8/15 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Son of Havoc, Killshot, and The Mack vs. The Reptile Tribe in a tornado match for the Trios Championship, El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Killshot for the Gift of the Gods Championship, Aerostar and Drago’s rooftop reunion

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

Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Aired August 15, 2018 – Season 4 Episode 10
Taped March 2018 in Los Angeles, California at the Union Central Cold Storage Warehouse

This week’s intro teaser focused on the revealed death of Big Ryck, the sacrifice of Mala Suerte, Mariposa requesting a Gift of the Gods title match and then losing, and the budding inner turmoil between the Trios Champions. This week’s episode was titled “A Snake Scorned”…

This week’s show started off with an Antonio Cueto office cinematic. Antonio opened up an invitation and he was invited to the wedding of Taya Valkyrie and Johnny Mundo. Kobra Moon entered the office and demanded a Trios Title Match for the Reptile Tribe. Kobra Moon mentioned that the reptiles never got their mandatory rematch after losing the titles. Antonio Cueto noted that Moon lost last week as well as at Ultima Lucha Tres. Kobra Moon claimed that she made the Reptile Tribe stronger. Antonio Cueto pointed out that they lost members including Drago (as well as replacing a dead Vibora with half of a Sami Callihan).

Kobra yelled that they don’t need Drago to prosper. Moon reiterated her demand. Antonio Cueto said he likes seeing a woman scorned. Antonio played his butterfly knife and granted Kobra Moon’s Reptile Tribe a title shot. Antonio told Kobra Moon to be Dra-gone. Kobra Moon crawled away.

John’s Thoughts: I like the return of the office cinematics, but I’m still having a hard time buying into the generic Antonio Cueto authority figure. I’ll admit that Dario Cueto was getting way too much TV time by the end of season 3, but Dario in short doses is the best heel authority figure in all of pro wrestling due to his natural and charming character. Antonio Cueto is just a bland boss type. That corny joke would have hit a note if Dario were delivering it but Dario’s actor and his fake voice doesn’t resonate to where it’s tough to know how to react to this guy.

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary at the LA Temple. Metalachi was the house band for tonight and they were singing the classic Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay song. Vampiro was extra hyped on this episode. Striker announced the already mentioned Trios Championship match. Vampiro said Killshot was doing double duty and was going to take El Dragon Azteca up on his open challenge…

The Rabbit Tribe were already in the ring. Antonio Cueto wasted no time like last week and came out to confront the Rabbit Tribe. Paul London said last week Mala Suerte proved that he doesn’t do it like a rabbit because a real rabbit wouldn’t get beat that bad. Paul London offered up Saltador to get sacrificed next…

John’s Thoughts: The best part of these sacrifice matches is Matanza’s entrance where he just storms the ring. Not sure why that’s my lone favorite part so far with these matches. I hope we’re not in for more comedy here.

1. Matanza Cueto vs. Saltador (w/Paul London) in a loser gets sacrificed match. Paul London prevented Saltador from leaving the ring. Saltador hit a few punches on Matanza which he no sold. Saltador then felt up Matanza and Matanza sold a kick from Saltador. Saltador dropkicked and staggered Matanza. Saltador hit Matanza in the gut. Matanza finally caught Saltador and then hit his signature swinging suplex. Matanza hit Saltador with the Wrath of the Gods for the win.

Matanza Cueto defeated Saltador via pinfall in 0:40.

Saltador disappeared so we can all assume he’s dead (or at least absorbed into the body of Lucha Underground’s Majin Buu). Paul London was shown laughing at ringside. Matt Striker said it looks like Paul London is “turned on” by the death of Saltador (Is Matt Striker’s go-to line for people being happy “being turned on”?). Striker hyped up Killshot vs. Azteca after the break… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Okay, that was less offensive than the last two sacrifices which included Matanza selling to comedy figures and bad sound effects. Right now though, Matanza is less of an intimidating force and more so a metta tool to what I think is Lucha Underground releasing people from their real life contracts by making a storyline out of it. The “rebuild of Matanza” was done much better and more efficiently with Dario Cueto’s “Dial of Doom” last year and this is just a cheaper version of that. Last year Matanza was putting on good matches, this year he’s just thinning out the roster (which I don’t mind because I mentioned how Season 3’s biggest flaw was trying to write for too many wrestlers). By the way, where in the F is Killer Kross?

Willie Mack and Son of Havoc were lacing up backstage. Son of Havoc said he was worried about Killshot not liking him. Killshot walked in and did an evil laugh. Killshot said he likes Havoc but he doesn’t respect Havoc for having the Trios Title handed to him on a silver platter and for trying to turn Mack against him. Mack stood in between them and said that Havoc wasn’t trying to turn Mack against Killshot. Killshot berated Mack for choosing Havoc over him. Killshot bragged about having a Gift of the Gods title match tonight. Mack acted worried because they are scheduled to have a Trios title defense tonight as well. Killshot continued to act emo and petulant by accusing Mack for caring more about gold than him. Killshot condescendingly wished Havoc and Mack good luck in defending the titles. Killshot disrespectfully brushed the shoulder of Havoc and then told Havoc that Havoc was right, Killshot doesn’t like Havoc…

John’s Thoughts: There we go, more cinematics than usual in an episode and a fairly good one. They are missing the point about pointing out Killshot’s motivation being his instability over the missing Dante Fox (AR Fox). I do like the way they are building this feud and the obvious Killshot heel turn. This is just like the Drago heel turn last season where it was really hot due to him turning on the Temple’s biggest babyface Fenix. Mack and Havoc are two of the nicest guys in the Lucha Underground roster so it’s very easy to get a lot of ire drawn by antagonizing them.

Matt Striker announced Pentagon Dark vs. Brian Cage for the Lucha Underground Championship next week in a Last Man [or Machine] Standing Match. Striker hyped up a Cage promo for later in this show… [c]

2. El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Killshot for the Gift of the Gods Championship. Referee Justin Borden held up the title belt before the match. Azteca started the match with a back kick and chop on Killshot. Azteca hit Killshot with an electric chair huracanrana. Vampiro noted that move was a move that Rey Mysterio innovated in AAA back in the day. Killshot surprised Azteca with a double stomp upon Azteca’s ring entry. Killshot cleared the top rope cleanly with a moonsault on Azteca. Striker and Vampiro continued their “didn’t hook the leg” joke that they’ve been overdoing this season. Killshot locked Azteca in a modified Rings of Saturn. Azteca escaped the subsequent pin attempt.

Vampiro noted that Killshot might not win due to being controlled by anger. Azteca tagged Killshot with a step up enzuigiri. Azteca then hit Killshot with a huracanrana from the apron to the ringside floor to draw a pop from the crowd. Azteca caught Killshot with a superman punch. Azteca then hit Killshot with a guillotine leg drop. Killshot escaped the corner with a roundhouse but he took a front kick himself. Both men traded strikes on the ring apron. Killshot hit Azteca with a Death Valley Driver on the apron. Killshot then hit Azteca with his Killstomp finisher. Killshot pinned Azteca for a great nearfall (which Striker kinda killed with his Vince McMahon “we have a new champion” false finish call).

Killshot and Azteca had a strong style slap exchange. They then moved to elbows. Killshot caught Azteca with a Tiger Knee. Azteca surprised Killshot with the DDTJ to pick up the win.

El Dragon Azteca Jr. defeated Killshot via pinfall in 6:53.

Azteca wanted a handshake after the match but Killshot rejected it and continued to act emo… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Not quite the high workrate match that we were used to seeing from Killshot last season, but this was still a fun match. I’m really digging Azteca filling in the “fighting champion” void left by Ricochet after he left and I think it works better for Azteca due to him being more plucky. This is the way they should have been building up Azteca since Season 2 instead of having him be the guy who takes losses for Rey and Puma.

The show cut to another cinematic where Lucha Underground’s dynamic duo, Aerostar and Drago, were reunited on the rooftops of Los Angeles. Aerostar told Drago how hard he fought for Drago’s freedom. Aerostar questioned why Drago has decided to exile himself from the public. Drago said he did things with the Reptile Tribe that can’t be forgiven. Aerostar put his hands on the shoulder of Drago and insisted that it wasn’t Drago’s fault, it was Kobra Moon pulling his strings like a marionette. Aerostar said the strings are now severed.

Drago said his memory of the events is fuzzy but he knows that he no longer deserves the friendship of Aerostar. Drago said he must go now (my planet needs me?). Drago said to forgive him for leaving. Aerostar held out his hand for the bro shake and said “Til we meet again, mi amigo”. Drago gave his bro the handshake and said he’s not so sure they will meet again. Drago then became fire. Yes, he becomes fire. Drago teleported away. Aerostar then exclaimed that he’s sure that they will meet again…

John’s Thoughts: Oh my word. This was one piece of sweet cinematic. Aerostar and Drago showed great acting range here and I kinda forgot these guys had it in them. I just want to see an Aerostar and Drago movie where they are the time traveling buddy cops of the dragon and his Power Ranger. Is Don Callis watching? Can he see why Impact is screwing up making Drago and Aerostar generic luchadores? Anyway, more of this please.

Melissa Santos introduced the next match as a Trios Tornado Match. Kobra Moon, Daga, and Jeremiah “Snake” made his entrance. Jeremiah Crane continued to act like a zombie and Sami Callihan at the same time. Can I call him Zombie Callihan because Jeremiah Snake is so lazy? The Trios Champions were introduced but only Mack and Son of Havoc came out….

3. The Mack and Son of Havoc vs. “The Reptile Tribe” Kobra Moon, Daga, and Jeremiah Snake in a tornado tag match for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship. The reptile tribe got rid of Mack with a triple team. Crane and Havoc isolated each other in the ring. Havoc did a superman pose in the center of the ring. Daga and Mack then singled each other out. Mack disposed of Daga with a simple stiff forearm. Kobra Moon took down Mack with a huracanrana. Mack took down Moon with a dropkick. Jeremiah and Mack had an exchange with Mack taking down Jeremiah with a leg lariat. Mack did a handstand in the corner and then was kicked out by Jeremiah.

Killshot returned and was in the ring. Jeremiah spit in Killshot’s face. Killshot showed off his quick dodges and hit Jeremiah with a single leg dropkick. Killshot used a headscissors to triangle choke Jeremiah. A human centipede was then formed with everyone giving each other a triangle choke. Mack then turned everyone over into a Boston Crab. Daga made it to the ropes for the break. Mack hit everyone outside with a Tope Con Hilo. They keep panning the camera to this black dude in the crowd and Striker noted that he was named “Father Rick O’Shea” and was the priest who will be in charge of the Johnny Mundo and Taya Valkyrie wedding.

John’s Thoughts: Is that a cheap Ricochet joke? I can’t help but smile at that. It sounds like a Disco Inferno creation.

Son of Havoc hit everyone with an Asai Moonsault. Killshot punched Kobra Moon to prevent her from diving. Kobra Moon kicked out of being suplexed to the outside. Jeremiah saved Kobra with a lariat. Jeremiah threw Moon at Killshot so she could huracanrana him. Jeremiah used Kobra Moon as a weapon in creative ways to take down Killshot. Not bad. Havoc caught Kobra Moon with a modified Lethal Injection for a nearfall. Havoc rolled up Jeremiah and hit him with a double stomp. Madness ensued with everyone taking each other out. Mack ended up on top with a Stone Cole Stunner on Moon. Mack hit Jeremiah with a Samoan Drop and shooting star.

Jeremiah Crane took Mack off the top rope and locked him in the Stretch Muffler. Havoc saved Mack with a stomp and hit everyone else with a suicide dive. Striker noted that Havoc also hit Killshot. Killshot tossed Havoc off the top rope. Jeremiah hit Havoc with the “Get out of here” (Tiger shoulderbreaker) for the win.

The Reptile Tribe defeated Son of Havoc, The Mack, and Killshot via pinfall in 8:53 to become the new Lucha Underground Trios Champions.

Striker pointed out that Killshot was acting immature. The Reptile Tribe celebrated their title win and left the ring. Killshot sit next to Havoc. Off-mic, Killshot taunted Havoc for rolling on the ground and losing the championship. Killshot blamed Havoc for losing the belts. Killshot then laughed and mocked Havoc for getting pinned. This drew boos from the crowd. Killshot then hit the Killstomp on Havoc to get the whole temple to boo. Mack ran in the ring and asked Killshot why he did such a thing. Killshot responded to Mack by saying “now you give a shit!”. Mack chose to stand by Havoc while Killshot gloated and walked away laughing like a jerk… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Good trios match with some fun tandem stuff between Sami Callihan and Kobra Moon. The real story of the match was the implosion of the Trios Champions and Lucha Underground has done a good job building towards this breakup. They still aren’t mentioning Dante Fox, which is odd, but it’s very simple. Turn Killshot heel by having him antagonize the two most sympathetic babyface on their roster. I haven’t seen Shane Strickland work heel so I’m very intrigued given how good of a storyteller this guy is in longer matches.

Melissa Santos introduced Brian Cage to the Temple who made his entrance wearing jeans and a sweater vest. Cage took the mic and said Pentagon Dark will find out that he’s not a man. Before he could get the “I’m a machine” line out Pentagon ran in and kicked Cage out of the ring. Both men brawled on the outside and even taking out a few planted indie wrestlers. The brawl was pretty even and dragged all up-down-and-all-around the temple. Pentagon even hit a Metalachi member (who was most likely an indie wrestler). Pentagon hit his sacrifice arm breaker on “Father Rick O’Shea” (this is supposed to be a bad pun, but I can’t help but laugh). They even added the arm break sound effect (which is still a bit much). The credits rolled with Pentagon and Cage still brawling. Matt Striker closed the show with hype for next week with Cage and Pentagon closing the show brawling…

But wait? There’s more! In this week’s post-credit stinger cinematic Antonio Cueto was in his office sipping on his Modelo. Mack entered the office and demanded a singles match against Killshot for costing him and Havoc the Trios titles. Antonio said he really wants to see that match but Catrina beat him to the punch and demanded a Mack vs. Mil Muertes match. Antonio Cueto put on a cheap Halloween witch hat and said Mack and Mil will be competing in the first ever “Haunted House Match”. Mack took the hat and said if this is what he has to do to get Mil off his ass then “Trick or treat mother fu….”. Then Lucha Underground ended…

John’s Thoughts: A really good brawl that felt like it should have been placed before their very disappointing title match. The match they had was fine, but given Cage and Pentagon we kinda expected more than an eight or so minute match. Hopefully their Last Man Standing match exceeds expectations but that might be a given since they lowered the bar. This was a cool brawl though and I like Pentagon Jr. just not wanting to deal with an in-ring promo so he stormed the ring.

I’ll take this as a good episode of Lucha Underground. The in-ring stuff wasn’t off the charts great, but we got a ton of cinematics and no wasted time. The Haunted House Match has me a bit worried about some Sports Entertainment nonsense (hopefully we don’t get a repeat of Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt’s house of horrors). Since it’s Mack and Mil, I’m expecting a serious and entertaining match. At least Mil’s really reliable in that sense. The best parts of this show were the returning usage of cinematics. The Aerostar and Drago reunion was the best of them. I’ll be by later today with my Audio Review for the Dot Net members.



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Readers Comments (3)

  1. Melissa is outta control with all her grand arm movements when she introduces the talent.

  2. “Is Don Callis watching? Can he see why Impact is screwing up making Drago and Aerostar generic luchadores?”

    Ummmmmm…they’re not on Impact even REMOTELY frequently. Why would Don Callis care at all about this?

    • For one, I’ve said this regarding Callis and the Impact bookers regarding Fantasma, Cage, and Pentagon too, all three who are pushed in inferior fashion in the Impact world. For two, Josh Mathews acknowledges that he watches Lucha Underground and he uses their background there to help in his commentary exposition. And three, what’s wrong with having a template on how to use your wrestlers better and that’s a method that Callis has employed from his work as a member of the New Japan roster.

      On a separate note, Aerostar and Drago showed great acting range here and I think that talents like that would be a great asset to Impact. Those two are also two extremely talented in-ring wrestlers in addition.

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