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Posted in: The Green Room
SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND *Lite* : S3E34 - Career Opportunities
By Ryan "Leaf" Plant
Sep 16, 2017 - 1:14:22 PM




LITE EDITION.
Career Opportunities


Hello as always Believers. If you've been following me on Twitter, you'll have probably seen my tweets lately about my illness last week. I had come down with the dreaded man-flu: the real strain of it, not the excuse type! From Monday to Wednesday night last week, I worked out I'd had around ten hours sleep due to going into what could be described as violent coughing fits any time I was starting to drift off. To you parents out there, I don't know how you can even function on no sleep! You have my respect.

I'm only just out of the woods and we've had another episode since then so I have decided to do what I call a Lite edition for the first time since midway Season 2, because of this. I hope you respect that, as it was a lot easier for myself to get this out there and I’ll have the usual column up soon. Thanks for understanding.



DRAGO VS. THE MACK
Aztec Medallion Decided
Rudo or Ruthless?
Slip or Story?

First off, I have to say, seeing the blood red of Drago is just awesome. It was such a simple change and yet it symbolizes the fury that he embodies now, the evil inside of him. You could say this about anyone who needs a repackage in any promotion, not that Drago needed one mind you, but sometimes you don't have to change too much. Less is more here.

The problem that The Mack found was that the “less is more” principle doesn't apply when dealing with several reptiles at once following his big loss. He needed some backup. Though he fought Drago in what I found to be a truly exciting match for the few minutes that they performed, he fell victim to the Season 3 Curse of interference. Given the fact that the Reptiles hold the Trios Championships, I do find it odd that one of their members won an Aztec Medallion. Saying that, Ultima Lucha is four weeks long this time, so it might not be impossible to see Drago compete in both singles and Trios competition. If that's the case, they certainly set up the seeds for Mack to challenge for the Trios titles here – something that I suggested would be a great idea during the mid-season break. He's so popular as a performer but it just doesn't look like a permanent spot in the Main Event has opened for him yet.

In terms of his partners, you have to imagine that Aerostar would be the most obvious choice. His arm is currently broken of course and time is running out to get him onto the Ultima Lucha card, but maybe just maybe, he'll be fit enough by then to help assist another hot tecnico. I'm not too sure how the characters of Mack and Aerostar could play off each other but the same things were said about Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc, right? Of course, there would have to be the third partner, and this is where I'm truly stuck. I would love to say Killshot would make a ton of sense, having arrived in Lucha with Mack, but I imagine that his certain upcoming match with Dante Fox will have some form of unforgiving stipulation attached to it, and I doubt he'll be able to compete during another week of Ultima Lucha. Sexy Star could be a possibility with their history, if she pulls double duty that is. Though not currently announced, it seems like she's headed into a clash with Taya. Son of Havoc has also shown himself to be a friend lately, though he too would be double booked as a result. Other than that, I'm truly stumped my friends. Maybe Daga is alive after all?!

How do I rate Drago's chances of emerging with the Gift of the Gods title? Slim at best. He is not being booked the same way that he was throughout the first season as one of the top title contenders. Though I praise Lucha Underground for the absolute majority of things that they do, they really killed off the dragon's momentum with his insane losing streak during Season 2. I think this Medallion may be used as a vehicle for something more – such as Aerostar making his return from his predicament in order to try to beat some sense into his former friend this time around.

I couldn't comment on the match too much here as it wasn't long enough. It had the spots you would normally expect from these two men – chops, German Suplexes, kicks, hurricanranas, a Kobra Moon distraction and the ultimate deciding move: The Dragon's Lair. Hell, we even got a post-match Stunner. This was more about setting up a future contest though, and that's not a bad thing.


JOEY RYAN vs. CORTEZ CASTRO
Aztec Medallion Decided
Not a Cop-Out!
Castro on Borrowed Time?

For those who looked at this match and thought this would be a comedic affair, you weren't exactly right. Sure, this match had some hilarious spots, I mean, who wouldn't find cops having hot coffee poured down their trunks and their nether regions being tazered hilarious? And yet, compare this to some of the spots in the Believer’s Backlash match between Famous B and Mascarita Sagrada earlier in the season, and you can safely say that these spots were far more brutal too!

One of the key points that I took away from this match was the commentary. Vampiro and Striker are kept in the dark when it comes to many events around them. That's no secret. However, they did seem to speculate about whether or not the two men before them had some form of link to the fuzz. It's a worthy observation to make, as the Biker Brawl between Havoc and Madness was due to their own common connection. I do wonder whether the two will find out the truth for sure as it's probably THE story that they've been none-the-wiser on for the longest time, this has been two seasons in the making now! Personally, I felt it would have been a better move to have had the commentators find out before this match so that they could help to sell the story.

BUT, the wrestlers did a brilliant job of telling the story themselves. When watching this match, I enjoyed it more than any other match in Lucha for a long time and I think it’s because they did so well to convey their feelings. Maybe it’s because they had more story-specific weapons to play with than Havoc and Madness did - something that we hadn’t seen since Marty and Killshot earlier in the season. Honestly though, I think they balanced the comedy and the serious nature just right. For every donut spot, there was a uranage onto a police car.

I thoroughly enjoyed this match and I think that the right man won as it makes us wonder now whether Castro has avoided the same fate that was suffered by his fellow Crew members. With a medallion, he is one win away from a Lucha Underground Championship opportunity, and maybe that shot will give him one hell of a reason to stay fighting in the Temple, something that Dario would grant as long as he keeps bringing the violence. If he loses, he has no reason to stay, and no reason to feature in Cueto’s plans. It’s going to be one hell of a ride. At the very least, he can say that he won the TEMPLE GOD this week for finally putting away his rival.


THE RABBIT TRIBE vs. MATANZA CUETO
Fighting Rabbits
The Wrong Opponents?
What is the Point?

This episode’s main event has been called a squash by a number of columnists, but I disagree with them all. Did they watch the same match? The Rabbits were heavily dominant over the Monster until the end of the match. In a surprising move, they kept the God-powered beast at bay with an array of dropkicks. I enjoyed the fact that Lucha Underground gave the Rabbits a fair amount of offence as it would have been wrong to have three Aztec Medallion holders surrender so easily. Honestly though, was there no other three man combo that they could have put against Matanza? That’s just under half of the Aztec Medallion field having been defeated by one single opponent, no matter how much of a fight that they delivered.

The biggest problem that I had with this was Matanza himself. It’s strange, just the other week I was praising the decision to keep The Monster off TV as his character had grown somewhat stale. However, the moment that I saw him in the ring once more, nothing had changed for me. I don’t know if you feel the same. The problem with Matanza is that he has shown some vulnerability now - which makes him and Mil almost exactly the same. Matanza came into the show just as Mil Muertes started to look weak for the first time but now, both of the monster heels are failing to look unstoppable. Even in this match, he took several blows from three of the lower tier characters in the Temple. If you compare that to his demolition of star upon star in Aztec Warfare II, he has still lost a step.

Honestly though, I don’t know if I’d want him to be unstoppable either. We’ve seen that before. This is a man who kills other luchadors, and there’s only so many ways they can put up some believable roadblocks to stop him reaching the top again. For me, the greatest joy (and often a curse) of a monster heel character is the possibility of seeing how they’d react to being truly humanized. Dario told his brother just the other week that the Gods might be unforgiving if he cannot control his human emotions. I want to know what would happen now! Nothing else entertains me anywhere near as much as the thought of a human Matanza struggling to come to terms with his own actions.

Nevertheless, this was a good enough match to reintroduce us to the monstrous Cueto, and as we ended up seeing on Episode 100, it proved to be the perfect warm-up.


That’s it for this column as I’m focusing on getting up the next one almost immediately afterwards. Until next time, don't stop believing and thank you for reading.







WANT TO GO DEEPER UNDERGROUND?



The Lordsofpain Columns forum is very much like Lucha Underground – anyone can appear at any point, and they all have a story to tell. Here are some of my favourite recent pieces:

TimR argues that the casual viewers still matter in Unsanitary Truth Sauce: Old Man Tim - Back in my Day

DynamiteBillington raises the point that the WWE could learn a lot from other sports in Bull from a Bulldog: Sports Entertainment

TypeItInMaan assesses the John Cena Problem in Is the 3 Count Enough to Pin Cena?


  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND Special: Tying Up Loose Ends

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E39 - Ultima Lucha Tres Part 3

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E38 - Ultima Lucha Tres Part 2

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E37 - Ultima Lucha Tres Part 1

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E36 - Rise of the Ring Announcer

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E35 - Cien

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND *Lite* : S3E34 - Career Opportunities

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND Special: An Interview with Ricky Reyes (Cortez Castro)

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E33 - Havoc Running Wild

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E32 - The Cueto Cup