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2016 LUCHA UNDERGROUND DISCUSSION

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I absolutely loved the show.  The matches made sense and did a great job tying up loose ends while building for next season as well.

I get why people would have an issue with the Pentagon Dark theme.  I think it all made sense.  He came back supposedly dark and more ruthless, but he was still looking for Vampiro's and the fans' approval.  More vicious, yes, but not fully dark as the name implies.  He had the match well in hand and was on his way to finishing the match when the bat was offered.  Because it backfired Pentagon was pissed at Vampiro for bringing in the smoking gun.  Somewhere between that moment and the end he must have had that last piece of the transformation and did the attack.  In his mind he went to a level that is beyond Vampiro's teachings and doesn't need him anymore.  The bat and especially his taste for blood are different from the Pentagon we remember.

Where does it go from here?  I can see it go with the almost obvious rematch between the two.  Or maybe Vampiro finds another dark individual and becomes that guy's master.  I'd be fine with either option.  But if last night is any indication, no matter what they do both will get heavily cheered.

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The Pentagon stuff didn't bother much, but I'm not as high on him as the crowd in the temple is apparently. I'm going to need to watch this whole show again when it goes up on demand because there was too much shit going on at the time. Rey/Puma was definitely a great match and I'm not prone to enjoy flyer vs. flyer matches. 

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I still feel like Pentagon Dark exists so that Lucha Underground can sell their own Pentagon shirts.  They own the trademark for Pentagon Dark and he can't be Pentagon Dark anywhere but in Lucha Underground.  I'm okay with that.  I wasn't okay with the booking in that title match.  I try to separate the huge Pentagon mark from myself and look at it more subjectively but I fucking can't, but hey, it happened, hopefully it doesn't sour people on Season 3.  

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I am pretty forgiving of the way the title match went, for the reasons stated above.  While a part of it could be wishful thinking on my part, I think it was that loss that was the final piece of the transformation.  If the beatdown at the end didn't happen, then yeah I'd be pretty bummed as well.  Could be wrong on that, but either way I'm hopeful for where it leads to in season 3.

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Rey/Puma was definitely a high-level MotYC. Striker is usually completely fucking awful, but here, he actually did a great job of selling how well they knew each other as they looked for counters, and all the counter spots were great. I loved the little stuff like the struggle for control on the top rope. Everything felt like a struggle in this match, which really stands out in LU especially since people usually hit their stuff cleanly and easily all the time. 

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 Black Lotus definitely hasn't lost a step since FCW. 

I also enjoyed Taya/Ivelisse. Nice to have Catrina step in and further that feud. 

What more can be said about Rey/Puma? Really awesome match. 

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I thought this show was disappointingly mediocre. It felt like it was written by WWE writers, which is probably the most insulting thing I've ever said about LU.

The trios title match was really good, though. The Johnny/Jack/PJ team was definitely the highlight of S2. This match was the fun, chaotic style you'd expect with good heel work and quality nearfalls. Aerostar's reverse shooting star backwards dive to the outside was nuts. The belt guitars and triple head crusher was a great spot too.

The Azteca/Lotus match was interesting. I hadn't seen any of Lotus' work, so I didn't know what to expect at all. It looked like they were protecting her with a lot of choreographed spots, but she moved well and Azteca is agile enough to make his misses look like he was really going for something. The ending was beyond stupid, though. You don't bury two people in a major angle on your biggest show, and you definitely don't do it for someone who isn't gonna be the ace by night's end. Azteca and Lotus looked like chumps for absolutely no reason.

Then you had a mediocre brawl with Matanza and Pentagon Dark (name change is neither here nor there, by far the least offensive part of his booking on this show). Pentagon no-sells him the whole way which would've been fine if he wins and is the new scary face of LU, but it doesn't make for an exciting match. Then of course it becomes even worse when the current scary monster needs help from Vampiro to score a cheap flash pin then run away. That seriously might as well have been a "music plays distraction roll-up" finish... In a title match on the biggest show of the year. I know we all love LU and Pentagon, but let's be honest with ourselves and call this whole segment what it was: Total shite.

Ivelisse/Taya was ok. It definitely seems stupid for them to be fighting over being the best woman in LU, with zero mention of you know, the woman that won the GotG belt last week. Another stupid finish with the lights out interference from Catrina who I guess is gonna finally pick up her feud with Ivie that they should've been building all season after UL 1 and the first episode this year.

Rey/Puma was a fine match that I couldn't really get into. Maybe it was just the rest of the show being bad, and I need to watch it solo. I don't think it'd be in my top 5 for the season on first watch. Rey definitely brought it, but Puma was helping him out a lot by taking ridiculous bumps for everything. Not crazy about Rey going over a cornerstone of the promotion at this point in his career, but if Puma's gone after next season, whatevs.

Then Pentagon comes back and attacks Vampiro because we totally need to repeat feuds in a company that literally has had like 70 hours of tv for its whole existence. And with all the talent they have, why is old-ass Vampiro in a featured angle (again)? Then there was very limited follow up on Dario's angle, and no awesome montage like last year.

Anyway, while this season was a disappointment overall, there were still plenty of highlights. So here are some positive reflections on the season:

Season 2 MVP: Johnny Mundo

Best Newcomer: Taya

Biggest "Holy Shit" Moment: Dario splattering Cisco's brains all over his office

Best matches:

  1. Mil vs. Cuerno (UL part 2)
  2. Mundo/Jack/PJ vs. Rey/Puma/Azteca (Enter the Mundo)
  3. Pentagon vs. Mil vs. Puma (Death Comes in Threes)
  4. Mundo vs. Cage (Cage in a Cage)
  5. Rey/Puma/Azteca vs. Mundo/Cage/Taya (Three's a Crowd)
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Puma vs Rey was so good, not even Striker could ruin it, despite his best efforts.  Honestly, that match is a borderline classic for me.  Def shows what Ricochet is capable of, if anyone ever doubts that he can actually work, and do more than spots.  Rey looks like he was lifted out of 2005 and placed in this match.  I can't say enough good things about it.  Other than a couple of Trevor Lee bouts, it's my MOTY.

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Pentagon Dark sounds like a goddamn candy bar. Also the crap that kickstarts next season sounds awful. I wish Roger Ayles would start Fox News Lucha so Sexy Star could find a ladder to climb that doesn't involve ruining the only wrestling I look forward to.

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3 hours ago, FluffSnackwell said:

Pentagon Dark sounds like a goddamn candy bar. Also the crap that kickstarts next season sounds awful. I wish Roger Ayles would start Fox News Lucha so Sexy Star could find a ladder to climb that doesn't involve ruining the only wrestling I look forward to.

You're the expert, Mr. Snackwell !!

Also, Ailes has a non-compete, so no FN Lucha ... yet

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I was actually hoping they would kayfabe a reason for Vampiro to go away again like a hot dog eating contest or bloodsucking contest or whatever kind of contest floats his boat so Michael Schiavello could return to the booth for Ultima Lucha Dos. At the very least, I expected him to vacate his announce position to act as corner man during Pentagon's match. Little did I know how worthless and ill-fated his involvement would be. All in all, I'm fine with them holding off on giving Pentagon the belt so he can descend further into the darkness but I'm afraid the belt will have been devalued so much as hot potato piece of trash by the time he gets it that it won't mean jackshit anymore. The silliness that abounds during next season's Aztec Warfare is mind boggling.

3 hours ago, Gorman said:

You're the expert, Mr. Snackwell !!

Also, Ailes has a non-compete, so no FN Lucha ... yet

Does the no-compete preclude him from starring in episodic dramatic series? I'm envisioning Ayles as the Jabba The Hut-like (or Pizza The Hut) slimy matriarch of the Martinez clan that Sexy Star can be chained to for the remainder of Lucha Underground's run since season 3's already in the can and from what I gather down the toilet.

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I really, truly hope that S3 doesn't begin with Sexy Star defending her belt against Marty the Moth.

 

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Actually, Striker almost ruined the Rey match with the "Sorry I love you" bit. He may have actually accomplished it.

As for Pentagon, it was fine. It's just not what I would have ended the show with. 

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On Twitter, Catrina implied Season 3 starts in September. 

Which would be great, but probably would've just announced that during the finale if it was that certain.

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This question came up on the DR Lucha pod and we really didnt know the answer.

Would working Lucha Undergound get luchadors (american or Mexican) a SAG card? 

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99% sure the answer is no because they're treating it as a reality sports competition show despite being scripted.  So like all other wrestling, no.  

The 1% doubt is them using some SAG actors, but you can use SAG guys in non union shoots, it's just complicated.

I'll ask the guys I podcast with on our next podcast, since they're both reality TV producers and will have more specifics .

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I was thinking since its a scripted tv show using wrestlers and not really presenting itself as sports and its a show being made by well known producers, it might be yes.

The question came about regarding luchadors staying in US to work while still under contract. I said if they let me work indys and i had a sag card for insurance, i def would stay as long as my visa allowed rather than commute between mexico and the US. Which i guess is what Fenix has done and presumably Pentagon would too.

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I thought WWE wrestlers tried that awhile back and failed? Since all pro wrestling is SCRIPTED.

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16 hours ago, odessasteps said:

I was thinking since its a scripted tv show using wrestlers and not really presenting itself as sports and its a show being made by well known producers, it might be yes.

 

As far as how they declare themselves in the industry, it isn't the case though.  Remember which Emmy they were elligible for, for example.

A lot of reality shows are more scripted than LU is

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also the status of the guys working indies right now is TOUCHY AS FUCK if you haven't been folllowing the comic con/FCW debacle on twitter

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Lawyers are starting to pull talent from shit.  Maybe.  AAA is blaming it on LU.  If you check out @gusfcw 's account you can see some of it.


They also told Masked Republic they couldn't use any of the names of their guys to promote the signings they were doing.  The weird thing is, Fenix and Pentagon weren't even allowed to be Fenix and Pentagon, or MR was erring on the side of caution there.  

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22 hours ago, Matt D said:

Actually, Striker almost ruined the Rey match with the "Sorry I love you" bit. He may have actually accomplished it.

 

I mean, he tried to ruin it because he tries to ruin everything because he's hot fucking garbage, but most of the rest of his work was solid. 

Vampiro no-selling his stupidity is usually the only time that LU's commentary rises above "decent at best," TBH. 

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