By John Moore
Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Taped June 2016 in Los Angeles, California at The Temple
This week’s intro teaser spotlighted the Cueto Cup finals, The Gift of the Gods Medallions, Paul London’s Rabbit Tribe, Johnny Mundo, Rey Mysterio 619-ing Dario Cueto, and Matanza being able to face Rey at the 100th episode of Lucha Underground. This week’s episode was titled “Career Opportunities”…
At The Temple, Vampiro and Matt Striker checked in on commentary with Slapbak as the house band. Vampiro was excited for Ultima Lucha coming up as well as next week’s episode being Lucha Underground’s 100 episode. Striker hyped up Dario Cueto having a big announcement for the 100th episode…
1. Drago (w/ Kobra Moon) vs. Willie Mack for an Aztec Medallion #5. Drago was brought to the ring with a metal collar and unleashed in the ring. Referee Justin Borden held up the cloth bag holding the Aztec medallion on the line. Drago kicked off the match with a shotgun dropkick. Drago then staggered Mack with a roundhouse into a springboard DDT. Mack went for a schoolboy. Drago and Mack had a slight stalemate sequence. Mack gave Drago the middle finger to halt the action. Mack landed an armdrag on Drago and then gave Drago a jumping roundhouse.
Mack did a handstand to halt Drago. Drago blocked a suplex with a DDT and then tried to win via la magistral cradle. Drago ate turnbuckle after Mack sidestepped him. Mack gave Drago a boot and Saito Suplex. Kobra was mic’d up and distracted Mack from the apron. Drago gave Mack some slicing kicks to the head and used his pin finisher, the dragon’s lair, to pick up the win…
Drago defeated The Mack via pinfall in 3:45.
Vampiro didn’t like the interference. As Drago celebrated his win, Mack gave Drago a Stone Cold Stunner. Mack kicked Kobra Moon for another Stunner but Pindar and the Luchasaurus beatdown Mack. Luchasaurus (Vibora) gave Mack a chokeslam… [C]
John’s Thoughts: It’s a bit disappointing that Mack has gotten demoted to the mid-card after a good main event picture showing against Mundo. That said, I hope this win for Drago leads to more emphasis on his character since anything he does in the context of Lucha Underground is simply cool. He’s a freakin drago that can breathe and turn to fire. That match was short, but Drago has this knack of not working too fast which helps make the viewer feel like they saw a complete match albeit in a short amount of time.
Dario Cueto cut a promo in the ring and said next week was going to be the 100th episode of Lucha Underground. Dario hyped Dragon Azteca Jr. vs Pentagon Dark. Dario Cueto then hyped up Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo picking partners to face in an Atomicos Match (8-person tag). Johnny Mundo had the Worldwide Underground as his teammates. Puma would announce the team later on this episode. Dario then hyped Rey Mysterio vs. Matanza Cueto in the main event of the show. Dario called out Rey and Rey came out to his generic highlight music entrance theme. Dario said he was giving Matanza a warmup in this episode as a prep for his match against Rey.
Dario said Matanza was facing the rabbit tribe in a three on one match. Dario then sent Rey Mysterio to home to have the night off and not interfere in Matanza’s match. Rey teased leaving but he said he’s not going anywhere. Rey said he’s staying here. Dario said if Rey doesn’t go home he’ll call off Rey’s and Azteca’s match. He then changed his threat to just firing Dragon Azteca Jr. Rey said that Dario wins. Rey then said next week he will end the Cueto Family Legacy. Rey said once he’s done with Matanza, he’s coming after Dario… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A paint-by-numbers pro wrestling face-off promo that did its job. Dario is a charismatic heel who walks the line of cool-heel and evil-promotor very well. Rey is a solid white meat babyface who just has to do the white meat babyface things. To give it to Lucha Underground, I’m glad they’re taking the approach of booking things ahead of time and trying to make the 100th episode a standout episode amidst booking Ultima Lucha Tres.
Police noises were heard during the overhead shots of Los Angeles. Inside the temple, there were “LAPD Police Officers” and SWAT Team members in riot gear inside the temple. LAPD cars, firing range sheets, caution tape, and various things that make you think of a police precinct decorated the temple.
John’s Thoughts: The ridiculous part of this is why would the Los Angeles Police be willing to hang around as enforcers to a pro wrestling match? Only in Lucha Underground! And that’s the type of cheese that gives LU it’s charm and is honestly not a bad thing!
2. Joey Ryan vs. Ricky Reyes in a LAPD Five-O Street Fight for Aztec Medallion #6. Justin Borden showed off the red cloth pouch that held the next Aztec medallion. Vampiro commented that Borden was fondling the bag. Ricky Reyes was billed as “From the Streets, Cortez Castro”. Ryan ran around the ring and gained an upper hand with the boots. Striker tried to thank the fine workers in law enforcement while Vampiro comically acted nervous of the police. Ryan continued his evasion game but was cut off by the Riot gear officers. Reyes hit Ryan with a tornado DDT on the outside.
Reyes found some police batons and sent them into the ring. Ryan recovered and body slammed Reyes. Striker made the random joke that Vampiro looks like Charlie Brown all grown up! (that was outta nowhere, but I laughed). Ryan ripped away a riot shield from one of the officers and put the shield against the turnbuckle. Ryan found handcuffs and used them as knuckle dusters to pummel Reyes. Reyes’s head was busted open. Ryan continued to beat on the back of Reyes with the baton which prompted Striker to make Big Boss Man references.
Joey Ryan found lube and a plastic glove from under the ring. Ryan then cupped the ass of Reyes. Reyes used his ass to slam Ryan into the Riot Shield, shattering it. Reyes dominated Ryan and gave Ryan a forearm in the corner. Ryan continued his evasion and dodged Reyes’ baton attack. The police kept Ryan from escaping. Striker compared the police to the job of wrestling “lumberjacks”. After trading strikes, Ryan sidestepped Reyes causing Reyes to accidentally cross-body an LAPD member. Ryan whipped Reyes into the other police members. Ryan then tossed a myriad of riot shields in the ring.
Ryan and Reyes brawled to the police car set up at ringside. Reyes grabbed a baseball bat. Ryan dodged Reyes causing Reyes to bust a headlight. Striker said Reyes just struck out more than Adrian Gonzalez (nice one). Ryan tossed Reyes on top of the car and brought out a sledge hammer from under the ring. Striker asked if it was time to play the game. And just like Hunter’s sledgehammer (or Abyss’ “Janice”) overhead shots never hit since it would kill a person. Ryan busted up the LAPD car windshield. Reyes teased a powerbomb but Ryan punched the balls of Reyes. Ryan gave Reyes a Rock Bottom on the police car.
After a pin attempt Ryan set up a pile of riot shields in the ring. Ryan then walked to a coffee/doughnut table at ringside. Reyes dodged a Ryan coffee thermos shot. Reyes took the thermos and poured hot coffee onto the dong of Joey Ryan by pulling back the trunks. Striker yelled “Coffee and Eggs!”. Reyes found a taser. Striker said this would be stronger due to Ryan being wet. Reyes tased Ryan in the dick. Striker said he smells burnt hair. Ryan grabbed a doughnut box and superkicked Reyes. Ryan dragged Reyes on top of the announce table. Reyes countered and suplexed Ryan off of the table. Ryan brought a baton to the ring. Reyes sprayed pepper spray into the face of Ryan. Reyes defeated Ryan with a Michinoku Driver onto the riot shields.
Ricky Reyes defeated Joey Ryan via pinfall in 13:07 in a Five-O Street Fight to win Aztec Medallion #6.
Striker said a chalk outline should surround the knocked out Joey Ryan. Striker said this medallion win was the biggest win in Cortez Castro’s Lucha Underground career… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Hot damn! Color me surprised! Not to mention, fellow Dot Net staffer Will Pruett and I hated this damn LAPD storyline, but this was one hell of a payoff. My expectations were low for this one given how Ricky Reyes never wins any matches and Joey Ryan’s a comedy meme wrestler. Huh? This might be one of my top matches in the last two seasons due to how well they utilized the LAPD gimmick and not making it just any other gimmick match. There were some ridiculous things but the ridiculous things enhanced the quality of the match. Striker was both informative and hilarious and this was one of his better calls of all time! I can’t believe it! Give it up to Ryan and Reyes for putting on one hell of a gimmick match. Now I hope Dario doesn’t kill the Reyes character.
Back at the temple, Paul London’s Rabbit Tribe were already in the ring. Striker pointed out how the tribe have three of the Gift of the Gods Medallions. Dario Cueto led Matanza Cueto (Jeff Cobb) to the ring with his magic cage key…
3. “The Monster” Matanza Cueto vs. Paul London, Mala Suerte, and Saltador in a handicap match. Saltador tried to hand Matanza a top hat. London tried to start a ring around the Rosie circle with Matanza but Matanza didn’t sell it and instead slammed the tribe together. Matanza gave London a boot. Striker and Vampiro started talking about psychedelic drugs again. Saltador grounded Matanza with the help of a Suerte baseball slide. Striker started to talk about LSD and said that might be the key to beat Matanza (?). The Rabbit Tribe hit Matanza with a triple superkick. Suerte hit a footstomp on Matanza but he didn’t fall.
The Tribe continue to quickly swarm Matanza. They then did a ring-around-the-Rosie. Matanza recovered and tossed London into the other two with ease. Matanza dropkicked London into the other two. Matanza gave Saltador a chokebomb. Suerte and Saltador actually knocked out Matanza with confetti eggs which confused me and Vampiro. London hit the shooting star press for the nearfall. London was crotched on the next attempt. Matanza gave Saltador a Uranage. Matanza then superplexed London. Matanza hit Saltador with Wrath of the Gods to pick up the victory.
Matanza Cueto defeated Paul London’s Rabbit Tribe via pinfall in 4:46.
Dario and Matanza celebrated their win. Striker hyped Puma’s team announcement for after the break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I was afraid of the usual handicap caveats but Matanza got to look strong (for the most part) and the Rabbit Tribe who have been built up during the Cueto Cup didn’t look like scrubs. They also are in an upcoming title match. The only dumb ass spot was Matanza being knocked out via confetti eggs, which Vampiro also thought was odd on commentary. Seriously agents and writers!?! That spot may have hurt the quality and story of the match but otherwise it was okay.
Prince Puma was already in the ring with a microphone. Puma talked about facing Worldwide Underground in an atomicos match for the 100th episode. Puma said he thought long and hard. Johnny MunPactSonTro interrupted Prince Puma and said he was taking Puma to Slam Town at Ultima Lucha Tres. Mundo talked about beating Puma on the first episode of Lucha Underground. Vampiro said he thinks Slam Town is somewhere near San Bernardino. Puma said he beat Johnny Mundo in the middle of the ring a few weeks later to become Lucha Underground Champion and that wasn’t the only time he beat Mundo. Mundo asked Puma if Prince Puma can beat him. Puma said he knows he can beat Mundo. Mundo asked if they can make things interesting. Mundo said he’s putting his title on the line and Puma should put his mask on the line. Prince Puma said “Let’s do it!”.
Dario Cueto interrupted. He said he likes Johnny Mundo’s idea. Dario said we already have a mask on the line at Ultima Lucha (Marty the Moth vs. Fenix). Dario said he doesn’t want it to look like he’s run out of original ideas. Dario said Puma should put something else on the line and asked Puma what Puma has that’s as valuable as Mundo’s title. Dario said, Puma’s career and that’s what is worthy of a Ultima Lucha main event. Vampiro stood up and waived off Puma. Prince Puma gave Mundo a surprise Tiger Knee. Puma held the title and said Dario is right in Puma’s confidence in beating Mundo. Puma said Mundo is on!
John’s Thoughts: There we go! There’s the set up. You can also find out on the Dot Net Weekly show with Jason Powell and Zack Zimmerman where they talked about this exact storyline with Ricochet/Prince Puma where he’s on his way to “bigger and better” things. This is obviously the setup.
As for the segment, everything was fine. It was similar to the Rey and Dario face off. Mundo did some solid heel mic work and I think he should have taken this approach to his match with Rey as opposed to bringing Dominic Mysterio into the story. Where things didn’t stick with me was the usual babyface stupidity of putting something on the line when there’s no reason to. This is a Dolph Ziggler-esque move by the Prince Puma character that doesn’t work (funny fact, I sat next to Dolph Ziggler’s brother Ryan Nemeth a few weeks later at a taping). I hope in the next few weeks they have Vampiro berate Puma for being dumb and that the cinematics cover for this dumb pro wrestling babyface trope. Wait? Puma didn’t announce his team did he?
Overall, I’d recommend you check out this episode. This was a good setup episode for both Ultima Lucha and the 100th episode. The best part of this episode was the Joey Ryan vs. Ricky Reyes LAPD match! Go out of your way to see that because it surprised me. It was probably the best match I’ve ever seen both Joey Ryan and Ricky Reyes wrestle. I’ll have more thoughts in my member exclusive Lucha Underground audio review later today.