Segunda Caida

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

Friday, November 03, 2017

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 19: Gods Among Men

ER: Dragon Azteca is fully invested in reality sports competition mindset, because HE'S NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS. But it's weird to do a "death match" without even advertising it ahead of time.

TL: Who’s on the other line with Dario on the red phone? Is it RobRod? Also, Metalachi playing literally the most played mariachi song of all time 100 episodes into this dang thing make me think they’re running out of songs. If they play “El Cucaracha” next week, they should just stop having house bands on the show.

1. Texano vs. Joey Ryan

ER: Boy, Texano sure is a guy who will come out and have a match on TV every couple of weeks. There were some nice things, Texano's elbow drop, Texano taking longer to flip over the ropes to the apron than 60 year old Flair, big slingshot senton, etc. But this was definitely a 2017 match featuring Texano and Joey Ryan. I did like the giant horseshoe punch finish. We're going to have big horseshoe finishers and power glove heart punches. I'm pretty okay with that.

TL: Joey goes right to the lollipop in the crotch and then does his best (more like worst) Toru Yano impression, and I keep wondering why Texano, who literally was one of the biggest stars in Mexico a couple years ago, is curtain jerking here. Texano with a big delay on the hilo, and then we get a very basic Joey Ryan control segment. Famous B makes his way down to ringside and he might be the best worker in the match now. He starts doing a dance that reminds me of the dance the cheerleaders did in BASEketball when the Beers traveled to San Antonio. Then Striker makes a “Blazing Saddles” reference and doesn’t even say the best line in the movie. Then a horseshoe gets involved. Sure. Best bump in the match was from Famous B when Texano shoved him to the mat post-match.

TL: Mundo says the words “upstart fight league” and I can’t stop giggling because it sounds like someone put in “phrase for opposite of ‘new sports entertainment company’” in a Google search and that’s what popped up first. I know they wanted WWE-type talent at the top for LU, but bringing along the way-too-long promo by Mundo only to have Mack come out and start stomping a mudhole, throwing out stunners, and beating up security guards is even too derivative for this company. One of the things that drew me in to LU in the first place was them doing angles just a little bit differently, and this was, well, not that.

2. Cage vs. Veneno

ER: Wow, what a let down. I hear Melissa Santos announce Veneno and I got really excited. I don't read any LU spoilers, and the actual Veneno is one of my very favorite indy lucha guys. I watched a 2017 Veneno match just a few days ago that was great! So Veneno gets announced...and we get Ricky Reyes under a mask. This is like when WCW had a jobber named Manny Fernandez. Not thee Manny Fernandez. You'd see a match list with Eddy Guerrero vs. Manny Fernandez and then it turned out to be just some tubby white guy. But this match was a fine competitive squash. Reyes snapped off a decent rana and some nice kicks, Cage obliterated him with shoulderblocks and the absurd screwdriver. Sexy Star runs in after to hopefully start a feud with Reyes. If they have to have her on TV (which, does anyone actually know WHY they have to have her on TV? Because it can't actually be their choice, right? They are being forced to, by someone, for some reason?), I'd be happy if she was feuding with someone I don't care about, away from the main events.

TL: Cage has the Power Glove and the only thing I want now is to see is him use it to play Excitebike. Ricky Reyes was definitely the least of the Havana Pitbulls to me, and while he does a few neat things in the match, Cage gets in the usual and finishes with a screwdriver that hits flush. It’s fall in my world, which means squash is welcome. Needed more glove work, though. Sexy Star run-in to boot down Veneno does nothing for me, as it shouldn’t.

TL: Catrina and Puma have talks about visions and I envision this not going anywhere constructive. Glad to see the absurd martial arts back on my television, though.

3. Death Match: Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Matanza

ER: This was a blast, even though it went much shorter than I expected it to. I don't fully understand the reason to make it a "death match", and it wasn't really different than any other match where guys brawled around the Temple, but it was good. The Temple has plenty of areas that are ripe for creative crowd brawling, and they did some cool things with it. Azteca hit a mammoth flip dive that easily could have seen him smack a step, and Matanza lugged him up the Temple steps like he was carrying a dead body! Great visual. The brawling at the top was fun, with Matanza eating a rana that threw him into the railing, Azteca getting tossed onto a support beam and dropping down with a flip dive, and then Azteca getting backdropped through the bleachers in an abrupt but violent finish. Rey comes out wearing tight jeans, which is weird as my eyes have gotten so used to him with baggy kneebrace-covering pants the last 15 years, and we get more nice brawling. Matanza takes a huge backdrop through some storage building and Dario's flip out was great. "Everybody out of the Temple!" I kind of wanted 10 minutes of him ushering people out, like parents coming home early and unannounced to their kid's out of control party. Just Dario muttering to himself and checking every corner of the Temple for stragglers.

TL: Azteca has grown on me and my love for Matanza knows no bounds whatsoever so to say I was pumped for this one coming in is an understatement. That whipping back suplex Matanza has is such a sick move. The body control for all his stuff is absurd. That flip dive Eric mentioned was absolutely insane, like 1995 Sabu-level crazy. Then after the dead body carry, Azteca does the Spiderman flip dive near the balcony and this might as well be taking place at your favorite ECW venue. Then the chokeslam to finish through the bleachers by Matanza. If 2017 is indeed the Year of the Sprint, this is one of the best street fights you’ll see this year. The post-match stuff with Rey was great, as Rey, even three decades into his career, is still going to take the most ludicrous bumps ever to get something over. That powerbomb into the balcony was ridiculous. Then Rey backdrops Matanza through the roof of the storage shed in a transfer of ludicrous bumping powers and Dario CLOSES THE TEMPLE DOWN. I wanted some fans looking at their phones trying to get an Uber or a Lyft only for Dario to take the phone and chuck it to the floor defiantly. “Dario, I paid for this show AND the next, though! Here’s my ticket!” And then Dario takes it from the guy and rips it up in front of him. That’s how you get payback. More Rey and Matanza is fine by me.


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