10/31 Moore’s Lucha Underground TV Review: Ultima Lucha 4, Part 1 – Killshot vs. Son of Havoc in a mask vs. mask match, Taya Mundo vs. Ricky Mandel, three-team tornado elimination match for the LU Trios Championship

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

Lucha Underground on El Rey Network
Aired October 31, 2018 – Season 4 Episode 21
Taped in March 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California at the Union Central Cold Storage Warehouse

This week’s intro teaser focused on the setup for the trios championship three-way match, Killer Kross taking Joey Ryan out of action, Ricky Mundo stabbing Dave from the Gamenight YouTube series, Johnny Mundo’s wedding getting ruined, and Killshot and Son of Havoc heading into their mask vs. mask match. This week’s episode is the first half of the Lucha Underground season (possibly series?) finale, “Ultima Lucha 4 – Part 1″…

The show cut to LAPD headquarters with Captain Vasquez. Aerostar showed up. Aerostar talked about how he met a little girl about a thousand years ago who was supposed to save the world. Aero said he gave the dying father a medallion to empower the girl with immortality. Aerostar said the dying father told Vasquez that the amulet only works on women, but that was a lie because if he told her it was just a regular (and not sexist) immortality medallion, then the tribe would have forced the old man to use it on himself and he wasn’t meant for the job. Aerostar said that Vasquez had done well with her extra life.

Aerostar said he was in fact wrong and that Vasquez helped push forward the war. Aerostar said that Vasquez can no longer save the world. Aerostar said the future was cloudy at one point but now it’s clear to him that he needs the other half of the immortality medallion from Vasquez. Aerostar said that Vasquez’s father and daughter (Catrina) are waiting for Vasquez beyond the Cosmos. Vasquez merged the medallion with Aerostar’s half. Vasquez faded away into dust (if you were wondering, this was taped several months before Infinity War was released so there was no direct ripping off done) …

John’s Thoughts: I love me some Aerostar cinematic. This has been my favorite part about Lucha Underground Season 4 despite all of the depressing budget-related parts of this show. That was a great twist to close up the LAPD storyline. As much as I hated the comedy parts of it, it led to a great Ricky Reyes vs. Joey Ryan match and the parts relating to 1000 years ago LA were well done. My continual running joke throughout the last few seasons was that the immortality medallion was sexist, and I like how they directly referenced that aspect too.

Melissa Santos introduced Ultima Lucha 4. Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in from commentary. Striker thanked the viewers for making Lucha Underground the most innovative and trendsetting original platform in all of entertainment, pro wrestling, and Lucha Libre. Striker hyped up the main event mask vs. mask match…

Melissa Santos handled the ring introductions for the trios championship match…

John’s Thoughts: By the way. I found out recently that the reason that Big Bad Steve is so good as a wrestler is because he used to be Pindar before Daga chopped his head off with a sword. Why they replaced the cool Pindar with the dull Daga is beyond me? Why they replaced Luchasaurus, who became awesome in one night, with dull Zombie-Callihan is beyond me? (Sami Callihan is great, zombie Callihan is nothing so far).

1. “The Reptile Tribe” Kobra Moon, Daga, and Jeremiah “Snake” vs. “The Rabbit Tribe” Paul London, “White Rabbit” Killer Kross, and El Bunny vs. Ivelisse, Sammy Guavara, and XO Lishus in a tornado elimination match for the LU Trios Championship. Kross stood in the center of the ring to taunt everyone. Kross used stiff strikes to fend off the waves of wrestlers who came at him. He grabbed Guavara and Moon by their mouths and slammed them to the ground. Kross hit XO Lishus with the Doomsday Saito. Kross took his cheesy, but deadly, mickey mouse glove. Everyone in the ring gave Kross a superkick to send him to ringside.

Callihan picked up Moon and tossed her into Kross. Jeremiah then hit Kross with a lope. Bunny hit Daga with a smooth slingshot huracanrana. Bunny then showed off a cool multi rotation tilt a whirl armdrag. Bunny then hit everyone with a flip dive to the outside (seriously, this guy has to be WWE’s El Torito. He’s great). XO Lishus went under Ivelisse’s legs to hit everyone outside with a suicide dive. Guavara rolled over Ivelisse’s back for a dive of his own. Ivelisse simply fell on everyone. Brawling ensued.

Kross gave Jeremiah a choke slam on the apron. Sami and Moon brawled to the top of the entrance gate. Guavara teased throwing Moon off the second story but instead decided he had to fall with her in the form of a Spanish Fly (I’m probably with Jim Cornette on this one, why?). Of course, everyone was waiting to catch them. Guavara did a fighting spirit roar. Killer Kross was unfazed and he used his glove to lock Guavara in the mandible claw. Kross threw Guavara in the ring. Paul London gave Guavara a kick.

Kross tossed Bunny in the ring. Guavara did an ugly rollup on London due to London tripping on Bunny being placed in the way by Kross. The Rabbit Tribe has been eliminated. Kross did his animated “what?” face. Kross asked London “what did you do?”. Kross called London over. Kross then locked Guavara in the mandible claw and then slammed him with a STO. Guavara then spit out blood all over Kross as Kross laughed. Ivelisse called for a medic. [c]

John’s Thoughts: Fun spotfest style opener so far. I’m a tad bit disappointed that Killer Kross and crew got eliminated so soon because of the three teams in the match, Season 4 actually used some of their exposition cinematics to build up to the debut of the white rabbit Killer Kross only to have his team lose in unceremonious fashion. I know they protected him, but they would have made great heel champions. The Reptile Tribe is the most random of random tag teams, even more random than the babyface trio.

Jeremiah and Daga double teamed Ivelisse. Ivelisse ducked causing Daga to accidently punch Jeremiah. Ivelisse picked up a nearfall on Daga with a crucifix driver. XO caught Jeremiah with a kick. XO then hit Jeremiah with a wheelbarrow into a stunner for a nearfall that the other members broke up. Ivelisse caught Moon and Daga with a crossbody. Ivelisse hit Jeremiah with a scorpion kick and Code Red. Daga broke up the pin with a kick. XO was stuck in a three on one situation with the Reptiles taunting him. He yelled “F–k you!” (LU is uncensored) and attacked with a flurry of strikes.

The reptiles ended the fighting spirit rally with a stereo superkicks on XO. Jeremiah hit XO with the Get out of Here. Moon hit a huracanrana. Daga locked XO in a cross-arm breaker while Moon locked Ivelisse in a crossface. XO had no choice but to tap out.

The Reptile Tribe defeated XO Lishus, Ivelisse, and Sammy Guavara and The Rabbit Tribe via submission in about 9:10 of TV time to retain the LU Trios Championships.

Striker hyped Taya Valkyrie vs. Ricky Mundo for after the break… [c]

John’s Thoughts: A very strong final sequence and LU has done a great job building XO Lishus as one of their most beloved babyfaces. If I were to give out superlatives for this season, XO would be both “best newcomer” and “Babyface of the year” in LU. I really hope he isn’t trapped in LU’s lame seven-year contracts and that there is a wrestling company out there that sees his great and innovative work. Anyway, the right team went over. The Reptiles lack development but they could use the titles more than the babyface trio because babyfaces do better in chase mode. Hopefully, if there’s a season 5, they give the Reptiles more cinematics. I liked the story of Killer Kross ripping off the jaws of Joey Ryan and Sammy Guavara to take them away. Maybe XO and Ive find a new partner? I wouldn’t mind bring Joey back because there was a lot of potential there.

Before the match, Ricky was talking (?) with Rosa the creepy doll (but what made it so weird is he was a bit too animated). Ricky gave the doll a kiss on the lips. They were billing Taya today as Taya Mundo (so she is Taya Mundo-Hennigan-Mundo-Morrison-Impact-…)…

2. Taya Mundo vs. Ricky Mundo (w/Rosa the creepy ass doll). I just noticed, Ricky Mandel’s new kayfabe name is Mundo too (at least this isn’t as bad as Johnny Impact taking the names of the shows he’s on). Taya quickly started off the match with a ground and pound on Ricky. Taya hit Ricky with a Saito Suplex. Vampro said he swears that the doll is legit haunted. Taya hit Ricky with corner knees and got a nearfall on him. Striker noted that it was dangerous for Ricky because Taya was wearing her wedding ring.

Ricky managed to turn the tide as he rubbed Taya’s head into the ground. Ricky brought out a table and set it up. Striker and Vampiro argued over Johnny Mundo not being at ringside. Taya blocked a whip by running up the announce table. Taya blocked a pen strike with her boot. Taya took down Ricky with a cross body and then went back to the ground and pound. Taya hit Ricky with a series of two Saito Suplexes. Taya got a nearfall on Ricky. Taya did a slower version of Johnny Mundo’s parkour escape sequence. Taya then hit Ricky with a curb stomp and Crossface on Ricky. Ricky tapped out.

Taya Mundo defeated Ricky Mundo via submission in 4:05.

Striker noted that both matches so far on Ultima Lucha ended in submission. Taya yelled at Ricky that he put his hands on her friends and family. Taya said, “you ruined my f–king wedding” (and supposedly Impact Wrestling is supposed to be “after dark”. Multiple F bombs tonight). Taya chokeslammed Ricky into the table at ringside. Taya took Ricky’s doll to the back… [c]

John’s Thoughts: A nice feel good match result for the new kayfabe and real-life bride. It’s funny seeing how shocking Impact Wrestling was trying to make Austin Aries giving Taya a suicide dive when she takes all the moves from men here. Taya looked great. Ricky, on the other hand, looked weak. I was in the crowd here and thought that Ricky’s creepy character was very intriguing. I didn’t know that they would give him so little development, and he needed a lot due to him being Lucha Underground’s resident enhancement wrestler. Johnny Mundo even made the joke about how Ricky is always there to “do the job”.

3. Son of Havoc vs. Killshot in a Mask vs. Mask match. Matt Striker asked Vampiro what the words “Luchas de Apuestas” meant. Vampiro comically gave some long-winded answer that didn’t clearly answer the question (Luchas de Apuestas means “a match with a bet”. Fairly straightforward). Havoc caught Killshot with a clean somersault corkscrew flip over the top to the outside. Killshot countered Havoc and hit a few stiff chops on Havoc. Killshot hit Havoc with an underhook throw. Killshot fought away and went for his signature back elbow but he went right into Killshot’s arms and into a modified Go to Sleep.

Killshot hit Havoc with the Killstomp for the nearfall. Killshot went to the parking lot entrance and dragged a stretcher to the ring. Killshot also took his time unscrewing the bottom turnbuckle. Striker noted that Killshot did it because the gurney couldn’t fit under the bottom rope, so he had to remove the bottom rope. Havoc caught Killshot with a backbreaker after Killshot took a lot of time setting up the gurney. Havoc whipped Killshot into the barricade. Havoc brought out a table to please the crowd. Killshot recovered due to Havoc taking a lot of time. Killshot pummeled Havoc with precision punches as he put him on the table.

Killshot tried to climb up the entrance area but Havoc recovered and got the higher ground on Killshot. Havoc punched Killshot to the table. Havoc walked over to the second story area on top of the entrance. Havoc hit Killshot with a splash from the second story through the table. Killshot kicked out at two when Havoc brought him in the ring. Killshot got up and crotched Havoc on the top rope. Note that the bottom rope is still detached. Havoc managed to regain control on the top rope as he hit Killshot with the Final Cut Suplex. Havoc hit his finisher, the Shooting Star Press to get a nearfall on Killshot.

Havoc tried to hit a move on Killshot through the gurney but Killshot kicked and staggered Havoc on the top rope. Killshot hit a Super Falcon Arrow on Havoc onto the gurney. Killshot hit the Killstomp on Havoc. Killshot also hit a One-Winged Angel on Havoc and got a two count on Havoc. Killshot and Havoc traded boo-yay strikes. Havoc nailed Killshot with the rebound cutter. Havoc then hit Killshot with a Tombstone Pile Driver on the stretcher and locked Killshot in the stretcher. Havoc then hit Killshot with the shooting Star Press to pick up the pinfall win.

Son of Havoc defeated Killshot via pinfall in 14:08 to win the mask vs. mask match.

Matt Striker hyped up the unmasking of Killshot for after the commercial… [c]

John’s Thoughts: While the false finishes were a bit much, this might have been the best singles match in Lucha Underground season 4. Either this one or the Jack Evans vs. XO Lishus No Mas match. Not the greatest match in the world by any means, and as I mentioned the false finishes were getting a bit out of hand. Aside from the false finishes, the match told a great story. Shane Strickland can have forgettable short matches but the longer his matches are the better they get. Once he reaches the ten-minute mark of matches, that’s when we see greatness from good ol Shane. Not to discount Havoc because Havoc is a freak athlete who people forget often is a freak athlete. The guy is amazing.

Killshot grabbed a microphone after the match. Killshot said his name is Lieutenant Jermaine “Killshot” Strickland (random side note, the guy in the same row as me went “what the hell? That guy was Shane Strickland the whole time!?!”). Strickland was talking in a Batman voice for some reason. He said he’s been trying to hide his identity for the past few years because he was known as the guy who left his brothers for dead. Strickland took off his mask to reveal the guy MLW viewers would know as their inaugural champion. The camera found an older woman in the crowd that was crying to tears. Strickland gave Havoc the mask and Havoc held up the mask like a trophy in a respectful way. Strickland left the ring as the crowd chanted “Thank You Killshot”. Strickland clapped his hands together and bowed to the crowd. The credits rolled, and Striker closed the show…

But wait? There’s more! The show cut to outside for this week’s post-credit stinger cinematic. Dante Fox, who was wearing a Marine formal uniform, called to Strickland. Strickland asked Fox “why did you go MIA?”. Fox said, “I had a mission”. It was that simple and lame (but logical I guess). Fox said he likes seeing Strickland’s face again. Strickland said he’s sorry about everything and it’s probably the last time Fox would see that face. Strickland asked Fox if he could get permission to be relieved of duty. Fox said, “permission granted, soldier”. Fox and Strickland saluted to each other. Patriotic music played as Strickland looked emotional walking away with his bags…

John’s Thoughts: Awwwww, the America in me actually felt kinda sad there. Well done Lucha Underground, well done. See what I’ve been saying the past few weeks. It felt like due to budget restraints we were deprived of some Dante Fox return cinematics. By the way, the guy looks damn good in a suit and I wouldn’t mind seeing him in other places upgrade his gear from the generic gymnast tights. Strickland’s not a great heel. If LU is done after next week, then it was a good run, but if they continue then they should try to reposition Strickland as a top white meat babyface hero to counter the antihero in Pentagon. Azteca is being built well, but Strickland is more seasoned.

This was one of the better finale go home shows that this show has had. We didn’t need rapid fire cinematics here because in a wrestling show all roads should end in the ring. Because of the budget cuts, other less meaningful episodes lacked cinematics too but for this one it worked. I didn’t expect Strickland’s unmasking to come off so well with the military background added to it. In person, I didn’t think it was a big deal because I watch MLW and Progress and see this guy on the regular. I’ll be by later for the Dot Net Members with my Lucha Underground Audio Review.

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