8/16 Moore’s Lucha Underground Review: Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo face-off before their LU Title Match, Cueto Cup Semi-Finals, Mil Muertes vs. Pentagon Dark, Prince Puma vs. Fenix


By John Moore

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

This week’s intro teaser started off with a montage of the Cueto Cup. The next recap was a highlight package from the Fenix, Santos, and Marty the Moth love triangle. Catrina was shown chatting with Pentagon Dark. Mundo was shown hitting Rey Mysterio’s son Dominic with the title belt. The montage ended with Catrina revealing that Captain Vazquez was her mother. This episode was titled “The Cup Runneth Over”…

In our first cinematic of the night, Cage was shown in the temple doing squats. Catrina teleported all over the place and confronted Cage about his magic MVP gauntlet. Catrina told Cage that the glove doesn’t belong to Cage and soon the dangerous magic from the glove would consume Cage. Catrina said the easiest thing would be for Cage to give it to Catrina. Cage had the words “It’s mine” echo in his mind. Cage said he doesn’t like it the easy way. Catrina grabbed Cage and told him that Cage would hate the hard way even more. Cage tried to backhand Catrina with the glove, but Catrina used her teleportation powers. Cage’s glove flashed with electricity as he left the locker room area…

Dario Cueto was in his office as he was joined by Joey Ryan. Dario said he was excited for the Cueto Cup finals coming soon but he was embarrassed that Joey Ryan lost in the first round. Ryan said he was coming with a report that Veneno was Ricky Reyes. Cueto didn’t know who Reyes was. Ryan said it was Cortez Castro which shocked Dario. Dario said since Sexy Star has an issue with a Lucha Spider (oh yeah! That was a story.). Dario Cueto booked Sexy Star vs. Veneno in a Luchas De Apuestas Mask vs. Mask match. Dario said Sexy Star will easily dispose of Veneno due to Veneno’s losing streak which will expose the rat cop. Dario said he likes solitude so he excused Joey Ryan…

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary at the temple. This week’s house band was Slapbak. Vampiro recapped the remaining four wrestlers in the Cueto Cup bracket. Striker hyped up Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo having a faceoff later in this episode… [C]

John’s Thoughts: A good set of cinematics to start off the show. The Cage and Catrina segment fell in that trope of a person only giving partial information. Why not just tell Cage that the glove is bad rather than cryptic tease that something bad might happen? Because drama tropes. As for the Sexy Star vs. Veneno match next week, Lucha Underground still hasn’t utilized Luchas De Apuestas well when it comes to masks. I remember Super Fly vs. Sexy Star as just a random Apuestas match. I also forgot that there was this Sexy Star arachnophobia storyline which just seems lame.

1. Fenix vs. Prince Puma in a Semi-Final Cueto Cup Match. Striker pointed out that Fenix faced Prince Puma one-on-one one other time and that was in Puma’s first Lucha Underground title defense. The editor cut to Melissa Santos to continue that dumb trend. Puma and Fenix had a chain wrestling sequence to start off the match. Once they broke off, they flipped a while and traded kicks to the head. This then led to a forearm exchange. They knocked each other out with forearms and did mirror kip ups to continue the forearm exchange.

Puma gained a bit of an advantage with a European Uppercut and flying axe handle. Puma kicked Fenix to the outside and did a Tope Con Hilo to the outside to hit Fenix. Puma went for a suplex combo but Fenix countered into a victory roll for a nearfall. Fenix was slammed on the turnbuckle and Puma followed with a tiger feint kick. Puma got a nearfall after a seated senton. Vampiro insinuated that he knows that Puma is no longer a fan of Rey Mysterio. Puma went for a Phoenix Splash but Fenix got out of the way. Fenix hit Puma with a Canadian Destroyer to get a nearfall.

Puma tried to punch Fenix off the apron but Fenix dodged and hit Puma with a Shoryuken Palm Strike. Puma sidestepped Puma and hit him with a back elbow. Puma hit Fenix with a Flying Chuck to get a little breathing room. After both men recovered, Fenix hit Prince Puma with the Lethal Injection. Puma kicked out of the pin attempt at two and three quarters. Puma escaped a reverse Bloody Sunday and knocked out Fenix with a rolling elbow. Both men took their time to get to their feet. They traded chops and strikes. Puma whipped Fenix in the corner. Fenix blocked Puma with a superkick. Puma slammed the mat in frustration.

Puma showed some aggression by keeping up the strikes. Fenix nailed Puma with a springboard Rolling Sobat. Fenix hit Puma with a German Suplex and jumping thrust kick. Fenix got a nearfall. This caused Matt Stryker to randomly blew up on Vampiro due to Vampiro showing concern for Puma. Suddenly Marty the Moth crept from behind Melissa Santos to draw the attention of Fenix. Fenix hit Marty with a Asai Moonsault. Puma nailed the distracted Fenix with a tiger knee. Puma hit Fenix with the Michinoku Driver that he’s defeated a few people with. Fenix kicked out. Puma then hit Fenix with the 630 for the win.

Prince Puma defeated Fenix via pinfall in 10:26 to advance to the Cueto Cup Finals.

Fenix and Melissa shared a hug after the match. Marty licked his fingers and pointed them at Melissa… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Though it wasn’t as obnoxious as Fenix’s last match, the random cuts to Melissa Santos are still extremely horrid. Melissa is prominent in the hard camera shots so you don’t have to cut away from the in-ring action to show a headshot of Melissa Santos. The viewers aren’t idiots! Combine bad editing to the fact that I’m not a fan at all of Fenix going away from the epic storyline of mortal combat with Mil Muertes and now in a teenage horror flick love story. Let’s get positive! Extricate all of those vestigial negatives and you get one stellar match between Puma and Fenix. Fenix works well from behind and Puma is the pro wrestling equivalent of Dante from the Devil May Cry series. I like that they protected Fenix with the fluky finish but I dislike that we’ve gotten the same fluky finish several times in this tournament.

Mil Muertes really beat up a punching bag. He beat it up so much that Sexy Star’s water bottle felt the ground shake from several rooms over. Mil punched the bag off and sent it into Dario’s office. Catrina told Mil to save some for Pentagon. Cage dinged Mil over the head with a weight. Cage dropped the weight on Mil’s back. Cage taunted Catrina with his magic glove. Cage walked away. Catrina revived Mil with the magic rock. Catrina held Mil back and told Mil to use the anger to break Pentagon in two… [C]

John’s Thoughts: That was a creative cinematic even though very brief. The clever part was how they subtly took the viewers into how the geography of the Temple is by showing Mil’s actions indirectly interacting with Sexy Star and Dario Cueto.

2. Pentagon Dark vs. Mil Muertes (w/ Catrina) in a Semi-Final Cueto Cup Match. Vampiro pointed out that Mil was selling a rib injury. Mil terrorized the camera people like he usually does before his matches. Mil dominated Pentagon with a headbutt. Mill was working with one arm. Pentagon hit shortarm kicks to Mil. Pentagon hit Mil with a flip dive to the outside. Pentagon took advantage of the injured Mil on the outside. Striker said this was the first-time Mil and Pentagon had a singles match. Mil powered through Pentagon with a swinging chokeslam. Mil stretched Pentagon’s back on the top rope.

Mil treated Pentagon like a battering ram into the ring post. Mil then stretched Pentagon like a pretzel followed up by a TKO. Mil tossed Pentagon into the table. Vampiro and Mil had a stare down. Mil then tossed Pentagon into the barricade. Mil went back to selling the ribs. Pentagon dropkicked the knee of Mil. Catrina grabbed Pentagon’s leg for the distraction. Mil took down Pentagon with a shoulder block. Mil adjusted his weight to block a package piledriver. Pentagon hit Mil with an enziguri and codebreaker. Mil came back with a strong powerslam. Mil gave Pentagon multiple lariats in the corner. Pentagon came back with a superkick and lungblower. It took four more superkicks to knock down Mil.

Catrina tried to grab Pentagon’s leg again but Pentagon kicked her from the apron. Pentagon then hit Mil with a double stomp to pick up the pinfall win.

Pentagon Dark defeated Mil Muertes via pinfall in 7:31 to advance to the finals of the Cueto Cup.

Striker hyped up Puma vs. Pentagon for the following week. Pentagon went to break Mil’s arm but Mil tossed Pentagon off. Vampiro said that Catrina’s rock caused Mil to gain power to escape the arm break. Striker hyped up the Rey and Mundo confrontation for after the commercial… [C]

John’s Thoughts: A good TV match that never reached the next gear that both men are capable of. This match was a bit confusing from a story end. Catrina’s “magic” rock fully healed Mil in the past which is why Mil selling injuries is odd (aside from that time when Pentagon got to break his arm).

Dario Cueto was in the ring. Dario said next week was one of the greatest Lucha Underground Championship Matches in Lucha Underground history. Dario said he was bringing Rey and Mundo out because, to be honest, he loves hearing his luchadores “talk shit to each other”. Rey Mysterio made his entrance first. Johnny Mundo came out second surrounded by is personal indie wrestler security guards.

Mundo said if anyone especially Rey has dreams of becoming Lucha Underground Champion Mundo was going to crush them. Mundo said he was working hard his entire life so he can take Rey to Slam Town next week. Mundo then mocked Rey by complementing how tall Dominic was compared to Rey. Mundo then said Rey has a Mexican temper. Mundo then asked Rey if Rey was really the dad of Dominic. Rey then sent Mundo out of the ring. Rey overpowered the security and laid punches on Mundo. Rey gave a guard an enziguri so he can get to Mundo. The Worldwide Underground stable ran in and crotched Rey on the ringpost. Mundo curb stomped Rey’s head into the mat. After the Worldwide Underground did their team handshake, the babyfaces ran in to clear the ring. This was Sexy Star, Mack, and Dragon Azteca Jr. Prince Puma ran out and so did Pentagon Dark. This led to the entire roster coming out to have an all-out brawl. The brawl closed out Lucha Underground with Rey standing tall with the Lucha Underground Championship in hand after hitting Mundo with a 619…

John’s Thoughts: The segment started off a bit slow with Mundo’s generic heel promo. Things got extremely fun with the post-match brawl. I’d take this over a six-man tag match any day. It was still odd that everyone decided that this was the moment for a roster brawl, but it was still unique anyway. This would have been much better placed as the go-home for Aztec Warfare. This was a good episode for the most part, even though there was some odd points. My huge criticism is the random camera cuts to get non-wrestler facial expressions. This is a trend that has to end. I’ll have more thoughts in my Hit List and member exclusive audio review.


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