Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lucha Underground Season 2 Episode 8: Life After Death

ER: Dammmmn Fenix and Catrina bring the sensuality, with tender arm caressing and neck touching and gentle tear wiping. I bought in. You can't fake upper arm caressing or waist touching. Shit's real.

1. Ivelisse, Angelico & Son of Havoc vs. Disciples of Death

ER: We get another major stipulation literally mentioned as an afterthought, as Melissa Santos does ring intros and as she's exiting the ring goes "Oh, the team of Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc have agreed to leave the temple forever if they lose." Oh. Okay! It immediately telegraphs the ending, although it would have been quite the hilarious boner if it hadn't. I mean, they hadn't wrestled on TV in a month, and I can't think of a more last minute way to announce a major stip like being gone FOREVER, so by doing that either you immediately reveal the result (which is what happened),  or you treat a major stip - again - like an afterthought. So stupidity aside, and it was stupid, the match was fun. Short and rather inconsequential, but fun. Disciples of Death are second only to Sexy Star in terms of Striker's commentary not ever matching up to anything we've ever seen. "This team is hate personified" "Don't be alarmed by their violence" This is a team who has beaten Pimpi teaming with a mini, lost to Puma/Pentagon without ever even having an advantage despite them being on the privileged side of a handicap, and then got handily beaten here. This is not a team anybody is scared of. Billy Zabka's skeleton gang looked far more menacing biking after Ralph Macchio. They aren't violent, they don't wrestle any bit out of the ordinary. They have never, ever looked threatening. Nothing at all about them is "the embodiment of pure evil". One of them did a really nasty stretch muffler on Ivelisse. That, I liked. Your tecnicos all looked good with Ivelisse standing out, as she has better facials than the other members of her team it's easier for her to make stuff more meaningful.

PAS: This was fine, the Ivelisse, Angelico, Havoc team have turned into a consistently entertaining act. Ivelisse is by far the best in ring female act in the fed and has been able to make the otherwise terrible mixed matches tolerable. The Disciples of Death are such goobers, a total zero. I like the idea of Muretes having a group of evil henchmen, but if you put jobbers like Ricky Mandel and Argenis under spooky masks you just have masked jobbers, and every time they wrestled they felt like that. I hope this is the end of this concept.

2. Bullrope Match: Chavo Guerrero vs. Texano

ER: This was a weird culmination of a pretty bad, very rushed feud. A few weeks ago Texano dominated a 3 on 1 handicap match and lost due to cheating. That kind of thing tends to lead to a cage match or something, but he's a whipmaster so for whatever reason it leads to a bullrope match. I guess that's his special match? They do a decent job, but this whole feud was dead out of the gates anyway, and a bullrope match doesn't tend to be a good visually violent match. I'm sure getting smacked with a thick rope hurts like hell, but it's a violence that hurts more the next day than to the TV audience watching at home. Still, this had moments. Chavo was effective getting yanked around by the rope, off the top, splitting his uprights; Texano took a nice spill through the ringside chairs, and spills through ringside chairs have officially become their version of a NOAH rail ride or a WWE ring steps bump. I like it. The chairs bump is the best of the three as you get tons of motion, like getting tossed into a swimming pool but you get rows of chairs rocking and sprawling. So yeah, okay enough match for what it was, and hopefully the feud is over. Texano has really been quite the muffled fart in LU so far.

PAS: I like Chavo, and I think he has had some nice character moments in this fed but he hasn't really delivered a great match, this was the closest to a good match, as there was some nice violence, but this could have used some blood or a bit more ferocity. I would have no problem if we never see Texano again.

ER: Muertes finally dispatches the Disciples of Death (at least two of them), flipping out and chucking them all around the locker room. I mean that's what happens when you summon a trio of jobbers from the netherrealm. You don't have Hogan recruit Joey Maggs and Frankie Lancaster to do his bidding.

3. Fenix vs. Mil Muertes

ER: Great great big match feel from the guy who has been probably the best big match worker of the last year plus. These guys both know how to read the room and that's important in a big match epic. It's not that far removed from just doing heatless spots in a questionable order. But this whole thing built and Fenix was really able to bring the fight to Muertes the Insatiable. Muertes would stomp him down and pound him through the mat but Fenix was so great in the struggle, so great at fighting back and surviving. Once masks started getting ripped you knew this shit was heating up. That's a thing we've seen a lot in actual lucha, but I don't believe that's a road they've traveled down in LU, as right when Mil started ripping into Fenix's mask it had an Oh Shit feel to it...and once Fenix started ripping Mil's mask it had an OHHH SHIIIIIIT feel to it. Once Muertes spears the shit out of Fenix off the apron things really start to feel real, and as they brawl through the crowd and the bloodied up Fenix is rubbing through people, Muertes just ups the ante by awesomely shoving Fenix into the crowd as he's running towards him on the rail. That was not what I was expecting. Just a bullying, tossed off shove right into the crowd. The fans help Fenix back, and the lunatic runs right back onto that rail, launching himself at the farthest point right into Muertes on the floor. Muertes gets pissed and back in we get nastiness like a DDT off the top rope and a vicious urunage. You haven't seen a urunage this awesome since grumpy old man Hiroshi Hase wrestled a trainee. But Fenix keeps fighting, and just when he's down that's when he sneaks in a superkick, or a rabbit punch, tricking Mil into punching a chair, just annoying Muertes with his mere survival. I was not actually seeing his victory coming. I was looking forward to a long Muertes reign, just a dominant monster on top of his throne. Fenix getting the win was a big surprise and a nice moment, but now I'm wondering what the angry godlord is going to do to get his title back. There's something special about not just an epic, but a main event epic, and this totally delivered.

PAS: This was a killer match, that is three great matches this pair of guys had in 2015. I am pretty sure Fenix got his mask ripped in Grave Consequences too, but Fenix tearing Muertes's mask and blooding him up was a great moment. Fenix is awesome at throwing in crazy highspots in ways that fit in perfectly,  there are a lot of guys in LU who do cool shit, no one makes it matter as much as him. Muertes is so great, he is maybe the best guy at working at vulnerable monster since Vader (Brock is great, but I think I would take Muertes over him.) Great overcoming the odds victory, which makes the goofy post match a little worse, they should have let the victory soak in a bit.

ER: They announce that Aztec Warfare is now for Fenix's just won title, and Fenix is now the #1 entrant, and Mil is now the #20 entrant. That kind of stuff is starting to feel way too overdone and "The Authority" when I'd rather just see Mil murder somebody. We'll see how that works, but this show was mostly a win, and you can argue with that main event it was a major win. And this show needed a win after the last few weeks.

PAS: I totally agree, that kind of stuff is very bush league heel authority figure stuff. This fed is at its best when it does its own thing, and there is no need to book like a tossed off RAW episode. This is the same instinct that brings in guys like PJ Black, and it isn't a good one.

***Muertes/Fenix is an easy add to our 2015 Ongoing MOTY List, because apparently every time these dudes match up it manages to be completely great***


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