4/20 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Matanza Cueto vs. Mil Muertes for the Lucha Underground Championship, The Disciples of Death vs. Fenix, Jack Evans, and PJ Black, AeroStar vs. Drago for an Aztec Medallion

luchaundergroundBy John Moore

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

On the “previously on…” clip, Dario Cueto talked introduced the Trios Tournament. Catrina talked about the Disciples of Death being in the Tournament. Dario Cueto talked to Matanza Cueto about fighting Fenix. This week’s episode was titled “Monster Meets Monster”…

Dario Cueto told Fenix that he was luckily that he survived Matanza. Cueto was also talking to Drago and AeroStar. Cueto said that Fenix was the man of endless lives while he is the man of endless opportunity. Cueto said that he needed one more team in the tournament and that Drago, AeroStar, and Fenix would seem like a dream team. Cueto said he couldn’t because AeroStar and Drago couldn’t get along when they tried this last year. Dario Cueto then said that Fenix’s new partners were PJ Black and Jack Evans and they will face the Disciples of Death. Fenix didn’t like this. Cueto said Drago would face AeroStar for an Aztec Medallion and that match was next…

Vampiro checked in alongside Matt Striker as he introduced El Conjunto Nueva Ola again as the house band. Striker talked about this being a big night with Matanza facing Mil Muertes with the title on the line. Also, an Aztec Medallion was on the line. AeroStar came to the ring in red. Drago came to the ring wearing a demon skull on his head proving to the world why his overall costuming is miles ahead of Dragon Azteca Jr (I still chuckle at Azteca’s lame attire)…

1. AeroStar vs. Drago for Aztec Medallion #2. Drago started off with some ground work. Both luchadores traded quick pin attempts on the ground. They both continued to counter each other’s chain wrestling drawing “lucha” chants. Dragon missed a back hand chop but hit a feint kick. AeroStar dodged a low sweep and hit a corkscrew crossbody on Drago. Drago came back with a springboard armdrag. Drago refused a handshake and kept the pace up. AeroStar went for a springboard move but slipped off to the bottom. Striker said it was due to the sweat accumulated during the match (nice cover by Striker).

Drago took AeroStar back in the ring and allowed him to get up. AeroStar huracanrana’d Drago to the outside and landed a springboard Tope Con Hilo on Drago. Striker said some fan looked like Bob Ross and he made a painting joke. Both of them recovered and Drago kept AeroStar on the outside. Drago ran at AeroStar with a corkscrew tope. AeroStar caught Drago with a feint kick but missed a springboard splash. Drago hit the hanging DDT for a nearfall. Drago was sent to the corner which allowed AeroStar to hit a springboard low dropkick.

AeroStar walked the tightrope but the Frankensteiner was blocked. Drago earned a nearfall after a lifted front slam. Drago dodged a springboard senton and both rivals fought with forearms on the ground. AeroStar gained the upper hand with a tiger feint kick to Drago’s back and hit a springboard Codebreaker. AeroStar did a salute in his springboard splash to earn the victory.

AeroStar defeated Drago via pinfall in 6:36 to earn Aztec Medallion #2.

AeroStar was handed the green bag with his medallion. The crowd gave them a nice ovation. Striker talked about the Disciples of Death in action next…[C]

John’s Thoughts: The best of five series from last season really helped to keep this series from being stale, but since these two are so innovative and athletic it would be tough to think of these two not having a good match. There were established as eternal rivals and that establishment could make this feud last for years as long as we don’t see it every week.

Johnny Mundo was doing wing chun on a wooden training dummy. Taya Valkyrie complemented Johnny’s looks. Johnny said he wasn’t just “a” man he was “the” man. Taya had some news and said she demanded that Dario give Johnny a medallion. She also said that since Johnny ordered her to, she also mentioned that Johnny didn’t get a chance to compete for one last year. Taya said that Johnny has to fight for it against Cage. Mundo talked about taking Cage to Slamtown and that Taya would have his back. Taya said that would be tough because of the steel cage stipulation. Johnny Mundo said it was Cage in a Cage. Taya said not to worry and he was going to shut the machine down permanently. Johnny Mundo did rapid wing chun punches on the dummy…

The Trios Tournament match was next. Matt Striker made a 4/20 Joke when talking about Jack Evans’s team…[C]

2. Jack Evans, “The Darewolf” PJ Black, and Fenix vs. The Disciples of Death (w/ Catrina) in a Trios Tournament Match. PJ Black started off against the silver guy. PJ Black worked on the arm and refused to tag in Fenix. He wanted to tag in Evans but Evans refused on his end which made Black say “are you kidding me?”. PJ Black hit a high kick for a nearfall. Fenix jumped off Black’s back to keep the disciples at bay. Fenix hit the purple guy with a corkscrew plancha.

Jack Evans teased dodging Black’s tag but tagged in. Evans showboated and was crotched on the turnbuckle. He told Black to get him out of here so he tagged out before doing anything. Sweet! The silver guy hit a strong clothesline on PJ Black and they isolated Black in their corner. PJ Black got the hot tag on Fenix as Fenix hit a moonsault on the purple guy. Fenix got a nearfall after a Spanish Fly. Fenix met him with a superkick and hit a springboard dropkick.

Fenix yelled “Animo!” and hit a dropkick in the corner. Fenix earned a nearfall after a suplex. Striker brought up Fenix’s history with Catrina and Vamp talked about getting slapped by her. The purple guy hit a superkick and a DDT for the nearfall. The gold guy tagged in and tried to rip off Fenix’s mask. Fenix used kicks to escape the Disciples’ corner. Jack Evans tagged in and said he was ready. Evans used a bunch of Eddy Gordo moves. He showboated again and met kicks from the Disciples. Fenix took out two of them. Fenix got the nearfall after a rana on the gold guy. The gold guy got a nearfall after a flapjack.

Fenix hit a rising palmstrike on the gold guy in the corner. PJ Black hit a springboard 450 for a nearfall. Fenix and Black argued a bit while tossing Disciples outside. PJ Black hit a tope and got a tag on Fenix. Jack Evans took out the two disciples on the outside with a double corkscrew somersault tope. Fenix hit a springboard 450 on the gold guy to earn the victory.

Fenix, Jack Evans, and PJ Black defeated the Disciples of Death via pinfall in 9:10 to advance in the Trios Tournament.

The “wild card” team celebrated as Striker reminded the viewers that Mil Muertes was facing Matanza Cueto in the main event…[C]

John’s Thoughts: I am super glad we are getting back to fun matches in Lucha Underground again. This trio was a bit questionable on paper with so many “wild card” teams being inserted in this year’s iteration, but all of the pieces in this team worked out well. Jack Evans was a riot and the star of the match not with his athleticism which he’s amazing at, but his comedy was stellar. On the other side of the coin, the Disciples still never win anything, but they were never that great to begin. It’s just cool that the Trios Tournament continues to deliver no matter who’s involved.

At Dario Cueto’s office, Dario Cueto was talking to the Trios champs, Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico. He said they came together and pulled out a miracle. Ivelisse said no matter who wins the Tournament, they will still be champs. Dario Cueto said that the latest news is that they are in the tournament. Son of Havoc thought it was for number one contendership. Dario Cueto said the winners of the tournament will be the champs and that the advantage that Havoc’s team gets is a first round bye. Cueto announced an elimination match with all of the remaining teams next week for the titles and he wished Team Havoc well. Ivelisse and Angelico didn’t like that he called them Team Havoc. Cueto told them to get out…

From electricity, the Disciples of Death materialized in the locker room. Catrina told them how they failed miserably. She said the worse thing was that Fenix was the one who took the victory. Catrina told them to give her one good reason to not destroy all of them. The purple guy did a palm strike and ripped the heart out of the silver guy. He also ripped the heart out of the gold guy too. Both of the hearts were still beating inside of the purple guy’s hands as he powered up. The purple guy powered up as the other two guys turned to ashes. Fatality…[C]

John’s Thoughts: Dario Cueto continues to revolutionize the heel authority figure position by just offering his unique swag. Both of his segments tonight have been nice and he commands the scenes very well. As for the Disciples, they were a failed concept to begin with but I have to say that I’m intrigued to see where the purple guy ends up. We got our latest on screen murders with the kung-fu heart rips.

Mil Muertes made his way to the ring first and did his usual thing where he pushes around the camera people. Dario Cueto led Matanza down the steps with the key controlling him. Dario Cueto talked with Spanish to Matanza as they went to the ring…

3. Mil Muertes (w/ Catrina) vs. Matanza Cueto (w/ Dario Cueto). Striker said this was like Galactus vs. Thanos. Both monsters traded right arms with Mil Muertes gaining the upper hand with his right hands. Muertes sent Matanza to the ground for the first time ever. Matanza recovered and hit a clothesline. Mil Muertes gained the advantage again with a powerslam and worked the ground and pound. Matanza escaped and worked on Mil in the corner. Mil Muertes dominated the monster and turned the tables in the corner.

Muertes hit ten clotheslines in the corner. Matanza escaped with boots. Matanza followed up with consecutive gutwrench suplexes on Mil. Mil blocked Matanza and tossed him to the ground outside. Mil Muertes followed up with a tope to draw cheers from the crowd. Dario Cueto broke up the ground and pound to draw Mil’s attention. Mil choked Dario with both arms in the air and Matanza saved Dario. They fought their way to the announce table as Catrina interfered on Mil’s behalf. Matanza got a double choke of his own and Mil hit Matanza with a steel chair.

Mil grabbed a water/gas can and started hitting Matanza with it. Matanza managed to get the can himself and hit Mil a few times. Mil and Matanza brawled to the top of Dario’s office. Mil teased tossing Matanza off but Matanza blocked it and was hanging off the railing. Dario had a look of shock on his face. Matanza blocked a German from the top. Mil Muertes managed to hit the flatliner through the roof of Dario Cueto’s office. Music played to mark what I would assume is a no-contest…

Mil Muertes vs. Matanza Cueto ended in a no-contest.

Dario ran to the hole in his office with a look of concern. He held up his key as Catrina held up her rock to mark a war. Dario Cueto kept yelling “War!” before going to check on Matanza in the hole. Lucha Underground ended…

But wait! There’s more! At LAPD Headquarters we saw a bulletin board reminding us that Bael (B-Boy) was indeed dead. We were also reminded that Hernandez, Alberto El Patron (Del Rio), Blue Demon, and Big Ryck were “missing”. A man named Councilman Delgado walked in to talk with Captain Vasquez. Delgado talked about Vazquez snooping around his jurisdiction which is Boyle Heights. Delgado said that his employer insists that Vasquez drops the case against Dario Cueto. Vasquez thought this employer was the Mayor of Los Angeles. Delgado talked about there being “someone much more powerful”. He said it was just friendly advice from an old friend. Captain Marie Vasquez looked stressed as the show ended…

John’s Thoughts: Matanza still isn’t great in the ring and his look isn’t that great as well, but he might have had his best showing in Lucha Underground TV so far and 100% of the credit should go to the man formerly known as Judas “El” Mesias, Mil Muertes. I was afraid that they were going to follow a pattern of Matanza killing everyone and have Mil pass the torch to him, but what they did here was simply awesome! It’s still a shame that they buried Fenix in all of this, but they managed to elevate Mil Muertes out this episode. Matanza is still a giant log in the ring, but Mil pulled off a great match against a log.

Part of the problem with Matanza is his look, and I really don’t think it’s worth hiding his massive physique with the janitor garb. Another thing we got out of this match was that Mil Muertes is still the true monster that Lucha Underground deserves and let’s see how he works as the one true hope babyface (?) of Lucha Underground. Dario Cueto continued his string of greatness in this match as well with his interference, side comments, and facial expressions. Dario Cueto is the complete package here!

Lucha Underground is back with a vengeance and getting fun again. The Trios, the Medallions, and even Matanza got a good match, this is cool! I’m hoping they don’t rush to the rematch and hopefully the trios can carry the show again like they have the last few weeks. We are also back to hyping future weeks with the Trios elimination for the title happening next week which is almost guaranteed to deliver. Thank you so much for reading along and make sure to check out Will Pruett’s Audio Review along with my Hit List coming soon.

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