wrestling / Columns

LAX Humiliates The Lucha Bros

February 28, 2019 | Posted by Dino Zee
LAX Impact Beyond

It shouldn’t have ever come to this. There was no need for the line to be crossed in the manner we saw it crossed. After the three incredible matches, it seemed pretty obvious that we’d get see a nice resolution between the four men, and handshakes – even if begrudgingly – would still bring a temporary end to an incredible series. Calling it a feud didn’t even seem appropriate as it was coming to an end; this had simply been about who was the better team.

Instead, the Lucha Bros would take one more opportunity to gloat, and that was one too many for LAX. Outstretched hands turned into violent kicks, as the former champions refused to be punked out in such a manner. Even Konnan – the one who had seemed completely angry his friends were fighting in the first place – didn’t attempt to stop Santana and Ortiz. In an instant, the duo had done the unthinkable, removing the masks from Fenix and Pentagon, Jr.

It’s a disgraceful act, to be sure. I’ve gone on record multiple times as a fan of LAX, but what I saw them do Friday night was disappointing. It’s one thing to have a personal issue with a team that’s disrespecting you – and we’ll address that as well – but it’s another thing entirely to spit directly into the face of lucha libre itself, and that’s what Santana and Ortiz perpetrated this last edition of Impact.

And knowing that this all started out with a simple question. Who is the best tag team in wrestling today? LAX and The Lucha Bros both figured that they were the correct answer, and so it had to be settled.

Heading into January’s Homecoming, it was all respect. LAX had decimated the tag division and wanted to extend an opportunity to their friends The Lucha Bros, in a situation that would only end in an incredible matchup that everyone would enjoy. The only person who didn’t seem too thrilled about it was Konnan, but that was par for the course. It seemed like he was worried that his boys weren’t good enough to hang with The Lucha Bros, but that he didn’t want to come out and say it. Which, being fair, is probably a spot a manager finds himself in on quite a few occasions during a tenure with a team.

At Homecoming, though, LAX would prove that, on that night, they were the better team. For two guys that were riding such an incredible wave of momentum, highlighted by their win in the not-so-Civil War against The OGz and King, that victory signified that they were truly the top team on the planet. They believed in their hearts that you could put any two men in front of them, any guys from any company, and those men would fall at their feet. After Homecoming, LAX was feeling invincible. And again, to be fair, it was pretty hard to blame them for feeling themselves.

It was after this win, though, that you could see that the victory was turning that self-assured swagger into something a bit more arrogant. Instead of simply being proud of their achievement, LAX would seemingly mock Fenix and Pentagon, openly saying that they’d beat The Lucha Bros any time they met.

Don’t misunderstand this writer’s intent on pointing this out. It was not at all a surprise to see Santana and Ortiz so cocky. That’s been their deal since Day 1, and it’s that attitude that’s kept them at the top of the heap of Impact’s tag team division. I think what struck me so much about it was how drastic a departure to their attitude before Homecoming that hit me. Before Homecoming, there was a reverence between the teams. They were friends, almost family with each other. The match itself was just supposed to be a treat for the fans, but one that happened to feature two of the very best teams in the world competing against one another.

With one win, however, LAX suddenly seemed to be looking down at their “friends”. It was presented in a playful manner, sure, but can we really believe that Santana and/or Ortiz didn’t consider the idea that someone like PENTAGON FREAKING JUNIOR, one of the most evil men in wrestling, might not enjoy being antagonized so much for simply losing to a talented tag team?

If they actually did not consider that, well then that’s simply a gigantic misstep by LAX, who usually have the landscape scouted pretty accurately before looking to engage. Pentagon may have lightened up slightly since teaming with his fun-loving brother full time, but this is still the man that left a trail of broken arms in Lucha Underground’s Temple, the man who won its championship, and the man who beat Austin Aries less than a year ago to hold Impact’s World Championship as well. Thinking that Pentagon was going to sit back and take jokes was always going to be a huge mistake.

In the weeks that followed, The Lucha Bros just kept winning, even pinning Ortiz in a six man tag. This would lead to The Lucha Bros officially asking for a rematch, using LAX’s own words against them to goad them into accepting. As pointed out here in ZWI before, it was Konnan who accepted after being appealed to specifically, with Pentagon once again trying to get Konnan to admit he doubted his charges. This time, however, he showed faith, accepting the rematch.

The rematch, must like the original match, was still fought as if the only thing at stake besides the gold championship belts themselves was the respect of the other team. There was nothing underhanded, nothing dirty. LAX and The Lucha Bros added their chemical mixtures together to form their Incredible Match Solution, but this time it was The Lucha Bros, perhaps fueled by the hometown advantage, who came out on top.

With the score tied 1-1, the only obvious thing to do would be to have that ever important rubber match, which is what we got last Friday. Just two weeks after losing the titles, LAX would find itself in a spot no serious contender ever wants to be – facing serious jeopardy with the possibility of losing two in a row to the champions. If LAX fell short again, it’d be hard to convince the Championship Committee that they were still deserving of a championship match over any of the other tag teams on the Impact roster.

With their backs against the wall, LAX fought with everything they had. The Lucha Bros, of course, matched that by bringing everything in their arsenals as well. When the dust settled… well, you know how we started this whole column off. LAX had once again been defeated by The Lucha Bros, with the Double Stomp Spiked Package Piledriver leaving Ortiz unable to kick out of the pin.

This time, it was LAX who was ready to be humble. This time, it was LAX ready to admit that they lost to the better team. This time, LAX had to offer their hands to the people that beat them. And this time, it was The Lucha Bros who were ready to bring a little smugness to the whole thing. Instead of accepting the handshake, the champions would instead offer some hands in the face. They hadn’t forgotten how LAX talked about them after the first loss. They hadn’t forgotten how Ortiz had bragged about how LAX would manhandle them. While using Fenix’s charms to make everyone think things were okay, they were using Pentagon’s sadistic tendencies to make their foes pay for their initial disrespect.

And, wouldn’t you know it, LAX did not like being given a dose of their own medicine. However, as we saw, they also wouldn’t stand for it. When LAX talked some trash about The Lucha Bros, The Lucha Bros decided to take their belts. When The Lucha Bros tried to return the tactics, LAX took their masks.

I never would have seen someone outdoing Pentagon, but at this point, the ball is clearly in the court of LAX. Whether Konnan approves, at this point, is moot. Santana and Ortiz are well aware of the meaning of their actions, and that’s exactly why they did what they did. The message is sent. LAX isn’t playing.

Whether they can survive the impending fury is all that remains to be seen. Either way, they’re clearly not afraid to find out.

article topics :

Impact Wrestling, LAX, Lucha Bros, Dino Zee