6/14 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: The Cueto Cup tournament begins, Aerostar vs. Drago, Pentagon Dark vs. Argenis, El Texano Jr. vs. Famous B, Brian Cage gets seduced by the power of his magic gauntlet

By John Moore

Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Taped May 2016 in Los Angeles, California at The Temple

In this week’s Lucha Underground intro teaser, Dario Cueto introduced the Dario Cueto Cup. In that announcement, Dario announced that Johnny Mundo would defend his title against Rey Mysterio. Drago’s heel turn was featured. Black Lotus and the Lotus Tribe (Kairi Hojo and Io Shirai) ended the teaser…

In Dario Cueto’s office, Dario was looking at a poster board where he put together the brackets for the Cueto Cup. Pentagon Jr. walked into Dario’s office and said he was healed up. Pentagon wanted to know where Black Lotus was. Dario said she was “back in Hong Kong”. Dario said Lotus was justified in breaking Pentagon’s arm because he broke her’s in the first place. Pentagon threatened to break Dario’s arm by twisting his finger. Dario cowered and offered Pentagon a chance for the Lucha Underground Championship. Pentagon let Dario’s finger go. Dario put Pentagon in the Cueto Cup tournament. Pentagon said he was going to win the Lucha Underground Title at Ultima Lucha Tres porque “Yo Soy Pentagon Dark, Es Cero Miedo”…

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in from The Temple of Los Angeles, CA. Sergio Arau was the house performer. Vampiro introduced a graphic for the Cueto Cup. Matt Striker said it was a 32 man tournament consisting of the entire Lucha Underground Roster. Striker also announced that the main event of the show was another Drago vs. Aerostar match. Melissa Santos introduced the first match…

1. Mala Suerte vs. The Mack. Mack escaped a wristlock with his agility. Suerte showed some agility of his own. Mack took down Suerte with a nice Lucha Libre armdrag. Suerte and Mack then initiated a cruiserweight stalemate sequence. Suerte joked around and teased a handshake. Mack gave Suerte a leg lariat because Suerte played around too much. Suerte and Mack traded chest slaps. Suerte hit a springboard armdrag. Mack came back with a corkscrew shoulder block and standing moonsault to lead to a nearfall.

Suerte staggered Mack with kicks and hit a huracanrana on Mack. Suerte got a nearfall after a front dropkick. Mack and Suerte crashed midair in a crossbody. Mack sold a hand injury. Mack gave Suerte a strong forearm and boot in the corner followed by a front leg suplex. Suerte turned the tide with a strong German Suplex. Suerte did his faux Coast to Coast into a Running Senton. Mack dodged a Swanton. Mack hit Suerte with a Michinoku Driver to get a nearfall. Suerte got a nearfall off a crucifix bomb.

Suerte planted Mack with a spike DDT. Suerte missed another Swanton. Mack hit Suerte with a Monty Brown Pounce and hit the Stone Cold Stunner for the victory.

The Mack defeated Mala Suerte via pinfall in 7:30 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

The graphic showed Mack advancing as they cut to commercial…

John’s Thoughts: A really nice lucha libre match involving two guys with the body type that doesn’t match traditional cruiserweights. I believe Mala Suerte is the wrestler formerly known as Mr. Cisco of The Crew in Lucha Underground. Cisco is just like Mack in that they do moves that guys with their body type don’t usually do. I think they also trained in pro wrestling together from the same Lucha Libre dojo? That’s why they had such good chemistry.

Backstage Brian Cage was shown doing bicep curls while also powering up with his electric gauntlet. Dario Cueto talked to Cage about his “friend” LA City Councilman Lars Delgado. Dario proposed a meeting which Cage rejected. Dario insisted again and Cage seemed interested. Dario handed Cage Delgado’s business card.

John’s Thoughts: Just as a storyline update for those who don’t remember. Lucha Underground ended up writing out this character they were building towards that was stronger than Matanza (I believe this “Lord” was supposed to be MVP). Delgado said Lord MVP died and his spirit is now in a magic gauntlet. So Cage won a tournament to have the powers of MVP in his fist. That’s the way I like to think of it at least. Either that or the MVP gauntlet is now a midcard title?

Argenis was already in the ring and was facing Pentagon Dark. Argenis is the brother of the Original Sin Cara in WWE who was also known as Mistico…

2. Argenis vs. Pentagon Dark. Argenis did a handstand which allowed Pentagon to give Argenis a dropkick to the gut. Pentagon then toyed with Argenis by tripping him with several kicks to the shin. Argenis tried to go for a huracanrana but failed to take down Pentagon who hit him with the Sling Blade. Pentagon then hit a strong spinning roundhouse on Argenis. Pentagon ate a superkick but was not taken off his feet. Argenis sidestepped Pentagon and hit a Asai moonsault to get his first real takedown in the match.

The momentum ended quickly because Argenis ate a front kick to the head. Pentagon then hit a rally of strikes on Argenis. Argenis tried to get a comeback after a neckbreaker. Argenis was tossed into the buckle leading to a nearfall. Argenis hit a popup cutter on Pentagon. Pentagon quickly came back with a pumphandle driver. Pentagon hit another kick to the shin again. Argenis did a handstand on the top rope and ate a superkick. Pentagon hit Argenis with the Package Piledriver to pick up the victory.

Pentagon Dark defeated Argenis via pinfall in 6:56 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Pentagon Dark listened to the crowd and broke Argenis’s arm again as a throwback to Season 1. Famous B vs. Texano was next for who would face Mack in the next round…[C]

John’s Thoughts: Even though this was roughly seven minutes, Pentagon Jr. dominated 90 percent of it so it was essentially a prolonged squash match and it was not boring one bit. It wasn’t too abusive either Pentagon’s bread and butter was his arm breaking squash matches which he was so good at in Season 1. The first round of the Cueto Cup also has the advantage of Lucha televising all of their enhancement wrestlers in matches, which can cause a hierarchy on the roster of characters viewers can care about.

3. Famous B (w/ Brenda) vs. El Texano Jr. Both men were already in the ring. Famous B comically told Melissa to say he’s from Texas. Famous B then tried to recruit Texano to the Titus Bra… I mean… Famous B stable. Famous B then said he would even not fight Texano. Famous B laid on the ground as Vampiro and Striker referenced WCW’s fingerpoke of Doom. Texano teased taking B up on the offer but lifted his shoulder up at 2. Texano hit a sitout power bomb for the victory.

El Texano Jr. defeated Famous B via pinfall in 0:26 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Texano picked up his hat as the microphones picked up Brenda ranting something. Brenda flirted with Texano by giving him a slap in the ass. She told Texano to “giddy up!”. Texano was pleased as he walked out. Brenda went back in the ring to check up on Famous B. Striker noted that Aerostar would be facing Drago for the seventh time in Lucha Underground history in the main event of this show…[C]

John’s Thoughts: While different from the previous squash in that it was a comedy match, the comedy portion works perfectly for the Famous B character who goes out there for laughs. Texano was also a victim of the lack of squashes in Lucha Underground season 2 because he is a big dude that loses to everyone. He’s a bit like Lucha Underground’s Mark Henry.

In a nice twist, Lucha Underground ran more of a sportslike vignette hyping up the Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio match. AXS TV’s Michael Schiavello narrated it while hyping up Mundo’s and Mysterio’s accolades.

John’s Thoughts: The cheesy telenovela cinematics can be a bit exhausting and divisive for some. This was really good! And they did the sportslike thing better than WWE or Impact do! Lucha Underground should do more of this and other companies should take note…

Dragon and Aerostar made their entrances. Drago wore blood red attire this time and was dragged to the ring with a chain to the neck by Kobra Moon…[C]

4. Drago (w/ Kobra Moon) vs. Aerostar. “The Blurred Referee” Marty Elias was the official for the match. Aerostar tried to offer Drago a handshake to break him from his trance but Drago just gave Aerostar the boot. This drew immense boos from the crowd. The crowd showered Drago with “Culero” chants. Drago gave Aerostar a superkick. The crowd tried to rally behind Aerostar. Aerostar did a sitout springboard reversal. Aerostar then did a tightrope kick to the back of Drago. Drago turned the tide back in his favor with a dropkick.

Aerostar did some of his unique high flying offense on Drago. Aerostar kept the momentum with a huracanrana. Aerostar sent Drago outside with a unique delayed dropkick. Kobra Moon tripped Aerostar as Marty was distracted. Aerostar went for his springboard splash but right into a cutter from Drago. Drago caught the feet of Aerostar but froze to share a stare with Aerostar.

Aerostar went for a Tope on Drago but missed most of it and gave the crowd the tope. Luckily they were behind the seats. Kobra Moon tripped Aerostar again as Marty was distracted. Drago gave Aerostar a flapjack on the apron. Aerostar recovered and hit a springboard huracanrana. Drago came back with a low kick sweep on Aerostar. Drago then attempted a pin after a barrelroll. Aerostar locked in a nice looking modified cloverleaf deathlock hybrid.

Aerostar reversed an armdrag and attempted Drago’s Dragon’s Lair pin to no success. Drago and Aerostar traded pin attempts with Drago coming out on top with his Dragon’s Lair pin.

Drago defeated Aerostar via pinfall in 7:30 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Matt Striker talked about Aerostar knowing all of Drago’s moves. Vampiro then told us that Kobra Moon yelled at Drago to kill Aerostar. Drago hit Aerostar with a reverse Alabama Slam. Kobra Moon locked Drago back in the chain and leash to close out the show…

But Wait?!? There’s more! In the post-credits scene, Cage was on his way to meet the LA Councilman I assume. Cage met Delgado at Boyle Heights City Hall. Delgado liked that Cage wouldn’t take off the gauntlet. Delgado said that means “it’s working”. This of course caused Cage to question it. Delgado then seduced Cage with power and said that soon “our work” will begin. Cage didn’t like the “our” part. Cage said he didn’t work for Delgado. Delgado said Cage will and those meaningless days of lifting weights and protein shakes will be of the past. Cage then attempted to choke Delgado but held back saying he didn’t know what went over him. Delgado said Cage was just thinking like a man. Cage then suddenly rammed his fist into the head of Delgado which exploded his head into pieces. Cage moved the pieces of brain matter around in his hand as he said he wasn’t a man, he’s a machine (which is his catchphrase). Cage’s voice had a demonic undertone. Cage stepped on Delgado’s loose eyeball as he walked out…

John’s Thoughts: Hmmm… Brain matter and loose eyeballs? That’s something I never thought I would write in a pro wrestling review. More on that in a bit. Back to the match, Aerostar and Drago have extremely good chemistry with each other. The finish also worked in that it was decisive. Striker was also good on commentary by telling the story of the few moments in the match where Drago sold apprehensiveness. Sometimes, it’s easy to get tired of a match we’ve seen seven times but Drago and Aerostar keep finding fresh ways to have their matches. The ending also left the door open for even more matches. Very smart booking with these two.

As for the ending, Lucha Underground received a lot of attention for having on air murdering. This started off with Jeff Cobb eating B-Boy like corn on the cob (I had to make the pun). Dario and Mil Muertes have also killed dudes as well. This was the most gruesome yet with brain and eyeball effects. It also works because it introduces first time viewers to what Lucha Underground has to offer. This was a good show all across the board. We had two great matches between wrestlers who wrestle all over the world against each other. We got two progressive enhancement matches. We got the cinematics. We also got something new in the Rey/Mundo sports vignette. If you haven’t watched season 1 or 2, the last three episodes did a solid job in introducing the viewers to everything Lucha Underground has to offer. The downside with the last two episodes is the awkward being late to the party on stories. This episode was a good starting point because it tied up loose ends (the Black Lotus and MVP stories) and started a new story arc in the Cueto Cup. I’ll have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review later today as well as more thoughts on in the LU Hit List.

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6/14 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: The Cueto Cup tournament begins, Aerostar vs. Drago, Pentagon Dark vs. Argenis, El Texano Jr. vs. Famous B, Brian Cage gets seduced by the power of his magic gauntlet

By John Moore

Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Taped May 2016 in Los Angeles, California at The Temple

In this week’s Lucha Underground intro teaser, Dario Cueto introduced the Dario Cueto Cup. In that announcement, Dario announced that Johnny Mundo would defend his title against Rey Mysterio. Drago’s heel turn was featured. Black Lotus and the Lotus Tribe (Kairi Hojo and Io Shirai) ended the teaser…

In Dario Cueto’s office, Dario was looking at a poster board where he put together the brackets for the Cueto Cup. Pentagon Jr. walked into Dario’s office and said he was healed up. Pentagon wanted to know where Black Lotus was. Dario said she was “back in Hong Kong”. Dario said Lotus was justified in breaking Pentagon’s arm because he broke her’s in the first place. Pentagon threatened to break Dario’s arm by twisting his finger. Dario cowered and offered Pentagon a chance for the Lucha Underground Championship. Pentagon let Dario’s finger go. Dario put Pentagon in the Cueto Cup tournament. Pentagon said he was going to win the Lucha Underground Title at Ultima Lucha Tres porque “Yo Soy Pentagon Dark, Es Cero Miedo”…

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in from The Temple of Los Angeles, CA. Sergio Arau was the house performer. Vampiro introduced a graphic for the Cueto Cup. Matt Striker said it was a 32 man tournament consisting of the entire Lucha Underground Roster. Striker also announced that the main event of the show was another Drago vs. Aerostar match. Melissa Santos introduced the first match…

1. Mala Suerte vs. The Mack. Mack escaped a wristlock with his agility. Suerte showed some agility of his own. Mack took down Suerte with a nice Lucha Libre armdrag. Suerte and Mack then initiated a cruiserweight stalemate sequence. Suerte joked around and teased a handshake. Mack gave Suerte a leg lariat because Suerte played around too much. Suerte and Mack traded chest slaps. Suerte hit a springboard armdrag. Mack came back with a corkscrew shoulder block and standing moonsault to lead to a nearfall.

Suerte staggered Mack with kicks and hit a huracanrana on Mack. Suerte got a nearfall after a front dropkick. Mack and Suerte crashed midair in a crossbody. Mack sold a hand injury. Mack gave Suerte a strong forearm and boot in the corner followed by a front leg suplex. Suerte turned the tide with a strong German Suplex. Suerte did his faux Coast to Coast into a Running Senton. Mack dodged a Swanton. Mack hit Suerte with a Michinoku Driver to get a nearfall. Suerte got a nearfall off a crucifix bomb.

Suerte planted Mack with a spike DDT. Suerte missed another Swanton. Mack hit Suerte with a Monty Brown Pounce and hit the Stone Cold Stunner for the victory.

The Mack defeated Mala Suerte via pinfall in 7:30 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

The graphic showed Mack advancing as they cut to commercial…

John’s Thoughts: A really nice lucha libre match involving two guys with the body type that doesn’t match traditional cruiserweights. I believe Mala Suerte is the wrestler formerly known as Mr. Cisco of The Crew in Lucha Underground. Cisco is just like Mack in that they do moves that guys with their body type don’t usually do. I think they also trained in pro wrestling together from the same Lucha Libre dojo? That’s why they had such good chemistry.

Backstage Brian Cage was shown doing bicep curls while also powering up with his electric gauntlet. Dario Cueto talked to Cage about his “friend” LA City Councilman Lars Delgado. Dario proposed a meeting which Cage rejected. Dario insisted again and Cage seemed interested. Dario handed Cage Delgado’s business card.

John’s Thoughts: Just as a storyline update for those who don’t remember. Lucha Underground ended up writing out this character they were building towards that was stronger than Matanza (I believe this “Lord” was supposed to be MVP). Delgado said Lord MVP died and his spirit is now in a magic gauntlet. So Cage won a tournament to have the powers of MVP in his fist. That’s the way I like to think of it at least. Either that or the MVP gauntlet is now a midcard title?

Argenis was already in the ring and was facing Pentagon Dark. Argenis is the brother of the Original Sin Cara in WWE who was also known as Mistico…

2. Argenis vs. Pentagon Dark. Argenis did a handstand which allowed Pentagon to give Argenis a dropkick to the gut. Pentagon then toyed with Argenis by tripping him with several kicks to the shin. Argenis tried to go for a huracanrana but failed to take down Pentagon who hit him with the Sling Blade. Pentagon then hit a strong spinning roundhouse on Argenis. Pentagon ate a superkick but was not taken off his feet. Argenis sidestepped Pentagon and hit a Asai moonsault to get his first real takedown in the match.

The momentum ended quickly because Argenis ate a front kick to the head. Pentagon then hit a rally of strikes on Argenis. Argenis tried to get a comeback after a neckbreaker. Argenis was tossed into the buckle leading to a nearfall. Argenis hit a popup cutter on Pentagon. Pentagon quickly came back with a pumphandle driver. Pentagon hit another kick to the shin again. Argenis did a handstand on the top rope and ate a superkick. Pentagon hit Argenis with the Package Piledriver to pick up the victory.

Pentagon Dark defeated Argenis via pinfall in 6:56 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Pentagon Dark listened to the crowd and broke Argenis’s arm again as a throwback to Season 1. Famous B vs. Texano was next for who would face Mack in the next round…[C]

John’s Thoughts: Even though this was roughly seven minutes, Pentagon Jr. dominated 90 percent of it so it was essentially a prolonged squash match and it was not boring one bit. It wasn’t too abusive either Pentagon’s bread and butter was his arm breaking squash matches which he was so good at in Season 1. The first round of the Cueto Cup also has the advantage of Lucha televising all of their enhancement wrestlers in matches, which can cause a hierarchy on the roster of characters viewers can care about.

3. Famous B (w/ Brenda) vs. El Texano Jr. Both men were already in the ring. Famous B comically told Melissa to say he’s from Texas. Famous B then tried to recruit Texano to the Titus Bra… I mean… Famous B stable. Famous B then said he would even not fight Texano. Famous B laid on the ground as Vampiro and Striker referenced WCW’s fingerpoke of Doom. Texano teased taking B up on the offer but lifted his shoulder up at 2. Texano hit a sitout power bomb for the victory.

El Texano Jr. defeated Famous B via pinfall in 0:26 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Texano picked up his hat as the microphones picked up Brenda ranting something. Brenda flirted with Texano by giving him a slap in the ass. She told Texano to “giddy up!”. Texano was pleased as he walked out. Brenda went back in the ring to check up on Famous B. Striker noted that Aerostar would be facing Drago for the seventh time in Lucha Underground history in the main event of this show…[C]

John’s Thoughts: While different from the previous squash in that it was a comedy match, the comedy portion works perfectly for the Famous B character who goes out there for laughs. Texano was also a victim of the lack of squashes in Lucha Underground season 2 because he is a big dude that loses to everyone. He’s a bit like Lucha Underground’s Mark Henry.

In a nice twist, Lucha Underground ran more of a sportslike vignette hyping up the Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio match. AXS TV’s Michael Schiavello narrated it while hyping up Mundo’s and Mysterio’s accolades.

John’s Thoughts: The cheesy telenovela cinematics can be a bit exhausting and divisive for some. This was really good! And they did the sportslike thing better than WWE or Impact do! Lucha Underground should do more of this and other companies should take note…

Dragon and Aerostar made their entrances. Drago wore blood red attire this time and was dragged to the ring with a chain to the neck by Kobra Moon…[C]

4. Drago (w/ Kobra Moon) vs. Aerostar. “The Blurred Referee” Marty Elias was the official for the match. Aerostar tried to offer Drago a handshake to break him from his trance but Drago just gave Aerostar the boot. This drew immense boos from the crowd. The crowd showered Drago with “Culero” chants. Drago gave Aerostar a superkick. The crowd tried to rally behind Aerostar. Aerostar did a sitout springboard reversal. Aerostar then did a tightrope kick to the back of Drago. Drago turned the tide back in his favor with a dropkick.

Aerostar did some of his unique high flying offense on Drago. Aerostar kept the momentum with a huracanrana. Aerostar sent Drago outside with a unique delayed dropkick. Kobra Moon tripped Aerostar as Marty was distracted. Aerostar went for his springboard splash but right into a cutter from Drago. Drago caught the feet of Aerostar but froze to share a stare with Aerostar.

Aerostar went for a Tope on Drago but missed most of it and gave the crowd the tope. Luckily they were behind the seats. Kobra Moon tripped Aerostar again as Marty was distracted. Drago gave Aerostar a flapjack on the apron. Aerostar recovered and hit a springboard huracanrana. Drago came back with a low kick sweep on Aerostar. Drago then attempted a pin after a barrelroll. Aerostar locked in a nice looking modified cloverleaf deathlock hybrid.

Aerostar reversed an armdrag and attempted Drago’s Dragon’s Lair pin to no success. Drago and Aerostar traded pin attempts with Drago coming out on top with his Dragon’s Lair pin.

Drago defeated Aerostar via pinfall in 7:30 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Matt Striker talked about Aerostar knowing all of Drago’s moves. Vampiro then told us that Kobra Moon yelled at Drago to kill Aerostar. Drago hit Aerostar with a reverse Alabama Slam. Kobra Moon locked Drago back in the chain and leash to close out the show…

But Wait?!? There’s more! In the post-credits scene, Cage was on his way to meet the LA Councilman I assume. Cage met Delgado at Boyle Heights City Hall. Delgado liked that Cage wouldn’t take off the gauntlet. Delgado said that means “it’s working”. This of course caused Cage to question it. Delgado then seduced Cage with power and said that soon “our work” will begin. Cage didn’t like the “our” part. Cage said he didn’t work for Delgado. Delgado said Cage will and those meaningless days of lifting weights and protein shakes will be of the past. Cage then attempted to choke Delgado but held back saying he didn’t know what went over him. Delgado said Cage was just thinking like a man. Cage then suddenly rammed his fist into the head of Delgado which exploded his head into pieces. Cage moved the pieces of brain matter around in his hand as he said he wasn’t a man, he’s a machine (which is his catchphrase). Cage’s voice had a demonic undertone. Cage stepped on Delgado’s loose eyeball as he walked out…

John’s Thoughts: Hmmm… Brain matter and loose eyeballs? That’s something I never thought I would write in a pro wrestling review. More on that in a bit. Back to the match, Aerostar and Drago have extremely good chemistry with each other. The finish also worked in that it was decisive. Striker was also good on commentary by telling the story of the few moments in the match where Drago sold apprehensiveness. Sometimes, it’s easy to get tired of a match we’ve seen seven times but Drago and Aerostar keep finding fresh ways to have their matches. The ending also left the door open for even more matches. Very smart booking with these two.

As for the ending, Lucha Underground received a lot of attention for having on air murdering. This started off with Jeff Cobb eating B-Boy like corn on the cob (I had to make the pun). Dario and Mil Muertes have also killed dudes as well. This was the most gruesome yet with brain and eyeball effects. It also works because it introduces first time viewers to what Lucha Underground has to offer. This was a good show all across the board. We had two great matches between wrestlers who wrestle all over the world against each other. We got two progressive enhancement matches. We got the cinematics. We also got something new in the Rey/Mundo sports vignette. If you haven’t watched season 1 or 2, the last three episodes did a solid job in introducing the viewers to everything Lucha Underground has to offer. The downside with the last two episodes is the awkward being late to the party on stories. This episode was a good starting point because it tied up loose ends (the Black Lotus and MVP stories) and started a new story arc in the Cueto Cup. I’ll have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review later today as well as more thoughts on in the LU Hit List.

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