Lucha Underground Recap - Season 4: Episode 1

By: E. Young

The 3rd season finale of Lucha Underground left The Temple in shambles: Prince Puma was ousted, Matanza destroyed El Dragon Azteca Jr just as it seemed that the truth about Dario Cueto’s web of lies was coming to light, and Dario himself was shot to death. But who was he calling with his final gasps of life?!

Is this wrestling or a gory soap opera? Yes. If you missed the initial hype train, Lucha Underground is a wrestling-oriented television show best described as grindhouse touched by indigenous Latinx mythology meshed with ECW aesthetics. The roster has always balanced a good mix of big names of lucha libre and indie wrestling (Blue Demon Jr, the Guerrero family, Rey Mysterio, half the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla roster, etc) and building up its own talent, usually borrowed from AAA. But from season 3 to season 4—especially with the departure of several big stars—LU seems to be focusing on building up its own talent once again, starting with literal dark horse and current champion, Pentagòn Dark.

After the shocking season 3 ending leaving the temple faithful with way more questions than expectation of answers, season 4 opens up on… a really cheap funeral. Looks like El Jefe Dario is really dead this time. And in his place steps his father, Antonio, who is totally not Luis Fernandez-Gil in a wig and contacts. In true Cueto Familia style, we learn that Antonio actually ordered the hit on his son. Cold blooded!

Image is of Antonio Cueto, a white haired bearded man wearing sun glasses and a white suit, standing in front of an out of focus image of his son, Dario Cueto, a younger man with slicked back dark hair and a surly expression.

Meanwhile at Antonio’s new temple (how did everyone get there?), Antonio crashes Dario’s ring ceremonial service. He announces his ownership of the temple and promptly gets things started with Aztec Warfare! Echoing season 3’s opener, the winner of the tournament will be the new Lucha Underground champion.

Aztec Warfare is LU’s third signature match, the first two being Ultima Lucha and Grave Consequences, which belongs more to Mil Muertes than any temple. Aztec Warfare is a rumble with twenty combatants. Antonio gets things started with current trios champs Mack, Killshot, and… ? Dante Fox appears to be missing, hopefully off somewhere making an Impact. Since Dante is MIA, Antonio throws Mack and Killshot into Warfare as the first two contestant. Because the Cueto family loves slapping together random teams full of people that hate each other, the third contestant will be their new partner.

The trio is completed by fan favorite & former trios champ with Ivelisse and Angelico, Son of Havoc. Killshot is already not feeling this situation, but it doesn’t matter because entrant #4 is sleazy Joey Ryan! Joey cuffs himself to the ring like he did in the last Aztec Warfare, which seems a waste. Joey was revealed to be an ultra sleazy undercover cop last season, but he isn’t getting a ton of story progression nor is he wrestling all that much. He gets eliminated by Pentagòn with no fuss later.

Entrant # 5 is Mr. Pectacular, AKA Robbie E’s buddy Jessie Godderz! His cameo here is cool and he gets some good offense in, but he’s likewise eliminated without a lot of fanfare. Hopefully he shows up again for a blood feud.

The man of the hour and nemesis to everyone in the temple, Pentagòn Dark, is entrant # 6. Boy does Pentagòn do some work in this entire tournament. He sweated for every single bolt on that belt! He makes quick work of Joey Ryan while Killshot eliminates the Mack and is in turn eliminated by Son of Havoc. As they are still technically trios champs, looks like we are going to see some serious tension with them soon. Especially for Killshot, who just got out of a feud with Dante Fox over his abandonment of his sniper squadron.

Entrant # 7 is the innovator of violence, Tommy Dreamer! LU has been swapping talent with Impact! Wrestling this year but Tommy’s appearance cements LU’s strong ties to ECDub (Chris DeJoseph did wrestle for them, after all). And the Temple treats Tommy well as he immediately eliminates Jessie Godderz and we get a nice hardcore match with tacks and trash cans included. Probably the best Tommy has looked in a while.

The next few entrants are Cameo: The Movie. Mariposa, Vinnie Massaro, and Hernandez return at #8, #9 ,and #10 respectively and are quickly eliminated, but get pretty good pops. Johnny Mundo slides in at # 11. Mundo is the other workhorse of this promotion even if his stable is quickly falling to Pentagòn’s brutality. Surprise entrant # 12 Ricky Mundo (Johnny’s copycat) comes in and goes full Al Snow on us with… a doll? We don’t find out just yet what’s going on with this, but the doll seemingly tells Ricky to pin Johnny. Johnny kicks out and eliminates Ricky for his trouble.

Fenix is entrant #13 and promptly gets to work punching Pentagòn in the face. Jeremiah Crane (AKA Sami Callihan) is entrant #14. Mil Muertes is entrant #15 and that should be a bigger deal, but after the introduction of Matanza, Mil is looking a little schmedium these days. True to their former rivalry, Fenix takes Muertes out. Another surprise entrant is # 16, Daga of the Reptile tribe. Last season strongly implied Daga had been killed. Guess not! Daga is a fantastic wrestler and he really shows up and shows out here. Chavo Guerrero Jr is entrant #17 and my fake husband King Cuerno in his Hijo del Fantasma gear is entrant #18. Kobra Moon tries to get revenge for Daga’s quick elimination by throwing in Vibora, but Pentagòn isn’t having it. The last two entrants at 19 & 20 are El Dragon Azteca Jr and Marty the Moth Martinez. The story lines pause here as Pentagòn clears house until it’s just him and Marty, then they engage in a smaller scale hoss battle. Marty puts up a decent fight but Pentagòn retains. Antonio informs him that next week he will defend his title against Matanza. Pentagòn shows cero miedo, but Matanza has yet to lose…

Overall, season 4 kicked off with a bang. After losing some momentum between season 3 and tonight’s episode, a battle royal felt a bit much. Some of the timings were off like they were too fast or too slow. But the opener did a good job of setting up future storylines and continuations of last year and showing off the new production values, so with that promise in mind here’s hoping the rest of the season at least makes up for the first half of season 3. Lucha!

Image is Pentagon Dark, a man wearing a black and red ninja-inspired outfit and a mask with the lower half of his face painted white. He is striking a menacing pose with 4 of his fingers pointing downward, suggesting the letter M.
Lucha Underground Recap - Season 4: Episode 1 Lucha Underground Recap - Season 4: Episode 1 Reviewed by Blerds Online on Thursday, June 14, 2018 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.