Segunda Caida

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 36: The Rise of the Ring Announcer

ER: I really liked the opening Melissa Santos/Fenix segment, a lot. It came off like an updated take on Girlfight or something. The prior romantic scenes between Fenix/Santos came off silly, this came off downright steamy, like the George Clooney/Jennifer Lopez scenes in Out of Sight, or the Timothee Chalamet/Armie Hammer scenes in Call Me By Your Name. I thought their body language was really strong, loved the interplay of submissions, loved the sparring and grappling as metaphor for relationship dynamics, that gentle hair flop onto Fenix's face, thought all of it worked tremendously well. Now, if you think of it out of a vacuum it gets weirder, as you realize that Melissa Santos is going to be in the ring wrestling for the first time ever and they only announced it at the beginning of the episode where that was happening, and then you start thinking "Wait these two are locking in these tight go behinds and she's letting her hair seductively flop all over Fenix's face and...she hasn't even seen his face? This all seemed pretty intimate. It feels like they've been hanging out. And this whole time, during meals, during dates, during post training showers...Fenix has not removed that mask? How terrible must that mask smell?? Santos has let herself grow dangerously, emotionally close to a man who may have a Monster energy tattoo on his forehead for all she knows. But that's what thinking gets you. Follow your heart. The segment was good.

TL: I can’t even begin to top what Eric just said so my only addition to this, whether it was good editing or camera cuts or what have you, is that Santos looked like she could go!!! I all of a sudden am into whatever that tag match is gonna be. This was one of the best examples of female empowerment the show has ever portrayed because this was natural as opposed to shoved down our throats like Sexy Star was. Santos came off as a big deal with this, which is what wrestling promos are supposed to do!

Dante Fox vs. Texano

ER: I liked this more than I expected, and it's true that Fox is typically more interesting when he's against more of a power base than another athletic flipper. Texano can get really lazy during routine moments, looking like a somnambulist going through simple sequences like a lazy clothesline/back elbow sequence, but he excels here at making Fox look strong. When a guy throws a lazy clothesline you wouldn't expect him to throw himself into a crucifix bomb, and Texano is good at working around fast Fox sequences, like all of the stuff on the apron that eventually lead to the run-up-ringpost moonsault. The match was a good Worldwide length of 5-6 minutes, and even though it got too move trade-y down the stretch I was pleasantly surprised overall. Famous B botches (in storyline) the ending and calls Texano the winner, so Dario sets up B vs. Texano for next week. B says his arm is still broke from Pentagon and Dario FINALLY gets a classic Dario line in (feels like it's been WAY too long) when he says "Well then it looks like it will be a...handicap match!" Pure gold. Dario hasn't felt fully "Dario" this season, and comes off really ineffective and less the all powerful manipulator. That line was needed.

TL: Striker makes a “Clerks” joke (“I’m not even supposed to be here today”) because of Dante and not only does it make me feel old but reminds me that Kevin Smith almost died mere days ago. I thought this was alright, but not a standout or anything. Fox doing a faceplant on an enzuigiri was amusing and then became even moreso when he just went back on offense after taking a bump that looked like it would have killed him. I’ve talked about how Texano has basically looked disinterested ever since when he first came to LU with Alberto Del Rio and was used to put him over not only in LU, but in AAA, so this really does feel like he’s collecting a paycheck at this point. Agree with the line usage, but in Dario’s defense, he was in jail, man. He’s seen some shit. Just not the same guy anymore.

Marty "The Moth" Martinez/Mariposa vs. Fenix/Melissa Santos

ER: Still really surprised that this match wasn't announced at all in advance. Do they advertise? Maybe they advertise and this was announced. It feels like a pretty big match within the LU universe. And it was really fun, although after all the wins and big moments they gave to Sexy Star it's ridiculous that they can't give Santos a good moment. Moth has been licking and rubbing on her for a couple seasons now, and while she's a non-wrestler that never stopped Sexy Star from wrestling. Give her a fucking pinfall, who are we protecting here? Anyway Fenix works a nice match against the two, including hitting an actual good looking Lethal Injection and hitting a wild twisting dive to the floor. Santos getting into the match was a great moment, with Moth running into a perfectly timed high kick from the apron and the gets Irish whipped into elbow smashing Mariposa. The tandem offense didn't look great but the moment was still good.

TL: This WAS announced in advance, but Eric, much like me when I’m trying to burn through reviews, most likely fast-forwarded past the 20-second mention of it from a couple weeks ago by Striker and Vampiro. So…what I’m trying to say is that Eric made the right decision in skipping past how this match got announced in the first place. Striker says Fenix has a “legendary mask” like he’s Atlantis or something. Mariposa is so sudden with her offense, it’s amazing to think she’s been doing this for two decades. One thing in addition to Melissa doing the job in this match: There’s now absolutely no doubt that Marty is gonna lose. Had Melissa gotten a pin on Mariposa, at least you could have seen a more level playing field. Melissa’s offensive moments were definitely cool, but the way this ended was a bit too much.

ER: We get a rundown of the epic card for the 4 episode (!) Ultima Lucha extravaganza, which should make for plenty of fun. Although how absolutely ridiculous does Ivelisse vs. Catrina look at this point?? The last Ivelisse match aired 6 months before this episode, and Catrina has never wrestled in the fed. Does anyone watching even remember why they made that match?

TL: It’s a huge card, but to be honest, I’m really only looking forward to the main event, the cage match, and the Fox/Killshot match. There’s gonna be a lot of filler for me to get into.

Paul London vs. Mala Suerte vs. Saltador vs. Cortez Castro vs. Drago vs. Son of Havoc vs. Pentagon Dark

ER: This was a pretty cracking spotfest, one of the best Drago performances in awhile, a continuation of Paul London as an extremely relevant wrestler after a few years in the woods, some great Saltdaor stuff, just a ton of fun. Drago was the centerpiece of this whole thing, either tying things together and finding things to occupy time. I loved him sprinting across the ring after London leading to London doing his bananas springboard tope en reversa to the floor. he easily could have just stood there doing nothing since London was going to do the spot anyway, this made things feel more immediate. Saltador got some nice moments and I especially loved him getting backdropped into London (who was slumped in the corner). We got a couple big dives, everybody moved in and out of it smoothly, a couple nice saves, just a fun spotfest. We do get a dumbo ending with Havoc and Pentagon getting simultaneous pinfalls, but Dario comes out to announce a ladder match between the two, which is fine.

TL: I like that this match was basically laid out like an atomicos or a cibenertico, as it never really let up and gave everyone some shine. If you’re gonna do a damn seven way, you might as well take advantage and sprint. And yeah, they sprint, big time. London looks great in this match, like a true Droog. I wish he would talk shit in Cockney gibberish slang between moves. But my guy in this match? Saltador. All his offense looked crisp as all hell. He had this great springboard legdrop that looked snug when it landed and he had a great dive. Also looked great taking down Pentagon to start. I don’t like the ending either, a true bait and switch bullshit ending, but we got to see Dario yell “LADDER MATCH!” in a way that made me smile. He must have known tapings were winding down, man. He went for it in this episode.

ER: I love all the backseat of a limo scenes with Dario, and they're only better with Godfrey. I don't know who they can get to be the cigar smoking boss, but considering the programming on El Rey can we PLEASE make it Fred Williamson? We all know everyone in power is a rich old white man, so LU needs to flip the script and present us a rich old black man as the one in charge. If it's Fred Williamson I will happily go back and watch every second of every single Sexy Star moment, and not complain.

TL: Fred Williamson is awesome, but considering he’s done voiceovers for WWE highlight packages before, I’d look at the budget and just not pull ANY punches: KEITH. DAVID. MAKE IT HAPPEN, CHAVO. I NEED Keith on this show, man. Also, I love how in the span of two mintues, Dario adds two more matches I’m actually fine with for Ultima Lucha in the three-way and the ladder match. He might be getting it back just in time for the biggest show of the year, baby.


COMPLETE GUIDE TO LUCHA UNDERGROUND

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