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Lucha Underground recap and reactions (Aug. 16, 2017): Pier 6 Brawl

El Rey Network

Lucha Underground returned tonight (Aug. 16) with continuing drama and intrigue from the Temple of Boyle Heights. Here’s what happened and what we learned.

What Happened:

Cage is working out when Catrina appears. She gestures to the gauntlet and asks him if he even knows what it is. He just says “It’s mine.” She explains it’s dangerous magic that will completely consume him. When he mockingly suggests he just hand it over to her, she says that would be the easy way. Cage says he prefers the hard way. He tries to strike Catrina while wearing the gauntlet but she vanishes.

What We Learned:

  • Catrina has heeded the words of her mother. (By the way, how bonkers was that scene last week?) Not that I think she’s doing it because she’s a good daughter but because Vasquez promised to free her from her prison of living between worlds. Perhaps she also realizes how dangerous the game of the gods could be.
  • Feels like Cage/Mil Muertes is in the future and this is something that we’ll find out later in the show. Mil is the weapon that Vasquez is using to get the gauntlet from Cage. It wouldn’t be the first time Mil faced off a god, having mixed it up with Matanza in the past. He didn’t fare too well with that.

What Happened:

Dario is in his office when there’s a knock on the door. Enter Joey Ryan. Joey is there to report that the luchador Venino may really be Cortez Castro. Cueto seems concerned but has a solution. He books him against Sexy Star knowing her issue with spiders. And it’s a mask vs. mask match! He expects Sexy to easily expose him.

What We Learned:

  • Cortez Castro could be the worst undercover agent right now. Sure early on he did a great job, but since Joey arrived on the scene, he can’t keep his identity secret at all. I mean c’mon, dude. Maybe just stay home?

What We’ve Yet to Learn:

  • What will happen if Castro/Venino loses this one? Will he be awaiting the same fate as former crew member (and snitch) Mr. Cisco?
  • And what’s he still doing undercover anyway? Captain Vasquez already has a plan to get the gauntlet from Cage that’s much more competent than Castro I suppose there are other things to keep an eye on, but it seems like he’s just a liability at this point.

What Happened:

Prince Puma defeats Fenix to advance to the finals of the Cueto Cup.

Fenix looked to have things won but Marty the Moth came out with his lunch box and started harassing Melissa Santos. Fenix turned his attention to Marty, hitting a springboard moonsault onto him. But this allowed Puma to take control of the match for the win.

What We Learned:

  • Marty was always going to catch up to Fenix. He’s demented and obsessed and it was only a matter of time that this unpredictable pervert cost him a match. This is going to be a big time grudge match with plenty of emotion involved.
  • Melissa Santos continues to be awesome. She’s doing her part to sell this story and she’s excellent in doing so. He facial expressions during the match relaying how she cares about Fenix are apparent but not over the top. But I especially loved her realizing that she needs to announce the winner of the match, given it’s her job, while being distracted with the drama regarding Marty.
  • Puma and Fenix were as evenly matched as you can get. Two of the first three champions in Lucha Underground history were completely on par with each other. They were hitting similar moves early and countering with ease.

What Happened:

Mil Muertes is working a punching bag and hits it so hard that the tremors are felt around the temple. Catrina appears and says “Save some for Pentagon” when Cage ambushes Mil with a weight plate and knocks him out. Catrina uses her stone to revive him. She tells him Cage’s time will come. For now, use this anger to break Pentagon in two.

This leads right into Mil’s semi-final match with Pentagon Dark. After a long fight, where Mil Muertes nurses his right arm the entire time, Pentagon gets him down and looks to go up to the top rope. Catrina grabs Dark’s foot and he kicks her, knocking her to the ground. Pentagon then goes to the top and hits a stomp and pins Mil.

Afterwards, Pentagon tries to break Mil Muerte’s arm but the Man of a Thousand Deaths is too strong. Mil fights out and, slides out of the ring.

What We Learned:

  • Our Cueto Cup finale is VERY Vampiro heavy. It’s his former student Pentagon Dark vs. his current student Prince Puma. That adds a ton of intrigue to the finals. Is this what Vamp has been training Prince Puma for? For this moment where he can vanquish Vampiro’s foe? It should be quite interesting. It means he probably won’t say anything on commentary though. He’s very quiet when he’s invested.

What We’ve Yet to Learn:

  • Why Catrina’s magic stone stopped at Mil’s right arm? He was completely knocked out by Cage’s attack. Her stone revived him immediately but couldn’t fix his arm? Was it zapped and needed time to recharge? Maybe it’s like when you didn’t charge your iPhone prior to going out and then when you need to call a Lyft at the end of the night, you only have 5% battery.
  • Did Mil lose because Catrina was down? Despite being low on juice, that stone of Catrina’s has marked control over Mil. When she was knocked down by a Pentagon kick, did that contribute to Muerte’s inability to kick out?

What Happened:

Dario organizes a face to face between Johnny Mundo and Rey Mysterio to end the show because he loves “when his luchadors talk shit to each other.”

Johnny comes out with a wall of security so he can talk all the shit. He immediately brings up Dominic, who he knocked out the other week. He says Dominic must have gotten his size from his mother. He the implies that Rey isn’t his real father. (I mean, it could be Eddie, right?)

This was enough and Rey attacks despite the security. He’s able to get around security, but when the Worldwide Underground enters, the numbers are too much and he endures a beat down.

But here coms the Mack, Sexy Star, and El Dragon Azteca to even the score!

They fight, leaving Mundo and Mysterio in the middle of the ring but here’s Puma! And Pentagon! All four men start brawling, regardless of whether they’re fighting next week.

In comes Mil Muertes! And Cage! Down goes Rey! Down Goes Johnny!

And now Marty is here and Fenix right behind him! And the entire locker room at this point, including the Rabbit Tribe who are just watching from atop of Dario’s office.

Meanwhile Dario watches in delight.

It ends with Johnny taking a 619 from Rey who then holds up the title.

What We Learned:

  • Dario somehow got exactly what he wanted. He started with two guys who he wanted to see smack talk each other and somehow got to enjoy a full pier 6 brawl. Maybe it was his plan. Maybe it just worked perfectly. But for a man who’s going through some things, this was likely catharsis.
  • Rey does have backup for next week. While much of the brawl became random, Mack, Sexy Star, and Dragon Azteca were clearly out there to help settle the numbers. Perhaps this part of the brawl will continue next week?

What We’ve Yet to Learn:

  • How many Ultima Lucha Tres previews did we see? Obvious the winner of the title match and the winner of the Cup will be fighting, but we don’t know who that is yet. (Though they likely exchanged blows at one point tonight.) But we saw Cage and Mil Muertes battle. We saw Marty the Moth and Fenix battle. Killshot and Dante Fox exchanged blows. I haven’t kept an eye on the number of episodes (I’m weary to google anything Lucha Underground related in fear of spoilers) so I don’t know if we’re just a couple months until the end of the season or if we’re 4 months until the end of the season. If it’s the latter, I can’t imagine they stretch all of these feuds but maybe.

My match of the night: Fenix vs. Prince Puma

It was the fact they built these two cornerstones of the promotion as such equals early on that it made the match feel bigger. Of course, both men hit hard and fast and are a joy to watch. While the more standard distraction finish was a bit disappointing, the rest lived up.

I was unfortunately a bit let down with the other offering between Mil Muertes and Pentagon Dark, expecting it to be a more epic between these two dark presences.

My non-match segment of the night: The closing brawl

Usually pro wrestling brawls come up short, but this one was great. Part of it was that the build started logically. Here’s Johnny and Rey (with Johnny being a delightful douchebag), then of course come the Worldwide Underground, and then some allies of Rey to neutralize them. The two men facing in the Cueto cup also makes a bit of sense since both assume they’ll win and want to let the the winner of the title match know they’ll be waiting.

Then all hell broke loose and by that time, I was all in. The transition from logical story progression to nutty melee was seamless.

Plus, the Rabbit Tribe opting to watch from the top of Dario’s office was a great touch.

Overall thoughts:

This was a fun episode as per usual. While the backstage scenes weren’t as awesome as last week, part of that is because the Vasquez/Catrina scene last week was one of the best they’ve ever done.

But this episode did a great job hyping next week and likely, Ultima Lucha Tres.

We’ll be back next week for the finale of the Cueto Cup!

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