Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Lucha Underground Season 3 Episode 39 Ultima Lucha Tres Part 3

1. Last Luchadora Standing: Taya vs. Sexy Star

ER: So this worked better than it should have, and was probably Sexy Star's best actual performance. I think I've said in several other matches something along the lines of "This was probably the best possible match that _____ could have had with Sexy Star", and while I can't say she was actually good in it, for the most part, this felt like her best actual performance. All Sexy Star matches will always have that feeling of minding a toddler while he waddles around a playground: You're omnipresent and next to them at all times, but they don't really take your suggestions on what to do, and sometimes they'll stare at things overly long, and then they'll point and shout something unintelligible at something, and then they'll need help climbing steps, and they'll grab things that don't belong to them, and you don't really feel like you're needed there but need to be there constantly trying to catch them if they fall. Sexy Star kind of toddles around the Temple, and Taya follows her around, throwing herself through chairs and into grating and into tables and bleeding. For her part of things, Star slaps Taya with authority, lands a couple stomach kicks, and throws shots to the back of Taya's neck that actually look painful. They fall into a lot of things, chairs, the bleacher seats, a table, and it almost always looks good. I don't want to see Sexy Star wrestling anymore, but I appreciated that she tightened a couple things up in what should be her last LU match (unless season 4 is already planning on being the Season of Sexy!).

TL: Take a drink every time Striker says “war.” Seriously, it’s amazing. I remember saying it maybe a time or two too many during a recent PPW main event, but he’s in love with the word. Taya got one of my favorite Jeremiah Crane performances out of him in the Cueto Cup and so I am all in on her actually making a Sexy Star match good with her bumping and stooging. Taya even blades, which I am not surprised at in the least. God, hindsight is amazing here with Striker saying Sexy fights for what’s just and ethical. My favorite part about Eric’s toddler analogy is when I look up and see Sexy literally crawling around the ring as if she can’t find her favorite pacifier. They really do lay it in, at least, with the chops looking good even if the sound effects oversell their effectiveness. Sexy does lead Taya around by the nose everywhere; it’s amazing how much Taya is chasing her in this match. The garbage spots do look good, even if there’s a few times where things got telegraphed, but Taya really had a great performance here again. Now make sure there’s no more Sexy Star in Season 4. After the bullshit she pulled last year, she doesn’t deserve to be back, let alone get a push similar to what she got in Season 3.

2. Pindar/Vibora/Drago vs. The Mack/Killshot/Dante Fox

ER: I like this, very edgy subversive stuff here, an impressive Black Lives Matter allegory having every black member of the roster trying to save their America by waging global war against the Deep State Lizard People. It's some pretty revolutionary stuff here on hour 3 of Ultima Lucha Tres. And you know what? I really liked this as a title win for Mack/Killshot/Fox. The Lizard People have been really disappointing as champions, feels like they shouldn't need belts. But Mack's team winning felt like a great tecnico moment, and there aren't a ton of great tecnico moments in this fed that aren't immediately made bittersweet. I don't really know if the match was good, but it felt like a couple doors shutting that had been open for way too long. The Lizards haven't felt as big as they probably anticipated, so it's a good time to dial them back a bit, and the Fox/Killshot feud went on too long and I'd rather see their style as a team than as opponents. Mack came off - again - like a major star in the match, and they really messed up by not shoving him high up the card way quicker. It may get there eventually, but Mack is a guy they could make face of the company, and should. Although I can't believe that the cameras switched away and miss most of Vibora's bump off the Pounce. I don't think I've ever even seen Luchasaurus take a bump, so Mack making him fly off his feet feels like it should have been a big deal. Striker takes forever wrapping up a bootlace-as-secret-code story to just say that Fox and Killshot are working nicely together. I also really liked Pindar in this, he's been a great add to the roster, and I'd love for him to be repackaged. He is an awesome base, gets to show a little bit of personal lizard pride by refusing Kobra Moon's demand that he use a chain, and he's one of the few guys to opt to do a moonsault to sell a Stunner. Has anyone done a moonsault stunner bump? Rock would infamously handspring his way across the ring, but I don't know if I've seen a moonsault bump from it. Dante Fox's back still looks completely disgusting (his death match was filmed the day before!), and him doing a major flip dive over the buckles and just skidding on his back was gruesome. There was flayed skin hanging off. The match was okay, decent energy, but the actual moments and implications were the best.

TL: It wouldn’t be a professional wrestling match if all the available black guys in the fed didn’t wrestle in the same match together. Legit surprised Famous B didn’t come out with them. I’m all about the first few minutes of this match, where Fox and Killshot try their usual stuff but their injuries catch up and it becomes what I wanted most in this match: A Pindar showcase! He has a great little run here during the Lizard control segment, and then when Mack gets the hot tag and the tecnicos figure it out, it gets good. That shot of Fox’s back was absolutely disgusting. Pindar taking the fall was bleh because he looked the best in the match on the Lizard side, but he also made the finishing run look good. And yeah, it’s nice to see tecnicos do something cool without consequence. This was definitely a match where the moments were more important than the sum of its parts, but there was a good layout and everyone was used well. Surprised Drago didn’t get much of a showcase here. Fox is an insane person for going out there and doing his usual stuff with his back like that basically 24 hours after that match. Killshot was at least smart enough to take flip bumps onto his stomach most of the time.

3. Ladder Match: Son of Havoc vs. Pentagon Dark

ER: This isn't very good, and has some absolutely brutal prop set up. The only interesting moment of prop set up is when Pentagon starts throwing a bunch of ladders into the ring and Striker brings up the Public Enemy match. Vampiro compares this moment to when he was in FMW with Terry Funk, and I genuinely don't think that Funk and Vampiro were ever around each other before WCW. I don't think Vampiro ever wrestled in FMW, and I don't think Funk ever wrestled in WAR, really don't think they would have ever been on tour with a company together, before WCW. But then again he has already stated that he got to see Misawa/Kawada matches while on tour with All Japan and...that never happened. The match reaches peak crazy when Pentagon delivers a package piledriver through opened chairs. It didn't lead to a finish. Pentagon proceeds to slowly set up several ladders, and it's completely interminable because the whole time you knew it wasn't going to lead to anything nearly as cool as Crazy Crusher vs. Hell Storm. And for a guy who is I guess spreading the devil's message of violence, Pentagon never actually feels very comfortable setting up all these ladders and tables. It leads to this silly moment where there is a ladder resting on the middle rope and within the rungs of an opened ladder, and he and Havoc are brawling slowly on it because it's rickety and they don't want to fall...but it's like 2 1/2 feet off the mat. This is no Bill Dundee hanging off a scaffold, this is more a red panda hanging off a low branch, and he's trying to recover, but he's just got his panda strength to work with, and eventually he falls...but it's like a 1 foot drop. This didn't work for me.

TL: Dark is gonna have to show me something here because after so much time giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying he’d bring it in a big match, this is the type of situation where he needs to show up. Vampiro bringing up tours of Japan he never went on goes into the JBL Honorary Hall of Fame right alongside “Riki Tenryu” and his drugged showdown with an inflated dinosaur he calls Godzilla during a WWE tour of Japan. Also, not a single ladder hit Havoc when Dark threw them in there, so that wasn’t even close to the Funk ECW chair stuff. Striker also makes an Art Vandelay joke. With as much as I’m talking about commentary, it should tell you what I think of this match. It’s literally setup spot after setup spot. Something happens, weak transition spot (they tried the Randy Orton/Evan Bourne RKO spot and it didn’t look good at all), guy sets something up. Rinse and repeat. Dark literally wrestles as if he’s not getting paid enough for this shit, and since I’m not getting paid at all for it, I’ll care just as much. For a match between two ultraviolent characters where one of them came up as a real-life backyarder, this was as anti-violent and plodding as anything you’d see on this show, but set up much like you'd imagine a backyard ladder match would be. You saw how the first night ended. You saw how the second night ended. I understand if the feeling was that they couldn’t top any of that, but at least go out and try. It’s the blowoff show. Literally no reason to hold anything back here. This was a hastily put together match but could have been much better than it had any right to be. As far as Dark is concerned, I’m out on him.

TL: Man alive, are they telegraphing what’s gonna happen to Puma here. I mean, if you read this site, pretty sure you are up to speed on current pro wrestling news, so it’s no secret what’s going to happen to Puma. If I was watching this when it aired not knowing what was going to happen, it wouldn’t have made me change my mind on Vampiro obviously looking to screw over Puma. It’s another part of this that I had watched previously in highlight form so I’m foggy on specifics, but we’ll see if my feelings change watching the finale.

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