Matanza defeated Son of Havoc (7:35, Wrath of the Gods, great) – 6th defense
Sexy Star beat Taya to retain the Gift of the Gods (4:35, small package, OK) – 1st defense
Rey Mysterio Jr. beat Pentagon Dark (8:15, Mexican Destroyer, great)
They’re back. And they’re really picking off just after they’ve left. There are a few signs time has passed, but there’s a sense of picking things up where they left off. Or even ten minutes before they left off. Dario Cueto is swiftly discharged from prison (including an unexpected Honky Tonk Man cameo), it’s revealed Limo Man and Lorenzo Llamas had something to do with it (and would have rather not been bothered), and Dario later tells Marty that he was innocent he’d prefer never to talk about it again. There are some things that seem like seeds for later: Limo Man is probably not going to let Dario forget it, and Dario offhandedly mentioned he met some people in prison. At the moment, it’s not an issue at the moment and the police are not seen.
Similarly, the Pentagon/Vampiro plot initially appears to be backed down. Vampiro starts of the show by declaring he’s not anyone’s master or teacher and doesn’t want to discuss Pentagon attacking him to end season 2. That doesn’t hold for the episode. Pentagon’s holding his own and close to winning the main event over Rey Mysterio, but leaves the ring to taunt Vampiro. Vampiro walks out. Pentagon is defeated shortly after, probably blowing his chance to win by spending time on Vampiro. Pentagon tries to get a immoral victory by breaking Rey’s arm, but Dragon Azteca makes the save. Dragon Azteca appears to be OK (no cast or sling) but obviously wants revenge on Pentagon for breaking his arm at Ultima Lucha 2.
Vampiro’s vow of not wanting to be anyone’s mentor itself only lasts about 50 minutes. He happens on a brooding Prince Puma, still running back his loss to Rey Mysterio. Vamp tries to talk to Puma, who’s not really interested. Vampiro tells him anyway that it’s Puma’s loss to Mil Muertes to end Season 1 that led to the rough Season 2, and Puma needs to avenge that win if he ever wants to rebound. Puma seemed to at least consider this, though he was surprised Vampiro wasn’t sending him after Pentagon.
Matanza seemed to weather his brother’s absence fine. He was in the ring at the start of the show, waiting for a title shot. Dario declared Matanza had defeated all the normal challengers, so they needed a new method of determining a challenger: Dario’s Dial of Doom. Dario had names of luchadors who had not yet gotten a shot at Matanza, but would be given one if the wheel stopped on their name. (A Matanza/Rey match was teased here, but Dario declared Rey not eligible for losing to Matanza at the end of in Aztec Warfare 2.) Dragon Azteca Jr., Mariposa, Chavo Guerrero, Dr. Wagner, Prince Puma, Son of Havoc, Johnny Mundo, Killshot and the Mack were on the wheel, with it stopping on Havoc. Havoc fought well and even landed his shooting star press, but Matanza kicked out and beat him cleanly. Striker emphasized how Matanza was a smarter more calculating fighter than we’d previously seen (and not the unhinged monster he was initially presented as.)
Johnny Mundo may get a title shot if they spin the wheel again, but he can’t get one by demanding it. He tried that with Dario, who laughed and pointed out he and the rest of Worldwide Underground lost at Ultima Lucha 2 and were not deserving. Mundo blamed the loss on Angelico, then revealed the group had destroyed Angelico after the show, which Dario had a good laugh about. Still, no title shot for them. Mundo asked for one against Sexy Star instead, figuring he’d just win the Gift of the Gods and cash it in. Dario again said no for the same reasons, but did note Taya had actually won at Ultima Lucha, and he’d give her that title match instead. Taya/Sexy Star was the briefest of the matches on the show. The match was still indecisive when Mundo came out to help, but his assistance backfired and Sexy cradled Taya for the pin (holding her in for much longer than three.) Sexy Star became the first person to successfully defend the Gift of the Gods championship. Worldwide Underground attacked her after the match, with Fenix, Aerostar and Drago making the save.
The Taya/Sexy Star match also featured a very direct and not subtle plug for From Dusk Till Dawn. Though more subtle than the beer ad with Hernandez.
The person Taya beat back at Ultima Lucha, Ivelisse, was still unhappy about how that went down. Catrina cost her the match, which Ivelisse pointed out was the second time she had lost an Ultima Lucha. She didn’t want it to be a third and she wanted some revenge, so Ivelisse boldly challenged Catrina for a match at the next Ultima Lucha. Catrina profanely accepted. They have no idea when Ultima Lucha 3 will be at this point (but we know it’s 39 episodes away, sometime in June.)
We do know when one match is coming. Marty also came to Dario to ask for bigger things in Season 3, revealing to us that he and his family had been sending gifts to Dario while he was locked away. Dario thanked Marty, but told Martinez that he had unfinished business. Marty said he was done with Killshot, but Killshot had told Dario he wasn’t done with Marty. Dario decided to settle it next week with a first time ever match – a “Weapons of Mass Destruction” match. Marty seemed psychotically pleased with this concept and Dario got in on the fun.
Both the two showcase matches were very fun. There’s now a great tradition of really hot matches to start off a season and Pentagon/Rey & Havoc/Matanza fit in with them. Havoc/Matanza was up there was Cage/Matanza as the best match the monster has had. It seemed like they powered him down a little bit and are tweaking the character to make him more vulnerable. I’ll take the storyline not making a little sense for a little bit better matches. Havoc as a high flying underdog worked really well, and this was a more just ‘reward’ than his match with Wagner. Mysterio & Pentagon had great chemistry whenever they met in AAA, with Pentagon quickly establishing himself as Mysterio’s best (and maybe most favorite current) opponent. The outcome didn’t work out any better for Pentagon in LU than it did in AAA, but they did it in a way where he’s not too hurt by the loss. Maybe being stuck in Vampiro’s orbit hurts him more.
I wasn’t as thrilled with how quickly they seemed to run away from the big plot twists of Season 3. At least with Vampiro/Pentagon, they were making it clear that was still going on by the end of the show. Dario suddenly getting sent to jail seemed reversed within a couple minutes, with just allusions thrown to it the rest of the night. There’s enough hints that it may come up more later, but essentially it came off as if they needed an internal reason why there would be a break between episodes but didn’t want us to think too deeply about it. Maybe we’ll just need patience on this one.
Taya/Star was alright, just not given a lot of time to do much interesting. I liked Taya’s sliding dropkick deal; she seems to be picking up character touches the longer she’s in Lucha Underground (and because of taping out of order, that match was taped much longer after the other ones – about six weeks so.)
They put a lot of plot it motion for the first episode, and set up a big match for next week. It felt like a start up episode because they put so many things in motion, but it didn’t feel like they had been missing for long.