Lucha Underground 6/28/2017 Review: Macho Madness

Yes, that is Paul London holding Cobra Moon hostage with a carrot. More on that later.

At the start of the show, Catrina motivates Mil Muertes to win the Cueto Cup and reclaim his Lucha Underground Championship. He promises his “love” that he will do just that before they kiss. Which is weird to me because in all of the years we’ve seen Mil and Catrina together, they never even hinted at being an item. Don’t get me wrong, given their history, it makes sense and with a bit of proper character development, this pairing would be easier to buy into. However, since we got none of that, this relationship feels like it’s been created out of left field. In any case, we quickly cut to and then away from Jeremiah Crane scowling in the background before we’re off to the action.

Mil Muertes gets to put that promise to the test when he takes on the mysterious Venemo in our opening contest for the Cueto Cup. The newcomer isn’t even a challenge for Mil as Mil beats the unholy hell out of the guy. He pummels him to the ground, flings him around, and following a Flat Liner, this match is over. Within just a couple minutes, Mil Muertes advances to the next round. Far from the most competitive contest, but considering that the last time we saw Mil Muertes, he lost to Prince Puma after getting socked in the head with a brick, he needed a strong outing here. This was the right squash match where the right guy won. We’ve been seeing quite the handful of squashes and one-sided contests this round, but it’s still the first round so that’s alright. As long as things kick into high gear for the second round, things should be fine.

Up next, the leader of the Rabbit Tribe, Paul London (because of course he’d be the leader of the Rabbit Tribe) takes on one-third of the Trios Champions, Vibora. London tees off like a house of fire on Vibora from the get-go, but to no avail. Vibora’s just too big and powerful. So London tries to get some space between him and his opponent by aiming a carrot at the head of Vibora’s manager, Cobra Moon. Needless to say, it didn’t help. Vibora gets the advantage until the rest of The Rabbit Tribe make a run-in. A very literal run-in. They don’t attack anybody. They just run into the ring and quickly dive under the ring. Everyone’s so confused as to what just happened that Paul London is able to take the advantage, sending Vibora outside with the slowest hurricanrana on the face of this earth. London gets back in, but The Rabbit Tribe underneath the ring hold Vibora down to allow London to get the countout victory. For the first time in a long time, I have to say that Lucha Underground aired a match that wasn’t very good. Sure, it had a strong start (if only for the ridiculously amazing image of London holding Cobra Moon hostage with a carrot), but by time we got to the halfway point, the match wasn’t as compelling as it could’ve been. Even with The Rabbit Tribe’s wacky interference, there isn’t much to be entertained by here. Unless you’re entertained by botches because we get a few of those, including a failed suicide back bump dive where London gets more of the floor than Vibora.

Taya vs Joey Ryan is up next. As I stated last week, intergender matches are a hard sell and probably even harder to book. Surprisingly enough, this was an intergender match that I could buy into. While Ryan and Taya are both heels, Ryan played a firm heel role while Taya seemed to be the default face. Both opponents played their roles well, Ryan seemed like enough of a sleazeball to make him hateable for hitting a woman, and since the two were more or less the same size/height (oddly enough), it didn’t feel like a complete mismatch. Taya gets the win followed by a Northern Lights into a standing foot stomp. I didn’t love the match, but I didn’t hate it either. It was fine.

Afterwards, we’re backstage to see Mil Muertes in a suit coming out of the locker room. He’s about to leave before he’s attacked viciously with a chair by Jeremiah Crane. Crane stares in Mil’s eyes and tells him “She’s mine!” before crushing his neck with a chair. Crane vs Mil isn’t a feud I would’ve ever expected, but I’m intrigued enough to see more. Anxious to see where this one goes.

Next is another video package hyping up Johnny Mundo vs Rey Mysterio. This time with interviews with guys who tangled with both competitors in the past. This would include Matt Striker, Prince Puma, Cage, and even “retired luchador” Chavo Guerrero. As if these packages didn’t sell me on this match enough, this package solidified this match as must see television. Can’t wait for it. The amazing thing is that it isn’t like this match hasn’t happened before. These two have faced off at least once before in WWE, yet the big fight feel which these promos are generated make Mundo vs Mysterio feel like a once in a lifetime encounter. Props to Lucha Underground for creating that sort of atmosphere.

For our main event and final First Round Cueto Cup match of the night, we get Jeremiah Crane taking on Killshot. These may not be two of the most high profile names in Lucha Underground, but the two wind up having a match that was more than deserving of the main event spot. Both men took the high stakes of the match into consideration and amped their in-ring acumen to 11. This match had enough action to make your head spin into a whirlwind. Collisions into crowd chairs, suplexes exploding onto steel concrete, and enough jaw dropping flips to rival Ricochet vs Will Osperay from NJPW. After several stunning near falls and plenty of hard hitting kicks/punches, Killshot goes for the JML until Crane counters with a small package, a kick to the back of the head, then a thunderous brainbuster for another near fall. After a few more exchanges, the two get a very well deserved “Fight Forever!” chant and eventually Killshot hits a Death Valley Driver onto the apron right into a Kill Stomp. He gets the nearest of near falls that anyone could ask for. Killshot goes for the JML one more time, but Dante Fox appears in the crowd to tell Killshot that their feud is not over. The distraction lasts long enough for Crane to weasel out of JML, hit his own finisher, and win the match. Right after, Catrina appears and stares down Crane, who blows a kiss at Catrina.

To everyone’s surprise, Crane vs Killshot managed to be the best match of the Cueto Cup yet and is a must see for any wrestling fan. Wouldn’t be surprised if this winds up on anybody’s year-end best matches list. It’s already got my vote for MOTY in Lucha Underground. Could’ve used a better, cleaner finish, but that doesn’t take away from all of the phenomenal action we got beforehand.

Before the show goes off the air, Dario Cueto brags about this tournament being “the greatest tournament ever” to a mysterious newcomer who claims the final spot in the tournament. We soon learn that this mystery man’s name is Son of Madness and he will be taking on Son of Havoc next week. Weird way to end the show, but I’m interested to see where that story could possibly go.

Overall, while not a perfect show, tonight’s Lucha Underground was solid with a must see main event and enough intrigue going into next week’s show.

Joe Anthony Myrick

A photographer/journalist working out of Detroit.

wambamitsjam has 55 posts and counting.See all posts by wambamitsjam

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