By John Moore
Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Taped Early 2016 in Los Angeles, California at The Temple
This week’s intro teaser focused on Prince Puma’s descent into darkness in regards to avenging the death of Konnan. Kobra Moon was shown trying to break the spirit of Drago, who was her prisoner. The teaser ended with Dario Cueto announcing the continuation of All Night Long for later in this show..
Prince Puma was shown staring and scratching himself while being tortured by memories of Konnan being put in a casket. Rey Mysterio walked into the restroom and told Puma not to mess with Vampiro who is using Puma for personal gain. Puma said Rey and Konnan did as well. Rey said Vampiro is not Puma’s friend or master. Puma said Rey was not his master too. Puma left the restroom as Rey saw Vampiro approach him from behind in zombie facepaint. Vampiro told Rey to stay away from Puma or else just like Konnan he’s going to send Rey straight to hell. Rey turned around and Vampiro teleported away. Rey punched the mirror.
Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary as Vampiro introduced the house performer Sergio Arau. Striker recapped last week’s continuation of All Night Long where we have one pinfall to the finish and no time limit. Striker said we are also getting a Trios championship match as well as Mil Muertes vs. Prince Puma in a Boyle Heights Street Fight…
Johnny Mundo and Willie Mack were already in the ring. Dario Cueto came out and dubbed this match “Sudden Death” by saying there will be one more fall. Dario Cueto also said that this was falls count anywhere to give Mack an advantage where Mundo had the advantage in All Night Long.
1. The Mack vs. Johnny Mundo in a falls count anywhere match for the Lucha Underground Championship. Mundo tried to keep Mack at a distance with kicks, Mack came right back by taking down Mundo and hitting a standing shooting star. Mundo turned the scales in his favor by escaping the turnbuckle and hitting Mack with a dropkick. Mundo went for a flying chuck kick but Mack countered with a jumping stunner. Mundo tried to roll to the outside but Mack took advantage by trying to pin Mundo on the ringside area.
Mack cleared the audience members to allow him and Mundo to brawl in the wooden seat area. Mack nailed Mundo with a high flying cannonball. Mundo struggled to escape the broken wooden chairs. Mack build up a pile of steel chairs. Mack threw a chair at Mundo’s leg. Mack lifted Mundo with a chair on Mundo’s back and body slammed him on the chairs. Mack got a nearfall off of that move. Mundo dodged a chairshot and used his parkour to escape into the VIP Crowd area. Ricky Mandel stole Mack’s chair which distracted Mack enough to execute a corkscrew cannonball on Mundo.
Striker got it right. Mandel tried to cosplay as Mundo but he looks more like X-Pac. Sexy Star ran out to put the beatdown on Ricky Mandel. Mundo beat up Mack with a trash can. Mack same back with strong right hands and hit Mundo with a sitout powerbomb on the trash can to lead to another nearfall. Mack tried to get a table but the table pulled back. PJ Black (a.k.a. Justin Gabriel) emerged from under the ring to hit Mack with a kendo stick. Black set up the table. Mack countered Black on the apron and gave him a Stone Cold Stunner.
Mundo took advantage in the ring to hit Mack with a Flying Chuck Kick to lead to a nearfall on his end. Mundo set up Mack with his signature strong style knee to set up Starship Pain. Mack got his legs up and hit Mundo with another sitout powerbomb to get a nearfall. It was the same arm trap powerbomb from last week that Mack picked up a point with. Mack attempted to suplex Mundo to the outside pile of chairs but Mundo turned himself into deadweight to escape. Mack caught an incoming Mundo with a kick to stagger Mundo.
Mack went for a power slam but Taya ran out to pull Mundo down. Johnny Mundo nailed Mack with a sunset flip bomb on the chairs to pick up the victory.
Johnny Mundo defeated The Mack via pinfall in a falls count anywhere match in 9:47 to retain the Lucha Underground Championship.
Johnny Mundo and Taya celebrated in the ring. Johnny Mundo said Dario Cueto was coming to the ring for a huge announcement after the commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Mundo and Mack have good chemistry and I also give them more credit for doing a really good hardcore match without doing anything cringe worthy chairshots to the head or excessive blading. This was really safe and the two men did some good magic tricks to make this match really hardcore and cinematic. I also like that the Worldwide Underground interference isn’t giving Mundo his wins in the past two weeks and rather helping him reach an ends. Instead of ball kicks and ref bumps, Mundo’s picking up the wins with his own moves.
Dario Cueto was in the ring for a promo. He said this year Lucha Underground has revolutionized the underground fighting industry. Cueto said we were at the halfway point with new concepts like Dario’s dial of doom, Ultimate Opportunity, and Battle of the Bulls. Dario talked about Lucha Underground being violent, which the crowd cheered. He said you have Dario Cueto to thank which the crowd cheered as well. Dario Cueto said the title on his office says proprietor but it should say Lucha Libre Genus. Dario said Ultima Lucha Tres is going to be brilliant. Dario said he was making a new concept called “The Cueto Cup”. Melissa Santos held up a trophy with ribbons on it. Dario snatched it from Melissa and said there is only room for one beautiful thing in this ring.
Dario talked about the competition starting next week and the winner of the cup will also win a Lucha Underground Championship match at Ultima Lucha Tres. Cueto said the champion isn’t guaranteed for that night because Mundo will be defending the title on the night of the cup. Dario said he could easily give the title shot to his brother Matanza, but Matanza was embarrassed by Rey Mysterio and would not be focused on Mundo. Dario said he is awarding the man who brought glory and esteem to this temple. Dario Cueto announced that Johnny Mundo will be facing Rey Mysterio on the night when the Cueto Cup is won. Dario Cueto then talked about a Trios Championship match coming up next and he said “Long Live the Cueto Cup!”…
John’s Thoughts: One of the follies that Lucha Underground falls under is they put a little too much focus on Dario Cueto. I know the guy is immensely talented and popular, but they are putting him over the wrestlers at this point. The Cueto Cup is when I started attending events during the tapings for this season so I’ll avoid spoilers, but I will say these matches were really fun from what I saw. That said, I don’t like how Lucha Underground has to give every single number one contendership a cute name these days. We got “4-a-Unique Opportunity”, Unique Opportunity, Dial of Doom, Gift of the Gods, and now the Cueto Cup. There were probably more but after the last one it becomes forgettable. I do miss Gift of the Gods because the medallion collecting thing was a unique Money in the Bank variant.
2. Fenix, Aerostar, and Drago vs. Vibora, Pindar, and Kobra Moon (the Reptile Tribe) for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship. Pindar overpowered Aerostar initially but Aerostar used his agility to outwit Pindar. Aerostar hit a corkscrew crossbody on Star. Star flipped out with a corkscrew armdrag. Aerostar teased a Tope Con Hilo and showboated in the ring. Pindar caught Aerostar with a boot to the face. Pindar slingshot Aerostar into Vibora. Vibora is known as the Luchasaurus to the crowd. Luchasaurus put a triangle choke on Aerostar to slow things down.
Vibora followed up with a gutwrench suplex. Vibora punched Aerostar off the top rope. Pindar distracted the referee which allowed Kobra Moon to get some cheap shots in. Pindar tagged in and went for a super powerslam but Aerostar slipped out and did a cool shoulder stand to a frankensteiner on Pindar. Fenix kicked Vibora with three cool kicks to send him off the apron. Vibora tripped Fenix of the apron. Fenix escaped a chokeslam but got nailed by a tombstone. Inside of the ring Aerostar went for a tag but Drago gave the poison mist to Aerostar. Pindar planted Aerostar with a corkscrew powerbomb. Drago joined the reptile tribe to nail Aerostar with an assisted splash on Aerostar to pick up the victory.
Drago, Pindar, and Vibora defeated Fenix, Aerostar, and Drago via pinfall in 5:33 to become the new Lucha Underground Trios Champions.
Kobra Moon celebrated in the ring and put a leach on the neck of Drago as they cut to commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: As usual, Lucha Underground had yet another fun trios match. The problem here is the trios championships are just a meaningless prop at this point because the belts just keep jumping to the winner of the last random match. This wasn’t their fault and more circumstance due to Team Havoc constantly getting injured, but the mid-season break also hurt this moment in that people either haven’t built up sympathy or even remember any storyline regarding the babyfaces. The long layoff also hurt the Drago heel turn. What was good to see was Aerostar who I forget sometimes how good he is at the Lucha Libre.
It was cinematic time as generic rock played. Ricky Mandel talked with Mundo, who just came out of the shower with a towel. Mundo asked Mandel where the champagne was? Mandel said Taya told him to hold off. Mundo said they should be celebrating all-night-long. R-Pac just chuckled. Taya walked in and said she had bad news. Mundo wondered if it was Jack Evans who was injured. Taya said this was much more serious and Mundo took too long of a shower. Taya informed Mundo that Mundo will be defending the title against Rey Mysterio. Mundo told Mandel to warm up the car so they can head to Mundo’s dojo. Mundo said he sent Mandel away to hide his nerves from the kid. Mundo said he would have to train the hardest he’s ever trained in his life to beat Rey Mysterio. Taya asked Mundo if he was going to put pants on. Mundo said there was no time for pants…
John’s Thoughts: I usually cringe at Johnny Mundo’s frat boy comedy, but I laughed at the “no time for pants” line. And it also didn’t take away from the seriousness as a lot of the Bill and Ted Esque WWU segments have in the past.
Mil Muertes and Catrina walked out to the ring. Matt Striker hyped the Boyle Heights Street Fight for after the break…
John’s Thoughts: Lucha Underground had Dario announce the continuation of All Night Long last week, but they should have had him throw in a line for Mil Muertes vs. Prince Puma because that is obviously the hotter matchup. I have to say this is a treat though. By the way, what makes a Boyle Heights Street Fight different than a Falls Count Anywhere match, especially when Vampiro was talking about it being a street fight in Boyle heights in the opening match?
Prince Puma came out to the ring next. Mil expected Puma to come from the babyface entrance but Puma came from behind from the warehouse lot area. Puma wore his darker attire.
3. Mil Muertes (w/Catrina) vs. Prince Puma in a Boyle Heights Street Fight. Puma opened up the match with a shotgun dropkick. Mil recovered. Puma hit Mil with an overhead kick and springboard dropkick to send him retreating outside. Puma cleared the top rope to the outside with a corkscrew somersault. Puma set up a table against the balcony area but Mil recovered and speared Puma through the table. Striker noted that Vampiro was silent while watching Puma. Muertes cleared the crowd and threw Puma into the chairs. Muertes gave Puma a DDT to the ground and did his usually bullying of the camera people by pushing the camera.
Puma hit Mil with a Detour sign to the head. Puma then hit Mil with a 450 to the ringside on Mil. Puma was popped up to the hard camera area where Mil tried to pull him down. Mil then hit Puma with (protected) sign shots to the head. Mil and Puma fought in the crowd area. Mil and Puma brawled on the steps. Mil tangled Puma in the railing for some pressure. Vampiro started talking when Puma gained a bit of an advantage.
Prince Puma tried to beat up Mil with a shoe. Vampiro talked about how that’s embarrassing in some cultures. Mil gained the advantage and walked Puma down to the ringside in fireman carry. Mil hit Puma with a TKO. Puma kicked off Cueto’s office to ground Mil after Mil tried to whip him. Puma threw a trash can into Mil and hit the curb stomp on Mil. Mil went for the whip again but Puma kicked up to the crowd. Puma kicked Mil several times and even threw a water bottle at him.
Puma tried to tightrope the balcony but was pushed by Mil. Mil threw Puma into Dario’s office. Dario asked Mil not to fight in there because of the property. Mil stared at Dario who tried to defend himself with the bull. Puma recovered and hit Mil with a wrench. Puma ran at Mil who hit a strong powerslam on Puma. Mil was bleeding from the shoulder. Mil went to the announce table to stare down Vampiro. Mil and Puma fought in a trash filled ring. Mil gave Puma ten consecutive clotheslines in the corner. Puma ran back at Mil with a kick but Mil came back with a chokeslam.
Mil went for the chokeslam. Puma fought out with elbows and hit Mil with the trash lid to the head. Puma gave Mil a van daminator with the lid. Puma hit a cannonball van terminator to pick up a good nearfall. Puma went to the top rope and hit the 630 on Mil. As Puma celebrated with the fans, Catrina ran at Puma and hit him with the magic rock. Vampiro handed Puma a red brick. Puma smashed the brick on Mil’s head to pick up the victory.
Prince Puma defeated Mil Muertes via pinfall in 11:42.
Striker hyped up the Cueto Cup a bit by saying that Puma was going into the tournament with momentum. This ended Lucha Underground.
John’s Thoughts: As much as a brick to the head would end things in real life and even scripted life like pro wrestling, Mil Muertes has shown in the past that it takes more than just a singular brick to put him down. What I mean by that was at the beginning of Season 2 he was a monster super villain who had to take everything from Fenix. So it was odd to see him lose to just a brick and he has lost often since losing the title. I blame him sucking up the jobber energy from his putty warrior. That odd nitpick aside, this was yet another good match involving Puma and Muertes. Puma isn’t capable of having a bad match. I haven’t seen a bad Ricochet/Puma match yet. Muertes is really underrated in the pro wrestling world for the matches he puts together. He does do some of those unnecessary concussive shots to the head, but he can put together one hell of a hardcore match. Maybe he is Abyss’s brother (see TNA storylines), but he could do Monster’s Ball a lot better. Mil’s just good at being a monster so he can have great regular matches too.
This was a good episode of Lucha Underground that was hurt somewhat by the long layoff. I’m not saying the long layoff was bad because I welcomed it and it gives the viewers a rest of the high action show. The problem is they cut the show off at an point that wasn’t meant to be cut off. Maybe they should have cut things off at the Cueto Cup beginnings? With that said, they did start off with a good match with All Night Long, which appeals to pro wrestling fans, whom this show should be targeting. I’ll have more thoughts in my member exclusive audio review and n the Lucha Underground Hit List later today.