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Monday, January 19, 2015

Lucha Underground Episode 10: Law of the Jungle Workrate Report

1. Aerostar vs. Argenis vs. Angelico vs. Cage

ER: Striker describes Argenis as a Silver King/Dr. Wagner Jr. type which…okay I've seen Argenis before and nothing he does in the ring would ever remind me of Silver King or Dr. Wagner Jr. Nothing he does, nothing about his look, not at all. Silver King and especially Dr. Wagner are maybe the exact opposite types of luchador to a guy like Argenis. "I really like this Angelico kid. Reminds me of an old Cien Caras." I just really am not understanding the comparison. It's so weird that maybe I just heard it completely wrong, but I don't think so. Vampiro opts to call his style "conflictive" which…I'm pretty positive is not an actual word. Match itself was very fun. Angelico is a guy who usually looks like he gets hurt way worse when doing his offense, stuff like lightly kicking a guy on the top rope while falling on his own head. But this kind of 4 way is the perfect setting for guys like him as he can bump big, get out of the way, and then do a cool spot. His dive over the turnbuckle was insane. Cage also looked good and I liked how everybody pinballed off of him. This is also the "smallest" I've seen Cage in over a year. He's still way bigger than he was a couple years ago, but in early 2014 he ballooned up to Scott Steiner levels of not being able to lower his arms properly. Now he's still gassed but has a lot more of his agility back. He took all of their ranas really nicely and set them up well. All of the floppers did a great job bouncing off him and everything ran smoothly, no glitchy hangups. Also dug Cage's folding powerbomb on Aerostar, followed by him powerbombing him into Angelico. We got some really cool dives and aside from Angelico's insane one I loved the top rope no look tope en reversa from Aerostar. Really fun stuff.

PAS: Yeah this was really good, probably the second best match this promotion has done. I think it is a little weird to intro four guys like this in one match. Might have been better to intro Cage and Aerostar along with Son of Havoc and Super Fly, it is hard for four guys to make an new impression all at once, and I think Argenis and Aerostar may have been a bit overshadowed. Angelico was one of the worst wrestlers in the world when he was regularly showing up in IWRG, but he looked passible here, and his dive was nutso. Really cool use of Cage, and this promotion has been great at using giaganto roid dudes.

ER: Chavo sits in the ring to call out Blue Demon Jr. (whose name Matt Striker can now finally pronounce the way a human being would) and I love the camera work focusing on Chavo secretly pulling out brass knux. Demon putting the boots to Chavo didn't actually look very good, but it was more energy than I've maybe ever seen from Demon so I'll give him points.

PAS: I hope this is it for Blue Demon, this was a fine blowoff and was better then having to watch him in a match would be. Wonder what they do with Chavo from now on, he has been one of my favorite dudes in this fed, and would hate to see him marginalized.

2. King Cuerno vs. Drago

ER: This match was their weakest so far but used moves to set up a bigger match so it gets a pass. This was more a couple of big spots with not much in between. We had a massive flip dive from Cuerno (and again Drago gets full credit for leaning way into Cuerno's dives) and a nice dive by Drago, and then a clunky set up to get Cuerno lying on top of a table (there really is no good way to get a guy to accidentally lie down on a table) leading to a massive splash from Dario's office that exploded the table in fantastic ways. I'm actually surprised this episode hasn't had any replays, as stuff like that spot and Angelico's dive feel like things that should have been repeated a couple times.

PAS: I think this was a 2/3 falls match edited way down. Sort of a bummer as I was looking forward to these guys building on what they had done before, as opposed to just setting up a couple of spots. Still the blowoff should be great.

3. Fenix vs. Prince Puma

ER: This wasn't really my thing. Fenix's stuff works way better in a 4 way type match, and eventually this kind of just turned into nonsensical your move my move stuff with no real transitions. Fenix would hit a 450 and that would lead directly into Puma hitting a sit out piledriver. Fenix also has the habit of overly anticipating moves sometimes, not really good at naturally getting into position for stuff. A couple times he was so anticipating a move that he started bumping before the move part came. I like Vampiro bringing up Finlay booting him in his back when Puma does that to Fenix (which Striker keeps uncomfortably referring to as "The Victim Kick". Not sure what that means but it feels icky), saying it sent shockwaves down his arms. Donovan Morgan told me a similar thing years ago when Takayama booted him square in the spine, and he said both of his arms went momentarily numb. That was one of the first times I remembered thinking wrestlers were complete lunatics. So yeah all in all there were some neat spots in this match, but by the end I couldn't really care much about them.

PAS: I though the finish run was pretty cool, and that rope running spot into the superkick was great, but this had a very videogame feel to it, which I don't love. I understand that is going to be the working style of this fed, which is fine, I enjoy enough about Lucha Underground to tolerate this kind of PWGish thing, still I think both guys would have been served working with Rudo's to slow them down a bit. Looking forward to Puma v. Cage or Fenix v. Pentagon Jr. for those reasons.

ER: Feels like they need to go back to some more vignettes per episode. The last few weeks have had a lot of all ring action, and it seems crazy to be saying "man I wish there were more backstage skits!" but I think those were a real strength for this show. They obviously have some talented wrestlers so it's not the worst thing to have a whole show of just wrestling, but they started out with a real good balance of wrestling with character back story, and now it feels like the characters have just kind of stalled. Like they made a big deal out of Cuerno being some kind of hunter, but haven't really explained why outside of one video several weeks ago. Now he's still referred to as a hunter and Vampiro compares him to Predator, but we've not really been shown any reason why that's the case, other than them saying it a lot. I think they need to get back to that kind of stuff.

PAS: Yeah, I want to know who Dario is keeping under lock and key, I assumed it was Cage but apparently not, they need more campy angles as a bunch of guys doing flips for flips sake is going to wear a bit thin for me. Still liked this episode a bunch, but it did feel a little formless.


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