Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lucha Underground Season 2 Episode 24: Ultima Lucha Dos - Part I

ER: Matt is going to join me on all of Ultima Lucha, and then before long we'll actually get started on Season 3!

MD: I had seen these back when they aired, but rewatched them now. I had been MOSTLY unspoiled. I knew something big was going to happen with Sexy Star because everyone was mad about it but in general, that was it.

1. Falls Count Anywhere: The Mack vs. Cage

ER: I thought it was going to be a 4 way match, but it looks like it's a 4 man tournament for the unique opportunity? That's probably way better. I'd rather see 3 singles matches than one 4 way. Mack and Cage especially always work nutso against each other. And lo and behold these two go nuts on each other here. Match morphs from a wild IWA-MS brawl into a WWF 1999 hardcore division match and back again, with the crazy ramped up early as - with Cage slumped on the bottom rope - Mack hits a crossbody through him to the floor, sending Cage onto his head from ring to floor. Crazy looking spot. They bash each other with various stashed weapons, though I'm disappointed in Cage's lack of performance vision, as Mack blasts him with a guitar and Cage's head gets stuck inside, but Cage quickly tosses it off. Man, a weapon getting stuck on your dome is a GIFT. Terry Funk would have staggered all the way around the ring with his head inside that guitar. Both guys take wild suplex bumps on the floor, Mack gets put through a table, and the finish plays off their crazy Ultima Lucha match from last year. Didn't really need the Stunner spots as that feels more like Al Snow working a match after a minor league baseball game than two guys having a violent brawl in the Temple, but overall this was real good.

MD: I'd say this was about 2/3rds of real good. This felt like some sort of alternate reality where roided up guys stayed the norm in wrestling as opposed to the general sense of scrawn we have in the WWE these days, but that they were still big tape traders and worked a super indy style. It's big video game wrestling, like when you had the option to give the Big Show Rey Mysterio's moveset. In general, it's absurd. In this vacuum, though, it sort of worked. I thought it did fall apart a bit in the back third when Mack would do things like a shooting star press after being power bombed through chairs. I thought they'd be playing up the fact Cage was going for the kill and Mack was there to have fun. The finish worked despite that, because the zeitgeist with this match was fun. Mack won BECAUSE it had that major league baseball post-game match feel. One advantage Lucha Underground has is writers, real writers, ones who are able to play with continuity, both within the match (as in the case of the beer slip) and in general (with the cinder block that Cage was going to use before said slip). This was one way to get the crowd going at least.

2. Boyle Heights Bar Fight: Texano Jr. vs. Son of Havoc

ER: This wasn't as good as that. Things would have felt more violent without all the styrofoam tables and sugar glass, but even the stuff that was actually violent like Texano blasting Havoc in the balls with a chair didn't come off very violent because Havoc was up a moment later doing moves on the apron. The fake weapons and props came off hokey, and the normal wrestling in between stunt falls was weak. Havoc breaking out a barely-connecting springboard back elbow in a "bar fight" would certainly be hysterical and incredible if you were a live onlooker to an actual bar fight, but here it just comes off lame. Texano takes a big bump off the apron through a bar set, which was probably really painful, but looked silly with bottles effortlessly breaking yet not cutting anybody. In the ring Havoc breaks a bunch of champagne bottles to dust just by stomping on them, and boy was this stupid.

MD: Best part about this was how excited Dario was about it. I thought he was going to revenge the Village People and not a barfight when the saw the two of them in the ring. Actually, Dario might have been the best part of the first match too, where he was able to step out of the office and just watch with glee. I like the idea of Son of Havoc so much more than what we actually get. There's diminishing returns at play here as we were already desensitized from the first match. I'm just glad Texano lost after being the one to go through the bar.

3. Falls Count Anywhere: The Mack vs. Son of Havoc

ER: Pretty disappointing match, and the FCA stip didn't seem necessary. In theory it makes sense that this match would be shorter and less exciting, considering each guy went through their own big match right before this. But that doesn't make it fun to watch. I liked Havoc hitting knees on a shooting star attempt, but it didn't matter as he eventually just won with the shooting star anyway. If I had a choice, I would rather be on the receiving end of a SSP from Son of Havoc, than do a backflip landing teeth first on someone's knees. But my choices are just those of one man.

MD: Again, Dario is the big winner here, declaring this a Falls Count Anywhere match too just because. Eric mentioned the shooting star press onto the knees and what really made that work was the camera angle. I'm not sure I've ever seen that spot look so good. To Havoc's credit, he'd sell the ribs afterwards and into the post match. I don't think I can really give you a dramatic reason for why Havoc won though. He just sort of did.

ER: After saying he would have turned down 250K rather than relinquish his LU title shot, I was pretty happy to hear that Son of Havoc was being screwed out of his title shot. After all, if he ever won the title could you really trust that kind of man with it? And oh SHIT it's Dr. Wagner Jr.!?!? Ohhhhhhh man that's awesome. That means LA PARK could be a future possibility right!?

4. Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Son of Havoc

ER: Dr. Wagner Jr. has always been one of my favorites. When I first started watching lucha he immediately stood out to me with how expressive he was through his mask. Maybe that's a bunch of hokum, I don't know. But it's always stood out to me. This match was short and obviously wasn't meant to be a "great match", just Dario screwing him over. But again, a pro wrestler turning down a suitcase full of money in favor of a title shot? Dario was probably right to teach him a lesson in Net Earnings.

MD: Of course, Havoc was going to turn down the money. He's the Tommy Dreamer/Mikey Whipwreck hybrid who's in it because he loves the Temple and all that. Dario was gold again in this. Like I said, I came in unspoiled and this was a huge surprise. Wagner just feels important. I appreciate them bringing him in far more than if they had brought in Ryback or someone with more US star power. Cage not selling a guitar on his head notwithstanding, there's a level of acting and commitment with the Lucha Underground "cast" that you don't always see, and it's appreciated. Famous B and Brenda couldn't have been more committed. As for the match itself, it made Wagner look great in a debut, gave Havoc a hope spot that he desperately needed, and fit what they were trying to do.

MD: At the end of the day, I think all of this really did elevate Havoc. He's in a much stronger position than at the start of the hour and they can get more mileage out of him in the next season because of it. Some of the in-ring execution could have been better, but it was an effective wrestling show and we don't always get that all that much in 2016.


COMPLETE LUCHA UNDERGROUND EPISODE GUIDE


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