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Lucha Underground recap & review (Aug. 22, 2018): Violence, Violence, and More Violence!

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The eleventh episode of season four (August 22) for Lucha Underground featured a knife slash to the head, a pen to the throat, and a glass bottle cutting the face. Those weren’t even the moments that made me cringe the most. A Haunted House Match, a strongman vs a spaceman, a wedding shower, and a Last Man or Machine Standing fight filled the best episode of the season to date.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say, “Let’s find out who died.”

Melissa Santos & El Dragon Azteca Jr. dressing room scene

Melissa Santos was getting ready for the show with makeup utensils. She looked sad. Enter El Dragon Azteca Jr. to chat her up. They talked about her missing Fenix. Azteca put the Piedra Immortal half amulet around Melissa’s neck. (Catrina gave it to Melissa after Fenix’s demise.) He implied that Fenix is alive in her heart.

Pre-match beatdown: Melissa Santos & Catrina

Famous B was sitting ringside in a wheelchair. His presence would be no coincidence.

Vampiro was sweatily eating pumpkin seeds. Matt Striker snatched those seeds to chow down and also share with the Believers.

Melissa Santos did the introductions for the Haunted House Match. She did not introduce Catrina. It did not seem intentional to me, but Catrina disagreed.

Catrina walked over to Melissa and grabbed the microphone. “Now I know you’re not that smart, sweetheart, but you forgot to introduce me. So now do it the correct way, bitch.” Catrina shoved the mic into Melissa’s chest.

Melissa stood face to face. “No.”

Fight! Catrina kneed Melissa in the nuts, if she had nuts. Catrina smashed Melissa’s head into the steel cage.

Catrina got a flower vase, dropped it on the ground, Lick of Death, then slammed Melissa’s head to the floor onto the vase. (That’s what Matt Striker said. It looked like Melissa completely missed the vase.) Catrina picked up the half-broken vase and dropped it on Melissa’s head.

Back from commercial, Striker said Melissa was taken to a local medical facility.

Haunted House Match: Mil Muertes vs Mack

Pinfall or submission is the only way to win in this cage match. As Melissa Santos said with flair prior to her exit, “All weapons are legal.”

The outside was adorned with pumpkins, tombstones, and tables with writing such as Spooky, Boooo, and Haunted. The cage had weapons hanging. Inside, there were Halloween decorations.

Hefty blows from both competitors to start the match. Mil Muertes was more dominant throughout, while Mack relied on offensive flurries.

The first weapon shot was a kendo stick by Mil Muertes. Mil put a trash can over Mack’s upper body and whacked it. Next was a crowbar smash followed by trash can attacks.

Some highlights include an inside out power slam by Mil that appeared to drop Mack on his head, a pumpkin to the back of Mack, and Mil spearing Mack into a cage panel. It looked like the panel was supposed to pop open, but it didn’t. Mil did a second spear. No dice. Only the side was split a bit. Both competitors tumbled out. Mil would use that cage opening to squeeze tables into the ring.

Back inside the cage, more highlights include a flying crossbody block by Mil.

Oh, wait. MIL MUERTES HAS A F’ING KNIFE! A literal knife. A big kitchen knife with a curved blade. Mil kind of punched Mack with his hand on the handle. It was played as if Mil sliced Mack’s head. Mack bled, while Mil licked the knife clean. More punches/blade slices.

Mack and Mil did some dodging and dancing that led to Mack slamming Mil through a leaning table. Mil repaid the favor with a forearm shiver to send Mack through a leaning table.

Mil was setting up for a Flatliner through a table. Mack got ants in his pants and fought back. Stunner. Mil was still on his feet. Second stunner. Mil still standing. A third stunner put Mil on his back.

Mack put Mil on a table for a splash. As Mack was up top, Mil rose to action. Flatliner off the top rope through a table. 1, 2, 3.

Mil Muertes defeated Mack via being scary.

After the fight, Mil wanted Catrina to Lick of Death his fallen opponent. Catrina said, “No,” and left.

Jake Strong vs Aerostar

Luckily, Famous B was already in the Temple to take over as ring announcer. It took seven screws and three surgeries to heal him up.

”The following lucha is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first, (looks at card) oh shit...” B announced Jake Strong.

Jake Strong is 6’7”. It didn’t feel like he was that tall in WWE, but it is clearly evident against luchadores.

Power vs speed. Aerostar showed no fear. Highlights include a vertical suplex by Strong and Aerostar bouncing on the ropes for various maneuvers.

The finish had Strong toss Aerostar off the top turnbuckle down to the mat. Strong locked in his ankle breaker. Tap and attempted snap.

Jake Strong defeated Aerostar via submission.

Strong did not let go. Drago! Drago returned to make the save with nunchucks. He had fluffy white fluff on his dragon shoulders. Did he just get in from flying through the clouds?

Wedding Shower

The core four of Worldwide Underground were opening wedding shower gifts in the locker room. PJ Black gave a gift certificate to the Slamtown Spa & Resort. “Couples massages.”

Taya’s gift to Johnny Mundo was next. It was a painting of Johnny holding the Lucha Underground championship from when he reigned. The picture brought Johnny to tears of joy then sadness. It reminded Johnny of his title loss, or ‘stolen’ as he put it.

Taya informed Johnny of good news. She spoke to Antonio Cueto, and Johnny will have a Lucha Underground championship match one week after their wedding next week. “Next week, I take your hand in marriage. And the week after, I take back my Lucha Underground championship.” Boisterous chants of Slamtown erupted.

Outside the locker room, Ricky Mundo was acting as the bouncer. Agent Benjamin Cook attempted to get into the party. Ricky claimed Cook’s name was not on the list. “That’s cute, Ricky. Let me make it clear. I was invited, because I am useful to Johnny. I help his career. You are standing outside, because you are useless to Johnny and help no one.”

”He can’t talk to you like that,” from Rosa in the shadows. “You show him just how useful you can be. Show him, just like you showed Angelico.”

Ricky walked down the stairs to hand Cook a pen. “That’s nice, Ricky. Is this what you used to have Johnny sign all your autographs?” “Not anymore.” Close quarters maneuvering led to Ricky taking Cook from behind.

Multiple pen stabs to Cook’s throat. Rosa giggled, Ricky smiled maniacally, blood squirted everywhere.

”AHHHHHHH!” Cut back to the wedding shower and Taya was screaming with glee. Jack Evans gave her matching bandanas as a present.

Back to bloody Ricky and gurgling sounds of death from Cook. Rosa cackled, “Eehh yahh.”

Last Man or Machine Standing: Pentagon DARK vs Cage

The Lucha Underground championship was on the line.

Cage attacked when Pentagon DARK was strutting for fan adulation. Cage ripped Pentagon’s mask. Pentagon retaliated by smashing a bottle over Cage’s head. No effect.

Cage clotheslined Pentagon then broke a bottle to use the edge for facial reconstruction on Pentagon. We have blood.

This was an even match back and forth. Cage and Pentagon beat the crap out of each other with power moves.

Highlights include a Death Valley Driver by Pentagon through a leaning table, Pentagon with a flying double stomp onto a chair over Cage’s midsection, a toss powerbomb into the barrier by Cage, trash can violence, a vertical suplex by Cage off the apron to the outside through tables, suplex slam by Pentagon off the apron through a table, and a Drill Claw by Cage.

In the final chunk of the match, Cage brought out a cinder block. It looked more fragile than a crumbly biscuit. Pentagon cracked Cage’s head with a trash can lid. That led to a top rope Mexican Destroyer through a table by Pentagon.

While Cage was kaput, Pentagon tossed six chairs into the ring. Pentagon opened them up in two rows of three facing each other. Pentagon escaped a powerbomb. Drop toe hold to Cage face-first into the chairs. Kick to Cage’s cojones from behind. The next move was a package driver piledriver while standing upon the open chairs. That was so painful looking that it made my balls clench.

Pentagon used a chair to injure Cage’s arm. That opened the opportunity for Pentagon to snap Cage’s limb. And again on the other arm.

Cage rolled around the ring, inadvertently toward the cinder block. He did his best to rise before the count of ten. Without the use of his arms, Cage put his head on the cinder block as leverage to stand. Pentagon quickly attacked to stomp Cage’s head through the cinder block. Ten count. Out.

Pentagon DARK retained as the last man standing.

BEST EPISODE EVER!!!! Of the season at least. There is a good chance it is top ten overall from Lucha Underground’s four seasons. Or maybe not. What a testament to the depth of fantastic episodes over time.

The wrestling was vicious in the two feature bouts. An enjoyable kind of vicious in my book. Most everything made sense in context of the matches. It didn’t feel like meaningless sadism trying to be edgy (no light tubes, thumbtacks, or barbwire). Well, Mil Muertes using a knife to cut Mack’s head was over the top. Aside from that, thumbs up.

That was an interesting scene with Melissa Santos and El Dragon Azteca Jr. They could just be friends, but it felt to me that Azteca might have been testing the waters to slide into her heart. Either that or maybe Azteca knows a little something something and tried to give a hint to Melissa about how to bring back Fenix. PS. Azteca looks funny in his mask. It is like he has no upper lip.

The Melissa Santos vs Catrina feud reached level 9. I would say level 10, but there is more of the story to play out. I wonder if this leads to a tag match at Ultima Lucha Cuatro of Melissa and Fenix against Catrina and Mil Muertes. That is a variation of the classic Fenix vs Mil Muertes rivalry which I never expected. Sign me up.

Is Catrina the best heel in Lucha Underground? She’s doesn’t make many moves. When she does, oh goodness, do I want to see her receive comeuppance. Evidence of Ivelisse and Melissa Santos.

It is too bad Mack got destroyed for the most part, but it made sense in the story. I expect Mack to be out for numerous episodes. A knife wound to the head doesn’t heal quickly. Let’s hope we get the return of the Mack before the end of the season. I don’t know if it is wise to compete with Mil again. There is always that Killshot feud though. Heck, give me Mack vs Cage 3 at Ultima Lucha.

Jake Strong was strong. I still don’t care much about him, but I will tune in to see Strong against Aerostar and Drago. I wouldn’t be surprised if one stands on the other’s shoulders to form some Voltron offense. Strong might be taller even if they do that.

Worldwide Underground are great gift givers. I’d have to favor Johnny Mundo to win the Lucha Underground championship in two weeks after the punishment Pentagon DARK took.

Ricky Mundo is a freak. I’d like to see him against Nicky Santoro in a pen on a pole match.

Another character bit the dust. The injured/dead/sacrificed list is now Hernandez, Marty Martinez, Famous B, Big Bad Steve, Fenix, Jeremiah Crane, Mr. Pectacular, Cortez Castro, Mascarita Sagrada, Angelico, Sammy Guevara, Vinnie Massaro, the pizza delivery guy, Vibora, Mala Suerte, Saltador, Father Rick O’Shea, Cage, and Benjamin Cook. After seeing what Ricky Mundo did to Benjamin Cook, I removed the question mark from Angelico’s name. That string bean isn’t coming back.

I’ve always been lukewarm as a fan of Pentagon DARK. After his match with Cage, I jumped on the Pentagon wagon. Holy smokes was that an awesome fight. The grit and determination to dismantle the machine was intense. I won’t root for Pentagon, since his character is a butthead. But, I will cheer for the fight whenever he is there.

Share your thoughts about the episode. Who stole the show? What shocked you the most? Will you dress up at home to watch the wedding?

See you next week for the Lucha Underground nuptials of Taya and Johnny Mundo. I’ll leave you with the Fighting Spirit of the Haunted House Match.

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