4/6 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Matanza Cueto vs. Fenix for the Lucha Underground Title, Prince Puma says his first words, Sexy Star strikes back

luchaundergroundBy John Moore

Lucha Underground TV
Taped December 13, 2015 at Los Angeles, California

The “Previously on…” Lucha Underground intro video recapped the reveal of Officer Reyes and Joey Ryan as undercover cops. The Marty the Moth and Sexy Star story was highlighted. Matanza vs. Pentagon Jr was also featured. This week’s episode was called “Bird of War”.

Ian Hodgekinson/Vampiro was approached by Dario Cueto in the restroom as Vampiro was holding on to his Anti-Psychotic pills. Dario said that Vampiro might want to bash his head in and look for his brother. Vamp said all of him wants to do it. Dario said that his brother went too far, but they are lucky that Pentagon is still alive. Dario said Vampiro might not be so lucky next time.

Vampiro stood against Dario as if to start a fight. Dario said that Vampiro was very important to him since Vamp is practically the boss of Lucha Underground. Dario said he needed Vamp out there to do commentary. Dario told Ian, Vampiro, and the master not to make the same mistake as Pentagon. Vampiro took one of his pills and the show started…

At a random police station that might be of the LAPD, Officer Reyes and Joey Ryan were talking with Captain Vasquez. She thanked Ryan for discovering Cueto. Reyes said that Ryan didn’t do anything since Dario just came back by himself. Reyes talked about the brother being loose. Ryan said Reyes looked scared. Vasquez said that she needs “evidence” and that Ryan and Reyes might consider a tag team. Ryan talked about Dario Cueto granting him and the Crew a spot in the Trios tournament. Vazquez said that they have to win the titles to get close to El Jefe (the boss). Vasquez sent them along and posted Dario’s picture on her bulletin board…

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary. Vampiro introduced El Conjunto Nueva Ola (which is a mouthful to try to say). Striker said that Fenix has a chance to win back the Lucha Underground Championship against Matanza tonight. Vampiro talked about not wanting to be in Fenix’s shoes. Next we were getting a rarity in Lucha Underground, a Woman vs Woman match…

John’s Thoughts: That’s not great hype so far as to stick with this show tonight with Matanza in the main event yet again. Maybe they should start putting him in the middle of the show as a buffer match to help build him. He has to get more aggressive soon right?

1. Ivelisse vs. Kobra Moon. Striker brought up Ivelisse’s MMA background. Moon started with armbars and hammerlocks. Ivelisse fought her way into a crossarmbreaker that Moon blocked. Ivelisse grounded Moon with a hammerlock. Ivelisse turned a guillotine triangle into a powerbomb. Ivelisse fought out of a dragon sleeper quickly.

Ivelisse kept up the pace with several armdrags. Kobra Moon fought back into a rope submission from the headscissors. After a kick, Kobra Moon earned the nearfall. Kobra Moon used the ropes again to get a modified Kamura lock. Ivelisse turned the tide with a front chancery. Both luchadoras traded forearms when they recovered and even traded chops. Ivelisse powered up and rallied with kicks. Ivelisse got a nearfall after an exploder suplex.

Kobra hit the jawbreaker and a Gory slam. Kobra moon got a nearfall and Vampiro said the mistake was not hooking the leg. They both traded kicks. Ivelisse got the win after a sunset flip bomb…

Ivelisse defeated Kobra Moon via pinfall in 7:00.

Striker said that the Trios tournament was happening later on in this show…[C]

John’s Thoughts: While not a must-see match by any means it was a pretty good womens match on Lucha Underground and Kobra Moon’s best match to date. Kobra found a way to tone down the snake thing a bit and have it shown more in the moves rather than the actions. It doesn’t help that Ivelisse is a really intelligent worker and can get a good match out of most situations.

Back to the show, a Killshot vignette aired. He talked about being an ex-marine. He said he was good with a gun and had a killer’s instinct. He said he was called Killshot because he was a sniper. He said he killed 37 guys and they were all bad. Killshot said he was also good with his hands and fought on the field. He said his team was captured.

He said he was imprisoned for 13 months. His escape was shown (I think?) as Killshot was using gun katas to kill terrorists. Yes, he was killing terrorists I believe (I’m fine as long as they weren’t wearing Lucha masks). There was this cheap looking muzzle flash coming from the gun as he used some takedowns on a few of the terrorists. Killshot said he never knew if his brothers escaped due to the US government wiping out their records. Killshot says he fights to forget, because he can’t forget. He said he was a man with no identity and no face with the hope that his brothers will find their way back…

Famous B walked into the weight room and talked to Mascarita Sagrada. He gave him a card and told him to call the number. They used a Tarantino single take shot to transition to a Mack and Sexy Star cinematic as Mack approached Star as she was doing deadlifts. Mack asked for moral support since he was forced to team with Mariposa and The Moth. Sexy Star refused. Mack said that those two eventually have to pay for what they did to her. He hopes Sexy Star is there to collect. Sexy Star then started to aggressively do bicep curls as thoughts of Mariposa haunted her…[C]

John’s Thoughts: Lots of bad acting tonight, but that’s 100% ok in the grindhouse type setting to the point where you think it’s on purpose. Sexy Star is a good actress on her end so far with the Marty storyline. As for Killshot, I feel like they were a little bit too late with the backstory as he’s already positioned at the bottom of the Lucha Underground talent pool. Maybe he has to start wrestling in army fatigues since in the vignette it helped to hide his extremely thin frame.

2. Cortez Castro, Mr. Cisco, and Joey Ryan vs. Marty the Moth Martinez, Mariposa, and The Mack. Striker brought up how Dario Cueto likes to put together odd trios which is on display here. Vampiro forgot the names of The Crew and said it was because of his meds. Cisco and Mack started off the match with a respectful dap. Mr. Cisco drew cheers with an armdrag. Cisco and Mack worked a high paced match with lucha and armdrags. Vampiro and Striker gave the two luchadores a standing ovation with the crowd.

Joey Ryan tagged in and said he wanted to face Mariposa. Mariposa tagged herself in. Mariposa gave Joey a slap. Joey gave her a facepalm back. Mariposa almost won with a rana rollup. She grounded Ryan with an axe kick. Mariposa tagged in Marty the Moth. Marty met a dropkick from Ryan. Ryan tagged in Cortez Castro to follow up. Striker talked about Castro being the most technically sound of the wrestlers in the match. Cisco and Castro did some teamwork.

Marty turned the tide with some ground and pound. Marioposa was splashed on Cisco by Marty. Mariposa dodged a dropkick and hit Mr. Cisco with a dropkick. Marty sent Cisco in the corner with an exploder. Mr. Cisco got a window of opportunity after a neckbreaker to tag in Cortez Castro. Castro dominated and hit a tornado DDT. Mariposa saved the pinfall. Joey Ryan stole the tag and Mack stole one on his end. Mack ended his rally with a leg drop and earned a nearfall. Mack hit a standing moonsault after a samoan drop.

The Crew broke up the next pin attempt. Mack went for a tope but was blocked by Mariposa. Mack tapped her with his foot to get her out of the way. Mack hit a Tope Con Hilo on everyone on the outside. Mack called for a flip, but Marty stole the tag back. Marty and Mack had a woo tag battle. Marty the Moth ate a stunner, followed by Chaos Realm from the Crew. Joey Ryan picked up the pinfall.

Joey Ryan and The Crew defeated The Mack, Mariposa, and The Moth via pinfall in 8:31.

Joey Ryan didn’t let the Crew celebrated and was over dramatic in a comedic way in his celebration. Mariposa pummeled the Mack after the match. Sexy Star ran in for the save to confront Mariposa. Sexy Star continued to show fear until she powered up. Striker said this was the Season 1 Sexy Star that we knew. Marty the Moth pulled Mariposa away as she was getting beat up. Oh oh! Matanza vs Fenix is next…

John’s Thoughts: While the team that won has characters that aren’t that great, the Trios match was really fun. This was the type of action we got last season that gave us some hope that Trios wrestling was on its way back up after the Shield disbanded in WWE. The Trios division was on fire until Ivelisse’s injury. This looks to be a good start to the Trios tournament with fun and variable action.

Dragon Azteca Jr was sitting on a roof contemplating as he was approached by Rey Mysterio Jr. who was wearing his Batman mask. Rey says he knows what Azteca is thinking. Azteca Jr said that the monster killed his teacher. Rey said it was time for Azteca Jr to kill him. Rey said it was also a reality that Dragon Azteca got his ass kicked by him at Aztec Warfare. Rey said that Azteca not has to fight for their tribe, but he still has a lot to learn.

Rey told Azteca to fight for honor not revenge. Rey said the good news is they are signed up for the Trios tournament. Rey revealed their partner to be Prince Puma who said his first word ever “me!”. Rey said he discovered Prince Puma on the streets just like Dragon Azteca found the Jr version (didn’t Konnan find Puma on the streets fighting?). Azteca Jr said next week they fight with each other as a team. Puma said words 2 through 5 of his vocabulary in saying “damn right we do!”. Puma and Azteca Jr stood together with Batman as they looked up into the sky…

John’s Thoughts: Okay! Even more reasons to be excited for the Trios Tournament. They are putting the main eventers there. Also, does Drago now have to drop the Batman gimmick now that Rey Mysterio’s here?

Fenix made his way to the ring for his match against Matanza. Oh gawd. Cut to commercial…[C]

Johnny’s Apathy: I really want to be excited for the Monster Matanza, but he just keeps bringing these main events down with the lack of ruthless aggression. This happened after Grave Consequences as well. Why do they build Fenix to the top of the card every time, only to make him an afterthought right after. They didn’t even give him any cinematic time in the last two weeks.

3. The Monster Matanza Cueto vs. Fenix for the Lucha Underground Championship. Matanza pushed down Fenix to start. Matanza went for a short arm clothesline. Matanza blocked Fenix’s offense and pushed him again. Matanza showed a bit of aggression with the ground attack. Striker said that Matanza’s matches have been methodical, Vampiro said they were violent. Props to Striker for being honest…

Matanza hit a German Suplex on Fenix to the turnbuckle. Matanza no-sold some kicks. Matanza fell and no sold a feint kick. Fenix went for the lethal injection but was caught into a German Suplex. Matanza no sold a superkick and kinda sold a dropkick. Fenix was sent down with a forearm. Fenix was on the apron and Matanza no sold kicks. Fenix was caught and was slammed into the ground.

Dario Cueto told Matanza to make him bleed. Matanza took Fenix in the ring and hit the Wrath aof the Gods powerslam to earn the pinfall victory.

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

Matanza continued with a post-match ground and pound. Catrina walked up with a microphone and said “Stop!”. Dario Cueto told Matanza to “Don’t stop!”, nice! Suddenly Mil Muertes ran in to save the main event and chased Matanza out of the ring. Dario Cueto took Matanza to the back by holding up the key. Mil Muertes gave Fenix a calm glare as he exited the ring. Fenix staggered in the ring to close out Lucha Underground…

John’s Thoughts: While we got a bit more aggression from Matanza this week, he’s still the low point of the show as far as match quality is concerned. When you work a formula that’s comparable to the Great Khali, things aren’t great. The Mil Muertes run-in was intriguing and refreshing as the Fenix vs. Mil dynamic has been one of Lucha Underground’s greatest productions. What makes things worse for Matanza is that creative isn’t doing him any favors. Everything from his look (they hide his muscles with a full body suit) to this “methodical” pace just drags things down overall. You would think that he would also benefit if they gave him a Ryback-like build but instead they are having their main eventers work as enhancement talent. I hope they don’t do the same thing for Mil.

Overall, this was a better show than last week and it gave me hope that the undercard is about to start carrying the show in the next couple of weeks. In fact, main eventers are starting to go into the midcard to avoid Matanza. I’m also digging the Moth vs. Sexy Star storyline that has built up really well and having Sexy Star get her mojo back was a good moment. Make sure to check out the Hit List coming up later on as well as Will Pruett’s audio review of the show.


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