Segunda Caida

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

Friday, December 05, 2014

Lucha Underground Episode 6: The Key Workrate Report

ER: Noticed Chris DeJoseph's name in the producer credits for the first time. So I was wrong when I said no former WWE writers/producers were involved. Apparently the guy who wrote himself onto TV as Big Dick Johnson was picked as the wrestling mind involved with this show. Can't say I actually ever saw one of his segments as Big Dick Johnson, because I have the magic powers of fast forward.

PAS: I liked the opening segment with Big Ryck and Dario, although Big Ryck probably shouldn't talk as his Island accent kind of goes against the character a bit.

ER: Yeah the island accent was totally jarring as I didn't remember what he sounded like in WWE. Although damn now I'm kinda bummed that they didn't tweak his gimmick a bit and make him more of an island thug, like Julius Harris in Live and Let Die.

ER: Pre-match Ivelisse says that "they didn't sign a 7 year contract to fight women and half men". Jesus, a 7 year contract handed out to Son of Havoc?! Clearly a guy the promotion probably could have afforded to go year-to-year on.

1. Son of Havoc vs. Pimpinela Escarlata

PAS: Fun match with Pimpi being as electric as I remembered him. His over hand chops are Ron Garvin great. Son of Havoc should have left that goofus gymnastics ring post splash back in his MadDogg20 days, it is a dumb spot when it is done by a guy who's gimmick is straight edge yarder, it is really dumb if he is supposed to be a masked biker. Match went a little off the rails when Pimpi torched his arm, although he is such a pro that he pretty seamlessly integrated it into the match.

ER: YES! It's great to see Pimpi back on my TV. It's been too long. Actually quite surprised that Cassandro wasn't signed up for this show now that I think about it. I loved this match. If this was something that had taken place on WCW Worldwide it would be legendary. Pimpi was great as ever, his chops were brutal (the ones to Havoc's back were Fassbender-esque), he always has a nice missile dropkick, and also broke out a crazy spinning heel kick off the apron. And of course the bumps. Here he takes a big one into the corner and another spilling to the floor off the apron in sick fashion. Now, that shoulder injury…I think he may just be really great at setting up a "I think that was real!" fall (the way Chris Hamrick used to do) and then is just good enough to make it look like he has a real shoulder injury. I remember seeing him do something similar to this years ago in AAA with a knee injury. I don't think this is quite like seeing KISS for a second time and being disappointed that Ace Frehley (Bruce Kulick?) knocks the SAME light fixture loose with his firework launching guitar. I think Pimpi is just real good at setting up unique match plots and then following them through (the only two tells for me were him holding the ropes to block the sunset flip, and the ref holding up the arm with the bad shoulder). I also though Havoc looked fine in this, and I kind of like the dorky ass flagpole elbow drop. Phil's right that it doesn't work at all for some sort of masked biker, but I like it as a CrossFit douchebag showoff spot. I hope it has a name like "The P90X-Factor".

2. Mil Muertes v. Famous B

PAS: I am over the Mil Murtes squash, I think they have established the guy enough over the last couple of weeks, hell they had him squash a guy pushed as an iconic legend in his first week, no need to have him squash a jobber in week six. He also needs a better finisher, there is nothing more played out then the flatliner. I like Mesias, I enjoyed the Drago match, I just am over this, and if anyone out there can hear me, GET HIM BETTER PANTS!!

ER: Good god those pants. How hard would it be to get some black tights with Aztec imagery? He's got the headdress already! That had to be way harder to obtain. Famous B did his job in this match, bumping around nicely for Muertes' Attitude Era offense. I look forward to seeing how Muerte's Roll the Dice or Play of the Day look.

PAS: I was asking for a Drago vignette and they delivered. I loved the little kid voice over, it sounded like it was the intro to a Wu-Tang track, like something off of a Killa Priest solo project.

3. King Cuerno v. Drago

PAS: These guys match up really well. Like their previous match Cuerno does a good job modulating speed, his gimmick of the deliberate hunter, stalking athletic pray works nicely in this kind of spot fest. He also has one of the best tope's in wrestling which can capture my heart. They mentioned that they are tied up one to one, so I hope the rubber match is in the main event time slot so it can get a little more time.

ER: Another fun sprint from these guys. I like how they're keeping track of wins and losses, always referencing who beat who and how they beat them. Striker can be insufferable ("how can I force in a Michael Dokes reference…") but he gets full credit for making near falls mean more by pointing out what move a guy beat another guy with, stuff like that. Drago's flip dive was crazy as about 5" farther would have sent his tailbone into the temple steps. Cuerno's dive though, is just a flawless tope. Highspeed, great follow through (doesn't just make contact and bail away from opponent) and just totally engulfs his opponent. Drago has huge balls to man up to it.

PAS: Nice set up to the 3-way ladder match, Cuerto has been a little too bumbling in the last couple of weeks so it is good to see him show a little cunning. I also am official intrigued by the key, there hasn't been a good mystery angle in wrestling in forever (ever? has there ever been a good mystery angle?)

ER: Boy at the same time I noticed Puma's right hands looking nice during this, I also noticed how shockingly bad Mundo's looked. It looked like he was running a Chris Chetti throwback gimmick. 3-way matches as a rule don't get me very excited, but last week this fed did a classic overbooked ECW garbage match and it was awesome, maybe they can work some magic with this format. Man, as for successful mystery angles….probably just Hogan joining the nWo? I wasn't really watching wrestling at the time so I couldn't say if it was actually shockingly to "insider" fans. Actually, and this may sound ridiculous, but Kurt Angle debuting with TNA was genuinely surprising, and the "what big star will debut" mystery was kept pretty secret if I remember right. I mean, I wasn't excited about watching Angle in TNA, but that was a mystery angle (harhar) with a satisfying and surprising reveal to a lot of fans. Which is possibly because most people assumed the debuting big star would be Jim Neidhart or something.

4. Chavo Guerrero Jr./Pentagon Jr. v. Sexy Star/Fenix

PAS: Tag matches are a much better place for Sexy Star then singles matches, she can hit and run and we don't have to watch her try to overpower a much bigger man one and one for an extended time. Liked the pacing of this too, as Chavo and Pentagon cut the ring off, and punish Fenix before the big wild finish. Not completely sold on Fenix, he has some flashy stuff, but his in between work isn't nearly as solid as most of the other pushed guys on this show. He is obviously being pushed big, and I am not sure he is ready for it. Not sure where Chavo goes from here, but he is clearly playing his role with gusto.

ER: I liked this match and especially dug the Chavo/Pentagon team. Fenix was a little exposed in an actual tag format, as he still has some spectacular looking spots but they work better when he's able to run through a bunch of them while a base gets into position for him. His stuff is harder to integrate in a hot tag situation, or when he has to, you know, sell. Still I love that flipping powerbomb rana, and his floppy dives are fun. Chavo looked really good here and I know people have complained about some "WWE style" stuff creeping into Lucha Underground, but when you see a match like this and Chavo is really the only one who knows how to do a convincing headlock to build heat, you kinda appreciate it.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Mystery angles

- Eddie Gilbert's mystery partner in '89 and Dustin Rhodes' mystery partner in '91 both paid off perfectly (It was Steamboat both times).

11:03 PM  

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