8/29 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Johnny Mundo and Taya Valkyrie’s wedding, Jack Evans vs. XO Lishus in a No Mas match, Jake Strong vs. Drago

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

Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Aired August 29, 2018 – Season 4 Episode 12
Taped March 2018 in Los Angeles, California at the Union Central Cold Storage Warehouse

This week’s intro teaser recapped Johnny Mundo freeing Drago and proposing to Taya, Jake Strong squashing people, and some XO Lishus greatness. This week’s episode was titled “Til Death Do Us Part”…

The Worldwide Underground male members were getting ready for Johnny Mundo’s wedding. Jack Evans was the only one not in a green sleeveless shirt. Johnny was doing kung fu poses for some reason. Jack Evans said that Johnny will say “I do” while Jack makes XO Lishus kiss Jack’s ass and say No Mas. Johnny talked about Slam Town. PJ Black said he had a surprise for Johnny. Johnny’s long-time tag team partner Joey Mercury entered the locker room which pleased Johnny (they were calling him Joey Wrestling). Ricky Mundo said PJ Black was supposed to be the Best Man so Ricky can be a groomsman.

Johnny demoted Ricky to ring barer while the creepy doll is the flower girl. The Worldwide Underground laughed and called Ricky a loser. Johnny continued to be happy to see his Best Man Joey Mercury and said it was the best night of his life. The Worldwide Underground did their Bill and Ted air guitars. Ricky played his poorly and PJ said “Ricky, not you”. Johnny Mundo took away Ricky’s air guitar and handed to Joey who joined in the Bill and Ted air guitars. The Worldwide Underground left the locker room sans Ricky. Ricky’s creepy doll teased that Ricky was going to ruin the wedding…

John’s Thoughts: Okay, I absolutely abhor LU’s usage of Loony Toons sound effects and the Bill and Ted gimmick. That said, Johnny taking away Ricky’s imaginary guitar cracked me up and that was the first time I ever got a laugh out of this LU gag. The Worldwide Underground are acting like a bunch of assholes to Ricky, which is good motivation for Ricky’s impending betrayal, and the creepy doll obsession makes Ricky unlikable.

Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in from the Downtown LA Temple. Metalachi was the house band for the night. Striker and Vampiro wore black suits. Striker hyped the wedding between “John E. Mundo” and Taya Valkyrie. Vampiro hyped XO Lishus vs. Jack Evans in a No Mas match. Striker sent it over to Famous B who’s filling in for Melissa Santos… [c]

1. “The Savage” Jake Strong vs. Drago. Drago wore red gear to the ring and did a few of his nunchaku katas before the match. Strong started the match with a kidney punch to Drago. Vampiro and Striker noted that Drago might have an advantage due to being a smaller wrestler. Striker said that Drago was suffering from “infected venom” which brainwashed him. Strong targeted Drago’s leg with a chop block. Strong locked Drago in a chickenwing. Drago fought out with overhead kicks. Strong caught Drago but Drago countered into a Tornado DDT. Strong shoved Drago outside to prevent a lateral press.

Drago reversed an Irish Whip but strong instead backtossed Drago into the crowd seats. Strong slowly dragged Drago to the ring. Strong hit the Vader Bomb on Drago. Drago tapped out to the Ankle Lock.

Jake Strong defeated Drago via submission in 4:51.

Strong didn’t break the leg of Drago initially. Jake took the nunchaku and tried to hold them next to Drago’s leg while he did the ankle lock (that seemed a bit contrived). Aerostar ran in for the save. Aerostar hit a few rapid low kicks to the shin of Strong. Strong’s lame theme played heading into commercial… [c]

John’s Thoughts: That was a tad bit underwhelming. Seeing Jack wrestle some matches later in this season, I don’t expect these matches to get any more exciting than this. Drago usually has good matches with everyone. Drago got a show stealing match against Shawn Hernandez in season 1 and Jack Swagger had a tame match with Drago. The thing is, Swagger had all the tools at one point but now he’s kinda just walking around the ring while people flip around him. I get it, “Goldberg” push, but Swagger doesn’t have that Goldberg explosiveness.

2. Jack Evans vs. XO Lishus in a No Mas (I Quit) match. Jack Evans bragged about being the inventor of modern Lucha Libre (something both he and Neville brag about all over the place). Jack Evans called XO an idiot. XO gave Jack a spear and then a seated senton. Justin Borden had the microphone for the I Quit stipulation. XO pummeled Jack all over ringside. Jack sprinted away to create separation. XO caught Jack with a superkick. XO caught Jack with the Sonya Blade leg scissors to drag Jack back to ringside from the stairs.

Jack reversed XO with a tiger feint thrust kick. Jack hit XO with a 450 at ringside. Evans slammed XO several times on the announce table. The crowd popped when XO sat on Striker’s lap. Striker said “I think it moved” (wut?). XO caught Jack with a nice delayed flipping blockbuster. XO yelled at Jack in his squeeky voice and called him a bully. Jack escaped the beating and hit XO with a tiger knee. Jack said “you’re god damned right I’m a bully and I love it”. Jack choked XO with a chain and asked for the No Mas. XO just said no. Striker thought XO said the F word (no striker! he didn’t. And Vampiro heard correctly too).

XO recovered and gut punched Jack and hit him with a Samoan Senton into a double knee strike moonsault. XO yelled that Jack was still a Bully. XO kicked Jack around ringside while Jack went back into retreat. Jack Irish Whipped XO into the chairs and then escalated teh ladder near the band area. Jack caught XO with a Whisper of the Wind from the ladder. XO yellled “F— You” into the microphone (uncensored). So Striker kinda botched the call earlier. Ivelisse ran in for the save but ate a superkick from Jack and got tossed into chairs.

XO recovered and tossed Jack into the ring post. XO brought the action back into the ring. XO hit Jack with a body run and back elbow. XO hit a few capoeira kicks. XO locked Jack in the Yes Lock. Jack didn’t tap. XO kicked Jack and went back to the Yes Lock. Jack recovered and countered into the Ankle Lock. XO escaped with double boots. XO did a few flips and hit a slap on Jack XO locked Jack in the Code of Silence into a driver. Jack locked XO in the gogoplata which was the move that made XO pass out. XO got to a vertical base to escape.

Jack countered a cross armbreaker with a lift and running senton. Jack brought a chair to the ring saying that he was outsourcing the match with a foreign object. Jack hit XO with a (protected) chairshot to the head. Jack put XO on the chair and softened him up. Jack said he was going to snap XO’s “god damned” neck. Joey Freakin’ Ryan ran out for the save which confused Jack. Joey held on to Jack’s leg. Ivelisse pulled XO away. XO recovered and locked Jack into the Cross Armbreaker. Jack uttered the words “no mas”.

XO Lishus defeated Jack Evans in 11:17 to win the No Mas match.

Ivelisse joined XO in the ring to console him after the emotional win. Joey Ryan tried tried to join in but Ivelisse was weary of Joey. Joey said he’s like a hero now and they’re a team. XO accepted Joey’s hand and Joey held up XO’s hand in victory… [c]

John’s Thoughts: I felt like this match was missing a few vignettes and advertisements because it did seemingly come out of nowhere. Did I miss something? Anyway, this was oodles of fun. XO Lishus has only wrestled one person during his LU run, and that’s Jack Evans. These matches haven’t gotten old since these are two very innovative athletes and innovative characters. XO Lishus has been the best newcomer to ever come out of Lucha Underground and someone needs to sign XO to a contract ASAP.

Jack Evans was crawling on the floor backstage. The Worldwide Underground saw this. PJ Black took this as Jack not being able to attend the wedding. Ricky Mundo wanted to take Jack’s place since he didn’t want to carry around stupid rings. Johnny yelled in a cheesy way and told Ricky to shut up. Joey Mercury calmed down Johnny. Johnny said he was glad to have two of his best friends with him and he did the Bill and Ted air guitars with Joey and PJ (he did have WWE history with PJ and Joey). This made Ricky sad. After the trio left the doll told Ricky to do the job that she wanted. Ricky then did his murderer smile as some God of War music played…

Famous B introduced himself as the “Minister of Love”. Famous B then went into an advertisement where he said he will have Dr. Wagner and El Texano Jr. attend your weddings. Johnny Mundo and his groomsmen made the entrance first. PJ Black was labeled the “Bestish Man” while Joey Mercury was the “Bestest Man”. Vampiro didn’t like the lime green theme everyone wore. Taya Valkyrie’s Bridesmaid was Cheerleader Melissa (a.k.a. unmasked Mariposa and Raisha Sheed). Taya’s Maid of Honor was Brenda. Matt Striker sent it to commercial…

But before they could head to commercial, the show cut to a cinematic where Ricky Mundo and his creepy doll took bolt cutters to unleash Matanza from his cell… [c]

Famous B conducted his exaggerated wedding script. Famous B then did the “speak now or forever hold your peace”. Antonio Cueto did his signature “hold on” and did his interruption. Antonio said he didn’t come to object and he said he likes Johnny and Taya unlike Dario. Brenda was mic’d up and she called Antonio a “Sweet Grandpa”. Antonio Cueto said he had a wedding gift. He said to ring the bell, the taco bell. Antonio’s catering staff brought vegetable tacos to the ringside next to the cake. Antonio said it was tacos for everyone. A “we want tacos” chant ensued. Antonio congratulated the couple. Brenda said “thanks grandpa”.

Famous B continued the wedding script. The camera kept panning to people who I think were Johnny and Taya’s mothers. Taya had her speech written on legal pad paper. She said she liked Johnny more than fluffy puppies, kneeing people in the face, and beheading evil snake men. Taya cried and talked about being Johnny’s tag team partner for life. Taya talked about how Johnny will always be the champion in her heart and tonight they will put the slam in slam town.

Johnny said he never knew he’d meet someone as tan, ripped, and attracted as him. Johnny said he love Taya more than his own reflection, which is a lot of love. Johnny said he thought the best day of his life was when he won the Lucha Underground championship but the best day in his life now today. Johnny said his most epic muscle, his heart, belongs to Taya now. Johnny then talked about settling down in a house with a white picket fence in Slamtown. Famous B then asked for the I Do’s. Johnny said “I do” while Taya said “si”. Ricky Mundo brought the rings at the request of B.

Everyone including B treated Ricky like garbage. Johnny told Ricky to hit the bricks, which drew some “culero” (asshole) chants from the crowd. Famous B continued on with his script during the ring ceremony. Before B could pronounce Johnny and Taya man and wife he yelled “holy shit, what the hell is that?”. Matanza stormed the ring. He tossed PJ, Johnny and Joey easily. Matanza gave Taya a headbutt. Brenda fainted. Melissa tried to hit Matanza with flowers but Matanza hit Cheerleader Melissa with a World’s Strongest Slam. Matnaza lifted up Famous B in his chair and tossed him to the ground.

Matanza chokeslammed PJ Black through a taco table. Johnny was enraged and went to pummel Matanza while Ricky laughed at ringside. Matanza hit an impressive catch suplex into another taco table. Taya was bleeding from her head. She went enraged and tried to attack Matanza. Matanza no sold the punches and hit Taya with Wrath of the Gods while Ricky jumped for joy. Matanza dragged Taya to ringside as the crowd chanted “not the cake” (note: Lucha Underground crowds are not scripted to say anything so this was a natural chant). Matanza side slammed Taya into the cake. The credits rolled as Lucha Underground ended with Taya rolling in cake…

John’s Thoughts: There were a few flaws like odd camera shots, them overdoing the hating on Ricky, more overuse of Famous B, and some other small thing. Those aside, this was your usual cheesy pro wrestling wedding and it was a fun cheesy wrestling wedding as expected. Not sure why they brought Matanza into this even though it’s still building towards Johnny vs. Ricky, but I’m guessing there’s a reason for this we haven’t seen yet. Johnny is doing some of the better babyface work of his career and that’s probably due to him being more of his natural dorky self, which adds some charm to him.

The opening match was forgettable, but this was an overall good show. This show was already a recommendation since it had XO Lishus and Jack Evans in it. They also spent the cinematic time to focus on the Johnny Mundo and Taya Valkyrie wedding. I’ll be by later today with my Lucha Underground members exclusive audio review.


Readers Comments (2)

  1. Jack Evans has shown absolutely no interest in what he does in the ring. He seems to be going through the motions at best. Sad.

    • At this time through the tapings, I assume he already had made up his mind that he was leaving. I’m pretty sure him and Angelico left after this season wrapped up.

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