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Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 4/1/15: Trios Company

Lucha Underground“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

(Aired 4/1/15)

Trios Company

– The opening video was a good review/blend of the latest storylines: The Crew on the rise and their interactions with Sexy Star and Big Ryck and the latest developments in the Drago-Aerostar Best-Of-Five series for a “unique prize,” emphasizing Aerostar needing one more win.

– There was a lot of Dario Cueto in this episode, but that’s far from a compliant. He’s charming, mysterious, well-spoken, devious, a whole package, basically. Quite compelling authority figure, the best in wrestling right now. This was a good time to bring Ryck into the mix, being that he heard Cueto was behind having a “hit” put on him with help from The Crew. He entered with two new big, burly guys – Killshot and The Mack, his cousin. They had an ominous presence and while their intentions appeared to be right, their actions said different, as they pretty much cornered Cueto into giving them big money. Granted, Cueto used this opportunity to introduce the Trios Tag Team Tournament to crown the first Trios Tag Team Champions, slithering out of the tense situation like a snake, but something felt off about it. Do we root for Ryck and his men or against them? Either way, the news of new tag belts is great for the promotion.

– The Angelico-Johnny Mundo match was everything like it sounded on paper – a Red Bull-inspired aerial affair. We knew this had potential when this was announced and thankfully. it lived up to it. Striker and Vampire were solid on commentary, though Vampiro commented that there was something large at stake, though never explained further what it was. Despite that, Mundo going over clean was okay – but they need to be careful in inadvertently burying Angelico, who has loads of potential, but has more losses than wins as of late.

– The Black Lotus (Angela Fong) hype video explained her history, being trained by El Dragon Azteca after he stopped her from killing the caged mystery figure, instead making her wait to deliver the long-awaited final blow to her parents’ killer when the time is right. Sure – it’s a lot to digest, but the sleek production tactics (aka Quentin Tarintino/Robert Rodriguez) made this quite fun to watch. Knowing their fingerprints were all over it, who knows exactly where it will lead?

– The interaction backstage between Mundo and Alberto El Patron was solid yet tense, keeping in mind their past relations. It was essentially them saying to each other, “Hey – don’t forget that I’m here to get the same thing you want.” It was a nice nod to the past, present and near future.

– Cueto is portrayed as a manipulator mastermind who’s in it for the dinero. On the surface, he wants big things for Sexy Star (entering her in the Trios Tag Tournament) but is making her jump through unnecessary hoops to get there – like forcing her to team with Pentagon Jr. and Super Fly, strange bedfellows themselves – and making them face Ryck/Killshot/The Mack in said tournament? The intrigue was definitely there.

– We’ve reached that portion of the Drago-Aerostar Best-Of-Five series where the pressure grows with every move, every pinfall and submission attempt. It’s beautiful storytelling of two individuals whom respect each other turning it up a notch and vying for a prize. Striker/Vampiro were great in reminding us of the “technico” relationship the two have. The story here was told in less time than their other matches, but the main interest was seeing if Drago could tie the series and that’s what happened. With the tension rising for the “unique prize,” it made sense to showcase that with the two combatants in the form of a hesitant, yet powerful handshake. May the best man win the last match.

– The trio of Ivelisse, Son Of Havoc and Angelico have been inseparable on this series this year. They’ve faced each other in a variety of matches and last we saw, Son Of Havoc was a newly single man, dumping Ivelisse to the curb. This should’ve meant big things for his character and keeping him away from Ivelisse – at least for a little while – would’ve helped him out. Cueto did his thing again – forcing the three to team up next week. At the same time, in the midst of the Trios era, we can’t think of a more entertaining dysfunctional team than these guys. Son Of Havoc’s turn is sealed, so their dynamic should be interesting to see now. They could even become a top team in the tournament.

– The Sexy Star/Pentagon Jr./Super Fly-Big Ryck/Killshot/The Mack Trios Tag match main event was as perfect a blend of intrigue and dysfunction you could churn. One on hand, you had Ryck and his new peeps needing to look strong and dominant and we got that, while on the other, you had the dysfunctional team of Star, Pentagon and Super Fly – Pentagon who broke Super Fly’s arm in the past and ripped his own partners in a pre-match promo – before it all went down. Overall, strong performance from all involved. Sexy Star saving Super Fly was a good hook for next week, as we can assume she is next on Pentagon’s hit list, never where you want to be.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Johnny Mundo def. Angelico via pinfall

– Best-Of-Five-Series – Fourth Match – Drago def. Aerostar via pinfall

– Trios Championship Tournament Match – Big Ryck/Killshot/The Mack def. Sexy Star/Pentagon Jr./Super Fly via pinfall to advance 

Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 3/25/15: Hola, Hernandez

Lucha Underground“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

(Aired 3/25/15)

Hola, Hernandez

– The opening video did a good job of hyping all three matches on the show, highlighting how all three feuds had progressed to where they currently were. This had the feeling of a payoff show with the big marquee matches, but at least two of these feuds would seem to continue past this show.

– So, Son Of Havoc is now a single man on the market. Good for him. The match between him and Angelico was billed as the end of their feud, and with extra emphasis from Matt Striker and Vampiro on Ivelisse’s demanding managerial tactics, furthering the tension and setting up the eventual public dumping nicely. Fans have showed they want to root for Son Of Havoc and this solidified his face turn and revitalized his character, even though he had nicely settled in as a “bad luck heel.” The match itself was more of what we’d seen in the past from the two. Angelico is an interesting character – he comes off as a mix of Jeff Hardy and Chris Sabin in terms of his look and in-ring style – but he seems to lack a special “it factor” to progress his character further. He also tends to come off as sleazy at times.

– Glad to see Hernandez in the swing of things in Lucha Underground. You’d think his presence would be perfect as the new leader of The Crew or something along those lines, but because of his past ties to Konnan in TNA’s LAX, it made more sense to go in this route. This also made the viewer eager to see just how Konnan, Prince Puma and Hernandez would all interact and we’d get that later.

– It’s fair to say no Bullrope match has ever stolen a wrestling show. In fact, it’s probably a safer bet to say sometimes these matches tend to stop a feud’s momentum and feel more like an unnecessary obstacle course more than real wrestling. Fortunately, the Alberto El Patron-Texano Bullrope match for the AAA Mega Championship stepped the match concept up a notch and brought the entertainment factor. While not exactly overstaying its welcome, five more minutes wouldn’t have hurt here. Kudos to also eliminating the ridiculous “four corners” stipulation. You had the feeling that Alberto and Texano hated each other, from Texano biting Alberto and each man choking the other with the rope and using the cowbell for all its wealth. This didn’t feel like a payoff, but rather the next chapter in the feud. Alberto didn’t even have his submission locked in for more than three seconds before Texano gave up, which was slightly disappointing.

– The initial hesitation for Puma to accept Hernandez’s handshake offer was telling, as it almost teased a possible eventual turn of Konnan on Puma for Hernandez, but if anything, they tried hard to make Konnan appear as much as a face as possible, taking away the “heel manager with top face” dynamic, but enhancing the act in a way.

– The Lucha Underground World Heavyweight Championship Boyle Heights Street Fight match between Cage and Puma was nicely preceded by the debut of the newly designed Championship. The match itself was another great entertaining match as Cage looked downright tough and ruthless, even putting his hands on Konnan and calling out Hernandez, while Puma pulled off some slick maneuvers inside the ring and out. A Konnan turn might’ve been teased, but they took the more satisfying route and it seems that Konnan, Hernandez and Puma will be a solid unit for now.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Son Of Havoc (w/Ivelisse) def. Angelico via pinfall

– AAA Mega Championship – Bullrope Match – Alberto El Patron (Champion) def. Texano via submission to retain 

– Lucha Underground World Heavyweight Championship – Boyle Heights Street Fight – Prince Puma (w/Konnan) def. Cage via pinfall to retain

Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 3/4/15: Alberto Vs. Texano I

Lucha Underground“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

(Aired 3/4/15)

Alberto Vs. Texano I 

– The opening video was solid in wrapping up the more noteworthy storylines, as it highlighted Mil Muertes, The Crew losing, and Alberto El Patron’s attack by Texano.

– The segment between Alberto and Dario Cueto in Cueto’s office had Alberto completely bent on getting his hands on Texano and the dramatic effect of pushing off objects on Cueto’s desk expressed that. Just in this scene alone, we could see their characters laid out: El patron was enraged to get what he wanted and Cueto was hesitant to give him it and still looked out for what was best for him at the same time. Perfect storytelling.

– The Mil Muertes-Fenix match was a good follow-up to last week’s happening with Catrina. Muertes getting the win was interesting development and set up Fenix making the save decently once Catrina was again held by the throat (again questionable) but this time, Muertes was given the lick of death and we have our next chapter in the feud.

– The Konnan hype video made him look utterly badass in the dark.

– The segment with Angelico, Ivelisse and Son Of Havoc in Cueto’s office provided the next chapter for their storyline, putting Havoc in an interesting position. Angelico didn’t say anything, but his gestures said enough for him. Ivelisse remains one of the top women on the show.

– The segment with El Patron telling Prince Puma to pay close attention to his match and said he’d come for the Title he had made sense for both characters. El Patron was clear in his quest for the Title and while he didn’t talk to Puma in a condescending way, you got the feeling of tension between the two.

– The Big Ryck-Sexy Star match had an obvious “David vs. Goliath” aspect to it, and put Ryck in a tough position where he had to win but not dominate. The Crew getting their revenge was expected and Ryck getting the better of the exchange was good. The winner of the match gets to fight in a three-on-one handicap match, so what do you really win? However, we can chalk this up to Cueto protecting The Crew for his best interest.

– The El Patron-Texano match was preceded by a solid hype video for El Patron, which wasn’t necessary, but gave new viewers a great glimpse into his family history. Something for Texano would’ve also been nice, as there’s not much American viewers know about him to want to root against him more than they already do. The match itself was lengthy and good while it lasted and the Blatant DQ finish explained the storyline well and will work out if there is another match. You have to wonder if El Patron got too much of Texano here. Texans hasn’t looked very threatening besides his initial attack on El Patron upon his arrival.

– The segment between King Cuerno-Cueto was straight-forward and kind of brutal sounding, with Cuerno determined to hang Johnny Mundo’s head on a wall after he beats him in a steel cage match. We already know that match will be good.

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Mil Muertes def. Fenix via pinfall

– Winner Faces The Crew – Big Ryck def. Sexy Star via pinfall

– Texano def. Alberto El Patron via DQ 

Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 2/11/15: The Revolution Begins

Lucha Underground“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

(Aired 2/11/15)

The Revolution Begins

– The interaction between Alberto El Patron and Dario Cueto in Cueto’s office was a decent way to set up Patron’s eventual debut in-ring promo. It could’ve been looked at as him as the next big heel out to do Cueto’s dirty work, but it turned out to be the opposite.

– The Argenis-Fenix match seemed to go through the motions as friendly competition until Catrina made her appearance in the stands, cheering Fenix on “in silence.” From that point, Fenix winning was predictable. Catrina made herself seductive as she gave the “Lick Of Death” on Argenis for Fenix, something she previously did for Mil Muertes. Transition style match that will lead to some kind of interaction between Catrina, Muertes and Fenix down the road.

– The scene between Mil Muertes and Catrina in the cell with the up-close shot of Catrina’s shoes off the ground, suggesting she was being held by her throat may had been a bit on the misogynistic side, but it made sense with their relationship. Chavo Guerrero coming into the shot to be assaulted being told he’d pay his debt was an interesting development that we can assume will be settled… next week.

– The “confession” segment with Big Ryck was a creative way to show his yearning for payback on The Crew. Of course with the eyepatch, he now looks like a bootleg Nick Fury, but it follows the continuity of the storyline perfectly that makes us want to see how he follows through with that promise.

– Son Of Havoc’s pre-match promo set forward his love of Ivelisse and having some “real competition.” This led into the match well and made Havoc appear confident, as if this may be the first time he gets a big win.

– The Johnny Mundo-Havoc match was given enough time to please and told a good story. Havoc was surprisingly over with the fans, who wouldn’t have minded a victory from him here, but with the recent storyline being his “struggle,” it wasn’t likely. The finish was good in capturing this – that Havoc took too long to go for his finisher trying to impress Ivelisse and it cost him, which likely makes Ivelisse more angry. The postmatch attack by King Cuerno on Mundo also put Cuerno over well.

– The Ricky Mandel-Pentagon Jr. Match showcased more of Pentagon Jr’s darker side, wanting to impress his “master.” Mandel had no chance here, so it was pretty much the same as last week, which kept Pentagon’s momentum going. It’s over with the crowd too. The reveal of the “master” will be interesting down the road.

– The El Patron in-ring promo definitely had the fans go crazy, as he played the fan favorite. The attack by El Texano Jr. which carried over their AAA feud was random, but it’ll be cool to see what comes from this on an American platform. For Lucha Underground itself, say someone like Cage could’ve gotten over big with the spot of attacking El Patron, but alas, what we got was still good enough to roll with.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Fenix def. Argenis via pinfall

– Johnny Mundo def. Son Of Havoc (w/Ivelisse) via pinfall

– Pentagon Jr. def. Ricky Mandel via submission 

Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 2/4/15: The Mundo Blues

Lucha Underground“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

(Aired 2/4/15)

The Mundo Blues

– The opening video highlighted all of last week’s happenings pretty well, most notably Cage’s dominance on Prince Puma and Lucha Libre tradition by splitting the Lucha Underground World Heavyweight Championship in half. It did try to make last week’s main event look better than it actually was. Slow motion can only take you so far.

– Ivelisse’s promo skills are pretty good and eye-catching for a “Bitch”-like character. That led in to the Son Of Havoc-Angelico match, which kept the energy high and set the tone for the night. The talk by Matt Striker/Vampiro about Son Of Havoc needing that “one big win” was good backstory and teased a possible push for Havoc. Angelico looked good and scraped by with the win and Havoc accidentally knocking down Ivelisse off the apron that clearly pissed her off would set up drama to last for next week.

– The interaction between Dario Cueto and Johnny Mundo in Cueto’s office mainly set up the Cage-Mundo match, which already looked marquee upon first utterance. Of course, Mundo was revealed in the second half of the segment because Cueto is oh-so-mysterious.

– The hype video for Pentagon Jr. gave his character some decent backstory on his martial arts upbringings. They’re bringing personalities to the guys behind the masks, which is crucial to the product’s success.

– The Famous B-Pentagon Jr. Match seemed to be a set-up to show off Pentagon’s skills. It would’ve been nice to hear some backstory for Famous B too, as Striker/Vampiro mainly just glossed over him. Pentagon “busting” B’s arm after the submission victory seemed heel-like, but the fans still liked it. His promo about “being ready for the master” also provided a hook for next week.

– Does every segment with Cueto have to start with him talking to someone off-camera? There’s a point where it stops being mysterious and becomes annoying and old. Guess where it is now?

– The story behind the Drago-Aerostar match was that it was two guys with mutual respect battling it out to see who was the best. Is that the theme of this particular wrestling week? Itami and Balor much? The in-ring action was great and the DDT finish was killer stuff as Drago won and sportsmanship ensued. Simple but entertaining.

– The idea of Catrina coming up to Fenix and giving him a passionate kiss was a bit random, but we have to assume Mil Muertes will eventually find out and this will lead to a feud between him and Fenix over Catrina. Fenix didn’t seem too intrigued by Catrina though.

– Cage coming out wearing the broken title belt as a necklace added a good image to his bad-ass persona. He doesn’t need any fancy action-movie vignettes like we’ve seen in the past. The guy can just be a bad-ass in the ring. Keep it simple.

– The Cage-Johnny Mundo match had some pretty good action before King Cuerno eventually became part of the action. The original DQ finish was lame, so it was good to see the restart by Cueto, as it also set up the story of a battered Mundo with an injured knee trying to overcome the beastly Cage, but eventually coming up short. Mundo looked good in defeat and Cage remains the equivalent of a Lucha Underground Brock Lesnar. Mundy will also probably seek some kind of revenge against Cuerno down the road, so they set that up as well.

– Alberto El Patron’s appearance at the end in Cueto’s office was only a matter of time. This was a great hook into next week as seeing just how he would be involved.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Angelico def. Son O Havoc (w/Ivelisse) via pinfall

– Pentagon Jr. def. Famous B via submission 

– Drago def. Aerostar via pinfall

– Cage def. Johnny Mundo via pinfall