By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Aired September 26, 2018 – Season 4 Episode 16
Taped March 2018 in Los Angeles, California at the Union Central Cold Storage Warehouse
This week’s Lucha Underground intro teaser focused on Drago chasing Jake Strong off with nunchaku, Ivelisse losing her Gift of the Gods title shot and then forming an oddball tag team with Joey Ryan and XO Lishus, and Pentagon Jr. losing the Lucha Underground Championship to Marty the Moth Martinez with the help of Chelsea Green. This week’s Lucha Underground episode was titled “Kill Mil”…
No opening cinematic as Lucha Underground opened up with Matt Striker and Vampiro checking in on commentary. El Conjunto Nueva Ola was the house band for the week. Striker recapped how Marty the Moth “changed the landscape” of Lucha Underground last week by winning the title. Striker then read a prepared statement from Antonio Cueto. The letter booked a Fatal Four Way Match to be number one contender in the main event of this episode. The statement justified the four-way due how luck made it perfect for Marty to have an easy time and what would have happened if Fenix wasn’t “evil”, or Mil won, or Pentagon did have one week to prepare. Vampiro looked like he was struggling to stay awake and Striker called him out on it…
John’s Thoughts: If you watched the highlights from Triple Mania this year you would know that Vampiro seems to be “way off” these days and it’s not kayfabe. Anyway, I did like the prepared statement. It was essentially Jack Tunney in paper form and I liked the statement’s attention to detail in painting out exactly why the number one contenders match is happening.
Jack Evans was already in the ring and cut off Melissa Santos as usual during her ring introductions. Jack Evans called himself “Lucha’s one true god”. Jack Evans said he doesn’t want to wrestle for an organization that allows XO Lishus to wrestle freely. Jack Evans then defended Johnny Mundo and said that he wants to rip the head off of Matanza. Jack Evans then said he may have said “no mas” in his last match but this time he’s saying “I Quit” to Lucha Underground. Antonio Cueto cut off Jack and set up the latest Loser Gets Sacrificed match…
John’s Thoughts: If you’ve been following Jack’s social media in recent months, you know that Jack Evans legitimately quit Lucha Underground (as a lot of people have been trying to do recently due to LU’s very restrictive contracts).
Jack Evans cut off Antonio Cueto and said Antonio sounds like Satan. Jack then bolted for the upstairs door (why he didn’t just try to exit the ground level door is beyond me. But I do like that Jack is the first person to try to run for his life). Matt Striker noted “we have a runner”. Jack couldn’t open the door but was surprised when Matanza emerged from the door. Jack prayed to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Jack managed to escape the hold of Matanza but Antonio Cueto used his cane to trip Jack down the steps. Matanza hit Jack with a gutwrench power bomb on the apron. Matanza took Jack in the ring to start the match officially…
1. Matanza Cueto vs. Jack Evans in a loser gets sacrificed match. Evans used his lucha libre ability to avoid Matanza. Jack pulled off the top turnbuckle pad to run Matanza into the exposed buckle pad. Jack hit Matanza with a slingshot Trouble in Paradise. Striker noted that Jack is making a mistake for not going for the cover (Eh, not Striker’s best quote. He’s acting like he didn’t watch Joey Mercury hit Matanza with two finishers and Matanza kicked out). Jack Evans hit Matanza with a 630 Senton for a two count. Matanza lifted Evans from the pin position and hit Jack with Wrath of the Gods for the win.
Matanza Cueto defeated Jack Evans via pinfall in 1:23.
Jack Evans is dead, or absorbed… [c]
John’s Thoughts: I was okay with the LU Jobbers getting killed off, but now this is more of just a meta “kill off” tool rather than do anything of storyline importance. I won’t give spoilers, but if you want a feeling of where this ends up, check out Jeff Cobb’s recent interviews and social media to know where this is going (he doesn’t spoil things but this is similar to what just happened with Jack). As I also mentioned, I was a bigger fan of Dario Cueto’s Dial of Doom as the Matanza building concept because that led to good matches.
Melissa Santos handled the ring introductions for the Lucha Underground Trios title match…
John’s Thoughts: Just sayin, Jeremiah “Snake” might be a worse gimmick than Solomon Crowe. At least Crowe was a hacker. This guy is just the OVE version of the WWE-ECW Zombie.
Before the match, Paul London made his entrance and introduced Evil Mascarita Sagrada as “El Bunny”. Striker noted that it looks like London is replacing Mala Suerte and Saltador who just got sacrificed. London also introduced someone he called “the enlightened one” who was “The White Rabbit” Killer Kross. Striker said the White Rabbit looks a little crossed (get it!)…
2. “The Reptile Tribe” Kobra Moon, Daga, and Jeremiah “Snake” vs. Ivelisse, Joey Ryan, and XO Lishus for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship. Jeremiah slowly walked like a zombie and willingly ate Joey Ryan’s crotch lollipop. Jeremiah then gave Joey a pump kick. Jeremiah then tried to toss Kobra into Joey but Joey tossed her back. Joey then took down all three Reptile tribe members. XO Lishus tagged in and did some of his cool moves on Kobra Moon. XO hit an armdrag on Moon. Moon recovered and trapped XO in her corner. XO took down Jeremiah with a stunner. XO tagged in Ivelisse for the hot tag.
Ivelisse caught Daga with a scorpion kick and Code Red. Jeremiah Snake broke up the pin and confronted Ivelisse. Matt Striker made reference to Jeremiah being controversial (this was around the time when him smashing Eddie Edwards accidently in the eye with a real bat was getting publicity). Ivelisse caught Callihan with an enzuigiri. Ivelisse tagged in Joey Ryan. Joey tossed Daga into XO’s innovative butt pump attack. Joey hit Daga with a superkick. Kobra Moon broke up the pin. It looked like there was some sort of rough cut. Joey tossed Kobra into Jeremiah and Daga. XO twerked and did a feint on the apron. Ivelisse caught the Reptile Tribe with a cannonball senton.
XO caught them with a plancha. Joey Ryan grabbed a second lollipop from his crotch and Jeremiah ate it. Matt Striker always finds the need to make sure people know it came from his crotch area. Joey and Daga traded pin attempts. Daga rolled into the cross armbreaker for the victory.
The Reptile Tribe defeated Ivelisse, Joey Ryan, and XO Lishus via pinfall in 5:27 to retain the LU Trios Championship.
Vampiro said he likes submissions but he was distracted by Killer Kross who held out a pocket watch. Paul London and El Bunny went to the bottom of the steps to surround the babyfaces in the ring. El Bunny did some awesome Lucha Libre moves against the babyfaces (is El Bunny AAA’s Mascarita Sagrada who was WWE’s El Torrito?). El Bunny hit XO with a Bronco Buster. London kicked Ivelisse in the gut to allow El Bunny to land a dropkick on him. London put the faces heads on the bottom rope which Striker said looked like a guillotine. Kross yelled Tick Tock as London and Bunny sat on top of the face trio. The heels then left…
John’s Thoughts: A really fun trios match as expected and all the stuff afterwards was fine. El Bunny in particular looked really good and smooth (which has me wondering if sometime between season 2 and now if they replaced Sagrada with El Torrito). One huge thing that is missing is the cinematics. The reptile tribe in particular suffers the most. I liked them having Zombie Callihan resurrected in a sarcophagus that one cinematic, but he and Daga seem completely out of place since they really have no storyline development and seem to be just placeholders for Pindar and Luchasaurus. Joey Ryan is really good when he’s not doing his dick flip world tour and we saw some of that here. He also feels a bit underdeveloped since they aren’t giving him any cinematics or promos to establish his babyface persona. A lot of people show up randomly these days.
Random nunchaku were shown hanging around the ring. Melissa Santos noted that Nunchaku were legal…
2. Aerostar and Drago vs. “The Savage” Jake Strong in a handicap nunchaku match. Aerostar tried to land some haymakers but was overpowered by Strong. Strong caught Drago and Aerostar dropkicked Drago into Strong. Strong took down both luchadores with a shoulder block. Strong and Aerostar were brawling which allowed Drago to get his nunchaku. Drago did his cool nunchaku katas to scare off Jake. Jake lifted Aerostar and used him as a literal human meat shield. Jake threw Aerostar into Drago to allow him to toss Drago around the temple. Aerostar put Drago on his shoulders to form some sort of Lucha Megazord.
Drago spat green mist on Jake and then hit Jake with the nunchaku while still in Megazord formation. Drago just walloped Strong with the nunchaku. Strong broke up the zord in half and then tossed around Drago and Aerostar. Strong tossed Drago into the wooden stairs like a bowling ball. Aerostar then went to the second floor of the warehouse. Aerostar grabbed nunchaku and did some less impressive katas (God bless him. Aerostar looks like the result of me trying to do cool Nunchuck moves). The camera lady behind Aerostar looks freaked out at Aerostar being so close to her with the weapon.
Jake grabbed Aerostar’s hand and slammed it on the rail to drop the nunchaku. Strong then dumped Aerostar onto a pile of something on the first floor (we couldn’t see what he fell on, but heard something break his fall). Drago grabbed the nunchaku and pummeled Jake with the sticks. Strong quickly grabbed Drago to avoid getting pummeled by nunchaku. Aerostar came out of nowhere and hit Jake with a crossbody from the top of the entrance stage. Aerostar and Drago both had Nunchaku. Drago did cool Katas while Aerostar looked like a regular person trying to do katas. They beat on Strong with the nunchaku.
Jake regained control when the Super Friends dropped the weapons which Striker noted gives Jake the advantage. Aerostar got his feet up on a Vader Bomb attempt. Drago and Aerostar formed their Lucha Megazord again which Striker compared to Voltron. Aerostar hit his freefall splash for the nearfall. Strong managed to backtoss Drago out of the ring. Strong hit Aerostar with the Swagger Bomb and then locked Aerostar in the Patriot Lock. Aerostar tapped out.
Jake Strong defeated Aerostar and Drago via submission in 8:27.
Strong held on to Aerostar’s leg after the match and it was up to Drago to break it up. Drago wailed on Strong with the nunchaku. Strong managed to put Drago in the ankle lock. Lucha Underground then did that lame sound effect that sounds like someone is popping their tongue to signify that Drago’s ankle is broken. The crowd chanted “strong”. Striker noted that the number one contenders match was for a title shot at Ultima Lucha 4… [c]
John’s Thoughts: An immensely fun match mostly due to Drago doing cool ninja stuff. Pro Wrestling needs more people who can do nunchaku katas like they were Bruce Lee. This was a interesting and solid way to do a two-on-one handicap which I’m not the biggest fan of. What was illogical was something Striker pointed out. Why would Drago and Aerostar drop their weapons when it was giving them the advantage and was clean in the rules of this match? Anyway, fun match. I’m surprised that the LU crowd is getting behind Jack Swagger-berg? This was the best he’s looked at least but we still don’t know why he’s “Savage” or why he’s even here. Again, cinematics would help! Damn budget cuts!
Matt Striker said Marty The Moth will address his Ultima Lucha opponent next week. Melissa Santos handled the ring introductions…
3. King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertes vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Pentagon Jr. in a number one contenders match for the Lucha Underground Championship. Mil ran through all of his opponents with rapid fire lariats. Mil hit Cuerno with a TKO. Mil tossed aside Dragon Azteca. Cuerno punted the wrist of Azteca. Pentagon hit Cuerno with a running Enzuigiri. Azteca caught Pentagon with a DDTJ. Fenix creeped up from behind Melissa and held on to her. Melissa tried to get in the head of Fenix. Fenix was conflicted mentally which allowed Melissa to run out of the battle zone. Azteca hit Fenix with a Tope Con Hilo.
Fenix and Azteca brawled at ringside to the warehouse exit. Pentagon and Mil were left in the ring. Pentagon took down Mil with a superkick. Cuerno took down Pentagon with a dropkick while he was Cero Miedo-ing. Cuerno caught both his opponents with an Arrow From the Depths of Hell. Mil gave both his opponents a spear off the apron. Willie Mack showed up and hit Mil with two Stone Cold Stunners. This allowed Pentagon to hit Mil with the Canadian Destroyer for the victory.
Pentagon Jr. defeated Mil Muertes, El Dragon Azteca Jr, and King Cuerno in 5:17 to earn a LU title shot at Ultima Lucha 4.
Willie Mack entered the ring and talked directly to Mil. Mack said that Mil will face Mack at Ultima Lucha 4. Mack said he’s no longer afraid of Mil. Mack said he’s not afraid to die but Mil should be because at Ultima Lucha 4 he was challenging Mil to a Death Match. Mack said “Rest in Peace Motherf—er” (except they didn’t censor the F word). Matt Striker closed out Lucha Underground after the credits rolled…
John’s Thoughts: Quite the disappointing main event match. That’s been the story with a lot of Season 4 main events, surprisingly short and underwhelming compared to very entertaining undercard matches. That match kinda just came and went. The finish was smart and I like the setup for Mil and Mack. Azteca being pulled aside was well done to. Why did Cuerno had to be involved in this and the last match if they weren’t going to do anything of note with him. El Hijo Del Fantasma/Cuerno (in my opinion) is one of the most talented and underutilized technical wrestlers in the world and deserves better than this.
While the bookends of this show were a bit forgettable, the center of this show was really fun with an entertaining trios match followed by a creative nunchaku match. The highlight of the show is Drago doing cool ninja moves, simply put. This show was very odd. Was this the first episode of LU that had zero cinematics? This was more like an MLW episode, which is fine, but when you watch LU you kinda watch for their creative telenovela cinematics. Not to mention, the season is ending soon? That may spell the end of LU as we know it. I’ll avoid speculation here because all roads lead to the spoilers I know. I’ll be by later today with my Lucha Underground audio review for the Dot Net Members.