By John Moore
Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Taped June 2016 in Los Angeles, California at The Temple
This week’s intro teaser featured The Cueto Cup, Joey Ryan revealing that Veneno was Ricky Reyes, Johnny Mundo hitting Dominic Mysterio with his championship belt, and the roster clearing brawl from last week. This week’s Lucha Underground episode was titled “The Cueto Cup”…
Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on Commentary from The Temple. Slapbak provided the house music for the night. The Cueto Cup was shown on display. Striker talked about Pentagon Dark vs. Prince Puma being for a spot in the Ultima Lucha Tres main event for the Lucha Underground Championship…
Veneno was already in the ring for the mask vs. mask match. Veneno had Alberto El Patron’s Lucha Underground entrance music. Sexy Star was out next. Striker pointed out that Sexy Star has been in a mask vs. mask match before…
1. Veneno (Ricky Reyes) vs. Sexy Star in a Mask vs. Mask match. Sexy Star used her foot to overpower Veneno. Star stomped all over the back of veneno. Joey Ryan ran out and took off the mask of Veneno revealing that it was Ricky Reyes under the mask. Justin Borden, the referee called for the bell…
Sexy Star vs. Veneno ended in a no contest in 0:52.
Reyes tried to power bomb Ryan through the table. Joey Ryan hit Ricky Reyes in the nuts (as Vampiro put it). Joey Ryan walked away yelling that he told everyone. Reyes sold nut pain on the ground…
John’s Thoughts: Well… That was pointless and another mockery of the Luchas De Apuestas lucha libre stipulation. You would think that we would get a good Luchas De Apuestas in three seasons of a Lucha Libre show, but nope! This also had bad-TNA logic all over the place (“Bad TNA” is the word I use to encapsulate all that is bad and dumbass in pro wrestling). For one, the cinematic showed that this match was set up by Dario Cueto and Joey Ryan as a trap for Reyes, but Ryan cut the match short for hijinks?
It was time for a Dario Cueto office telenovela cinematic. Johnny Mundo and online board game show host Benjamin Cooke (Boardgamegeek TV’s Dave Arnott) had a meeting with Dario. Dario was counting something in secret under his desk. Mundo and Cooke got cheesy rock music. Cooke said that Dario does not value Mundo after all he’s done. Cooke said Mundo saved Lucha Underground from humiliation by taking the title off of Sexy Star who he called the worst champion in history. Dario said he didn’t actually agree with that. Mundo brought up how the roster went wild and how he could have been seriously injured.
Mundo said he’s a hot commodity and he can take the Aztec Gold to other companies (like GFW Impact Wrestling? lol). Cooke said all it takes is one phone call. Dario said he agrees that Cooke and Mundo fear interference in the championship match. Dario said he’s banned the entire roster from ringside or else they lose their jobs. Mundo said this was perfect. Mundo assumed that Worldwide Underground was exempt from this edict. Dario said that wouldn’t be fair so they were also banned. Mundo told Cooke that doesn’t work for him. Dario hyped up Mundo’s ego by saying Mundo can beat Rey on his own and is the king of Slamtown. Mundo said it was okay but if he loses his championship match, he’s going to walk out with possession of the belt anyway and leave to another promotion (well… I’m guessing he’s losing since he’s already advertised to wrestle for Jeff Jarrett’s company tomorrow! I’ll stop making timely jokes.). Cooke told Dario that it would be in Dario’s best interest that nothing stops Johnny from realizing his destiny in becoming the undisputed king of Lucha Libre. The two left and Cooke said “Mundo out!”. Prince Puma and Pentagon Jr made their entrance for the upcoming Cueto Cup match. Rick Knox had the Cueto Cup in hand…
John’s Thoughts: The stars have aligned and an eclipse has happened. It’s a bit hilarious how through fate, that cinematic was totally timely even though it was taped about a year ago. I confirmed with the actor of Benjamin Cooke that the cinematics he was in were taped a while ago so there was no editing to play into Mundo making his GFW debut as “Johnny Impact” on tomorrow’s GFW episode. This was just a huge coincidence and one that works in Lucha’s favor as it can seem like intentional Easter eggs to fans who read between lines.
2. Prince Puma vs. Pentagon Dark in the finals of the Cueto Cup. A fan had a sign that read “wrestling is art” so to find out what time capsule this was in, I will assume that this was around the time that Vader talked down about the Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay match. Puma wore black jeans and had scars on his chest. Pentagon and Puma traded forearms. They then traded pump kicks. Puma hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Pentagon. Puma dove over the top rope to hit Pentagon with a Tope Con Hilo. Puma chopped Pentagon in his chest protector. Pentagon came back by hitting Puma with a lungblower. Pentagon gave Puma several standing double stomps.
Pentagon and Puma traded chest chops. Pentagon stomped on Puma in the corner. Puma took a roundhouse to the head. Pentagon did a handstand but was knocked out by a Puma kick. Puma gave Pentagon another kick and sent him into the corner. Puma hit Pentagon with a tiger feint kick and crossbody. Pentagon turned Puma’s tornado DDT into a backbreaker in his favor. Puma blocked a pump-handle with his foot. Puma hit a spinning roundhouse, to a norther lights, to a brainbuster. Pentagon got out of the way of a Puma Phoenix Splash. Puma blocked a uranage with a armdrag. Pentagon caught a flying puma with a michinoku driver.
Puma and Pentagon sold fatigue in kicking each other. Pentagon hit Puma with a Canadian Destroyer. Puma came back with his own kick and spring board Canadian Destroyer. In the call of the night, Vampiro said “Oh my God! They’re dead!”. Pentagon and Puma made their way to their feet. Puma and Pentagon traded slow strikes. Pentagon caught Puma and went for the package piledrivers. After a few counters, Puma caught Pentagon with a rising palm strike. Puma was pushed to the apron. Puma staggered Pentagon with a kick on the top rope. Puma hit Pentagon with a high frankensteiner. Vampiro ordered Puma to finish Pentagon. Puma hit Pentagon with the 630 Senton to pick up the win.
Prince Puma defeated Pentagon Jr. via pinfall in 9:32 to win the Dario Cueto Cup.
Prince Puma slowly did the Cero Miedo hand sign in the center of the ring. Vampiro joined Puma in the ring to raise Puma’s hand. Pentagon walked out disappointed. Striker hyped up Dario presenting Puma with the cup after the commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A good match that hopefully didn’t take away from the main event. Pentagon’s a good ground base and Puma provided plenty of high spots throughout. Puma may have been a bit too high spotty at the end of the tournament, but at least his matches were still fun to watch, though the psychology suffered a bit. The reason I’m not 100% high on Puma’s ending performances is because I thought he was going to alter his moveset to match the darker persona, but he ended up resorting to his usual Ricochet high spots.
Dario Cueto joined Prince Puma in the ring to give Puma the Cueto Cup. Puma was showered with boos. Dario hyped up Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio in who will challenge Puma at Ultima Lucha Tres…
Rey Mysterio made his entrance first sporting black and white duology gear. Johnny Mundo came out to the ring from the heel entrance with his self-sung entrance theme. Marty Elias was the referee for the match…
John’s Thoughts: Here’s one thing Lucha Underground does better than any of the other TV promotions – they cut to quick commercial breaks around the matches so that there are no interruptions during the matches. Either it’s a convenience that other companies aren’t afforded or a nice stylistic decision by LU to enhance their own matches.
3. Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. for the Lucha Underground Championship. Mundo and Rey brawled in the middle of the ring. Mundo used his parkour to elude Rey. Rey caught Mundo with a kick. Rey hit Mundo with a nice baseball slide into a huracanrana. Rey slammed Mundo into the outside barricade. Rey hit Mundo with a slingshot crossbody. Mundo reversed a wristlock and went for a powerslam. Rey slipped out and went to the top rope. Mundo met Rey on the top rope. Mundo hit a super gutbuster on Rey. Mundo put the boots and punches to Rey. Mundo locked in a body scissors sleeper on Rey. Rey rolled away and made it to a vertical base. Rey took a kick to the gut. Rey slipped out of Mundo’s attack and attempted a reverse jackknife pin.
Mundo hit the Flying Chuck kick after poking Rey in the eyes. Rey got a nearfall after the kick. Mundo hit his signature running knee on Rey. Mundo locked in a modified Camel Clutch on Rey. Rey stood up to prevent the fingers of Mundo from locking. Mundo tossed Rey through the bottom rope. Mundo showboated as Rey recovered. Rey sidestepped Mundo’s corkscrew plancha. Mundo went for an Alabama Slam but Rey countered it into a huracanrana. Rey did a really nice flip dive into a huracanrana. Vampiro talked about how “holy shit” means the same thing in all languages since the crowd yelled it at this point.
Mundo caught Rey with a thrust kick after a springboard. Rey snuck in an inside cradle. Mundo bounced back with a superkick. Rey rolled to the apron to recover. Mundo hit Rey with a hanging Moonlight Drive to lead to a nearfall. Mundo put Rey on the top rope and went to try and rip Rey’s mask. Mundo exposed a quarter of Rey’s face. Rey was put in the Tree of Woe. Rey used his core to sit up after a Mundo baseball slide attempt. Mundo rolled to the ground to recover. Matt Striker went into the history of Kevin Nash defeating Rey Mysterio in a mask vs. [Miss Elizabeth’s] Hair match. Striker talked about how Rey took the mask back to respect Lucha Libre.
Mundo poked Rey’s eye again to gain an upper hand. Rey held on to Mundo’s foot to block the Alabama Slam. Rey hit Mundo with a Canadian Destroyer to get a nearfall. Rey locked Mundo into an octopus hold. Mundo used his height to escape. Rey put Mundo in 619 position. Mundo popped up and hit Rey with a helicopter backbreaker. Mundo put Rey in position for Starship Pain but Rey punched Mundo in the motion. Rey hit a split legged moonsault on Mundo. Mundo broke the pin with a rope break. Mundo tried to escape to outside but Rey followed up with a seated senton to the outside. Striker was killing his voice with the call.
Rey hit Mundo with a seated Senton in the ring and caught Mundo by surprise with a tornado DDT. Striker and Vampiro debated over youth vs. experience. Mundo blocked a huracanrana. Rey sent Mundo into Marty Elias with the body scissors. REF BUMP!!! (and a day earlier too! More GFW jokes…). Mundo caught Rey with a kick to the gut and to the balls. Vampiro yelled “he kicked him in the groin!”. Mundo was showered with Culero Chants. Mundo hit Rey with a modified Lumbar Check. Mundo grabbed a belt Rey Mysterio’s son Dominic made a run in to stop Mundo from hitting Rey with the belt.
John’s Thoughts: I know Mundo’s debuting for GFW in a few hours but it looks like the dumbass TNA overbooked crap finishes are showing up a few hours early in Mundo’s Mundo.
Dominic gave Mundo a spinebuster. The random indie security guards ran in. Dominic punched one of the guards to draw a cheer from Vampiro. Rey Mysterio set up and hit Mundo with the 619. Rey then hit a slingshot frog splash on Mundo. The TNA is still happening, Dario Cueto broke up Marty Elias’ count. Dario Cueto taunted Rey in the middle of the ring. Dario told Rey that Rey was not Rey of this temple, Dario was king. Dario punched Rey and taunted him some more. Rey set up and hit Dario with the 619. Mundo hit Rey with the title belt and picked up the win after Starship Pain. Striker said “awww shit!”. Yep, this was kinda shit!
Johnny Mundo defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. via pinfall in 18:06 to retain the Lucha Underground Championship.
Striker talked about how this was supposed to be a classic match but ended up being a crime scene. The crowd chanted that this was bullshit. Marty Elias held up the hand of Mundo in victory…
John’s Thoughts: I know I’ve made plenty of GFW/TNA jokes on this episode, but it doesn’t help that via the power of the coincidence, a lot of bad TNA booking happened in this match. I’m also glad that I missed this taping or else I might have ended up like Will Pruett in boycotting this show for being crappy (to give you guys hope, I attended later tapings and it was good, or at least I hope it’s as good as I remember it). What’s even more frustrating is that this match was on it’s way to being really good. Mysterio has had a great 2017 (circa 2016) in that he’s doing moves that he did prior to his post 2010 injury strings. This was on its way to being a solid four-star match on a five-star scale. I get it, heel heat right? But it’s not heat because of heel antics, it’s heat due to overbooking. The Dominic run-in could have been saved for a rematch and everything else didn’t have to happen. Dario’s interference contradicted the prior cinematic, just like Joey Ryan’s contradictory interference earlier. Rey was great in the match. Johnny Mundo was great. The TNA booking at the end took the match down a lot.
Mixed feelings overall with this episode and I’ll end up recommending it, just brace yourself for a crappy finish. The build to this match was solid when Michael Schiavello was doing it, but then they tried to set up all of this crap with Mundo beating up Dominic and doing more chickenshit stuff leading up. They should have NOT done all of that lame stuff and a nice “Ringside With Vampiro” segment would have done a lot more positive. I’ll have more thoughts in my All Access Lucha Underground audio review later today.