Dante Fox beat Texano (5:39, inside cradle, good)
Mariposa & Marty the Moth beat Melissa Santos & Fenix (9:18, spike pedigree on Melissa Santos, good)
Son of Havoc & Pentagon Dark won a seven way Gift of Gods match with Saltador, Paul London, Mala Suerte, Cortez Castro and Drago (6:37, Havoc SSP on London & Pentagon package piledriver on Saltador, good)
This was the final episode prior to Ultima Lucha, and a last chance to move a lot of pieces in place. There were many matches made for the showcase four episodes. Some were set up on this show. Some were just announced. I was suspicious Sexy Star/Taya was only mentioned in passing because it was really supposed to have been announced on social media and and that plan got dropped once Sexy became a non-person. Maybe not, since there were a other matches which were only acknowledged in passing during commentary or during the big rundown in the middle of the show.
Three more were made during the night. Famous B took over ring announcing for the night, and his premature announcement of Texano as the winner distracted him into an inside cradle. (It wasn’t clear if Famous B messed up, or purposelessly cost Texano the match. He seemed unbothered by the real outcome.) Texano tried to break Famous B for costing him another match, but Dario intervened: he needed Famous B for the rest of the night. Dario offered Texano a match with B next week, but Texano will have let Famous B manage him should he lose the currently one armed B. Meanwhile, the announcers were falling over each other to praise Dante Fox as a break out star following his recent performances.
The Gift of the Gods match ended the night. The usual medal ceremony was held in Dario’s office. We only saw Havoc and Pentagon place theirs, with Havoc vowing to get cash in right away to get that Ultima Lucha 3 spot he thought he had last year, and Pentagon vowing to break everyone’s arm. Neither man turned out to be right. The seven way was everyone for themselves, with the Rabbit Tribe willing to fight each other at times. Pentagon was dominant at the end, laying out both Saltador and Paul London. When Pentagon went to finish off Saltador with the package piledriver, Havoc landed on London with a shooting star press, and the referee counted both men down at the same time. (Seemed notable that Vampiro was sure Pentagon won, flipping his usual negativity towards his ex-protege. Striker saw it as a draw.) Dario Cueto swiftly sorted it out: there has to be one Gift of the Gods winner, so the tie breaker will be Pentagon versus Havoc in a ladder match with the belt on the line.
The other match was made just as quick. Cage seems to be mind controlled by the gauntlet pretty quick to us, but Dario is concerned it’s not happening fast enough or at all, and that’s why he stole it back last week. (Maybe Delgado’s death shook him up?) Dario’s got approval from his associates for a Cage, Mil Muertes and Jeremiah Crane three way match. He figures Muertes & Crane will be sucked into the gauntlet’s power much quicker. If Cage still wins, they’ll try “ascension” on him anyway, And if that fails, Dario’s okay with Limo Guy just destroying cage. Yes, Limo Guy made a cameo for the first time in months (and we saw Agent Winter again.) All the match announcements made it fell like a big show, but that overarching plot coming back in made it feel like a show coming to a head. Or an end.
The other matches for Ultima Lucha mentioned include Killshot vs Dante Fox in the Hell of War, a best of three fall match with different stipulations in each fall. Ivelisse versus Catrina is on after all. (This was done in a post-edited voice over; I believe they didn’t know if Ivelisse was going to be able to go until just a bit before the match, and that’s why they dropped mentioning it for so long.) Finally, El Dragon Azteca Jr. made a typically unwise decision and will face Matanza in a cage match. Azteca’s going for revenge on Rey Mysterio, and that mention of revenge was the only time Rey’s name came up on the show.
The middle match was the debut of Melissa Santos, teaming with Fenix against Mariposa and Marty Martinez. An opening show vignette showed Fenix training Melissa, had them flirt, and revealed Melissa still hasn’t seen Fenix with his mask off. Melissa did kinda reveal Marty’s plan is not going to work, she insists she’s into Fenix with or without the mask, but Fenix doesn’t quite believe the same. Fenix also didn’t really believe he wanted Melissa to wrestle here, keeping her out of the match for most of the way. (Fenix’s unwillingness to see women hurt also extended to Mariposa temporarily, though he got over it.) Fenix finally tagged Melissa in for a run of double teams, but she was trapped in the ring when the butterflies took out Fenix and tied him to the ropes. They finished Melissa easy. Marty went to fork Melissa in the head, only for Fenix to break free in time to put a stop to it.
This was a really good episode. All the matches were good, if nothing outstanding, and they did a strong job of building up Ultima Lucha as an epic event with really important stakes.
Texano/Dante was the usual Texano level good match with a few neat Fox spots until the cheap ending. At least the distraction finally leads to a conclusion to that. The announcers were in on Dante as hard as anyone since Pentagon’s first armbreaking rise. It’s sudden, but it’s deserved. On the other hand, I think LU might pick gimmicks on which professions best lend themselves to extended word play and references, and the idea of another War themed match seems like it might be rough after how they ran the puns into the ground with the last one.
LU made Melissa come off as a big deal, they laid out her spots to make her look impressive (and shot them in a way to protect her) and used her to ramp up emotions of the Marty/Fenix match even more. The fans are so into Melissa that I was half surprised no fan tried to rush the ring for the save; good thing they don’t tape in Mexico. This show is crazy enough that Marty actually forking Melissa didn’t even seem impossible. Marty isn’t naturally a great base for Fenix’s trickier offense, but they’ve built his danger up enough that the the emotions are going to carry the action.
The seven way match was almost only a series of one on ones. They kept the pace high that way and it was good action, even if it meant a lot of people selling on the outside. It was really good action while it lasted, and it just lacked some bigger moments for me to rate it higher. There wasn’t the Mala Suerte/Cortez Castro sequence or team up I was so hoping for, but they did give us a whole lot of Saltador looking awesome. Most of his (various) character time on this show has been about blending or losing badly, but he was impressive given the chance. The finishing draw came off perfectly on TV. It’s a little forced to get there, but it does helpfully give them a reason not to cash into the title match immediately.
Ultima Lucha 3
episode 102 (September 27, Ultima Lucha Week 1)
Texano vs Famous B, Texano must join Infamous Inc. if he loses.
Killshot vs Dante Fox, in the Hell of War
episode 103 (October 4, Ultima Lucha Week 2)
(a match that hasn’t been announced)
Fenix vs Marty the Moth, mask vs hair
Ivelisse vs Catrina
episode 104 (October 11, Ultima Lucha Week 3)
Taya vs Sexy Star, last luchadora standing
Pentagon Dark vs Son of Havoc for the Gift of the Gods Championship in a Ladder match.
episode 105 (October 18, Ultima Lucha Week 4, the end?)
(a match that hasn’t been announced)
Cage vs Jeremiah Crane vs Mil Muertes for the gauntlet
El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs Matanza Cueto in a cage match
Johnny Mundo (c) vs Prince Puma, title versus career for the Lucha Underground championship