Thursday, July 21, 2016

Motherfuckin' Lucha Underground! (Ultima Lucha Dos, Part 3)

If you ever need to explain to anyone why Lucha Underground is glorious madness, the first half hour of Ultima Lucha Dos Part Three should do the trick. I couldn't find it on YouTube this morning, so you'll have to settle for Dario Cueto goodness.

Part 3 opens with a season recap mostly about Pentagon vs. Matanza and the Trios drama. It then moves into Lucha Underground's version of, I shit you not, the Dagobah Tree sequence from The Empire Strikes Back. Except that instead of Luke, it's Pentagon Jr., who has to go into a cave, face his fear, and beat the ever-loving shit out of it.

Pentagon emerges, no longer Pentagon Jr. but PENTAGON DARK.

We then move into the Trios title match, which is completely fucking bonkers. There are no words. Worldwide Underground (Mundo, Evans, Black) and the Superfriends (Aerostar, Drago, Fenix) go absolutely apeshit all over the ring and the Temple. "Overbooked" is often a derogatory term in pro wrestling, meaning a match has too much going on in it by way of shenanigans. But this match is overbooked like an overstuffed sandwich. So full of goodness you can barely cope.

The show never quite matches the insane heights of the opening, but it tries.

The Dragon Azteca vs.Black Lotus match was slightly disappointing. Their story has run through the entirety of the first two seasons of LU, so it was a shame to see what was a pretty good match interrupted by Pentagon Dark breaking both of their arms, introducing himself, and demanding his title match. Black Lotus looked great in her debut, especially if you don't notice that a lot of the match was just her dodging spectacular moves from Azteca.

The championship match between Pentagon Dark and The Monster Matanza Cueto was a fantastic match that, up until the ending, told an almost Dragonball-esque story of the protagonist getting beaten by an all-powerful villain, training, transforming, and coming back more powerful than ever. Pentagon manhandled Matanza lilke nobody before him, which, thanks to context, was amazing to see. Matanza's comeback was well-played, but the ending, with Pentagon going down to Wrath of the Gods after being hit with the barbed wire baseball bat supplied by Vampiro, fell a little flat.

Taya vs. Ivelisse was solid, but like Azteca-Lotus, it ended with an interruption. Unlike the earlier match, though, it was interrupted by A TELEPORTING MISTRESS OF THE DARK. I can only assume there was some editing involved, but Catrina teleports into the ring like Bray Wyatt on meth, destroys Ivelisse, teleports out of the ring while Taya finishes her off, and teleports back to deliver the Lick Of Death to Ivelisse. This bodes well for Season 3.

And finally, we have Prince Puma vs. Rey Mysterio. The only match of the night to take place almost entirely inside the ring. Technically, this one was off the charts. Mysterio put on a show that will make you forget he's 41 years old. Puma is one of the most dynamic performers in wrestling today. If this match had a flaw, it's that it's basic story of "who's the best" is almost too pedestrian to be the main event of an Ultima Lucha. No struggle of good vs. evil, no mystical shenanigans, just pure lucha libre and a post-match show of respect.

Everything is wrapping up early, and I'm wondering what's in store next. Lorenzo Lamas and his mystery limousine boss? A revelation about the destruction of the Aztec Gods? No, it's Pentagon Dark, getting revenge on Vampiro for his loss in the championship match, licking Vampiro's blood off his hands and stating that he is the master now. If this was an attempt at turning Pentagon Dark heel, it was almost as big a failure as all the other times they tried to get the Temple crowd to turn against him. By the end, when PD yelled CERO MIEDO, they were all chanting his name again.

Ultima Lucha 1 ended with what may be the greatest "backstage" vignette in all of professional wrestling. A montage of wrestlers leaving The Temple, in ways tied directly into their characters and their storylines. It made us desperate for a Season 2 we did not know we'd be getting. Season 3 has already been filmed, so that may be why Season 2's final vignette is so underwhelming. Dario Cueto has been arrested, presumably for the murder of Mr. Cisco at the end of Part 2 (which I can safely spoil now. Poor Mr. Cisco, bludgeoned to death by Cueto's bull statue.)

But that's it. The rest of the roster is left out. There's no buildup to it. The police technically don't even have any evidence that Cueto killed Cisco beyond the circumstancial. It's a cool visual, but it's nowhere near the way Season 1 ended. Well, except for the To Be Continued, which was a hopeful promise last year, and a known fact this year. It'll be a sad stretch of time before Lucha Underground returns.

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