Lucha Underground 3×17: The Gauntlet

Texano and Cage


Jeremiah Crane beat Mil Muertes (1:55, kick to the head, not rated)

Angelico & Son of Havoc beat Jack Evans, PJ Black (5:43, twisting 450 splash, ok)

Texano [2] beat Cage [2] (2:15, powerbomb, not rated)

Cage [3] beat Texano [2] (13:39, Drill Claw, great)


Cage is the winner of the best of five series between himself and Texano. It was a much different feeling victory than the two Cage had gotten before, with Cage having to fight uphill to clinch in the fifth match. Cage first lost a quick fourth match, a bit by fluke. A turnbuckle pad came off as Cage pulled Texano out of the corner, and Texano later caused Cage to fall face first on the steel. Cage bled and had concussion like symptoms and Texano was able to beat him swiftly with a powerbomb. Dario surprised both men by ordering them to have their fifth match right away, in a no DQ match. The two brawled around the ring, into the crowd, and with a chair – both men taking an unprotected shot to the skull – with Texano getting in most of the offense and Cage looking unusually vulnerable. Cage survived, finally defeating Texano with a brutal Drill Claw.

this is not a GIF, this is Vampiro’s HOF performance

Dario might have made the fifth match tonight because he was so excited to have a winner. He was interrupted looking into the mystery box earlier in the show, and had Cage come in his office to receive that prize after the match. Cage wasn’t unimpressed to find out he had been fighting for a mystery box, and unimpressed when Dario revealed the titular Gauntlet was the prize. Cage tried to walk out without it – “I’m not that much of a Renaissance fair guy” – but Dario pleaded with him to try it on. Cage gave it a shot, the gauntlet lit up with a power, Cage used it to lift Dario up in a choke lift, and decided he was going to keep it after all. Once he wasn’t dying, Dario seemed pleased with the outcome.

Texano probably had second thoughts after the loss. Not just in the way he lost, but that he passed up a chance to get Famous B and Brenda in his corner for his match. Famous B offered his services, pointing out the crowd wasn’t behind Texano and believing he could change that. Texano wanted B to get lost, but seemed to believe a little bit of what he was saying.

The opener, Mil Muertes versus Jeremiah Crane, ended up as a backdrop for a return. Prince Puma made his first appearance in the Temple since Mil put him in the casket by hitting Muertes with a cane to give Crane a quick win. (An undeserved one too, since Mil was dominating it.) Prince Puma did his usual flips into a pose after the match, but posed facing Vampiro instead of on the logo. Vampiro had been out of sorts during the match, so he knew it was coming. We did too: the show actually started with a new darker Prince Puma in Vampiro’s dojo, pledging to make Vampiro his new maestro.

Crane should’ve consulted the Ouija board closer before taking this match

The middle match turned out to be less notable for storylines than for real drama. PJ Black & Jack Evans defeated Son of Havoc & Angelico in a match that never really got going, and seemed to have a section of the rudos beating up Son of Havoc edited out. The bigger problem took place about four minutes in, when Angelico went for a springboard knee, crushed Jack and landed awkwardly. Angelico’s elbow was obviously messed up by the landing, and the others just went to a finish as quick as possible. What wasn’t as obvious right away was Jack’s jaw was injured on that same spot, if I have the story right. He still finished the match, but you can see him point to it right after. Both men will appear again on this season – through the magic of taping out of order, a mute Jack has already been on this show this year – but there’s a lot less Angelico going forward.

We go forward, because we have no choice. And going forward, we’ve got two matches for next week. The Mack versus Johnny Mundo will take place, as well as Sexy Star versus Mariposa. Sexy Star had a present delivered to her, via a chatty and Mundo-obessesed Ricky Mandell, which of course turned out to be another spider. Sexy’s convinced it’s Mariposa behind this, so she got the match.

The potentially biggest news happened in a late commercial break. The January 11th show is now the midseason finale. And that’s all we know about that.


Jack & Angelico

That last thing first. When you’re a type who thinks they’ve got a lot of it figured out, something you’re not at all expecting really sticks out. I feel like I know a lot about Lucha Underground, but had no idea they were doing a midseason finale. Which sure sounds like a midseason break. Which sounds not great, both in that I really want my Lucha Underground right now and that I wonder a bit about my Lucha Underground going forward.

The series has taken time off before. They held off the first Aztec Warfare for a couple weeks, but that was a case where they specifically didn’t want to burn new shows on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. There’s no major holidays coming up on Wednesdays in January that I can come up with. LU knew of that hiatus in advance, they had Dario mention it in a promo taped on the show months before it happened. There doesn’t seem to be the same mention here, and LU people have specifically talked about airing all 40 episodes in a row.

I have a good sense of what’s airing over the next three episodes. If I’m right, there’s a happening at the end of episode 19 and episode 20 is a special episode. You could definitely look at them, squint a little, and see 19 as a break point and 20 as a hot one to have people anticipating for a little while. Still, there’s been no sign this was coming. The way this was mentioned outside of the show, in El Rey commercial, suggests this wasn’t something LU planned themselves. They’ve taped 40 episodes, 21 left to air after this finale. They’ll air the shows eventually. This is curious and a little bit concerning. It’s not “sound the alarms” concerning, but definitely “fingers on chin, looking pensive” concerned.

That news overshadowed the show for me, and maybe only me, but it was a decent show to overshadow. Crane/Mil was disappointingly short (and you’d think a guy who thinks he had the answers would’ve known that already, but nah.) The tag match was the match I was least looking forward to on the season, and one where I thought they might just cut it out given what happened. It sucks seeing two of your favorites going down. Jack’s around more than Angelico, and Angelico chasing down Mundo had such promise. Guess we’ll need patience for that too.

the end

The first Cage/Texano wasn’t much either, and this was not looking like a good in-ring show at that point. They redeemed it quite a bit by the main event. Striker was pushing the idea of this being a great best of five, which is his job but in no way felt true. The fifth match alone didn’t bring up everything else. If they found a way to start the fifth match with the same wounded Cage as we saw here, I don’t think anyone would’ve missed much of the other four matches. Still, this match was a lot of fun, in both guys getting to use the full Temple playground to work a different fight than the ones they had done up to this point. They did well working off the Cage injury story to make him the sympathetic face, though his reaction to the power glove suggests they’re going back the other direction. That’s a wait and see, but weird (ironic?) that Cage won a power up in a match where he looked underpowered.

A lot of what Famous B said about Texano in Lucha Underground – “You’re not just translating to the audience, you’re not connecting with them…they don’t care about you, they’re not invested in you” – rang true, even if it’s also like something some dork might have said in blog somewhere. Where Texano has delivered is in his big singles matches: he was really good Alberto, and he was really good here. I’m not sure Famous B is the right guy to get people invested in you, since it doesn’t seem like it’s working out too well for Dr. Wagner, but making it clear they’re still going somewhere with Texano after his lose was a good idea.

The turnbuckle bit in the fourth match was great. Not just because they smoothly snuck it in, but because Vampiro’s forced confusion about what had just happen. I don’t if Vampiro actually came up with the idea for that spot, but never had a man sounded more like he wanted you to notice something he was pretending he didn’t notice.

This was not the my most favorite episode of this show, but I guess I got to appreciate them while I still can.

Caristico picks a date for his apuesta match with UG, LU preview & notes, Tuesday results

proud CMLL school graduates

CMLL (SUN) 12/25/2016 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Arena Coliseo Guadalajara, Domingos Familiares, Fuego en el Ring]
1) Destello & Destructor b Capitán Cobra & Micro
Rudos took 1/3.
2) Fugaz, Sky Kid, Smaker b Linterna, Mr. Brisa, Relámpago
Relampago replaced Mr. Apolo. Tecnicos took 1/3.
3) Gran Kenut, Joker, Mosco X Fly b Javier Cruz Jr., Metatrón, Tritón
Tecnicos took 2/3, Cruz submitting Kenut, setting up a mask vs hair match.
4) Exterminador & Maléfico b Esfinge & Gallo
Rudos took 1/3 to set up a tag title match.
5) Frezzer L Neutrón, León Blanco, Mr. Trueno, Nautilius, Pitbull I, Magnum, Star Black, Infierno, Ráfaga [cage, mask]
Order of escape: Leon Blanco, Nautlius, Pitbull I, Magnum, Rafaga, Neutron, Mr. Trueno, Infierno (who most people thought was going to lose, especially being the last rudo left.) Match came down to tecnicos Star Black & Freezer, with Star Black getting the win via his Estrella Negra. Furia Roja, Freezer’s unmasked brother, came to the ring and attacked Star Black for unmasking his brother, with the winner of cage match actually being unmasked in the scrum. Security finally got Furia Roja to back away, but Furia Roja wouldn’t leave until his brother was unmasked. Freezer is Diego Omar Lemus Pérez, 23 years old, 5 years a wrestler.

That post match bit sounds like a great angle or someone losing their mind. Sometimes it can be both.

CMLL (TUE) 12/27/2016 Arena México [CMLL, ESTO, thecubsfan]
1) Acero & Fantasy b Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 27 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
13:45. Tecnicos took 2/3.
2) Magia Blanca, Oro Jr., Stigma b Arkángel de la Muerte, Canelo Casas, Inquisidor LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 27 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
15:55. Tecnicos took 1/3
3) Estrellita, La Vaquerita, Marcela b Amapola, La Comandante, Zeuxis LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 27 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
12:42. Tecnicas took 1/3, Vaquerita defeating Zeuxis.
4) Okumura b Puma [lightning] LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 27 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Okumura replaced The Panther on Tuesday.
5) Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa b Bobby Z, Sam Adonis, Vangellys LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 27 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3.
6) Atlantis, Máximo Sexy, Valiente b Ephesto, Gran Guerrero, Mephisto LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 27 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2016 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3.

Like in Puebla on Monday, crowd was up for no apparent reason except it being a holiday week where people are off from work and looking for things to do. It wasn’t just more Mexican fans, but it looked like more foreigners too, and felt like one of the louder Tuesday shows in a long while. Adonis came out with his Trump USA flag and got booed very loudly. This is the second straight week where CMLL hasn’t booked an ongoing program.

I’ve watched about half the show (not the whole show no matter what mislabeled recap you saw this morning.) Don’t watch the first two matches. The women’s match was actually good.

This news is a few days late, but we’ve finally got the post match interviews from CMLL’s Friday show. As you’ll recall, the (unofficial) stipulation was that Caristico would get a mask versus hair match with Ultimo Guerrero if he won. Caristico won, and CMLL cut away from the show before either match could talk about that stipulation, and might have not allowed talk at all in front of the crowd. Backstage, the message was clearer. Carsitico said he’d like to have the match at Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. Ultimo Guerrero declared he said he’d do the match if Caristico won, but never said when, just that it’ll happen some day. CMLL has downplayed this entire thing, which very much suggests this is an idea Caristico is pitching CMLL and nothing that’s been confirmed. File it in the back of your head for March, but don’t count on quite yet.

Today’s Lucha Underground episode is “The Gauntlet”, the 17th episode of the season. This sounds like a companion to episode 2, “The Amulet”. Maybe we’ll get a full outfit if the show lasts long enough. Matches announced:

  • Cage [2] versus Texano [1], match 4 in their best of five
  • Angelico & Son of Havoc versus PJ Black & Jack Evans
  • Jeremiah Crane versus Matanza (video of beginning)

There’s at least a fourth match which will also air today, based on the way events progress on the taping. The tag match is notable moment for negative reasons that we can’t talk about until after it airs. The show preview also talks about a luchador returning to the Temple for revenge. Could be Prince Puma. Could be Officer Reyes. Could be Super Fly! (It’s probably not Super Fly.)

Lucha Underground lead writer Chris DeJoseph was on Kocosports’s Lucha Underground video review this past week. It was a good conversation, though no huge revelations. DeJoseph and Van Wagenen seem to try to wait for episodes where they have a good story about to do these sort of interviews. Last week’s LU episode has the bathroom fight between Fenix & Aerostar versus the Snake Tribe. DeJoseph talked about watching them, led by vignette director Skip Chaisson, film the scene for hours, going home, coming back in the next day, and finding them still filming that scene. He estimated the filming of that segment took eight hours over two days. This tells me I do not have the patience to work on a TV show, because that sounds like forever for what seemed to be a three minute scene. Another great random factoid is Kobra Moon’s throne was created “by the guy from GWAR.”

There were some of the usual topics. DeJoseph was asked basically “why Sexy Star?”, and said she has an amazing amount of chemistry, she connected well with her audience, and her character is just cool.  He also did the usual defense of women fighting men, though noted he prefered it more when they were doing wrestling moves than men punching women in the face or sexual stuff. When DeJoseph came on board, El Rey had the concept of 7 tribes of luchadors and people representing each tribe, and it was up to him and his staff to fill in anything else. He knows how they’d get back to that idea if they had to end it, but it didn’t sound like he was going to have to do that any time soon. DeJoseph mentioned, in the context of the wrestlers having say in their programs, that Marty and Killshot’s feud was originally going to end in Season 2, but the wrestlers thought they could do more with it and so it lasted to their big Season 3 match instead.

AAA apparently has a TV taping on 02/24 in Queretaro. The last TV runs out at 02/18, so there’s a taping before that still missing. I’m going to have to make that chart already.

There’s a Super Calo Jr. reality show web series on YouTube.

El Sol de Tlaxcala catches up with Templario, who’s said to be the first luchador from that area to make it to Arena Mexico. He’s 23 years old and has been wrestling for 9 years.

Apolo Valdes looks back at the year in lucha libre.

CultIcon goes thru 40 to 31 in his top 50 of the year.

Box Y Lucha notes Villano III won the UWA Welterweight Championship today, which actually conflicts with the information we’ve had before on the first title change for that tile. Box Y Lucha is usually correct. I wish I could get Box Y Lucha to write more in depth about these things instead of just single interesting factoids, but I should be grateful for that alone.


CMLL (MON) 01/02/2017 Arena Puebla
1) Asturiano & Zaeta Roja vs Rey Apocalipsis & Toro Bill Jr.
2) Arkalis, Millenium, Tigre Rojo Jr. vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Metálico, Policeman
3) Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa, Stigma vs Disturbio, Sam Adonis, Skándalo
4) Ángel de Oro, Titán, Valiente vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
5) Atlantis, Carístico, Máximo Sexy vs Cavernario, Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas
6) Volador Jr. © vs La Máscara [NWA WELTER]
13th defense

Volador/Mascara feels like a feud we’ve seen a lot of, but we haven’t actually seen the singles match all that much in singles matches this year: just the double countout in Liga Elite, and Volador getting the win in the Universal tournament. They just did this match on a Sunday, but most of us didn’t see that, and this is actually the first time Mascara is challenging Volador for this title.

CMLL (TUE) 01/03/2017 Arena México
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Demus 3:16 & Pequeño Universo 2000
2) Estrellita, Sanely, Skadi vs La Seductora, Metálica, Reyna Isis
3) Oro Jr., Pegasso, Star Jr. vs Okumura, Skándalo, Virus
4) Tritón vs Sagrado [lightning]
5) Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol vs Ephesto, Hechicero, Ripper
6) Máximo Sexy, Stuka Jr., Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero

The usual bit of grab bag ok matches. Nothing in the top four looks for sure promising or a disaster. Sagrado is the best rudo in a lot of matches, and a full match between him and Triton would be interesting. They should have enough time to put something together in a lightning match.

Reyna Isis, who you may have forgotten exists, is back from an extended trip to Japan. Nothing to do with anything but I wonder if Sanely masks eventually replace the Sexy Star masks as the go to mask purchase for casual women fans at Arena Mexico. There were some last night in the crowd and it made me think about the possibilities.

CMLL (TUE) 01/03/2017 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Capitán Cobra & Fugaz vs Destello & Guerrero de la Muerte
2) Robin, Sensei, Star Black vs Cancerbero, Ráfaga, Raziel
3) Blue Panther Jr., Soberano Jr., The Panther vs El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Ángel de Oro, Titán, Valiente vs Bobby Z, Pólvora, Vangellys
5) Atlantis, Carístico, Mistico vs Cavernario, Mephisto, Shocker

Caristico & Shocker repeat from last night, so that might be the new feud. Shocker and Caristico have never had a singles match. I’m fascinated by the idea of them trying to have one in 2017.

On the other hand, Dinamitas against Blue Panther Jr. rematch, so maybe there’s a local trios title defense coming.

Cholo de Tijuana (FRI) 01/06/2017 Auditorio de Tijuana, Tijuana, Baja California
1) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
2) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
3) Amazona, Clásico, Dinastía Silver, Zaeta vs Cholo De Tijuana II, Furia Salvaje, Lady Lee, Memo Velaquez
4) Arandú, Black Silver, Enigma, TJ Boy vs Destroyer, Iron Boy, Luminoso, Viernes 13
5) Rey Hechicero vs Caifan
6) Hijo de LA Park, Octagoncito, Rey Horus vs Bestia 666, Demus 3:16, Steve Pain
7) LA Park, Máscara Sagrada, Súper Muñeco vs Damián 666, Histeria, Pakal

Cholo de Tijuana shows usually don’t make it out complete anywhere – though Histeria/Caristico did – but I think I’m required to point out any Rey Hechicero/Caifan card. Also, that semimain is weird but good. All the Tijuana promotions seem to be pushing each other for better cards; if you’re the Crash, you probably want to tour because running more shows will help, but also your big shows will stand out more away from TJ.

CMLL Puebla: 2016-12-26 

a Pegasso dive because why not

Recapped: 12/27/2016

What happened: Dalys defeated Marcela (again) to keep CMLL Women’s Championship. Mascara beat Volador to set up his own title match next week.

What was good: The women’s title match was the best match on the show, though found plenty of flaws.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel and matches will air on 52MX in a couple weekends. Read More