Lucha Underground S3E28: Booyaka! Booyaka!
Watch: El Rey Network, Sling
Lucha Underground Temple – Boyle Heights, California
The opening recap covers the standard Cueto Cup genesis along with, Drago’s betrayal, the build to Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio, World Wide Underground and their interference in Dragón Azteca Jr.’s tournament match, Son of Madness, and PJ Black getting a match against Rey Mysterio tonight.
Cueto Cup 8th-final: The Mack vs. Texano Jr.ok
This is a serviceable match with a few cool moves, but it never feels like it kicks into next gear before Famous B comes out to try to help Texano, whom he views as a prospective client. The Mack compensates his efforts with a stunner, and in turn, Texano takes advantage of this diversion to powerbomb The Mack for the win.
In a local bar, Son of Madness finds Son of Havoc and steals his drink, prompting a fight. Havoc refuses to rejoin the group to which both had belonged at one point.
In a separate, slightly amusing interlude, Mala Suerte and Paul London are playing checkers, using Saltador and his gear as their checkerboard. Mascarita Sagrada interrupts briefly to bring them an improbably giant gift box with a card that reads, “Hope this brings you better luck.” The box turns out to be entirely oversized, as the gift was a standard small rabbit’s foot. With this level of space efficiency, perhaps Mascarita works in Amazon’s packing department as a day job?
Cueto Cup 8th-final: Pentagón Dark vs. Dragogood
For two guys who have worked together as much as these two have, this match doesn’t click as much as I thought that it would, at least in the early going. Part of that can be attributed to Drago uncharacteristically invoking his rudo side, but there’s also a couple moments of awkwardness: the spot in which Pentagón dropkickd Drago out of a handspring tends to stick out as a bit oddly timed for me. The action does eventually turn a corner when Pentagón blocks an attempted armdrag and turns it into a Penta Driver.
— Andrew (@TypeAndrew) July 27, 2017
Pentagón wins clean with his signature Mexican Destroyer and Fear Factor package piledriver.
Arguably more interesting than the match itself, though, are the events that unfold afterward: Pentagón goes for his by-now traditional celebratory arm break, only to be interrupted first by Kobra Moon and then, perhaps surprisingly, Aerostar. Apparently, there’s still a sense of loyalty and camaraderie here to his friend and former tag partner. Less surprisingly, Drago reciprocates by attacking Aerostar, which allows Pentagón Dark to finally fit in his daily allowance of arm breaks – but with Aerostar as the victim. Aerostar probably should have thought through this scenario a few more times. Or maybe he can just go back in time to prevent this all from happening.
Backstage, Pentagón encounters Catrina, who issues a warning that she and Mil Muertes are still upset that Pentagón attacked Mil a while back, and that they will exact revenge if they meet in the later rounds of the Cueto Cup.
Rey Mysterio vs. PJ Blackgood+
Unlike the two other matches on this show, the main event has zero problems getting off the ground, opening with a slick headscissors variation by Rey. There’s a pretty consistent flow of nice spots in this match, although the clear winner for “big creative spot of the night” goes to an avalanche headscissors by Rey that PJ rolls through, ultimately using the momentum to set up a Styles Clash.
Shortly after that big spot, a tornado DDT by Rey ends up knocking out the ref, predictably leading to mass interference from the rest of World Wide Underground: first Johnny Mundo and then Jack Evans. Oh, and Dragón Azteca Jr. runs out too, slipping in the always impressive Pizza DDT before Taya joins the crowd to stop him. Jack revives the ref long enough to get him to count a pin on Rey, who, despite this mess, manages to kick out. PJ finds himself on the receiving end of a 619 and plancha, giving Rey the win.
After the match, Rey cuts a bilingual promo addressed to Mundo, hyping their upcoming match.
There are things to like about this match, but it feels essentially cut short by the obligatory World Wide Underground interference. The match actually does reach a definitive conclusion in spite of that interference, but I can’t shake the feeling that the brakes were slammed on a match that could have been better. I do realize that, practically speaking, they can’t overshadow the upcoming Rey vs. Mundo match, but this arc is what it is, and its undercurrent drags this match down a bit. To be clear, it wasn’t on pace to be “great” or similar, but perhaps “very good” would have been in the realm of possibility.
LUCHA UNDERGROUND S3E28: BOOYAKA! BOOYAKA!
Strong Effort - 7/10
There's nothing bad nor outstanding in this episode, but the final two matches are at least fairly enjoyable for what the are, although the post-match angle of Pentagón's match seems to overshadow anything else in this episode, inside or outside a match proper.