside. London pulled Mack outside to block the Tope Con Hilo. Killshot threw Mala Suerte into London and Mack. London tripped Killshot off the apron. Striker noted that Killshot is oddly attacking his own dudes accidently these days. Saltador tripped Havoc off the top rope to ringside. Saltador hit everyone with a springboard senton.
After more fumbling around the trios piled up in the corner with Havoc hitting everyone with a Tower of Doom. Havoc hit London and Saltador with a double stomp. Suerte and Killshot brawled. London held down Killshot. Killshot took down London with a kick and then hit Suerte with a Tiger Feint Kick. Killshot hit Suerte with a stomp and then stomped London down to the mat. Killshot put Saltador in position and then hit him with a stomp. Suerte caught Killshot with an RKO. Mack hit Suerte with a Stone Cold Stunner. Mack hit Suerte with a frog splash. Killshot blind tagged his way into the match and stole Mack’s pinfall.
The Mack, Son of Havoc, and Killshot defeated The Rabbit Tribe via pinfall in 7:19 to retain the Lucha Underground Trios Championships.
Killshot glared at Mack after the match. Striker defended Killshot for being efficient. Vampiro argued that Killshot was being selfish. Killshot was acting emo again as he roughly passed the title belts to his tag partners. Matt Striker then hyped up the Pentagon and Cage mystery partners… [c]
John’s Thoughts: I am not a huge fan of Lucha Underground not holding number one contenders matches for the trios titles especially since they do a lot of five-plus minute dark trios matches. This match was rough, but it was good in forwarding the story of Killshot’s continual petulance due to Dante Fox going missing. Striker was annoying at points, but the announcers did a good job debating over Killshot’s motivation at the end. I like the storytelling effort here and Killshot also had one of his better solo performances this season here inside of this trios match.
Metalachi welcomed the viewers back to Lucha Underground. Cage made his entrance first. Cage said when Antonio gave him the choice of a partner he wanted a cold-blooded killer. Cage chose King Cuerno who made his entrance wearing a dead deer on his head. Pentagon Dark made his entrance to reveal his decision. Pentagon said he was going to remind people that Cage and Cuerno are in his temple. Pentagon said he will take on both of them by himself because esta noche the Temple will bear witness of Pentagon breaking both men in half. “Por que Yo Soy Pentagon Dark. El Cero Miedo!”…
3. Cage and King Cuerno vs. Pentagon Dark in a handicap match. Pentagon hit a few kicks on both Cage and Cuerno. Pentagon ducked Cage’s lariat which caused Cage to clothesline Cuerno. Pentagon then took down both Cage and Cuerno with a Tope Con Hilo. Pentagon tossed Cuerno into one set of chairs and then Cage into another set. Pentagon went to the stairs to pander to the crowd. Vampiro called that hokey. Cuerno gave Pentagon to Cage after staggering him. Cage hit Pentagon with an inside-out Deadlift Suplex. Cuerno hit Penta with a frog splash and Cage hit Penta with an elbow drop. Cuerno hit Pentagon with a standing frogsplash. Cuerno then hit Pentagon with a dropkick.
Pentagon kicked Cage to regain momentum. Cage saw Pentagon doing one of his signature moves so he stood at the apron to trip up Pentagon. Cage then tagged in. Pentagon took down Cuerno with a lungblower. Pentagon took down both opponents with a series of thrust kicks. Pentagon hit Cage with the Canadian Destroyer for a nearfall. Striker noted that Pentagon beat Cage with a Canadian Destroyer a few weeks ago. Cage flapjacked Pentagon into Cuerno’s knee. Cuerno hit Pentagon with the Thrill of the Kill. Cage waved off Cuerno and Striker said this proved that Cage just hired Cuerno for the job (he is a bounty hunter). Cage hit Pentagon with the Drill Claw to pick up the win.
Cage and King Cuerno defeated Pentagon Dark via pinfall in 5:46.
Cage brought some chairs in the ring. Cage put Pentagon’s head on a chair and then gave him two con-chair-tos (luckily, he didn’t hit Pentagon’s head unprotected and only hit shoulders). Cage stood tall to close the show as the credits rolled…
But wait? There’s more! The show cut to some random desert. Johnny Mundo and Taya were climbing down into some tomb? Tomb Raider Johnny? No, this was more Indiana Jones. Johnny said that Kobra Moon and Daga were gone at some fake “Serpent’s ball”. Johnny even did the Indiana Jones line of saying “I hate snakes”. Taya and Johnny then entered Kobra Moon’s throne room. Drago was chained up in the corner. Vibora then appeared out of nowhere next to what looked like either Jeremiah Crane’s (Sami Callihan) or Fenix’s casket due to the spray paint on top. Vibora superkicked Taya. Johnny gave Vibora a few punches which the viewers saw in first-person.
Vibora no sold the punches and then went on to headbutt and choke out Johnny. Taya recovered and grabbed her bat that said “Wera Loca” on it. Taya then kneecapped Vibora and then hit Vibora in the back of the head which knocked him out after he made some cow noises. Johnny wanted to complete their goal of taking out the legs of Vibora. Taya took Johnny’s metaphor from earlier literally and said that they should cut the head of a snake. Taya found Daga’s huge ass sword which he used to cut the head of Pindar and Taya used the sword to cut off the head of Vibora. Johnny said that was hot. Johnny Mundo went back to get his Indiana Jones hat. The camera shot revealed that the casket was Jeremiah Crane’s casket. Johnny jokingly told Daga not to mention that he and Taya were here. Vibora’s severed paper mache head was shown on the ground which confirmed the latest kill on this show. The show ended after Drago let out a roar…
John’s Thoughts: Nooooo! Why? Vibora is a good wrestler now and they kill him just like that? Anyway, mixed thoughts on that post credits stinger. I find it funny and convenient that I wrote the review to Johnny Mundo’s movie last week and I joked that I wouldn’t mind seeing Boone in Space. I kinda got what I wanted in Indiana Boone. I like the cinematics starting to work their way back and this one was well done and fun. They are going a bit overboard with the killing though and I wonder if this is somehow a result of Lucha Underground dropping their “seven-year contracts” situation right before this season. Maybe they repackage Vibora, but it’ll be hard to hide all those tattoos. I’m guessing they replace him with Jeremiah Crane, who looks to be in an incubation chamber. That casket stood out of place like a sore thumb so I’m assuming they’re going in this direction. Plus, if they can revive the “dead” Sami Callihan, can they sow back on the head of Vibora? Pindar’s still dead but that’s because Kobra Moon wanted him dead.
Back to the match, it was short and sweet. I like the result. Two seasons ago they had Mil Muertes beat Pentagon and Ricochet by himself, but that’s because Mil was presented as a powerful monster. Pentagon is starting to get overconfident and it was good to add that layer of overconfidence to him in this segment. Pentagon shouldn’t be beating Brian Cage and King Cuerno by himself. It was cool to see a one-sided handicap match where the handicap stuff made sense. As for the show, a solid episode of Lucha Underground. Not sure why they are overplaying their “murder” card though. I’ll be by later today with my member’s exclusive audio review of the show.