Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 1/27/16: Temple Of A Thousand Deaths
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Temple Of A Thousand Deaths
– Much to our pleasure, Lucha Underground has reemerged on the wrestling television schedule and the gritty, dirty Temple was back open for business. Given how last season ended, we had some questions and already one answer by the opening video. The commentary team of Matt Striker/Vampiro brought a kind of chemistry onscreen that just can’t be replicated. With Vampiro revealed as Pentagon Jr.’s sadistic “Master” after brutal hardcore action at Ultima Lucha, it appeared the team would be no more, but some storyline explanation cleared that all up, as Vampiro was “mentally cleared” by a psychiatric ward with the prescription of an antipsychotic and warning to avoid his stresses that impulsed his violent outbreaks. We liked the initial tease of Vampiro going all… “vampire” on the doctors, but was only revealed to be a part of his imagination, as it was Striker who came to pick him up, as everyone would make their way back to the Temple. Striker’s reference to the Temple as a “much darker place” set the tone to the hour nicely.
– We got giddy upon shots of Dario Cueto’s former office, now inhabited by Catrina and Lucha Underground Champion Mil Muertes. The segment between Catrina and Gift Of The Gods Champion Fenix established Fenix as the hungry Champion, wanting a shot at Muertes’ Title while Catrina used her authority to act as a barrier, instead forcing him to wait and setting up the match where he’d defend against King Cuerno. On that note, the image of Muertes (with green eyes, mind you) atop a deathly throne where the live band used to play was downright bone-chilling.
– Wasting no time at all at settling back in, we got an awesome bout with the GOTG Championship on the line between Fenix and Cuerno. This is what LUG does best – mixing innovative lucha-libre with the kick-ass directing presentation of Robert Rodriguez. Fenix’s theatrical offense was on fire early on, while Cuerno played the smart hunter, leaving the ring several times to put the pace back in his favor. The handspring cutter/dragon sleeper combo by Cuerno was by far the match’s highlight. Despite the teases for a new Champ, we fully expected Fenix to retain… so you could imagine how we felt when they shook things up right away by giving Cuerno the GOTG Title. On one hand, you have to feel for Fenix’s character, who seemed renewed with the Championship giving him a chance to dance again with Mil Muertes (which is a good thing if Grave Consequences was a taste of that) and now he seemingly has to start from the bottom again. However, given the nature of the episode thus far, it was well-crafted.
– Catrina continued to use her authority to smother the “deadly” energy among the Temple. The backstage segment with her and Angelico/Ivelisse/Son Of Havoc was a clever way to have her switch the former Trios Champs’ focus from getting their belts back by dangling the proverbial carrot in their faces, with the prize being the winner of a match between all three would be a Title shot against Muertes later on the show. Keeping in line with her “baddest bitch in the building” character, Ivelisse wasted no time getting in Catrina’s face.
– The Cuerno-Catrina segment in Cueto’s Office was another reveal that they had some kind of premeditated plan to disarm the GOTG abilities, since Catrina congratulated Cuerno and referenced their deal, with Cuerno responding that she had nothing to worry about and neither did Muertes. This gave us hope that perhaps this gives Fenix something to do to try to get it back.
– The Lucha Underground Championship #1 Contender’s match between Son Of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico was everything you’d expect and a little bit more. Since Ivelisse was no longer cast-ridden and could actually fly around, this made things better. SOH brought his usual hearty style, Angelico had his stiff-as-hell kicks and strikes and Ivelisse was an all-out fighter, emerging as the fan favorite from bell-to-bell. LUG has never strayed from the intergender matchup and even uses it as a selling device, which only makes it even more different from anything else out there. We expected perhaps SOH or Angelico to pull it out, but LUG again threw a curveball to expectations by actually having Ivelisse go over to a crazy reaction.
– The duo of Black Lotus/Dario Cueto were back again to their old tricks even while on the run, as Lotus found three random wannabes in search of The Temple and she’d become their new tour guide.
– The Lucha Underground Championship main event match between Ivelisse and Muertes delivered enough to stray from a general squash and picked up as it needed to towards the end. Since he was revived with a purpose, Muertes looked strong by no-selling a lot of Ivelisse’s upfront offense, but was sidetracked by accidentally spearing Catrina to nearly fall victim to the Temple’s highest collective breath upon the near-fall of Ivelisse nearly becoming new Champion. Things reverted to normalcy when Muertes recovered to hit his finisher and retain. The real talk came of the post-match angle where Prince Puma saved Ivelisse from further beatings by rescuing her and then Pentagon Jr. turned face by targeting Muertes and giving “The Man of a Thousand Deaths” a reason to rename himself “The Man of a Thousand Cries of Pain” by breaking his arm. We didn’t think they’d go to Muertes-Pentagon so soon, but given how quickly Pentagon had gotten over and his popularity in Los Angeles, this was an easy feud to set up. Now that we have it, color us stoked.
– The closing segment closed the gap for doubts, as Lotus lured the three strangers into an unnamed location dubbed “The Temple” that was actually a new place for Mantanza to feed on new prey and of course, Cueto makes $60 off the three of them before they met their fate. We’re wondering when Mantanza actually emerges onscreen (since they avoided that all Season 1) and how they find their way back to the Temple, but that’s the magic of LUG – give just enough to satisfy and then sweep the rug from under our feet, making us want more.
- Gift Of The Gods Championship – King Cuerno def. Fenix (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion
- Winner Receives Lucha Underground Championship Title Shot – Ivelisse def. Son Of Havoc and Angelico via pinfall
- Lucha Underground Championship – Mil Muertes (Champion) (w/Catrina) def. Ivelisse via pinfall to retain
Posted on January 31, 2016, in Lucha Underground and tagged Angelico, Black Lotus, Catrina, Dario Cueto, Fenix, Ivelisse, King Cuerno, Mantanza, Matt Striker, Melissa Santos, Mil Muertes, Pentagon Jr., Prince Puma, Son Of Havoc, Vampiro. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.