Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 25: Left for Dead

ER: Despite not being excited for the eventual match, I really enjoyed the Dante Fox package. The torture room stuff after Killshot left him behind was straight out of Syriana, dudes just punching and kicking him in the face, even going so far as to have him about to be beheaded! Am I just forgetting, or is this the first actual time they've explained why Fox has a problem with Killshot?

TL: It was definitely well done and told a better story than most have been told this year. That is, except the Power Glove. ALL HAIL THE POWER GLOVE. I really don’t understand why there aren’t more packages like this to get you involved in storylines. This told you everything you wanted to hear and hardly any words were said. Plus, yet another guy on a rooftop in Boyle Heights, so they have that going for them. Having it be Killshot in an elevated position is pretty damn good, though. Nice little add on.

TL: Update on Vampiro not saying Sergio Arau’s name correctly: Still can’t say it correctly.

1. PJ Black vs. Sexy Star

ER: Normally it could be written off as an annoying Matt Striker quirk to bring up Jim Breaks in a Sexy Star match, but now it's appropriate since they are both documented piles of shit. PJ is far too generous here and it was probably his best LU performance. He launches himself 2/3 the way across the ring on a rana, takes her flimsy armdrags, gets shoved off the top to the floor and crashes spectacularly. He also drops her with a brainbuster that is nastier than any move she has ever performed. So of course if keeps her down for just a couple seconds. Thankfully for PJ, Taya comes out to interfere, or else PJ would have had zero chance against the bravest woman to ever enter this cruel world. Star hits him with brass knux for the rarely seen LU DQ, but I care not about the stupid finish, as it means I no longer have to see her in the tournament.

TL: Sexy Star has a staff for some reason now. An even better line than the Jim Breaks is Striker saying “Sexy putting her ego aside!” before hitting a plancha. I also wonder how Borden can be outsmarted by ANYONE given he’s got all those degrees. AND THEN SHE HITS BORDEN WITH THE KNUCKS? Good lord was that unnecessary. Much like this match. Because Sexy Star, even in defeat, has to look this strong. Unreal. I’ll never get this.

TL: I fast forwarded through the Real Fight Rey/Johnny package but got a still screen of Mundo on a rooftop training, which makes me wonder why LU doesn’t just open a rooftop dojo.

2. Son of Havoc vs. Son of Madness

ER: If they never build to a Loser Shaves Beard match then they have truly failed. With his black mask and dark beard, Madness looks like Phineas of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and he's clearly a bump freak as he takes a hip toss from the Temple steps to the floor. They do a pretty stupid missed clothesline spot in the corner, just dancing around and missing clotheslines over and over, but Madness hits a cool spear through the buckles and kneels on Havoc's throat, so whatever. I don't really like Havoc's offense, but the two do a nice job of exchanging their respective offense, and regardless of the offense the nearfalls were effective. Madness has a cool jackhammer, Havoc takes his nice back of neck ropes bump into a cutter (far more decent than that stupid cutter set up from Jay Lethal) and we build to a fast dive from Havoc. So we get a nice, effectively built match with a skin of the teeth win from Havoc, which is all perfectly acceptable. I probably would have felt a little more throughout the match if we had a little backstory on Madness. We know that his father or mother is Madness, and that he wanted to take out Havoc. And I kinda hate that some kind of biker doppelgänger wanted Havoc's blood, and Havoc responded with handsprings.

TL: Wish that Madness would have kept the vest on the entire time just so folks could tell the two apart better, but then you could really tell the two apart after a while via the glorious beard. This was a pretty good match in a lot of ways. Madness had some cool spots and did a good job of being a foil for Havoc’s offense, and this was actually one of the better matches of the first round when it’s all said and done. We now have a vest stealing storyline, which is probably a mid-tier sartorial storyline in the annals of wrestling. To be honest, I’m not topping Eric’s line about the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. And you probably skipped this to go on to the next match.

3. Prince Puma vs. Ricky Mandel

ER: This ended up being pretty rewarding for a 90 second match. Puma pump kicks him at the bell and plants him with a rolling brainbuster, and we get a nice unexpected kick out from Mandel. The match easily could have just ended there, but I like that they gave him a little something with the kick out. He also gets to hit a nice superkick, although Puma just kind of cracks his neck, hits another pump kick, and then a sick driver to end it. I appreciated that Mandel kept his sunglasses on the whole time.

TL: There’s a Phoenix Pro Wrestling regular named Kenny K who wrestles with his sunglasses on and he’s one of the best workers in the company, pretty easily, too. So I thoroughly enjoyed Ricky being such a schlub he kept the glasses on the entire time. I can get behind Hoodie Puma big time, much like people got behind Hoodie Melo. Fun squash right here.

4. Dante Fox vs. Dragon Azteca Jr.

ER: These matches always leave me hollow. Some of the stuff looks good, none of it means anything. Fox takes a couple of great bumps onto his head (including a great one on the floor), but who actually cares, because he sells his jaw more after a few weak Azteca forearms than he ever sold his head. We get big moves and small moves, and moves where you're not totally sure who took the move but it doesn't matter anyway because both guys sell it the same. Both men lie on the mat, surely unable to go on for another second, but then they are able to!! They get up and then the other one does a move that also looks like it hurts both of them! They're both so tired, but then they're both not that tired! This was a backdrop for a Worldwide Undergound attack on Rey, which was a fine beatdown and more interesting than the sexy dance fighting happening in the ring. I was fully expecting a Killshot run-in, and it never happened. But we did get ample thigh slaps and that one sound effect that LU uses.

TL: I’ve always liked AR Fox, as he was one of those just insane athletes that made things look good and he emoted well, but in context against another guy that’s similar to him, it doesn’t stand out. I do think it’s funny that guys are gonna sell elbow strike exchanges like they’re the most important thing in the match, but can’t be bothered to sell anything else even for a few seconds. And then Azteca sells his back being out during the run in only to hit the tope to clear everyone out. I’m kinda trying to find logic here, but it ain’t there. So we’re gonna move on and let this be.

TL: I'm running a bit short on patience with the LU style in a lot of ways. It seems like the worst possible super indy/PWG-style matches for a majority of this, and even plodding matches, if there's a bit of selling, I'm way more of a fan of than the style that has kinda permeated most of the matches I've seen this season. I hope this changes up the rest of the tournament now that there is less riff-raff, but there's a couple matchups that I'm probably not gonna be looking forward to that are going to definitely live up to these expectations.

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