Segunda Caida

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

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 3: Ultimate Opportunities

MD: I liked the opening scene with Azteca, Rey, and Chavo. Both the Casita and the rolling half crab were shot well for something like this. I get why Rey wouldn't want Azteca to go after Pentagon. I don't what bigger challenge Rey thinks they have though.

1. Matanza vs. The Mack

ER: Fun big man match up, and LU does big man go go go matches better than anyone. There's a match floating around of these two a year ago, and they go a little too long and both guys kinda run out of gas. This is a nice edited down version of that, so we get a couple big bruisers going at it with the help of an edit bay, and it's better for it. At one point Mack chops Matanza across the face and Matanza responds with a headbutt to his chest. I dug the hints on commentary that Matanza's mask might be loaded. "What's that thing made of?" Loaded mask is one of my favorite gimmick items. I liked Mack going for a second silly stunner, getting caught by Matanza and then we get that slowwwww deadlift German which I will never not love. Frog splash hitting knees > Tour of the Islands (Tour of the Temple?) is a satisfying ending. The season has begun with Matanza far more vulnerable, which completely tosses out all of last season, but makes for a more workable character.

MD: Bombs upon bombs upon bombs. If WWE bought up Lucha Underground, they could run a Super-heavyweight Bruiserweight classic and the matches could probably be worked almost exactly the same as the CWC was. I'm not sure if that's a good thing in general, but it makes for an entertaining trainwreck, and in this case, an entertaining sprint. They did the usual good job in protecting Matanza while not having it be a squash by having Mack ambush him (he's more vulnerable but they always give a reason). The best part of this though was when Matanza hit that dangling pumphandle exploder suplex thing and Dario shouted "Break his neck. Next time, vertical. For the neck." If we're grading outside managers on syntax, Dario wins. I do really like how Wrath of the Gods can come out of nowhere and just end a match.

ER: Whoaaaaaaaaa. There is a LOT to unpack in these two last segments. And both of these are among the most entertaining LU non-wrestling segments of all time. The Bagel Bites ad. What can be said about this? Havoc and Sagrada hanging out together in Havoc's basement....."apartment".....Havoc clearly hanging out in jammy pants, and then Havoc's mom interrupts the hang sesh with their favorite snack, Bagel Bites! And then we end on Sagrada saying "Thank you, Mrs. Havoc!" With the delivered-with-a-straight-face "Mrs. was my mother's name. Call me Linda." And then we get a nice little Taya/Mundo/Dario segment with Taya showing her loyalty AND getting to correct Dario that PJ Black is actually, in fact, a DAREwolf. Duh. Great couple minutes of non wrestling right there.

MD: As endearing as Son of Havoc and Sagrada and Bagel Bites may be, I think that they did a very solid job building Son of Havoc up between the finale and the premiere and this is two steps backwards. In other vignette news, Taya was great interacting with Dario, pointing out the coke, sure, but with the great "Actually, he's a darewolf" line too.

2. Texano vs. Cage

MD: Texano feels like such a non-factor in the promotion now. Santos sure seems excited about announcing Cage for some reason. This, to me, felt like weightless go-go-go action. Cage focused on the neck to some degree but it wasn't even worth the announcers pointing out because the match didn't call for Texano to sell it. Dario came out after the match to announce this as a best of five series to kill time. Texano, having lost, was happier about that than either Cage or I am.

ER: Since Phil isn't watching anymore, this feels like a good time to bring up his regular complaint of "this fed really loves to book similar matches on the same show. We already opened with a power guys sprint so it's weird to have one right after". Match wasn't very good, either. Texano really is a total zero in LU. I'm sure there are many viewers who have no clue he's any kind of deal in Mexico. I like Matt's use of the word "weightless", because as I was watching this I was thinking about how nothing they did had any weight to it. It was like that Eric Bana Hulk movie, with Hulk just jumping and bouncing around off things. The weight was wrong. Obviously they were in there doing the moves, but they were both selling things like Petey Williams. But lucky us, we'll get to see 4 more chances to get it right!!!

MD: I have absolutely no idea who Ricky Mandel is or why he wants Dario's cool pictures.

ER: Mandel is returning from having his heart ripped out as the least member of the worst stable in LU, the Disciples of Death. Dude's got nothing to lose, may as well just sip a soda and flip through some cool Dario pictures.

3. Aerostar, Drago & Fenix vs. Jack Evans, PJ Black & Taya

MD: I thought they did a pretty good job mixing a Lucha Underground style spotfest trios match with all of the Jack Evans character stuff. I thought PJ Black made for a solid base for Aerostar in particular. I loved the spot where Aerostar evaded a Black corner charge by bounding up onto the ropes and then shifted around and hit a diving armdrag. They also had the great spot to end the match where Black tried to springboard in and Aerostar springboarded from the other corner and caught him with a rana, that was absolutely made by Black's stupid Darewolf scream.

I could probably make ten gifs of petulant Jack Evans but I won't do that to Eric; people should at least check out the goofy entrance though. I love the interactions between the three of them. His reactions to everything were great. It made a nice through story in the match to switch things up (which was good since we've had a lot of bombs and spots on the show already). I thought the payoff was a little frustrating as he just shrugged it off to be where he needed to be to catch dives at the end. I did like how the post match beatdown and save tied everything together. Logical booking is the best.

ER: I thought this was pretty nothing. A lot of guys seemed to be arriving too early at their marks, and there were some weird moments where guys seemed like they were holding way back against Taya. Jack Evans looks like crossfit Necro Butcher so I am in love. His schtick was plenty amusing here and I thought it played great with the team. Drago seemed a step behind, but Aerostar made up for that with a few fun Aerostar-doing-Aerostar moments that Matt covered nicely. This whole thing just felt way too scant, especially for the two major trios teams in the fed. Seems like all the trios teams are way underperforming, especially when compared to the first season. They all have moments you can point to, but none of them have been clicking.

And I wouldn't have minded Jack Evans reactions gifs. Not one bit. Matt's trying to blame me for not wanting them. Don't make me the bad guy, Matt.

MD: The Rey as special ref who wants to be loyal to his apprentice but doesn't want him to win and face Pentagon deal is actually pretty clever. It's the sort of shades of grey booking you don't get in wrestling nearly as much as you should.

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