Segunda Caida

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 8: Gift of the Gods

MD: Eric fell a little behind on these which gave me the excuse to fall a lot behind on them. I had hit the point of Sexy Star exhaustion, I think. Let's see if we can't power through this part of the season though.

ER: Dario is drinking a pretty impressive amount of whiskey when Sexy Star comes in. Those are some big tumblers he has and it was still filled up over two fingers. This consumption may offer some insight into why Dario keeps thinking it's a good idea to keep Sexy Star around.

1. Marty The Moth Martinez vs. Ivelisse

ER: Here's the obligatory Phil throwback spot where he points out them running the same angle and same match on the same show. On a show with a big intergender main event, we have to open the show with a big intergender opener. And I thought this was a really good and really smartly worked match. Marty has quickly turned into one of my favorite guys in the fed, and while we don't get his big bumps in this one, we get to see him show off with some offense, and feed into Ivelisse's offense in satisfying ways. She takes tons of huge slams, and laces into him with strikes to make the size difference seem less silly. Her running knee looked great and her kicks to a kneeling Moth landed with a great snap. Nothing overstayed its welcome, and the whole thing arced wonderfully. We get Sami Callihan's debut and he makes it count with an awesome pump kick into Moth's jowls. Sami/Ivelisse vs. Moth/Mariposa is actually something I want to see.

MD: I'm writing this after having seen the entire show. As such, yes, it's nuts they did both intergender matches in the same hour. Parts of the narrative, like the male being stronger and having an obvious advantage and the female getting her biggest moment with some sort of choke showed up both times. The problem, especially, was that Ivelisse is so much more believable in the role, especially because she has the killer strikes that Star simply doesn't. Marty's reactions to everything are my favorite thing about Lucha Underground. I'd watch him ham it up over even the best Aerostar dives every week if I had to choose. Sami is such a breath of fresh air too. It's Lucha Underground so there's nothing pure about it. I'm more than happy to see a guy who can have world class matches show up.

ER: I think that's Paul London in the white suit, but I still avoid tapings results. I've seen him recently working a shitty bearded lame sunglasses asshole gimmick on the indies, and the person in the white suit certainly seemed like a shitty bearded lame sunglasses asshole.

MD: I haven't seen Paul London wrestle in years. Him bounding about in a rabbit gimmick spouting goofy Lewis Carroll lines seems as good an addition to the mix as anything else. Like I said, not lucha purism here.

2. Cage vs. Texano

ER: This is the 3rd match of the 5 match series that did not need to happen. If you could choose a 5 match series between any two guys in LU, how many combos would you have to make before you got down to Cage vs. Texano? 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, and this was probably the best of the three so far, with both guys taking some big bumps on the floor. Even then it totally devolved into Cage 2 count NO Texano 2 count NO Cage 2 count NO! bullshit. And lucky us, we'll get 2 more chances to get it right!!!

MD: This is another reason I let myself get distracted. Cage sure hit a lot of offense here. That might have been the story, that Cage was just too much and Texano, with his back against the wall, outmatched, hit a quirky roll up. I thought some of the transitions back to Cage being on offense were good, but they didn't at all come together. I'm well past the point of caring here. At least this is all leading up to godly spiritual possession or something, right? The freakshow plot aspects of LU are the draw, not something to live in spite of.

ER: Dario clearly seemed three sheets while talking to Rey. And it's understandable that he is this smashed, as he has to continually convince himself that he has made the correct choice in keeping Sexy Star this strong.

MD: I love how Dario isn't just a straight out one-dimensional bad guy. He's got his motivations. Rey brings him money. He's the biggest draw he has and he knows it. Therefore he'll treat him differently than everyone else. Dario's at least two-dimensional.

3. Johnny Mundo vs. Sexy Star

ER: This was probably the best we could hope for out of a Sexy Star match, even if I think the smoke and mirrors went on far too long. And the fact this is maybe the best of the endless parade of Sexy Star matches is made even more impressive because she turns in one of her most putrid performances. For the first 4 minutes Mundo totally broomsticks her, just a total Weekend at Bernie's performance inside a wrestling ring. All the matwork is done against a total corpse, and all the broomsticking is definitely for the best as when she actually tries to do anything it's a mess of terrible strikes, stumbling to take offense, and taking forever to perform her own offense. She even spun the wrong way on a rolling elbow, which is just wonderful and amazing. It had some built-in good moments that any corpse could have performed, like Mundo moonsaulting off her feet after backdropping her off the top. Her chairshot on Mundo lead to a good kickout as I was greatly afraid of having to sit through Matanza vs. Sexy Star. So yeah, I think all the run ins and kickouts eventually wore out their welcome, but the overall presentation was as good as it could have been, and a really impressive Mundo performance. He was given a pretty impossible task and turned it into a very good segment.

MD: As far as BS Attitude Era matches go, this wasn't so bad. I am not an execution guy at all. I like the showmanship of pro wrestling. I like the easy way more than the hard way most of the time. I like the symbolic representation. If you can't let me suspend my disbelief at least a little though, you've got a problem. This was put together well with the impossible odds and Star and Mundo both being well protected, but especially with the contrast of the Ivelisse performance, it didn't quite meet me half way. I'm still not convinced that we're not going to get Matanza vs Star at some point either, so I'm not taking Eric's consolation prize to heart.


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