3/30 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Director Robert Rodriguez makes a cameo appearance, Matanza Cueto vs. Pentagon Jr. for the Lucha Underground Championship

luchaundergroundBy John Moore

Lucha Underground TV
Taped in December 2015 in Los Angeles, California

The return of the “previously on…” intro videos happened this week. In the video we got Willie Mack giving his encouragement to Sexy Star while their feud with Marty the Moth and Mariposa was reviewed. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico easily securing the Trios titles was shown. Vampiro and Pentagon’s feud with Catrina and Mil Muertes was also shown which ended with Dario Cueto taking back the temple and introducing “The Monster” Matanza Cueto. The title of this episode was “El Jefe is Back”…

In a cool move for the audience at the temple, with Dario Cueto’s return comes the return of the live band in the section above the entrance ramp. This week’s live music was provided by Chingon. Dario Cueto was entering the ring at this point. He said it was good to be back in his temple. He said Aztec Warfare was spectacular, but was only the beginning of what he has planned for the believers. Dario Cueto said next week would be the beginning of a New Trios Tournament. Right before Dario got into talking about the number one contender, Pentagon Jr made an interruption…

Pentagon told Dario to wait a minute because the only reason that his brother won the Championship, was because Pentagon Jr wasn’t involved in the championship match. Cueto said with all of your respect, maybe Pentagon wasn’t in the match because he wasn’t Championship material. Pentagon then went on to choke Dario Cueto. Pentagon said that esta noche, he want’s Dario’s brother here so he can see a real champion. Dario refused and Pentagon retorted “Oh no?”. Dario then granted Pentagon Jr a title match while in danger of getting his arm broken. Pentagon said the hermano, Vampiro, and Dario will see who is pentagon jr, “Por que yo… soy… Pentagon Jr es Cero Miedo!”. The opening credits aired…

John’s Thoughts: This was quite the different opening than we usually get, in that we got an opening in-ring promo that seems to be all of the rage these days. That said, Lucha Underground did a good job at it and this almost seems like a start to a new season, a mid-season shift if you will. The return of the live band was a Godsend to the live crowd and also a good way to show that Dario Cueto is back. This was also a cool segment to get Pentagon right into the title picture immediately, and he did is just like you’d think that Lucha Underground’s Stone Cold would.

Chingon was playing the live music as Matt Striker and Vampiro recapped the segment that just happened. Vampiro commended Pentagon on his actions. The lead vocalist of Chingon looks oddly familiar so I’m about to hit the google machine to confirm my suspicions…

John’s Thoughts: Aha! I knew it! The lead vocalist of “Chingon” is the executive producer of this show and director of Spy Kids and Sin City, Robert Rodriguez who is also the person in charge of this entire El Rey channel. It’s cool to see that they didn’t draw attention to it, but I’m sure a lot of people picked up on the extended camera shot on the guy with the cowboy hat. He’s the true boss of Lucha Underground and this channel!

1. Taya and Johnny Mundo vs. Mr. Cisco and Cortez Castro. Striker and Vampiro had an odd conversation about The Crew “stealing nipples” since they were babies. Taya started the match off against Cortez Castro. Taya dominated early until Castro came back with a front dropkick. Taya kicked out of the pin attempt and came back with a clothesline. Castro tagged in Cisco and they used their numbers to gain a two count on Taya.

Taya came right back with a huracanrana. Johnny tagged in to pick up the scraps. He used the ground and pound attack on Cisco for a nearfall. Mundo gained another nearfall after a powerslam. Mundo gained a third nearfall after a moonlight drive. Mundo went for Fin Del Mundo and Cisco countered with a roll-up. After the kickout, Cisco hit a neckbreaker to allow for Castro to be tagged in. Mundo quickly tagged out to Taya to draw boos from the crowd.

Taya came right in with a dropkick. Castro came back with a flying elbow. Castro went for the win after a DDT, but Mundo broke up the pin. Suddenly Cage’s entrance music played as he entered the Temple. Mundo retreated to the opposite side of the ring to hide from Cage. Taya ran into the Crew’s finisher that Striker called the “Psycho Realm” and The Crew won via pinfall.

The Crew defeated Taya and Johnny Mundo via pinfall in 4:41.

Cage stood up on the apron as Taya and Mundo retreated to the entrance. Striker announced that the Disciples of Death were not dead and were getting their rematch for the Trios Titles…

John’s Thoughts: This was a much better match with Taya than her last one, but this feud with Cage hasn’t kicked into second gear yet. On the other side, The Crew don’t really gain anything from the win since they are usually just henchmen to some bigger power. This time, we don’t even know who they work for since they ditched Chavo. They might as well be movie extras…

Pictures of butterflies were shown as we were taken to the nice suburban house of Marty the Moth. Marty the Moth Martinez wore a polo shirt and said that a long time ago a moth tribe ruled the Aztec Empire. Clips of Marty indulging in hedonistic behavior. Marty said that the Moths were known for pride and wealth. He said they were drawn to gold like their namesake. Generic luchadores were shown exiting a car. Marty said when you possess what others want, they get jealous. Marty said Mariposa was the secret weapon of the moth tribe. Mariposa beat up the generic luchadores. Marty said the mask of Mariposa was passed through the generations and that the current one was the most dangerous. A generic luchador with a Blue Demon mask failed and was beaten by Mariposa last. Marty was shown reading an empty book to show that he was making up the story he was reading. Marty said that Mariposa will lead the moth tribe to lead again…

Back at Los Angeles, Black Lotus was guarding Dario Cueto’s office. Dario Cueto had a meeting with Catrina who teleported inside. Dario joked about her teleportation powers. He said it was his temple and he was the rightful owner. Catrina said that Matanza was not the rightful owner of the Lucha Underground championship and death will come for him. Dario said that his brother doesn’t fear death.

Catrina said that Dario fears death. Dario said he doesn’t have a beef with Catrina and even gave the Disciples of Death a title rematch. Dario said that together they have common enemies and can be unstoppable. Catrina said that when the time is right, his brother will face death and the temple will be her’s again. Dario Cueto sipped on his liquor as Catrina teleported away again…[C]

John’s Thoughts: Last season Marty the Moth was an undercard comedy act as a generic fanboy, this season they are giving him a sadistic edge and it’s showing both behind the scenes and in the ring. Lucha Underground is also being very patient with their build of Mariposa which can only do them wonders. Here she got to beat up the generic luchadores again. I wonder if there was a hidden message with the last generic dude wearing a Blue Demon mask?

2. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico vs. The Disciples of Death (w/ Catrina) in an elimination match for the Trios Championships. Angelico started off against the gold guy. Striker said he expected a lot of “counter lucha” due to their familiarity with each other. Angelico dominated early on with his size and agility. Son of Havoc tagged in and hit a stomp on the gold guy. Havoc gained a quick two count after a running senton. Ivelisse tagged in with an armdrag on the gold guy.

Ivelisse worked on the gold guy with some CQC but was carried over to the opposing corner to get the purple guy involved. Ivelisse dominated the purple guy with a northern lights suplex. Catrina interfered with the distraction and Ivelisse ate a kick from the Silver guy. The purple guy eliminated Ivelisse. The Silver guy got a chance to work on Havoc for a bit until he tagged in Angelico for the hot tag.

Angelico dispatched all of them and hit the Silver guy with a flying thrust kick. The Gold guy ate a high knee. The silver guy recovered with a knee of his own for a bit. Angelico hit the silver guy with his finisher, the Fall of the Angels, for the victory. The gold guy ran in to beat up on the weakened Angelico with the help of the purple guy. Angelico managed to outwit them. Angelico and Son of Havoc took them out on the outside with stereo flips.

Angelico hit a springboard knee on the purple guy and tried to hit fall of the angels on him. The purple guy escaped and hit a running backstabber for the victory. That move looked clunky. Striker said “The Ultimate Underdog” Son of Havoc was left in the ring (sounded like a Rockstar Spud term). Havoc got a nearfall after his signature jumping elbow. Havoc took down both men with a crossbody.

Havoc did a cool skipping double footstomp on both of the Disciples and hit a standing Shooting Star Press on the gold guy to eliminate the gold guy. The purple guy ran in with aggression. He missed a moonsault on Havoc. Havoc went to the top rope only to be tripped by Catrina. Ivelisse came back and gave Catrina a high roundhouse to her temple. Havoc ran at the purple guy with two consecutive topes. Havoc hit the shooting star press to earn the pinfall victory over the Disciples… [C]

Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico defeated the Disciples of Death via pinfall in 9:25 to retain the Lucha Underground Trios Championships.

John’s Thoughts: I’m surprised they had the Disciples work a formula elimination match here and had them so easily dispatched in the title loss, but they ultimately came out of this match as ineffective as ever. I thought Mil “killed” them with electricity powers, but it looks like they survived. Hopefully Havoc’s team can move on from this and it looks like there’s going to be a focus given that Dario Cueto has a Trios tournament planned which was one of the highlights of season 1.

Back at Dario Cueto’s office, Dario was having a meeting with Rey Mysterio. Small note, Dario’s nameplate on his desk said “I’m kind of a big deal”, classic! He said he was starstruck as Rey was twiddling his beard. Rey said he was here because of Dragon Azteca. Dario said that he looked good in Aztec Warfare. Rey said that was the Junior one, he’s talking about the senior one. Dario acted dumb about the situation. Rey accused Dario of knowing and Matanza of killing Dragon Azteca. Dario sweared to the Gods that his brother has nothing to do with Azteca’s death. Dario said the old beef that Azteca had with the Cuetos has nothing to do with him.

Cueto said he wanted to make the temple the best fighting arena that ever existed. Dario said that as Rey is the greatest luchador in the world he would be honored to have Rey and Azteca Jr compete in the temple. Dario Cueto poured shots of liquor and told Rey to leave the past in the past. Rey and Dario took shots…

In the Temple, Sexy Star was accompanied by the Mack as Mariposa came out with Marty the Moth.

3. Sexy Star (w/ The Mack) vs. The Mariposa (w/ Marty the Moth Martinez). Sexy Star avoided contact to start the match. Marty the Moth made sure she stayed in the ring. Mariposa worked on Sexy Star in the corner with punches. Sexy Star dodged a moonsault from Mariposa. Sexy star avoided more contact until she went into an armbar, but Mariposa turned into a side slam. Mariposa hit the Vertebreaker for the victory.

Mariposa defeated Sexy Star via pinfall in 1:27.

Willie Mack went in the ring to try to check on Star, but Marty the moth put the boots to him. Mariposa ran at Mack with a boot. Marty slammed Mariposa on Mack. The duo celebrated as Lucha Underground went to commercial…[C]

John’s Thoughts: Here’s a story that they are telling well. I like the announcers’ approach to this in telling the story that Sexy Star is not the luchadora that she used to be. Yes, Sexy Star lost quickly, but she loses nothing from a credibility standpoint as Marty has an emotional advantage over her that has negated her strength.

Pentagon Jr. and Matanza made their way to the ring for the main event. The crowd was hot as usual for Pentagon. There was a cool zoom in shot of Matanza as he went to the ring…

4. Pentagon Jr. vs. “The Monster” Matanza Cueto for the Lucha Underground Championship. Pentagon Jr dodged the incoming Matanza early on in the match. Pentagon hit an enziguri that Matanza no-sold. Matanza kept up with the no selling with many kicks. Matanza no-sold a lungblower.

Pentagon was being tossed around on the outside, including being tossed to the seats. Pentagon was whipped into the railing. Matanza ripped Pentagon’s mask a bit. Back in the ring, Matanza hit a German Suplex on Pentagon. Matanza hit “Wrath of the Gods” the powerslam, for the win.

Matanza Cueto defeated Pentagon Jr via pinfall to retain the Lucha Underground Championship.

Vampiro went into the ring to check on Pentagon. Matanza hit him with a boot. Matanza then threw Pentagon outside and put the boots to him. Vampiro looked dejected in the ring as Matanza powerbombed him through the announce table. Dario Cueto looked pleased as the brothers celebrated on the top or the ramp. The crowd chanted Cero Miedo as Lucha Underground ended….

John’s Thoughts: Wow. Matanza Cueto seems to be a major letdown on Lucha Underground already. The match consisted of no-selling, slowly walking around with tosses, and a finisher. What makes things worse is we have a person to compare Matanza to, and that man is Mil Muertes who has been more of a monster than Matanza. The announcers and the presentation are trying to sell this guy as more than he is, but he’s just looking very green and lazy. He’s working more of a Great Khali style of match and that’s not a good worker to be compared to.

It’s a bit puzzling as to why they rushed into the Pentagon vs. Matanza match as it looked like Pentagon was on a collision course with Mil, which would have been a much more entertaining match. Pentagon was also the only guy not destroyed in anticlimactic fashion from last week, and not he got that anticlimactic defeat. Matanza can work a certain style of match, he has been for almost a year in dark matches on this show, but the hype was so huge, the experience was so limited, and his look so hindered that they are setting this guy up to fail. When I saw him in person, I said “that guy looks like he can eat people”. But we can’t see his muscles due to him being so covered up to hide his identity as the Dark Match guy. This wasn’t necessarily a bad episode, as before the main event the show developed a few feuds well. That main event picture is just a real downer at this point.

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