Each and every episode of Lucha Underground features maneuvers, quotes, outfits, props, scenes, and stories that deserve recognition. That is where the Tope 10 comes in. This list shows appreciation for the moments which are more exciting than a flying tope.
If you are new to the Lucha Underground scene, you can catch it Wednesdays at 8pm ET/PT on the El Rey Network or buy seasons one, two, and three on iTunes. See if El Rey is available in your area.
More good news for those who are waiting for Lucha Underground to hit a channel near you. Last week announced Lucha Underground is now available on AT&T U-Verse. This week's announcement is for DirecTV Now.
If you haven't had a chance to watch this week's episode yet, check out the preview, live blog & open thread, recap, highlight package, and the feature bout of the evening between Pentagon DARK and Hitokiri. If you enjoy physicality in your wrestling, then I recommend giving that match a whirl on your viewing device.
10. "Still in the ring from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico..."
That line being repeated by Melissa Santos throughout the night made me laugh. The way she emphasized, "Still in the ring," caused me to giggle for some reason. It's like she hasn't let go of the grudge (which I can't blame her) for when Pentagon tried to break her arm and is disappointed that Pentagon hasn't been killed by ninjas yet.
I also enjoyed referee Marty Elias calling Pentagon, "Cabron," various times during the night.
9. Hunk of burning love
Jeremiah Crane used to date Catrina? Say what? Catrina seductively said, "You're the one who brought me here." Where's here? What's going on? Jeremiah still loves Catrina instead of Ivelisse? Jeremiah has a hunk of that burning love in the form of a necklace? So many questions from a scene none of us expected.
I'm very interested to see how this story fleshes out, since there seems to be quite a few holes on the surface. Plus, count me all the way in for a feud between Mil Muertes and Jeremiah Crane. Crane seems like the type of mad man that would take tremendous physical punishment yet still keep coming back with fists blazing to fight. That kind of competitor is right up Mil's alley to produce an entertaining match.
By the way, the man that Catrina loves better be Mil Muertes and not that fancy boy, Fenix, or worse, someone else. I've always liked the idea of Catrina and Mil being the Temple's power couple. They had a rough patch with Fenix getting some tongue, but they might have healed things up romantically. The two did share a smooch after Mil defeated Prince Puma in Grave Consequences III. I'm not sure they kissed at all during season two.
Last thought, Ivelisse needs to go eat some Bagel Bites with Son of Havoc's mom in an effort to win that man back.
8. Broken arms McGee
The final act of vengeance for the evening belonged to El Dragon Azteca Jr. as he snapped Pentagon DARK's remaining good arm. It was a very fitting conclusion that I did not see coming. I had a good chuckle when Pentagon appeared in a motorized wheelchair during season two, so imagine my delight at envisioning Pentagon now going through life with two broken arms. How is he supposed to eat or clean up after going to the bathroom? That amusement is why this moment makes the list. I hope we get some funny scenes with Pentagon in double casts.
7. "Come with me."
Eek! Prince Puma was awoken from his casket slumber by Vampiro. Vampiro's makeup was creepy to the max with a bludgeoned eye and slit throat. I certainly would not be going with him if that was the first face I saw when being resurrected.
6. Roof top crossbody
What did you think of last night's episode of #LuchaUnderground? Miss it? Get it on @iTunesTV: https://t.co/YIoBDacj8r #BlackLotusTriad pic.twitter.com/PodPY7dgIb— Lucha Underground (@LuchaElRey) December 1, 2016
Not much needs to be said about this maneuver by Hitokiri. Second story flight is always going to be a rush.
Cero Miedo! Ninjas! TONIGHT, don’t miss Pentagon Dark vs. the Black Lotus Triad on a new #LuchaUnderground at 8p ET on @ElReyNetwork! pic.twitter.com/F4gtt3zSmu— Lucha Underground (@LuchaElRey) November 30, 2016
Hitokiri shot out of the gate with a missile dropkick then followed by a moonsault to the outside of the ring. Her moonsault looked impressive with the speed she climbed the ropes for liftoff and the snap she got on her rotation. I liked the moonsault better than the roof top crossbody. The moonsault moment felt fresh, and I'm becoming a little desensitized to death defying leaps from high above.
I would also accept a trade in this spot for the Far East Destroyer Hitokiri used to win her match.
I'm intrigued to see the story direction Hitokiri heads next. It looks like she will be the delegate to do the bulk of the Triad's in-ring fighting, since she pinned Pentagon and is healthy in comparison to her injured comrades. I'm anticipating a match against El Dragon Azteca Jr., since his issues are not over with the Black Lotus Triad. Azteca vs Hitokiri should be dope.
4. Flying elbow into arm breaker
To finish the Doku match, Pentagon caught her second high-flying elbow drop into an arm breaking position. SNAP! I enjoyed the creativity of that finish. The sequence flowed perfectly, unlike the package piledriver finish to the Yurei match. While neat to see, that setup felt more blatant.
3. 215 pound dropkick
After Doku opened with slaps of fire and a kick to the nads, Pentagon charged forward with a dropkick that sent her from the middle of the ring into the turnbuckles. It was a pretty cool visual to see Doku tumbling through the air after impact.
The Triad ladies really know how to take a whooping. They flail their limbs and bump their bodies to maximum effect. I like to think that wrestlers know how to protect themselves as best they can from actual pain, but sometimes it looks like it just plain hurts, such as when Hitokiri got thrown onto the chairs.
To make their characters look as legit as their performances, the two broken-armed ninjas accompanied Black Lotus for her turn. They don't need any medical attention while there is still business to attend to. Got to be impressed by that toughness, in character and out of character.
2. Black Lotus 2: Breakin' Boogaloo
It was fantastic to see Pentagon finally get his just deserts. After all the arms Pentagon has broken in the Temple, I consider Black Lotus breaking his arm as justice served. I had hoped she would have taken Pentagon's mask as well. Not that I want to see him unmasked, but more that I wanted to see Black Lotus give him the ultimate FU. That would have been very satisfying and could have still allowed El Dragon Azteca Jr. his moment in the sun by breaking Pentagon's other arm.
1. Question mark of blood
Dario Cueto was set to offer his brother a title match for next week. Instead, Matanza demanded Rey Mysterio. Dario's expression as he saw blood on Matanza's fists perfectly set the mood of the scene. Matanza isn't messing around.
There were plenty of eye widening moments in this episode, however, Matanza pounding Mysterio's patented question mark of out blood from his own fists was truly a holy shit moment for me. It was absolutely terrifying. Even more terrifying than Vampiro's noises of eroticism to violence. I genuinely fear for Rey's life next time they meet in the ring.
In last week's poll, 30% of 126 votes predicted Pentagon DARK would run the gauntlet with four victories. 32% went with 3 victories. A different 30% believed in 2 victories. 2% chose 1 victory, while the remaining 6% thought the Triad would run a train on him for zero victories by Pentagon.
How does this week's Tope 10 stack up to your list? Any favorites not included? If you were late to the viewing party, feel free to share your thoughts about anything in the episode. While waiting for next week, check out the always excellent Shifting the Spotlight articles by J.K. McMillen for Kairi Hojo (Doku) and Io Shirai (Hitokiri). Also, head over to Hot Topic to pick up some Lucha Underground t-shirts. If you are in the Los Angeles area, there will be a Lucha Underground screening and live Q&A on Saturday, December 3 at the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank. Lastly, enjoy some post-match words from your current Lucha Underground champion, Johnny Mundo, and a vignette promo.
We caught up with Johnny Mundo after winning the #LuchaUnderground championship against Sexy Star. Hear what he has to say! pic.twitter.com/UqH0L2U7vw— Lucha Underground (@LuchaElRey) November 26, 2016
Lucha! Lucha! Lucha!