Johnny Mundo beat the Mack in a falls count anywhere match for the Lucha Underground championship (9:42, sunset flip powerbomb on chair, great) – 3rd defense
Drago, Vibora and Pindar beat Aerostar, Drago and Fenix (c) for the LU Trios Champs (5:34, Drago splash Aerostar, ok) – champs fall on 3rd TV defense, Reptile Tribe is 7th Champs
Prince Puma beat Mil Muertes in a Boyle Heights street fight (11:36, brick to the head, great)
It took ten extra minutes, but Johnny Mundo is still Lucha Underground champion. Mundo survived the Mack and a falls count anywhere stipulation being added on at the last second by Dario Cueto. This match was even more of a brawl than last week, with both men taking advantage of the rules to win it on the outside. Mundo took advantage of the rules also by having Worldwide Underground interfere. It played out a little like last week, only Son of Havoc wasn’t around to help and Taya was – she saved Mundo from being suplexed out of the ring onto chairs, and Mundo powerbombed Mack onto those same chairs to retain the title.
Mundo’s celebration lasted all of one shower. While he was taking it, Dario announced Mundo’s next challenger will be Rey Mysterio. Mundo admitted he was worried when it was announced, sure it would be his toughest challenge yet and went to get training immediately. (Like, even before he put on some pants.) Dario says Matanza was specifically not getting the title match because of embarrassing the family “two weeks ago” by taking the backdrop thru the ceiling from Rey, and Rey’s performance there got him the title shot.
That title match won’t happen for some time. It’ll be the same show as the Cueto Cup final, the culmination of a 32 man single elimination tournament that’ll take place over the next many weeks. It’s unclear if Matanza was meant to be excluded from the tournament as well (but it definitely won’t include Rey & Mundo since they’ve got the title match.)
The other two matches were about people moving to the dark side. Fenix & Aerostar had rescued Drago last time we saw them, but he didn’t seem to understand what was going on. Tonight’s match confirmed he’d been brainwashed by Kobra Moon, betraying his teammates at his first chance and handing the match to the Reptile Tribe. Drago actually switched corners during the match and tagged himself in, so it looks like the champs are Drago, Pindar and Vibora with Kobra Moon leading things from the outside.
Prince Puma also gave into his dark impulses. Or, maybe “Octavio”, since that’s what Rey called Puma early in the show. Rey tried to convince Puma that Vampiro was no good for him and using him, but Puma was too far gone, too haunted by his death and Konnan’s death. A spooky Vampiro told Rey to stay out of it. Puma wore black for the match and made a point of using weapons when possible. He had the match won when Catrina hit him with the stone. Vampiro, who was silent when he wasn’t rooting for Puma from the desk, handed Puma a brick. Puma considered the act, and still smashed into Mil Muertes’ head to get the win. Vampiro seemed satisfied with the action as much as the result.
We didn’t get a peak at anyone else this week. Ricky seems to be now firmrly in Worldwide Underground as Johnny’s lackey, not just a fan acting on his own. Jack Evans was very quickly referenced as having suffered some accident to explain why he hasn’t been part of these segments.
This was one of the top “end of chapter” shows they’ve had on Lucha Underground. It reminded me a lot of episode 20 in the first season, because it also had a Prince Puma street fight (with Cage), plus the blowoff bull rope match for the AAA title with Texano & Alberto, and Son of Havoc breaking up with Ivelisse in his match with Angelico. We got another really strong title match, and a split that hopefully will work as well as that one. The matches were just as good too. That season 1 episode felt like a leveling up point, where they went from a show that was doing very good to one that felt like The Best Show Going. There wasn’t the same momentum going in to tonight’s show, but it very much felt like Lucha Underground doing what it does at it’s best.
This street fight felt a lot different than the one Puma had with Cage, and a different from the other limited rules match earlier in the night. Puma/Cage was Puma at this incredible athletic best, and definitely his coast to coast flipping dropkick was an amazing athletic feat, but this one was just as much about Puma giving in to Vampiro’s teachings. In the end, it’s Vampiro winning with Puma as his vessel and I’m not sure how good an idea that is long term, but they executed it well. Puma was more viscous, less playing to the crowd, not showing off and posing like the pre-death Prince Puma. It wasn’t over the top, and there was still plenty of the good old Puma/Muertes fabulous chemistry too. This match was about Puma, but Mil Muertes reminded everyone what a tremendous destroyer he can be, just walloping Puma at times to put a stop to his big moves. Catrina’s rock shot near the end didn’t look great, didn’t have the impact of something that was knocking Prince Puma off his feet, but it’s a minor gripe in a typically very strong match between the two. This is obviously a rivalry LU is going to keep revisiting from time to time as long as either man is around, and hopefully we get one more look at it before anything changes there.
Mack/Mundo 2 (1.5? Still 1.0?) was a lot of fun. Dario deciding Mack deserved an edge and Falls Count Anywhere didn’t really make sense, at least not the way he explained it, but it allowed them to have more fun with the Temple than they had even last week. They definitely had people believing a title change on that powerbomb, and I think people would’ve been completely satisfied with this match if it was the only one they had. The one negative is it felt a little bit like last week because of the interference spots, except that was a bit more entertaining interference. It made sense they’d be there, and Taya being the difference fits with the story they’ve been telling, but it did take a little bit away from the match.
This looks like the end for Mack’s title chase with the tournament coming up, but he delivered big time these two weeks. (I don’t want to re-litigate this, but it’s impossible to compare the kind of title matches when Sexy Star was around the title and the matches they’ve had the last two weeks, it’s not even close.) Mack didn’t seem to be a focus the last couple seasons, but hopefully this got him bigger into future plans
The trios title match was the least of the three matches to no surprise. They did do the extended Aerostar/Vibora sequence hope for since Reptile Steve Pain showed up here, and it was as great as it was in AAA. Maybe it might convince someone to put it together again elsewhere. That was pretty much all the match; Fenix did some stuff with Vibora, but it seemed edited or carefully shot (cutting away from Vibora taking the head kick was the peak) to hide his struggles. The mist looked as bright green as I’ve seen it, convincing me they worked some Hollywood magic to spruce up the usual bit. Dragon, Fenix and Aerostar was a predictably fun team, but who knows if we’ll actually see them all together again. Melissa sadly announcing the new champs was a nice touch.
I do have some trepidation about Cueto Cup and the next few weeks. 32 people in a tournament, assuming they’re doing a tournament in a normal fashion, means they’ve got a lot of matches to get thru for the next while. The good side is everyone should make an appearance over the next four weeks alone, since 32 people not including Rey and Mundo (and maybe Matanza?) means pretty much everyone on the roster has to be in this thing. Everyone getting a chance to do something is very much the Lucha Underground way. The concerning side is there’s probably not going to be time for the giant size matches we got on this show, and shows with these sorts of matches are Lucha Underground at it’s best.
That’s the next couple weeks. This week was great.