Killshot defeats Argenis (4:34, Storm Cradle Driver, OK)
Texano Jr. defeats Daga for an Aztec Medallion (7:03, sit down powerbomb, GREAT)
Prince Puma, Rey Mysterio, Dragon Azteca Jr. defeat Cage, Johnny Mundo, Taya (12:52, 630 senton, GREAT and I may be underrating it)
The show made a few visits to Dario’s office, but most of the happenings this week took place in the ring.
The opener was the launch of a Killshot 2.0. It’s the same guy, but with a new military look, a prayer before the match to his dog tags, and a more disciplined style (or at least that’s what Striker kept on saying.) The match came off as an exhibition of his new style; Argenis wasn’t squashed, but he made less of an impression than Killshot did when he was in that role.
Daga was introduced in a meeting with Dario, with Dario hyping him as the hottest young star from Mexico but wanting him to prove it against Daga. Neither Daga nor Texano played strong tecnico or rudo in this match, though the size difference made Daga the underdog. They had a hard hitting match where Daga shined and escaped the powerbomb the first time, but not the second. Texano captured the first of the seven Medallions
Dario also met with the Cage, Johnny Mundo and Taya three some to explain he wanted this year’s trios tournament to top last year, and thought they would be unstoppable if they could just find a way to work together like Angelico, Son of Havoc and Ivelisse did. That didn’t work out, with friendly fire eventually leading to Mundo outright attacking Cage at one point. The rudo team was still strong enough to hold their own for a long and close main event, but it was the new tecnico trio who advanced.
Vignettes in Mil Muerte’s lair and Matanza’s cell established the two would meet for the Lucha Underground championship next week. Catrina used the earthquake the motivate Mil again (saying Matanza would be even stronger), and Dario claimed he was keeping Matanza in the cell for his own protection but vowed Matanza would destroy death itself next week. Dario actually might not be lying about the first part: Dragon Azteca Jr. confronted Black Lotus about working for Dario, and Lotus claimed it was the only way to get out her own cell, blamed Matanza for Dragon Azteca Sr.’s death, and said she was staying close to Dario to get to Matanza. We know different, though Dragon Azteca Jr. appeared to by the explanation.
As a footnote, the Mil vignette also established the Disciples of Death were in the trios tournament next week, and begged for forgiveness for their recent failures.
This was a really good night of matches. The top title is necessarily not the highspot battle it was before Matanza debuted, but this show – especially the main event – had the feel of the best of the Prince Puma championship run. They got a lot of time, more so than in recent weeks, and it felt like they really took advantage of it in the last two matches to put together some moments where it felt like that match must be over, and yet kept on going.
This show had a purpose too: they had two new characters and one reconstituted existing wrestler to get over with the crowd and the viewers at home, and it felt like they pulled it off. The opener did the least for me as far as overall match quality, but it also felt completely successful as far as breaking Killshot from his role to someone we need to take seriously again. Argenis is vanilla and didn’t show much here, but it wasn’t about him all that much either. Killshot getting the tricky dive and the big finish were big moments.
The Dario video with Daga did a fair job of conditioning the television viewer to care about Daga, but few in that live audience had any idea about him. Daga won them over with his wrestling by the end of that match, just coming in and making a fantastic first impression. Texano was pretty good too, getting his first match where he could go straight ahead and fight someone hard since the Alberto feud. Both men looked strong (and the person upping the volume on the strikes had a busy but productive day.) Daga does continue the grand trend of a debuting luchador losing in their immediate match, but he made it so people will be very interested in a second one.
The idea of Cage, Mundo and Taya as the opposition for the Dream Team (LU version) didn’t seem like the best choice on paper, just because it felt like the rudos failing to get along would limit the match. The rudos definitely didn’t get along, but it didn’t really harm the match much. Rey got kept out for a long time at the start, but then was all over the place near the end. Prince Puma had his usual excellent spots, and Dragon Azteca had plenty of his own too. Azteca could’ve easily been overshadowed by his partners, but instead made a name for himself really quickly. The best news is we’re getting at least one more match with this team.
This is one of their strongest shows so far. It’s a special recommendation to check out if you’re a person who’s tuned out because of the vignettes aren’t your style – the matches themselves don’t need the context to be enjoyed.