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Lucha Underground Analysis (November 30, 2016): Revenge is a dish best served cold

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Welcome to the Temple, Believers! We have a special episode coming our way and one of the most enjoyable hours of television I’ve seen recently in a long time as the debuting Black Lotus Triad takes on Pentagon Dark.

Black Lotus has been looking to get even with Pentagon after he broke her arm last season during LU’s Ultima Lucha Dos. Her gang of assassins made a surprise debut two weeks ago during Aztec Warfare 3 to exact some revenge. Now they all have a chance at retribution in a Gauntlet Match!  

Let’s jump into the action with our first fight as Doku takes on Pentagon:

The action starts off with incredible back and forth stiff hits. It’s not long before Pentagon overpowers Doku, however, as he inflicts punishment by taking her to the outside and hitting her with more stiff offense including a gorilla press toss head first into the apron. 

The fight is taken back into the ring where Pentagon continues to control the match. Doku is able to dodge some of his maneuvers as she hits a spear, and goes to the top rope for an elbow drop. She goes up again for the elbow… but he catches her arm and breaks it, ending the first of four matchups.

Backstage Catrina corners Jeremiah Crane while he is working out.

She says it’s a shame what happened to Ivelisse but Jeremiah says it’s funny she should be so concerned when they have a match set for Ultima Lucha. He hopes Ivelisse will be healthy enough for it now.

Catrina reminds him that it was her who brought him here and asks him if he’s happy to see her. She says she knows he still loves him since he’s wearing a piece of her amulet around his neck. But now, she loves someone else. She leaves and he looks on, frustrated.

We’re back in the ring with Pentagon as he takes a mic.

He addresses the crowd and says it doesn’t matter how many there are, he will break all their arms! He promises Black Lotus that he won’t just break her arm too, he’ll break the rest of her in half. 

Next up he faces Yurei:

They exchange arm drag reversals before Yurei takes control by delivering a body block from the top rope. The fight spills to the outside where Yurei takes control. She tosses Pentagon into the crowd and follows up by continually beating his head into a chair. She then delivers a weak blow to Pentagon with the ring bell before bashing his head into the side of a wall nearby.

Pentagon fights back with a series of kicks. It’s not enough to keep Yurei down. She continues unloading on him and then tosses him back into the ring. She delivers a knee to the face but when she goes for a second, Pentagon catches the leg and puts her in a knee bar.

Yurei is able to make it to the ropes, forcing the brake. But Pentagon starts working on the left leg. She endures a series of chops and fights back, hitting a hurricanrana from the top rope and then goes back up to the top rope for a deadly double stomp.

Pentagon tosses her in the corner but she fends him off with a series of kicks. She hits a tornado DDT and then does a move off the second rope that gets caught in Pentagon’s signature package pile driver. He follows up the move by breaking her arm.

After defeating her, his next challenge is Hitokiri:

Hitokiri is Pentagon’s greatest challenge yet. She sneak attacks him right off the bat from behind. He slides out of the ring, she runs up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a moonsault!

She follows up with a suicide dive and then takes a chair to start unloading on him. Hitokiri rips up the floor mats to expose the concrete. Pentagon tries to fight her, but she kicks him low and delivers a body slam onto the floor to the delight of Vampiro

Back in the ring, Pentagon lands a kick but it barely affects his Hitokiri. However, when she’s goes for a handstand flip against the ropes, he kicks her hard in the abdomen.

Now Pentagon has the advantage. He dishes out the punishment outside and then tosses Hitokiri outside. He proceeds to throw her into the chairs.

And then he whips her with the camera cable and then chokes her with it. He then pulls her against the ring pole while he has the cable wrapped around her neck and pulls. 

Now it’s Pentagon who uses the chair from earlier. After hitting her with it a couple times, he sets it up. He doesn’t do anything with it yet. Instead, he tosses her into the chairs from earlier and pulls up the mat himself to expose concrete and delivers a modified AA  to Hitokiri onto the floor.

He tries to toss her into the set up chair, but she stops short and drop toe holds him face first. She then runs up the stairs and onto Dario’s office! She jumps off the roof, performing a cross body to take Pentagon down!

Hitokiri is up first and tosses Pentagon into the ring. But he’s the one to fight back and goes for the Package Piledriver… but she fights out and hits the Canadian Destroyer for the win!

Finally we have Black Lotus as she makes her way down to the ring with her two fallen Triad members in tow.

Before the match can begin as Pentagon lies there, she kicks the ref who is checking on him. The audience shouts, “Break his arm!” 

Black Lotus kicks him several times before doing just that! Suddenly El Dragon Azteca appears and Black Lotus tells her group to retreat. She leaves and El Dragon towers above Pentagon. He surveys Pentagon’s damage before breaking his other arm! 

Thoughts: This episode was so satisfying and is the most fulfilled I’ve felt in a long time watching any promotion. I will admit I was nervous as to how the match was going down when the first two Triad members fell to Pentagon. Here’s this badass all-female assassin group that is supposedly legendary and Pentagon is still able to break their arms?

However, when commentary started to sell Hitokiri, Io Shirai, as one of the toughest members, I realized they put him up against competitors who were at various stages of weakness before he got to the toughest fighters in the clan.

She did not disappoint. None of them disappointed at all. It was probably one of the most violent intergender matches I’ve ever seen, and your mileage may vary with it its brutality, but I loved it! All of them put their bodies on the line, all of them brought their A game!

Doku, Kairi Hojo , was so stiff with her hits and Pentagon didn’t hold back either. He’s one of the most exceptional wrestlers in the Temple too and can work a match with any opponent in any feud. He’s got a great look straight out of Mortal Kombat and he mixes lucha libre with effortless power wrestling. He’s one of my favorites. Doku working as his opposite brought out fierce offense. It was sick.

Yurei, Mayu Iwatani, brought out more mat wrestling and began to take the match to the next level by beating him up in the crowd. Her double stomp was better than Finn Balor‘s, it looked so impactful.

Pentagon’s battle with Hitokiri was an all out brawl. It was the slickest of the two where both players got in their hits. Her selling and ragdolling was out of this world when Pentagon threw her into a pile of chairs. She upped the level of intensity by ripping the mats up and exposing the concrete floor. She body slammed Pentagon on the floor and it was incredible. She then took a floor bump when he did the same to her.

Hitokiri is also the first woman to dive off of Dario’s office! She took flight multiple times during this match and it was beautiful each time. Her finisher is also one of the slickest looking things I’ve ever seen.

Black Lotus’ part was a little deflating, only because I want to see her in action wayyyy more. I was under the impression she would fight Pentagon but I loved the end to this feud. She breaks one arm and then El Dragon breaks the other. What a way to punish Pentagon for sacrificing so many people’s arms to his master over the course of three seasons. It was a fitting end to this story and it made sense. How is he going to come back from this?

I must also commend the editing team for the seamless integration between vignettes and in ring action. Multiple story arcs were brought forward as the night focused on the Triad taking on Pentagon. We learned that Catrina and Jeremiah have a past which brings up even more questions and starts building his back story as well as forwards the conflicts between Ivelisse and Catrina. 

I’ve read an unfortunate thing that this may be the first and last time we see the Triad though. I only hope that this opens the doors for more joshi wrestlers to come in and get exposure. LU is a champion for women and they don’t hold them back. This match is further proof that they are seen as equals who can be strong characters, carry high profile feuds, and participate in all out war against the men. The bar keeps getting higher for the women and they reach it every time.

I want to thank LU again for giving women this platform and for writing such compelling material. This show is a constant reminder of why I fell in love with wrestling in the first place.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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