9/21 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Matanza vs. Willie Mack for the Lucha Underground Championship, Fenix, Aerostar, and Drago vs. The Worldwide Underground for the Lucha Underground Trios Championships, and more

luchaundergroundBy John Moore

Lucha Underground TV
Taped in March in Los Angeles, California

In this week’s intro teaser, we got clips from Dario Cueto introducing his “Dial of Doom”, Matanza beating Son of Havoc, Rey Mysterio facing Pentagon Dark, and Dragon Azteca saving Rey after the match. Johnny Mundo and the Worldwide Underground also got a spotlight. This week’s episode was titled, “Ultimate Opportunities”…

Rey Mysterio was sparring with El Dragon Azteca Jr in the Lucha Underground Temple practice ring. They did Wing Chun this time. Rey told Azteca not to lose focus. Azteca said he was coming after Pentagon since he tried to break Rey’s arm like his own. Rey said to let Pentagon’s many other enemies destroy him. Rey did a Lucha arm drag on Azteca and said that they have their own battle to fight. Rey rolled up Azteca and said this was much more dangerous than Pentagon. Chavo Guerrero Jr counted the pinfall.

Chavo told Azteca to take it easy kid. Azteca called Chavo a liar and went to attack Chavo. Chavo rolled up Azteca into a half Boston crab. Rey told Chavo to let him go. Chavo said Rey didn’t teach this culero (Azteca) about la famillia Guerrero, and maybe it was time for Chavo to teach him…

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary with The Chimpz as the house band of the night. Vampiro said the “Dial of Doom” was in play tonight. Dario Cueto was standing next to his wheel. Dario called the wheel his greatest, latest, most brilliant, critically acclaimed, and “original” concept. Dario said he’ll spin the wheel and the person gets a title shot against Matanza, who was already in the ring. Cueto said Son of Havoc was the lucky winner and got his ass kicked. He said there was no way that the believers could believe in Son of Havoc winning which got boos. He said hopefully the next person is someone they can believe in as he spun the wheel. The wheel stopped at “The Mack”. Dario said it was “The Return of the Mack” to play off the pop culture song…

1. The Monster Matanza Cueto vs. The Mack for the Lucha Underground Championship. Matanza waited at the bottom of the steps for Mack. Mack took the hallway entrance next to Dario’s office and caught Matanza by surprise. Mack dominated the striking match and hit the Stone Cold Stunner on Matanza. Striker made sure to credit Mikey Whipwreck as well as Stone Cold. Striker also noted that Mack was trained my Lil’ Cholo (Mr. Cisco, isn’t he dead?) and TJ Perkins. Mack went for some quick pin attempts.

Mack continued to dominate with a thrust kick and hurancarana. Mack hit a pump kick and a gutwrench suplex to pick up another nearfall. Dario wasn’t pleased. Mack went for another stunner but was caught by a German Suplex. Matanza choked Mack with his first offensive sequence of the match. Matanza hit Mack with some European Uppercuts. Mack was planted with a pumphandle suplex. Dario told Matanza to aim for the neck and try more vertical suplexes. Matanza pressed Mack’s head against the turnbuckle with his boot. Dario told Mack to keep pressing.

Mack came back with a slap and said “That’s all you got, Bitch!”. Matanza came back with a pin attempt after a boot. The two wrestlers traded standing strikes. Mack sent Matanza over the top rope. Mack then hit Matanza with a Tope con Hilo. Dario showed Matanza the key as he was recovering. Mack rolled Matanza back in the ring. Mack hit a pounce on Matanza (much better than Sienna). Mack went for the five star frog splash but Matanza got the knees up. Matanza hit the Wrath of the Gods powerslam for the victory.

Matanza Cueto defeated Willie Mack via pinfall in 6:00 to retain the Lucha Underground Championship.

Matt Striker said he was handed a note and it was for a “Mega Main Event” that Dario is about to announce soon… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Matanza is looking a lot weaker now, but I actually like the fight club approach of Dario lining up fighters not named Rey Mysterio to get beat by Matanza. They also aren’t burying wrestlers this time (which has me feeling bad for Pentagon and Fenix as they got destroyed in a lame way in their first encounters). Matanza isn’t main event yet, but he’s getting better and a solid opening match pace setter. It was also good to see Mack back because he’s someone Lucha Underground could really do something with (as well as the other 4-A-Unique-Opportunity guys). Also, Mack gets extra points for properly performing Monty Brown’s pounce.

We were taken to “Somewhere on the open road” where Son of Havoc was watching Famous B commercials in a trailer. Havoc was hanging out with Mascarita Sagrada who gave the TV the middle finger. We found out that Son of Havoc lives with his mother. His mother made Sagrada and Havoc some (product placement) Bagel Bites. Sagrada told Mrs. Havoc “Gracias”. He said you can call her Linda. Son of Havoc face-palmed…

John’s Thoughts: That was actually funny. What’s also funny is that I frequent the Lucha Underground catering area when I’m invited to the temple and all of a sudden they started going overboard with the Bagel Bites. Now I see why. They also give audience members unlimited Miller beer products as well…

Johnny Mundo walked into Dario Cueto’s office and demanded that Dario spin the wheel again. Dario said that he shouldn’t worry since He, Jack Evans, and “The Werewolf” were getting a chance to win their Trios titles tonight. Taya said that he was a “Darewolf”. Mundo wanted a world title shot. Dario said it was the Trios titles or nothing. Mundo chose nothing and decided to go back to his dojo. Taya noted that Dario needs a replacement now. Dario said Johnny’s loss was now Taya’s gain. Taya pointed out that Dario had something in his teeth. Dario sent Taya outside…

Speaking of 4-a-unique-opportunity guys, “They Call Him” Cage and El Texano Jr. were already in the ring. Dario said both wrestlers have something in common, they are big, intimidating, awesome fighters, and both lost in the 4-a-unique-opportunity tournament in the 1st round. He said he really wanted to see these two gladiators fight in the finals. He said he was giving both of these wrestlers a chance for a “Ultimate Opportunity” tonight. We’ll find out after the match and the commercial… [C]

John’s Thoughts: I can’t believe the Matanza episodes are the ones that are good episodes now, this is a good one so far and I like the return of good cinematics and character development. I keep singling out the 4-a-unique-opportunity guys because they are four talented wrestlers that Lucha Underground forgot about for some reason last season. It’s cool that Lucha Underground is picking up with these four as they would be wasted talent otherwise.

2. “They Call Him” Cage vs. El Texano Jr for a “Ultimate Opportunity”. Both big wrestlers had a mat wrestling sequence to start. Texano dodged a clothesline but Cage blocked a power bomb. Texano got Senton on Cage and an enziguri to get a pin attempt. Cage fought back with kick variations. Texano escaped the fireman carry. Cage kick Texano off the apron with a roundhouse and hit Texano with a tope. Cage said “who better than Cage!”. Vampiro noted that Cage was playing to the crowd more these days.

Texano escaped suplex but Cage rolled into a pin attempt. Cage turned the kickout to a reverse Boston Crab which Texano got the rope break. Cage hit a German Suplex. Texano rolled into an ankle lock on Cage. Cage earned himself a rope break. Texano hit a clothesline and spinning heel kick on Cage. Texano hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Cage. Cage kicked out of the pin. Striker said Texano was getting winded and Vampiro attributed it to him facing a bigger opponent. Cage comboed into a spinebuster to earn a pin attempt himself.

Texano went for the small package but Cage kicked out. Texano hit a pumphandle slam for another pin attempt. Cage hit another German suplex on Texano and hit the Death Valley Driver for a two count. Texano went for a rainmaker but ate a discus lariat from Cage. Cage won the match via pinfall.

Cage defeated El Texano Jr via pinfall in 5:53.

Dario congratulated Cage, but said if Cage wants the ultimate opportunity he has to beat Texano two more times. Dario yelled that this was match one in a best-of-five series. Texano was happy that he had another chance as Cage celebrated up the steps. Striker noted that Fenix, Aerostar, and Drago were facing the Worldwide Underground after the break… [C]

John’s Thoughts: That was a really solid match. We should have smarter matches like this more often than the BS garbage matches like last week’s main event. Matt Striker and Vampiro were actually really good here when they were telling the story of the match as well as putting substance behind the moves. Jim Ross said that the wrestlers provide the music while the commentators provide the lyrics and that’s what Vamp and Matt did here.

Dario Cueto hat a delivery package. It had a Famous B hat in it. He then opened a letter with were pictures of dead babies and creatures? I hope that’s not what I saw. Azteca walked in and demanded a match with Pentagon. Dario threw away the pictures. Dario said he would rather see Azteca face Black Lotus but she’s on vacation in Hong Kong. Dario turned around and penciled in a Azteca vs. Pentagon match for the future. Jobber Ricky Mandel walked in and Dario said he was busy. Ricky wanted to know when his next match was and said the pictures on Dario’s desk were cool. The pictures in the trash magically teleported to his desk. Dario gave the pictures to Ricky Mandel as a gift. Chavo walked in and said they needed to talk…

Before the match Fenix lifted up a kid in the audience. The worldwide crew were goofing around… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Just saying! I know they’ve taped 37 more episodes, but I hope they have power over the cinematic portion. PLEASE DON’T SHOW THAT DUMB LAPD STORYLINE EVER AGAIN. This show is great again when we don’t get the buddy cop comedy in the main event. Sadly, I’m sure we’re getting more of the LAPD based off of last week, but at least they are trying to convert that to Aerostar’s 1,000 year old Aztec friends. By the way, Ricky Mandel was playing one of Mil’s putty patrollers, until he died because the purple guy ripped his heart from his chest.

3. Aerostar, Fenix, and Drago vs. The Worldwide Underground (Jack Evans, “The Darewolf” PJ Black, and Taya Valkyrie) for the Lucha Underground Trios Championships. Vampiro compared Taya filling in for Johnny to AWA wrestling he watched where the Freebirds would interchange each member to confuse their opponents. Jack Evans struggled to get out of his jacket, but he sold it as well as he sells his wrestling moves. Jack took out a bandana and tied it on his eyes. He did flips blindfolded. PJ Black got the blind tag, literally, which Jack sold like he was attacked.

Taya then tagged herself in. Taya started off against Drago. They had a stalemate in the initial chain wrestling sequence. Drago gained the advantage with some short arm kicks. Taya escaped and landed a Lucha armdrag. Drago came back with the side leg sweep but Taya got up with the kip up. Drago and Taya then had a stalemate next. Aerostar tagged in. Jack Evans refused to tag in. PJ Black tagged in instead. Black gained the advantage with a back kick. Aerostar tightroped the ropes and landed an armdrag. Aerostar staggered PJ Black and hit a corkscrew crossbody. PJ Black blocked a tornado DDT and hit a side slam on Aerostar.

PJ Black tried to hit an axehandle on Aerostar but he got the boots up. Fenix tagged in and Matt Striker emphasized that Fenix was Lucha Underground’s only Triple Crown Champion. Jack tagged in, stared at Fenix a bit, and tagged in Taya quickly. Fenix kneeled down to Taya’s level and managed to hit a backfist. Taya screamed to try to get some chivalry out of Fenix who ended up hitting a delayed roundhouse to show he wasn’t buying the act.

PJ Black tagged in and ate a double stomp to the back of the head. Jack Evans tagged in and did a flip. Drago tagged in and kicked Jack Evans. Jack came right back with the takedown. Jack got a mixed reaction. Jack tied Drago in the turnbuckle and hit him with Kakashi Hatake’s 1000 years of death butt hole poke. PJ Black tagged in and hit a lionsault for a two count. Black missed another lionsault and Jack Evans refused a tag.

Black slapped Evans’s back which counted as a tag. Taya yelled and threw Evans in the ring. Black tagged Black back in and pouted in the corner. Fenix and friends hit a bunch of kicks on Black in the corner. Evans was still pouting. Taya hit Drago and Fenix with a crossbody to the outside. Black hit Aerostar with a back elbow. Aerostar hit an awesome springboard Frankensteiner. Aerostar then followed up with a springboard codebreaker for the victory.

Aerostar, Drago, and Fenix defeated The Worldwide Underground via pinfall in 9:21 to retain the Lucha Underground Trios Championships.

Jack Evans was still pouting on the ground. Johnny Mundo ran in to help beat down the champs in the ring. Jack Evans was still pouting outside of the ring. The worldwide underground stood tall but were saved by Sexy Star. Sexy Star cleared out the heels and stood tall with the Trios Champions. Jack Evans was still pouting with his arms crossed.

But wait, there’s more!!! Dario talked to Rey Mysterio about Dragon Azteca Jr demanding a match against Pentagon next week. Rey said she shouldn’t face Pentagon. Dario said since it was in pencil, he already changed the opponent. Azteca was now facing Chavo Guerrero for a chance to have a grudge match against Pentagon. Dario said this was because both Chavo and Azteca had their arms broken. Rey said he didn’t really want Azteca facing a Guerrero either. Rey wanted Dario to erase the match. He said he wants this to be a fair match and Rey Mysterio was going to be a guest referee. Dario Cueto said he was going to pencil it in and instead decided to use a pen. The show ended with Sony Playstation’s God of War music playing…

John’s Thoughts: Again, I’m still a bit skeptical as to whether they can keep up this fluid storytelling, but so far so good. The writers also seem to have noticed the flaw of putting Matanza in the main events over their other more dynamic main eventers and have relegated Matanza to opening matches while the main eventers like the trios are in the main event which is the proper order in the Lucha universe. That was a fun main event. You got the usual high spots as expected with Drago and Taya providing a lot of the cool ground game. I hope they are trying to tell a story with Jack Evans pouting the entire match because it could be a good story. I hope they don’t drop it like a lot of things they did last season.

I can’t say that I’ll ever be excited about a Chavo Guerrero match but I’ll wait and see before passing judgement. Chavo isn’t in the main event either which helps in a similar fashion to Matanza, but at least Chavo is a better worker. Azteca also needs to have a bunch of lower card singles matches before facing people like Pentagon or Matanza. Azteca was buried like all of the new wrestlers last season and were forced to lose their debut matches. Remember, wins and losses matter even if the promotion tries to hide the importance of victory.

Overall, this was a solid episode. Last week’s wasn’t bad structurally, it just had the problem of that bad carry over LAPD storyline along with what may be one of the most disgusting main events that should have never happened in the WMD Match. In fact, these episodes in Season 3 are very reminiscent of Season 1 where every episode served a purpose of forwarding some story. You also didn’t have Lucha Underground trying to have everyone on the show every week. Not only that, but by keeping people off the show they are able to cram a bunch of productive content into a good one hour block. Last note, Matt Striker and Vampiro were actually really good tonight! I know I’ve forgot to do Hit Lists for the last two episode but trust me I’ll have one for this episode soon. I’ll also have an audio up for you guys so stay tuned!

Feedback is always appreciated and feel free to contact me via twitter @liljohnm to tweet and discuss Lucha Underground. You can also comment and discuss Lucha directly with me via email: jmoore3.net@gmail.com.

Readers Comments (2)

  1. I don’t think Taya was telling Dario that he had something in his teeth. I think she was telling him he had something on his nose, as it was pretty obvious he was snorting a line of coke when they walked in.

    • You’re right! I didn’t catch that since when writing reviews I’m constantly looking down and up from my Laptop so I assumed it was similar to a few weeks ago when Johnny barged in for the exact same reason. Good catch, and it does add to the character of Dario.

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