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Lucha Underground Review (8/2/2017): The Hunger Inside

Source: @LuchaElRey on Twitter

Lucha Underground S3E29: The Hunger Inside

Watch: El Rey Network, Sling

Lucha Underground Temple – Boyle Heights, California

The opening recap covers the expected bits about Cueto Cup progress so far and the impending Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio match, but also highlights Matanza for the first time in a long while, and also flashes back to the Rey Mysterio vs. PJ Black main event last week.

In the opening scene, Dario visits Matanza in his cell and tempts him with raw meat, surmising that Matanza’s “hunger for revenge” could be their downfall. Dario ominously reminds his brother that he has the power of a god and the body of a man, and warns of potential destruction of both of them if Matanza does not use his power well. Like every subplot in Lucha Underground, Dario’s references only scratch the surface of what’s really going on but seem to cement the brothers’ places as mere pawns in the Lucha Underground mythos, ultimately subject to some higher powers and potentially a future cataclysm.

Cueto Cup Quarterfinal: Fénix vs. Pindarok+

In absolute terms, this is a perfectly serviceable match, but knowing what these two are capable of, I came in expecting a little more. I could see people going higher on this though. I think that my main problem is that I really wanted a Fénix exhibition with Pindar basing, but this feels more like a standard big-guy-versus-smaller-guy match, although Pindar does manage to pull off a couple of cool spots on offense:

Fénix also has some neat evasive maneuvers. Accompanying Pindar, Kobra Moon does get in a cheap interference spot near the beginning of the match; fortunately, this turns out to be inconsequential. Fénix ultimately wins with double knees from the top rope.

Dario has World Wide Underground, including Jack Evans with a broken jaw, in his office and warns them not to interfere in Johnny Mundo’s match tonight, lest they lose their opportunities for Aztec Medallions.

Cueto Cup Quarterfinal: Prince Puma vs. Dante Foxexcellent+

This is easily the best match of the season’s second half, and I have it as the best Lucha Underground match since the Rey Mysterio vs. Prince Puma match that ended season 2. We start off really fast, with four dives in the span of about a minute, and don’t really ever slow down from there until the finish. The crazy sequences in this match include one in which Fox goes for his running moonsault off the apron, only to be caught by Prince Puma, but Fox ultimately turns this into a DDT.

In another wacky counter later in the match, Puma blocks Fox’s attempt at a Lo Mein Pain and instead pulls off a sort of inverted fisherman suplex. Prince Puma wins after dropkicking Fox halfway across the ring and hitting his trademark 630 senton.

After the match, Killshot comes out to double-stomp Fox and hit his JML driver, assuring his former friend that their feud isn’t over yet.

Reviewing footage of Officer Reyes’ match working under the Veneno mask against Cage, a disappointed Captain Vasquez orders Reyes to get Cage’s gauntlet, to which Reyes responds that there might not be a man alive that could stop Cage. After Reyes leaves, Vasquez pulls her half of the amulet out of her drawer and quietly surmises that her subordinate “might be right”. As with Dario’s forebodings at the start of the episode, there’s a larger plot undercurrent here, and one viable interpretation – or rather, set of related viable interpretations – is that the implicit emphasis is on man, alive, or possibly both simultaneously.

Dragón Azteca Jr. vs. Johnny Mundovery good+

Good luck following that last match… although Dragón Azteca and Mundo certainly try. Perhaps the most surprising spot here occurs when Mundo counters Azteca’s attempted slingshot headscissors into a a spinebuster. Beyond that, if you’re familiar with the move sets of these two, there’s nothing terribly mind-blowing, but both do what they do quite well, and have an above-average match without interference during the match proper, culminating in Mundo’s End of the World for the win.

After the match, though, come the shenanigans. Mundo begins by choking his opponent with a chair until Rey Mysterio runs in with the save. After Rey leaves, Mundo decides to pick a fight with Rey’s family, who just happens to be seated front row. Rey runs back in when things escalate between Mundo and Rey’s son, Dominic, at which point the rest of World Wide Underground ambushes him. Welp, we almost made it through an episode without their interference, but at least the actual match ends cleanly.

Melissa Santos and Fénix run into each other leaving the Temple. As Fénix carries Melissa to her car, they start talking about his mask. An eavesdropping Marty concocts an idea to torture Melissa by unmasking Fénix.

  • Great - 8/10


Stop what you are doing, and go watch Prince Puma vs. Dante Fox. Now.

After that, how you view the episode depends on preferences. The main event is a couple of steps down, but also a strong match in its own right. Fénix vs. Pindar is a bit of a disappointment for me, but there's nothing really fatally wrong with it. If you like thinking about the myriad subplots, especially the more fantastical ones, you'll enjoy how the episode develops a bunch of them without really leaving the ultimate direction clear.

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