Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 9: Loser Leaves Lucha

ER: It hasn't been said, but my oh my does Slap Bak seem like a horrible band.

MD: I have no idea about the band. When I watched this, the El Rey promo stuff was cutting off the sound for the first minute or so. I'll take Eric's word on it.

1. Matanza vs. Cortez Castro

ER: This was a little over 2 minutes long but totally great. Castro comes out with his arm in a cast, and Matanza headbutts him at the bell and then starts stomping the broken arm. Castro's anguish was perfect, and then Matanza stands him up and begins twisting and yanking on the broken arm, and in an awesome visual he snaps the cast straight. Castro gets a great hope spot when Matanza slips the broken cast off and threatens to beat him with it, and Castro hits a nice dropkick to the knee. Buuuuuut, Matanza hits one of the coolest flying uppercuts you've seen, and then plants him with the tour of the temple. All of this was really well done.

MD: Dario's joy over the wheel is the best thing. The very best thing. On the other hand, Castro taking the kendo stick to the ring and then not actually using it is pretty ridiculous. I got a kick out of Matanza being fascinated by the cast. In general, I don't think they've presented Castro as strong enough for a central protagonist role relative to his narrative importance, but then I have no idea where the plot's going. His hope spot was great but him actually using that Kendo stick to start would have probably helped.

MD: I get that they probably needed to have Puma speak at some point to flesh out his character since he's the top face and all but less is far more in execution.

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

ER: Fun match, although I was really surprised at how it ended. We all knew Havoc was winning, because we all knew Sagrada was going to get his chance for revenge against Famous B (which, again, seems weird as B did legitimately get him several singles match opportunities. It's not really B's fault that he lost those matches. We may have to just be honest with ourselves that the man weighs 60 lb. and may not be super competitive against most athletes), but I didn't think Havoc would be pinning Wagner clean. Havoc has now been established over many matches as a surprisingly over fan favorite who loses most of his big singles matches. He exists around the top third of the LU card and is viewed as a tough win for main eventers, but an almost certain win. Wagner has so far been presented as an almost untouchable legend, so it was almost shocking to see them work just a straight match without an ounce of a disputed finish. And it wasn't even treated as a big deal! You'd think there would be more drama wrapped up in whether or not Sagrada would get his shot at revenge, but instead they worked an exciting fast paced Velocity match that was satisfying in a bubble but didn't feel like the right match to work with the stip attached. Still, in a bubble the match was fun. Wagner broke out a couple weird throws and it was impressive seeing him work such a fast style.

MD: Speaking of guys that they haven't presented as strong enough, I'm still griping about Havoc's momentum from the end of last season being squashed. When the lovable loser starts to win matches and gets over for it, capitalize on that. Now he gets a truly big win over Wagner and it's just backdrop to Sagrada vs Famous B. Total backwards priorities. That said, the idea of a Believer's Backlash match is perfect for the feud. I was wondering what sort of gimmick would actually be to Sagrada's advantage, and there you go. This was a fun little TV sprint, though, and Wagner gave a ton more than I would generally expect in this situation. Shame that it probably won't mean much in the end.

3. Loser Leaves Lucha: Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

ER: Killer match and a fulfilling end to their literally 20 years long feud. I remember seeing these two fight every couple months on Worldwide and WCWSN in 96/97 and now I feel old. But this was an excellently structured match with some fun twists, a real crowd pleaser. Chavo gets a lot of unnecessary hate from wrestling fans, but I still really enjoy what he brings. This is a match you've seen likely dozens of times but I appreciated them breaking out a couple new tricks. Rey works over the knee early and Chavo is good about wobbling around on it, and you just knew he was going to take the first opportunity to attack Rey's knees as payback. The reversals are cool and play off how well they know each other, and Chavo Classic coming in with the DQ was a perfect Guerrero lie/cheat/steal finish. We all knew Rey wasn't going to be the one retiring so naturally Dario comes out with the crowd hyping restart. I loved Classic running straight at Rey after the restart since it was now No DQ (really thought he should have kept interfering the rest of the match, but oh well) and he took a mean spill through his chair/bottom rope. Chavo gets one last great hope spot when he rolls through Rey's Thesz press into a single leg (and because Striker is an abhorrent know it all shithead he just has to call it the White Out. Look at me! I remember 3 months of a gimmick from over a decade ago!!), but it's not enough. Man I flipped out for that single leg. The result was never in doubt, but these two went out and killed it regardless.

MD: The name Loser Leaves Lucha is, on one hand, absurd, but on the other, kind of great. Alliteration is one of the greatest tools in all of wrestling. Anyway, can you believe people complained about Chavo in LU? He was great here. Rey is always great and it's a joy we still get to see him wrestle. Eric's right in that the ending was never really in doubt but the journey was a blast.
Chavo's early pin attempts got over the sanctity of the stip. His rocket launcher power bomb facebuster thing was aces. The leg work was interesting and varied enough to get me past Striker going on about how the Guerreros were known for their legwork. And yes, if this has to be the last we'll ever see of Chavo Classic, it was a great way to go out. The ending was predictable but I got a kick out of the absolute grace Rey showed in getting Chavo into 619 position.

Also Dario calling for the match to get restarted was downright gif-worthy (sorry, Eric):

Classic Dario Face


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