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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 37: Ultima Lucha Tres Part 1

ER: Striker: *Makes a bunch of jokes and goofy statements, switches to Owen voice* "Folks, all joking aside, war is hell."

TL: He also did the squinty eyes, because he was concentrating really hard on being serious. That’s how you know it’s real.

Texano vs. Famous B/Dr. Wagner Jr.

ER: The usage of Wagner in LU has been so weird. He's never been treated like a big deal even though he's easily a bigger star than anybody in the fed other than Mysterio. And he's brought back here as a surprise partner after last being seen 9 months prior. Anyway, this match was shaping up to be surprisingly killer. B takes a ridiculous hip toss from practically halfway up the Temple steps, just a huge bump and they couldn't have filmed it better. Texano looked more motivated than in maybe any other LU match he's been in, really connecting on his enziguiri, dropping Wagner with a huge powerbomb, really looking fired up. But things end super prematurely with some Brenda interference, leading a doofus like Texano to be distracted and rolled up. Also of note, Vampiro said Brenda was giving him a migaine, and Striker let him know "there are pills for that". Vampiro probably doesn't need the rundown on taking pills.

TL: Have this feeling Wagner only got the call here because his booking fee was too expensive otherwise. Also, this is before he lost the mask and turned into The Most Interesting Wrestler in The World, but it’s also really weird that he is a tecnico being brought in as a rudo’s mercenary. Famous B knows how to bump; PWG highlight videos have shown me that, at least. Imagine being Texano and having the career he had and was the supposed future of AAA when LU started and then be told going into Season 3, “You’re gonna take a shit pinfall against a manager on the opener of our WrestleMania.” Incredible. Wagner being brought in for this? Hilarious.

Hell of War: Killshot vs. Dante Fox

ER: The match is a 3 part stip, with First Blood being the first stip, No DQ as the second, and third is a stretcher match. It's a big batch of match stips, although I don't like First Blood or stretcher matches, as the best brawls just get way better once blood is involved. This match could get around that as there are still two parts of the match after the bleeding starts, but First Blood is usually lame. The psychology is all over the map as you would think guys would just be scratching and clawing and throwing punches to try and get blood, but most of the time that doesn't happen. I'd like to see a bunch of knuckle punches thrown at eye sockets, but we get a fun spotfest instead. Fox hits his ringpost moonsault onto Killshot (who was on a ladder), we get a fun hot potato section with a chair thrown back and forth and caught/dodged, Fox hits one of the crazier spots in LU history when he leaps from the second level of crowd with a legdrop to the apron while Killshot was sandwiched between chairs. So things are pretty wild even though most of the things done would not ever draw blood. Fox brings out a glass panel and they fight around that for awhile before Killshot goes through it off the top rope, cutting open his back, arms, hands, etc. Pretty grisly stuff. The No DQ portion has some more wild stuff, all the glass still in the ring so both guys keep getting cut up with each bump. Fox hits a nasty 450 onto Killshot (on a ladder) and Fox later gets planted with a DDT off the top. I still have no idea what Killshot's finisher off the top is supposed to be, he just jumps off the top and lands with his feet next to Fox. Is it a bad Bombs Away that doesn't connect? Is it a stomp to the face that doesn't come close to the face? I genuinely don't know what it's supposed to be. I've never seen it hit his opponent, whatever it is. Fox kicks out at 1, which seems appropriate for a move that doesn't make contact.

We get a barbed wire board and Fox eats a powerbomb into it, and a Storm Cradle Driver into the glass. This is getting pretty crazy. Striker hasn't been nearly as wretched as he was during their first match, but in the third fall we get a "in the vein of John McCain" which...I guess Striker just can't help being fucking awful. It's his natural form. Fox eats a death valley driver off the top onto the stretcher, and a double stomp off the top of the crowd also through the stretcher. They brawl to the band stage and Fox gets hit with a bottle, falling off through a giant sheet of glass (apparently just set up there by Dario to be an ass). Well, these two sure went out of their way to have an insane match, pretty huge start to Ultima Lucha. If this is (basically) the first match of a show, I have no idea what the other matches are going to do to live up to this. We had several moves off the top to the floor, several bumps into and through glass, bumps into barbed wire. I would already be exhausted if I had been there live (though they likely filmed these in a different order). Crazy start to Ultima Lucha.

TL: This is one of two matches from this show that I had seen previous, with the other being the main event. I’ll say this: The story didn’t really add too much to get here, as this seemed like a program where the gimmick and the end of the road dictated everything else. Seeing it in a vacuum isn’t all that different from seeing it with everything leading up to it.

First fall with First Blood is worked oddly like Eric mentioned because they don’t go for the blood right away. Hell, they sexy dance fight for a bit to start it out! Once Fox gets his moonsault spot out of the way, things finally fall into place with the stipulation a little bit with the chair stuff. And then they both work apron spots. And THEN they do a double springboard into a Spanish Fly. Like…what is the idea behind this match? Why even make it a First Blood fall? Killshot is a CZW regular, and I’ve seen him do a dive off the top of the Cage of Death through some absolute bullshit, but that glass spot was just nasty looking due to the setting. The glass pieces sticking in his back on close-up is nasty as all hell. I don’t understand why we got the 10 minutes of wrestling we did before we got to that, but that’s a damn good way to get first blood, at least.

The second fall sees them up the crazy, and it was here where I realized that both of these guys are absolutely insane. Eric hit all the details on the specific spots, but I’m just gonna say that when I first saw this match, I remember seeing this fall and being absolutely floored that these two were having THIS match. And that there was an entire third fall waiting. Watching it a second time, this is going to sound insane, but the Dante Fox kickout at 1 after the Killstomp worked better here than almost any match where I’ve seen that spot in years. Considering what the hell is going on in this match, if you aren’t amped up on all the adrenaline your body can process, that’s how someone kicks out at 1. (Although Eric equating Killshot’s finish with that wussy-ass mushroom stomp from Son of Havoc makes me smile; welcome to the club!) Fox agreeing to take that Storm Cradle Driver on the broken glass right after taking that powerbomb is absolutely insane.

The third fall somehow builds to an even higher crescendo thanks to, of all things, a gurney. The DVD off the turnbuckles to the gurney on the floor (with the absolutely insane visual of a chunk of Fox’s back left behind) and then the Killstomp that looks like it crushed the damn thing just added to the craziness of this match. The finish to this match is insane. This whole match was insane. I don’t know so much about the wrestling part of it, or what the hell Striker was saying at points with him being able to verbally masturbate over it being a war in a wrestling ring, but this was as visceral a wrestling match as you’ll see. I’ve seen plenty of deathmatches in my day, but this is right up there with the outright nuttiest things I’ve seen. I thought for sure that Killshot was going to take the lion’s share of the bumps because of his CZW background, but Fox went above and beyond here. Nothing will top this over the next three shows.


COMPLETE GUIDE TO LUCHA UNDERGROUND

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strickland/Killshot's finish is supposed to be like a stomp version of CIMA's Meteora. Contact point is supposed to be on the shoulders of his opponent. His JML Driver finish(Electric Chair dropped into Naruko Doi's Muscular Bomb) is easily better, despite the somewhat contrived set-up.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I thought for sure that Killshot was going to take the lion’s share of the bumps because of his CZW background, but Fox went above and beyond here." AR Fox was made in CZW 8 years ago and has a career-long rep for taking idiotic bumps and being a massive spot monkey. Not sure what you're on about here.

2:51 PM  
Blogger EricR said...

I could not honestly tell what Killshot's finish was supposed to be, so thanks for clearing that up. It almost always looks like he just jumps up really high and stomps the mat around their head, so it's either a missed stomp or a bombs away that he doesn't get his butt down on. I guess I'm spoiled by Low Ki making damn sure people know he's stomping a guy.

12:40 AM  

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