King Cuerno defeated Fénix to win the Gift of the Gods Championship (7:46, unnamed piledriver variant, great)
Ivelisse defeated Angelico & Son of Havoc to win an immediate Lucha Underground Championship match (6:15, Ivelisse casita on Angelico, good)
Mil Muertes (c) defeated Ivelisse for the Lucha Underground Championship (4:31, good)
It’s at least 180 days since the Ultima Lucha. The Temple has been shut down during that period, but Catrina & Mil have taken over and are resuming shows. (Catrina continually says Mil is the one in charge, but she’s the one actively doing things while Mil sits on his throne.)
Vampiro has been in a mental ward – the Youssef Floro Clinic – but is discharged at the start of the show after lying about his violent tendencies going away and promising to stay away from things which might bring them back. Matt Striker picks him up, and they head right back to the Temple. Striker got in the show title, which might be a trend.
Fénix wants to cash in his Gift of Gods immediately. Catrina is prepared, reminds him he must wait one week, and schedules him for a match against King Cuerno. Cuerno wins in an even battle. A brief segment in the locker room indicates he’s made a deal with Catrina and Mil, and perhaps he won’t be cashing in any time soon. Cuerno did look a little conflicted by whatever was going on.
Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc were also eager to pick up where the left off, getting a rematch for a trios championship. Catrina (& Mil) had a strategy for them as well, offering them a match among themselves with the winner would get a shot at the Lucha Underground championship. They quickly accepted. Ivelisse seemed to hold back the least of the trio, which might have been the reason she won. The title match was immediate (well, relatively), with Catrina calling out the Disciples of Death to take out Angelico and Son of Havoc and drag them away.
Ivelisse was competitive with Muertes, trying a different strategy then the flyers who had fought him before: lots of in close submission work, trying to wear Mil down and catch him in a vulnerable position. Her greatest chance came when Mil took out Catrina with a spear, but Mil kicked out of the cradle. Mil’s Flatliner, at least this time, now has a choke hold setup.
Catrina teased giving Ivelisse the Lick of Death, but instead ordered Mil to drop Ivelisse with the Flatliner again. Prince Puma returned to make the save, getting Ivelisse and himself out of the ring quickly. Mil Muertes started at them – and missed Pentagon coming in from the other side. Pentagon took Mil down and broke his arm. Striker briefly noted Vampiro was Pentagon’s mentor, but Vampiro’s feelings on all of this were not clear.
Meanwhile, 375 miles from Boyle Heights, Dario Cueto and Black Lotus seem to have set up a new Temple. When some yokels came by to look for the underground fighting, Dario let them in – and then revealed they would be doing the fighting, against Matanza. We didn’t see it, but it sounded like it ended well.
A excellent start to a second season. They took what worked in from Season 1’s debut (having the owner set the stage, a really hot match that’ll get people talking about the show even if they’re not into the stories) and brought it back for another try. Vampiro said it was the first match between King Cuerno and Fenix and he’s right by those two names. It’s also a feud we saw in AAA last year have some hot matches, and this was a shorter (and a little edited) version of those. I was a little concerned they were going too much just setting up dives in early, but they found a good balance and those dives looked great. Fenix’s Brillo Cometa is a scene stealer. This one came off as a close match where neither man would’ve lost a lot by losing, but Cuerno had a little more to gain by winning. Fenix kicked out of the Thrill of the Hunter, and they put over the modified package piledriver like it was Cuerno’s new big move.
The three-way was much better than these guys were against each other back when this story all started. Ivelisse seemed to be less concerned with beating up her friends than her partners, which is consistent with her previous actions. Son of Havoc looked especially spectacular in this match.
Main event gets points for being worked smartly, even if didn’t have the action or time as the other two matches. They found ways where Ivelisse could maybe get a win – grabbing a limb and trying to pull it hard before Mil mauled her – and they got the crowd on the big near fall. The post match was great, giving a tease of one big match and then surprising everyone with a second. I’m sure I’m going to end up as a high score on this, but points for overcoming a challenge.
It was a good idea to get Dario on the first show, even if he’s not supposed to be around. (As promised, the show went far from the Temple!) The bit was funny this week, but they’re going to need to find more to do with him if he’s going to be on regularly. It was a little surprise not to see Rey in the first episode, but perhaps they really didn’t have him signed until later on.
They went long in the first segment, showing about a few minutes of Vamp at the mental hospital, a couple of minutes of Fenix setting up the title match, and the time for the title match and the entire Fenix/Cuerno match. That got the show off to a hot start, but the trade off is the show hitting a speedbump near the end: Ivelisse won, break, Angelico/Havoc dragged off, break again, and the bell rang about 14 minutes after the last match ended. It’s probably not going to happen that way most weeks. Maybe we’ll find the upside of not having a partner like Unimas means they can experiment more with when and how they do the commercial breaks, because something else would’ve been better here. Again, this is probably just a first episode problem – I can attest to it being a little slower when you’re getting everything started again.
This was a really good start. The scifi/fantasy stuff – Catrina pulled her vanishing act, Vampiro had some vivid dreams, Matanza killed 3 more people – is going to turn off people. They specifically had two intergender matches in the first show, including having a woman challenge for the main championship, sending a message about not being afraid of criticism of those. This isn’t Mid South, there’s an element of unrealness to the show – some people will be pushed away because of it, some people will be brought in for it. The clear message is Lucha Underground is not shying away from any of it, and maybe leaning into it more.. It may be A Much Darker Place, but it’s still going to be Lucha Underground.