Johnny Mundo and The Mack went to a draw in an All Night Long Match for the Lucha Underground Championship (37:05, 3-3, great)
- 4:18 Johnny Mundo Fin de Mundo (1-0)
- 5:40 Johnny Mundo rope assisted cradle (2-0)
- 10:42 the Mack powerbomb (2-1)
- 18:11 Johnny Mundo DDT onto backboard (3-1)
- 22:15 the Mack Stunner (3-2)
- 30:22 the Mack pin after a sit down piledriver thru a table (3-3)
- 37:05 time ran out
This one won’t take long. There was simply the one match – not even some vignette coming in from a break or to close out the slow. It was just Johnny Mundo and the Mack in an All Night Long match.
Mundo went up to a 2-0 lead, picking up the second pinfall by using the ropes (which also used to escape from a few pins.) Mack got one fall back via powerbomb. Mundo soon after pulled off his springboard tornillo to the outside, only to clutch one of his lower legs on landing. The announcers believed it to be a serious injury and the medics brought out a stretcher. Mack went as far to shake Mundo’s hand out of respect, only for Mundo to (predictably) jump up fine and surprise Mack with a DDT to take back his two fall lead.
Mundo started running and taking it outside to run out the clock. He fought to the top of the steps, only to get strapped to the backboard and slid all the way back down to the ring. He ran down the hallway to escape – only it really wasn’t him, but PJ Black dressed up as Mundo to lead Mundo on a brief wild goose chase. Black & Mundo worked over Mack until Son of Havoc made the save. Havoc eventually banged on Dario’s door to request a beer, which powered the Mack up to land a Stunner to cut the lead to 3-2.
Mundo & Black regained control of the match again with the help of kendo sticks, then demanded the band play a victory tune to celebrate. Instead, a member of the band jumped off the stage to plancha the rudos, and revealed herself to be Sexy Star in disguise. Havoc & Star cleared out Black, and Mack tied up the match following an Air Raid Crash thru tables.
The match went back and forth in the last few minutes, with a ladder and table in play. Mack placed Mundo on the table and went up the ladder to put him thru. Ricky Mandell ran in, grabbing Mack to save his hero. Havoc & Sexy Star were able to pull him away and Mack landed a giant ladder splash, but time ran out as the winning pin was counted.
Dario interrupted the post match to declare he would not allow a draw in his Temple, and Mack & Mundo would continue their match next week under sudden death (or, “normal”) rules. Mack gave Mundo a Stunner to end the show.
The All Night Long match got to the level of a very good Lucha Underground match at the end. It didn’t feel like it was always going to get there. Coming back from a break with a match with a purposefully slower start (at least by LU standards) so they build towards the end required extra patience from a fanbase that was probably impatient to see the show already. The first half of the match eventually worked for where they were going, but it didn’t come off as really important right away. It was really the chaos of the last segment or so which took the intensity of the match up to that next level.
I find myself thinking a lot about the context this episode will be seen in. For people watching it tonight, it’s airing in the context of a five month hiatus, where people are eager to see their favorite guys again (and didn’t see them unless they’re one of about seven people.) If you’re someone binging this show later on Netflix or wherever, that’s not much a concern. Johnny Mundo’s injury bit is probably also doesn’t poke out as much too if you’re watching it on a service without commercials, since it was just a minute or so before a break and a little bit of time after. It really pokes at you if you’re watching the show live, where there were a few more minutes of commercials to think about how obvious it was fake injury spot and how unconvincing it was for the announcers to “break character” on the scheming rudo doing something that anyone who’s watched wrestling has seen a million times. (That spot needs to go in a storage warehouse for a long time. Mack shaking Mundo’s hand was a nice touch, but it’s consistently bad TV. They got some of the reaction they wanted live, but it was TV death.) I think this is an episode overall that worked good on TV, but probably is going to be much stronger as #20 of 40 and not #1 of 21.
Not that it didn’t have it’s flaws. Hey, if you couldn’t find time to air Sexy Star post title win speech on TV (the best part of his title win), you probably can just end the show on the count and make the Dario thing a YouTube/social media exclusive. It’s silly to have someone talking about the match going all night long, and the match not going when the night still is. It’s not enough to sabotage the match for me but the forced nature of the finish might due it for some.
Sexy Star’s interference spot was really well done. Son of Havoc should’ve asked for multiple beers. Son of Havoc getting involved was just sort of weird, but that’s a spot where the break might have helped the show – most people were willing to roll with the idea Worldwide Underground had done something to Son of Havoc to explain this, since they couldn’t remember what happened five weeks ago anyway. (I suspect that spot was written with Angelico in mind instead, or the Angelico & Son of Havoc vs Jack Evans/PJ Black match was originally intended to be much more in general.) Mack’s splash thru the table should be one of those Lucha Underground clips replayed forever, but I kind of wish they didn’t end the show with the stunner. Just like we’re used to seeing a heel fake an injury and attack the surprised face, we’re used to seeing the face who comes up short in the title match and lays out the champion ever not actually win the title in his next chance. I’m eager to see more people around next week, and I’m sure it’ll be a good match, but they did more to convince it won’t be a title change.