4/13 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Rey Mysterio Jr, Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo, Taya Valkyrie, and Cage, “Military” Killshot vs. Argenis, Daga vs. El Texano Jr for an Aztec Medallion

luchaundergroundBy John Moore

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

This week’s intro video recapped the quest for the Gift of the Gods leading up to Fenix’s win of the title. Matanza winning Aztec Warfare was shown again. Rey and Dario took shots. Prince Puma talking and giving a fist bump to Dragon Azteca Jr. was the end of the video. This week’s episode was titled “Three’s a Crowd”.

At Dario Cueto’s office, Dario Cueto was talking to Johnny Mundo, Taya Valkyrie, and Cage. Cueto said he wanted this year’s tournament to top last year’s. He said only the greatest and unique teams have been invited. Mundo assumed that he wanted the three in the room to be another “unlikely” trios teams. Cage proposed a one-on-one match with Mundo. Dario said no and that he liked his own plan better.

Dario Cueto tried to formally introduce himself to Taya who just left him hanging, much to his dismay. Dario credited himself for the success of the unlikely trio of Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico. Dario said Cage and Johnny share a common goal, and that was to get Lucha Underground Gold. Cage said with or without them, he’s winning the trios tournament. Dario no-sold Cage’s “machine” catchphrase with apathy. Cueto told Johnny Mundo to just win the tournament. The scene ended with the camera focused on Dario’s “I’m Kind of a Big Deal” nameplate…

Vampiro introduced himself and Matt Striker back at the temple as well as giving credit to El Conjunto Nueva Ola for providing the live music for the night again. Striker talked about the trios tournament continuing and a returning luchador who debuted in last year’s tournament…

1. Argenis vs. Killshot. Killshot was dressed in camo gear to reflect what we saw in the video package last week. He also stared at his dog tags for a longer than usual time. Striker talked about the “militaristic” change. Killshot hit the early corner dropkick and continued the attack in the corner. He did a few short-arm chops followed up with a backbreaker.

Argenis kicked out of the initial pin attempt quickly. Argenis kicked Killshot in the tailbone. He got a loud slap on Killshot. Killshot kicked Argenis to the outside and did a clean cartwheel flip over the top rope. Back in the ring, Killshot hit a rolling cutter to get a nearfall. Killshot delivered a loud slap to Argenis. Argenis hit an impressive top rope armdrag to get a nearfall of his own.

Killshot blocked a huracanrana and turned it into a brainbuster suplex. Killshot went to the top rope and hit a double footstomp after kicking Argenis in the middle of the ring. Killshot hit a modified Michinoku Driver from the Electric Chair for the victory…

Killshot defeated Argenis via pinfall in 4:39.

Striker announced that Cage, Taya, and Mundo were facing Prince Puma, Dragon Azteca Jr, and Rey Mysterio Jr. next… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Killshot looked less clumsy than he has in his past showings, but he was a bit too slow here. It’s probably because he’s getting used to this new character, but even that is strange. The announcers were a bit to hammy in trying to get over Military-Killshot. This crowd was not really responsive as well since they mostly see him lose. At least this was a good enhancement match which has been lacking in Season 2.

Black Lotus was guarding Dario Cueto’s office. Outta nowhere, Dragon Azteca Jr jumps in and asks Black Lotus “How can you work for him?”. Black Lotus said she had no choice because she was locked up in a cell and was doing it to stay alive. Black Lotus said the monster killed their master which got Azteca angry. Azteca told Lotus to stay close to Dario Cueto…

Inside the office, Dario Cueto poured some whiskey and was talking to a new luchador. He was talking to AAA’s Daga from Los Perros Del Mal. Dario Cueto had the medallions laid out on his desk and Daga said they look like gold coins. Dario said “no!” they were medallions. Dario Cueto talked about how when they combine they give a person the Gift of the Gods and a guaranteed championship match. Daga said that was creative. Dario Cueto wanted to see if Daga’s hype was real and Daga was going to debut in a match for a medallion. He said this man was the most vicious and cold blooded man who’s name wasn’t Dario Cueto. It was El Texano. Daga said “that’s because you don’t know me”…

John’s Thoughts: We’re getting back into the formula of cinematics in the middle of the show. It looks like Black Lotus will be taking Chavo’s role as manipulator which might be interesting. Daga is a really good striker and technical wrestler (think a Daniel Bryan/Samoa Joe type moveset), but he’s been placed as the guy who takes losses for Perros Del Mal. In his first Lucha Underground segment he came off as extremely wooden from a personality standpoint. Hopefully, they find a way to fix that.

Daga made his debut in the temple. Vampiro said that he wrestles like “a Japanese wrestling guy”. Melissa Santos introduced Texano as the longest reigning AAA Mega Champion. Texano brought a bullrope and cowboy hat to the ring…

2. Daga vs. El Texano Jr. for Aztec medallion #1. Matt Striker explained the mechanism of the Aztec Medallions which are essentially the same as the Dragon Balls just in the Lucha Underground universe in that you collect them for your wish which is the Lucha Underground Title and then they split up to be collected again.

Daga hit a slap on Texano to start off and did some counter wrestling with Texano which Texano kept up in. Striker brought up the two being partners before. Texano returned the favor with a slap of his own. After some more lucha counters, Texano hit a roundhouse to Daga. Texano hit some chop-lariat combos in the corner. Texano crotched Daga on the top rope with a side suplex.

With Daga outside, Texano went for a tope, but Daga recovered and went inside of the ring. Daga got Texano outside and hit a corkscrew plancha on Texano. Daga slammed Texano against stuff on the outside. Texano kicked out at two. Daga hit a corner dropkick on Texano. Texano recovered and the two wrestlers had a forearm battle. Texano managed to hit a superkick. Daga managed to pull off a single legged dropkick.

Texano met Daga with front kick. He earned a nearfall after a Ruff Ryder leg lariat. Daga reversed the sitout powerbomb into a rollup nearfall. Texano came right back with Lariats. Daga escaped a toss and got locked in the ankle lock. Texano escaped and hit a monkey flip. Texano recovered and his sitout powerbomb for the victory.

El Texano Jr defeated Daga via pinfall in 7:04 to earn Aztec Medallion #1.

The referee gave Texano the red bag and he celebrated his medallion win… [C]

John’s Thoughts: That was a pretty fun match that was refreshing on several levels. Seeing Texano work with someone who’s not Blue Demon or Chavo shows that the big guy can match up with quicker opponents without having to shift his style. Daga was slow to start but technical, and he picked up the pace in the end to treat the crowd to a great matchup which they responded to well. Good job between these two, and the most refreshing thing of all is that we aren’t getting a Matanza main event on this show.

Mil Muertes was sitting in front of his candles. Catrina walked up and told Mil that the Disciples were in the Trios Tournament and begged for his forgiveness. With the power of electricity and a rock, The Disciples of Death materialized. Mil stood up from his shrine and told the Disciples to rise. Catrina told them to leave. Catrina said they will not fail again (but they always fail, that what the putty patrol usually does). Catrina said the Monster Matanza Cueto is unlike any adversary he’s faced before and passively more devastating than the earthquake that made Mil Muertes. Mil Muertes roared…

Rey Mysterio Jr, Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma made their way to the ring. Prince Puma had his usual puma pelt and Azteca had…well… something… [C]

Moore’s Sidetrack: Please don’t tell me I’m not the only one that thinks that Dragon Azteca’s “animal pelt” looks a bit goofy like a children’s discount Halloween costume.

3. Rey Mystero Jr, Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo, Taya Valkyrie, and “They Call Him” Cage in a Trios Tournament match. The crowd was hot for Cage but even hotter for Rey Mysterio. Dragon Azteca Jr. started off against Cage. Azteca tried to ground Cage, but Cage stood his ground off the headlock. Azteca’s dropkick bounced off Cage. Azteca staggered Cage with a kick. Azteca got an armdrag on Cage. Cage came back with a flapjack. Azteca dodged the discus and tagged in Prince Puma.

Puma grounded Cage with a huracanrana. Mundo tagged himself back in. Striker brought up Puma’s history with both Cage and Mundo. Puma grounded Mundo with a huracanrana. Off the Taya distraction, Mundo hit the Moonlight Drive on Puma for the two count. Taya tagged in and did some double team moves with Johnny. Taya distracted Marty Elias to allow Mundo to get some cheap shots in. Taya got a two count after a knee.

Cage stole Mundo’s tag and Mundo called him stupid. Cage blocked a roundhouse kick and hit a powerbomb on Puma. Cage hit Puma with a standing moonsault. Taya distracted the ref and Mundo tried to get cage to hit Puma with a chair. Cage ended up slapping Mundo. Mundo called Cage a stupid meathead. Mundo and Taya put the boots to Puma. Puma sent Mundo and Taya outside and staggered Cage. Mundo managed to block the tag by tripping Rey.

Puma ended up tagging Dragon Azteca. Azteca hit a popup dropkick on Cage. He got a nearfall off the rana rollup. Johnny Mundo went for a reverse suplex and Azteca escaped to tag in Mysterio for the hot tag. Rey cleaned house. Rey did a dragon screw on Taya into Johnny who was seated in the corner. Rey Mysterio went for the double 619 but both Taya and Mundo escaped. Puma and Azteca did topes to follow up. Cage took down Dragon with a clothesline and Puma took him down with a kick.

Mysterio earned a two count after a crossbody on Mundo. Taya broke up the next pin after a Mysterio dropkick. Puma broke up the pin after Taya and Mundo hit a combo Moonlight Drive. Puma and Azteca were taken down by Cage. Cage took down Mystero with a powerslam. Mundo blocked Cage from doing a moonsault which allowed Puma to clean house. Azteca hit a frankensteiner on Mundo and Puma followed up with a 450. Mundo kicked out for a close nearfall.

Puma went for the benadryller, but Mundo escaped and hit a Spanish Fly on Puma. Mundo escaped to the outside. Taya hit a footstomp on Azteca. Cage accidently ran into Taya. Cage didn’t accidently powerbomb Rey into Taya. cage lifted both Puma and Azteca and hit them both with a fallaway slam. Puma escaped Weapon X. Mundo hit Cage with a Disaster Kick. Cage hit Mundo with a discus clothesline. Mundo sent Cage outside and hit 619 on Mundo.

Azteca hit a nice tilt-a-whirl DDT on Mundo. Rey did a sitout senton on Taya. Cage was dispatched with an outside huracanrana from Azteca. Puma barely hit the 630 on Mundo in the ring and picked up the win for his trio.

Rey Mysterio Jr, Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma defeated Cage, Johnny Mundo, and Taya via pinfall in 12:53 to advance in the Trios Tournament.

Matt Striker said that these three luchadores were the favorite as Lucha Underground ended…

But wait! There’s more! Dario Cueto was at Matanza’s cage and said that next week he will face his toughest opponent yet because the Man of a Thousand Deaths will be tough to break (Oh gawd! more Matanza main events). Dario said that he prepared Matanza to face his destiny and now that the world can see what he can do, nothing will get in his way, not even Mil Muertes. He motioned for Matanza to approach him. He said that the reason that Matanza must stay in the cage is because he is valuable to Dario.

Dario said that like any valuable, we lock them away so no one can steal them. Dario touched Matanza’s face and said that no one understands the beauty of his destruction like he does. Dario said to make him proud next week and to bring death to the dead. The camera made it look like Matanza was towering over Dario even though we know Matanza isn’t that tall. Matanza made some animalistic noises and rattled the cage as Lucha Underground finished…

John’s Thoughts: Like most good weeks of Lucha Underground, this was a fun match, not the climatic end like we get when it’s the finals of a tournament or a title match, it was just pure fun. Johnny Mundo got to look good here and they told the story with Cage well. The babyface trio got to do their usual spots and please the crowd which is what they are there for. This trios tournament was what we hoped for to save us from the boring Matanza main events and so far the trios have delivered.

The best part of the Matanza act is still Dario Cueto who is awesome in all of his screen time including the closing segment. That said, Matanza returns to the main event next week and after his last few showings I’m not looking forward to it. I am intrigued a bit more since Mil Muertes has been built up so well as the top monster of Lucha Underground, but so has Fenix as an indestructible force and look what they did to him. I hope they don’t do the same to Mil because it would be a shame to do such great work to build everyone up only to have them dispatched like a sudden retcon.

Overall, this was a fun episode of Lucha Underground and a bit refreshing after the past few weeks. Props to Daga and Texano for putting on a solid opening match. The past few weeks have had good undercards, but the endings left a sour taste in the mouths of people who are used to the compelling overall shows in favor of the mundane Matanza. Hopefully a week does him good and he can show a bit more aggression at what I hope are a fresh set of tapings.


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