Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lucha Underground "Booyaka! Booyaka!" Review

A recap video catching us up opened the show.

Commentary officially announced that Rey Mysterio Jr. gets his Lucha Underground Title shot in four weeks.

Cueto Cup Second Round: The Mack vs. Texano
They worked in a mixture of hard hitting and fast paced stuff to start, leading to some mutual respect. Both guys got shine and picked up near falls. The Temple was really hot for this, which helped things along. They don't always love Texano (neither do I), but he was popular here. Famous B appeared (something I do like about Texano) and sprayed Mack with a water gun. Not a Super Soaker either. Mack hit him with a Stunner, but it distracted him enough to fall to a powerbomb at 6:13. Solid little match. Both guys did rather well, but it was nothing special. 4.5 stars for Famous B's appearance though. [**1/4]

Son of Havoc was shown at a bar, when Son of Madness arrived and stole his drink. They had a short fight, with Havoc saying he wasn't going back to the club. Madness promised he'd take him back, even if it was just his head.

Elsewhere, the Rabbit Tribe played checkers on Saltador's body. Mascarita Sagrada arrived with a gift. They still think he's their leader or some shit. They opened it to reveal a rabbit's foot, which freaked them out.

Cueto Cup Second Round: Lucha Underground Trios Champion Drago w/ Kobra Moon vs. Pentagon Dark
Surprisingly, this is their first match in Lucha Underground. Going back to season one, it'd be hard to imagine this with a heel Drago and face Pentagon, but here we are. Drago had control early, until Pentagon kicked his leg out and hit a belly to belly in the corner. Drago came back with his signature stuff, as this moved at a crazy pace. Pentagon survived a super rana and splash, before hitting an awkward looking Canadian Destroyer. Luckily, the camerawork was done in a way that made it look as good as possible. Drago was tripped up on the ropes and hit with the Package Piledriver, giving Pentagon the win at 7:55. Great back and forth sprint. Exactly what I want from these two. [***1/2]

Pentagon looked to break Drago's arm. Kobra Moon got in the ring and he murdered her with a superkick. He tried again, but Drago's former friend Aerostar came to his aid. Aerostar got booed for attacking Pentagon. Drago wasn't appreciative either, taking Aeorstar out. A pissed Pentagon then broke Aerostar's arm to a MASSIVE pop. Pentagon is so over, it's nuts. He should've won the title at Ultima Lucha Dos.

Pentagon walked backstage and Catrina appeared. She said she and Mil Muertes haven't forgotten that Pentagon cost Mil his chance in Aztec Warfare II. Pentagon responded with the "Cero Miedo" gesture. She did her weird disappear and reappear stuff, before saying Mil will be waiting for him in the Cueto Cup.

PJ Black vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Booking this was smart, as it adds to the build for Mundo/Mysterio. They had some solid exchanges in the early stages, with neither man gaining a clear advantage. In fact, almost each time one seemed to get something going, the other would cut him off. The pace quickened as things progressed, with Black nailing a Styles Clash and Rey hitting a tornado DDT. We got a ref bump, which brought out Mundo and Evans to jump Rey. Azteca made the save and sent them, as well as Taya, to the back. Rey countered a Razor's Edge and won with the 619 at 11:27. Solid main event, though some of the interference stuff late was annoying. I get that it fit the storyline, but it happens too often in Worldwide Underground matches. They're like, a way more talented Suzuki-Gun. [***]

Post-match, Rey promised to take the title in four weeks.

Overall: 7.5/10. The Cueto Cup has picked up in round two and that continued here. Mack/Texano was decent and gave us the incredible Famous B water gun spot. Black/Mysterio was solid despite the issues it had. The highlight was everything involving Pentagon. He killed it in a damn good match, an awesome post-match segment and the interaction with Catrina.

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 G1 Climax 27 Night Eight
July 27th, 2017 | Aore Nagaoka Arena in Nagaoka, Niigata | Attendance: 2,821

The WON ratings for the G1 so far came out last night and they are as wild as I expected. Anyway, we’ve got more B Block action as Kazuchika Okada takes on Satoshi Kojima after making some disrespectful comments about his age, while Gedo gives us Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin for the fifth time in a year and a half.

El Desperado and Zack Sabre Jr. def. Ren Narita and Shota Umino in 6:11
Ryusuke Taguchi and Togi Makabe def. Hirai Kawato and Yuji Nagata in 6:51
Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi def. Katsuya Kitamura, Kota Ibushi and Tomoyuki Oka in 7:14
BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito def. Gedo and Tomohiro Ishii in 6:22
Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI def. David Finlay and Hiroshi Tanahashi in 7:18

B Block: Juice Robinson [2] vs. Tama Tonga [2]
Juice came in selling the leg again. After some even grappling, Tonga attacked the leg for an advantage. Some of Juice’s offense had to be altered due to the injury, which I appreciated. SELL THAT LEG! He completely crumpled on a chop block. Tonga placed him in the Tree of Joey Lawrence and ripped off his protective tape. Someone watched Sabre/Tanahashi from night one. They went into a good series of counters, with Juice surviving the Headshrinker. He picked up a great desperation rollup for two, but fell to the Gun Stun in 10:36. Solid work here. I continue to enjoy Juice’s selling and role as a resilient babyface. He’s earned his spot here and is making good on his opportunity. Tonga was fine here. [***]

B Block: NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champion SANADA [2] vs. Toru Yano [2]
SANADA has been consistently good so far, and the crowd has been way behind him. Typical Yano antics early on, complete with “BREAK” shouting. SANADA didn’t care and still grabbed him. SANADA missed his big moonsault and nearly lost via rollup. SANADA scored with a dive outside and took Yano up the ramp. He tied him up, literally, with the Paradise Lock to win by countout at 4:33. This is how Yano matches are supposed to be. Short and to the point. Not sure why he couldn’t get pinned, though. Establishing the countout as a legit finish is good so we can buy into the teases more, but it’s not like Yano needs protecting. [**¼]

B Block: NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champion EVIL [4] vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki [4]
This was a first time ever match I was excited for. They began exactly the way I hoped, with EVIL attacking instantly. They brawled to the outside and fought through the crowd. It’s a staple of the G1 and especially their matches, so you knew it was coming. Suzuki wailed on EVIL with several chairs while El Desperado looked on. It led to a countout tease and though that finish has been established, I can’t buy it in two straight matches. EVIL changed the tide with his own chair attacks. I loved EVIL going for the throat cut taunt, only for Suzuki to grab his hand and twist it around. Unfortunately, we got a ref bump, which led to Desperado attacking EVIL. BUSHI ran out to a pop to save him and hit a suicide dive on Desperado. That would’ve been okay, but then Taichi got involved and Hiromu took him out to a pop. With them gone, the ref stopped Minoru from using a chair. EVIL escaped the sleeper and won with the STO at 8:38. Before the ref bump, that was awesome. I didn’t hate the interference, especially since LIDJ got huge pops, but it’s not what I want to see in the G1. When Minoru was in the G1 24, his matches weren’t riddled with this stuff. Hopefully, EVIL gets a title shot from this and they kill it at Destruction or something. [***]

B Block: IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada [6] vs. Satoshi Kojima [0]
They met in the G1 23 (****) and exactly two years ago today in the G1 25 (***¼). Okada made note of how he felt guys like Kojima and Nagata shouldn’t be in the G1 because they’re old and have no chance of winning. Dick. The fans were way into Kojima and booed Okada’s early offense. The disrespectful little shit even goes after Tenzan. He got too cocky and opened the door for Kojima to wail on him with MONGOLIAN CHOPS! Okada did the Rainmaker pose and went for the elbow, but Kojima fired up and knocked him outside. Okada beat the count, only to get lit up with chops. Kojima came close with a bit Koji Cutter and brainbuster, but we know Okada survives a ton. Kojima avoided the Rainmaker and hit a lariat to the back of the head, before countering a second with his own lariat, leading to a great near fall. Okada avoided another lariat, hit a dropkick, tombstone and Rainmaker to win at 15:26. See? Okada doesn’t have to work 20+ minutes for it to be great. He didn’t use his tired formula, making for an interesting match. He was a dick throughout, which is when he’s at his best. The atmosphere was insane for Kojima, who fought valiantly but it wasn’t enough. This was my second favorite Okada match of the year, behind only the Shibata one. [****¼]

B Block: IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega [6] vs. Michael Elgin [2]
It’s the Gedo Special! This is their FIFTH match about 15 months. I rated them like this: Road to Wrestling Dontaku (****), Dominion (***½), G1 26 (***¼) and G1 Special (****¼). They’re tied 2-2. There was clear focus and intensity from Elgin, so Omega had to match it and couldn’t mess around. As usual, they played into the power vs. speed game. They know each other well enough that they had counters ready. Omega did his best to compete with Elgin’s heavy shots, but would just get overwhelmed at times. At one point, Elgin hit a backhand that sounded like something out of an Ishii/Shibata match. Omega exposed the floor outside, which I believe is a callback to their first match. He tried a rana off the apron, but Elgin countered with a powerbomb. He tried a super Elgin bomb, only to have it countered into a rana. They continued to bring the big blows, like a sick Omega Jay Driller, V-Triggers and Elgin hitting the Buckle Bomb/Elgin Bomb combo for a wild near fall. Since that wasn’t enough, Elgin pulled out the Burning Hammer to hand Omega his first loss at 24:39. Much better than their G1 match last year, but not quite their best work. A quality match where they had to alter things because of how well they knew each other. Lots of huge offense here, as they threw everything at one another. [***¾]

Overall: 7.5/10. Arguably the best B Block show thus far. It was the first to not feature an overly long Yano match and had two high quality matches. Tonga/Juice and EVIL/Suzuki were good matches, with the latter being on the way to great before the overbooking. Omega/Elgin was their third best match together, making for a fitting main event. However, Okada/Kojima is where this show shined brightest though. It was my favorite B Block match so far.
Zack Sabre Jr.6 (3-1)Kazuchika Okada8 (4-0)
Tetsuya Naito6 (3-1)Kenny Omega6 (3-1)
Hiroshi Tanahashi6 (3-1)EVIL6 (3-1)
Bad Luck Fale4 (2-2)Minoru Suzuki4 (2-2)
Tomohiro Ishii4 (2-2)SANADA4 (2-2)
Togi Makabe4 (2-2)Tama Tonga4 (2-2)
Kota Ibushi4 (2-2)Michael Elgin4 (2-2)
Hirooki Goto4 (2-2)Juice Robinson2 (1-3)
YOSHI-HASHI2 (1-3)Toru Yano2 (1-3)
Yuji Nagata0 (0-4)Satoshi Kojima0 (0-4)