Lucha Underground s4e5, "Sacrificio"

Screen cap from Lucha Underground. Killer Kross, a white man with a clean-shaven head, is wearing sunglasses and a suit and clutching a knobby stick. He's sitting on a throne made of twisted tree branches in an eerie green forest and to his right is a ball of twisted up tree branches housing a prisoner, another luchador.

By: E. Young
BrightNightmares.weebly.com

This week’s Lucha Underground got a bit… dark.

It’s weird to say that about a show that regularly features gods in human form and bloody onscreen deaths, but episode 5 certainly lived up to the title of sacrifice!

Episode 5 kicks off with Cortez Castro in the ring. Last season, we learned that Cortez (and Joey Ryan) is a deep undercover cop who came very close to blowing up Dario’s whole operation until Dario cut him off at the pass. Cortez was banished, and it’s still not really clear how he managed to get back to the Icebox Temple… but it doesn’t matter, as Antonio summarily outed Cortez as the Feds and fed him to Matanza in a squash match. Cortez is then sacrificed to the gods, presumably never to be seen again. This was a pretty terrible ending to Cortez’s overall story arc. It’s especially disappointing as he had become a crowd favorite, going from hired muscle to hero in just a few appearances across the seasons. But season 4 isn’t done with the roster yet…

Most of the matches featured on the show tonight are for Aztec Medallions. They’re pushing this tournament pretty hard and we’ll be at Ultima Lucha before you know it. Again, everything is working against a short episode order. This could make for bloated episodes down the line, but for now the matches for the Medallions tonight don’t feel too overdone, starting with our first match of the night: Ivelisse vs. Joey Ryan!

This matchup is a perfect clash of styles: Joey is straight from a softcore Skinamax movie and Ivelisse is one bad bitch. Ivelisse uses a no-nonsense MMA-based attack where as Joey… well, Joey uses his penis. Sorry if that’s a spoiler for anyone. Joey has disrespected Ivelisse before, but he’s also disrespected most of the female roster. Ivelisse is on a bit of a redemption quest after suffering multiple injuries across the seasons and she doesn’t really have time for Joey’s isht. She beats the hell out of him and wins an Aztec Medallion.

Up next, the uneasy alliance between the Trios champs Willie Mack, Killshot, and Son of Havoc breaks down further as they must face each other for not one, but two Aztec Medallions. Winner gets one, the person pinned gets the other. All three entrants in this match can’t do anything BUT put on an entertaining, death-defying, high spot show and they really amp it up here. Shout out to Willie Mack for putting work in here, fending off Killshot’s aerial assassination attempts and Son of Havoc’s versatile threats. If you’ve never seen this man wrestle make it a priority. Unfortunately, whenever Mack starts to get a decent push in the temple it goes… wrong. He’s in a very Razor Ramon/Scott Hall-ish position.

In the end, Mack knocks out Havoc and Killshot and has to choose which to pin; Mack pins Killshot for the win, Havoc gets a medal as runner up, and Killshot gets dust. I don’t blame Mack as Killshot has been unstable since the middle of season 3. True to nature, Killshot gets upset and disrespects his own cousin before storming off. That doesn’t bode well for the next time they defend the trios belt.

The main event tonight is the match foretold by last week’s episode, Brian “They Call Him” Cage against Mil Muertes. With actual monsters like Matanza around, Mil Muertes has lot a bit of purpose but has been regaining his threat this season. Cage is no slouch either, as seasons 2 and 3 revealed he may be an actual machine… of murder and destruction. Again, make it a priority to watch this man. This match is fantastic and brutal with Cage and Mil tearing into each other and the refs. And coming in with my favorite wrestling trope of all time, Pentagòn Dark unzips a hoodie and ambushes Cage from the audience! But he’s wearing a wristband, so that means he waiting in line for a ticket. Maybe he’s not all bad?

Mil wins a medallion due to Pentagòn’s shenanigans, but in a twist to the usual end to a Mil Muertes match, Catrina… does not do the Lick of Death and walks away? Looks like Catrina is really alive and no longer Mil’s servant. I’m really interested in where they’re taking this with her. Is she going to betray Mil big time? For now, Mil is left clutching his medallion like an Arthur meme. And Pentagòn challenges the defeated Cage to a match for the Lucha Underground title. This is either going to go really well or really, really bad for Pentagòn. Fingers crossed!

Tonight’s stinger features one of the darker endings for an LU episode that I can recall. The Rabbit tribe, a bunch of fun loving acid trippers (Saltador, Mala Suerte, and Paul London in the best outfit ever) are in search of their white rabbit because… you know. Last season, it turned out Mascarita Sagrada may know where their rabbit leader is. They’re in some trippy zone that looks like a Tom Petty video. Mascarita fetches them and takes them to a twisted forest with a throne and a prisoner in a ball of sticks… I’ll be damned, the White Rabbit is Killer Kross! Killer Kross offers to guide the rabbit tribe on one condition: if they kill the man that brought them to him.

After some back and forth, happy-go-lucky hippie Paul London bashes Mascarita’s head in. What the bleep! LU is cutting the fat around here the hard way. Again, it’s a shame because Mascarita was certainly a fan favorite but he wasn’t featured all that much and I’m sure he has money to make elsewhere.

On that note… wow! I don’t know where the show is going from here, but it’s certainly fearless. Who will survive? What will be left of them? Guess we’ll find out next week!
Lucha Underground s4e5, "Sacrificio" Lucha Underground s4e5, "Sacrificio" Reviewed by Blerds Online on Thursday, July 12, 2018 Rating: 5

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