By John Moore
Lucha Underground TV
Taped at Los Angeles, California
A recap video aired… This week’s episode was titled “Judgement Day” (obvious Terminator reference)… Matt Striker introduced Vampiro as well as the house band for tonight the Voodoo Glow Skulls who had this creepy cartoon troll masked guy. Striker talked about Rey Mysterio’s team getting their rematch to possibly regain their Trios Titles. Vampiro mentioned that Cage was facing Matanza in the main event…
1. Son of Havoc vs. Daga. Vampiro talked about Daga being a sensation again. Striker noted how Daga picked up his last win due to Kobra Moon giving him the win. Son of Havoc and Daga had a chain wrestling sequence to start that reminded Vampiro of Dynamite Kid. Havoc gained the upper hand with a huracanrana. He used his feet like a battering ram on Daga. Daga came right back with a superkick. Havoc escaped Daga’s grasp and sent him into the turnbuckle. Son of Havoc hung himself like a flag to drop on Daga with an elbow drop.
Son of Havoc teased the shooting star but Daga recovered. Havoc gained the nearfall off the standing moonsault. Daga nailed Havoc with a quick Michinoku Driver to earn a two count on his end. Daga gained another pinfall attempt after a running boot. Havoc took some punishment until he started a striking battle with Daga. Daga locked in a unique half crab on Son of Havoc.
Suddenly, Kobra Moon appeared on the steps in her street clothes to cheer on Daga. Son of Havoc escaped Daga and grounded him with consecutive clotheslines. Havoc hit some of his signature offense with the handstand elbow and crossbody. Havoc hit a tope on Daga on the outside after a kick exchange. Havoc went for the shooting star again but Kobra Moon held Havoc’s leg. Son of Havoc blocked Daga’s superplex with a front suplex. Son of Havoc hit the shooting star press for the victory.
Son of Havoc defeated Daga via pinfall in 7:02.
Son of Havoc celebrated his win as Kobra Moon went to check on Daga. Kobra Moon cradled Daga in an odd way. Daga pushed her off. She then expressed her love for Daga’s thigh. Daga then kicked her off his thigh. Kobra Moon acted like a snake like she usually does…[C]
John’s Thoughts: Lucha Underground’s booking method seems to be to tear someone down a lot before building them as Daga takes another loss. Striker even pointed out how his only win was given to him. He reminds me of Killshot in that they are talking him up so much yet he’s just a loser to the crowd. He’s a talented wrestler, but there needs to be an effort to implant a character on him other than the boots and trunks guy. Son of Havoc is also being wasted, but that’s probably due to him being in a similar situation as last year with Angelico being injured this time.
Rey Mysterio was boxing with a punching bag. Dragon Azteca Jr walks up to Rey excited that he found Matanza’s cage. Rey said Azteca should be worried about the Trios titles. Azteca asked if Rey remembered what Matanza did to Azteca senior. Rey said Azteca senior didn’t want to see junior seek revenge. Azteca and Rey were about to fight before Rey wagged his finger at Azteca. Puma walked in and said they had to go. Rey told Puma to get out and put his hands on Puma. Puma growled like a Puma. Rey said this situation between him and Azteca Jr. doesn’t concern Puma. Puma said it does concern him because they are his partners in the match tonight. By the way, Puma is talking! Rey punched the bag and said Puma was right, vamanos!
Rey Mysterio Jr, Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma were the first out to try to regain their Trios Titles. Johnny Mundo, Jack Evans, and PJ Black came out next with their title belts looking like the Lucha Underground version of 3MB, complete with PJ Black doing Drew Galloway’s aggressive pelvic thrusts…
John’s Dragon Azteca attire jab of the week: Dragon Azteca Jr should embrace his watermelon heritage and start calling himself El Watermelon Azteca.
2. Rey Mysterio Jr, Prince Puma and Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Johnny Mundo, Jack Evans, and PJ Black (w/ Taya Valkyrie) in a trios match for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship. Marty Elias held up the titles to signify that this was a title match. PJ Black handed Marty Elias a pair of Johnny Mundo glasses. Rey started off against PJ Black. Black dominated early on with a shoulder block. Black managed to dodge an initial huracanrana and roundhouse only to get hit by those moves after a dodging sequence.
Rey pummeled Black in the electric chair position. Black popped up Rey for a pop up low blow. Jack Evans tagged in and the trio hit a triple team suplex on Rey. Evans gloated a bit and hit a standing shooting star on Rey. Evans yelled at Rey “I think I can!”. Johnny Mundo tagged in and kept Rey away from his corner. Mundo threw his Mundo glasses at the babyface team. Mundo kept the momentum with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Rey hit a pop up DDT on Mundo to allow Puma to tag in with Evans tagging in on the other end. Puma hit some dropkicks on Evans and Black.
Puma hit his signature suplex combo on Mundo. Rey, Azteca, and Puma all kicked on Evans in the corner. Jack Evans blocked a Puma tope with a knee. Azteca hit a Tope con Hilo on Mundo. Black hit a crossbody on everyone on the outside. Jack Evans stopped Rey from doing an Asai Moonsault and told everyone that they were going to see the greatest thing that they’ve ever seen in their lives. Puma kicked Evans off the top rope and superplexed him on everyone outside.
Prince Puma missed the 630 on Jack Evans because of his partners pulling him out of the way. Jack Evans mocked Puma by hitting him with the 630. Puma kicked out at two in a nice nearfall. Puma caught Jack Evans and hit him with the Bennadryller. Dragon Azteca Jr and Mundo tagged in as the fresh competitors. Azteca caused Mundo to crash into Black. Azteca hit his spinning pop-up DDT on Mundo to earn a nearfall. Azteca blocked the moonlight drive and hit a low kick on Mundo. With the help of Taya’s distraction, Mundo kicked Dragon Azteca in the balls.
Prince Puma kicked Johnny Mundo in the balls after talking with Rey Mysterio. Marty Elias disqualified Prince Puma’s team via ball kick.
Johnny Mundo, Jack Evans, PJ Black defeated Rey Mysterio, Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma via disqualification to retain the Lucha Underground Trios titles.
Prince Puma was angry and superkicked Taya out of anger. Rey kept him from doing anything else afterward… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This was another good match with all of the top talent on the Lucha Underground roster concentrated in one match, but not as good as last week’s. It was positioned in the mid-card too so that should be expected a bit. I like Mundo’s 3MB team with a twist. They are so good at keeping a babyface moveset while drawing heat from the audience. Dragon Azteca Jr, watermelon mask aside, is also in the same boat as Killshot and Daga in that the lack of squash match victories causes him to constantly eat losses and not stand out.
Suddenly, Dragon Azteca Jr went into Matanza’s cage room to give Matanza an angry face. Black Lotus said she can’t let Azteca do what he’s going to do. Azteca said Matanza killed her parents and their teacher. Black Lotus said Dragon Azteca Sr. killed her parents. Dragon Azteca did some funny bad acting faces and said that “he wouldn’t do that!”. Azteca pushed Dragon Azteca Jr aside and told him that the truth hurts. Azteca Jr said “you know that’s not true” and he walked off.
John’s Thoughts: I thought I had my fill of bad telenovela acting from last night’s Impact (where on that show it actually was entertaining). I’m not sure where this leads to, but as I mentioned earlier, Azteca Jr hasn’t been built up at all and has no showdown matches in him. Are they building up to a Monster vs. Melon match?
“They Call Him” Cage came out first with his Gift of the Gods championship which he was cashing in tonight. Matanza and Dario Cueto were out next before the commercial break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: There we go! Brian Cage, yet another man on the list of Monsters who are better Matanzas than Jeffrey Cobb.
3. Matanza Cueto (w/Dario Cueto) vs. Cage for the Lucha Underground Championship. Brian Cage, who’s only 6 feet tall, towered over Matanza Cueto in the initial standoff. Matanza no sold Cage’s power offense to start. Cage gained the upper hand with an uppercut. Cage then went into luchador mode and grounded Matanza with a Lucha armdrag. Cage did a Mistico like headscissors push to send Matanza outside. Cage followed up with a Tope con Hilo.
Cage then hit Matanza with a top rope moonsault to the outside. Cage slammed Matanza on the railing several times. Cage power bombed Matanza on the same railing. Matanza recovered and started slamming Cage on the railing. Matanza hit Cage with several gutwrench German Suplexes. Cage hit a few forearms on Matanza, which Matanza sells now. Matanza escaped the strikes with a gutwrench.
Matanza choked on Cage in the ring and hit his club strikes. Matanza missed what was a sloppy standing moonsault. Cage hit an even better ground and pound attack on Matanza than Matanza did on him. Cage pummeled Matanza with clotheslines in the corner. Matanza countered with a T-Bone suplex. Matanza hit a pumphandle suplex on Cage and earned a two count. Cage escaped Matanza’s grasp with a jawbreaker and kept the monster down with a front dropkick. Matanza recovered with a clothesline.
Matanza raked on the eyes of Cage. Cage slithered into the Pumphandle and hit Matanza with a Falcon Arrow for the nearfall. Matanza and Cage had a clothesline battle and took each other out with pump kicks. Cage went for the TKO but Matanza escaped. Cage and Matanza traded no-selling German Suplexes. Matanza added a twist to end the suplex battle. Cage blocked the wrath of the gods and hit Matanza with the discus clothesline. The crowd did their Terminator claps on the Temple’s metal parts.
Brian Cage did his deadlift suplex on Matanza. Cage then did a heat seeking elbow from coast to coast on Matanza to earn a nearfall. Matanza struggled to get to his feet and earned a nearfall by hitting a back suplex on Cage. Cage was grounded with an Alabama Slam. Cage got two counts after a standing moonsault. Cage signaled for Weapon X but Matanza slipped out to hit Cage with a Belly to Belly. Cage kicked out near three after a sit-out powerbomb. Cage got a rollup after blocking a power slam. Cage earned another two count after hitting Matanza with the F5.
Cage led the crowd in the Terminator claps. He then took down the straps to his singlet. Cage hit Matanza with combination kicks. Matanza recovered, hit Wrath of the Gods, and won.
Matanza Cueto defeated Cage via pinfall in 13:30 to retain the Lucha Underground Championship.
Matt Striker said that was an ugly fight and wondered if anyone can stop Matanza. The show ended with Matanza celebrating and no post credits…
John’s Thoughts: I joked earlier about Cage being a better Matanza than Matanza, just like a bunch of other big men, but here he proved that he can do all of the things that they want their Matanza to do, just much more crisp and fluid. Cage going into Lucha mode was fun and Cage is putting together a good string of matches with a variety of opponents. He also carried Matanza to a passible main event. Matanza is still sloppy as evidenced in such moves as that missed standing moonsault and his lame finisher sequences. At least he stopped burying people in unrealistic fashion, poor Fenix. Matanza presents another problem now as because he isn’t able to carry the offense in the ring, he spends most of the match selling.
This was an above average episode of Lucha Underground from an in-ring perspective, but overall the show is just rolling along with little storyline progression. Matanza wins, Dragon Azteca sucks at revenge, and Kobra Moon likes Daga’s thigh, that’s what I got from this episode and last season had more compelling transitions from show to show.