9/20 Moore’s Lucha Underground Review: The penultimate episode before Ultima Lucha, Seven-way match for the Gift of the Gods Championship, El Texano Jr. vs. Dante Fox, Fenix and Melissa Santos vs. Marty and Mariposa, “The Lord” Returns

By John Moore

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

This week’s Lucha Underground intro teaser showed each of the finishes to the Aztec Medallion qualifying matches. Also featured was Famous B trying to recruit El Texano Jr. as well as the setup to the Fenix vs. Marty the Moth match at Ultima Lucha. This week’s Lucha Underground was titled “The Rise of the Ring Announcer”…

Fenix and Melissa Santos were having a sparring session in the Lucha Underground training ring. Country music was playing. Fenix got taken down with an armbar. Melissa got taken down with a rollup. Melissa rolled up Fenix and started to get a little frisky with him when she mounted him. Melissa tried to slowly take of Fenix’s mask. Fenix kicked out! Fenix shook his head to tell her no way. Fenix said his máscara means everything to him. He said before he was nothing before but when he puts it on he is the Fenix and he was reborn. Fenix said it helped him rise from the ashes of his past life. Melissa said mask or no mask, he’s still Fenix to her. Fenix still said no because if the mask is taken away he will lose everything. Melissa walked away and said he wouldn’t lose her. Fenix tried to pull her back but she did a headlock on him and kissed him…

John’s Thoughts: Nope! Still not a fan of this. Fenix should be feuding with Drago or Mil. Melissa shouldn’t be a deuteragonist, let alone be involved prominently in storylines. As for the cinematic, to give him props Fenix’s acting was surprisingly good for a pro wrestler, albeit a bit sappy. Melissa’s acting was bad in that scene. A part of this goes into my initial point of this storyline feeling forced. I know Melissa is trained somewhat but so was Brandi Rhodes and her matches sucked which has me dreading Melissa wrestling. I would say the same thing for Angela Fong and Jeremy Borash too.

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary. Slapbak was the house band. Striker hyped up Ultima Lucha Tres in one more week. Vampiro hyped up Melissa Santos wrestling on this episode. Vampiro also introduced the replacement announcer, Famous B. Famous B handled ring introductions and then dragged out Texano’s because he wants to recruit him. Lucha Underground may claim Texano’s boring but he does have cool entrance music…

1. Dante Fox vs. El Texano Jr. Dante Fox blindsided Texano while Texano was terrorizing Famous B. Fox had Texano in a ground wristlock. Fox flipped away from a side slam. Fox and Texano had a fun outside evasion sequence. Fox hit Texano with a wall run moonsault. Harkening back to Season 1, Killshot got his creepy spotlight back as he was watching the match (I think he did this to Daivari or King Cuerno last time). Fox hit Texano with a swanton while also focusing his gaze on Killshot.

Fox hit an eye rake on Texano. Texano came back with a lariat followed up by a basement lariat. Texano hit a front kick on Fox and tilt a whirl backbreaker. Texano hit Fox with a forearm and enziguri. Fox used the ropes for the rope break. Fox slid to the apron and hit Texano with a springboard cutter and 450 splash which got him a nearfall. Texano hit Fox with a wheelbarrow facebuster. Fox escaped a powerbomb and hit a pump kick on Texano. Dante Fox got a nearfall after a crucifix bomb. Texano blocked a shortarm. Texano hit a Tiger Backbreaker on Fox. Famous B announced Texano as the winner. Texano wasn’t the winner though and Dante Fox won via rollup.

Dante Fox defeated El Texano Jr. via pinfall in 5:39.

Famous B said he guesses he made a mistake. Killshot slowly walked away. Texano teased tossing Famous B around. Dario Cueto interrupted and said he needs Famous B as ring announcer tonight. Dario granted Texano a match with B next week. Famous B said he can’t wrestle since he has a broken arm. Dario said that will just make it a “handicap” match. Dario said if somehow, someway Famous B wins, Dario will give Famous B Texano’s contract… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Taking away the horrid finish, the match was really good. Dante Fox is fun to watch and Texano is very underrated in Lucha Underground as a worker (since they’ve had multiple people tell you that he has no charisma and is boring). The finish was awful. It makes Texano look like a dope. Famous B is a bad comedy character at this point who’s jumped the shark. Not only is Texano dragged down by these bad finishes but so are his opponents like Dante Fox or Pentagon Jr., who should be taken more seriously. Now! One huge complement to them, I do like that they’ve gone back to not overdoing the ringside camera shots. That was annoying for a few weeks after the hiatus but it was noticeable here that they are not interrupting the match to show you Famous B’s face.

In Dario Cueto’s office, Dario had Son of Havoc put his medallion in the Gift of the Gods title belt. Son of Havoc said if he wins he’s inserting himself in the Ultima Lucha Tres title match. Pentagon Dark walked in and faced off with Son of Havoc. Pentagon but his medallion in. Pentagon said he was going to win. He said he will break everyone’s arms “Porque Yo So Pentagon Dark, es Cero Miedo!”. Dario picked up his red phone and said he’s going to need medics on standby for the main event…

Famous B was still ring anouncer. He introduced Marty Martinez and Mariposa as well as Fenix and Melissa Santos. Melissa was in bikini-type ring gear with a boob window…[C]

2. Marty The Moth Martinez and The Mariposa vs. Fenix and Melissa Santos. Fenix made like a see-saw to escape a wristlock from Mariposa. Mariposa managed to take down Fenix. Mariposa gave Fenix a slap. Fenix came back with a slap of his own. Mariposa gave Fenix a body slam and elbow drop. Fenix hesitated a bit, but decided to give Mariposa a roundhouse. Marty tagged in and gave Fenix an atomic drop. Fenix hit Marty with an armdrag. Fenix slipped outside and gave Marty an uppercut and kick.

Fenix got the nearfall after hitting Marty with the Lethal Injection. Fenix hit Marty with a corkscrew Tope Con Hilo. Melissa tagged herself in much to Fenix’s dismay. Marty blindsided the distracted Fenix. Marty dragged Fenix to their corner and tagged in Mariposa. Striker and Vampiro talked about how it doesn’t make sense for Melissa to wrestle. Mariposa worked on the wrist of Fenix (didn’t he tag Melissa?). Fenix caught Marty with a superkick. Fenix tried to tag in Melissa (what?). Melissa caught Marty with a high kick. Melissa hit Marty with a seated Senton. Melissa and Fenix gave thrust kicks to Marty and Mariposa. Fenix tripped Mariposa, putting her head in Marty’s crotch. Fenix then used Melissa as a weapon with a wheelbarrow slam and assisted legdrop.

Marty kicked out of Melissa’s multiple pin attempt. Melissa tried to hold down Marty for a high risk move. Mariposa crotched Fenix on the top rope. Striker said “there will be no growth for Fenix [down] there”. Vampiro comically told striker “dude?”. Marty grabbed Melissa by the hair. Mariposa tied Fenix’s hand to the ringpost. Marty stalked Melissa like a horror movie as Striker put it. Mariposa and Marty surrounded Melissa in the ring and hit her with a double Pedigree. Marty and Mariposa picked up the pinfall.

Marty the Moth and Mariposa defeated Fenix and Melissa Santos via pinfall in 9:00

Fenix was forced to watch Marty and Mariposa torture Melissa. Fenix escaped before Marty could stab Mellissa’s face with scissors. Marty and Mariposa retreated heading into break… [C]

John’s Thoughts: I was dreading seeing Melissa wrestle, but Fenix did a great job covering for Melissa’s limitations. I don’t even know if she has limitations because Fenix did such a good job with the double teams. This was a well worked tag match. Still not a fan of the story. Striker and Vampiro, who I give credit for not insulting the intelligence of the viewers, point out the lack of logic in Melissa wrestling. I’ve said my piece already about this being a bad story. To pluck another positive, I do like Marty and Mariposa using the double Pedigree as a finisher and more people should use that.

The Gift of the Gods championship was in the temple. Matt Striker went over the Ultima Lucha Tres Card: El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. “The Monster” Matanza Cueto, Ivelisse vs. Catrina, Fenix vs. Marty “The Moth” Martinez in a Mask vs. Hair mask, Sexy Star vs. Taya Valkyrie in a Last Luchador Standing match, Killshot vs. Dante Fox in a Hell of War Match (Three Stages of Hell), and Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo in a Career vs. Title Match.

Famous B handled the seven-way match introductions for Gift of the Gods…

John’s Thoughts: For those who don’t remember, Gift of the Gods is Lucha Underground’s version of Money in the Bank where you can cash in the belt for a title shot at any time (with a one week delay).

3. Paul London vs. Mala Suerte vs. Saltador vs. Ricky Reyes vs. Drago vs. Son of Havoc vs. Pentagon Dark in a seven-way match for the Gift of the Gods Championship. There’s only ten minutes left in this show. So is this one fall to the finish? Marty Elias is the referee for the match. Striker clarified that this match is for one fall. Madness ensued. Saltador did some things that didn’t make sense which caused Pentagon to kick him. Saltador then hit Pentagon with an impressive back stand to a huracanrana. Reyes and Drago had an exchange. Drago cleared the ring of everyone. Son of Havoc came back at Drago with a elbow strike.

Pentagon took down Havoc with a superkick. Pentagon took out three guys with a trust fall. Suerte and Pentagon faced off. Pentagon nosold his slap and responded with a stronger chest slap. Suerte surprised Pentagon with a crucifix pin attempt. Pentagon hit Suerte with a Michinoku Driver. Drago broke up the pin attempt. Drago nailed Pentagon with his signature running blockbuster. Reyes gave Drago a powerbomb and swinging neckbreaker. Saltador broke up the pin. Saltador hit Reyes with a guillotine legdrop. Havoc caught Saltador with a staggering kick, double footstomp, and standing moonsault. London broke up the pin attemt and hit a quick spinning wheel kick. Madness ensued. Reyes and Drago paired off for a bit. More madness ensued. Drago took out everyone on the outside with a corkscrew plancha. Havoc gave everyone consecutive Suicide Dive. Havoc hit London with a slingshot cutter. The Rabbit Tribe isolated Pentagon in a corner. Pentagon escaped and tossed Saltador into London.

Pentagon hit Saltador with a package piledriver. Pentagon then hit the same move on London. Havoc took down Saltador with a shooting star press. Marty Elias then slapped both of his hands on the ground to give both Pentagon and Havoc the win.

Dario Cueto walked out to clarify things. Dario Cueto declared Son of Havoc as the winner and proposed a Ladder Match at Ultima Lucha Tres for the Gift of the Gods.

Son of Havoc and Pentagon Dark defeated Paul London, Saltador, Mala Suerte, Ricky Reyes, and Drago in about 7:30.

Matt Striker handled the outro to close out the show…

But wait! There’s more! It was time for post-credits. Dario Cueto joined his FBI friend in the mystery limo with Delgado’s replacement guy from the FBI, Agent Winter. Winter wasn’t happy because Dario Cueto told Him that Cage was the man for the job. Dario said it the gauntlet wasn’t possessing Cage since he might not actually be a man but a machine. Winter thought Dario confirmed the possession. Dario said he might be worried for nothing. He said just in case he has two other men who will be better for the god glove to possess, Mil Muertes and Jeremiah Crane. Dario then booked Mil Muertes vs. Jeremiah Crane vs. Brian Cage for the glove (that I still say holds the soul of MVP). Dario then invited “my lord” to the temple. The Cigar guy was back and was in the limo with Winter and Dario…

John’s Thoughts: The match wasn’t bad. Saltador and Drago got a chance to really shine from it. The flaw here was it being under eight minutes. The finish was also a bit too cute. We’ve gotten a bunch of fluky finishes for the last few months that cute ones like this just blend in with the other mediocre finishes. This match also didn’t tell any stories or progress any. It also showed that the whole Son of Madness thing was unnecessary (just like the Fenix/Melissa one). What I am glad of is Son of Havoc looks to be back on track. Contrived finish aside, I do like Pentagon Dark vs. Son of Havoc because if these guys are given 12-plus minutes, they can tear the house down!

I would have had the Medallions be collectibles where a person can get more than one. Then the last two with medallions can have a singles match with the person with more medallions getting to choose the stipulation. It would have told a better story than this TNA X Division esque multi man match. This episode had it’s flaws, but overall it was a good one. They got some solid hype for the upcoming weeks of matches and the matches on this show were actually well worked. I’ll have more thoughts to say in my All-Access Audio Review of this show later today.

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