Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lucha Underground Episode 5: Boyle Heights Street Fight Workrate Report

PAS: I really liked the opening office scene between Dario Cuento and Konan. Konan is so good in this role, sort of the street gang elder dealing with the low level Columbian connect.

ER: Not sure if this is an idea that is going to stick around, but I dug the Antibalas-esque house band they had playing. I've been to a few music/wrestling shows that are always a bad idea, as they were "watch a match, then watch a bad metal band!" with the bands always playing a few songs in between matches. They were awful and killed the mood for both. But having more of a house band to play during down time is a kind of cool idea.

1. Mil Muertes vs. Drago

ER: I really liked this one. Drago got soundly beat, but he put up a good fight and it wasn't just him getting demolished. Muertes finally looked impressive in a LU match. Part of it was Drago bumping big for him, but Muertes' stuff really looked on point, from the power moves down to the simple stuff. His overhand rights looked nice, his shoulder blocks looked painful, he had a cool standing powerslam that dumped Drago on his shoulder, and spearing Drago out of the sky was an awesome finish. Drago still got to hit cool speed stuff like a nice corkscrew body block and a sweet tornado DDT. This was a high quality Worldwide match.

PAS: Drago might be my favorite guy in Lucha Underground, I haven't seen a ton of his AAA stuff, but he is just crazy fast and athletic and has an awesome look. This is also the best Muertes has looked that big right into a standing powerslam was nasty looking. He still needs better pants and a better finisher, but he felt a little more like Mesisas here, who is a guy I have loved in the past.

2. Son of Havoc vs. Mascarita Sagrada

ER: Striker: "What does it say about Havoc that he's willing to beat up a woman, willing to beat up a little person." I would assume that Son of Havoc does not control who he gets booked against. His employer tells him to wrestle, he makes the most of his opportunity. Having Sagrada go over here makes that first episode Sexy Star loss to Havoc look even sillier. Sagrada took like 60% of this match, too, which reallllly makes me lose interest kind of quickly. There's only so much I can watch of an 80 lb guy tossing around a 190 lb guy before I get bored. It approaches something more like Kenny Omega wrestling a blow-up doll at a certain point. Not to mention that Sexy Star couldn't beat Havoc one on one, and Sagrada was able to beat him while also dealing with constant interference from Ivelisse (which, incidentally, was my favorite part of the match. I thought her interference - especially her neat yakuza kick - was really good). So now I'm supposed to buy Star against Chavo, even though she couldn't come close to beating a guy who just got beat by a little person. They're really losing me with all of this.

PAS: I really think Sagrada should be working trios or tags rather then singles matches, in and out quick hits work way better then expect us to buy a head on victory. I did like his tope to Ivelisse, but otherwise this felt like a waste of time.

3. Sexy Star vs. Chavo Guerrero

ER: And this ends up being not too much of anything. Chavo tosses her around for a bit, goes for a kiss, gets knocked to the floor, then Star grabs a chair and goes crazy going after all of the male genitalia, starting with the ref for the DQ. We get a Pentagon/Fenix run in with Pentagon kindly holding a chair in front of his face for a long time so Fenix can kick it. I did really like Star's alley-oop rana, with Fenix tossing her up into it. But this was almost all angle, no match. We'll see what it sets up I guess.

PAS: I thought Chavo came off like a total sleazeball rapist here, that kiss felt like a UVA frat boy. This is the best character work he has done in a decade. I do wish I could see whether that translates into a real match. Hopefully the tag this sets up will be a great in ring Chavo performance.

4. Big Ryck vs. Prince Puma

PAS: I thought this was about as good an overbooked ECWish match as I have seen in quite a while. Ryck looked way better then he looked last week, everything was really stiff looking, and he was great at knowing when to bump and when to shrug off his smaller guy. All the little beats of this match were great, Ryck catching the kendo stick, deciding to chill on a chair while his boys did the work, leading to Puma dropkicking him, that brutal looking KO forearm, and then the crazy Parkour leap from the rafters for the save. The finish felt a little telegraphed, but otherwise this was way better then it had any right to be.

ER: I thought this was pretty great. It was a great example of run-ins and interference actually adding to a match. I was expecting having to see a bunch of the massive Ryck taking a bunch of flipping armdrags. Instead Ryck got to break out a bunch of brutal offense, and Puma's comebacks were handled in really smart ways like having Cortez and Cisco interfere to take all the cool moves, which would lead to Ryck being taken off guard. The progression of the match is just really smart, with Puma fighting this monster, and Ryck actually coming off like a monster. Every one of Ryck's shots looked brutal, loved him flexing over the ropes while choking Puma, loved him pulling him into a KO forearm tug-o-war style, loved his big kneelifts. The spot where Ryck pulls up a chair to watch his goons take apart Puma, only to have Puma take them apart and then blast Ryck with a dropkick is just smart, fun, and unique. Poor props to the camera work for the way they filmed Mundo dropping in from above. It really looked like he flew 20 feet into the ring. This was a really impressive match, with a super smart layout that made every person involved look great.


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