Lucha Underground S3E14: The Bulls of Boyle Heights
Watch: El Rey Network, Sling
Lucha Underground Temple – Boyle Heights, California
The opening recaps Johnny Mundo’s quest to become Lucha Underground champion and the best-of-5 series between Cage and Texano Jr.
In Dario’s office, Angélico demands a chance to exact revenge on Mundo. Dario tells him that his chance will come… if he wins the Battle of the Bulls tournament.
At the announcers’ table, Vampiro has some logo blurred out on his shirt, which is mildly distracting and more than a little undermines the kind of production values that Lucha Underground tries to maintain. Then again, perhaps it just wouldn’t be lucha without some production issue.
Anyway, onto the matches…
Battle of the Bulls Semifinal: Cage def. Texano Jr, Joey Ryan, Dr. Wagner Jr.good
This is a fun enough four-way match, although Joey Ryan comes off almost as an afterthought outside of his dive and a relatively brief period in which he gets in his offense. As expected, Famous B does try to interfere at one point but Cage makes sure that he quickly receives he comeuppance for that endeavor. One thing that I had not expected out of this match was a dive train, and that actually does happen, although poor Texano gets to eat Cage’s knees in trying to catch his moonsault.
The match ends when Texano has Joey Ryan pinned after a powerbomb, but Cage breaks up the pin, clocks Texano with his own rope, and pins Ryan himself to advance in the Battle of the Bulls.
Cage def. Joey Ryan in 8:39 by pinfall.
Back in Dario’s office, Dario reveals to Sexy Star that she has a match against PJ Black. If she wins, she’ll get her title rematch against Johnny Mundo in a steel cage; if she doesn’t defeat PJ, she’ll never receive another Lucha Underground title match.
In the police station, Castro tells Captain Vasquez that Dario knows that Castro is an undercover cop. Undaunted, Vasquez sends him back with a mask.
Sexy Star def. PJ Blackok
Vampiro claims near the start of the match that Sexy Star’s footwork is better in this match. Unfortunately for her, this isn’t a boxing match. Her strikes are also still awful, at Punch Out! levels of comedy.
This actually is a passable match because PJ Black does some cool things, especially rolling through her avalanche headscissors at one point to give her a Styles Clash.
Jack Evans tries to interfere by bringing a baseball bat to ring. That strategy backfires, however, as his Worldwide Underground partner superkicks him by accident, allowing Sexy Star to roll up PJ for the win.
Sexy Star def. PJ Black in 6:29 by pinfall.
We next get a vignette in which Kobra Moon reveals the history of her tribe. Apparently, Drago was one of three generals and deserted his tribe. As queen of the tribe, Kobra orders the other two generals to bring him to her.
Back in the Temple, a Mysterio-obsessed Matanza is still angry. Dario tries to reason with him to get him into the Battle of Bulls, warning that Dragón Azteca Jr.’s blind pursuit of revenge hurt him. Matanza seems amenable to this line of reasoning… for about 10 seconds, before knocking Dario unconscious against the jail bars and unlocking himself from the cell.
Battle of the Bulls Semifinal: The Mack def. Marty the Moth, Dragón Azteca Jr. and Mil Muertesgood+
This is another fun match, better than the first one, mostly thanks to Dragón Azteca Jr. (my notes have an ALL CAPS note about the crazy height that he got on his Pizza DDT.) There’s also a cool spot in which Mil Muertes spears Marty the Moth off the apron onto the other two.
Late in the match, Azteca hits a 450 splash on Mil, and returns to the turnbuckle for something else, when Matanza interferes and destroys Azteca, countering his Pizza DDT into the Wrath of the Gods — perhaps the most impressive spot of the night. Dario comes out with his key to regain control of Matanza, but it’s too late at this point for Dragón Azteca Jr. 🙁
The Mack hits stunner on Marty for the win.
The Mack def. Marty the Moth in 8:26 by pinfall.
LUCHA UNDERGROUND S3E14: THE BULLS OF BOYLE HEIGHHTS
Good - 7.5/10
There's nothing really bad in this episode, but nothing outstanding either. The Battle of the Bulls matches have their moments, especially toward the end, but these have the feel of "regular" matches rather than something special. Perhaps it's due to the high polarization that Lucha Underground has evoked in recent weeks, and perhaps a relatively uncontroversial episode is in order, but it has the effect of downplaying the feel of the Battle of the Bulls, at least for this episode. Perhaps expectations will have normalized by next week.