Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lucha Underground "Bloodlines" Review

The Cueto Cup continues and Gift of the Gods Medallions are on the line!

Gift of the Gods Aztec Medallion: The Rabbit Tribe vs. The Worldwide Underground w/ Jack Evans
Ricky Mandel was dressed just like Johnny Mundo. The winning trio would all get medallions. There wasn't much to this. Taya got some shine, while the Rabbit Tribe were pretty fun. Paul London's excitement at Taya hitting running knees on him and his buddy in the corner was comical. As expected, Madel was the weak link, losing to a London SSP at 4:27. Decent fun. [**]

Worldwide Underground's new manager was not happy with their loss and neither was Johnny Mundo. Mundo decided to keep them around but the manager wanted them fired. However, Mundo told them to step up.

Cueto Cup Quarterfinals: Jeremiah Crane vs. Mil Muertes w/ Catrina
There's a little extra behind this, with Crane and Catrina's mysterious past. Mil jumped Crane during his entrance before the commercial. When they returned, Dario officially made it a No DQ outing and Mil just tossed him through a door. They brawled around the Temple before entering the ring for the official start. They still went back outside, where Crane lapped the ring, only to run into a huge spear. The violence only got amped up, including a backbreaker on chairs, slamming a chair onto an open chair onto Mil's throat, a powerbomb on a table and a cannonball through another. Crane made the mistake of jumping into a Flatliner to lose in 14:04. The intensity to that was off the charts. A great, violent brawl that was the kind of thing I love from Lucha Underground. [***3/4]

Post-match, Catrina kissed Crane on the mouth, causing Mil to hit him with another Flatliner.

An FBI agent entered Dario Cueto's office, as the order's official replacement for Delgado. Dario was unaware of Delgado's death, but said he never liked him anyway. The order isn't upset because everyone who has a God placed in their body has some issues. He said he's a Pentagon Dark fan and that everyone's flesh will fry when the "great war" comes. The order is everywhere and they'll make sure Gods rule again.

Cueto Cup Quarterfinals: Pentagon Dark vs. Texano
During this match, Famous B and Brenda came down, since they're courting Texano as a client. Texano and Pentagon had a solid brawl, which worked to the strengths of both men. Texano busted out an Indian death lock, which was very surprising. I don't believe I've ever seen him do that. After he got a near fall on a leg lariat, Famous B slid in a horseshoe. Pentagon intercepted and whacked Texano with it to win at 6:09. It started with some good action, but became more about Famous B once he showed up. [**1/2]

After the match, Pentagon looked to break Texano's arm. Famous B entered to stop him, telling Pentagon to back off. Pentagon superkicked him and broke his arm. Not done, he also broke Brenda's arm. Petagon remains wildly over despite his stalled momentum.

Next week, we get the semi-finals of Puma vs. Fenix and Pentagon vs. Muertes. Despite those guys being the Mt. Rushmore of Lucha Underground, and there being a Mil/Pentagon feud in season two, those matches feel fresh. Kudos to the booking.

In the police station, Catrina appeared in Captain Vasquez's office. They knew each other and Vasquez said she needs her help with Cage's gauntlet. Vasquez said she gave Catrina life with the medallion they share. There was a fantastic shot of them both holding the medallions at similar angles to form one. She said the only man who can get the gauntlet is Mil. OH MY GOD THE POTENTIAL IN MIL VS. CAGE! Catrina said she's in purgatory, in between life and death because of the medallion. Vasquez offered her half of the medallion, losing her own immortality, if Catrina could get the gauntlet. It was revealed that VASQUEZ IS CATRINA'S MOTHER! WHAT? Love the plot twist.

Overall: 7.5/10. This is one of those episodes that Lucha Underground does so well. The Crane/Muertes match was the only thing to stand out from an in-ring perspective, but this show nailed everything else. Pentagon's post-match stuff, the FBI agent/Dario angle and the big Catrina moment at the end were all awesome.

Want to watch Lucha Underground, Raw and Smackdown and don't have cable? Try signing up for Stream USA, El Rey, NBA TV, SyFy and many other channels by getting right here!

Raw History: Episodes 106-108

Raw History
Episode #106
April 10th, 1995 | Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

Following last week’s cliff hanger ending, we with some quick clips of what we missed last week. We will see the full footage later tonight. Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary, standing in front of some more awful green screen effects.

Adam Bomb vs. Tatanka w/ Ted Dibiase
Okay, Tatanka’s run with the company should be over soon right? Vince tries to hype the fact that Adam Bomb was popular during the WrestleMania festivities but he never really took off. Tatanka’s offense is mostly just chops throughout this match. They go to a commercial after Bomb gets a flying clothesline in. Like this really needed to go two segments. After the break, Tatanka is back in control and scores two on a DDT. Commentary continues to try and get the “Bomb Squad” (Adam Bomb fans) over. He starts to rally and the match moves outside where Adam slams Tatanka’s face into the steel steps as the referee counts to ten.

Match ends in a double countout in 5:50
Oh man, this was painfully boring. I like Adam Bomb, but Tatanka led the way and he’s pretty horrible as a heel. The finish did nothing to help this out either. It’s like this was booked to simply fill time on the card. ¾*

The Headshrinkers w/ Capt. Lou Albano and Afa vs. Mike Bell and Tony DeVito
So wait, the Headshrinkers got their managers back? Did I miss something? Like all Headshrinkers squashes, they pretty much dominate the jobbers. I haven’t seen Tony DeVito job in a while. Fatu wins it with a splash.

Winners: The Headshrinkers in 2:55
Standard squash stuff from the Headshrinkers.

A vignette airs to hype Jean-Pierre Lafitte. Translation, they repackaged Pierre from the Quebecers as a pirate. He will already be debuting next week.

Now it’s time for the unaired stuff from last week to be shown. Sid freaked out because Shawn Michaels said that he didn’t need him. He snaps and delivers not one, not two, but THREE powerbombs to Shawn. They were pretty sloppy in all honesty. Judging by the crowd reaction, Sid came off like a babyface. As Vince tells the story though, he really hammers home that Shawn is the sympathetic babyface here. Vince’s update on Shawn is that he will be out for “some time”. He’ll only miss one PPV.

Kama w/ Ted Dibiase vs. Scott Taylor
It’s Scotty 2 Hotty and the Godfather! Two of the most over acts in the Attitude Era. Obviously, this isn’t competitive. Taylor is too small to do anything to the character that Kama is supposed to be right now. Kama wins with a pump splash.

Winner: Kama in 2:43

In something much better than Kama, we see a recap of the really good Blayze/Nakano match from last week. Blayze won back the WWF Women’s Championship, only to get attacked by a mysterious woman.

The 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Holly and Bret Hart vs. Hakushi and the WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna w/ Jim Cornette, Mr. Fuji and Shinja
Man, Vince loves pumping the “Modern Day Kamikaze” nickname for Hakushi. I swear he’s said it a dozen times tonight. Holly lights up Hakushi with dropkicks and arm drags before a commercial. Kid gets tagged to battle with Hakushi. They would go on to have a pretty fun match a few months down the line. Tag to Owen who has a fast paced exchange with the Kid. When Yokozuna gets the tag, things obviously reach a standstill. He wears down the 1-2-3 Kid. I don’t mind him slowing the match though since Kid is great at taking the heat. Kid gets beat up for a while before tagging Bret. Bret is still the only man besides the Undertaker and Hulk Hogan to defeat Yokozuna, so he takes it to him for a while. We get our first interaction between Hakushi and Bret until Yokozuna interrupts with a shot to the back. Owen works over Bret, who slips out of a slam and gets a blind tag to Holly. Holly rolls up Owen to sneak out with a victory.

Winners: 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Holly and Bret Hart in 8:38
This was a pretty fun sprint. It didn’t go overly long and the Yokozuna work was kept to a minimum, maximizing the potential. Fun stuff. ***

Vince McMahon continues his obsession with the football players that were at WrestleMania, sending us to the entrances, in full, of all of them at WrestleMania. After that, we get informed that Owen Hart and Yokozuna will defend the gold against Bob Holly and the 1-2-3 Ki next Monday.

Overall: 4.5/10. Well, there was certainly at least one good thing about the show, which was the fun main event. I also liked that we got to see the Sid/Michaels angle, which was a huge move in turning HBK face, leading to his title win in 1996. The rest of the show was very skippable and not anything that needed to be seen.

Raw History
Episode #107
April 17th, 1995 | Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

The first thing we see is that, this past weekend on Superstars, Ted Dibiase introduced Sycho Sid as the newest member of the Million Dollar Corporation. Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler host the show tonight.

Duke Droese vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte
This is the official re-debut of Pierre from the Quebecers. Duke has already moved into high-end jobber territory. He starts by getting his ass hand to him but then he sends Pierre over and out. Pierre hits the first big move with a diving leg drop but it isn’t enough. Commentary sells it like the match should have ended for sure there. Pierre ties up Duke in the ropes and then starts hitting cross body blocks. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen that strategy before. Duke fires up and starts a comeback but Pierre puts a quick end to that. Pierre misses a second rope move, leading to an actual rally for Duke. He hits a powerslam and climbs to the top, but misses a headbutt. He legit just went SPLAT. Pierre goes up top and hits a top rope somersault to win.

Winner: Jean Pierre Lafitte in 8:31
Surprisingly, this wasn’t terrible. It got off to a slow start, but they were given a decent amount of time and did their best with it. Jean Pierre Lafitte was pretty underrated in my eyes. **

Bob Backlund cuts a promo on the beach somewhere while the cameraman continues to try and check out ladies.

Doink vs. Roy Raymond
If you’ve seen once Doink squash in the post Matt Osburne era, you’ve seen them all. Whoopee Cushion and Dink interaction ends it.

Winner: Doink in 3:21
Too long for the quality of the match.

Todd Pettengil brings us the first ever In Your House Report! These shows were two hour Pay-Per-Views for half the price of the big five events. He announces that the main event will be Diesel taking on Sid. Diesel has to defend the WWF Title against Bigelow next week, but if he retains, the belt will be on the line at the PPV. Todd also hypes that they are giving away a home.

WWF Tag Team Championship
Owen Hart and Yokozuna (c) w/ Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji vs. 1-2-3 Kid and Bob Holly

Kid starts against Owen, getting this off on the right foot. Kid wins their exchange before he and Holly nail a double back body drop. Holly starts hot but Owen turns things around and the tag comes to Yokozuna. It’s time for things to slow to a crawl. Holly surprises me by yanking Yokozuna down by the hair, but can’t capitalize as Owen pulls the top rope down on him, sending him to the mat. Yokozuna is already blown up. Bob takes the heat for a while, with mostly Owen handling the heavy lifting for his team. When Yokozuna does come in, he applies his trademark NERVE HOLD! It’s like, the laziest move on the planet. Cornette directs traffic as his guys just dominate. Kid finally gets the tag and comes in hot, hitting everything in sight. He makes one crucial mistake when Yokozuna catches him on a dive and plants him with a belly to belly suplex.

Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and Yokozuna in 13:44
Solidly worked tag team match. Some of the heat was rather dull, especially the stuff by Yokozuna. However, the finish was lovely. Just when you bought into Kid doing it, he gets flattened. ***

Henry Godwin vs. Rich Myers
While Henry Godwin goes through his stuff, they got a call in from a character named Cornfed from the Duckman show that aired on the USA Network. Godwin wins after a Slop Drop.

Winner: Henry Godwin in 2:00
Typical stuff from HOG.

Overall: 5.5/10. A pretty solid episode here. The main event was a rather enjoyable match and the Lafitte debut was one of the better debuts so far on Raw. Everything else was pretty lackluster, holding this back from being a really good episode.

Raw History
Episode #108
April 24th, 1995 | Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska

It’s one of those good old live episodes. We get a video package that discusses the fall from grace of Bam Bam Bigelow. Why he gets a title shot tonight after a fall from grace is beyond me. Anyway, he’s kind of become a pariah within the Million Dollar Corporation.

The Smoking Gunns vs. Barry Horowitz and the Brooklyn Brawler
It’s an all-star jobber tag team. One of the reasons why they are high status ham and eggers is because they can bump pretty well and make the stars look good. Vince hypes the Smoking Gunns getting their Tag Team Title rematch at In Your House, as well as the Bret Hart/Hakushi clash. Brawler is in for the entire match and loses to a double team back suplex.

Winners: The Smoking Gunns in 2:17
This was a rather fun squash. The Smoking Gunns worked quickly and did some alright moves.

Backstage, Ted Dibiase and Bigelow discuss the main event tonight. Bigelow is sporting a huge black eye. Vince seems to insinuate that it is courtesy of the Million Dollar Corporation.

After a commercial, Diesel is in the back and gets interviewed. He says that he is following in the footsteps of Bret Hart by being a fighting champion. Oh, so that explains why Bigelow gets a shot despite the struggles.

Bertha Faye w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. La Pantera Serena
It’s only her second appearance but Bertha is already completely different. She has a manager/boyfriend and is wearing polka dots, bright colors and skips. She mostly throws Serena around and none of it really looks any good. McMahon and Lawler just spend time making fat jokes and references to Bertha’s weight throughout the match. She wins with a gorilla press slam.

Winner: Bertha Faye in 3:56
Yea, this was pretty awful.

In Your House Report time, brought to you by Todd Pettengill and his mullet. New additions to the card include Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid taking on Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie, Bret Hart facing the undefeated Hakushi and the Smoking Gunns against Yokozuna and Owen Hart for the Tag Team Titles.

WWF Championship
Diesel (c) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Ted Dibiase

Despite his struggles, Vince and King both think Bigelow will be the new champion. They play into his lack of success early, as Diesel basically kicks his ass for the entire first third or so of the match. It does kind of paint Bigelow in a bit of a resilient light. He survives most of Diesel’s offense before getting into his own. He wears down Diesel for a bit. Diesel reverses a suplex with one of his own for a near fall. Commentary is really playing up the “Bigelow won’t quit” stuff. While Bigelow works a chinlock, the human charisma vacuum Tatanka walks out to the ring. Tatanka gets in some cheap shots behind the official’s back, drawing some actual boos in the direction of Bigelow. Tatanka’s dastardly ways backfire when he trips Bigelow by mistake leading to the Jackknife.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Diesel in 12:58
This did the job of furthering the issues between Bigelow and the Million Dollar Corporation, while setting up the Bigelow face turn. The match itself was honestly pretty full for the most part though. 

Ted Dibiase gets on the microphone and starts badmouthing Bigelow. He’s had it with Bigelow, calling this his third strike and firing him. Tatanka attacks from behind, but Bigelow turns it around and sends that scrub over the top rope. He’s alone with Dibiase, who does the classic heel beg. Bigelow picks up the microphone and quits to a pop. IRS is back for the first time in a while, attacking from behind. They all gang up on him, joined by Sid. Sid nearly breaks Bigelow’s neck with a bad powerbomb. Diesel finally makes it out and cleans house while Sid and Dibiase calmly exit the ring.

Aldo Montoya vs. The Black Phantom
Yes, it’s Justin Credible vs. Gangrel. While they do stuff, Vince plugs the hotline for a word with Bam Bam Bigelow. He then also tells us that Shawn Michaels should be back in about a month. Montoya wins after a second rope cross body.

Winner: Aldo Montoya in 2:43
Fine little squash match to fill time.

A Hunter-Hearst Helmsley vignette airs but he doesn’t say anything. He just looks at the camera with his smug face. To think, this guy would be a Hall of Famer and pretty much be running things twenty years later.

Overall: 2.5/10. Man, I usually prefer the live shows but this one just didn’t cut it. The big WWF Title match was mostly bad and the rest of the show was throwaway. Outside of Bigelow’s face turn, nothing about this show meant a damn thing.