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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lucha Underground Episode 9: Aztec Warfare Workrate Report

PAS: One match show with no backstage vignettes which does take away a bit from the camp part of the show I enjoy so much. Aztec Warfare was a Royal Rumble with pinfalls and submissions which allowed guys to do dives, and we got a bunch of them. Lots of crazy flips, but again my favorite was Cuerno's bullet tope which was a missile. They did a nice job of weaving a bunch of stories through the match, the Chavo v. Sexy Star stuff, finishing how they started with Puma and Mundo. It had a very Pat Patterson rumble feel to it. Loved Ryck obliteration Sagrada, they really should have done a stretcher job. I also liked how they protected Ryck and Muertes by having them take multiple kill shots before going down.  Just solid stuff, which makes me intrigued about where they go forward

ER: "Aztec Warfare continues to change wrestling as we know it," said Matt Striker, 4 minutes into what was introduced as "the most brutal match in existence". But it's a Royal Rumble with pinfalls instead of over the top rope eliminations. They've had a couple of pretty violent matches in their short history so the build up and hype for what turned out to be a battle royal was kind of perplexing. I don't love the idea of one match taking up a whole episode, but I thought overall it worked as a large collection of spots. I did get majorly burnt out on Mundo by the end of this, especially his ultra athletic bumping. Most of the times his bumps feel really disconnected from the actual moves he is taking. It's like he takes the move, and there's a split second pause before he just does a flip. The worst was taking a nice rana from Sexy Star, he just stood afterwards and then somersaulted on his own. There were many moments of stuff just like this. A whole episode of Mundo is too mucho. But, he did blast Katrina with a crazy kick while she was on the apron, that might have gotten the biggest cheer of the entire match. Kind of came out of nowhere and made a big sound, great spot. Also felt like this match played like an In Memoriam to the superkick. Like this is the last time they were using it, so everybody was required to do a few of them. You could probably put together a pretty compelling tribute video of all the superkicks in this match, complete with Sarah MacLachlan's "Angel" playing over it. There had to be 30+ superkicks in this. It also drove me completely bonkers how Striker pronounced Blue Demon Jr. BLOO-dee-MOAN! BLOO-dee-MOAN. Just say Demon. Say fucking Demon. His emphasis is so fucking bizarre, it's like weird old movies from the 30s where they have foreign actors reading English words they don't know. I do love Vampiro pointing out stupid match strategy like breaking up pinfalls, and giving a logical reason for guys laying around all the time.

Still there was plenty about the match to like. I'd have to be a negative jerk to feel my time watching this was wasted. Almost all of the guys in here got fun moments to shine. I had complained about everybody working even with Sagrada in the last match, and this was like a direct response to me as Fenix dropkicks the shit out of him and Ryck smother clotheslines him to get him out of there quick. Chavo gets to come in and actually work the match logically, by blasting guys with chairs and eliminating them. Although it kind of made everybody else seem pretty stupid to not ever use a chair. I really dug Sexy Star's spots on Chavo, dug Mundo/Puma's 450s to vanquish a distracted and enraged Muertes, Cuerno has the best tope in lucha presently, even dug stuff like Mr. Cisco's chubby full contact sentons. Overall it felt like it was the end of a chapter, with some new stories beginning and others working towards more of a blow off, which makes for satisfying episodic television.


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