Angelico [O], Ivelisse & Son of Havoc b Chavo Guerrero, Mr. Cisco & Cortez Castro [X] (5:55, top rope double stomp, OK)
Cage b Joey Ryan (4:07, screwdriver ok)
Prince Puma b Pentagon Jr. (7:53, bridging escape of a tapatia, great)
The main event was the big thing. In a back and forth match, Puma survived the package piledirver and was able to bridge out of a double pin on tapatia to get the win. Pentagon had his shoulders down and did not realize it; announcers noted during the match that Pentagon was being too confident and not trying as hard to win as he should. Pentagon attacked the referee because of the decision, but Puma knocked down Pentagon and teased breaking his arm. Puma did not, but made it clear he was coming for Mil Muertes. Of note, Vampiro stood up from the announce desk when Puma was trying to break the arm, but did not get involved.
Everything else seemed to kind of place setting for things happening later on in this season.
Cage defeated the debuting Joey Ryan (who joined PJ Black with a loss in his first match.) Ryan had bragged to his reluctant ally Cortez/Reyes that he’d win in his debut. Ryan did better than you’d figure against The Machine before taking a screwdriver for the loss. Johnny Mundo, who earlier had some awfully familiar words about being disrespected by being put in the opener of Ultima Lucha, tried attacking Cage after the match. Just like last time, it failed and Cage got the better of it. Cage versus Mundo will happen next week.
Angelico, Ivelisse and Son of Havoc earlier won a trios match over the Crew. Ivelisse had demanded an an immediate trios title rematch against the Disciples, only for Catrina to tell her she wasn’t doing automatic title rematches for former champions. However, after winning, it seems like the ex-champs are the most (and only) logical contenders. Chavo blamed his partners for the loss, yelling at them and not realizing Texano Jr. was running into attack all of them until almost too late. Chavo got away with being hit, as he usually does.
In solely out of the ring action, a Rey Mysterio Jr./Dragon Azteca Jr. training session provided the cover for some back story explanation. Mysterio explained Azteca and Dario’s father had met in Mexico long ago, researching the prophecy of the seven tribes. Dario’s father got into the evil side of the prophecy, whatever that is, and using it for sacrificing people. That includes handing over the body of one of his son’s (Matanza) to an evil god. Dragon Azteca and Dario’s father split, but made an agreement that neither man may step on the other’s domain, or they’d die. Dragon Azteca did so last season and did die, so Mysterio understandable is not in a hurry to running back after Dario. However, Rey thinks they get around all of this by reuniting the Seven Tribes. (That was the same thing Aerostar set off to do last episode.)
The show closed with a disoriented and frightened Sexy Star escaping from something in the hallways of the Temple. Willie Mack stopped her, confused at what was going on and who was chasing her. Sexy told Willie “Moth”, but clarified that it was a her and not a him. Sexy pointed in the direction of her chaser, and the last shot of the show was Mack also being scared of whatever they saw.
The first part of the episode kind of dragged. They’re pacing out their stories to pay off later, which left of this episode as moving pieces around the board to set up the big plays later. That’s not always a problem, there’s been inconsequential matches on this show which have been really good. (The Crew had the best one of these last year, when they faced Argenis, Super Fly and Aerostar.) Those first two matches just weren’t that good. They weren’t bad, they just served their purpose and that was all.
Angelico came off the best in the trios match, both by his moves and by layout – he’s the only one on his team who didn’t need to make tags. Chavo’s one of the least interesting characters on this show – the announcers spending a few moments in every match saying “you know the Guerreros? He’s a Guerrero!” is an active determent and this point – and he’s also one of the least interesting in-ring guys. RIP Bael.
Maybe the key to winning in your debut is wearing a mask? Joey lost, PJ lost, Jack Evans lost but Kobra Moon won. Considering it was Cage, Ryan did much better than I’d think. I was prepped for a one minute squash. Four minutes isn’t that long, but the expectations made it feel much longer. This feels hypocritical based on what I thought of PJ Black’s debut, but Ryan’s vignettes made him seem much more like a fool, and Cage was laying waste to people a season ago. He did again here, though it was much more trouble than it had been before.
The concept of Joey Ryan is more interesting than the wrestling of Joey Ryan. It’s also the weird storyline issue of Joey Ryan can’t be acknowledged as Joey Ryan, because this character is supposed to be an undercover cop who wasn’t a wrestler before this case, not a well traveled indie wrestler. (Unless the LA Police have a full time undercover indie wrestler.) It’d make more sense from a creative standpoint if he was named other than Joey Ryan, but you don’t get the attention you do when you have the actual Joey Ryan.
The Seven Tribes stuff sometimes comes off as a bit of mystical nonsense. It’s tough to slow down and explain what the deal is (and it’s unclear if they want to do a big explanation at this point), but it also feels like it’s a big pivotal point to this season. Rey laid it as if we have to see the Seven Tribes united before we see Dragon Azteca Jr. (and probably Rey) at the Temple and in the ring, and we don’t even quite know who’s they’re looking for, or that even if it’s a mystery to be solved or just a sort of McGuffin. I feel like I could spend the next paragraph speculating on the 7 Tribes (and may have before I deleted it), but I also feel like maybe me a 2% of the audience care at this point. Which seems like a problem for a central idea on the show.
The main event made the show worth watching. Those two have a longer, better match in them, but this was a fine sub ten minute match as a warmup encounter. I’m not sure if an unfocused Pentagon Jr. was supposed to be part of the story, but the announcers helped the match by bringing it in. (This was a good performance by Vampiro, who seemed not as into the rest of the show.) The match was impressive and the finish was close enough that Pentagon didn’t feel hurt by losing, it was just another amazing athletic display by Puma.
There were small touches that were nice. The Mundo vignette was great and fit with his character, even if you didn’t realize he was reciting Alberto el Patron real life complaints. The Mysterio/Azteca fight was a good way of getting thru the backstory without boring people. Sexy Star & the Mack felt like a scene out of a horror movie, appropriately so for their title match. And, this one really means nothing, but when Catrina was licking the dagger in the opening vignette, it finally occurred to me that she was channeling Angelina Jolie and that idea amused me.