By John Moore
Lucha Underground TV
Taped April 2016 in Los Angeles, California
In this week’s Lucha Underground intro video, Angelico demands a fight with Johnny Mundo, Dario Cueto talks about “The Battle of the Bulls”, Drago finds out that Lord Pindar lives, Rey was stretchered, Dragon Azteca Jr was powerslammed by Matanza, and Sexy Star lost the Lucha Underground championship because she refused Mack’s help. This week’s episode was titled “En Las Sombras” (In the Shadows)…
Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary with El Conjunto Nueva Ola providing music again as the house band. Striker talked about the next two first round matches happening tonight. Vampiro pointed out how Johnny Mundo might not be the World Champion by that time since Sexy Star has a Steel Cage rematch before the finalist gets their shot…
1. Killshot vs. Dante Fox vs. The Mariposa vs. Jeremiah Crane in a first round Battle of the Bulls Match. Killshot stood tall after everyone kicked each other. Killshot traded shots with Crane. Killshot grounded Crane with a uranage and hit him with his jumping thrust kick. Mariposa recovered and hit everyone with shoulder blocks. Striker pointed out how Mariposa has a size advantage due to being tall. Fox gave Mariposa a uranage. Fox then hit topes on Crane and Killshot. Fox tool an elbow from Mariposa and then was taken down with a missile dropkick.
Killshot was kept outside by Mariposa with a crossbody. Crane knocked down Fox off the apron with a clothesline. Fox took him down further with a tope. Killshot took down both of them with a corkscrew Tope Con Hilo. Killshot went for a plancha but Crane threw a chair into his face (protected). Crane threw chairs in the ring. Crane then gave Dante Fox an unprotected chairshot to the head. Ugh. Striker also told us that chairs were legal per Dario Cueto’s instructions.
John’s Thoughts: Shouldn’t Striker point out weather this is no-DQ or not before the match happens. A lot of people get on Josh Mathews’s case for some reason but one thing that Matthews does great is point out the rules in detail before the match begins to avoid confusion. Also, unprotected chairshots to the head still suck.
Crane set up some chairs in a house of chairs formation. some of the chairs fell down and Striker in what may be one of his best commentary calls in recent memory pointed out that because the chair’s leg was pointed out, it could drive its way into the back of someone. Mariposa provided the base for a Tower of Doom spot. Mariposa threw chairs at everyone wounded by the Tower of Doom. Mariposa’s rally was ended with an overhead kick from Crane. The other three wrestlers traded kicks and dropkicks. Fox gave Killshot a springboard codebreaker.
The crowd did the obligatory indie “This is Awesome” chant. Killshot tossed Fox into a chair in the corner. Crane broke up the subsequent pin attempt. Killshot and Crane blocked half nelson suplexes. Crane nailed Killshot with a death valley driver. Crane gave Killshot the sitout powerbomb and converted it into the Stretch Muffler. Mariposa went to break it up but was caught by the same move. Killshot recovered and went for a suplex but Mariposa fell into a stunner. Mariposa hit Killshot with the Vertebreaker on the chair. Fox broke up the pin attempt.
Mariposa gave Fox strikes. Crane went for the Tiger bomb on Mariposa. Fox broke that up with a neckbreaker. Fox went for a nearfall after a springboard spanish fly. Crane blocked a 450 but Crane hit Fox with a double underhook piledriver to pick up the pinfall victory.
Jeremiah Crane defeated Dante Fox, Mariposa, and Killshot via pinfall in 10:58 to advance to the finals of the Battle of the Bulls.
Crane stood in victory as his entrance music played. Crane gave the thumbs down. Post-match Killshot stood over a grounded Dante Fox. Killshot saw blood on his hands and gave Fox the jumping thrust kick. Killshot then gave Fox a double footstomp… [C]
John’s Thoughts: As much as I’m not a fan of the “Battle of the Bulls” being just a brand name for a number one contender’s tournament, these matches have all been good multi-man matches. I still would prefer one on one matches ultimately. This was fun in that Jeremiah got to get a win after the cinematics showed that he might be getting an upward push. I also really liked the post-match angle as it was simple yet progresses the Killshot sidestory. This match also did intergender match right where Mariposa got to look dominant. This was how Io Shirai should have been booked two weeks ago as opposed to the awkward torturing by Pentagon.
Taya was filming a comedic documentary with PJ Black and Jack Evans. They were being goofs. Johnny Mundo walked in and asked PJ Black and Jack Evans how they were going to win their match tonight. Mundo said this was his team since he’s the only person who won against Sexy Star. Mundo threatened PJ Black and Evans that they’d be kicked out of the underground if they lost…
A Sexy Star training montage aired. After training she was scared by a [toy?] spider… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I’m not sure why Lucha Underground is keeping the Worldwide Underground down as a comedy duo with a comedy leader because it doesn’t scream main event it screams bad 3MB (and 3MB was better because it had Drew Galloway and Heath Slater. John Morrison and Justin Gabriel aren’t as entertaining). Mundo’s acting was particularly bad in that cinematic as he was really rushing through his lines out of what seemed to be nervousness. PJ Black actually has a lot of personality when the cameras aren’t running and he got to show some of that with a few funny lines.
2. Kobra Moon vs. Drago. Striker recapped the events that led to this match. Drago started off with some mat wrestling. Kobra Moon came back with a springboard huracanrana. Drago came back with a single leg dropkick. Drago grounded Kobra Moon with a back kick. Drago gave Kobra Moon several kicks to ground him. Striker pointed out how Drago wasn’t showing aggression.
Drago gave Kobra Moon a swinging neckbreaker. Kobra Moon kept trying to get up until Drago gave her a kick. The Lizard man ran out for the DQ.
Drago defeated Kobra Moon via DQ in 2:44.
The lizardman gave Drago knees and a release powerbomb. Fenix and Aerostar came out to take down the lizard guy. Aerostar gave the lizard guy a popup DDT. Suddenly Kobra Moon summoned the “Luchasaurus” as he’s known as in the Temple. The dino guy looks like the lovechild of Baron Corbin and a raptor. The Dino guy beat up both Aerostar and Fenix. This is when the fans started to chant “Luchasaurus”. Vampiro said this guy was supposed to be a Snake. Luchasaurus gave Drago a tombstone piledriver. Lizard guy rolled Drago out of the ring. Luchasaurus abducted Drago…
John’s Thoughts: Well.. That was a thing. The positive was how Kobra Moon had one of her better matches in Lucha Underground. What was annoying was how this match allowed DQs while some other matches selectively don’t. I’ll take a wait and see approach on the two reptile dudes. They at least have cooler looks than Dragon Azteca Jr, but I don’t think the temple is going to take them seriously (which I can confirm by me attending shows that haven’t aired yet). Also, this is not a spoiler, Luchasaurus kinda sucks in the ring from what I’ve seen, and Kobra Moon even confronted me backstage when I voiced my dislike for the Luchasaurus’s bad in ring work, true story!
Sexy Star was angry at Mariposa for some reason and confronted her in the hallway. Sexy Star won the confrontation and went over the torture that she gave her last season. Mariposa wondered why Sexy Star was suddenly so angry. Sexy Star was mad because she thinks Mariposa put the spider in her locker. Mariposa said she didn’t know what Sexy Star was talking about. Sexy Star said this was because of No Mas and next time Mariposa won’t be able to say anything at all. Mariposa sarcastically apologized and said she wouldn’t leave something ugly in the Locker and would rather put a beautiful butterfly. Sexy Star punched a hole through the plywood wall for the trailer shot…
John’s Thoughts: In WWE we have the mystery of who beat up Nikki Bella backstage and in Lucha Underground we have an even more goofy one of who put the [toy?] spider in Sexy Star’s locker. Is this actually going to be a storyline? Sexy Star being pissed because of arachnophobia?
The last first round Battle of the Bulls match happened after the break… [C]
3. Jack Evans vs. PJ Black vs. Son of Havoc vs. Angelico. Both sets of former Trios Champions teamed up against their opponents. The face team dominated early on. Angelico and Havoc quickly started fighting each other. Angelico and Havoc gave PJ Black and Evans leaps to the outside. Jack Evans tried to steal a win over his tag partner. Team Havoc gave the Underground corner splashes. The Underground gave Angelico a whisper of the wind kick. Angelico fought his way out of the corner and gave Evans a Pele kick.
Havoc gave both heels a foot stomp while Angelico hit Jack Evans by tossing Black with an Attitude Adjustment. Son of Havoc dominated the battle between babyfaces. Angelico tried to escape with a kick but got planted with a backbreaker. Black and Evans broke up the pin attempts. Havoc went for a crossbody but was tossed out by the Underground. Black and Evans then did a bro handshake. Angelico utilized caporieta to take down Evans and Black. Vampiro talked about tacos.
John’s Thoughts: Oh! I was wondering who Angelico reminds me of! Angelico looks like a Pro Wrestling version of Paul Rudd!
Angelico went for the Fall of the Angels but Evans head-scissored his way out. Havoc broke up the pin attempt and did his signature moves on Black. Black and Evans hit Havoc with the doomsday device but it barely hit which Havoc then went for the kick on Evans. Evans kept Havoc from doing the shooting star. Havoc blocked a tower of doom and hit Black with a tope on the outside. Angelico then did a sick Superplex to the outside from the top rope. That was cool.
Angelico hit Black with a jumping knee in the ring. Havoc sent Angelico to the outside. Black told Evans to pin him which Striker compared to the fingerpoke of doom. Black fooled Evans and rolled him up for the victory.
PJ Black defeated Jack Evans, Angelico, and Son of Havoc via pinfall in 8:41 to advance to the finals of the Battle of the Bulls.
Evans yelled that he thought Black teabagged him in the rollup. Black went for a handshake and then joked around with Evans. That closed Lucha Underground…
But wait? There’s more. We were in the Rey Mysterio dojo this time (Is this just Vampiro’s fetish dojo just with yellow lighting? And why are all of these Luchadores training in Asian dojos?). Everyone’s favorite Lucha watermelon Dragon Azteca Jr. walked up to Rey who was resting on a Japanese style ground bed. Azteca said Matanza hurt him. Rey took responsibility but Azteca said it was good and he knows why Rey trained him. Azteca said he understands his destiny which caused Rey to chuckle. Rey said Matanza was muy fuerte and this was not a fight that Azteza Jr can win. Azteca said he doesn’t care about winning. Rey said this was Rey’s fight not Azteca’s. Azteca said the days of Rey telling him what to do are over. Azteca said he was starting his own destiny and he was going to end Matanza’s life. Rey facepalmed to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: That main event match was different, but fun. It also brought to light that even though Lucha Underground is trying to be different with a Trios Division, maybe they can get more out of having a tag team division. That was a cool pseudo-tag team match between a solid face vs. a solid heel team. Evans and Black also looked great when away from Johnny Mundo. I wouldn’t have put Angelico here because you set him up last week and just have him lose his return match. This would have worked better if they didn’t do the intentional foreshadowing last week to lead to a non-payoff.
The post credits scene was strange. Dragon Azteca Jr. is not a really well defined person and now his character is all over the place with bad acting to hurt his cause. I think they were going to go for a revenge angle but Azteca’s bad acting just makes him look like a naive dunce. Prince Puma did a better job in the bad part of last season building a separation between him and Rey. Also, what are Azteca’s motivations, he just took a powerslam and I believe he knows that Black Lotus killed Azteca Sr (since that’s what built to his match with Lotus last season). Not to mention the guy looks like a watermelon being eaten by a parrot.
This was a solid episode as Lucha Underground continues to not suck like last season. There are bad nitpicks here and there but the bar being set low last season might help in that cause. The in ring work is solid, but I still think that it’s a serious problem that they have the large roster that they do and only about half an hour to spotlight them in the temple with the rest of the time being filled by cinematics mostly featuring Dario Cueto (the only person who’s allowed to stand out as an individual). Another thing I hope they work on is not having Johnny Mundo go for laughs. He’s not in a comedy tag team with Miz. In fact when you look at Miz and Morrison side-by-side now, you can see why Miz main evented WrestleMania and Morrison is mid-card at best so far even though he has a better in-ring moveset than Shawn Michaels. I’ll have more to say in my members’ exclusive Audio Review.