Lucha Underground S03E23: Family First





Lucha Underground S03E23: Family First

By Big Red Machine
From June 21, 2017

Lucha Underground S03E23: Family First
MELISSA SANTOS & FENIX RENDEZVOUS IN THE PARKING LOT - Romance is budding! Fenix says he will win the Cueto Cup for Melissa. Awwwww. Meanwhile, Marty "The Moth" Martinez watches this from a warehouse across the street and becomes so enraged that he headbutts one of the windows out. He looked remarkably free for a man who we last saw bound in rope from his ankles all the way up to his neck.

Striker and Vampiro quickly run down last week's Cueto Cup results, hype up the tournament, then pitch it over to Melissa Santos, who has apparently changed out of the tight dress she was wearing in the earlier segment into a different tight dress.

CUETO CUP FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Vinny Massaro vs. Cage- DUD!


Striker calls Cage's gauntlet "mysterious" but, as far as Striker knows, it's really not. He hasn't seen it crackle or shoot lighting or glow or whatever. The story here was that Cage had Massaro heavily out-matched because Massaro's gimmick seems to be that he's slob. Even so, he got way more offense in than he needed to. I think what they were trying to do here was show us Cage getting very angry and aggressive when Massaro grabbed his magical gauntlet, but they failed at that for two reasons. First, Cage's facials and body language did not support that at all. Secondly, even if they had, it think it was a big mistake to have Massaro try to hit Cage with the gauntlet. Setting aside for now the fact that he did so right in front of the referee so he must have known he would be DQed if he did so, the simple fact is that a guy trying to hit you with a foreign object when you've been wrestling a clean match is something that we would expect someone to get angry about. I think it would have been much better for Massaro to only pick it up (or maybe even better to just look at it and not touch it at all) because it would make Cage's aggression (had there been any) feel less reasonable. The idea seems to be that Cage is "addicted" to the gauntlet as if it were the One Ring, and so the best way to get that over, IMO, is to piggyback off of Tolkien by having Cage engage in behavior that will help viewers draw the connection to the ring, and the most notable behavior associated with bearing the One Ring is lashing out in anger at anyone who seems to be plotting take it away from you.

I also didn't like the fact that the referee made no attempt to get the gauntlet away from Massaro and no effort to get it out of the ring once it was loose again.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Didn't like it for different reasons. It seems to be that (especially after last week's events) Cage hitting someone in the head with that thing should result in instant death, usually accompanied via head explosion. Massaro didn't even appear to be anything more than concussed.

REY MYSTERIO JR. VIDEO PACKAGE & PROMO - Awesome!

JOHNNY MUNDO VIDEO PACKAGE & PROMO - Also awesome!

CUETO CUP FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Marty "The Moth" Martinez vs. Saltador- 6.5/10


They did a good job incorporating just the right amount of weirdness for their characters without going overboard with it. Everything they did with Marty and Melissa Santos was good, especially her professional and yet clearly unhappy announcement of his victory. Despite his creepiness I was rooting for Marty because Saltator's full-body checkered ring gear is painful to have to look at, so the less of him I see the better.

MASCARITA SAGRADA, PAUL LONDON, & MALA SUERTE BACKSTAGE - I had totally forgot that the Rabbit Tribe considered Mascarita Sagrada to be their god. This could lead in a number of interesting directions that could wind up going anywhere from the Rabbit Tribe turning on Sagrada to them helping him win this next match, eventually leading to them challenging for the Trios Titles with him Mascarita finally joining them by taking out Kobra Moon on the outside at a big moment.

MARTY THE MOTH HAS A CREEPY MELISSA SANTOS SHRINE COMPLETE WITH A LOCK HER HAIR THAT HE SNIFFS - This should surprise no one. What did surprise me is that he has managed to keep it hidden even though it appears to be located inside The Temple.

Mariposa appeared to claim that his love for Melissa has made him weak. It sure didn't look like it to me watching that last match. They were very creepy together. They also built up the possibility of the two of them facing off in the second round in Mariposa wins in tonight's main event. They made sure to put over the mantra of "family first," and after Mariposa left Marty said that he would just have to make Melissa "part of the family." Then he put the picture of her in his tights and appeared to masturbate with it.

CUETO CUP FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Mascarita Sagrada vs. Pindar (w/Kobra Moon) - 5/10, but...


The match was mostly enjoyable in a vacuum (although Kobra Moon throwing a punch that made physical contact with Mascarita Sagrada definitely should have been a DQ), but your big scary monster should not have this much trouble beating a mini. At this point, I don't understand why Mascarita Sagrada is still on this show. Yes, he's got that thing with the Rabbit Tribe, but this match seemed like a tailor-made opportunity to advance that storyline and yet the Rabbit Tribe never showed up.

CUETO CUP FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Fenix vs. Mariposa - 6.5/10


Striker points out that Fenix is the first-ever LU Triple Crown Champion. I totally forgot he had ever been Lucha Underground Champion. The match was very good, but was brought down my Fenix not taking Mariposa seriously for a good chunk of it (although, in his defense has she ever actually won a match of even moderate importance?

Vampiro says that Mariposa "is someone who has been beaten and thrown around all her life. She likes this." How does Vampiro know that either of these things are true?

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Marty The Moth comes out to attack Fenix, and we see Melissa Santos looking on in concern. Fenix makes his own comeback, and even gets the better of both Moth Tribe siblings at the same time when Mariposa tries to get involved. Normally I wouldn't like the babyface getting the best of the heels in a situation like this, but I liked it here because I think Marty works best when he is angry, and the parameters of this Marty/Melissa/Fenix story definitely lean more towards a situation where they should want me to be afraid of what Marty might do next week rather than the usual wanting to see Fenix come back and get his revenge.

Final Thoughts
This was a very meh show from LU. I have a feeling that many of these first-round shows are going to be, but the way to make these shows feel more exciting is to give us more important/newsworthy backstage segments. We really didn't get that here for anything that didn't have to do with the Melissa, Fenix, and the Moth Tribe. After the major events of last week's show I was expecting follow-up to Drago's turn as well as the cops investigating Councilman Delgado's death. I'm sure Captain Vasquez could have provided us with an insightful- or at least teasing- flashback upon surveying the crime scene, whether about Delgado himself, the big Dr. Claw-style boss, or the magical gauntlet (if she knows about it and could recognize its handiwork).

Also, if I was booking this show I definitely would have held off on the Mariposa vs. Fenix match until next week, just to get that story on the show and moving forward in back to back weeks instead of just one.

STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES


1. Matt Striker says that if Vinny Massaro wins the Cueto Cup "then I guess Sacco and Vanzetti did not suffer in vain."
Please explain to me how to men executed for a crime they did not commit almost a century ago would have any connection whatsoever to a wrestling tournament in which one of the wrestlers happens to have ancestors from the same country they were from. Just the idea that someone winning a wrestling tournament a century later could possibly, in any way, be viewed as some bit of good coming out of two wrongful executions is just so... WHAT TYPE OF PERVERSE IMBECILE WOULD EVEN THINK OF SOMETHING LIKE THIS, LET ALONE SAY IT OUT LOUD TO OTHER PEOPLE?

Can we please just fire whichever executive it is that Striker is either blackmailing, bribing, or blowing in order to keep his job despite being the worst announcer currently going on TV (and that includes Percy Watson, Booker T, Byron Saxton, JBL, and Kevin Kelly) so that we don't have to put up with this f*cking idiot anymore?

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