LUCHA UNDERGROUND GIFT OF THE GODS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
El Dragon Azteca Jr.(c) vs. Ivelisse - 4.5/10
They did stuff. Striker was annoying.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Okay. X.O. Lishus and Joey Ryan showed up on top of the steps. I could have sworn that Joey got sacrificed just last week. Lishus tells Ivelisse that she had a great showing in defeat, and invites her to team up with them to become a trio. This segment on its own was good, but both the Joey thing and the completely forced way that this trio came together during the No Mas Match a few weeks ago makes it hard for me to enjoy them. I'm sure that will wear off in a few weeks, but for now it's just another sign that this show has ceased to be the storytelling giant it once was and has now become a promotion that feels like it moves at Russo-like speeds.
WINNER GETS A LUCHA UNDERGROUD TITLE MATCH NEXT WEEK:
Mil Muertes vs. King Cuerno - no rating, bad segment.
King Cuerno came out to the ring, then Mr. Cueto announced that we were going to have a #1 contendership match, right here, right now, against a man who hates King Cuerno with every fiber of his being: Mil Muertes. With no build. Isn't he supposed to be a promoter? I'm sure that next week's title match will have some gimmick added to it, too, and also for no reason. When Mr. Cueto said that there is someone else who has been "even more dominant" than King Cuerno has lately, I had absolutely no idea who he could have possibly been talking about because I could not think of anyone on any kind of winning streak. Giving it a bit more thought I now realize that Mil Muertes has won some big gimmick matches lately, but the fact that I had completely forgotten that shows how completely impactful these big gimmick matches have been.
They did the big, dramatic "trade punches form your knees" spot four minutes in. It felt like a shortcut that I knew was designed to get a reaction rather than a natural part of the match. In fact, that's how a lot of this match felt to me. That's what the whole product feels like to me right now. Shortcuts taken to try to get some sort of reaction from people rather than trying to get a reaction through earning it with storytelling.
They kept punching each other on the outside, then shoved the referee when he tried to tell them to get back in the ring. This resulted in a double DQ. They kept fighting and the punches were all great punches but it all just felt so empty to me. Yeah, they had a feud in season two or whatever, but is has barely mattered to anything since and I'm pretty sure they've interacted before and didn't hate each other this much. Then Mr. Cueto came out and said that even though neither guy won, "I reward violence" and thus their both getting the title shot next week. So in every #1 contendership match from now on, both guys should just assault the referee right away.
These two, who hate each other so much, stopped fighting to listen closely to Mr. Cueto's announcement, then started fighting again. Pentagon Dark came out to pose, then the other two brawled to the back. This whole thing felt so empty. It didn't feel like either of these men earned a f*cking thing. It felt like the writers wanted to a hot-shot a three-way match and also to not have either guy do a job, and to also just get Pentagon Dark on TV.
JAKE STRONG PROMO - Bad. He said that if the babyfaces win the trios titles, he's going to challenge for them all by himself. He said that he would win "because I'm a wrestler, and we all know that a wrestler beats a luchador every single time." He then unveiled a new catchphrase: "I'm going to snap your ankles because it makes me strong." UCH.
LUCHA UNDERGROUND TRIOS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
The Reptile Tribe(c) vs. AeroStar, Fenix, & Drago - 5.75/10
They clearly held some sort of funeral for Fenix after he died, but no one seems to find it in any way strange that he is back from the dead. They noted that he was behaving and moving strangely, but no one seemed surprised to actually be seeing him.
They did flips and superkicks and stuff. The story of the match was that Fenix would act weird when he wasn't tagged in, but it wasn't the kind of weird that made me wonder how his return from death was affecting his mind or anything like that. It felt like they just told him to act weird and so he acted weird, without any real reason why he chose this specific method of acting weird. He eventually turned on AeroStar, presumably for turning him into a bastardization of nature rather than allowing him peaceful rest. I'm not sure if we're supposed to think that Fenix returned to his right mind and then made the decision to attack AeroStar, or if this is just another thing they had him do to show us how weird he is now. It's also possible they're aiming for a middle ground where he is still crazy, but also is a full-fledged heel.
Matt Striker said something about the "Nephilim," (biblical giants mentioned in Genesis 6) "Grays" (alternative aliens to Little Green Men. Think Roger from American Dad), "Draconians" (I guess he's referring to the race from Doctor Who?) and some other race/species/group that I didn't catch. Tt's moment's like this when I am sure that he must have a picture of someone high-up in the company engaging in unspeakable acts with a child or farm animal or else he would have been fired- or at least made to re-record his commentary.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Melissa tried to ask Fenix why he did this but he first ignored her, then scared her by turning quickly, then shoved her down. In my head-cannon, Fenix's newfound insanity has given him delusions that Melissa has been cheating on him with Brian Cage. El Dragon Azteca Jr. came out to help Melissa.
For what they seem to want to do, this was a fine segment, but I personally think it would be a lot more interesting if Fenix was totally in his right mind and attacked AeroStar for making him a bastardization of the laws of nature by returning him from the land of the dead, but other than that still wanted to live his normal life again, so you had him trying to be friends with Drago and trying to be Melissa's boyfriend and yet both of them are having trouble trusting him because they are worried that he could go crazy on them at a moment's notice, and they're very sad about his feud with their friend AeroStar and won't support him in it, creating friction between them, which then further fuels their fears of him snapping on them.
MARTY THE MOTH VISITS MR. CUETO IN HIS OFFIC - Good. Marty bribes Mr. Cueto into giving him a Gift of the Gods Championship match next week, just like his sister Mariposa did a few weeks ago. He then gives Mr. Cueto some more money and says there is something else he wants... and then we go off the air with a cliffhanger. I now can't wait to see next week's episode. Why hasn't LU done on of these before?
Another disappointing episode of LU form a story-telling and wrestling point of view... but G-d damn does that cliffhanger have me. I just hope the payoff is worth the wait.