6/20 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Pentagon Jr. vs. Matanza Cueto for the Lucha Underground Championship, Jack Swagger debuts, The Mack, Killshot, and Son of Havoc vs. Infamous Inc. for the LU Trios Championship

By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Aired June 20, 2018 – Season 4 Episode 2
Taped February 2018 from Los Angeles, California at the Union Central Cold Storage Warehouse

The intro teaser started off with a replay of the finish to the Gauntlet of the Gods triple threat match where Mil Muertes pinned Brian Cage and the Gauntlet only to have King Cuerno steal it and put it in a trophy case in his cabin. The next clip was from last week where Antonio Cueto assigned Son of Havoc to be the replacement tag partner for the trios champs due to Dante Fox not being able to make this season’s tapings. The last scene focused on Pentagon Jr. (a.k.a. Pentagon Dark) defending his title in Aztec Warfare match and Antonio Cueto booking him to defend it on this week’s episode against his son, Matanza Cueto. This week’s episode was titled, “The Darkness and the Monster”…

The show started off with a cinematic from King Cuerno’s badass cabin (random question, where in the hell in the Los Angeles county is there a person who lives in a legit log cabin with so much wildlife? Maybe he lives in the Los Angeles Valley and just makes the long commute?). Cuerno has dead animal heads and horns on his wall. There were also artifacts, battle weapons, and what looks like may be an alien ray gun? Catrina used her teleportation powers to teleport into Cuerno’s lavish chair. She pulled off the cloth to a trophy case and the trophy case was empty. The [not-] infinity gauntlet wasn’t there anymore. King Cuerno walked in and told Catrina that even he knows that some trophies are too dangerous to display. Cuerno was holding a wooden spear for some reason while also in his cowboy attire.

Catrina asked where the Gauntlet was. Cuerno said the Gauntlet of the Gods has the power to take down the seven Aztec tribes. Cuerno said he’s not letting that happen. Catrina said she needs the gauntlet to get her lifeforce back. Cuerno jokingly said “sorry”. Cuerno said he gave it to someone for safe keeping and doesn’t know where or when he kept it (the time travel aspect makes you think that Aero Star has it). Cuerno also said he doesn’t “give a shit” about Catrina getting her life force back. Catrina left the display cloth on Cuerno’s arm and teleported away. Cuerno tipped his cowboy hat to the camera and the camera showed a deer head trophy (a similar shot to the deer head from the movie “Get Out”). The Lucha Underground title card appeared…

John’s Thoughts: Impact Wrestling should be watching this and see that El Hijo de Fantasma is not only a good promo but he can be a legit badass is taken seriously. I never understood Fantasma dating back to his AAA days but Cuerno is extremely underutilized in all the companies he’s in. Hopefully Lucha Underground elevates him this season. Are they going to try him out as a babyface based on him trying to “save the world” in that last cinematic? That wouldn’t be a bad thing to try out?

The show cut to the Cold Storage Temple where Mariachi El Bronx provided commentary for the show. Matt Striker checked in on commentary and introduced Vampiro as his color commentator. Striker commended Pentagon Jr. for being the first person to defend his championship in the Aztec Warfare match. Striker then hyped the Ultima Lucha Dos rematch between Pentagon and Matanza for this episode. Vampiro pass it over to Melissa Santos…

The Trios Champions were already in the ring. Killshot didn’t look so happy at Son of Havoc being his partner. El Texano Jr, Dr. Wagner Jr, and Famous B were their opponents. Famous B came out first to interrupt Melissa Santos. Famous B said that Melissa doesn’t have all the facts, like usual. B did his 423 catchphrase. Striker compared Famous B to famous sports agent Scott Boras (what? I wouldn’t compare El Texano Jr. to A-Rod so what the hell?). Famous B said Texano and Wagner are busy making money for him in Mexico (or they also couldn’t make the Season 4 tapings). Famous B introduced three new clients. One guy was from the repair shop, the repairman “Big Bad Steve”. The second guy is indie standout Sammy Guevara. Vampiro randomly made fun of Guevara by saying he looks like Justin Bieber and he said the LA fans would hate him. The LA fans seemed to like the guy. Famous B’s third trios partner is “the hottest free agent in wrestling”, it was the former Jack Swagger now known as Jake Strong (his real name is Jake Hager).

John’s Thoughts: One odd thing is that they are drawing attention to El Texano Jr. and the legendary Dr. Wagner Jr. not making the tapings. They could have easily not introduced them for the match and just introduced the three new guys without drawing attention to scheduling conflicts? Unnecessarily meta. Anyway, of the three, Big Steve is the guy I’m least familiar with but he really impressed me when I saw him later on this season. Ya’ll probably know Jack Swagger. We the people, right? Sammy Guevara has also impressed me and he’s very similar to Flip Gordon and can do all the flipping as well. Guevara can also hit one hell of a 630. A “holy shit” chant ensued…

1. Willie Mack, Killshot, and Son of Havoc vs. Big Bad Steve, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Strong (w/Famous B and Beautiful Brenda) for the Lucha Underground Trios Championships. Guevara and Killshot started off the match. Both men had an indie stalemate sequence to start the match. Guevara impressed the crowd with his lucha libre. Guevara gave Killshot the middle finger and Killshot gave Guevara a backfist. Son of Havoc tagged in and worked on Guevara. Guevara flipped over havoc and hit him with a dropkick. Steve tagged in to work on Havoc.

Killshot tagged in and downed Steve with a Tiger Feint to the gut and springboard paydirt. Killshot cleared Strong from the ring and gave him a punt from the apron. Guevara superkicked Killshot off the apron. Son of Havoc caught Guevara with a suicide dive. Steve hit Havoc with a suplex. Strong hit Havoc with a Vader Bomb (rest in peace big guy…). Guevara hit Swanton Bomb on Havoc. Killshot and Mack broke up the pin attempt. Guevara caught Killshot with a step-up enziguri. Killshot blocked a Frankensteiner and tossed Guevara off the top rope into a Pounce by Mack. Mack payed homage to the Alpha Male Monty Brown after that move. Strong tossed Mack out.

Killshot showed off educated feet with a feint knee into a roundhouse on Strong. Famous B went to the apron for the distraction. Jake Strong caught Killshot and made Killshot tap out to the ankle lock but Strong’s manager was accidently distracting referee Justin Borden. It took Mack a few shots but he broke up the submission. Mack hit Steve with the Stone Cold Stunner. Son of Havoc hit Steve with the Shooting Star Press for the victory.

Willie Mack, Killshot, and Son of Havoc defeated Big Bad Steve, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Strong via pinfall in 5:28 to retain the Lucha Underground Trios Championships.

Jake Strong looked pissed after the match. Jake Strong entered the ring and beat up his two tag partners. Strong turned Guevara inside out with a Clothesline From Hell. He then Military Pressed Guevara on Steve. Strong tossed around Famous B and then gave him an ankle lock. Strong “snapped” Famous B’s leg. Strong wiped off the sweat using B’s handkerchief. Strong then tried to establish his new chant and the Temple agreed which is him pounding his chest and the crowd chanting “strong”… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Mixed feelings leaning on negative on this match. The wrestlers were all good. The former Swagger does seem outclassed athletically so he kinda fades into the background in spotfests like this. That’s not a bad thing. The bad thing seems to be a problem that plagues any story that Famous B is involved in. His matches usually involve some sort of campiness and usually end with an overbooked finish. I’m guessing the agents would argue that Killshot tapping out makes Jake look Strong (pun intended), but I think that it made Killshot look weaker while the new guys looking weak by losing in their debut and hiring LU’s version of Heath Slater as an agent. This was a season 2 problem with new wrestlers losing their first match and is becoming a negative Lucha Underground cliché (just like TNA and Ref Bumps). The match was also too short to tell a story.

Melissa Santos introduced Antonio Cueto to the Temple. Antonio said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because Dario was a genus in making the Gift of the Gods. Antonio announced that he was putting a medallion on the line to start the process of crowning a new Gift of the Gods champion. Drago and Dragon Azteca made their entrances. Striker said it was Dragon vs. Dragon… [C]

2. Drago (w/Kobra Moon) vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr. for Aztec Medallion Number 1. Drago wanted to start off the match with a handshake but because he’s evil now he kicked Azteca in the gut. Both luchadores had a chain wrestling stalemate in the next sequence. Azteca hit Drago with a feint back kick (lots of feint moves tonight). Azteca grounded Drago with a shoulder block.

Kobra Moon distracted Azteca with a trip. Drago almost accidently punched Kobra Moon. Drago and Azteca traded unique pin attempts. Drago hit Azteca with a back-hook kick. Drago caught Azteca outside with a Tope Con Hilo. Drago dragged Azteca to the top rope and tried to pull off the mask of Azteca. The mask got pulled off but Azteca used his teeth to keep the mask from uncovering his face. A “culero” chant ensued (which is the Spanish version of Asshole). Striker wanted to know what Culero translates to and Vampiro said that it means “Matt Striker” in Spanish.

John’s Thoughts: Ok. Even though Vampiro has been a bit “off” this season, I have to admit that joke was funny.

Azteca got hit mask back on and hit Drago with a few kicks. Azteca hit Drago with a belly-to-belly into the bottom turnbuckle. Drago ducked a lariat and hit Azteca with an innovative hammerlock inverted powerslam. Drago got an inside cradle on Azteca. Striker pointed out how Drago has a more methodical style of wrestling. Drago caught Azteca with a pump kick and hit his signature running Blockbuster on Azteca to lead to a nearfall. Drago caught Azteca with a back hook but Azteca staggered Drago with a step-up enziguri. Azteca defeated Drago after hitting him with a Top Rope Rollup.

El Dragon Azteca defeated Drago via pinfall in 6:07 to win Aztec Medallion #1.

Kobra Moon entered the ring to check on Drago while Azteca left with his newly won medallion. Johnny Mundo ran out to mock Kobra Moon and asked her what one of her “snakes” are going to do when they have to face the mayor of Slamtown. Taya Valkyrie entered the ring and gave Kobra Moon a spear. Johnny Mundo hit Drago with a kick to the balls and a running knee. Mundo and Taya shared a public display of affection in the middle of the ring as the crowd chanted “Wera Loca”… [C]

John’s Thoughts: A nice Lucha Libre match with Drago providing good grounded offense to offset Azteca’s high flying. Hopefully they find a way to make Gift of the Gods interesting again instead of just being a glorified Money in the Bank (I’ve been saying that there should be “Medallion” defenses). I’m also intrigued to see how the Lucha Underground creative handles the new edgy babyface Johnny Mundo. The slamtown stuff is still cheesy in a bad way, but I think that can work in the Lucha Underground universe that as established Johnny’s quirky personality as a strength.

The show cut to a cinematic in Antonio Cueto’s office. Antonio finished off his Modelo beer (they’re the sponsor for Season 4). Catrina teleported in the office. Antonio said he thought Catrina’s powers were a bunch of crap but he sees it now. He asked if Catrina was a ghost? Catrina said she was stuck in the real world and spirit realm. Catrina was going back and forth with a television static effect all over her. She was “phasing out of existence”. Catrina wanted Fenix in a coffin. Catrina wanted Mil vs. Fenix in Grave Consequences so she can be free. Cueto booked the match and Catrina teleported away…

John’s Thoughts: While I am a bit apprehensive about Lucha Underground seeming doing a “Greatest Hits” match next week, that shouldn’t be a problem because it’s been enough time since their last match and from what I can remember, these two have extremely good chemistry. In the ring, Mil and Fenix are the best Lucha Underground has to offer with Cuerno and Mundo rounding out that top tier.

Melissa Santos handled the ring introductions for the main event title match. Matt Striker noted that Pentagon has lost two matches to Matanza already… [C]

3. Pentagon Jr. vs. “The Monster” Matanza Cueto (w/Antonio Cueto) for the Lucha Underground Championship. Pentagon caught Matanza with some of his signature loud kicks. Pentagon gave Matanza a whip into the first-row wooden seats and then into the balcony area. Pentagon pinned Matanza to the turnbuckle and exposed his chest so he can hit one of his signature chest slaps on Matanza. Matanza stepped aside from a second slap attempt to cause Penta to only hit the turnbuckle. Matanza shoved Pentagon’s head in the balcony several times.

Matanza hit a few of his delayed suplex variations on Pentagon in the ring. Pentagon did a quick dodge and then slipped under Matanza with a Sling Blade. Matanza blocked a Fear Factor attempt. Pentagon hit Matanza with a Lungblower and Codebreaker. Striker and Vampiro did their signature “no-leg-hook” call to Matanza’s kick out. Pentagon gave Matanza a roundhouse kick and did the Cero Miedo hand sign in the face of Matanza. Matanza hit Pentagon with a swinging side suplex. Pentagon went for a Canadian Destroyer but couldn’t get Matanza over. Instead Pentagon settled for a sunset flip and roundhouse.

Matanza caught Pentagon with a right hand on the top rope. Pentagon fought off Matanza off the top rope. Pentagon hit Matanza with a superkick and then hit him with two Canadian Destroyers in a row. Pentagon hit Matanza with a Fear Factor and then picked up the victory.

Pentagon Jr. defeated Matanza Cueto via pinfall in 7:45 to retain the Lucha Underground Championship.

Pentagon held up his championship as the Temple showed him with Cero Miedo chants. The crowd then chanted for Pentagon to break Matanza’s arm. Pentagon was about to break the arm but Antonio Cueto held up the key and that gave Matanza the power to break free. Matanza cowered in front of Antonio and Antonio slapped him. Antonio said, “Dario spoiled you, you are totally useless”. Antonio left the cold storage as Matanza followed him. Matt Striker closed out Lucha Underground…

But Wait? There’s more. It was the first post-credits stinger cinematic of the season. Antonio Cueto entered his office and put the Matanza cage key on his desk. Suddenly Jeremiah Crane (a.k.a. Sami Callihan) entered the room. Crane said he wants to bury both Fenix and Mil Muertes next week. Crane also showed that he was infatuated with Catrina due to her sexy look. Antonio questioned why Crane would put his life on the line for her. Antonio said he was booking a “Three Way to the Grave” Match. Crane said that didn’t take long. As Crane left, Antonio said Crane’s career won’t take long to end too…

John’s Thoughts: Interesting, I didn’t expect that match to be so one sided in favor of Pentagon with Pentagon going over clean. I remember their first encounter being one sided in Penta’s favor but with Matanza getting the random win. I’m surprised that they are essentially giving up on Matanza as their unstoppable force now. That isn’t a bad thing and it looks like they are going to tell some sort of family story with it. Pentagon looked good in the win and they are doing a great job utilizing Pentagon as their world champion. The problem with Jeff Cobb is that he’s just been miscast. He’s not good at playing the cartoony monster. In fact, Mil Muertes, Martin Casaus, and Brian Cage have proven to be way better monsters than Cobb. They also had Kevin Kross during Season 2 and 3 in their dark match bullpen and he plays the monster role better from what I’ve seen. What Cobb should have been, is their version of “Wrestling Machine” Kurt Angle since the guy does have amateur wrestling background and is a legit Olympian. Cobb has looked his best from what I’ve seen when he does the amateur wrestler thing.

As for the post-credit, it was random that they randomly put Jeremiah Crane into the Fenix and Mil triple threat, but that does mitigate my fear of it coming off as “Greatest Hits”. Crane/Callihan was extremely effective in the ring during season 3, but I hope he doesn’t rely too much on using weapons over telling a story. That’s one problem he’s having with his current feud with Eddie Edwards in that all of their matches mostly include a bunch of trash cans and kendo sticks. Overall, this was a middle-of-the-road show. I didn’t like introducing three new wrestlers in a bunch of comedy hi-jinks so that was the low point. The best part was Lucha Underground starting up a few new storylines. They are also doing a good job establishing Pentagon as the top guy of the company. I’ll be by later today with my Members Exclusive Audio Review of the show and when Will Pruett sees the show he should be around with his Lucha Underground Hit List.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Jim Ross on his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more... Search "Pro Wrestling Boom" in Apple Podcasts or any podcast app to subscribe.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. I was disappointed at the end of last season to see Dario Cueto die. I was hoping somehow he would survive. Although he is essiently the same character, papa cueto for whatever reason, at least for now seems like a downgrade.

    Mundo could do a promotion for dennys with his “slam”town talk.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.