By John Moore
Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Taped June 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California at The Temple
This week’s Ultima Lucha intro teaser started out with highlights from last week’s episode which included Famous B winning the services of El Texano Jr. as well as the grueling Hell of War Match (Three Stages of Hell) between Dante Fox and Killshot. Clips from the Taya Valkyrie vs. Ivelisse match were shown which led to Ivelisse challenging Catrina to a match a year in advance due to Catrina doing “teleportation” interference in her match. Next was the clips setting up Fenix and Marty the Moth’s Luchas De Apuestas match. The teaser ended with the Mil Muertes, Jeremiah Crane, and Catrina love triangle. This week’s episode was “Ultima Lucha Tres – Part II”…
Ivelisse is back! And she’s in the opening cinematic where she was arguing with her storyline boyfriend Jeremiah Crane (Sami Callihan). Ivelisse asked “who is she” in regards to who Crane is actually in love with. The two were arguing in the form of a break-up. Crane said he knew “her” since he was a kid. Ivelisse demanded to know “who is she?”. Crane revealed he’s in love with Catrina and not Ivelisse. Ivelisse said she doesn’t need Crane and when she beats Catrina’s ass tonight she’s coming back to beat Crane. Crane called Ivelisse a bitch which drew her attention. Ivelisse then thrust kicked Crane into the toilet stall. Crane was KO’d…
John’s Thoughts: That was starting to get to bad soap opera levels of cheese but it was cool to see Ivelisse get her badass back by thrust kicking Crane into the stall. Why didn’t they air this cinematic a month or so ago? Even if Ivelisse was injured this show was taped over a year ago so they could have done a few more takes to make this a story. Instead, her return is random and abrupt since she just showed up out of nowhere.
Melissa Santos introduced the audience to Ultima Lucha Tres. Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary with Mariachi El Bronx being the house band for the show. Striker talked about how special Dante Fox vs. Killshot was. Striker then set up the Fenix vs. Marty hair vs. mask match. Vampiro hyped Catrina making her Lucha Underground in-ring debut against Ivelisse. They passed it over to Melissa Santos for ring introductions the Unique Opportunity Battle Royal
All of the wrestlers were already in the ring. The following wrestlers were in the match: Joey Ryan, PJ Black, Ricky Mundo, Vinnie Massaro, Mascarita Sagrada, Argenis, Paul London and his Rabbit Tribe, Cortez Castro/Ricky Reyes, and Son of Madness. Melissa Santos gave a special introduction to the returning Pimpinela Escarlata. Pimpinela got her full entrance which included Pimpi laying a huge kiss on one of the male fans. Pimpinela is one of AAA’s exotico (Transgender) wrestlers and is extremely charismatic…
John’s Thoughts: Little background on the “Unique Opportunity” concept for new readers/viewers. Dario Cueto in this case is sorta like Calypso from the Twisted Metal series where he gives unique rewards. The reason they are unique are because even though they seem valuable, usually they come at a huge consequence. Drago won one and got fired. Son of Havoc was supposed to main event Ultima Lucha tres, but had it taken away by having to defend his title shot right after he won and Wagner converted the title shot into money…
1. Dario Cueto’s “Unique Opportunity” Battle Royal. As usual in these matches, madness ensued. Mandel tried to eliminate Vinnie Massaro. PJ Black dropkicked Mandel into Vinnie to eliminate him. The Rabbit Tribe quickly eliminated Madness. Sagrada eliminated Joey Ryan and Ricky Reyes. Paul London taunted Pimpinella with his crotch. Pimpinela tortured London by sticking her head in his crotchal region. Pimpi eliminated London. Pimpi eliminated Mala Suerte with a kiss. Sagrada eliminated Saltador. Pimpi gave Argenis a kiss. Pimpi eliminated herself and Argenis. PJ Black kicked Sagrada in the balls and eliminated him. Mack, Black, and Mandel were the final three. Mack dropkicked Black into Mandel to eliminate him. Mack then gave Black a Stone Cold Stunner to eliminate him and win.
Willie Mack won the Unique Opportunity Battle Royal in 3:34.
Dario Cueto emerged from his office to reveal the Unique Opportunity. Dario said Mack beat some of the best luchadores in the temple (Well? Given their status on the pecking order and how that battle royal lasted around three minutes, Mack actually defeated Lucha Underground’s undercard). Dario Cueto said Mack gets a Trios Championship title match against Pindar, Vibora, and Drago. The consequence is Dario picks his partners and his partners were the beat up Killshot and Dante Fox… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Last week in audio, I said Dante Fox and Killshot weren’t done, this is what I was talking about and I have to say that this is going to be a fun match given that Drago is also involved. It’s also amazing that Dante Fox and Killshot aren’t wrestling two weeks after in reality, they actually wrestled Hell of War 24 hours before. This is going to be fun. Back to the battle royal, that was pointless and more of a three minute buffer. What also sucks is they had good development for people like Mack and PJ Black and instead they got thrown into the random “Heroes of WWE Superstars” esque battle. This also goes into my point about Fenix being miscast since he had developed feud with Drago and instead Drago and his reptile friends are thrown into a trios match booked last minute.
The roles were shifted this week, Mil Muretes was accompanying Catrina this time. Catrina wore fishnets as a part of her ring gear. Mil was wearing a three-piece suit. Mil also had the magical rock in a jewelry box. Catrina told Ivelisse to come out and she called her a bitch.
2. Catrina (w/Mil Muertes) vs. Ivelisse. Ivelisse stormed the ring and gave Catrina punches. Ivelisse gave Catrina a few chops. Catrina came back with some strong knife edge chops. Ivelisse ripped off Catrina’s top to leave her in her bra. Catrina entered Dario Cueto’s office and we saw the security camera footage. Catrina hid behind the threshold and hit Ivelisse with a (sugar) glass bottle over her head. Ivelisse bladed at this point. Catrina gave Ivelisse a few more bottle shots. Catrina dragged Ivelisse up the steps and licked some of the blood off of Ivelisse leaving some red on her face.
Ivelisse had a crimson mask. Ivelisse knocked out Catrina with a kick. Ivelisse fired up and slammed Catrina into a wooden chair. Catrina retreated to the jewelry box. Catrina caught Ivelisse with a spear. Catrina hit Ivelisse with a double underhook atomic drop. Catrina grabbed Mil Muertes’ rock. Striker talked about how the rock came from the rubble of an earthquake in Mexico City that buried Mil Muertes. Ivelisse stopped a rock shot and gave Catrina a spinebuster. Ivelisse and Catrina then played tug-o-war with the rock. Ivelisse got the rock and hit Catrina with it. Ivelisse hit an impressive arm trap jumping DDT to pick up the sudden win.
Ivelisse defeated Catrina via pinfall in 6:16.
Ivelesse celebrated her win by holding up Catrina’s magic Mil rock. Suddenly, Jeremiah Crane ran in and blindsided Ivelisse. Crane whacked at Ivelisse’s leg with a hammer. Striker pointed out that Ivelisse has been put out of action several times via an ankle injury. Catrina crawled in the ring and retrieved her rock… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This match screamed “cut for time”, which is a shame given how Ivelisse and Catrina were putting together a really good war. It does suck that Ivelisse is injury prone because when healthy she’s at the upper echelon of all-round performers in Lucha Underground given her amazing workrate and psychology. Catrina (Maxine in WWE) never really impressed in-ring, but she did a good job in this match and her sitout atomic drop finisher is a good one. More detractors though. This match needed about three more minutes to reach that next level and what also hurt was the minimal story build. Both women tried very hard and deserve a lot of credit for their work but the writers did them a disservice by not writing for them.
Matt Striker went over the remaining Ultima Lucha card. The remaining matches are as follows: Brian Cage vs. Jeremiah Crane vs. Mil Muertes for the magic god glove, El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Matanza Cueto, Sexy Star vs. Taya Valkyrie in Last Luchadora Standing, Pentagon Dark vs. Son of Havoc in a Ladder Match for the Gift of the Gods, and Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo in a Career vs. Title match…
Fenix and Marty the Moth made their entrances for Luchas De Apuestas… [C]
3. Fenix vs. Marty the Moth (w/ The Mariposa) in a Mask vs. Hair match. Fenix and Marty traded forearms early on and that turned to punches and kicks. Fenix caught Marty with a boot. Mariposa held Fenix’s leg. Marty caught Fenix with an elbow. Fenix came back with a back-thrust kick. Marty blocked a side suplex. Fenix caught Marty with a superkick. Mariposa held Fenix’s leg again, this time on the top rope. Marty hit Fenix with a super Belly to Belly. Marty exposed the top turnbuckle. Fenix blocked a whip into the buckle. Fenix also blocked a fulldog and hit Marty with a Disaster Kick.
Fenix went for a Tope Con Hilo on Marty but Marty threw Mariposa into Fenix’s tope. Mariposa then gave Marty the double middle fingers and walked out on him. Marty sterted to trip all over the ring. Fenix took down Marty and went for a lionsault but Marty got his boots up. Marty grabbed Fenix’s mask and ripped it apart around the eye area. Marty caught Fenix and powerbombed him. Marty lifted Fenix in powerbomb position and snake eyed Fenix into the exposed turnbuckle. Fenix bled. Marty put Fenix in Fireman Carry and hit him with a TKO, leading to a nearfall.
Marty and Fenix brawled on the apron with Marty having the advantage. Fenix turned the tables by hitting Marty with a rolling cutter on the apron. Fenix hit Marty with a frog splash to earn a nearfall. Fenix went for a springboard move but Marty caught him with a dropkick. Marty hit a tiger driver into a codebreaker. Fenix came back with a Lethal Injection. Marty came back with a clothesline from hell. Marty was backdropped on the apron. Fenix caught Marty with a rolling palm strike on the top rope. Fenix hit a Spanish Fly on the larger Marty the Moth for a convincing nearfall.
Marty and Fenix showed fatigue by trading slow punches on the ground. Fenix showed off more energy in his attack. Marty pulled out a Seth Rollins curb stomp for a nearfall. Party went for his lunch box to retrieve a pair of scissors. Marty jabbed the scissors in Fenix’s head. Marty then threatened to shank Fenix’s jugular leading to Melissa Santos to go to the apron to calm Marty down. Marty calmed down and then dragged Melissa into the ring by the head. Melissa gave Marty a slap. Melissa then kicked Marty in the balls. Marty smiled. Fenix caught Marty with a shining wizard to the back of the head. Fenix then hit a tightrope 450 on Marty. Melissa assisted Fenix in securing his pinfall win.
Fenix defeated Marty the Moth Martinez via pinfall in 12:22 to retain his mask and force Marty to cut his hair.
Melissa joined Fenix in the ring to console him as he was bleeding. The camera persona got a nice shot of this heartfelt fan who nodded in approval. Melissa kissed Fenix through the blood. Marty was recovered and decided to not go through the stipulation. Mariposa met Marty on the top rope and taunted Fenix and Melissa. Melissa told Marty to “don’t be a pussy” which was not censored. Mariposa then turned on Marty by giving him a chair to the head. Mariposa then handcuffed Marty to the handrails next to the bleachers. Fenix and Melissa first trimmed Marty’s hair to make him look like he did when he was a Tough Enough contestant. Then they got the electric razor to shave off the hair. This was when Lucha Underground closed, with Striker calling Fenix “Fenix the barber beefcake”…
John’s Thoughts: Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the blood overload, but at least the blood is fitting into the storylines and this was a good hardcore match. Here’s hoping that the rest of the “Ultima Lucha” matches aren’t garbage hardcore matches or else diminishing returns will start kicking in. That said, this was solid between two great workers. Fenix is the babyface MVP of Lucha Underground to Mil’s heel MVP. Marty plays the psycho killer very well. As much as I hate the forced Fenix and Melissa romance, it played out well here. It played out so well that I think they should have had this match be the first day of their relationship as opposed to the climax of the relationship (Melissa shouldn’t have been a deuteragonist). The Mariposa turn also made sense.
Overall, this was another solid episode in Lucha Underground. I still don’t see the need for Ultima Lucha designation (especially with matches still being booked), but at least the matches are delivering as usual. The Catrina and Ivelisse match was too short, but I would still recommend checking it out based on the return of Ivelisse and how fun it is to see her perform. I can’t remember a bad Fenix match. He is a hidden gem in the pro wrestling world and I’m not sure why he doesn’t get an immense amount of buzz. His brother gets a ton of buzz? I’ll have more thoughts in my members exclusive audio review…
Feedback is always appreciated and feel free to contact me via twitter @liljohnm to tweet and discuss Lucha. You can also comment and discuss Lucha stuff directly with me via email: email@example.com.