Saturday, September 25, 2021

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Lucha Underground Analysis (July 29th, 2015): Catrina Introduces Ivelisse to the Stone of Death


You know your biggest show of the season is so monumentally massive when it starts one week early!

Lucha fans, the event we have all been waiting for has arrived as Ultima Lucha is here. The three-hour epic will be split across two separate episodes, with an hour of Ultima action taking place in the penultimate episode of Season One of Lucha Underground. This week, Black Lotus‘ story (that I started to think was never going to be resolved and she would be in that cage forever) continues as Dario Cueto continuous to mess with our vengeful vixen. Elsewhere on the show, Ivelisse and her dysfunctional Trios Tag Team Championship partners Angelico and Son of Havoc face off against the Disciples of Death for the titles. Ivelisse needs to watch her back though (and her still very much injured leg for that matter) as Catrina will be at ringside. I know I wouldn’t want to mess with the Mistress of Macabre!

Before I recap this week’s action, let’s first take a look at the only notable segment from last week. Following her wins over Marty “The Moth” Martinez and Super Fly two weeks ago to claim an Aztec Medallion, Sexy Star was present to place her prize into a brand new championship belt, The Gift of the Gods. Acting like a Money in the Bank briefcase, all recipients of medallions will clash in the two-hour season finale for a chance to win the belt. The seven-way match looks awesome, as do Sexy’s silver wings – flashy!

When in their possession, the match winner will have up to one year to cash in their belt for a Lucha Underground Championship opportunity. However, should they wait too long to cash in, Dario will force them to defend the Gift of the Gods, meaning the beholder cannot rest on their laurels. Furthermore, Dario mocked WWE’s “anytime, anyplace” ruling on the MITB contract, and said that the Luchadore or Luchadora in possession of Gift of the Gods must cash in their golden opportunity one week before the match will take place. Interesting stuff indeed once again for Lucha Underground!

Unlike WWE who have had the Money in the Bank briefcase on the line once (due to a Mr. Kennedy wellness policy violation), it seems that Lucha Underground are making the campaign towards cashing in a little more unpredictable as opposed to the cash-in itself!

This week’s episode starts with Black Lotus looking determined, sweaty and unamused.

A badass combo. A suited-up Dario Cueto walks into her chamber and tells her that he had hoped her being locked up next to Matanza would have allowed her to change her mind at seeking revenge. After Lotus delivers a gorgeous martial arts kick to a lighbulb, Dario then throws a major spanner in the works, explaining that his brother was not the one who killed Black Lotus’ parents, it was in fact El Dragon Azteca.

OH EM GEE.

I’m not sure whether to believe this plot twist and neither does Black Lotus. Dario says that whilst the truth hurts, it could also set you free, all whilst pointing to his key that opens his brother’s cage. This was soapy, dramatic and all kinds of crazy and I loved it. So much history and backstory has led to… next week. Boo! The segment closes with Black Lotus punching a wall repeatedly. It certainly foreshadowed that perhaps she will be smashing her way to freedom. We’ll find out next week.

Next up, it is time for Ivelisse & Co to defend their tag team titles. Death in the form of Catrina, Barrio Negro, El Siniestro de la Muerte and Trece. I for the life of me cannot remember the Disciples’ names and have to google them every damn time!

Barrio Negro goes after Ivelisse first, hoisting her to his shoulders. Honestly, this looks weak. I know Ivelisse needs protecting yet the whole situation is just not believable. Ivelisse is knocked down on the outside and attacked with her crutch. At least Ivelisse is still giving it her all and allowing a hardcore edge to her matches despite her injury. Ivelisse soon uses the crutch back at Barrio, choking him with it on the arena floor.

Later, I see the most illogical thing ever. Instead of working over Ivelisse’s injured leg to make her submit, El Siniestro applies a stretch muffler to Ivelisse’s OTHER leg. Ok then. Thankfully, business picks up female-wise shortly after as Ivelisse and Catrina face off in the ring. Like the baddest bitch that she is, Ivelisse tosses her crutches aside, hits an armdrag and then starts pummeling Catrina! Catrina manages to get on top of Ivelisse soon after and she proceeds to smash her head in with the Stone of Death!

I LOVE THAT WOMAN. Just putting that one out there.

With that, Catrina raises the stone and Barrio Negro pins a battered Ivelisse to win the belts. I love that the DoD keep attacking their opponents after the match. These lads are brutal! Adding insult to injury, Catrina mounts Ivelisse and delivers a golden lick of death.

Finally, a determind El Dragon Azteca has finally made it to the temple after about two months of travlling from his training ground to the temple. Couldn’t he have called an Uber cab? Anywho, a random hooded figure tries to stop El Dragon from entering, yet he is having none if it. He said he may die trying to help Black Lotus, yet at least he will live on. You’re not that legendary mate. Who does he think he is? A Diva Dirt Legacy Award winner he is not!

Thoughts: The first half of my prediction was right – Catrina steered her boys to success and clobbered Ivelisse with a rock so that the Disciples of Death could bring one championship to Beyond the Grave. Whilst Ivelisse’s injury has sadly destroyed her title run in terms of the wrestling side of things, it did make for great storytelling when she had the staredown with Catrina and threw her crutches to one side ready for a throwdown. That exchange was fantastic I thought.

As for the match, Ivelisse was so limited so I really can’t comment too much. She sold everything really well, yet she unfortunately was unable to perform much. Obvious high spots to what was just an ok match (sorry about it) included Barrio Negro’s unique spinning slam to Angelico, Angelico been back dropped onto the crowd seating and of course, Angelico’s dive was insane. It appears Angelico is talented then.

Despite the injury, LU was right to leave the belts on Ivelisse’s team and build a story around Ivelisse overcoming injury at various points. To strip their first Trios Champs would have been a mistake. It wasn’t a mistake for them to lose the titles now though. It happened at a big event and there’s only so many times we can watch a two-on-three match over and over. Obviously limited action here that top-notch imagery and storytelling made up for.

After a few stagnant weeks, boy did Black Lotus’ story pick up another gear. I am so intrigued to figure our Matanza actually is and what Black Lotus is going to do. Will she have a bout of Stockholm Syndrome and actually enjoy her captive life and believe Dario? I personally don’t think El Dragon will have killed Black Lotus’ parents and Dario’s confession was just a red herring, yet I am so glad that the writers went in this direction. I never expected it and it makes me that more excited for the season finale.

Speaking of that season finale, we have so much to look forward to. Sexy Star will be in seven-way action (that’s my kind of party!), Black Lotus’ quest for revenge comes to an almighty conclusion, Catrina will lead Mil Muertes to potential championship glory, and who knows, maybe the Paparazzi will show up? ;)

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