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Lucha Underground Analysis (November 5th, 2014): A Night of Arrivals, Attacks & a Whole Lot of Show Stealing

Oh holy night, the stars are briiiiightly shiiiining.

It’s officially time to delve into episode two of our new, hidden professional wrestling gem, Lucha Underground! If you’re stopping in for the first time, be sure to check out last week ahead of feasting on tonight’s delectable goodness, for last week seems like a small taste of what we could expect in comparison to all that this weeks episode brought to the table.

Oh yes, Lucha heard my pleas to put women in as much as possible so I can recap the entire show, and have rewarded me big time! For you see, this go around, we are treated to a bunch of redux-able segments and matches!~

In an attempt to gain a measure of revenge on Son of Havoc after losing last week, Sexy Star has enlisted in a male partner, Chavo Guerrero, while Havoc brought some back-up as well, in the form of current SHINE Champion (and fellow Tough Enough alumni!), Ivelisse Velez! Together, the four will square off in a mixed tag team match, however, in Lucha Underground, this doesn’t mean you can only face off against your gender, for everything is fair play.

In addition to that, we get the arrival of my longtime holy spiritual leader… the first woman who made recapping a joy and a pleasure for me in life, Karlee Perez! Formerly known as Maxine, she will now go under the alias of Catrina… and she will also have no PG rules toning her character down. I already can’t form enough words to adequately describe my happiness, so let’s jump right into the action in chronological order!

We head to the commentary table, where Matt Striker and Vampiro are discussing last weeks episode in which Dario Cueto Jr. (Head authority figure of LU) vowed to bring in a new luchador to deal with Blue Demon Jr. as best as can be. The man who has been called upon? Mil Muertes. And let me tell you, he is not coming alone! We head to a hype vignette featuring a female voiceover that I recognize anywhere.

“For every man — no matter his strength, his ability, his heart — one thing is certain… a thousand deaths are coming. Mil Muertes (insert spanish phrasing I won’t even attempt spelling out)”

Catrina!

We head out to the temple, where ring announcer Melissa Santos announces the following lucha to be scheduled for one fall. Already in the ring (boo!) is the team comprised of both Son of Havoc as well as his new recruit, Ivelisse! (Side note: I have to comment on how much I love their look together. So badass.) Their opponents, out first, Chavo Guerrero! Annnd the female we were introduced to last week, Sexy Star!

Chavo and Havoc (I may botch and write Havok… please forgive me.) start things off as the crowd is red hot! They lock up as Chavo takes control with a snapmare into a headlock. Havoc fights out and even though it doesn’t do any damage, nails a ridiculously cool landing backflip. Unfortunately for him, he gets met with a shot of boots to the face as Chavo goes for his beard. Ivelisse does NOT look pleased with what is transpiring, as the crowd breaks into a “Chavo” chant. Son of Havoc now with the upper hand, as Ivelisse assists him by kicking Chavo in the back. He nails a chop to the chest and tags in Velez!

Ivelisse steps into the ring and goes on the attack asap, decking Chavo with a flurry of kicks to the midsection. She follows it up with some shots right towards the facial area, as he shoves her back… only this just goes to position her right into the crouching spot needed to DECK him with a side-jump kick to the face. Cover! Just a one count. Ivelisse continues to capitalize, before tagging Son of Havoc back in. Havoc with an Irish Whip, but Chavo kicks him in the face and nails a clothesline. He craaawwwwls, and yes! Tag into Sexy Star!

Sexy runs in and immediately hits a flying headscissors takedown! Roll through! Matrix! Super kick! I cannot keep up with her, and I love every second of it. She hits another shot to the jaw, before posing and then running off the ropes for a… no! Son of Havoc takes her down. Ivelisse now looks pleased with what she’s seeing, as she tags in and goes to work on Sexy. Velez starts beating her face into the mat, but Sexy fights out and the pair trade vicious shots. Sexy looks to send Ivelisse into the ropes, but Ivelisse counters through it and hits another sick jumping kick to the face! She then drags Sexy Star over and tags in Son of Havoc, presumably looking to continue his female beatdown mission from last week.

Havoc enters to a chorus of boos, then going for a standing moonsault that gets blocked by Sexy Star’s knees! Tag into Chavo, who goes crazy with a comeback attempt before finishing it off with a rolling Liger kick in the corner. He looks to complete the job, but Ivelisse charges in to break the pin up. This brings forth Sexy Star to take her out with a running hurricanrana as the pair brawl around the ring. Star then tosses Velez outside and leaps off the ring apron with a pair of knees! The crowd loves what they’re seeing — well, until Son of Havoc nails a standing enziguiri to the back of Chavo’s head inside the ring. He signals an impending end as he runs off the ropes, but Chavo counters with a dropkick and heads up top! Frog splash! Instead of pinning though, Chavo tags in Sexy Star, who charges forward with a wheelbarrow victory roll! One… Two… Three!

Sexy gains retribution over Havoc, and a newfound friendship with Chavo Guerrero! Again though, if we visit our “How Happy is Ivelisse Right Now” meter, I’d say we’re registering on the “wants to kill something” levels. This is not good (unless it brings her back next week in which I’m all here for destruction!)

We head to another video hype package for Mil Muertes, which shows Blue Demon Jr. training backstage… until, that is, he’s approached by a sensual, captivating, personal holy leader of mine, Catrina! She walks up and gently pokes him on the shoulder, which sparks him to turn around and see… no one there. He shakes it off, but then faces forward again as Catrina struts out from a shadowy background and enters the scene.

“Blue Demon Jr… I am an associate of Mil Muertes. Mil sends a message…”

She then debuts what will become known as the #LickOfDeath, where she licks the side of his mask!

“… A taste before a thousand deaths.”

With that, Catrina nudges him away and walks back into the shadows. He looks concerned with what’s to come… as he should be.

Back at commentary, Matt Striker reveals that last week’s main event introduced the world to a brand new luchador, therefore tonight will be no different. From there, we head to the ring as Blue Demon Jr. stands ready and waiting to meet his opponent. Melissa Santos prepares the introductions for the match, as the lights then go near pitch black (sans a shining spotlight), and out comes Mil & Catrina!

Hand in hand they strut, Catrina looking determined as ever for her client to destroy every man (or woman) in his path. The duo make their way into the ring, executing a pose that sends shivers up my spine in excitement. It appears that Catrina and Mil share a bond strong enough, he allows her to hold some sort of red device that is of great importance to him, as she removes his coat and we get underway with our main event!

Oooh, it seems in addition to letting the men and women mix it up, Lucha Underground also doesn’t shy away from a little client/associate makeout sesh (whatever gets the job done, right?). The bell sounds as Mil goes right on the attack! He decks Blue Demon with a ton of kicks, then following it up with a chop and some knees to the back. They almost immediately head outside, as Mil dominates Blue Demon Jr., eventually slamming his face off the commentary table! They head back inside the ring (well, Mil throws Demon in, if that counts.), as the dominance continues. Demon counters! Arm drag! Blue Demon ducks a set of shots to the face, nailing a front dropkick and chopping Mil in the corner.

Blue Demon Jr. hits a slap, as Catrina hops onto the ring apron to distract him, allowing Mil to take him down. But what comes next?? Catrina kicks Blue Demon square in the jaw with her heel! Managers can get involved and this makes me so happy. She doesn’t stop there, for after that Catrina grabs onto the back of his mask and hops off the ring apron, which simultaneously slingshots his throat off the ropes and he falls backwards. Muertes nails a few more chops and sends Demon into the corner, but Blue Demon fights back! Bulldog! Just a two count.

Blue Demon continues to fight, as Catrina looks on a little concerned. He heads to the top rope, but Mil gets to a vertical base quick enough to put a stop to that. Mil then drops Blue Demon with a lungblower, but he kicks out! Muertes heads up top, soaking in the boos, as he leaps off but meets a pair of boots to the face. DDT! Just a two count. Blue Demon goes back to the chops, this time going for open palm smacks and transitioning into punches. Muertes fights out of an Irish Whip attempt, then charging forward like a damn bull and tackling Blue Demon Jr. to the ground!

From there, Mil fires up as the crowd boos him on (but Catrina claps, and that counts as a million cheers!). He awaits Blue Demon Jr. to get up, before running forward and decking him with a charging flatliner. Hook of the leg — one… two… three! Catrina steps back into the ring to celebrate with Mil, but before the celebration can begin, Mil starts beating Blue Demon Jr. down as Catrina hands the red stone back over. Wait! Suddenly, Chavo Guerrero is back in with a chair to fend Mil off of the man that he, himself, faced in the opener of last weeks show. Catrina quickly steps out from behind, as Mil rolls out the ring.

Blue Demon Jr. then gets up from behind to check on what Chavo’s doing, but BAM! Chavo lays him out with a chair shot to the head. Heeeeeeel turn!~ The crowd is not having this at all, with Chavo beating Blue Demon Jr. down and referees running out from the back. Catrina is absolutely loving what she sees, as Chavo decks the refs and goes back to Blue Demon Jr. He picks up the chair once more, and here comes some random men from the back looking to save Blue Demon Jr, but ultimately paying the price with continued chairs to the head. Wait! It’s Sexy Star! Chavo’s partner from the tag earlier tonight charges down the steps and into the ring. She pleads with him to put the chair down and stop, wondering what has gotten into him. His response? CHAIR SHOT TO SEXY STAR!

The crowd is absolutely enraged, as Chavo soaks everything in and some crew wheel a stretcher out from the back to tend to Sexy, Blue Demon and the random luchadors. Guerrero takes a seat in the very chair used to create so much damage, laughing at how fired up the fans are over his actions tonight. The staff wheels Blue Demon Jr. out, as Chavo blows a kiss to the downed Sexy Star and we end the show with a shot of the ambulance transporting Blue Demon to a local medical facility.

Has Chavo won the money Dario Cueto put up last week? Because clearly this is the biggest statement one has made thus far (aside from Catrina gracing us with her presence). I’d like for them to wait a few weeks though because I’m ready for some Sexy Star revenge.

Thoughts: I love this. I love it so much. You’re all going to get beyond annoyed with me if this is all I can say over the entire course of its run when we’re only in week two, but I can’t help it. I genuinely have so much excitement for this show, and while I was impressed with week one, tonight completely outshines it and I have no problems admitting that.

My one setback about last week was that the matches (outside the main event) felt either a little short or off in parts. Personally, I gave them a little bit of a break since it was their first show and going from absolutely nothing (in terms of not even being an already functioning company who had been running live events or something of that nature) to a huge network backing wrestling promotion wasn’t going to be absolute perfection right out the gate.

To be honest though… week two was about as damn near close to perfection as I could imagine.

Maybe it’s my continued watching of the WWE and TNA, both fine products on their own, but both kind of interchangeable when it comes to the way they present themselves. Sure, there are differences, but neither is entirely its own entity in the way that Lucha Underground is to me. Just the filming style, the segments, the video packages, the crowd… everything is presented in a different way that we’ve not really seen before (or at least recently). They even fixed a few of the small things I was silently hoping they’d mend, like not putting every single shot to the commentary table in that corner shaky camera angle (I appreciate what they were going for, and I do really like it, just toned down more like this week as opposed to episode one where it felt a little too much), and the crowd was clearly larger for the show this week which made things feel even better from a viewer perspective.

The main thing though, is that every match got time and every match felt important. On any other promotion, Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo‘s opening tag match would have main evented. Sexy Star and Ivelisse would only be allowed to fight one another. Mil Muertes and Catrina would’ve maaaaybe got a short hype video and a quick squash. Here though? Mundo & Puma opened the show (which I loved because as a huge fan of Puma, I don’t want him to main event every week and bulldoze through people… this gives him much more excitement in my opinion), setting a hot, rapid pace of what was to come, all while allowing Mil Muertes to main event and make his debut feel all the more impactful, giving it some added oomph since it was going to be the quickest of the evening’s matches. In addition? Sexy Star got retribution over Son of Havoc, and we got an awesome mixed tag team match with a commentary team that promoted it as being set in the year 2014 where women are actually equal to, if not better than men in various fields, so why not let them show it in wrestling?

Can you imagine Jerry Lawler or JBL saying this? I’d probably sooner get John Cena in a Lucha Underground ring before that would ever happen.

Speaking of the tag, I absolutely loved it! It got (or at least felt like it got) more than enough time, with everyone serving a great purpose and getting to do special spots. If I had one complaint, I would’ve liked to see some additional airtime devoted to Ivelisse’s introduction because that’s the one thing I didn’t like. Not only did we barely hear anything about her backstory other than Son of Havoc recruited her, but she didn’t even get an entrance. I hate complaining about a show I love so much, but if I had to focus on one point that should’ve been a tad different, it would be that. Hopefully we get something more in the coming weeks though!

Catrina… Catrina… Catrina… I’ve officially died and gone to heaven. My dream since the untimely demise of NXT Redemption has been to get this woman back on a wrestling based show. All this time I thought my only hope was TNA, but then Lucha Underground was basically born into this world and grew up right before my very eyes in the span of two months and she has come to make my dreams come true. I already said last week that I couldn’t wait to see her take on a character with no PG boundaries, and she did not disappoint.

Those video packages gave me so much life, I can’t even lie or downplay it. I am SO glad they realized this duo is a force to be reckoned with and didn’t treat them as anything less. Catrina getting to speak should be a requirement of every episode, and I love that they took an even different spin on the video packages they do by promoting she and Mil Muertes up with multiple different vignettes spread throughout the hour as opposed to restricting it to only one to be shown during their entrance. It was perfect, and set their debut up SO well. Please just give me a Catrina video every week. Or at least every week there’s no females in action.

Oh… and no big deal… can we just talk about how their second episode ever ended with a man on woman chair shot, setting up an intergender feud to come down the line? Please never stop embracing this mixed gender love, Lucha Underground. It may have seemed like a small way to set yourself apart when you formed, but it is huge and much, much appreciated.

This week was just brilliant, and I’m sorry I can’t say bad things about it because I’m going to end up sounding like a broken record, but I just can’t. They have literally made my dream of a promotion come true. From the talent they sign to the impeccable way they film, it’s just my everything and I do not want to live in a world where it doesn’t exist.

Okay, I’ll shut up now so I actually have something to hopefully say next week.

Bobby

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