Lucha Underground S03E01: Wheel Of Misfortune

Lucha Underground S03E01: Wheel Of Misfortune

By Big Red Machine
From September 07, 2016

Lucha Underground S03E01: Wheel Of Misfortune

Wheel of Misfortune


The charges against him have been dropped. Dario wants to “get back to work,” but it turns out that the big, mysterious, shadowy boss figure is also in the limo and warns Dario that if he wastes his time again, it will mean death. All we saw of him was a gloved hand, so Lucha Underground has left me no choice but to name this man “Dr. Claw.”

Vampiro is back and healthy. He wants to make it clear that he is nobody’s master, and that’s all he has to say about Pentagon Dark assaulting him at Ultima Lucha II.

Dario and Matanza are in the ring. After teasing that Rey Mysterio Jr. will face Matanza in tonight’s main event, he instead reveals that Rey will take on Pentagon Dark. Dario explains that he was going to fire Pentagon Dark for trying to break his arm at Ultima Lucha II, but Pentagon Dark “redeemed himself” in Dario’s eyes with the most brutal display of violence Dario has ever seen with what he did to Vampiro at the end of the show… so I guess this means that Dario hasn’t seen much of CZW from their ultraviolent heyday. Now that I think about it, though, that’s probably for the best.
Dario is HUGE dick to Vampiro, noting that Pentagon Dark “Bled Vampiro like a pig” and then went on making pig noises at Vampiro a la that famous Terry Funk heel promo from Puerto Rico. This was so great because you felt so embarrassed for Vamp, having to sit there and take this.

Dario then introduced his “new concept” which “I came up with all on my own:” DARIO’S DIAL OF DOOM! As you can probably guess, it’s Raw Roulette. While TNA’s “Wheel of Dixie” was rage-inspiring, I thought this was great, and a large part of the reason for that was in the design. The “Wheel of Dixie” name was completely idiotic and showed literally zero thought. This, on the other hand, works because both the name and the physical wheel itself are so darn campy that it came across as meta-humor that you could laugh along with.

This, also, was not a random gimmick-match generator, but rather a wheel with names on it- assembled by Dario, of course- of anyone who is both a “credible contender” and who also hasn’t already lost to Matanza, and the wrestler whose name the spin lands on will get a shot at the Lucha Underground Title. Dario provided an example of someone who would not be in the wheel: Rey Mysterio Jr., because Matanza pinned him during the second Aztec Warfare match. That was the second time this segment they have subtly built the idea of Rey challenging Matanza, so that’s probably going to be something to keep an eye on this season.

It turns out that the title shot in question will happen right here, right now! Dario spins the wheel, and we get a…

LUCHA UNDERGROUND TITLE MATCH: “The Monster” Matanza Cueto(c) (w/Dario Cueto) vs. Son of Havoc- 5/10
So Son of Havoc gets screwed out of a title shot at Ultima Lucha II because of Dario’s treachery and we’re all supposed to be super angry about it… and then he just randomly gets one here? Doesn’t that totally kill the feud with Dr. Wagner Jr. and Famous B?

Vampiro said that “Son of Havoc coming off the ropes and hitting Matanza is like a pigeon hitting a building.” I laughed my ass off at that. The match was mediocre.

Johnny Mundo wants a shot at the Lucha Underground Title. Dario says that Johnny lost his last match, which was the Trios Title match at Ultima Lucha II. Johnny says that they only lost because of Angelico, but they already took care of him… and we get a flashback to the night of Ultima Lucha II where we see the Worldwide Underground jump Angelico and slam his leg in a car door multiple times. When we go back to Dario’s office, Dario is laughing his ass off along with the heels… but then he gets dark and serious and tells Johnny he still isn’t getting a Lucha Underground Title match. Johnny demands a shot at the Gift of the Gods Championship, but Dario won’t budge. They lost at Ultima Lucha II. Well… not all of them. Taya won her match at Ultima Lucha II, so Taya will get a shot at Sexy Star’s Gift of the Gods Title.

IVELISSE PROMO- there was something off about her delivery. It was kind of unnatural.
She notes that Catrina has now cost her two matches at Ultima Lucha, so she wants a match against Catrina at Ultima Lucha III. Catrina teleports to a balcony and says “bring it on, bitch!” which is a very un-Catrina thing to say.

The beginning of a perfectly good wrestling match cut short by an overbooked finish. And breaking up Johnny and Taya would be a TERRIBLE idea. They work so freakin’ well together. The Worldwide Underground beat Sexy Star down after the match, but Fenix, Aerostar, and Drago make the save. This felt like a very forced way to get these guys onto the show in the same segment as the Worldwide Underground. Not that they shouldn’t be making the save for Sexy Star, but you’d think that The Mack would have at least come out, too.

MARTY THE MOTH IN DARIO’S OFFICE- Apparently the Moth Tribe helped protect Dario while he was in jail. Dario thanks Marty for this, but asks that he not mention the fact that he was in jail to anyone else, because he’s totally definitely 100% innocent. So Marty has a bit of leverage of Dario now. Interesting.

We also got a reminder that Dario is Spanish, with absolutely no Aztec blood in him.

We find out that Dario has put Killshot’s dogtags (which Marty had stolen) on the line next week… in a “Weapons of Mass Destruction Match.” That has got to be the most unsafe match in wrestling history.

Rey’s mask has grown a white mohawk. Oh. Okay. Vampiro tells us that it’s Rey Sr.’s mask. Rey does have a small ponytail now, though. It’s weird.
Pentagon Dark distracts himself yelling at Vampiro, which allows Rey to recover and get the win… WITH A CANADIAN DESTROYER! Vamp walked away from commentary after Pentagon Dark yelled at him.

Pentagon Dark tries to break Rey’s arm but Dragon Azteca Jr. makes the save, all healed from his broken arm that for us was just one show ago. I’m not saying that this doesn’t make sense for his arm to have healed by now, but I think that this sort of dissonance has created a bit of a problem for this episode, which I will talk about in my overall summation of this show.

PRINCE PUMA & VAMPIRO IN THE LOCKER ROOM- a fantastic segment that sets Prince Puma’s direction. Both guys were great here, and music really added a lot as well.

This was a perfectly fine episode of LU and contained all of the elements you would want in a season premiere… except that it wasn’t exciting and it felt very small. There was a very short break between this season and last season, and between the disappointment of Ultima Lucha II- especially in regards to the major lack of payoffs to storylines- and the small feeling of the season three premiere, it feels like the only reason these two shows were in different seasons is because the first one was called “Ultima Lucha.” There was some stuff here that made it feel like it had been months since the last show (Dragon Azteca Jr.’s arm being healed and Vampiro not only being healed, but seemingly being able to just ignore that Pentagon Dark turned on him and assaulted him), but there was other stuff that made it feel like the normal one-week break (everything involving Dario was business as usual, last year’s feuds still going on, Prince Puma’s moping and the boss bailing Dario out, which is something I figured he’d want done quickly). It made the show feel both confusing and small.

I also really disliked Angelico being injured yet again. It’s basically a reset button. What is he going to do now? Make his big return during a match and cost the Worldwide Underground a big match again? As a regular episode of LU this would have been fine, but as a season premiere, it was disappointing.

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