Lucha Underground 4×2: Darkness and the Monster

welcome to Lucha Underground Sammy

Matches

Son of Havoc, Killshot and the Mack beat Big Bad Steve, Sammy Guevera, Jake Strong for the Lucha Underground Trios
(5:28, Killshot shooting star press Big Bad Steve, good)
– first defense

Drago beat Dragon Azteca for an Aztec Medallion
(6:08, casadora bomb, good)

Pentagon Dark beat Matanza for the Lucha Underground Championship
(7:44, package piledriver, good)
– second defense

Status Check

still cool

Champion: Pentagon Dark

Gift of the Gods: vacant
Medallions: Dragon Azteca + 6 more
Trios Champion: Killshot, the Mack, Son of Havoc

Happenings

Drago DDT

No one’s gone in and out of an Aztec Warfare as champion. No one’s beaten Matanza in a singles match. Pentagon Dark has done both in back to back weeks. Matanza remains a force but maybe a more beatable opponent with Dario around. Antonio Cueto only got involved after the match was over, seemingly preventing Pentagon from getting his arm broken by bringing in the key. Antonio was very upset by Matanza’s performance, saying Dario had spoiled Matanza and made him weak.

In one of the lingering questions from last week, King Cuerno does NOT have the Gauntlet of the Gods. Catrina found this out the hard way, sneaking in Cuerno’s lair only to discover the gauntlet glass case empty. Cuerno revealed he knows how strong the gauntlet is – “it could strike down the descendants of the 7 Aztec tribes” – so he’s keeping it safe and out of reach. Cuerno gave it to someone else – “I don’t where or when he hid it” – which sure points the finger at a time traveling Aerostar.

Catrina wasn’t pleased. She wants the gauntlet to get her full life back. Apparently, she has multiple ways of achieving that: she proposes a Grave Consequences match with Mil Muertes and Fenix. This plan involves Catrina getting Fenix’s life force when he’s put in the casket. I’m not sure how that worked, and Antonio was surprised to find out Catrina really was a ghost but decided it was violent enough to go with. Antonio was also surprised to later find Jeremiah Crane demanding to be added to the match. Crane explained he really wanted to impress Catrina, because Catrina is really hot. Antonio bought that as reasoning an added him. That match will take place next week.

Guevara superkick

This week, the matches included Famous B getting his guys a trios title match. His guys are not Wagner and Texano; they’re written off as working for him in Mexico. Famous B’s new trio is Big Bad Steve (a mechanic who also happens to be Steve Pain, no longer masked as Pindar), Sammy Guevera and Savage Jack Strong. Jake Strong is ex-WWE’s Jack Swagger, which they carefully point out. He’s a cut above the rest of his teammates, and has the titles won with an ankelock on Killshot. Unfortunately, the referee is busy arguing with Famous B (who had been trying to help but lingered on the apron too long.) The trios champions really to beat Steve. Strong savagely attacks his teammates and his now ex-manager, breaking Famous B’s ankle.

The middle match on the show saw Antonio Cueto returning the seven Aztec Medallions back to play. As with Dario, the seven holders of the Medallions will battle for the Gift of the Gods championship, and that gives the winner a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship when they want it. Dragon Azteca pulled a slight upset over the Kobra Moon controlled Drago for this Medallion. Kobra Moon was upset with Drago over the loss. She was probably more upset after Taya attacked him from behind, thanks to a distraction from Johnny Mundo. They’re still upset about Vibora and Kobra costing Mundo Aztec Warfare last week.

In a statement seemingly for only existing for the most obsessed, Striker goes out of his way to say Dragon Azteca Jr. is part of the Eagle tribe. I need to go mark that one down.

Thoughts

Drago dive

This was a better episode than the last week. The match quality was a lot better than the first half of the Aztec Warfare even without having a standout match. Aztec Warfare wasn’t great for starting new feuds; the limited time means you had to know what was happening already or you’d get lost. Issues got more time to breathe this episode and came off stronger for them.

“Strong” is a good word because that’s how they put over the former Jack Swagger. He nearly won the trios titles single handily and destroyed his partner. That match gave me the same vibe as the first couple episodes of the first season – same visa issues, same people being thrown in odd places just because they needed to find a way to make it work with some people MIA. It didn’t feel like Strong was ever meant to be a Famous B guy, because Strong was immediately established as a top contender for the top title and that’s not where Famous B normally dwells. Sammy Guevera fits the expected Lucha Underground style better and did well even though he was slotted in the midcard. Big Bad Steve also existed. The makeshift nature of the trios champions was way downplayed, probably because getting over the new guys was the priority, but the match flowed pretty well.

Azteca wins!

Drago/Dragon Azteca seemed intended to be a proper lucha libre match on a show that hasn’t had many of them (and might not have any soon.) They pulled out a lot of flashy moves and kept up a good pace. I thought they meshed pretty well, though Drago could’ve used showing a bit more of a rudo side. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to be rooting for in this Taya/Johnny vs Drago/Kobra feud, though team Worldwide Underground has the cooler jackets.

Pentagon’s match kind of showed how much had changed since he won the title two years ago – it was less of an adventurous match and more his indie showcase bit for a long way. It got more competitive in the last third, and Matanza suplexes were pretty cool. Still, this didn’t feel like an epic rematch of an Ultima Lucha main event as much of the challenge of the week. They tried to explain it by Matanza powering up once Antonio showed up with the key, but the character felt less scary than in years past. Penta feels completely different, having beat nine people in two weeks. I guess the answer to “how do you book Penta?” is you have him just beat everyone. Crowd seemed to like it and it’s a pretty decent idea.

Lucha Underground 4×1: El Jefe

hooray for this dude

Matches

Pentagon Dark won Aztec Warfare 4 to retain the Lucha Underground championship (31:13, good)
* first defense

00:00 Killshot starts [1]
00:00 Willie Mack starts [2]
00:00 Son of Havoc starts [3]
00:41 Joey Ryan enters [4]
01:40 Mr. Pectacular enters [5]
02:45 Killshot inside cradles Mack {1}
02:55 Pentagon Dark enters [6]
----
03:56 Pentagon Dark half nelson driver Joey Ryan {2}
04:32 Son of Havoc shooting star press Killshot {3}
04:38 Tommy Dreamer enters [7]
05:19 Penta superkick Mr. Pectactular {4}
05:56 Maripsoa enters [8]
07:19 Son of Havoc handspring cutter Mariposa {5}
08:15 Pentagon Dark double stomp Tommy Dreamer {6}
08:23 Vinnie Massaro enters [9]
09:38 Penta half neslon driver Vinnie Massaro {7}
09:51 Hernandez enters [10] 
10:48 Pentagon arm break Hernandez {8}
11:20 Pentagon backcracker Son of Havoc {9}
11:32 Johnny Mundo enters [11]
----
12:13 Angelico does NOT enter
12:41 Ricky Mundo enters [12]
14:07 Johnny Mundo Moonsault Drive Ricky Mundo {10}
14:14 Fenix enters [13]
15:45 Jeremiah Crane enters [14]
16:31 Mil Muertes enters [15]
17:50 Fenix sprigboard double stomp Mil Muertes {11}
18:12 Daga enters [16]
19:13 Chavo Guerrero Jr. enters [17]
19:55 Pentagon Dark half nelson driver Jeremiah Crane {12}
20:20 Chavo vertical suplex Fenix {13}
21:03 Johnny Mudno Fin de Mundo Daga {14}
21:10 King Cuerno enters [18]
22:19 Dragon Azteca Jr. enters [19]
23:47 Marty Martinez enters [20]
24:28 Marty Martinez pins Johnny Mundo {15}
----
25:19 King Cuerno frog splash Dragon Azteca {16}
26:49 Chavo Guerrero Gory Bomb King Cuerno {17}
27:18 Penta sit down cradle Chavo Guerrero Jr. {18}
31:13 Penta package piledriver Marty Martinez {19}

What happened

obligatory pizza driver GIF

Dario Cueto is dead. The opening shot of the season is Dario in a casket. This apparently his funeral, and we see Antonio Cueto and Agent Winter in the room. Antonio touches Dario in taking the Key from him. It immediately establishes that Antonio Cueto is not Dario under makeup and a bad wig, it’s his father. People have come back from the dead on Lucha Underground, and the way they leave open the question of why Dario would call his father as he’s dying (since Antonio claims never to have liked Dario) still gives one opening for an out. But, for now, the show is very insistent Dario Cueto is dead.

It’s also insistent in that Dario Cueto is dead because Antonio Cueto ordered him dead. Last season suggested it was simply about Dario failing to get control of the gauntlet (and the body of the person holding the gauntlet), but here it’s said Antonio made the decision Dario had to go. It would seem like Antonio would be fine with the knowledge that Agent Winter was the one who did the killing, but Agent Winter lies and says it was gangbangers who did it instead for unclear reasons.

Antonio Cueto is now the promoter of Lucha Underground. The old Temple can’t be used because Dario’s death attracted attention to the building. Antonio moves it to an old ice house used to store beer, saying that anywhere Lucha Underground mat (with the Aztec symbol) goes is automatically the Temple.

Antonio disrupts a ten bell salute to his son, throws the framed picture out of the ring, and declares himself a superior promoter and person than Dario. Antonio also claims he was the one who really invented Aztec Warfare and declares it to happen tonight to determine a Lucha Underground new champion, oddly sure Pentagon Dark will be losing. Along the way, Antonio also declares new trios champions: Dante Fox is missing in action, so Killshot and the Mack enter 1 & 2, and Antonio replaces Fox in the team with whoever’s number 3. That turns out to be Son of Havoc. No one’s happy with the turn of events, and less so when Killshot pins Mack and Havoc pins Killshot during the match. (Some dubbed in commentary hinted at Killshot having a personality change.)

Mr. Pectactular & Hernandez were surprises who didn’t last long. Tommy Dreamer lasted a while, to brawl with Penta and take a thumbtack bump. Vinnie Massaro got driven onto a pizza. Daga got his first match since Season 2, and lasted a few minutes.

Kobra Moon was angry about his elimination and later brought out Vibora to attack Johnny Mundo, leading to his elimination.

Catrina was upset about Mil Muertes going out rather quick, walking out on him.

Angelico was said to be supposed to be #12, did not appear, and was replaced by Ricky Mundo. Mundo was obsessed with a scary doll he brought to the ring. Johnny pinned him quickly.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. return, after losing a loser leaves the Temple forever match last season, was presumed to a peace offering by Antonio to the Guerrero family to stop their feud.

Penta cleanly won cleanly over Marty to keep his title. Antonio Cueto noted Dario would’ve probably sent out another person to face Penta now (as Dario did back in Season 2), but he’d instead announce a match for next week: Penta defending his title against “my only son” Matanza.

Thoughts.

this was about all Dragon Azteca got to do in the match but it was nice

Uh oh.

Lucha Underground gave us Pentagon Dark beating eight different people to remain champion, and it still felt like the least enjoyable Azteca Warfare by the end. Maybe by a fair distance. It was not much good until Fenix came in at 13. Past halfway is a long way to go for a match to get good.

The match had disadvantages: it was 14 past the hour before it started, which made for the shortest and most compressed version of this match ever. People were coming in, doing about two moves, and the next music would hit. There wasn’t the time for the match to settle into any groove, especially with the match having to come to a stop often for bits. Fenix’s run was great, the Penta/Marty stuff was good at the end, Johnny Mundo contributed well, but it was bizarre they found time and eliminations for Chavo Guerrero when others were just eliminated quick. There are parts of this match I liked, and there were parts of the match which confirmed my concerns about this season. I think I’ve landed on calling the match Good while being sure there’s no chance I’ll ever seek it out again.

For a first episode, it was as if a giant reset button came down in between seasons, with only the one thing everyone was sure would eventually be undone (Dario’s death) appearing to be left intact. Penta is still champion, but he’s been switched from Vampiro’s student of evil to a man fighting against the odds to remain champion. Vampiro betraying Prince Puma and revealing himself as with Pentagon was not mentioned on the show. If they made a mention of King Cuerno having the Gauntlet, I definitely missed it. He didn’t bring it to the ring. Catrina blowing a kiss as Catrina walked to the ring was about as much service as that storyline got (and there was nothing with Fenix even though he was out there.) Killshot and Dante Fox was the hottest rivalry at the end of the season, and this season started with one missing and another acting out of character. It’d be really weird to watch Ultima Lucha 3 and this episode back to back on a streaming service because of how much has changed, so I guess it’s a good thing you can’t actually do that. This was both the first episode of the season and an Aztec Warfare match, so they didn’t really have time to touch on every status quo. They just didn’t do much with the ones they had the time for. They found time to set up new issues (Mundo/Reptile Tribe, Ricky/dolls, trios title) but the past was simply the past.

one more bit of Fenix

It would surprise me if the story they told with Angelico – he just didn’t show up – is not far from the real story. But, they already did a “he’s just not here, we’re moving on to the next as quickly as possible” bit with Dante Fox on that episode. Doing it twice in half hour is not a great look, especially in an episode where a fair bit of other regulars – Cage, Taya, Drago, Aerostar, the Rabbit Tribe – gives an impression of something going wrong behind the scenes. A lot of those people should turn up later but “people aren’t here anymore” is not a great running bit.

I did not like Striker on this show in many ways. What was more confusing is they obviously had Striker go back and revoice around the Havoc/Killshot storyline, but they still left in Striker warning new fans about the Penta armbreak of Marty, when we just saw Penta do the same thing to Hernandez. Maybe that’s a reason not to use Hernandez for that if even the people in charge didn’t remember it. Maybe some editor could’ve made Striker seem less foolish than he already is. Vampiro seemed to disappear for large stretches of this show.

I did not leave this show feeling strong about this season. It’s just one episode. I know they can do better than this. But I also know they can do better than this and this is what we got instead. It didn’t work.

where everything was left at the end of Lucha Underground Season 3

TBH I barely remember Bushido Battleground

Lucha Underground Season 4 begins tonight. Lucha Underground has become known for its sci-fi storylines, some of which stretch the entire run of the series and involve many of the characters on the show. Lucha Underground has also become known for a minimal support system around the show; they did post a 4 minute season 3 recap, but it’s a lot more about playing off what you remember than explaining what’s going if you forgot. I need to refresh my own mind maybe I can help you do the same.

QEPD Dario Cueto?

The most important character on Lucha Underground the last three seasons has been the owner of the promotion, the violence-addicted boss Dario Cueto. The violence caught up to him in the final moments of Season 3, where he’s shot at and appears to be dying as the season ends.

Cueto has been wrapped up the overarching behind the scenes mythical narrative of the series. On one side are the Order, trying to take over the world, including Councilman Delgado (deceased via Cage super-powered punch) and Agent Winter. They’re working on the behalf of Azteca god-like beings and looking for strong bodies to place the spirit of those gods in. Those gods are responsible for Matanza’s monster-like ways (in something that happened prior to the series start.). A man in a limo has been shown at times during the last two seasons and appears to be another god awaiting Dario Cueto to find him a strong body to put him in. It suggests that the Order will achieve their goals if they can get this done, that they’ve been funding Cueto all along to help this process all along, and the pressure was on him to deliver.

Cueto spent much of season 3 working towards this goal before it all went wrong. Cage & Texano had a best of five series. They believed it was for something like a title shot when Cueto just wanted to see which one would be the better host body. Cage was given the Gauntlet as a prize. The gauntlet increased Cage’s strength while addicting him to the power and preparing him for the god take over. There much less explained people trying to stop this God takeover, and – in something to explained another section – they convinced Catrina to get Mil Muertes to take gauntlet. Jeremiah Crane also got involved, wanting Catrina for himself and deciding to go after the gauntlet as a way of getting to her. Cueto’s plan was to do the God takeover of the person with the Gauntlet at Ultima Lucha 3, and thought it would work with any of Cage, Muertes, or Crane wearing it. Muertes did win the Gauntlet but was attacked after the match by the returning King Cuerno. Muertes had destroyed Cuerno at the end of Season 2 and had not been seen since. Cuerno took the gauntlet for himself, messing up Cueto’s plan.

Dario assured Agent Winter he’d still find a way to get a host body for the god. It wasn’t good enough. Winter shot Dario twice. Dario’s last act was to call his father. The third season ended with Dario dying. The teasers for the fourth season show a funeral for Dario. The footage they have shown so far has shown a casket, though not Dario inside it. Dario’s father Antonio Cueto is introduced. Antonio Cueto is the same actor as Dario under a wig and makeup, and we’ve been left to wonder if it really is “Antonio Cueto” or if Dario has faked his death.

The trailer to this season points on the Order storyline playing a big role. The trailer is also focused on the outside of the ring vignettes, where the vast majority of this storyline has taken place, so we have gotten a distorted view. The opposition to the Order is meant to be the Seven Tribes uniting. The trailer instead seems to feature a lot of lone actors working against the Order.

I’m struggling to remember which tribe is which. Here’s what I can come up with some googling. I am sure I am misrembering something. This is the section most likely to get a correction or five in the comments.

  1. ??Deer???: King Cuerno
  2. Rabbit: Paul London, Mala Suerte, Saltador
  3. Moth: Mariposa & Marty
  4. Reptile: Kobra Moon, Daga, Drago, Vibora, Pindar
  5. Dragon: Dragon Azteca Jr. (& Rey Mysterio)
  6. Jaguar: Prince Puma & Night Claw
  7. ??Death??: Mil Muertes, Catrina

Only the Rabbit, Moth and Reptile Tribe have been focused on. The Dragon & Jaguar ones have been quickly mentioned but have never really been billed under that name as an important group. And the Deer & Death ones are just looking at images and guessing. I guess Death could just as easily be Penta and Vampiro.

If the big goal of the series is to unite all seven tribes, we ought to be getting a new Jaguar tribe member so they can be united with. It’d be nice to see Night Claw again, but I don’t think we’re getting that in Season 4.

Matanza

With no brother to keep him, the monster Matanza Cueto‘s whereabouts are unknown. It was an otherwise successful season for the scariest wrestler in Lucha Underground. The only person who’s pinned him so far was Rey Mysterio. Matanza later destroyed Mysterio, and the last shot of Rey we saw was him being trapped in a cell-like Matanza. Dragon Azteca Jr. believed Matanza killed his father. Matanza did not and beat Azteca all the same. Black Lotus first believed the Azteca had killed her parents, then figured it was Dario Cueto. She was right the second time and got taken out by Matanza all the same.

Matanza without Dario Cueto is probably someone getting into a lot of trouble and not surviving, but Matanza’s father taking over might help keep the monster in control. Or it might not be so great for him. Dario’s said that Matanza actually killed their mother, and we don’t know how Antonio feels about that.

The wrestler playing Matanza is widely expected to be leaving Lucha Underground following this season, so this year might not go as well for the character.

Pentagon Dark, champion

The only singles champion going into Season 4 is first-time champ Pentagon. He defeated Prince Puma in the culmination of a season-long swerve with Vampiro. Pentagon & Vampiro appeared to break up at the end of Season 2, something that now appears to be a planned violent separation so Puma would trust Vampiro to mentor him. Puma still didn’t seem to like the idea, though Vampiro was able to persuade Puma to face his old rival Mil Muertes in a casket match. The loser of a casket match is dead in Lucha Underground canon, but apparently, death was not enough for Vampiro. Vampiro brought back Puma from the dead as a now more willing student, though he tried to keep his role quiet in front of the fans. A new darker Puma defeated Muertes, won the Cueto Cup and defeated original rival Johnny Mundo to win the Lucha Underground championship in a career versus title match.

Pentagon, with special permission from Dario Cueto, immediately cashed in the Gift of the Gods title for a Lucha Underground championship match. Cueto also made it a career versus career match. Puma fought valiantly despite his arm being broken in the opening minute and lost only after Vampiro betrayed him. Puma left the Temple forever, dropping his mask on the ground on the way out, while Pentagon reigned as champion. Matt Striker strongly condemned Vampiro for his actions on commentary, in such a fashion where it seemed unlikely Vampiro would remain his partner on the broadcast. However, the indication seems to be they’re back calling matches together at the start of the season.

A post-match vignette revealed evil mentor Vampiro had his own mystery evil mentor. The person in that role in that scene was Bestia 666. The character is expected to be a part of Season 4, but Bestia himself has left the series. It’s unclear if/how this loops back into the Order storyline.

This sequence of events means the Gift of the Gods championship is vacant. That means the promoter- Antonio now – can start handing out coins once to determine a new champion as soon as the first episode.

New Trios Champions

The Lucha Underground Trios champions seem to swing between factions of rudos and unlikely tecnico partners. They ended the season back on the latter. Dante Fox and Killshot spent most of the season in an intense feud. Both had been taken prisoner while in the military, Killshot escaped, Fox was left behind until others rescued him. Fox believed Killshot left him behind, while Killshot has said he never even know Fox was there. Fox was billed as the rudo, but they seemed to regain a respect for each other after an enormously brutal Hell of War match.

The Mack, Killshot’s friend from Season 1, had earned a trios title shot by winning a battle royal. He picked Killshot & Fox as partners. Fox didn’t seem comfortable in that corner at first, but the team gelled enough to win the trios titles to close out their season.

They defeated the Reptile Tribe to win the championships. That cost that team more than the belt. Kobra Moon is leading the tribe as Queen during the season, with Vibora, Pindar and an unwilling turned mind controlled Drago as her soldiers. Pindar was responsible for the loss. The last scene of the group saw a returning Daga (hadn’t been seen since Season 2, where he had a strange relationship with Moon) beheading Pindar with a sword in a bit of loyalty to Moon.

Moth Tribe Split

The Moth Tribe is having its own issues.

Marty Martinez‘s creepy behavior towards Melissa Santos blew up into full-bore stalking and jealousy towards Fenix, who was actually a couple with Melissa. Marty’s sister Mariposa got involved, not always successfully. Fenix, with help a little help from Marty, was able to save his mask and take Marty’s hair in a big apuesta match at Ultima Lucha. Mariposa also betrayed Marty in the match, but those two seem to break up and get back together enough that it’s unclear if this is a new permanent status quo.

Catrina has a lot going on

Everyone’s favorite ghost Catrina is over 200 years old, but also functionally immortal. That comes from the half of an amulet she wears around her neck that stops her from aging, though she complains it leaves her “halfway between life and death” (like a ghost!) She’d like to have the other half of that amulet to be fully alive and knows who has it. That’s where the problems start.

Detective Vazquez, a character previously seen primarily in bits involving undercover police offers Cortez Castro & Joey Ryan, was revealed to be wearing the other half of the amulet. She’s apparently the same person as a girl briefly seen a thousand years ago wearing the full version of it. She’s on a mission to stop the Order at all costs. And, Detective Vazquez is Catrina’s mother. They have a strained relationship.

The circumstances of how the amulet got split and how Catrina got half of it are unrevealed. What we do know is Vazquez was willing to give up her half (which might also cost her life) if Catrina and Mil Muertes were able to retrieve the Gauntlet to stop the Gods from coming. Catrina is unconcerned about the Gods, but wants the amulet – even though they didn’t get the Gauntlet on the first try, it gives her plenty of reason to keep trying.

Jeremiah Crane was introduced to the series as Ivelisse‘s girlfriend. His actual motivation seemed to be using Ivelisse to get access to the Temple, and to find Catrina there. Crane has known Catrina since they were both children, which means Crane is also near 200 years old. (His source of immortality hasn’t been explained.) Catrina is not interested in Crane romantically, to Crane’s increasing frustration.

Catrina and Ivelisse had a match at Ultima Lucha, based on Catrina costing Ivelisse’s her match at Ultima Lucha 2 and a war of words earlier. Ivelisse suffered an injury early on and disappeared for about 30 episodes, so the feud never developed. Ivelisse finds out about Crane’s feelings for Catrina before the match and violently dumps him, then beats Catrina. Crane attacks Ivelisse after the match, either because of the breakup or to impress the uninterested Catrina.

Besides all this, Catrina is spotted watching Fenix & Melissa leave after Ultima Lucha. She seems to still have feelings for Fenix after the season 1 affair. Crane is watching all three of them.

More Minor Storylines/Placekeeping

  • the Rabbit Tribe spent the season convinced Mascarita Sagrada was their mystical White Rabbit. He insisted he was not. Sagrada did tell London, Mala Suerte and Saltador he’d lead them to the real Rabbit at the end of the season.
  • Ricky Mandel changed his name to Ricky Mundo to suck up to Johnny. It worked, only in the sense that he was designated screw up for Worldwide Underground. A weirder Ricky plotline involved Dario getting photos of some mysterious evil dolls, which kept reappearing on his desk when he tried to throw them away. Ricky was suckered into taking the photos instead. It was never mentioned again in Season 3, but those dolls show up a lot in the trailer.
  • Aerostar‘s attempts at freeing Drago from Kobra Moon’s control have only led to Aerostar getting his arm broken. Aerostar’s time-traveling powers still come up, and we know he’s in Lucha Underground to counter the order, but he hasn’t acted on it much to this point.

Danging Plotlines Involving People Who Aren’t Around But Are Still Supposedly Going To Be Resolved

  • someone kept sending Sexy Star spiders. She didn’t like spiders. She thought it was various people. It was not any of those people. The season ended with Sexy Star getting another spider but no real movement. Lucha Underground writers have said multiple times that this will be wrapped up in some fashion.
  • Rey Mysterio was locked in a cell at the end of the season. He got out in time to appear in multiple Royal Rumbles but we may be missing something in between.
  • Texano Jr. got a boring storyline where he was told he was boring and lost a match to Dr. Wagner Jr. to end up as a Famous B client. I’m not really sure if either the Mexicans made it back for Season 4.

People Who Were Around But Don’t Have Much At The Moment

  • Johnny Mundo was a big part of Season 3, but there’s not a lot going on with him as they come into Season 3 because his feuds aren’t around. Mundo won the title from Sexy Star, who wasn’t around. Mundo lost the title to Prince Puma, who’s gone. Mundo lost the title in part due to a returning Angelico, who is gone from the series. He also feuded with Rey Mysterio, who’s not expected back. Jack Evans and PJ Black are still his henchmen and similarly unencumbered by any storyline.
  • Taya made a documentary celebrating Mundo. It was great. I assume her Season 4 storyline involves acceptance speeches for various Oscars. She also lost to Sexy Star, but Sexy Star no longer exists so we are moving right along.
  • Son of Havoc feuded with a doppelganger named Son of Madness in a bit that didn’t work. Madness doesn’t seem to be returning, or at least there’s no sign of that character.
  • Undercover cop Joey Ryan exposed Cortez Castro as another undercover cop spying on Dario Cueto and his connection to the Order. Dario teased revealing the Castro as police in public. Also, Castro & Ryan did have a police-themed blowoff match that only really made sense if you knew they were police. I guess technically Castro’s cover was never blown and now Dario’s now around to expose him. Castro eventually found out he was sent there by Vazquez more to stop the Order than Cueto, so there might be a motive for him to stick around in some fashion. There’s no obvious one for Ryan at the moment.
  • Argenis and Vinnie Massaro were also around Season 3 at times, usually just to lose painfully. Massaro found his way into more skits. Argenis had his arm broken by Pentagon and his head sliced open by Marty the last couple of times we saw him. Like all of the lower level Mexican talent, it’s unclear if he was back in season 4. Massaro is definitely part of Season 4, though I fear it will not go any better for him.
  • Pimpinela Escarlata returned at the end of season 3 for a single battle royal but wasn’t used in a segment. We know it was a long process to get Daga cleared to return to the US. I suspect it was the same for Pimpi, and so the match was more a payoff for that, and maybe even hope they’d be taping again soon enough that the work visa would still be valid. That didn’t work out.

There are 3867 frames in the Lucha Underground Season 4 trailer. Let’s break them all down.

Lucha Underground’s Season 4 trailer is being officially released tonight on El Rey, during the regular airing of old episodes in the usual timeslot. It’s upgrade in what they have been doing for promotion, a still image airing for ten seconds between episodes. The new season is five weeks away and they’re starting to turn up the volume.

You don’t really have to wait until tonight to see it though. Lucha Underground did a promotional interview with ESPN about the new season, including quotes form lead writer Chris DeJospeh. The trailer is embedded in there.

If you click thru the article, you’ll notice the season 4 episode count is listed as 22. Vamprio, on the infamous Stone Cold Steve Austin interview, said it was 26 episodes. Other LU sources suggested in that range, so 22 seems like a change. Maybe there will be a lot of extra material placed on the web this time around.

I used VirtualDub to split it up the trailer – which is noticeably hosted on El Rey’s site and not the Lucha Underground one – so let’s what this season has to offer. There’s a lot of images here, so you’ll have to quick the link.

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Lucha Underground has been renewed for a 4th Season on El Rey

Lucha Underground has been renewed for a fourth season on El Rey. The news was announced on Twitter moments ago.

MGM (who produces the show), El Rey (who airs the show) and Lucha Libre FMV (who owns the LU trademarks) had been negotiating on a deal for months. Much like everything else with Lucha Underground, it took a lot longer to get done than anyone was hoping. There was an upcoming deadline for El Rey to renew the show or lose the exclusive rights to it, and it appears that deadline got everyone to agree now rather than risk whatever would’ve been next.

There are expected to be some budget cutbacks. Those are presumed to be coming back in a reduction of the amount and cost of the vignettes based on interviews from people who work on the show, but the exact details are unknown. The idea is they could still do some of those, and try to tell more of the stories in front of the crowd.

There’s a lot of questions left open, and I’m not talking about who Dario was on the phone with:

  • How many episodes will there be? LU has never had a consistent number and no number was announced.
  • When will taping start? LU people have said previously it’ll take about four months to go from green light to taping, which might mean a start date in March 2018. It seems a safe bet the show will continue in LA; there’s been no talk about moving it like there was in previous off seasons. EDIT: A LU press release says “production will start in early 2018.”
  • When will the show start airing? It’s taken between 3 and 6 weeks for post-production on LU in the past, so April is the absolutely earliest LU would be back on the air. It could be latter: El Rey’s strategy is to pair it with other original shows to use LU to promote them, and it may be about when those shows are ready.
  • WHO will be on the show? This is the question that’ll generate the most discussion from now until that first taping. There’s many categories of problems to deal with:
    • People out of contract who are probably not coming back (Prince Puma, Rey Mysterio, Sexy Star, others?)
    • People in contract who do not seem eager to come back (Jeff Cobb’s the name which has come up publicly) – will they have no choice? Will LU do something to make them happy
    • People who were working for AAA but left to work for the Crash (Penta, Fenix, Jack Evans, Daga) or just left (Mascarita Sagrada). LU has said – repeatedly – anyone under contract to is invited back and expected to be part of Season 4. Will AAA try to negotiate that? Will they be able to co-exist with AAA wrestlers and people in charge while being rivals elsewhere?
    • and just the general concept of new people being brought in. How much harder will it be to get US people to sign after the people on the show didn’t get any work for what’s going to be nearly two years? Can LU safely build around people from AAA without worries of visa issues or employment issues that handicapped season 3? LU people would rather deal with these problems than have no show, but it’s going to be a lot of work and some drama to get there.
  • What happens when Season 4 ends? Hope you’re ready to go all thru this again in a year’s time. There’s is part of a larger question – will Lucha Libre FMV be able to generate income out of Lucha Underground in addition the TV show so everyone will be invested in the show continuing? – but there’s nothing indicating a indefinite existence for the show right now. The next contract isn’t guaranteed and there will be another guessing game when this one is done if everything else stays the same. (The one difference is less people might be certain the show is doomed for sure next time around; if LU survived this time, then who knows how long they might keep doing it.)

That roster news will probably start shaking out first. I think there’s people who probably assumed LU was done at this point and may start agitating for a way out of their deal, and maybe even they’ll get it. Taping dates will take a while to come; don’t start worrying about tickets until 2018. I’ll continue to write an obsessive amount of this show in the meantime.

Lucha Underground 3×40: Ultima Lucha Tres – Part IV

he’s amazing

Matches

Matanza defeated El Dragon Azteca (8:27, Wrath of Gods, good)

Mil Muertes defeated Cage & Jeremiah Crane for the gauntlet of the gods

  • Cage Weapon X on Jeremiah Crane (11:33)

  • Mil Muertes Flatliner onto a chair Cage (14:04)

Prince Puma beat Johnny Mundo (c) to win the Lucha Underground Championship and keep his career (18:23, 630 senton, excellent)

Pentagon Dark defeated Prince Puma (c) to win the Lucha Underground Championship and to end Prince Puma’s career while saving his own (8:27, running package piledriver, great)

Developments

two seasons of Dragon Azteca have led up to this

Everything came to an end.

Dario Cueto’s deception of Black Lotus came to an end. Dario had long ago convinced her Dragon Azteca had killed her family, when it was Matanza all along. Lotus returned, attacking Azteca once again to set up a surprise powerbomb on Matanza. Lotus got Dario to admit he was a lair, while also suckering Lotus into an attack from Matanza. Lotus found out the truth, but her shot at revenge seemed to be at an end. Dragon Azteca didn’t fare any better. He technically won the match by being thrown thru the cage, but Dario restarted it and Matanza destroyed Azteca for most of it.

The battle over the gauntlet seems to be concluded. Dario made the three way match an elimination match. All three men were covered in blood even without the help of the super powered gauntlet. Cage finished Crane by suplexing him out of the ring thru two tables and Mil Muertes, then brought him back in for a Weapon X. Mil Muertes was able to catch Cage with a Flatliner on a chair to eliminate him. Dario presented Cage and Catrina with the gauntlet, Muertes posed, the lights went out – and King Cuerno returned to lay out Muertes. Cuerno got revenge on the man who sent him to ambulance one Ultima Lucha ago, and took the gauntlet for himself.

Taya’s documentary wrapped, and we saw it in all of it’s star wipe glory. Thumbs up.

Prince Puma’s quest to win the Lucha Underground Championship for it’s second time reached it’s destination. It didn’t come easy. Worldwide Underground got involved with referee Marty Elias was taken out. They dragged in Rick Knox to make the count, but Prince Puma kept kicking out. Angelico made a surprise return for a safe, clearing on Worldwide Underground once, and then a second time when Ricky Mundo unwisely charged with a kendo stick and was easily disarmed. Puma survived a top rope Moonlight Drive and Fin de Mundo to hit the 630 to win the title and save his career

kaboom

Dario was not done. He revealed one more match: Pentagon Dark cashing in his Gift of the Gods to face Prince Puma. Dario made it career versus career as well. Pentagon broke Puma’s arm early in the match, with Puma wrapping his arm but wrestling one armed most of the way. He still had an opening for the 630, but Vampiro pulled Pentagon out of the way. Pentagon eventually finished off Prince Puma with a running package piledriver to win the title for the first time, and to end Puma’s career. Vampiro put the belt around Pentagon’s wait, and declared the Temple was his as a dejected Puma left.

Lucha Underground concluded with a series of vignettes, similar to season 1:

  • a dejected Prince Puma walked out of the temple one last time, but not before dropping his mask on the floor.

  • King Cuerno back in his trophy room, with the gauntlet as his newest prize

  • Sexy Star, on a red carpet, was given a present by a young girl and warned “she hasn’t forgotten”. The present contained a spider, confirming it wasn’t Cortez/Veneno who resposible for them.

  • Máscarita Sagrada insisted he was not the white rabbit but told the Rabbit Tribe he could take them to him/her/it

  • Fenix & Melissa drove off in Fenix’s firebird, but Catrina had an eye on them (still with feelings for Fenix) – and Crane seemed to be watching all of them

  • In the Reptile Tribe throne room, Pindar was tied down. Daga swung a sword around and, with Kobra Moon telling him he needed only one more thing to become her king, Daga chopped off Pindar’s head. Drago, chained up, didn’t seem to like this much. Daga & Kobra Moons seem to be getting along much better.

  • Matanza is back in his cell. Rey Mysterio is also locked up, as Black Lotus has been in the past.

  • Vampiro told his master that Puma was gone forever and Pentagon was raised to new heights. His Master, a masked man, told Vampiro he did a good job and he (Pentagon?) would soon fall.

  • Dario Cueto apologized to Agent Winter about not getting the gauntlet, but he’ll fix it. Agent Winter told Dario not to worry, Dario’s getting a pass on this. Dario was surprised, but Winter explained it didn’t matter, because Dario would be dead – and shot Dario twice in the gut. Winter said new management would take care of it. Winter left, and Dario grabbed the red phone. He called someone in his dying breath, spoke in Spanish, and passed out. The person on the phone called Dario Jefe, but that’s all I got. (Twitter says Dario said “I need your help”, which sounds right.) It appears Dario Cueto may be dead, but they left it slightly open – the closing sound was a pounding heartbeat drum effect, and then silence.

The show ended with “To Be Continued”, just as the previous seasons did.

Thoughts

when it’s not your day

I don’t even know what to say here. Opener was good for what it was for. Three way match was great (and even a little better live.) Puma/Mundo was outstanding. Pentagon/Puma was thrilling. The stuff they’ve teased all year was cleared up in the last few minutes and unexpected stuff was set up. If you’ve followed this show for the last three seasons, this was everything you wanted in a finale.

Well…maybe you didn’t want Dario dead. They left an out, I hope they take the out, I can’t imaginethis show without Dario. On a night where LU gave us a thing people’ve been wanting for the last 60 or so episodes, Pentagon as champion, they teased one of the things people would least want to happen. It’s a heck of a cliff hanger. Is Dario alive? Who could replace him?

I’m not sure anyone can really replace Prince Puma. His week in, week out strong matches were a major part of season 1, and his performance tonight belongs among those. The match was Mundo was outstanding before and after the interference break (which didn’t really harm the match). Going straight from that to another match with Pentagon working with one arm ratcheted up the difficulty even more. Puma handled it fine. There’s fair reasons to have doubts about how he’ll do in WWE, but don’t forgot what you saw for the last three seasons: this man can get over as a top of promotion star given the opportunity. If WWE doesn’t get the same return out of him that Lucha Underground did, it’s says a lot more about WWE’s weaknesses than about Ricochet’s.

when it IS your day

Pentagon is an ace of a different sort. LU still stubbornly wants him to be the villain, though not a single person in that building wanted to boo him at the end of the night. He’s the charismatic king of a temple full of lunatics, and you can accomplish a lot with that. There’s no obvious next challenger lined up, and even some of the usual suspects have other stuff going on. (Mundo with Angelico, Muertes with Cuero, Fenix with Crane?), and I don’t know exactly what a season 4 title reign would bring Pentagon. But I hope it’d bring him the long, dominate reign people have been waiting for.

There’s so much to talk about, and I can’t cover it all. Matanza might be that next challenger, because he looked impressively dominant in his match. Cage put in the an athletic performance which would be far an away the best on most shows. Aneglico looked great in his return, and I’m hopeful we finally get to see that big match. The vignettes came off great, even if a couple of them – Rey, Sexy Star – made me confused knowing they left open plots for people who they might have known weren’t coming back. (They sure had decided Pindar wasn’t coming back!) On the podcast, a chat room person suggested Vampiro’s master might just be Kevin Kross’ character, and I’m interested in seeing how that plays out.

I really hope it all does. I’ve hoped that all along, but everything about this episode of Lucha Underground made you want to see more episodes of Lucha Underground. I hope Dario and the rest lives a while longer.

Lucha Underground 3×39: Ultima Lucha Tres – Part III

Drago didn’t get a lot in this match, but looked cool when he did

Matches

Sexy Star beat Taya in a last luchadora standing match (9:15, good)

The Mack, Killshot and Dante Fox beat Drago, Vibora and Pindar for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship (7:59, good, Killstomp on Pindar)

Pentagon Dark beat Son of Havoc in a ladder match for the Gift of the Gods (13:58, good)

Developments

Killshot and Dante

Última Lucha is overstuffed with matches, leaving almost no time for vignettes. That was the case again this week, with the only out of the ring bit being a short but important tease at the end of the night.

The show opened with the conclusion of the Sexy Star and Taya last luchadora standing match. It was a brawl, mostly outside of the ring. Taya bled, but still seemed in control most of the match. Sexy Star eventually threw herself and Taya thru two tables, and only Sexy Star was able to get up at the count of nine to win.

The unlikely trio of Mack, Killshot and Dante Fox are the new Lucha Underground Trios champions. Dante didn’t get along with either of his partners early on, but both he and Killshot put aside their differences as they got closer to a win. The opposite happened to the Reptile Tribe, with Pindar not following Kobra Moon’s orders. Pindar was the one swarmed and beaten to cause the title change.

Pentagon defeated Son of Havoc in their ladder match to win the Gift of the Gods title. It appeared as though Pentagon was passing up his best chances at winning by setting up more ways to harm Son of Havoc. Pentagon still managed to knock Havoc to his doom and grab his belt. Striker went out of his way to note early on that the Gift of the Gods winner has to give proper notice to Dario so he can promote the title match. That seemed directed at those who expected Havoc or (now just) Pentagon to get involved in the Puma/Mundo match.

That match was the subject of that match. Prince Puma sat in Vampiro’s dojo as Vampiro urged him to defeat Mundo next week, saving Puma’s career and winning the championship. Puma agreed and left. A mystery voice congratulated Vampiro on a job well done, confirming Vampiro had been manipulating Puma all along to some end. It’s not clear why, but Vampiro refereed to the voice as his “master”.

Thoughts

this is fun, and the only GIF I didn’t make giant by accident

Editing is a big part of Lucha Underground’s story, and a big pat of this episode. All the matches on this episode felt different live then on TV.

The main event sticks out the most. It was not a good match live. It was OK, but it was a lot of ladder construction spots that slowed the action, and no less than three different times where they redid a spot because they knew it could fixed later. They did fix that part (though even here, there’s still a lot of time spent setting up the props.) The big bumps cover up the lack of any real close calls to getting the belt; I wanted more of a competitive match and this turned into a stunt show. They salvaged it well.

They might have hurt the other two, though. Or maybe it’s the clock that hurt the Taya/Sexy Star match. In June 2016, I was not at all interested in this match. When they came out, I saw this a wonderful break, my chance to take a break from standing and craning my head around to see the action. It was around the time where they went flying into chairs where I finally gave up and realized I had to watch these two women killing each other. It felt like the did for a lot longer live than made TV, probably because there are only about 44 minutes in the day, but the episode did capture the intensity which made it memorable. Sexy Star winning was a notable source of controversy on that day, but it came across here as another match where Taya got over with a strong performance in a loss.

fun time with tables

The amped up sound effects is one of the trademarks of this show, but the one match where it felt like maybe the audio wasn’t cranked up enough was the trios title match. The people in that Temple wanted Dante and Killshot to win so bad after the Hell of War, and reacted huge when they did. Maybe it just felt louder in the building, but it came off as a big genuine moment when they won. They at least left them enough time to hold their belts together, and the match itself was better then I recalled. Vibora (the tall one) seemed to get improve just went it was a little too late too matter.

Striker going out of his way to blame Pindar for losing the match seems random, but it matches up with the equally random bit of Matt Riddle saying Steve Pain had been fired from Lucha Underground way back last December. I guess we see if Pindar makes it thru next week intact, or if there’s a guy with a sword coming for him.

The opener was politically interesting too. At that point it happened, AAA was angry with Sexy Star, loved Taya, and would’ve switched that finish if they had control of those things in Lucha Underground. Lucha Underground did what they did either to show AAA doesn’t have that control or as a way to resolve Sexy Star’s feud with Worldwide Underground or maybe both, you decide. Almost exactly a year later, AAA decided they really loved Sexy Star and not so much Taya. Sexy Star is not with AAA now, but no one’s better at convincing promotions she’s worth their time and energy; no one’s better at selling the people in charge that she’s a Star. All logic says this is the last we see of Sexy Star, but all the history says it’s not.

lucha Dante Fox

Next Week

  • 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

Lucha Underground 3×38: Ultima Lucha Tres – Part II

one perfect shot

Matches

The Mack won a 13 person battle royal for a unique opportunity (3:31, OK)

  • 0:33 Vinnie Massaro out
  • 0:39 Son of Madness out
  • 1:06 Joey Ryan out
  • 1:06 Cortez Castro out
  • 1:42 Paul London out
  • 1:51 Mala Suerte out
  • 2:04 Saltador out
  • 2:30 Pimpinela Escarlata out
  • 2:30 Argenis out
  • 2:46 Máscarita Sagrada out
  • 3:17 Ricky Mundo out
  • 3:31 PJ Black out

Ivelisse beat Catrina (6:14, DDT, OK)

Fenix beat Marty Martinez in a mask vs hair match (12:25, springboard 450 splash, great)

Developments

this is mostly here for PJ’s sell

A bloody Fenix was able to finish off Marty, though he only barely survived. Fenix was cut open when Marty ripped up Fenix’s mask, exposed a turnbuckle, and dropped him face first on it. (Fenix’s face was heavily visible during moments in the match.) Fenix got in more of the offense, but was clearly wore down by the significant blood loss as the match went on. As Fenix laid on the match near passed out, Marty pulled the scissors out of his lunch box again. Marty pressed the point into Fenix’s cut and seemed to want to do something even more severe until Melissa got up to the apron and offered to run away with Marty if he would back off. That really didn’t work, but Melissa got in close enough to foul Marty. Fenix bulldozed Marty with a kick to the back of the head and finished him off with a cross rope springboard 450.

Marty attempted to flee up the stairs to escape his hair cut, but he was cut off by an unlikely enemy: Mariposa. Marty had earlier shoved his sister in the way of a Fenix dive and Mariposa had walked out on him. Mariposa returned to cut off Marty’s escape, handcuff him to the railing, and hand scissors to Melissa. Marty’s hair was cut and shaved before the show by the victorious couple went off the air.

Speaking of couples, Ivelisse and Jeremiah Crane sure aren’t one any more. The episode began with them arguing backstage, Crane having apparently told Ivelisse he was interested in someone else. Ivelisse was even not thrilled to find it was Catrina, and even less thrilled when Crane called her a bitch. Crane took a kick into and thru some lockers.

a personal inspiration

The Ivelisse/Catrina match went on as planned, with Mil Muertes only appearing at the start of the match, and leaving the rock in a box in Catrina’s corner. Catrina didn’t need that at first, she found other weapons to use. Catrina escaped from Ivelisse into Dario’s office, waited for Ivelisse to kick the door down, and smashed a bottle over Ivelisse’s head. Catrina broke two additional bottles over Ivelisse’s skull, causing her to bleed significantly the rest of the match. Ivie still was the superior fighter and rallied back. Catrina grabbed the rock in desperation, but it appeared to have no special powers in this match. It was still a rock, and Ivelisse conked Catrina with it before finishing her off with a DDT.

Ivelisse didn’t have much time to celebrate though. Crane attacked her from behind with a hammer, targeting one of her previously broken ankles with his blows. It wasn’t exactly clear if Crane did it because of his new hate for Ivelisse or his old love for Catrina. Maybe both.

The opening battle royal was mostly focused on Pimpinela’s return to the Temple. On a run of serious matches and episodes, she brought a nice bit of levity with her. The Mack won the match with a stunner on PJ Black, then was told by Dario of what he won: a trios title shot next week. That’s the good news. The bad news is Dario picked his team: Killshot and Dante Fox. Dario himself wondered if they’d be healthy enough to put a fight, or get along at all.

Thoughts

this was a pretty good shot too

No one’s more willing to bleed for the sake of an epic match than Fenix on Lucha Underground. He lost so much blood in Grave Consequences, and he must have lost more here. It wasn’t a drip, it was a steady flow. Both he and the mat seemed splattered with blood. There was a wrestling match in between the puddles. Fenix wrestled great as usual, and Marty did his best job of merging his character and his wrestling. This wasn’t the video game athletic match Fenix can do with others, but Marty was there for him enough to do the big moves, and the stuff that didn’t really rely on acrobatics (the running kicks) looked devastating. The Mariposa turn was quick and probably means almost nothing given they’ve kind of broken up and gottne back together before, but it was mostly out of the way. Melissa looked the part. The finish was over the top melodramatic, but this is a melodrama so that was fine for me. I really liked the haircut getting on air; this is easily the best the show has treated an apuesta match, and about as well as anyone does them. Striker pointed out early that Fenix had never lost an Ultima Lucha match and I wonder if that’ll be a streak of emphasis if there’s another Ultima Lucha.

Ivelisse and Catrina was better than the battle royal, even if I had them both OK. It was a totally satisfactory match for someone who’s not wrestling that much and someone who’s coming back for an injury. It just wasn’t on the level of other matches I thought were good. The crowd brawling and the bottle shots (where one will work, do three) got them around doing much stuff in the ring. I was a little distressed about how attractive I found these two women covered in blood, to be honest. If there’s a Season 4, I hope we get a better run for Ivelisse, but the attack at the end makes me a little concerned she might have been written out.

Not only was Pimpinela doing comedy, Dario contributed by saying The Mack had beaten some of the best luchadors in the Temple. I saw people jumping out of the ring after getting kissed, and the kisser falling out of the ring after an armdrag, I’m not quite sure this is the best they have to offer. Now that I know this aired, I’m disappointed Aerostar didn’t get one last in-ring appearance. I hope we see him in a vignette before Ultima Lucha is over, because the last shot of him getting his arm snapped would be kinda sad. I hope they remember Mack & Killshot started out as friends, and I suspect they will.

me making gratuitous use of slow(er) motion so you could see the shot

The episode guide preview hadn’t mentioned that trios title match specifically for either week, so I assumed it was airing the final week. Instead, as you’ll see below, we’ve got three matches for a one hour show, and three hours for a two hour show. That can’t be right. There hasn’t been much out of the ring stuff down the stretch. There usually is on the final night, and those final matches are probably getting a lot of time. Still…I guess we’ll see what plays out.

Still Left In Ultima Lucha 3

episode 104 (October 11, Ultima Lucha Week 3)

  • The Mack, Killshot, Dante Fox vs Vibora, Pindar, Drago for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship
  • 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?)

  • 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

Lucha Underground 3×37: Ultima Lucha Tres – Part I

a war

Matches

Dr. Wagner & Famous B beat Texano (4:24, Famous B inside cradle, ok)

Killshot defeated Dante Fox in the Hell of War (25:13, two falls to one, excellent)

  1. first blood: Dante Fox backdrop Killshot thru a glass panel to cause him to bleed (10:20)
  2. no DQ Killshot Storm Cradle Driver: (6:12)
  3. stretcher match: Killshot places Dante into the stretcher (8:41)

Developments

purposefully avoiding using the finishes as GIFs, you should watch the show yourself to understand these reactions

This show had one match mostly about plot developments and one almost not at all. I mean, Killshot definitely did win the feud over Dante Fox, but that wasn’t the the biggest issue in the moment.

The opener, which appeared to exist just to be something completely different, saw Famous B finally win Texano’s contract. B got a little help from Dario, who made it a real handicap match. B got a little help from the returning (and still masked) Dr. Wagner Jr., though Wagner was visually pinned by Texano before realizing B was the legal match. B got a lot of help from Brenda, who’s flirting with Texano most of the season paid off with a kiss here, and that kiss led to B rolling up Texano for the win. Texano seemed upset about the predicament to end the segment.

The Hell of War was the most ultraviolent style match in the history of Lucha Underground, even outpacing the light tubes of Cero Miedo. Dante found a pane of glass and brought it to ringside to tease a big move off the apron to cut Killshot, brought it inside later, and reversed a Killshot move to send the masked wrestler back first thru the glass to cut him. Dante pulled out barbed wire from underneath the ring during the second fall, but was driven thru it by Killshot, then dropped on his for the tie fall. Killshot seemed enroute to having the third fall won when he had Dante strapped to the stretcher, but went for a double stomp off a railing for even more punishment. This led to a few moves on the stretcher, with barely survived. Dante barely survived as well. He and Killshot fought up to the music platform, with Killshot surprising Dante with a bottle to the end, and Dante taking the plunge off the stage and thru glass to the floor. Killshot picked Dante up and placed him in the ambulance to win the match. Announcers said the feud was over, but praised Dante’s performance in the match.

Thoughts

Dante Fox is the best possible Rob Van Dam

This was incredible. The Lo Mein Pain on the ladder would be a crazy moment in a normal match. It was a normal moment in an utterly crazy match. The effort matched the spectacle Killshot and Dante Fox were two men who wanted to steal Ultima Lucha with their match and completely succeeded. The long length legdrop and the springboard into a Spanish Fly made this match memorable even outside the props. They made the most of what those props too, teasing the moments out so they meant a lot when they happened, and making them feel big when they occurred. The first fall was all chair focused, pushing the importance of cutting each other open to win the fall. The glass pane started on the floor so they could tease a big plunge into it, so they could prepare the fans for the moment when they actually did that plunge two falls later. The barbed wire had near misses, came off a big move, and went into a decisive finish. The end was definitely the end.

This match, a lot like Cero Miedo, is not for everyone. The blood is uncomfortable, the glass is uncomfortable, the barbed wire is uncomfortable, and the piece of Fox’s flesh left behind on the stretcher is super uncomfortable. I don’t want to see this style of match normally, I’m not going to be happy with the lesser imitations that are going to be done, and I hope this is not the style either man has to wrestle in the future. I won’t argue with anyone saying it was too much or maybe not that great idea, because I was considering those same ideas when it happened (and I didn’t even see what Dante laid behind live.)

 

this is a finish most day

If you’re going to do this kind of match, I prefer you make the most out of it. Dante Fox & Kilslhot made the most out of it, at least the most that can be made out of something on a third season episode of Lucha Underground, and both should be made men going forward. Killshot won and Killshot went two for two in big matches on this season, he’s got to be in store for more. Shane Strickland’s even better now, a year removed from this insanity. But this was really Dante Fox’s night, a LU version of Mick Foley’s 1998 King of the Ring performance that should follow him around forever. The last third of the season was a Dante Fox’s breakout performance, just as strong as Pentagon & Fenix in season 1. If they can come back for a Season 4, he should absolutely be on their level. They don’t even need to turn him face; that win was the turn.

(For what it’s worth, the glass appeared to be sugar when I grabbed a small bit of it from the ring after the match. I was wrong, and LU says it was tempered glass. Still cut them – and Rich Knox! – pretty well.)

As for the other match: it was weird at the time that Texano and Wagner came off as minor figures on this show. This was taped right before they were in the TripleMania title match (with Cage), and they were in a few minute comedy match. Now, it seems about normal for how they’re used on the show. Texano & Wagner as two-thirds of a trio (with Famous B or another partner) might work, and it’s not like they’re going anywhere on their own.

Dante lost his head in this one

Still To Come On Ultima Lucha 3

episode 103 (October 4, Ultima Lucha Week 2)

  • Ivelisse vs Catrina
  • a unique opportunity battle royal with Paul London, Saltador, Mala Suerte, Argenis, Cortez Castro, Son of Madness, Vinnie Massaro, The Mack, Joey Ryan, Ricky Mundo, PJ Black, Mascarita Sagrada, and Pimpinela Escarlata
  • Fenix vs Marty the Moth, mask vs hair

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

Lucha Underground 3×36: The Rise of the Ring Announcer

Fenix is an unheralded mixed tag wrestler

Matches

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)

Developments

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.

this didn’t go as well for Melissa

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.

king me legdrop

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.

Thoughts

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.

“jumper” jumping

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.

Dante rolling

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