5/31 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Lucha Underground’s Mid-Season return with Johnny Mundo vs. The Mack in an All Night Long Ironman Match for the Lucha Underground Championship

By John Moore

Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Taped early 2016 at “The Temple” In Los Angeles, California

This week’s Lucha Underground intro teaser focused on the Sexy Star and Mack vs. Johnny Mundo’s Worldwide Underground feud. Willie Mack won the “Battle of the Bulls” Tournament to become the number one contender to the Lucha Underground Championship. Johnny Mundo beat Mack in a singles match via cheating to choose the stipulation for the World Title match. Mundo won and chose to have an “All Night Long” Match (a.k.a a show length Ironman Match).

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in from The Temple of Boyle Heights as Mariachi music played. This week’s house band was Metalachi. Striker hyped up the show-length ironman match between Mack and Mundo. Vampiro was also very hype as he passed it over to Melissa Santos.

1. Johnny Mundo vs. The Mack in an All Night Long Match (a.k.a Ironman Match) for the Lucha Underground Championship. Striker pointed out that Johnny Mundo selected this stipulation due to his belief in superior conditioning. The referee for the match was Marty Elias (a.k.a the human censor blur referee).Vampiro correctly pointed out that Johnny Mundo is one of the few people to have an All Night Long match in Lucha Underground. Mundo spat in the direction of Mack and avoided him. Mundo locked in a side headlock to start. Mack psyched out Mundo with a light shoulder block and overpowered Mundo with a strong right arm. Mack put the strikes to Mundo in the corner. Mundo escaped using his parkour.

Mundo tried a rollup but Mack came right back at Mundo with a strong lariat. Mack hit Mundo with a gutbuster for a nearfall. Mack then followed up with a running splash for another nearfall. Mundo turned the tide and hit Mack with his signature strong style running knee. Mundo then hit Mack with a Moonlight Drive. Mack staggered Mundo on the top rope with a right hand and went for a Superplex. Mundo fought back with strikes of his owns as they fought on the top rope. Mundo slipped to the ringpost to avoid and push down Mack. Johnny Mundo picked up the first pinfall with Starship Pain.

Johnny Mundo picked up the first point via pinfall to lead the match 1-0

A clock flashed on the screen saying we had about 32 minutes back in the show as the show went to commercial… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Interesting fact, I haven’t watched Lucha Underground at all in months so it’ll be interesting to get back into this show refreshed and with a new set of eyes after being exhausted. Quick note, I noticed that the commentary wasn’t matching the mannerisms of the commentators in the peripheral vision of the camera, so this commentary is obviously post-produced. That said, it has been very good so far because Striker has been super analytical while Vampiro provides the proper ethos of being a former wrestler and validating the moves (Striker is a wrestler too but he’s doing play-by-play). Striker is also in “Great Striker” mode tonight as opposed to the terrible version we get on some random nights. The wonders of post-production.

Johnny had the advantage back from break but Mack fought through the pain with a side suplex. The show started right from when we left. Mack had Mundo in the corner and did a running senton to Mundo doing a homage to X-Pac’s bronco buster. Mundo fought back with stiff kicks and some forearms to Mack. Mundo then hit Mack with the Flying Chuck Kick. Mundo took his time to put Mack back in position for Starship Pain. Mack took advantage of this by attempting a rollup. Mundo rolled through and stole a pinfall over Mack with help from the ropes while Marty’s vision was blocked.

Johnny Mundo picked up a pinfall to lead the match 2-0

Mack sent Mundo outside and hit Mundo with a Tope Con Hilo. Mundo tried to crawl under the ring to avoid Mack. Mundo punched Mack in the gut and went for a springboard move. Mack tripped Mundo on the apron and hit a cool swinging neckbreaker on him. Mack went for the pinfall in the ring to no avail. Mundo hit Mack with a kick but Mack powered through with a release exploder. Mundo came back with an overhead kick and followed up with a Crossbody which Mack Rolled through. Mack hit Mundo with a sitout lock powerbomb for his first pinfall. The show goes back to commercial with 26 minutes in the match. [C]

Mack scores a pinfall to make the match 2-1.

During the commercial, Johnny Mundo taught the fans how to do some core one handed pushups. It was sponsored by some allergy medication. Back from the break Mack had the upper hand. Mundo played possum to lure in Mack for the drop toehold. Mundo shoved his boot in Mack’s face and asked Mack how the boot tasted. Mundo drew “culero” (asshole) chants. Mundo took the short-arm position to lay some kicks on Mack. Mack countered a suplex with a suplex of his own. Striker pointed out that Mack has the weight advantage as far as lifts are concerned. Mundo and Mack traded strong style kicks and chops while showing fatigue. Mundo gained a pinfall attempt after a standing Spanish Fly.

Mundo went high risk and called Mack a fat turd. Mack fought through Mundo’s strikes from the top rope to hit Mundo with a Super Exploder Suplex (Someone should copyright Super Exploder, I like that name). Mack went for the pin but Mundo had the rope break. Mundo and Mack fought on the top rope again. Mundo took the dirty route and raked the eyes of Mack. Mack retreated to ringside while Mundo was perched on the top rope. Mundo hit an impressive corkscrew crossbody on Mack. Mundo sold a leg injury.

The referees put off the X-Sign. Because of the tone Striker is using, I’ll just assume this is a work and Mack’s reaction verifies it. They cut to commercial with the trainers bringing in a stretcher and twenty minutes left in the clock.[C]

John’s Thoughts: One of Striker’s flaws is that when he lays something on too thick, he removes the drama of a potentially dramatic moment. That said, he’s been good all night so far in commentating this solid all-night-long ironman match.

During the commercial there was a “Return of The Mack [and Cheetos}” Burger King ad. That had to be on purpose and it was great. The crowd was either chanting “Johnny’s Lying” or “Johnny’s Crying”. Mundo played possum yet again and did a kip up to blindside Mack. Mundo DDT’d Mack on the stretcher to pick up his third pinfall in the match.

Johnny Mundo picked up the third pinfall to lead 3-1.

Mundo mocked Mack with jogging and jumping jacks. This drew “Culero” chants. Mundo told the camera that Mack doesn’t have what it takes to go all night long. Mack tried to throw the stretcher at Mundo. Mundo took the stretcher to play defense with the stretcher as a weapon. Mack turned the tables on the top of the stair area. Mack won the strike battle on the top of the stairs. Mack body slammed Mundo on the stretcher. Mack locked Mundo in the stretcher as the crowd chanted “push him down”. Thankfully, Mack pushed Mundo down like a sled and not like Braun Strowman pushed the Roman Reigns [crash dummy] on a stretcher.[C]

During the commercial, Melissa Santos did a Modelo beer sponsored hype video for Fenix that talked about his quest to become Lucha Underground’s only Triple Crowd champion. The show cut back with about 15 minutes left on the clock with Mundo having a two point lead. Mundo tried to escape the stretcher and fight Mack off. Mack flipped the stretch to cause Mundo to do a front bump. Mack called for and hit the Stone Cold Stunner on Mundo to pickup the pinfall.

Mack picked up a point via pinfall to make the match 3-2.

The crowd started to sing the “Return of the Mack” song. Johnny Mundo cowered to under the ring and tried to escape to the back. Mundo revealed that he was still under the ring as Mack was chasing a body double of Mundo. It was “The Darewolf” PJ Black (a.k.a Justin Gabriel) who has long hair. Mundo and Black hit Mack with kendo sticks once they made it back to the ring. Suddenly, fan favorite Son of Havoc (a.k.a Matt Cross) brought two kendo sticks and beat down Black and Mondo with them to even up the odds.

Son of Havoc went to Dario Cueto’s office and asked him for beer. Dario gave Havoc a water bottle first but the crowd chanted for beer. Havoc poured the Mack with beer and he hulked up. Striker compared it to Popeye eating spinach. Mundo tried to use Black as a human shield but it didn’t help as Mack hit both of them with a kendo stick. Havoc and Mack set up tables to appease the crowd. Mundo and Black grabbed the canes and dominated Havoc and Mack.

Mundo grabbed the mic and called Havoc a weirdo while calling Mack a fatass. Mundo then told Metalachi to play a song. Mundo made aye-aye-aye sounds. The maraca player dropped the maraca. In a nice surprise that band member was secretly Sexy Star who gave the Worldwide Underground a diving crossbody from the top of the stage area. Sexy Star actually looks pretty cool in the biker clothes. Mack put Mundo on the apron and hit him with a sick, scary, yet cool Pile Driver from the ring to the tables on the Floor. Mack picked up the pinfall in the ring.

Mack earns the point via pinfall to tie thins up at 3-3.

Mack quickly went for another pin as he and Mundo traded pin attempts. Mundo grabbed a table and brought it in the ring. Mack grabbed a steel ladder. Mundo tried to baseball slide under it but ate the top of it in the backswing. Mack set up the table. Mundo took a piece of the announce table to knock out Mack. Mundo set up a ladder in the corner and gave Mack the Snake Eyes on the ladder. Mack kicked out at two. Mundo was whipped but parkour’d over the ladder in the corner. Mack dragged the feet of Mundo to send his face into the ladder. Mack went for the pin but Mundo got the rope break at two.

There were three minutes left in the match at this point. Mundo gave Mack a drop toe hold on the ladder and set him up for Starship Pain on top of the ladder. Mack rolled out and Mundo gave a starship pain to the ladder and took most of the pain. Mundo sold a leg injury as Mack set up the ladder. Mack put Mundo on a table as he slowly climbed a ladder. Suddenly another Johnny Mundo cosplayer ran out and it was Lucha Underground jobber Ricky Mandel, who held Mack’s leg. Havoc dispatched of Mandel and hit him with a Asai Moonsault. Mack hit Mundo with a five star frog splash from the Ladder to through the table. Mundo had the visual pinfall but the clock ran out before the three count.

Johnny Mundo vs. The Mack ended in a 3-3 draw which allowed Johnny Mundo to retain the Lucha Underground Championship.

Vampiro said this was bullshit. Matt Striker agreed as he recapped the hard work that Mack put in. Dario Cueto walked out and said Mundo and Mack put on one hell of a fight. He said there are no ties in the temple and there must be one winner. Cueto said there will be a one pinfall to a finish match with no time limits for the Lucha Underground Championship which will happen next week. The crowd didn’t like the tease at first but gave the two wrestlers a “That was Awesome” chant. Mundo tried to gloat to the fans by holding up his title in the air. Willie Mack gave Mundo a Stone Cold Stunner and picked up the title to celebrate in front of the crowd. Striker closed out the show and there were no post credits.

John’s Thoughts: That was a really good match to bring the crowd back into the show and credit to Mundo and Mack for putting on a violent match yet not being too risky as far as the health of the two wrestlers. Martin Casaus and Shane Strickland should have strived for more of this type of match, and the setting they were in in their WMD match earlier in the season was a filler storyline and this is the main event. Mundo and Mack put on a better match with less risks.

As far as some of the details of the match. It was fun. The surprises of PJ Black and Sexy Star were well done. The wrestling was good as both men are athletic freaks. Ultimately, both wrestlers came out looking strong. I like how Mundo had a lot of in-ring credibility here as opposed to a few of his other wins where he relied more on the interference than his in-ring ability. This time his character used the interference as more of a supplement as opposed to a crutch. Mack also gained a lot with the visual pinfall victory with Mundo retaining with the creative out to the match.

It’s somewhat refreshing to be back on Lucha Underground after getting such a needed break from the breakneck pace of the show. I also needed some time off after the terrible second half of season two. Huge credit to the Striker and Vampiro post produced commentary, which was very sports-like and both commentators brought their A-game to the recording booth to lay out the details of this match. I’ll have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review.

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