7/26 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. “The Darewolf” PJ Black, more Cueto Cup matches, Pentagon Dark vs. Drago, Son of Madness reveals his motivation behind tormenting Son of Havoc

By John Moore

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

The intro teaser this week started off the same as the last month of teasers, with Dario Cueto introducing the Cueto Cup. The rest of the intro video focused on Drago’s brainwashing, Johnny Mundo prepping for Rey Mysterio, The Worldwide Underground, Son of Madness, and this episode’s main event which was PJ Black vs. Rey Mysterio. This week’s episode was titled “Booyaka! Booyaka!”…

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary. El Conjunto Nueva Ola was the house band for the night and they were singing the “This is Awesome” song. Striker said that Rey Mysterio vs. Johnny Mundo for the Lucha Underground championship was happening in four weeks which means the Cueto Cup was ending in four weeks. Striker said PJ Black was Johnny Mundo’s right hand man. Vampiro transitioned the show to Melissa Santos for ring introductions…

1. The Mack vs. El Texano Jr in a second round Cueto Cup Match. Three people in the audience held up “El Texano Jr Section” on white paper. Vampiro said Vampiro was hot? Texano and Mack slapped hands in respect to start. Texano tried to shoulder block Mack but it did nothing to him. Mack did a traditional cruiserweight agility sequence ending with an armdrag (but it’s made more impressive since Willie Mack is by no means a cruiserweight). Mack and Texano then had a babyface stalemate sequence with a few pin attempts. Mack and Texano shook hands as a show of respect.

Mack locked in a side headlock on Texano. Mack took down Texano with a jumping side roundhouse. Mack took Texano off the apron by hitting him with another jumping roundhouse. Mack continued to pursue Texano by hitting him with a running senton to the outside. Mack worked on Texano’s back with knees to the back in the center of the ring. Mack followed up with a running blockbuster to a seated Texano. Mack put Texano in the corner and hit loud chops to the chest of Texano. Texano blocked Mack with his elbow and followed up with an ugly springboard crossbody.

Texano hit Mack with some loud chops in the corner. Texano ended up on the apron. Mack was staggered a bit by a Texano elbow but he powered through and shoryuken’d Texano to ringside. Texano pulled Mack outside before Mack could plancha. Mack countered Texano with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Mack sold knee damage from the heavyweight hitting his knee. Mack blocked a suplex in the ring. Mack followed up on Texano with an exploder suplex. Mack had a nice show of strength by hitting Texano with a swinging body slam. Famous B entered the ring with a cowboy hat and water gun. He squirted water at Mack which Mack nosold. Mack hit B with the Stone Cold Stunner. Texano hit the distracted Mack with a sitout powerbomb to pick up the win.

El Texano Jr. defeated The Mack via pinfall in 7:18 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

The brackets flashed on screen and showed that Texano was awaiting the winner of Pentagon Dark vs. Drago… [C]

John’s Thoughts: The match was a unique mesh of styles and extremely well put together until the lame finish. That finish sucked. It also doesn’t help that Lucha Underground takes every opportunity to tell you that Texano is boring and sucks, which they have done over commentary and via cinematic. Famous B is like bad Titus O’Neil too, where he’s going for too much comedy and trying to get himself over instead of his “clients”. Where this Texano/B pairing is also inferior to Tozawa/Titus is that Texano is nowhere as charismatic as Tozawa. Again, Lucha Underground tells you that Texano is boring and easily gassed. Moving on to Mack, he is always good, though like a lot of other Lucha Underground storyline aftermaths I am a bit disappointed that he’s nothing more than a cog to move along a comedy storyline following his great series with Mundo.

It was cinematic time back from the break. Son of Havoc was sitting at the bar area in The Temple (I believe I have personally been to this bar and it does indeed exist in the Lucha Underground warehouse). The bartender poured whiskey for Havoc but Son of Madness intercepted the pass and drank the shot. Havoc said he knows why Madness is here. Havoc said he wasn’t going back after what happened. The two had a bar brawl. Madness said they can fight now or Havoc can hear him out. They traded armbars. Madness said Havoc betrayed the club so he’s making Havoc’s life a living hell until he returns to the “Invisible Cult”. Havoc said he went nomad for a reason. Madness said the nomad will find his home someday even if it’s his head. Madness left and Havoc threw a shot glass at the wall in anger…

Paul London and Mala Suerte were playing checkers on the body of their checkerman, Saltador. They were in the locker room. Paul London beat Suerte. Mascarita Sagrada walked into their area with a giant gift box. London apologized on behalf of the Rabbit Tribe for failing their supposed god figure, Sagrada, in the Cueto Cup. Sagrada left them the gift and the card said he hope the gift brings the tribe luck. Sagrada left. London and his buddies were excited in tearing through the gift and packing peanuts. Suerte found a Lucky Rabbit’s foot which freaked out the Rabbit Tribe because it was a body part of their symbol…

Vampiro hypothesized that Drago was brainwashed. There were “You Sold Out” chants and “Culero” chants directed towards Drago… [C]

John’s Thoughts: A very good cinematic and I wonder why we don’t get any cinematic brawls that often anymore? I like that Havoc is taking a serious approach but it’s a bit random to try to bring up a random “Sons of Anarchy” type storyline out of nowhere (which gets amplified due to Son of Havoc being a jobber parody of Sons of Anarchy). Again, as I pointed out last week, they’re trying to expand their universe too much rather than develop what they already have.

2. Drago (w/Kobra Moon) vs. Pentagon Dark in a second round Cueto Cup match. Striker said this was the first time Pentagon has faced Drago in Lucha Underground (One on One I assume because I remember Drago and Pentagon facing each other in their debut match). Drago called for Pentagon to attack him. The two men had a chain wrestling sequence. No one could get a clean shot due to each man slipping away from each other. Drago had this nice and angry scowl directed at Pentagon. Pentagon took down Drago with a chop. Drago caught himself with the ropes and sent Pentagon outside.

Drago hit a corkscrew Tope Con Hilo on Pentagon. Drago worked on Pentagon and threw him back in the ring. Drago kicked Pentagon to the corner. Drago hit Pentagon with a forearm who came back with a clothesline. Drago came back with a dropkick. Pentagon came back with a low kick. Pentagon hit Drago with an overhead body toss. Drago tried to pick up the win with a victory roll and schoolboy. Drago even tried a West Cost Pop pin to no avail. Pentagon hit a dropkick in the gut of Drago when he went for a handstand. Pentagon went for a uranage but Drago escaped and hit Pentagon with his running blockbuster (which did put away Sammy Guevara on last week’s Impact).

Pentagon dodged a roundhouse. Pentagon hit a modified Michinoku Driver to get a nearfall. Pentagon hit Drago with his loud chop to the chest. The crowd chanted “otra”. Drago blocked Pentagon and he did an Old School into a DDT. Drago staggered Pentagon on the top rope with a palm. Drago hit Pentagon with a Frankensteiner. Drago hit a top rope splash on Pentagon for a nearfall. Pentagon went on the second rope to hit Drago with a Canadian Destroyer. Pentagon put Drago on the top rope and crotched him. Striker called a crotched Drago “Dragon Ball Z” (I always pop for a DBZ reference and Striker’s double-entendre was clever). Pentagon hit Drago with the Package Piledriver to pick up the victory.

Pentagon Dark defeated Drago via pinfall in 7:57 to advance in the Cueto Cup Tournament.

Pentagon put Drago in the center of the ring to do his ceremonial arm break spot. Kobra tried to come in to intercept Pentagon but Pentagon hit her with a nice back thrust kick. Pentagon went for the arm break but was saved by Aerostar who nailed Pentagon with a Canadian Destroyer. This drew boos from the crowd. Aerostar tried to handshake Drago to turn him back to the side of good. Drago kicked away Aerostar’s hand and planted him with a hammerlock flapjack slam. Pentagon had to break someone’s hand so he broke Aerostar’s which drew a confused smile from Kobra Moon. Striker hyped up Rey Mysterio for after the commercial… [C]

John’s Thoughts: This was a really good Lucha Libre match and now I’m happy that I get to review Drago twice a week in some situations due to him wrestling both on Lucha Underground and GFW Impact. Drago defeating Sammy Guevara last week helped make the blockbuster devastating this week if anyone watches both shows. Pentagon is still mega over with the crowd. Interesting enough, Drago even though he didn’t change his moveset or in-ring mannerisms, may be Lucha Underground’s strongest heel as far as crowd reaction is concerned. I’m basing this off my live experience and I’m not sure if the TV viewers can pick it up, but after he turned on Fenix he drew mega heat from the crowd and he will take that heat on through the rest of this season. I mean this guy gets zero cheers and mega strong heel heat.

Pentagon was in the Lucha Underground hallway as Catrina teleported in. Catrina did the Vulcan mind meld to Pentagon to remind Pentagon of the damage he did to Mil Muertes once upon a time ago. Catrina said Mil and her never forget a debt. Pentagon did his Cero Miedo hand sign in her face. Catrina did instant transmission to get to his back. Catrina said Mil will be waiting for Pentagon later in the Cueto Cup. Catrina said Mil will end Pentagon. Catrina teleported away to end the cinematic… [C]

3. “The Darewolf” PJ Black vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. Striker said Rey Mysterio is the “King of Lucha Libre”. Rey kicked off the match with an early huracanrana. Black came back with a low sweep kick. Black put his hand out for a handshake but Rey didn’t fall for the possible trap. Black gave Rey some boots. Rey flipped out of a back suplex and used a huracanrana to send Black outside. Black dodged a rey Baseball slide. Black hit Rey with an innovative argentine backbreaker style move. Black hit Rey with a top rope fist.

Black locked in the same arm scissors that he locked in on Puma front he prior week. Rey escaped and hit the drop toehold on Black. Black escaped the 619 by causing Rey to run into his foot. Rey countered Black’s top rope punch with a dropkick. Rey and Black traded forearms. Rey hit Black with some low kicks. After brawling a bit Rey got Black outside and hit Black with a Asai Moonsault. Rey hit Black with a springboard seated Senton and springboard crossbody. Rey huracanrana’d Black into the turnbuckle. Black recovered and trapped Rey in the tree of woe. Striker pointed out that it isn’t good for Rey to have his knees trapped due to his history of knee injuries. Black hit Rey with Del Rio’s double stomp finisher.

Rey kicked out of Black’s cocky cover. Black sent Rey to the ground with a spinning back kick. Rey crotched Black on the top rope. Black rolled out of a frankensteiner and hit Rey with the Styles Clash (Which Striker used Michelle McCool’s title of the move, the Faith Breaker). Black flipped the bird to the crowd. Rey sat on Black to block a powerbomb. Rey hit a Tornado DDT on Black which caused Black to hit Marty Elias. REF BUMP!!! Johnny Mundo ran in to fool Rey with the pin count. Mundo beat up Rey and pulled Black to his feet. Black and Mundo did a double suplex on Rey and Jack Evans hit Rey with a superkick while he was suplexed. Watermelon man…i mean… Dragon Azteca Jr. ran in and nailed Black with his sweet popup DDT. Taya tripped up Azteca and threw him into the barricade. Rey kicked out of the pin when Marty was able to count. Rey countered a Razor’s edge into the 619. Rey hit a slingshot Frogsplash on Black to pick up the win.

Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated PJ Black via pinfall in 11:30.

Rey Mysterio grabbed a microphone for an in-ring promo. Rey said this promo doesn’t concern Black and moreso it is directed towards badass Johnny Mundo. Rey said Mundo won’t be able to run his whole life. Rey said that Mundo will get tired of running and the time will be four weeks. Rey hyped up his upcoming title match. Rey said “nosotros” (we) are going to make history, in regards to the fans. Rey said Mundo won’t leave the match empty handed after losing the title because he will be taking home a 6-1-9. Matt Striker closed out the show by reminding the viewers that there were more Cueto Cup matches next week…

John’s Thoughts: For the second week in a row, PJ Black delivered in the main event. What’s even more newsworthy is Rey Mysterio looking like the Rey of old (pre-2009). Rey got himself into good shape too by shedding a lot of the extra muscle weight that encumbered him late in his WWE run. This was a lot of the best of Rey with him doing a lot of his innovative high spots as opposed to his late career bread-and-butter of just selling most of the match. This was a on its way to being a good four-star match but I have to take away about a star or even a star and a half due to the unnecessary ref bump sequence and subsequent interference. It was unnecessary just like it was in the opening match of the show. It was also misplaced as they could have done this exact sequence to enhance the story in a post-match angle without the ref bump. This was classic “TNA” overbooking.

Even though we got two lame overbooked finishes, this was still a good show to watch. Drago vs. Pentagon Dark was a good TV Match. It’s also a treat to see Rey Mysterio wrestle in 2017 (2016 was when this was taped). I’ll have more thoughts in my Lucha Underground Hit List and Members’ Exclusive Audio Review. Also, exclusive in the audio review to members, I will include some behind the scene notes from a discussion I had with PJ Black right before this match was taped. We talked about what he wants to do with his career and some interesting ideas that he wanted to implement as a character.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Omg……texano……..suuuuuuuucccckkkkkssssss. I hate watching him. Mack is great but Texano is a turd….

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