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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Lucha Underground Season 4 Episode 17: The Moth and the Butterfly

TL: Oh my God, the opening cinematic with Aerostar telling Melissa he's seen the end of everything was extremely bad. Cringey bad. Like the SNL guest who can't read the cue cards off camera bad. Melissa had to have been fed every line she said. Aerostar, bless his heart, is doing what he can with this.

XO Lishus/Joey Ryan/Ivelisse vs. Paul London/The White Rabbit/El Bunny

ER: The return of Mascarita Sagrada to LU can only be a good thing, and Killer Kross finally makes a TV match, a fun late addition to the fed. This was a jump up from last week's trios match. The Rabbit Tribe is a fun stable and the mix of London/Sagrada/Kross is a twisted WAR team that totally works. Sagrada vs. XO Lishus was not a match I realized I wanted, but damn was it fun as hell as it was happening. Paul London bumps around for Ivelisse as well as any man in the fed has, a nice recovery for her after a sloppy performance last week. We got a huge London dropkick to the floor and a Sagrada stopped momentum dive to Ivelisse that somehow looked good. And they did a fun thing all match long by having Kross glower from the apron, with it practically a known conclusion that he was just going to end things the moment he stepped into the match. He did, and they finished on an awesome visual, Kross choking out Joey Ryan with a mandible claw, wearing gimmicked gloves with bloody fingers, like he was gouging into Ryan's esophagus.

TL: I'm stoked to see what Kross does here as the White Rabbit. Mascaita and Paul bring it more often than not, but Kross is here to be brooding and explosive (supposedly). The London unitard/powder white face paint combo is the right kind of weird. Ivelisse getting the hot tag here was certainly a choice. XO LIshus and Sagrada paired off somewhat nicely, and Sagrada just in general came off really well here. One of the better examples of his size not being played up as something of a detriment. I agree that the match-ending mandible claw visual was awesome, and shows how presence and intent goes a long way. The stuff surrounding this was fine, but the Kross payoff was about as good as it's gonna get. It's so weird that they bring him in now with only a few weeks to go and he goes over that strong, but my thought is they take the trios titles...and then the company folds? Sigh.

Killshot vs. Son of Havoc

ER: So I forgot what had been going on between Killshot and Son of Havoc, or if they even had anything, but Striker tells me this is a big match so I'll go with it. They did work it as if it were more important than the #1 contender's match last week, so maybe this is a big deal. They use way too much sound sweetening, but there was good stuff here. Son of Havoc hits a big tope and he's always landing too close to the Temple steps, and I could see these two stepping up and having a fun mask match. They felt like they had big match formula down in a good way here, even if I don't like some of their offense.

TL: Seeing Strickland as Isaiah Scott now in NXT allows him to show off some more personality but the offense still doesn't work with me yet. He needs to tighten things up a bit, and this match doesn't bode well for two guys who like to try stuff that come off incredibly choreographed. And while this did have hints of that, they didn't try to do as much as I thought! It at least had good intentions, and I thought for sure there was going to be a few spots that got too cute. This was fine. And now we get to see it again as an apuestas. THAT'S probably going to be when they get too cute and I yell and scream, but whatever.

TL: Moth gets some promo time and looks way more comfortable in pre-taped segments than with a live mic. Reklusa is a great wrestling name for Chelsea, too.

No DQ: Marty The Moth Martinez vs. Mariposa

ER: This was great, easily one of the best LU matches in this cursed season. I think we'll have to do an actual ranked Season 4 Top 10 matches list when we're done with this. There's a strong chance that I won't have anything from this season on our MOTY List, and there has been strong representatives from the other 3 seasons. There were many reps from season 1, several from season 2, less in season 3, but none so far 17 episodes in to season 4. This came damn close, a really fun and violent brawl with Mariposa taking a cruel beating and firing back with some inventive comebacks. We built up to a couple of very strong nearfalls, more effective than anything I can remember this season. Martinez really beats her up, and I think it actually worked better because they have been presented as having a weird relationship for their entire time in LU. They've established that we could really expect these two to treat each other however, so the intergender thing worked for it. Mariposa took a great beating and bled, got slammed into walls and even powerbombed on the floor! Her comebacks were logical and violent, at one point burying Moth in about 15 chairs, all throwing hard at him, and late in the match she punts him right in the balls as payback for his shot to the crotch at the beginning of the match. I get the Reklusa interference (and love the name too) but I was enjoying the match so much that I was hoping they'd build to something more special for a finish. But this was good, and the postmatch beating Marty gave her felt edgier than LU has felt in awhile. Fans are super hot for the Moth/Pentagon title match, and even though Pentagon is probably the guy I'm least interested in watching on this current roster, I am now foolishly excited for that match.

TL: Oh HELL YES. MORE CHEERLEADER MELISSA. Low key, she's been one of the best match for match performers in the show's history, and I'm stoked to see her get a showcase match here. The start was great, the headbutt from Mariposa, the low blow, the vicious beatdown and mask ripping in the corner by Marty, Mariposa flying into the stands and then SHE BLEEDS ON THE CHAIR SHOT. And then Martinez whips her headfirst into the table like a goddamn madman and this has my attention pretty easily from the get go. Marty then powerbombs her into the grate and then sits out on the floor with it; a sequence that looks kinda blah in other matches, but because of the carnage on the outside so far, really fits in as Marty dominating her early on. They're going for it and it's like they woke this show up a bit. And then the madness of that chair pileup spot during the Mariposa comeback, and Vampiro literally jumping for joy as Mariposa rains down two dozen or so thrown chairs on Marty. I can't get over how much this rules, to be honest. When she set up the chair, I thought she was gonna go crazy and hit the Kudo Driver through it, but the Samoan Drop was nasty as all hell, too. Amazing near falls in this match on her two attempts. Then Marty retains with Pentagon's Fear Factor to retain after Reklusa interference to rub it in. Spectacular stuff, an absolute burst of energy on a show that has long needed it, easily the best match this season. Mariposa remains one of my favorite wrestlers in the history of the show, and even though for whatever reason they didn't give her much to work with in-ring, she absolutely crushed it every time she was given an opportunity to shine. Marty is gonna die for us in the Cero Miedo match (let's be honest: he ain't topping Vampiro from the first one) and that will be fun but man, even without spoilers, it's easy to see how things are going to end up. Five more episodes to go...



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