Segunda Caida

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

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 16: The Battle of the Bulls

1. The Mack vs. PJ Black vs. Jeremiah Crane vs. Cage

ER: Man these 4 ways are starting to run together. And I don't think this was a very good one, even though I like most of these guys. The set up for stuff showed too many cracks: Cage catching dives and turning them into vertical suplexes is cool, but Crane made it too obvious he was jumping off the apron trying to get suplexed; Mack's flip dive is impressive as hell, but not as much when everybody completely whiffs on the catch and everybody (Striker included) pretends he nailed them all. Obviously there will be fun moments, it would be near impossible for these guys to not do SOMEthing cool. Mack moonsaulting onto a pile of guys or Crane getting powerbombed onto guys is expected 4 way fun. Crane does a sick double underhook piledriver on Black, and then Vampiro says "I saw Misawa beat Kawada with that move so many times when I toured All Japan in the 90s". I mean...almost every word of that sentence is 100% complete bullshit. Misawa never did that move, Vampiro never worked AJ the same time as Misawa, it's literally something that never happened, and something he didn't see happen. Is this like Berenstein/Berenstain Bears or that Sinbad genie movie? People are going to claim Vampiro was in AJ during that one and only tour where Misawa did a bunch of sit out double underhook piledrivers?

MD: As bad as anything else with these four ways is Striker giving one or two word summations of wrestlers. Ultimately, I'm with Eric on this. Lots of cool stuff, especially from Cage and Mack. Obviously, we weren't going to get Cage in WWE, but we came real close to Mack and I kind of wonder what a world where he got in there would look like. He'd probably be rounding out the six mans with Titus and Crews vs the New Day knowing them, but that'd still be a lot of fun. If you watch wrestling for acrobatics and feats of strength, this is for you. We generally don't. I guess, if nothing else, I thought they protected everyone well. Cage looked like he was in a class all his own; Crane got to hang with these guys which is important since he's relatively newly debuted; Black was mainly there to bounce off people. And after all of the spots and chaos, it ended about as anti-climatically as possible, though still in a way that refocuses things towards Mack vs Worldwide Underground. This was fun as usual, not great in the least, and the worst thing about it was definitely the commentary.

ER: Should I read too much into Mexicans warring against Lizard People? I assume if anything had actually come of those Russo rumors we would have already been dealing with a Pepe-masked authority figure.

MD: I can't get past the fact that they were looking for Drago in the stalls. What if they found him? How awkward would have that been? I chalk this up to Aerostar being an alien and not having proper boundaries. What an interminable bathroom fight.

2. Cage Match: Sexy Star vs. Johnny Mundo

ER: The woman who "inspired a generation"!! This is the first cage match in LU history, yes? I cannot imagine a more legendary person getting to honor the gimmick. "Strength, athleticism? I think they're equal." Yeah, Striker. She's probably about as strong as a man twice her size, and certainly isn't the clumsiest person in the fed facing a legit parkour loon. Man, I hate women. Matt Striker and Sexy Star have officially made me hate women. What a predictably awful match with a wonderfully excellent shitheel finish. We spend the whole match with both trying to escape (until Sexy jumped off the top with a crossbody when she could have escaped, then we got Striker retconning how Sexy Star would NEVER want to run away and escape, she confronts all of her problems HEAD ON!!), and if you thought Star's strikes looked bad on solid ground, then brother you better soak in those kicks while standing on the ropes. The sound engineer has never been so shameful with the sweetening. I liked Star's rana off the top in reaction to Mundo yanking her leg. The rest was awful. UNTIL we get to the perfect finish, with Mundo yanking off Star's mask sending her running for cover (you see, millions of young girls Sexy Star has inspired, her mask is her identity), and Mundo escapes with ease, rubbing it in before hopping to the floor. He even throws in a both arms up victory lap run to his belt. The only thing that salvaged this horror.

MD: I watched this on 2x Speed. I'm not going to remind Eric about the season 2 Cage vs Mundo cage match (Cage in a Cage, that's the name of the episode), mainly because I barely remember it. So, slightly different misogynistic take than Eric: the only way this possible could work, and the way it occasionally works, is if Mundo is brutally beating Star with the cage as a weapon. Why? Because she can't actually do anything. She can't hit her spots. She can't sell well. She can't draw sympathy. So it falls on Mundo to drive everything by being mean and cruel. Obviously, that has its own issues as we are fairly decent human beings, so this just had no leg to stand on. The "babyface refuses to win the match and leaps back into the ring instead" trope works better if 1.) there's no title on the line and 2.) the babyface is Jeff Hardy, not Sexy Star, whose entire character is about winning the title again. I will say this though: the great challenge of Season 3 has been to work with her, and I think what we've seen over the last few episodes is that Worldwide Underground, at least, have gotten better at cracking that code. You can learn a lot about a wrestler from how he works in a near-impossible situation and they've done about as well as could be expected. Mack showing up at the end to transition things was almost a relief, as was Sexy Star in the ring Dana Brooke posing her way right out of the main event scene.

ER: I actually do remember the name of that Cage in a Cage episode, but I also do not remember a thing about that match. Looking it up, my first sentence of the review was "This had some nice moments, but overall didn't do much for me." The math on me not remembering this match checks out.


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