Blog Archives

Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 3/18/15: Grave Consequences

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 3/18/15)

Grave Consequences

– The opening video did a good job of putting into retrospective the stories surrounding the feuds of Big Ryck-The Crew and Fenix-Mil Muertes, with Catrina mixed in. The idea of this show was one of “payoff,” and that was indeed what happened.

– With every match they have, it seems Aerostar and Drago tighten up their in-ring chemistry – scouting each other’s moves and taking it up a notch, as we saw in the third match of their best-of-five series, with Aerostar getting the nod here in another evenly contested bout. Also like that they’re dragging this series out, not having them fight every single week for the repetition. You have to know this will likely go to a fifth match, but we have to wonder just what the winner of the series will get and if the respect between the two remains intact.

– The latest Konnan hype video compared his struggle to chess and combat. Well-shot in terms of camera work as usual, but sort of random. The insertion of Prince Puma as his chess opponent was a great metaphor of him as Puma’s mentor and possibly making a message of wanting to chasing for the Title, which his protege holds. Either way, it makes Konnan’s return feel more anticipated. Seems like he will be the next big heel, even though Cage took him out, so he could even go the face route.

– So, Big Ryck essentially won a chance to fight in a 3-on-1 elimination handicap match (who wants that?), but the story here was Ryck vowing for revenge, which has been handled well so far, even making Sexy Star look good in the process. The only problem with The Crew is that while they make a strong unit together, since Ryck left, no one has stepped up as a “new leader,” so they come off as a pack of three followers. Mr. Cisco would make a good leader, if they let him step up more. Ryck eliminated Bael first after good use of the kendo stick, which broke upon impact. He eliminated Cortez Castro next. If you’re going to tell this story right, it would come down to Ryck and Cisco and that’s what happened. Sexy Star coming out to send Cisco back to the ring upon an escape attempt was a great way to tie her into the match. The finish with the chair was brutal-looking and was appropriate as Ryck got his revenge. What happens from here, as this seemed like the big payoff?

– The announcement of the AAA Championship bullrope match between Alberto El Patron-Texano and a Boyle Heights Street Fight between Cage-Prince Puma for the Lucha Underground World Heavyweight Championship already makes next week sound like a huge show, on top of an already newsworthy show here.

– It was cool seeing the nod to Mexican death culture (Dia De Los Muertos) with the “Grave Consequences” match between Fenix-Muertes which turned out to be one of the best Lucha Underground matches in its short history. Seriously. Check it out. Fenix gave in probably his most memorable performance and both guys literally took it all over the arena, even using the coffin in the ring as a weapon. Brilliant. Even the brutal touch of Muertes biting Fenix in the face and spitting out his blood fit the brutality, as he tried to rip Fenix’s mask off. The finish was excellent with Catrina helping Fenix bury Muertes, so perhaps this is a way of writing off Muertes, though his character was great. Can’t say enough good about the match. Fenix got his big moment here and we hope the followup is as satisfying as the payoff.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Best-Out-Of-Five Series – Aerostar def. Drago via pinfall to gain 2-1 series advantage

– 3-0n-1 Handicap Elimination Match – Big Ryck def. Cortez Castro, Mr. Cisco, Bael via pinfall

– Grave Consequences Match – Fenix (w/Catrina) def. Mil Muertes

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 2/25/15: Respect Goes Far

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 2/25/15)

Respect Goes Far

– The Aerostar-Drago rematch out of “respect” provided an easy dynamic that followed the same route as last week. Vampiro and Matt Striker sold this point extremely well. This match was even better than last week, with some impressive maneuvers thrown both in and out of the ring. Aerostar won and the respect angle was kept up. Dario Cueto coming out and saying that they’d match each other again two more times and the winner would get an opportunity could only be good. This would give that winner a definite push. Both guys are establishing themselves here through these matches, so this gives a good payoff, more or less.

– The hype video that showed King Cuerno flying in slow-motion was visually awe-inspiring. Slick production.

– The Cage-Prince Puma match definitely had logical storyline background, but given that this was Puma’s return and he is Lucha Underground World Heavyweight Champion, why wouldn’t this have been the main event on the card? Either way, this was a good match with believable offense from both sides contrasting Cage’s brute strength with Puma’s opportunistic athleticism. Konnan’s return was predictable from the many times he was mentioned by the broadcast team. The towel throw-in will be interesting to follow up on, as it keeps Konnan a hated figure by the fans.

– The Konnan-Puma backstage interaction told us that Konnan had bigger plans behind his words by throwing the towel in. Too soon to say he could also even potentially be Pentagon’s master, setting something up down the road. Lucha Underground does an excellent job of providing an open road of intrigue with storylines, anything could happen.

– The Cueto-Sexy Star interaction in his office did two things: it made Sexy Star look tough wanting revenge on Big Ryck and hyped her match with him as a way to make us want to see who’ll get to face The Crew eventually.

– The Pentagon Jr.-Vinnie Massaro match continued to highlight Pentagon’s dark side while showing his allegiance to his master. Squash match as usual with a nice table spot and arm pop.

– The Cuerno-Johnny Mundo match was on a great pace and evenly matched as possible, until the disappointing double countout finish. We suppose it put over their “fighting” to a degree, but it could’ve been handled better. The brawl that followed was a bit more well-done once the match went out the window. The moment also felt unique with Vampiro mentioning the fans right on him watching on the monitors. We’ll see where it leads next week evidently.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Aerostar def. Drago via pinfall

– Cage Receives Lucha Underground World Championship Match With Victory – Cage def. Prince Puma via Thrown-In Towel By Konnan to receive future Title shot

– Pentagon Jr. def. Vinnie Massaro via pinfall

– Johnny Mundo and King Cuerno to a No-Contest via Double Countout 

Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 1/28/15: 3Live Crew

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

 

 

 

(Aired 1/28/15)

– The opening video highlighted last week’s events, such as The Crew’s eye-burning cigar attack on Big Ryck and Cage’s assault on Lucha Underground World Champion Prince Puma after Puma successfully defended against Fenix. The Crew and Cage would be the stars of this episode, so to open with these highlights made sense.

– The backstage cinematic cutscenes seem a bit soap opera-like, which takes away from the “gritty” realism of pro wrestling, especially when the Broadcast team refers to the Temple arena building the matches take place in as “run down.” Which image are they going with? Nevertheless – the interaction between Dario Cueto and Cage made sense, as Cueto saw him as the new guy to potentially become new World Champion.

– Mil Muertes was built up by Matt Striker/Vampiro as a credible threat pretty well during his match with Fenix. This was all done to set up the surprise pin and victory as Fenix used the bounce off a superplex to catch Muertes. A rematch is bound to happen, but what does this feud do for either guy?

– The Cage hype video couldn’t have been more cheesy if it tried to be. This could’ve been a good chance to see Cage in the ring training, but instead he beats up a doofus and throws him on a car, like a wannabe Terminator. He’s got the muscles though. WWE would love a guy like him.

– The six-man tag between Argenis/Super Fly/Aerostar and Cortez Castro/Mr. Cisco/Bael was your usual action spot-fest as you’d expect from these guys. The Crew has been built solidly as a group, as TNA’s Beat Down Clan could learn from these guys. The top rope hurricanrana spot to the floor was insane. The Crew convincingly went over and they just can’t be stopped right now. They need better competition though, as it seemed the masked Luchadors they took on were just teamed up for kicks.

– The Vampiro interview segment set Konnan out to be Puma’s assertive mouthpiece, as he didn’t let Puma talk. Vampiro was good in calling Konnan out on this, before the two nearly came to blows. This was okay in making the viewer see that Puma would be better off without Konnan and when he eventually turns on Konnan, people will love him more, but this segment was the reason why the show’s ending lacked emotional impact.

– The Puma (w/Konnan)-Cage World Title match was okay until the pointless low blow by Cage. Did he not know he was fighting for the World Title? Konnan sought revenge by attacking Cage with a pinstick, only for it to be turned around on him and also hit with the belt. Konnan was established as Puma’s heel manager earlier and seeing a heel attack another heel – no matter how brutal – just won’t have an emotional impact on the viewer. Cage ripping the Belt in half was a good visual to close the show, but we needed more of a reason to hate Cage other than attacking another heel and ripping a newly debuted Belt. They didn’t have to have the World Title match this week if this was all they’d set up.

– The Asian woman cornering Cueto in his office looking for “Matanza” was one of those things we can’t really judge at the moment until we see where it leads. For now, it’s intriguing, but doesn’t make it “must-see” stuff.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Fenix def. Mil Muertes (w/Catrina) via pinfall

– Cortez Castro/Mr. Cisco/Bael def. Aerostar/Super Fly/Argenis via pinfall

– World Championship Match – Prince Puma (w/Konnan) def. Cage via DQ

Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 1/14/15: A Man Called Cage

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 1/14/15)

A Man Called Cage

– The opening video which featured a look back at Chavo Guerrero’s turn on Blue Demon Jr./attack on Sexy Star with a steel chair and Prince Puma’s victory in Aztec Warfare was well-done. Also note that Lucha Underground’s backstage segments are sharply produced a la “Reality Television.” The interaction between Fenix and Dario Cuerto pretty much set the stage that Cuerto wanted someone to uncrown Puma as Champion and embarrass Konnan and that Fenix would only do it for himself, not for Cuerto. Off the bat, we knew this match would be a good main event.

– The four-way elimination match between Aerostar, Argenis, Angelico and Cage was a smart way to introduce all four men to new viewers. Everyone essentially had their own character – Aerostar was branded as the high-flyer, Argenis was the one who could adapt to many styles, Angelico was the crowd-pandering one and Cage was the “jacked-up bad boy.” When personalities clash, it makes for good competition. Everyone had their time to shine, as Aerostar in particular had a great outing, bouncing off the ropes without effort. At one point, Cage caught Aerostar in mid-air during a Lariat and turned it into a Brainbuster Suplex. Angelico even leaped over the ring post onto the men below on the mat in a breathtaking spot. Cage pinned Argenis, Aerostar and Angelico. That’s about as strong as you can look. He looks like a more ripped Robbie E. His post match promo was decent as he called himself a “machine.” The ending of the show would only back this up.

– The segment/brawl between Guerrero and Blue Demon was solid, as it appeared that Blue Demon got the best of the exchange after seemingly being outwitted to be Guerrero’s victim in a brass-knuckled ambush, hitting Guerrero twice with the chair. The initial focus of the promo started with the chair for a nice touch, as Guerrero sat in the ring. Even so, we kind of got the feeling Guerrero wasn’t done for good with Blue Demon Jr.

– The Drago-King Cuerno match was a bit more slowed down than the opener match. Matt Striker and Vampiro solidly put Cuervo over as a hunter and emphasized the deer head that was placed in the corner. The table spot off the balcony was excellently done, but the referee counted both men out to a draw, which wasn’t the pretty part.

– The hype video for Fenix made him look determined and like someone who comes back from anything, and there was a lot of fire in there too.

– The Lucha Underground Championship match between Fenix and Prince Puma had a very strong start as both competitors literally danced around each other’s maneuvers and it was Suicide Dives galore. The finish was well done as Puma kicked Fenix off the top rope after Fenix walked along it and then hit his finisher. The post match attack by Cage on Puma was well done and it established Cage as someone to deal with, sort of taking notes from the WWE NXT playbook.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Four-Way Elimination – Cage def. Aerostar, Argenis and Angelico, eliminating all three opponents 

– Drago and King Cuerno to a Draw/Double Countout 

– Lucha Underground Championship – Prince Puma (Champion) def. Fenix via pinfall to retain

Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 1/7/15: Aztec Warfare

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 1/7/15)

Aztec Warfare

– The opening video was sleek and dramatic as it introduced the “Aztec Warfare” match concept; basically a glorified version of the Royal Rumble with entries by wrestlers every 90 seconds, but different in that eliminations were by pinfalls and submissions and “anything goes” rules.

– Off the bat, Matt Striker and Vampiro sounds like an odd pairing for a commentary booth, but it works. Could it be better? Of course. However, Striker’s expertise – both of the subject and as a wrestler, combined with Vampiro’s in-ring experience, makes them credible to both the casuals and diehards.

– The Dario Cuerto promo was straight-forward about the match, with a heelish confidence in being the match’s mastermind. His delivery was similar to the former Alberto Del Rio in WWE.

– The match itself had action aplenty with a little bit of everything. The concept of the Pimpinela Escarlata drag queen character was definitely an eye-opener, but that’s good for a company that is making strides for being different. Women were even in the match, so gender was no factor. Katrina even took a kick to the face on the apron. The final sequence between Mundo and Puma was superb athleticism with great near falls. Konnan even showed up at the end. All in all, the match showcased many – Puma, Mundo, Ryck, Chavo and Muertes had memorable performances.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Entries: #1 Fenix (pinned by Chavo), #2 Johnny Mundo (pinned by Puma), #3 Mr. Cisco (pinned by Mundo), #4 King Cuerno (pinned by Mundo), #5 Son Of Havoc (pinned by Puma), #6 Pimparnela Escarlata (pinned by Son Of Havoc), #7 Prince Puma (winner), #8 Ivelisse (pinned by Cuerno), #9 Drago (pinned by Big Ryck), #10 Bael (pinned by Puma), #11 Cortez Castro (pinned by Mundo), #12 Ricky Mandel (pinned by Big Ryck), #13 Big Ryck (pinned by Fenix and Chavo), #14 Pentagon Jr. (Pinned by Chavo), #15 Super Fly (pinned by Chavo), #16 Chavo Guerrero Jr. (Pinned by Sexy Star), #17 Mascarita Sagrada (pinned by Big Ryck), #18 Sexy Star (pinned by Mil Muertes), #19 El Mariachi Loco (pinned by Mil Muertes), #20 Mil Muertes (w/Katrina) (pinned by Mundo and Puma)

– Prince Puma Becomes New Lucha Underground Champion