6/21 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Additional Cueto Cup first round matches, Fenix vs. The Mariposa, Brian Cage vs. Vinnie Massaro, Mascarita Sagrada vs. Pindar

By John Moore

Lucha Underground TV on El Rey Network
Taped May 2016 in Los Angeles, California at The Temple

This week’s intro teaser was built around the Cueto Cup. Cage murdering and blowing up the head of Councilman Delgado ended the teaser. This week’s episode of Lucha Underground was titled “Family First”…

Fenix drove into The Temple with what I think to be a Ford Thunderbird. Melissa Santos met Fenix in the parking area. She told Fenix she was putting all her money on Fenix. She said it in a flirtatious way. Fenix said he would win it for her. As the camera panned away Marty the Moth Martinez was shown stalking the new couple. He didn’t like that Melissa was favoring Fenix…

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary with Sergio Arau’s house band providing music. Striker and Vamp hyped up the brackets of the Cueto Cup…

1. Vinnie Massaro vs. “They Call Him” Cage in a first round Cueto Cup match. Striker talked about being intrigued by Cage’s strange relic glove on his hand. Vampiro was obsessed with talking about diets. Cage overpowered Massaro early on. Masarro managed to corner Cage and land some strikes. Cage reversed the momentum and whipped Vinnie into the turnbuckles. Vinnie did an eye poke but it didn’t help as Cage gave Vinnie a Uranage on the turnbuckle.

Vinnie tried to turn the tide again with the help of the top rope but Cage no-sold Vinnie’s clotheslines. Cage gave Vinnie a uranage in the center of the ring. Vinnie managed to get a hammerlock and rolling elbow on Cage. Vinnie gave Cage an STO. Vinnie’s attention was drawn to Cage’s gauntlet which he tried to use as a weapon. He missed. Cage gave Vinnie ten count clotheslines in the corner. Cage gave Vinnie a brainbuster to pick up the win.

Cage defeated Vinnie Massaro via pinfall in 3:30 to advance in the Cueto Cup.

Cage punched Massaro’s head several times with the gauntlet. Luckily his head did not explode. Vinnie did blade though so there was blood. Cage chokeslammed Vinnie to the outside… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Cage is great in the ring and he was great here, but he has this problem on occasion to selling too much to weaker wrestlers who are several rungs below him on the roster. He did this for Chavo, who no one ever sells 75 percent of a match too. He sold for Ricky Reyes, who’s lower on the pecking order of strength than Chavo. Now he sold for Vinnie Massaro, who is at the bottom of the depth chart. Lucha Underground needs to make Cage the beast he was in Season 1 because that’s where he comes off as compelling, not while having 50-50 matches with the jobbers of the roster.

Another sports-like video package for Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo aired which was narrated by Michael Schiavello. Rey talked about the importance of his mask while showing him training around Los Angeles in areas like Mariachi Plaza. Schiavello talked about Rey’s popularity not being held down by language barriers. Schiavello talked about Johnny Mundo winning WWE Tough Enough and becoming a worldwide star after that. Mundo cut a heel promo where he screwed the fans… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Another great vignette for the Mundo vs. Rey dream match. I’m pretty sure they wrestled in WWE but I can’t remember a specific match (I do remember great Rey vs. Miz and Rey vs. Ziggler matches so there must be a Mundo one somewhere there). Rey and Mundo are also known for not being too great on the mic, the same goes for Brock Lesnar; and these UFC hype vignettes not only do a great job hiding their weaknesses but they also help in spotlighting their strengths which is their sports ability.

2. Marty the Moth vs. Saltador in a first round Cueto Cup match. Striker made more drug and MDMA allusions to the Rabbit Tribe. Saltador and Marty did some strange gestures to each other. Saltador put his hand out for a hammerlock. Saltador and Marty then traded hammerlocks. Saltador’s checker suit isn’t really TV friendly due to the visual effect. Marty shoved Saltador and Saltador came back with a dropkick. Saltador used the bottom rope to trap Marty’s leg. Saltador barely hit a swinging senton.

Marty went to ringside to terrorize Melissa Santos a bit. Marty then gave Saltador a powerbomb to the barricade. With the advantage Marty went for a pin attempt. Marty gave Saltador a mandible claw and dragged him to the ropes. Marty gave Saltador a tilt a whirl gutbuster. Marty spat in the face of the referee, Justin Borden’s, face. Marty went for a chokebomb but Saltador slipped out and used his agility to land a Lucha armdrag. Saltador gave Marty a springboard huracanrana.

Saltador teased that his leg fell asleep which fooled Marty to allow Saltador to land a Superkick. Marty turned the tide with a powerful German Suplex. Marty then followed up with a corner Exploder Suplex. Marty licked his two fingers to taunt and creep out Melissa Santos. Striker and Vampiro talked about Marty getting aroused by violence. Saltador turned his back and dance which allowed Marty the Moth to hit a unique suplex into a gutbuster to pick up the pinfall victory.

Marty the Moth defeated Saltador via pinfall in 2:22 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Marty made more strange gestures to Melissa. Mascarita Sagrada was shown doing bicep curls backstage. Paul London and Mala Suerte bowed down to him and asked him to lead them to Valhalla tonight. Sagrada blew them off. London called Sagrada divinity, personified… [C]

John’s Thoughts: The Rabbit Tribe guys do way better in singles than they do as a team. I know this was done to give them some celebrity rub from London, but both Mala Suerte and Saltador have had great matches in the Cueto Cup. We know nothing about Saltador other than Striker’s heavy-handed illegal drug commentary. That’s the advantage of singles matches, they allow the wrestlers to tell the story themselves. Both Marty and Saltador also did a great job at integrating their characters into their ringwork. I just hope that down the road that Saltador and Mala Suerte become more mystic than drug addicts according to the storytelling.

Marty the Moth was shown banging his head on a hanging lamp. He had a creepy stalker shrine to Melissa Santos. He pulled a picture of Melissa out of the front part of his underwear. He said he’s a man and can never be mad at Melissa. He licked the picture that was next to his dick and hung it on the wall with his saliva. Music box music played as Marty sniffed hair and makeup. Mariposa walked in to reprimand Marty. Marty remembered that their father said “Family First”. Mariposa teased that brackets put her and Marty on a collision course in the second rope. Marty wished Mariposa luck in a patronizing tone. Mariposa slapped Marty and walked away. Marty said not to worry because he’s going to make Melissa a part of the family too. He then put the picture back in his pants and sold pleasure on his face…

3. Pindar (w/ Kobra Moon) vs. Mascarita Sagrada in a first round match for the Cueto Cup. Pindar no-sold the strikes from the mini luchador. Pindar tossed Sagrada around with ease. This drew mega heat from the crowd who was behind Sagrada. Sagrada gained the upper hand with a dropkick to the shin and a huracanrana. Sagrada also managed to land a armdrag on Pindar. Pindar crashed and burned to go outside.

Sagrada then hit a cool tope into a huracanrana on Pindar. Sagrada hit a crossbody. Pindar came back with a popup cutter. Sagrada retreated to the bottom rope. Pindar put the boots to Sagrada in methodical fashion. Kobra Moon would taunt Sagrada from ringside. Pindar gave Sagrada a spanking. Kobra Moon would land cheap shots while the ref’s back was turned. Sagrada hit some fun with a nice tilt a whirl several times into a hurcanrana on Pindar. Kobra Moon ran in but Sagrada used her to help armdrag Pindar on the outside.

Sagrada then hit a strong slap to the face of Kobra Moon. Sagrada hit a moonsault on Pindar to get a two count. Pindar hit a boot on Sagrada and hit a facebuster on Sagrada to pick up the pinfall win… [C]

Pindar defeated Mascarita Sagrada via pinfall in 5:55 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

John’s Thoughts: Another good Cueto Cup match and Mascarita’s best non-comedy match in Lucha Underground to date. I don’t think WWE’s El Torito was free to sign by this time, but he did wrestle a bit like the legendary Mascarita Dorada/Sagrada. Good work to whoever the guy under the mask is this time. That was a nice tope into a huracanrana.

4. The Mariposa vs. Fenix in a First Round Cueto Cup Tournament Match. Mariposa is played by former TNA wrestler Raisha Sheed/Cheerleader Melissa. Fenix tried to handshake Mariposa but she refused. Mariposa has the size advantage over the shorter Fenix. Fenix tried to get another handshake after the lockup. Fenix then used his martial arts to block and dodge Mariposa’s strikes. Fenix refused to superkick at first when Mariposa begged off. Fenix did dropkick Mariposa when Mariposa tried to take advantage of Fenix’s chivalry.

Fenix caught a crossbody from Mariposa but Mariposa ended up landing a nice tornado DDT. Mariposa hit Fenix with a basement dropkick to send Fenix to the outside. Mariposa dominated outside with a huracanrana. Mariposa hit a springboard bulldog on Fenix in the ring. Fenix stopped on a dime and hit Mariposa with a release German Suplex. Mariposa tried to block a Fenix superkick by agreeing to shake Fenix’s hand finally. Fenix didn’t bite and hit Mariposa with a roundhouse.

Mariposa reversed a powerbomb into a sunset flip bomb. Fenix countered back with an enziguri. Fenix caught himself when Mariposa got out of tope position. Fenix went for a Superplex but Mariposa fought back. Fenix hit a rising palm strike Mariposa blocked a Spanish Fly. Fenix was pushed off. Fenix caught Mariposa mid-air and hit a Fenix Driver to pick up the victory.

Fenix defeated Mariposa via pinfall in 5:46 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Marty the Moth ran in to put the boots to Fenix. Fenix managed to send Marty outside with a spinning wheel kick. Fenix got about 720 Degrees on a corkscrew plancha to hit Marty and Mariposa with Melissa Santos cheering Fenix on. The credits rolled and the show closed…

John’s Thoughts: It’s always a treat to see Fenix spotlighted on the show. This guy has been the babyface MVP of Lucha Underground and he wins people over with his heart, ability, and skill. It may be a turnoff to some when Fenix refuses to hit women aggressively due to how Lucha Underground tries to do an equal opportunity message, but there should also be a message of being a good person too. Fenix is the best example of a white meat babyface that Lucha Underground has to offer. He is the male role model, just like Sexy Star is the female role model.

This episode of Lucha Underground was closer to what we usually see from NXT TV shows. There weren’t main event level matches, but not every show has to be balls to the wall. Not every episode of a serial drama like Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, or Flash has to have a climax. You need building action. There were some good matches and a highlight of this show was some of the losers getting to show a lot. Vinnie Massaro showed too much and made Cage look a bit weak, but at least they told the story of the glove there. I will have more thoughts to share in my LU Hit List as well as in my Members’ Exclusive Audio review later today.

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