By John Moore
Lucha Underground Hits
Prince Puma vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr: This match reminded me of the good ol’ times of Lucha Underground. When Prince Puma was elevating wrestlers left and right as champion, even if they had to take a loss. This was Azteca Jr’s best showing in Lucha Underground so far by default mostly due to it being his first singles match which took them long enough. Azteca was hurt all season by being buried in multi-man and trios matches where all of the other wrestlers in the ring overshadowed him. Post-Aztec warfare has also seen a lack of character exposition pieces. Back to the match, this was awesome on all accounts. Having Rey at ringside helped to build up for the Puma vs. Rey dream match as well. The only downside I saw was everyone including the announcers selling Dragon Azteca Jr short by essentially painting him as a warm-up match for Puma en route to Ultima Lucha.
Fenix vs. Johnny Mundo: Another match that was reminiscent of Lucha Underground’s brighter days. Johnny Mundo continues to grow and grow as a rudo and he makes sure to go above and beyond in the heeling to maintain a face moveset while also drawing heat. The stuff Mundo does is wrestling 101 as far as heel tactics. Ball kicks and belt shots! Maybe even a grab of the tights here and there. I see great things in Mundo’s future since they have protected him well while him eating losses doesn’t hurt him on the occasions that he loses. Fenix on the other end is Lucha Underground’s swiss army knife in that he can have a great match with about anyone (except Matanza). It’s a shame that Fenix always seems to get the short end of the stick when it comes to pushes.
King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertes: It did seem weird at first when they booked this match that seemed tailor fit for Ultima Lucha Dos; but I understand why they booked this. They needed to give King Cuerno a win, a huge win at that since Mil Muertes rarely loses to people not named Fenix. It’s also a treat to see King Cuerno wrestle, if only for the fact that he has one of the best topes in pro wrestling when he horizontally flies to the entrance ramp at long distances.
Dario Cueto: As much as the Cuetos are featured on Lucha Underground Season 2, I’ve felt like we’ve been deprived from a lot of the Dario Cueto wit that made him so great. Dario Cueto was on fire in all of his segments tonight and he continues to prove why he’s revolutionizing the Heel authority figure role. His interactions with Ivelisse, Taya, and Catrina were particularly good and he helped efficiently set two Ultima Lucha matches in a short amount of time. Dario was also great in the “Unique Opportunity” announcement because of his Dario Cueto charm. As for that match, I’ll get into it a little bit.
Overall Show: All in all, this was a good show which is rare in the second portion of season 2 for me. What Lucha Underground did with this episode was take steps back to take steps forward as far as rebuilding this show to the great piece of television that it once was. This show had great matches and great backstage segments. You couldn’t ask for more. One thing that’s missing, where the hell did the “Ringside with Vampiro” segments go? Those were so good at fleshing out the characters of unknown luchadores. Someone like Kobra Moon or Daga would have benefited from those sit-down interviews and Vampiro always added a swag factor that kept the viewer watching.
Lucha Underground Misses
“4 A Unique Opportunity”: There’s nothing wrong with this match, tournament, or whatever it is. This just seemed like more of that Season 2 randomness that hasn’t done the show any favors. This segment also screamed thrown together and the four wrestlers in the ring, Willie Mack, Brian Cage, El Texano Jr, and Son of Havoc; they all seemed like people that the booking committee forgot to book in matches so they put together this one last minute. What also sucks is why aren’t these wrestlers in the Gift of the Gods Match? Mack and Cage would have been particularly cool to see compete for that belt. Remember when I mentioned how it was logical for The Mack to move on to a feud with Marty the Moth? The reason for the scrapping of that feud now seems to be negligence in just simply forgetting about Willie.
Ultima Lucha Dos Build: Don’t get me wrong, they did their best job to try to hype an entire event within one or two weeks, but one or two weeks just isn’t enough. If we’re using Season 1 as a template for good builds, this one pales in comparison. We’re also not sure of the format. Is “Part 3” going to be two hours. Also, are they going three parts for the quantity over quality approach? Season 2 needs more quality, especially since they don’t have the quantity of shows that they did last season.