Segunda Caida

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Lucha Underground Season 4 Episode 8: The Ranks of the Reptiles

TL: Vampiro (and Striker) Fashion Update: Alumni of perhaps the worst frat ever, and that covers some ground. I have no idea why they decided an announce team needed letterman jackets, but here we are, with an old corner and an overweight defensive end reliving the glory days.

Daga vs. "The Darewolf" PJ Black

ER: This was one of those matches that got a lot of time, and was instantly forgotten the moment it was over. Both guys are okay but are lifeless. I forget why Daga is one of the lizard people, but what immediately struck me as strange about this match was that Black was clearly working as heel, while Daga was getting the babyface comebacks. This was the case in the Mundo/Vibora match, and I get that Worldwide Underground are heels....but the other team are LIZARD PEOPLE. There has not been a single piece of science fiction literature where trusting a race of lizard people has lead to prosperity. LU keeps making things so much more shades of grey, that we're now rooting for Lizard People over a group of people who are just vaguely dickheadish. I thought a lot of Black's flying looked bad here, a lot of it being rejected AJ Styles offense with distance not figured out. That quebrada DDT rarely looks good, and there was a funny spot where Black goes for a springboard moonsault off the top, Daga moves a few inches, and Black misses him by a couple feet. Daga is like the least memorable "That kind of guy" in wrestling. I've watched a couple dozen Daga matches, and damned if I can remember watching a couple dozen Daga matches. That guy is wallpaper, but wallpaper that does a couple fast rope running spots and some kick combos. The moments I liked best here were when Black was grounded, and just landing decent punches, nice forearms smashes, and eyepokes. That kind of stuff looks good, he does it well, and it's far more interesting than seeing that stupid as hell sunset flip reversal of a top rope rana, or seeing Daga take the most scenic trip possible to roll into a crucifix submission. This kind of thing is one of my least favorite things.

TL: A minute into the match, Black misses his quebrada, but doesn’t really sell it, just stays on his hands and knees waiting for Daga to hit the ropes and dropkick him. And it’s not edited. There’s a lot of smooth cutaways to awkward camera angles to hide some missteps, but even then, it’s not enough to save it. Daga is truly lucha Noam Dar, an elite athlete with good looking offense who has very little clue to put on a cohesive wrestling match. At least Dar is good on Twitter. Everything in this match seemed like a chore. The finish was overly elaborate. The postmatch was…whatever. Striker calls either Morrison or Black Mike Trout. Pretty sure Kobra messed up on her promo. That sure was a 10-minute wrestling segment. I kinda want an oral history of that segment because I guarantee the editing process on that whole thing is probably the toughest job in the history of the show.

And now after the match The WU clears the ring like total babyfaces and then are portrayed in the promos after as the good guys, which, again, makes sense because the other people are an evil LIZARD TRIBE. It's a having cake and eating it situation. A lot of WU work better as heels, and they are heels, and a lot of the lizards aren't good at working heel, so they have naturally worked face against WU...it's just that none of it actually makes sense.

ER: I really wouldn't mind a return of ghost Big Ryck. We really only saw him against smaller flippy guys, and it would be cool to see him take on some of the bigger LU dudes. Only as a ghost, I guess.

TL: Mack apparently has never ridden Pirates of the Caribbean to prepare him for seeing Big Ryck’s skull (with a cigar sticking out of it, no less; where’s the damn crow perched atop it?) Although him saying, “Damn, woman. They need to put a bell on you or something!” when Katrina appeared got a chuckle out of me.

The Rabbit Tribe vs. Killshot/Son of Havoc/The Mack

ER: I really liked the Rabbit Tribe portions of this, but at a certain point it became the Killshot show and it didn't grab me the same. Remember what I've said this season about how they seem to be focusing on the guys I like least? That's definitely a running theme. I guess that theme has always been around in LU - we got an awful lot of triumphant Sexy Star moments - but this season seriously feels like you can take my "least want to see this guy featured" performer in any given match, and that's the guy that's getting gushed about by Striker. There's just too much pout and pomp to make Killshot work for me, and an reliance on strikes that only work with classic LU sound sweetening. Killshot was by far the most featured guy of the champs, though Havoc hit a nice dive down the stretch, Mack hit a big ol' bullfrog splash. London and Saltador looked great though. London is fully reenergized, throwing everything he has explosively, snapping kicks and adding in a headbutt, missing as big as he hits. Saltador is so smooth and always pulls out a new trick, and I loved his fast tope con hilo here. Really this fed just needs to turn into a kick punch fed. That would be more edgy than stacked tower powerbomb spots in 2018.

TL: Vampiro with an all-time out there call in this match, going all “Gangs of New York” references and then talking about how Mala Suerte is a vegan and that’s why he’s moving around so well. Then he tries to rename a Samoan Drop. Then he and Striker plug Modelo. London’s outfit has a sparkly codpiece. How does THAT not come up? Don’t know why we need a Tower of Doom spot in 2018 still. Don’t know why we need Killshot getting featured when Mack is right there. Mala Suerte at least throwing some sweet shots. Saltador with a nice somersault plancha. London, as per usual, bumps around well. Nice Havoc tope. HEAVY as hell Mack splash. Killshot steals the pin and I’m supposed to care, I guess. Sure. Reaaallllly struggling not to just keep pushing the fast forward button.

Cage/King Cuerno vs. Pentagon Dark

ER: I really didn't need to see Pentagon working a 0.8 vintage HHH match. Pentagon would have had to win this thing for him to be working full Haitch, but he is just not a squash match worker who looks credible against these two. Hats off especially to Cage for stumbling around the ring getting into perfect position for everything, taking a lunatic flipping piledriver, taking a slingblade on his neck, catching a flip dive perfectly, and Cuerno was right there with him. I think Cuerno is the only guy I've ever seen manage to drop on his head while taking a backcracker. Pentagon does look back, he just doesn't look as good as either of the two guys he was mostly having no problems handling. My favorite moment of the match might have been Cuerno throwing a nice low knee in the corner while the ref wasn't watching, but damn Cage throwing Pentagon into a Cuerno kneelift would be a great Destruction Crew type finisher that would result in a million dollar jobber payout. There was plenty of cool stuff here on the Cuerno/Cage side of things, but MAN am I not wanting any more steps towards Triple Penta.

TL: Jeeeesus. Pentagon handling Cage like he did was a bit hard to swallow, and now he’s in a damn handicap match with Cuerno? This is truly Kenny Omega IWGP Champ level-stuff here. Just right down our throats without even a tap on the top of the head to prepare us. Penta at least isn’t lazy in this, but he also isn’t enthralling, either. One of my favorite things in wrestling is when makeshift tag teams find a way to throw out some good double team offense, and yeah, that lift into the knee was great stuff. I think if Penta had won this, I would have asked Eric if we could have skipped ahead to the point where he lost the belt, spoilers be damned.

TL: Eric no-selling the ending skit, which is Mundo dressed like Indiana Jones, saying how much he hates snakes, and then going to the Snake Pit to take on the Reptiles, where Taya cuts off the head of the Luchasaurus. This is so unbelievably bad that it’s probably the best skit in LU history, too. For THIS episode to end THIS way is either the world’s biggest heat check or the writing team crossing the last crazy idea they had off their list and tapping out. Guess this is the Year of Murder on Lucha Underground. Man, I miss Pindar.

ER: So what happened, was I sent my draft to Tim but accidentally didn't copy the part where I actually acknowledged a very tall lizard getting beheaded. Go figure, that Vibora has the best couple appearances of his career, and now he's dead. All the babyfaces on this show seem fine with murder at this point, why didn't any of them have these flexible morals when Sexy Star was still around? Also, can someone murder Pentagon? I'm tired of seeing him.


COMPLETE GUIDE TO LUCHA UNDERGROUND


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