Matanza beats Killshot to retain the Lucha Underground Championship (3:58, Wrath of the Gods, good)
Drago defeated Fenix and Aerostar (8:43, running blockbuster on Aerostar, great)
– as a result of the match, Fenix & Aerostar will not be in Aztec Warfare, while Drago enters twentieth
Prince Puma versus Mil Muertes (8:42, 630 senton, great)
Dario was all about upping the difficult level for Matanza. Dario says it’s because he’s so confident in his brother, noting no one’s come close to beating him in on a Dial of Doom. He was right about that tonight, with Matanza defeating Killshot (after one scare.) Dario’s decided to make it even more challenging: Aztec Warfare is back in four weeks (November 16), the title will be on the line, and Matanza enters first. The announcers chalked this up as confidence, but it seems like Dario must have some ulteior motive. He usually does.
There’s 20 people in Aztec Warfare, as usually is the plan. Matanza is #1. Drago will be #20 – he won a three way match between the trios champions, who had no idea they were going to be in one of them. Fenix really took the worst of the fight, having his mouth or nose broken by Drago on a plancha, and being left out of the action while Aerostar took the lose. At least Fenix has time to recover.
There’s one more challenge coming, perhaps. Johnny Mundo again went to Dario to ask for a title match against Sexy Star, whining that (almost) all of his friends have gotten Gift of the Gods shots, but not him. Mundo came with more the complaints this week: he brought back the suitcase of $100K money he won in the ladder match way back in Season 1. Mundo offered to trade the money for the shot. Dario was pleased to get his $100K back, which led this real conversation
Johnny Mundo: “Well, $94,373. I had to pay some people off.”
Dario Cueto: “Oh, that’s right, the internet photos.”
(in the real world, that appears to be a reference to Melina posting photos of Johnny’s medications. It could be different photos in the LU world)
Dario gleefully gave Mundo the match versus Sexy Star next week.
The suitcase was a moment from the past catching up to the present in a good way. Killshot got the bad version of the same. After his match, a mystery man (who looks a lot like AR Fox) came to the ring. Killshot was thrilled to see the man, but mystery guy felt the opposite. He surprised Killshot with an attack, laid him out, declared “you left me for dead”, and left his dog tags on Killshot. I suspect we’ve now met both another member of Killshot’s unit, and the person who sent him the message a couple weeks back.
Killshot’s name will be off the Dial of Doom next time we see it – if we see it? – and someone will replace him. That’ll get figured out later. Tonight, it was Kobra Moon’s name who replaced Prince Puma’s on the wheel. That’s the first time she’s been mentioned on this season, and foreshadowing for another appearance on this week’s show. After Drago won, Kobre Moon crawled into men’s room (as usual with Drago) and congratulated him on getting one step closer to winning the championship for their tribe, “the scales have turned in your favor.” Drago disputed the idea and perhaps the pun, saying he’d left the tribe 1,000 years ago. (Another reference to a millennia ago.) This argument was interrupted by – of all people – Vinny Massaro, eating and harassing Kobra for being in the men’s room. Why Vinny was eating in the men’s room was left unsolved for this week.
One more surprise cameo ended the show, though arguably a little bit more of a California wrestling legend. Rey Mysterio, at one of those lucha dojos that seem to populate the show, told someone that he was going to have to end Chavo Jr., they both couldn’t exist at the Temple the same time, and wanted to know how the Guerreros would react. The someone was revealed to be Chavo Guerrero Sr. himself, who wanted their to be another way, but didn’t fight against the idea. There were Guerreros in wrestling after his father, and there’d be them again if his son was done in wrestling.
There was a rabbit tribe teaser. Yes. The teaser noted they should be there already. I think that’s it!
The main event was the simplest match of the night. Prince Puma managed to do what he could not back at Ultima Lucha 1, and defeat Mil Muertes. Catrina didn’t get involved much. Vampiro didn’t either, though he earlier tried to give Puma a pep speech. Puma forcefully told Vampiro to stay out of the match, which Vampiro did, but Vamp also seemed pleased at the outcome. Vampiro also seemed darker and more heelish during the match, talking about how he liked to kick people when they were down and rooting for spectators to be hit in the brawl.
This was one of the better episodes of the season. All three matches were enjoyable, better than last week. They moved some stories along and added a few new ones.
Matanza/Killshot was about as entertaining as a four minute match between them was going to be. I could’ve easily taken the match going longer, even as one sided as it was. They got the crowd to buy into the one big tease of the upset, which is all you really need to make this sort of match work. It seems a little bit of a waste for Killshot to go from winning his feud blowoff match to losing the next time we see him, but I guess he was going to get his clock cleaned by not-AR-Fox anyway, so maybe Matanza might as well get in there first. They got the idea of the Fox/Killshot feud over with not much, and they seem like they might be a good matchup.
Fenix versus Aerostar versus Drago got disappointing reviews live. Some of the problems came thru: Fenix’s injury was hard to miss and Aerostar had a rough night (and live reports had him being hurt sometime during the match– maybe one something that didn’t get thru.) There was some really unmissable edits getting into and around the three way chop spot, and the crowd seemed much less excited for that than they had been just moments earlier. (Because nothing can go as planned with AAA in 2016, they tried to run this same match in August and Aerostar was hurt with in the first minute.)
Still, and maybe because my expectations were reduced by what I had heard, I enjoyed the final product. The match was exciting, there were still plenty of big spots, there were a few spots that looked like they didn’t work as planned, but the ones that did really worked well. The drama of him bleeding added to the match even as it seemed to throw off some timing, and they all fought like there was something hugely important on the line. I think they have a more complete three way in them, in the unlikely event that they get another try, but this was pretty entertaining.
Puma/Muertes wasn’t close to the Ultima Lucha 1 match, but they also didn’t have the same time or the same stakes. They packed a lot with the time, missing the big move kickouts. Mil deciding he had enough of Puma’s fancy moves and brutally cutting him off with punches and clothesline was fantastic ever time it happened, and they put a few of those in there. The massive run of elbows to stop the Flatliner worked too, and those sort of things made this feel like a unique match, not just a greatest hits version of the other one. They’ve got enough left to come back with it again, though it didn’t feel like they needed to. This sort of Lucha Underground feuds usually end with a gimmick match, but Prince Puma winning cleanly with a 630 makes anything more feel unnecessary. If this is not the end between them for now, than they’re going to have do something important to make more feel important. (And if it is the end, there’s no real obvious thing for these two guys to do next.)
Lots of hints on what’s next all around this show. Aztec Warfare in four weeks is the big event people have been waiting for (and seems early; they’ll still have about 3/4s of the season left.) The AR Fox bit was well done as a starting point. The Kobra Moon “tribe” bit probably turned off someone people but makes me want to work out who’s supposed to be with which of the seven tribes again. (Jaguar, Rabbit, Snake/Dragon, Moth, ?, ??, ???). Vinny showing up was so random and, like with Ricky Mandell, I wonder if some people just won’t remember a guy who hasn’t been seen in 30 some episodes. Chavo Sr. being on this show doesn’t thrill me, but he handled his scene well. Mundo/Cueto was the best of all the small scenes, as it usually is.
Payback Time: Fox on Killshot? Puma on Mil? Mundo literally to Dario? Lots of possibilites.