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– by Michael Connally

The Cueto Cup Tournament began on Lucha Underground this week, seeing the competitors in Group A of the tournament facing off to see who would advance to the next round. The episode brought us some interesting matches as well as some storyline focus on the Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Johnny Mundo match that will occur at Ultima Lucha Tres.

The opening match between The Mack and Mala Suerte was hard fought but didn’t need to be. Mala Suerte was not put in a position to look strong. He got some offense in during the match of course, preventing it from being a complete squash, yet Mala Suerte gained nothing from this match. The Mack came out a little worse for wear due to taking a long time to beat someone he should have soundly beaten. In a wrestling match, you ideally want to accomplish two things. You want a winner, and you want somebody to get over as well. What do I mean by that? Take one of the greatest matches ever, Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3. Ricky Steamboat won the match after a hard fought battle. Randy Savage was able to get over with the crowd with his athletic ability and charisma, making him a bigger star coming out of that match than he was going in. The work rate in the ring was good. I just didn’t care for the execution.

The next match saw Pentagon Dark face off against his old rival Argenis. In previous episodes of Lucha Underground, Pentagon Dark had a little habit of breaking the arms of his opponents after he won his match. The Black Lotus Tribe, a faction in the company, were able to get revenge with the help of Argenis, who had been out of action thanks to Pentagon Dark breaking his arm, by breaking Pentagon’s arm. This was Pentagon Dark’s return match. Pentagon defeated Argenis and, as luck would have it, went out of his way to break Argenis’s arm again. In the first two seasons of Lucha Underground, Pentagon Dark was presented as a bad ass who took care of his opponents in quick fashion. The only issue I had with this match was how long it took Pentagon Dark to take care of Argenis, someone he has routinely beat easily in the past. They are setting up a future confrontation with the Black Lotus Tribe so I will give this a pass for now. Regardless, Pentagon Dark is great in the ring.

Famous B vs Texano was next and boy, it shouldn’t have been. Famous B tried to lay in the middle of the ring allowing Texano to pin him. Texano promptly powerbombed  the guy and won the match. Why have this match if this was the result? It made no sense. Famous B is a comedy character sure, but if the big selling point for Lucha Underground is that every competitor in the Temple is fighting for gold, why would Famous B enter this tournament only to try and get out of it as quickly as he could? Vampiro on commentary mentioned the last time he saw that happen, Jeff Jarrett laying down in the middle of the ring for Hulk Hogan at Bash At The Beach 2000 for WCW, that company folded. This match, if you can call it that, should not have happened.

The final match saw Drago face off against Aerostar. Coming into this match, Drago had turned on Aerostar the previous week after being bewitched by Kobra Moon. Aerostar spent the match trying to get his former friend to come to his senses but Drago was having none of it. This was a pretty good match, one I encourage you to check out. The only scary part was a dive Aerostar took outside the ring. It appeared that he landed on a chair on the back of his neck which made me cringe. He finished the match so it wasn’t serious thank goodness but man, was it painful to watch.

Two story lines were followed up in this episode. A great training montage of the Rey Mysterio Jr and Johnny Mundo match at Ultima Lucha Tres did a great job of hyping it. While Lucha Underground takes a lot of risks with their show, one thing I appreciate they focus on is the simple fact that at the end of the day, no matter all the other pomp and circumstance they bring to their audience, they don’t forget the fact that the basis of the show revolves around a sporting event, albeit a simulated one. You would expect to see this kind of hype video in the UFC which goes a long way toward keeping wrestling fans coming back. We realize it’s a show but we still want to suspend our reality when we see our favorite competitors in action. 

The last big story element focused on Cage. He was instructed to meet up with LA City Council Member Delgado, played by Lorenzo Lamas. (The show is executive produced by Mark Burnett. Lamas was approached after appearing on Celebrity Apprentice.) Delgado tried to recruit Cage for some nefarious purpose…and Cage punched the Councilman in the head with his metal arm, killing him. He punched his head clean off. This is not the first murder that has occurred on Lucha Underground. It makes no pretense to try and be real like the WWE does. Yet how they pulled it off was just a little startling. They seemed to do it simply to give Cage a reason to say his catchphrase, ‘I’m not a man. I’m a machine.’ Cage is still scheduled to face Vinnie Massaro during the Group B set of matches. I don’t know where this story is going so I’ll hold back my full judgement. For this episode, it came out of nowhere.

Overall, Lucha Underground for the week was pretty darn good. Events are steamrolling toward Ultima Lucha Tres. I’m excited to see where the Cueto Cup leads us. I’m assuming they’re going to try and build up The Mack in order for him to get some redemption but they may have someone else in mind to elevate here. Time will tell.

So what do you think? Did you check out the latest episode of Lucha Underground? What did you think? Sound off in the comments section below.

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