Segunda Caida

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

Monday, November 05, 2018

Lucha Underground Season 4 Episode 9: A Match Made in Heaven

ER: This may be an odd question...but was that actually Melissa playing Mariposa in the opening segment with Cueto? Her voice sounded completely different from how I remember her sounding (not merely the absence of her minor speech impediment, her voice just sounded different), and the mask covers enough that I actually have no idea.

TL: Was that…a competent set up for the main event? Like, did they actually lay out the consequences in a cogent manner for us to understand? Wild, man.

Mala Suerte vs. Matanza

ER: So now we've established bunny hop "boings" and speed bags SFX to our LU SFX canon. This was short but nobody died. Suerte hit a great baseball slide dropkick to start, Matanza hit a nice headbutt to cut off bunny hops and hit the Wrath of the Gods. But again, nobody died, which seems important to point out now.

TL: I literally cannot add anything to what Eric said about this match when those SFX were involved. Peak pro wrestling production, that.

Joey Ryan/Jack Evans vs. XO Lishus/Ivelisse

ER: I really liked this, especially as a showcase for Evans and Lishus. I wasn't excited for Joey opposite another woman, but I liked the turn into Joey being a full blown sex addict, just wanting any kind of touch and contact with any human (at minimum, any human). I think him being into getting slammed into XO Lishus' juicy hot ass and liking it is an important thing to happen. Sex addict is far more interesting than overt pervert. Lishus is a ton of fun, a great take on an exotico. The splits legdrop is good, and I also realized with his outfit, butt stuff, splits...he's basically cosplaying as Naomi. That feels like a level of exotico we haven't had in wrestling, an actual drag routine paying tribute to a fan favorite. The cartwheel slap is great with the character, and there was a hilarious moment with he and Evans, where Lishus ducked a clothesline and landed in a crabwalk, Evans overran him with the miss, ran back, but was chased into the corner with a quick burst of crabwalking from Lishus. Evans played it great, the timing was down, a genuinely funny and unique moment played perfectly. They went way too heavy on SFX for Ivelisse, she had a couple weak shots that came off comical with the loud thigh slap sound, but stuff like armdrags and ranas looked fine and she ate Ryan's offense well. Evans is still finding his place without WU, and I hope he's featured more from here now that he's away from WU. But he and Lishus owned here.

TL: I want to be a part of the conversations Joey has had with other folks to try and figure out how he could evolve his character. As Eric said, the climb from pervert to sex addict seems like the natural next step for him and who better to bring it out of him than Lishus, who has the athleticism that makes it look like he can hang with Jack F’n Evans step for step. Evans’ athleticism never ceases to amaze me; his springboard moves look out of control but also look like they kill folks. Yeah, the Lishus/Evans stuff was terrific, which led to the absolutely disgusting finish with the omoplata that really looked like a chokeout as opposed to all the other loosely applied MMA finishes you’d see in wrestling today. Stoked to see this get a longer feud, too. Ryan and Ivelisse were definitely in this match.

Mariposa vs. Dragon Azteca Jr.

ER: This was so short and really a nothing match. It was presented as an obstacle for Azteca but he didn't have too much trouble with Mariposa. It's a Lucha Underground update on an old early 90s Wrestling Challenge squash match. In one of those matches the enhancement talent would maybe get a dropkick or a couple elbows that get no sold. In a Lucha Underground squash match the enhancement talent still gets to break out a Kudo Driver moments after taking a huge 450 splash. The times they are a changin'.

TL: Love the foul to start the match during the belt presentation, love the kick to the inside of the thigh even more. Also love how in 2018, a 450 splash and a fucking KUDO DRIVER get 2.9s, but crossing the legs on a rolling prawn hold? Can’t get out of that, no siree. But hey, I’ve never wrestled before, so I don’t understand psychology, I guess.

The Reptile Tribe vs. Worldwide Underground

ER: So Striker says that Vibora is "striking in his absence" meaning nobody else knows about Vibora's death, but you'd think his absence would be focused on a lot more if that was the case. Instead they're just immediately cool with lizard Jeremiah Crane being the replacement. Also, could we have maybe done a little better than Jeremiah Snake? Here are a few off the top of my head with similar vocal patterns: Jereboa Crane, Jereviper Crane, Jereconda Crane. They aren't rhymes, but the syntax is the same as his original name and they roll off the tongue similarly. Or, they could have embraced their ridiculous side and further have their cake and eat it too, and he could have been Janaconda Cobrane. Also, I like that even in a rare 4 on 4 match, Ricky Mandel still isn't good enough to make the cut. I want them do have a 10 man tag to see if he has a shot at getting some playing time.

And I really liked this match. It was the right amount of fun and action, and really the fed should run more 8 man tags. I've gotten tired of their go to singles match style, but throw any 8 people from the roster in a ring and they should all have enough material to work a fun 10 minute match. You get less reliance on kickouts and more reliance on saves at that point, and a well timed save is more exciting to me than a big kickout. We get a ton of big dives, some complicated (like Kobra Moon getting launched into everyone by Jeremiah) and a couple impressive Aerostar ones, and a huge cannonball into everyone by Jeremiah. The pacing was kept brisk, and the whole thing was kept light which is a good thing because serious matches typically feature Striker reading a bunch of lousy copy about the Fates of Worlds and the Calamity of Man. The post-match worked for me too, even though the Macho Man stuff was all really obvious, I loved the Pomp and Circumstance playing while Mundo had Taya up on his shoulder. Taya's reaction to the proposal was good and as I've been wondering the past couple weeks this surely throws WU into full babyface, which isn't a bad twist. I somehow didn't notice the relevance of the episode title, which now seems like it should be saved for the inevitable wedding episode of LU, and I also somehow foolishly never considered a wedding episode for LU. We're well over 100 episodes at this point, and if we actually want to pretend that this is an actual TV series and not wrestling, then we're already into syndication and we're overdue for a wedding and a baby. We've already gotten to the point of the show where it's consistently going downhill from its peak, so now we need a couple of classic ratings poppers!

TL: The graphic leading into this match looks like it was made for an ECW TV main event in 1997, which is terrific. Big wet fart for the return of Crane as part of the Reptile Tribe. Don’t care enough to even make fun of the name. Aerostar wearing the bandana over his mask is as goofy looking as Klay Thompson wearing the bandana during his 14 3-pointer game last week, which means I love it. Vibora had been getting better so I’m a bit sad he’s not a part of this, because this seems like the type of match where he’d really stand out.

More wild atomicos match than I would have thought with this set up, as I figured there would be more pairing off than a whole bunch of dives, but they wanted a frenetic pace from the start. PJ Black’s hot tag that began with a bunch of first week training offense after the springboard was amusing. Nothing like armdrags and shoulder blocks to fire things up. The more I hear “Jeremiah Snake” the more I cringe. He also gets a lot of the match here, which is disappointing. Would have loved to see more Moon and Drago, especially considering Aerostar was brought in specifically because of his past with Drago. Instead, Drago gets to watch Aerostar hit his second ridiculous dive of the match and then take the fall. Postmatch was actually cool for the fakeout, Johnny being magnanimous, and the two-bit Savage aping. It was ELIZABETH who did the “Ooooohh yeah” part, man. C’mon. I’m not sure what wedding day shenanigans will occur to hold it up before it actually happens, but I’ve been entertained by WU skits to the point where I’d at least enjoy it. Can’t remember too many happy RobRod movie marriages, but maybe they’ll make an exception here.

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