Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Lucha Underground Season 2 Episode 19: Judgment Day

So I had the remainder of LU Season 2 finished up as they aired, and I've been holding out posting them just in case Phil got re-interested in the product. Well, then I noticed Season 3 is coming back this week, and it's pretty clear Phil ain't interested in Lucha Underground at this point, so over the next week I'll be posting my completed write ups of the final 8 episodes of Season 2. Maybe Phil will join in if he likes the sound of a match on paper, maybe Matt will join in for a co-review. But I figure I gotta get these things out of drafts and then dive back in with Season 3. Enjoy!

1. Son of Havoc vs. Daga

ER: What an odd match. An odd, dull match. I can't put my finger on it, but there was something very different about the feel of this match than any other LU match we've watched. Something just felt so...plain? Bland? It felt like a heatless time filler match during the last hour of Smackdown. The  always-entertained live crowd was weirdly quiet through the first several minutes. The omnipresent season 2 sound sweetening was absent. Even the constantly loud Striker was weirdly subdued and just calmly and quietly calling headlock strategy while Vampiro verbally fellated every movement Daga made. Daga would run the ropes and Vampiro would let out a little primal grunt under his breath. "Look at that. Look at how he moves. Just look at him." I really hope this is the beginning of Vampiro turning into a BDSM Kal Rudman. But man was this dull. At one point Havoc did his silly core strength flag pole elbow drop on the floor and Striker says that it's moves like that which allow the fans to relate to him. I have no fucking clue how that elbow drop would make anybody relate to anybody. Is he referring to CrossFitters in the royal we? Who relates to anybody while they're doing any kind of elbow drop? Somebody hit a nice dive at some point, I think. And I liked Havoc's rope assisted dropkick to the floor, with Daga ducking the first and getting nailed with the second. Match was between 4 and 16 minutes long.

2. Rey Mysterio, Prince Puma & Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Jack Evans, Johnny Mundo & PJ Black

ER: Another decent match, but again far short of what I feel these guys are capable of. And we don't really get any reference to last week's match until the very end. Up until that point they're basically working as if it was their first match together. This one was weaker than last week's, with tons of moments of guys lying around, killing time waiting for other guys to do something, and the spot set up was really weak in parts. Evans was a standout and his cocky shit talker was at least attempting to add some personality to this, but the tecnico team was alarmingly bland here. There were fine moments, a superplex to the floor on a bunch of guys will almost always look impressive, but there were several moments that just looked off in this one. Whereas the first match sounded odd because there was no sound sweetening, here there were a couple of moments where the sound sweetening was off by a split second, and oddly used in minor moments and not used in larger, momentum swinging moments. It made no sense. This tecnicos team is certainly feeling lesser than the sum at this point.

ER: Looks like we've finally found a way to make Black Lotus look like a decent actress, just pair her opposite whatever it was that Rey Horus was doing in this segment!

3. Cage vs. Matanza

ER: I love monster vs. monster matches! And monster vs. monster is a LU specialty. And there was some crazy stuff here. Cage is a loon doing some of the stuff he does on his frame. Within the opening couple minutes he broke out a gorgeous flip dive and then a moonsault off the top to the floor. Nuts. A lot of his strikes looked monstrous too. At one point he did a series of 15 or 20 short arm clotheslines to Matanza in the corner, and they were some of the best I've seen. Standing corner clotheslines are tough to make look good, and damn did he make them look good, likely by swinging his arm as hard as he could into Matanza's chest and neck. He also solved another difficult strike, the mounted punch, by just raining down on Matanza with hammerfists. Both guys toss each other all around, with Cage getting dumped on the floor with a german, and really if you're going to have a section where guys no sell a series of german suplexes, this was the match where it was going to make sense. Matanza works like he takes no damage, and Cage hulks up believably from them because, well...look at him. Loved Matanza putting the exclamation point on the suplex exchanges by stopping the momentum, scooping him forward, and then planting the suplex. That kind of strength is just unreal. Cage really put on a heckuva show here, though I do think they tried to pack too much. Cage has a huge arsenal and sometimes he gets too show-offy with it, though I guess a good time to break out every move in your arsenal is when you're up against the guy who can't take damage. This was fun.


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