Lucha Libre Reviews

Lucha Underground Review (6/28/2017): Macho Madness

6.0/10
Source: @LuchaElRey on Twitter

Lucha Underground S3E24: Macho Madness

Watch: El Rey Network, Sling

Lucha Underground Temple – Boyle Heights, California


The opening recap covers the expected bits involving the Cueto Cup, as well as the feud between Killshot and Dante and the strange connection between Jeremiah and Catrina.

The show proper starts with a Catrina pep talk of sorts for Mil Muertes, who promises to win the Cueto Cup for Catrina. Jeremiah Crane is shown ominously afterwards; it’s implied that he has been eavesdropping on this conversation. Although the intervening darkness leaves, on its face, a little wiggle room for exact interpretation, this segment is clearly meant as a parallel, albeit one with darker overtones, to the opening of last week’s episode. If you’ll allow me a brief video game reference, one might momentarily wonder whether last week’s crew perhaps wandered into the Dark World of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past without Moon Pearls.

Cueto Cup 16th-final: Veneno vs. Mil Muerteseh

This isn’t much of a match, and normally throwaway squashes get a default “ok” rating, but somehow this seemed even more vapid than the average squash, especially by Lucha Underground standards. It would fit well into the endless sea of forgettable CMLL tournament matches.

Cueto Cup 16th-final: Paul London vs. Víboraeh

There’s more to this match than to the previous one, and there’s a slightly interesting twist in that the rest of Rabbit Tribe runs out at an odd time, only to hide under the ring, but end up helping to get Víbora counted out. This gets dropped a notch, though, because the big climactic spot of the match, a blind senton by London, doesn’t go well when Víbora fails to make anything resembling a competent catch. London can probably commiserate with Aerostar about this when he gets a chance, if he hasn’t already.

Cueto Cup 16th-final: Taya vs. Joey Ryanok

Of the first three matches in this block, this is the least objectionable. Taya plays straight woman to Joey’s predictable comic relief schtick, punishing him for it with a few decent offensive maneuvers. It’s nothing that you have to see, but both do what they have to do passably.

Backstage, Mil Muertes somehow has found reason to suit up after his last match, but Jeremiah surprises him with a good number of chair shots, screaming, “She’s mine!”

As with prior weeks involving the Cueto Cup, we get another video package for the upcoming Mundo vs. Mysterio match, this time focusing on interviews with Chavo Guerrero Jr., Cage, Prince Puma, and Matt Striker.

Cueto Cup 16th-final: Jeremiah Crane vs. Killshotgreat

Giving time to this main event is the obvious reason for turning the other three matches in this block into squashes, and that time is indeed well spent. The match opens with a crazy dive sequence and rarely slowed down until the end. There are big moves, for sure, but it seems like there never really is just a single big move in isolation in this match; instead, it’s almost always part of some wackier sequence. By the same token, it’s hard to point to just a single moment in this match, but for me, if I had to pick out only one to highlight, it’d be the sequence toward the end of the match in which Killshot catches an attempted dive by Crane from the turnbuckle to apron, turns it into a fireman’s carry, and slams Crane on the apron; it’s definitely one of the moments that surprised me most on first watch. Earlier on, there’s also a cool sequence involving a rope-assisted DDT into a submission. Other people might point to rearrangement of the floor chairs, but it feels as if that sort of spot happens often enough that other bits of craziness can feel fresher and therefore more impactful.

The one downside of this match — and it is a significant one — is that it ends abruptly when Dante Fox interrupts with a microphone to distract Killshot long enough for Jeremiah to hit a Cranial Contusion for the win. This sort of distraction is nothing new, but somehow the execution here feels more jarring than it should. Perhaps that feeling stems from having Fox resort to the microphone rather than the usual method of walking out and attracting visual attention by himself; it makes the angle feel somehow forced. For me, this detail probably dropped the match from a “great+” rating to “great”. It’s still definitely worth going out of your way to watch, but the last 15 seconds do leave a slightly unpleasant aftertaste.

After the match, Catrina makes Temple lights go out and appears at top of the stairs.

After the closing credits, Dario is seen in his office quite happy about the tournament’s progress. Also in the office is the final entrant, who, in a voiceover and gear similar to that used for Son of Havoc, reveals himself to be Son of Madness, hailing from “The Open Road”.

LUCHA UNDERGROUND S3E24: MACHO MADNESS
  • Decent - 6/10
    6/10

OVERALL

This block is definitely the most unbalanced of the tournament so far in terms of quality: There's one really strong match, the main event, and three throwaway matches. Based on this week alone, the Cueto Cup might have been better with, say, 24 participants instead of 32.

6.0/10
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