By John Moore
Lucha Underground TV
Taped January 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California
In this week’s teaser video, Mil Muertes’s feud against King Cuerno was featured, Fenix was shown eliminating Johnny Mundo from six to survive, and finally they recapped Prince Puma challenging Rey Mysterio to a dream match. This week’s episode was titled “The Phoenix, The Dragon, and The Spaceman”…
Vampiro and Matt Striker checked in on commentary at the temple as the house band for this week was El Conjunto Nueva Ola was the house band. Vamp said he was out of his mind for Ultima Lucha. Striker said there was breaking news and that Fenix, Drago, and Aerostar will be taking on the Trios Champions for their titles at Ultima Lucha. The Trios Champs (Johnny Mundo, PJ Black, and Jack Evans) were now being officially called “The Worldwide Underground”. Striker introduced Fenix facing Mundo tonight while Prince Puma was facing El Dragon Azteca Jr to hype the dream match for Ultima Lucha. Vampiro was excited for the King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertes match which was happening right now…
1. King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertes (w/Catrina). Mil Muertes terrorized the camera people like he usually does when he made his way to the ring. Mil didn’t allow the ring bell to officially ring before he made his attack towards the hunter. Mil has red eyes of course now. Striker said this was a rudo vs. rudo match (even though I believe they’ve positioned Mil as a technico/babyface).
Mil caught the evading Cuerno and started the ground and pound. Vampiro pointed out that Mil stomped Cuerno’s balls. Cuerno stopped Mil with a big boot but Mil fought through with a clothesline. Cuerno shook up mil with a front kick. Mil countered with a swinging clothesline. Mil earned several nearfalls in the sequence. Cuerno staggered Mil with a dragon knee and a jump kick. Mil was kept outside with a baseball slide. Cuerno then hit Mil and the referee with the best tope in the world, the Arrow from the depths of hell! and Ref Bump!
Cuerno brought a chair and Mil into the ring with the ref bumped. King Cuerno gave Mil a chairshot to the head (it was safer than most unprotected chairshots though since Cuerno made sure to make it rather slide off the back of Mil’s head). Mil no-sold the chair shot. Mil came back with a strong right arm. Mil had the chair this time and told Cuerno to get up. Mil hit Cuerno with the chair on the back. Mil set up the chair in the corner and pushed the cameramen since he likes doing that. Cuerno managed to evade Mil and make Mil tackle the chair accidently. King Cuerno picked up the pinfall victory with his hand and leg on the ropes and the ref couldn’t see due to him being staggered from the bump.
King Cuerno defeated Mil Muertes via pinfall in 4:35.
Striker pointed out how this was a huge win for Cuerno. Vampiro noted how the finish wasn’t cool and Catrina was holding Mil back from destroying Cuerno. Striker hyped Fenix vs. Johnny Mundo for later in the show…
John’s Thoughts: While a lot of the writing and booking has been all over the place, the only thing keeping Lucha Underground from sucking is the action from between the ropes, and in this match the in ring portion told the story. Standard and effective storytelling between Cuerno and Mil. Mil is the new babyface “Undertaker” despite what Matt Striker wants you to believe. Cuerno did some good rudo tactics here to make this match more of a first chapter rather than the final encounter.
Dario Cueto offered drinks to Taya and Ivelisse. Taya refused while Ivelisse accepted a double shot of liquor. Dario said that Taya has proven herself in the temple by fighting everyone. Dario complemented Ivelisse for being a celebrated trios champion. Taya mocked Ivelisse for needing two men to be successful. Cueto said that there could be only one baddest bitch; Ivelisse interjected the “bitch” part. Dario booked Taya vs. Ivelisse for a match at Ultima Lucha. He said may the baddest “woman” win. Ivelisse sipped her whiskey in one gulp and said she was counting on it. Ivelisse cross paths with Catrina at Dario’s door and said she didn’t forget about her.
Catrina demanded a rematch between Cuerno and Mil Muertes. Dario cracked up and pointed out how Catrina tried to take over the temple, beat up his innocent baby brother, and destroyed his office. Dario refused the match and said this feud regarding a stolen casket was more fit for a funeral home. Catrina said that they demanded a “Death Match” with Cuerno. This caught Dario’s attention and made him gulp. Dario said he hated Catrina but Catrina knew what to say to get him excited. Dario granted Mil Muertes a “Death Match” at Ultima Lucha. Catrina then did her usual instant transmission teleportation thing…
John’s Thoughts: Lucha Underground seems to be struggling a bit with the story allocation, but this cinematic was solid in setting up two really hot matchups for Ultima Lucha Dos. Ivelisse and Taya are Lucha Underground’s toughest female brawlers and that should be a treat. All of Mil’s matches have been a treat to watch so that should be a cool one as well. Funny note, I was at Ultima Lucha Dos (and the distant future “Tres”) and I, John Moore, might have a cameo appearance during the Death Match if El Rey didn’t edit me out?
At the temple Prince Puma was the first introduced. (I’m getting a bit emotional in the head right now based off of one of the greatest live pro wrestling shows that I’ve ever attended this past weekend. Since I’m not allowed to spoil things, let’s just say I was one of the people who gave a hug to Prince Puma due to a specific circumstance). Puma’s opponent was El Dragon Azteca Jr, who was accompanied by Rey Mysterio Jr…[C]
Moore’s Dragon Azteca Jr attire jab of the week: This week’s attire jab comes from a first time Lucha Underground viewer at the temple last week. EDAJ had a match following a Drago match. The new fan who saw Dragon Azteca Jr’s lame attire for the first time said “The Dragon from the last match [Drago] makes this guy [EDAJ] look like Barney the Dinosaur”.
2. Prince Puma vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr. (w/ Rey Mysterio Jr). There were dueling Puma and Azteca chants to start out. Striker noted how these guys were trios champs at one point. Puma started off with a knife chop. Both masked men then did a bunch of counter Puma. Puma did that flip that Vader doesn’t like and Azteca made sure to dodge all of the flips. Puma couldn’t get his hands on Azteca and Azteca gave Puma the wave of his finger.
Prince Puma gave Azteca a handshake for the entire nice counter Lucha but didn’t let go which made Rey Mysterio disapprove. Azteca gave Puma some knife chops for the disrespectful gesture. Puma got a whip in and both luchadores escaped outside. Dragon Azteca Jr did a tope, but was caught into a fireman carry by Puma. Puma tossed Azteca like a dart into the ring post. Striker noted that Puma was fighting a bit darker now. Puma gave Azteca a European Uppercut. Azteca escaped with some dodges and sent Puma flying with a huracanrana. Azteca also hit a dropkick.
Puma recovered but was crotched on the top rope. Dragon Azteca hit a springboard huracanrana on Puma while he was crotched on the rope. Dragon Azteca earned the nearfall. Prince Puma managed to get in a forearm. Azteca earned a forearm of his own. Dragon Azteca managed to hit his signature pop-up DDT which is now being dubbed the DDTJ after Dragon Azteca’s hometown of Tijuana, Mexico. This produced a good nearfall. Puma placed Azteca in the corner but Azteca used his boot to fight back. Puma yanked Azteca down and hit an emphatic Blue Thunder Bomb.
Puma earned a nearfall after the bomb. Puma went for the 630 but Azteca recovered as Puma posed. Vampiro noted how Puma waited too long. Puma was crotched again. Rey said to finish him. Dragon Azteca Jr nailed Puma with a sweet and sick Super Sunset Flip Piledriver to earn a sweet pin. Dragon Azteca went for the 450, but Puma recovered and hit an exploder. Puma hit Azteca with an axe kick and followed up with a spinning Michinoku Driver to earn yet another solid nearfall of the match.
Prince Puma hung in the air for a while with a high dropkick. He went to the top rope and hit Azteca with the 630 while also rolling to his feet. Prince Puma then picked up the pinfall victory over his former trios partner.
Prince Puma defeated El Dragon Azteca Jr via pinfall in 8:44.
Prince Puma’s theme played as he celebrated his win. Rey went in the ring to check up on his student El Dragon. Puma pointed at Dragon Azteca Jr and said that Jr’s fate will be Rey’s at Ultima Lucha Dos. Puma then gave Rey a condescending pat to the back which annoyed Rey. Rey stood up and jawed with Rey as the show went to commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: There we go Lucha Underground! That’s the type of matchups that we used to love from Season 1. This was El Dragon Azteca Jr’s best showing which is a given because it was his first singles match. Dragon Azteca Jr. has been hurt by being stuck in multi-man and trios matches so this was the first time we got to see him showcase his repertoire. Ultimately, I just believe Dragon Azteca Jr was just hurt by making his debut in Season 2 which has been poorly written in the sunset end of the season. Back to the match, the only bad part was how Azteca Jr was being sold short as an enhancement talent for Puma, otherwise this was a stellar encounter. If only we had more weeks to build up this dream match.
Dario Cueto was in the center of the ring joined by Son of Havoc, Willie Mack, “They Call Him” Cage, and Texano all in ring gear. Dario Cueto said this was his favorite time of the year, Ultima Lucha, and that he felt like a kid waiting for the Christmas morning. He said just like Christmas he invited these four wrestlers in the ring to receive a gift from him Cueto said to kick off Ultima Lucha Dos he had big plans for these wrestlers and it was a “Unique Opportunity” tournament.
Dario Cueto dubbed it “4 A Unique Opportunity” (hahaha…ugh). Dario said this was the greatest unique opportunity he was offering and told the wrestlers to give it all they’ve got. Dario said to give it all they’ve got and told them to rest up. Dario told them to get a jump start right now. The four wrestlers then brawled. Cage was the lone man in the ring and the show went to commercial?..[C]
John’s Thoughts: What the hell? That was odd. Lucha Underground seems to be scrambling to put together their Ultima Lucha card without any real build. The randomness aside, Dario Cueto was as awesome as usual and the lame pun was hilarious. That might be because I’m a fan of bad puns.
Matt Striker went over the Ultima Lucha the Ultima Lucha Dos card. Cage vs. Texano vs. Son of Havoc vs. The Mack for a unique opportunity, King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertes in a “Death Match”, Prince Puma vs. Rey Mysterio Jr in a “Dream Match” Black Lotus was making her Lucha Underground in-ring debut against El Dragon Azteca Jr, Taya vs. Ivelisse, Sexy Star vs. Daga vs. Sinestro De La Muerte vs. Marty the Moth vs. Mariposa vs. Killshot vs. Night Claw (a.k.a Flamita/Octagon Jr). Pentagon vs. Matanza for the Lucha Underground Championship, and Fenix, Aerostar, and Drago vs. “The Worldwide Underground” rounded out the Ultima Lucha card…
Fenix entered the temple first from the steps. Johnny Mundo came out through the ground entrance accompanied by Taya.
3. Fenix vs. Johnny Mundo (w/ Taya Valkyrie). Vampiro was a fan of Johnny Mundo’s leather trenchcoat. Johnny Mundo gave the crowd a middle finger. Mundo shoved Fenix who gave him a chest slap in return. Fenix tried to get the early pinfall. Fenix scared Mundo after a standing moonsault and pin attempt. Mundo gave Fenix a superkick and running knee for a pinfall attempt on his end. Mundo mounted the ground and pound. Striker noted how Mundo stole Fenix’s spot in the trios tournament by leaving him lying backstage.
Fenix worked on Mundo in the corner with many slaps including a loud running one. Taya provided distractions in the corner which was enough to allow Mundo to get a boot and standing Spanish Fly. Mundo locked in a nelson with is legs and Fenix escaped. Johnny Mundo earned a nearfall after a spinebuster. Striker and Vampiro continue their constant nitpick over hooking the leg. Mundo distracted Marty Elias which allowed Taya to get a few shots in. Mundo and Taya posed on the outside after knocking Fenix down. Fenix caught Mundo with a superkick off the springboard.
Fenix flew outside with a corkscrew somersault to take down Mundo and Taya. Johnny Mundo still has his head band on by the way. Mundo and Fenix traded shots in the ring Fenix knocked out Mundo in the corner with a boot in one corner and a reverse back kick in the other. Vampiro said Fenix remind him of some Krav Maga moves. Fenix planted Mundo with a cool looking springing Canadian Destroyer to pick up the nearfall. Fenix went to the top rope but was held by Taya. Mundo recovered and kicked Fenix down. Mundo hit Fenix with a corkscrew crossbody to get himself a nearfall.
Taya went to the timekeeper area to get the Trios belt. Mundo was staggered on the top rope with a shoryuken. Fenix tightroped to a Spanish Fly. Taya distracted Marty to block the pinfall. Mundo hit Fenix with the belt to earn the three count victory.
Johnny Mundo defeated Fenix via pinfall in 7:48.
Striker sold apathy on commentary due to the cheap finish. Vampiro said he likes dirty fighting but agrees with Striker regarding a huge event like Ultima Lucha being no place for cheap finishes. “The Worldwide Underground”, Jack Evans and PJ Black, entered the ring to celebrate with air guitars. The Underground got the upper hand on Fenix by putting the boots to him. Drago and Aerostar ran in to save their partner. Ivelisse speared Taya to even the numbers.
Mundo whipped Evans into Ivelisse to gain the upper hand. Aerostar blocked PJ Black and stood tall to send the Underground to the outside. Ivelisse tossed Taya outside by the hair to leave the babyfaces standing tall in the ring. Matt Striker pointed out that Ultima Lucha Dos was next week.
John’s Thoughts: A fun match between Fenix and Johnny Mundo to set up their trios encounter at Ultima Lucha Dos. It wasn’t hard to anticipate such a fun encounter since Mundo and Fenix often deliver in such singles settings. Mundo continues to reinforce his rudo character by going above and beyond to cheat unabashedly. Fenix continues to get the short end of the stick most weeks, but you can always rely on him to put on a great match. Great match simply put, but the Puma vs. Azteca might have been even more fun.
This week’s episode was solid, but felt odd for a go-home show for their big event. Lucha Underground also wasn’t too clear on how Ultima Lucha Dos was happening, but apparently this is going to be a three week event starting July 6, 2016. Last year, Will Pruett and I complained about dubbing the first “part” of Ultima Lucha “Ultima Lucha” because it seemed more like cheap marketing wording. “Pent-Ultima Lucha” which was the name for last year’s go home was a much better name. This year is also struggling with the lesser episode count, so it seems as if the writers are scrambling all over the place to put together a passable card. The card built is impressive, but the build has been terrible with even one match being randomly thrown out there tonight with the four way. I’ll have more to say in my LU Hit List this week, and I’m sure Will Pruett has his own comments in his All Access audio review later today.