Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Lucha Underground Season 4 Episode 13: The Circle of Life

ER: I have thoughts on our opening cinematic. I went through a lot of shifting opinions on that thing. So, it was cheesy, but then I started to like it the longer it went on. It moved past typical Lucha Underground locker room fight cinematic and attempted to go full They Live. Obviously there was zero chance they would even approach They Live, and obviously there was very little chance they would even approach a direct to Redbox ripoff of They Live called Aliens Among Us. But they tried to do it and the digital video looked cheap in spots and it had bad early 2000s editing and coloring and they did a bunch of annoying shaky cam on certain impact...but I liked the fact that it took forever. They did something kinda bad but they committed a lot of time to it and that kind of committment means something. There were great moments, like Catrina throwing a freaking chain at Melissa, missing, leading to a great pause in the action as Melissa gives a bitchreally? reaction. You know their acting isn't usually there, but they're going for it and I kind of weirdly like the loving ways they film Melissa and Fenix. It's like when David Lynch makes young love super sunny and optimistic. This last scene felt like a fan made Morrissey video version of that.

TL: LU went from 40 to 22 episodes this season and I feel like the reason that happened was because they needed to budget out this intro sequence. Can’t get over how they use the same sound effects here that they do in the actual matches. It’s truly amazing that they took 11 minutes to tell this story. I do agree they were going for an ode to They Live, but even then, I don’t think I expected this, with Michael Bay-level jump cuts before we get what’s essentially a Power Rangers episode ending at the end with the return of Fenix. These last few weeks, Walk Hard has been prevalent in my meme-like responses to things I’ve been watching, so Fenix coming to and then telling Melissa, “Time travel has changed me” like he’s Dewey Cox coming out of rehab would have absolutely floored me. He had the same vacant look in his eyes, at least. Aerostar obviously repping the Purple Parrots, and he will now head on to the Temple looking for a full pendant. I don’t think there’s a person alive, even the world’s biggest LU fan, who could tell you why this intro happened in the first place. Even if I don’t think it’s good (and it isn’t), I love that it exists. This seems like something that would have been in Florida in the 80’s.

Joey Wrestling vs. Matanza

ER: Joey Mercury on my TV is a great thing in 2018, and he gets a fake Darkness theme song that brings me back to classic WCW straight faced rip off themes and I get a nostalgia kick. And this delivered what I wanted from a Matanza sacrifice match, and that is Joey actually getting a lot of offense and not getting steamrolled in a minute. Wrestling has nice punches and can hit hard on everything, and we get a cool moment were Joey shoulderblocks Matanza through the ropes to the floor. There's a silly spot where Joey no sells a pedigree, which seems a little too 1999 as a competing brand diss (maybe they hired the guy who edited the opening vignette from the same 1999 time machine hiring spree that netted them the guy who laid that spot into the match). Glad they didn't actually murder Joey since they do that now, means I might get to see him again this season and not as a ghost.

TL: Joey had a rough 2018, as he dies here and then fell asleep in his car the morning of All In and was taken to jail, which led to the infamous ending where they couldn’t convince Okada/Scurll to not go 86 minutes and they rushed to a black slate during the main event. I do love he got a good run against Matanza here. Doing the whole blind low blow, then a blatant low blow where there wasn’t a DQ was a hilarious lapse in psychology, but he bumped well enough and was fiery on offense. A no-selling of a Pedigree is fine by me. Best sacrifice match since Vinnie Mass went via death by pizza.

Killshot vs. Big Bad Steve

ER: Steve appears to be walking with a limp and I'm unsure if this dude is just working hurt or he's just got a cool walk, like he installs drywall and also plays on a softball team so has aches, and worries. And it's weird we get a match where Killshot takes more of a match than Matanza took in his match. I don't know what the deal is with Steve's knee or ankle, but I pointed out he was limping and then early in the match Killshot kicks his knee so Steve spends the match selling that leg. A lot of the match was worked around Killshot doing sick experiments on Steve's knee, stomping it and twisting it and doing stupid Killshot kicks to it. It works though, and even the (overly produced) strikes by Killshot work. The sound effects are absurd at this point, but the strikes looked good, even tossed in a nasty backhand. Steve had a big cutter and big powerbomb (yeah yeah the knee) and threw a fantastic overhand right in the corner. Brenda was terrible as Steve's second, even compared to other terrible Brenda performances. Is Steve supposed to be some 50s greaser caricature? He doesn't act like it, but Brenda keeps screeching at him to "Hit him with your hot rod" (which could also be a really confusing attempt at innuendo) and calling him Daddy-o. This got pretty good, though I'm still confused by Steve working a babyface injury from entrance to exit, but also like that we're getting Steve on TV sooo.

TL: THE RETURN OF BIG BAD STEVE, DADDY. The tire rotation tips from Striker during his entrance were terrific, and now I need vignettes of Steve taking care of beaters coming into the shop and grifting folks out of some extra bucks. Meanwhile, Killshot gets the announcers talking about contract kills like he’s gonna be the focus of Season 2 of Killing Eve or something. Finally, Striker uses the word “luchaness.” I dunno, man. Steve sells like hell to get over Killshot’s offense to the previously broken ankle, which I do admit looks better than normal here. Steve’s offense is really good, too, with the cool side suplex reversal off a punch and then a nutty double pumphandle facebuster. Killshot working more like Strickland isn’t bad, per se, but it doesn’t come off as something that looks hurty at all. He’s the guy who benefits most from LU’s overly produced show. Big Bad Steve impresses again, and honesty, him and Havoc as a big/little tag team would be awesome. Promos out by Havoc’s motorcycle with Steve checking his shocks? Sign me up. And sure enough, there’s the play for the apuestas match. Killshot will be Strickland soon enough, methinks.

ER: I had a mechanic a decade or so ago who would offer you a discount if you paid in cash, so he could hide he payments from his ex-wife. That feels like a good bit to have Big Bad Steve doing at his shop.

Pentagon Dark vs. Hernandez

ER: Hernandez is as good a choice as any guy to bring back as Pentagon cannon fodder, but considering we've now seen Pentagon handily dispatch Matanza, Cage (a couple times), the entire roster in Aztec Warfare, and even more than hold his own against Cage/Cuerno in a handicap match, I don't really need to see a competitive match against Hernandez. Pentagon gets the full Sexy Star treatment with sound effects, not taking chances that his light shots won't sound like they're breaking boards. Hernandez tries his greatest hits, hits the big no hands tope which is very much crazy at age 45, hits a nice over the shoulder backbreaker, and tries a cool brick wall spot that Pentagon doesn't help him with at all: Pentagon ran into Hernandez while Hernandez didn't budge, but Pentagon didn't fly off him like he ran into a wall, it made it look like more of a blown spot than a Hernandez power spot. A big part of HHH at peak HHH was getting slightly out of position for opponent's offense or otherwise sandbagging (think him going up slowly for suplexes in his big Eddie singles). Pentagon is truly fulfilling the prophecy. After the match Cuerno attacks Pentagon, and considering he had a tough time with Pentagon while teaming with Cage, and was getting tooled by Ivelisse a few weeks ago, I can't wait to see Cuerno definitely have a chance in this future match!

TL: Triple P out here cutting promos that are longer than they need to be given the guy whose title reign this is patterned off. Hernandez definitely has bigger balls now as he looks considerably smaller than his peak, which, you know, makes sense. He also comes out wearing purple velvet pants, which is definitely a choice. Penta’s off and on offense starts the match, then Hernandez hits his slingshot tackle and his still impressive no-hands plancha. Already losing me and we aren’t even five minutes in after that, though. Just an absolute snail’s pace here, and this is just after what happened in the Killshot match. This is also a perception thing; they’re going for “presence” here by trying to play to the crowd, and it’s just not grabbing me at all. It’s a lucha trope as old as time, but then the work after is important to what they’re playing towards with the crowd work. They don’t have me here with it. Hernandez being gassed here isn’t helping things (as Eric said, he’s 45, and while he’s in great shape, he’s not working nearly as much), as Penta plays really only to what his opponent can do. Eh, who am I kidding. Penta’s on cruise control here. Sudden finish, too. Sure. This was a Pentagon 2018 LU title match. No idea how Penta loses the belt realistically unless it’s to Paul himself, and Cuerno, for being presented as an actual threat? No chance.


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