Lucha Underground (1×38, Ultima Lucha, Part 1)

why not?

matches

Cage defeated the Mack in a falls count anywhere match (7:42, curbstomp thru a concrete block, GREAT)

Trece, Barrio Negro, Siniestro de la Muerte [O] defeated Angelico, Son of Havoc, Ivelisse [X] (c) to win the Lucha Underground Trios Championship (6:19, pinfall, OK)

Drago defeated Hernandez in a Believer’s Backlash match (8:46, top rope splash, good)

developments

I’d hate to be that wall

Black Lotus related story book-ended the show. The show began with Lotus revealed to still be in a cell, working out in preparation of freedom it doesn’t look like she’ll ever get. Dario Cueto checked up on her, and relayed quite a bit of plot. Lucha Underground isn’t the first experience his family has had with combat sports: his father made his money in underground fightning, using Matanza “the Monster” Cueto as his fighter. Dario also claimed it wasn’t Matanza who killed Lotus’ parents, but Dragon Azteca himself. (Black Lotus’s father led a triad in Hong Kong, who were at war with Dragon Azteca’s mercenaries, and set this all up for the irony of using one enemies’ daughter to kill another.) Lotus seemed like she might believe Dario’s story.

Dragon Azteca showed up at the temple to close the show, but was prevented in from a mystery man in a white hoodie. (The white hoodie guy was taller than Dragon Azteca and appeared to be light skinned.) Dragon Azteca blamed himself for Lotus being captured, White Hoodie told him Puma had freed Lotus once and could do it again, but Dragon Azteca said Puma had other things to do now. White Hoodie offered to do it himself, but Dragon Azteca insisted on doing it himself. The White Hoodie warned ‘the prophecy’ said Dragon Azteca would die if he entered the temple. Dragon Azteca said he may die, but “El Dragon Azteca” would never die.

A lot less plot in the matches, which were just good matches where people won or didn’t win. There’s nothing you need to know from Cage and Mack, besides Mack has a good Stone Cold impression. There’s nothing you’d be surprised by in Hernandez and Drago: the lumberjacks all refused to attack Drago and very enthusiastically attacked an overwhelmed Hernandez. Angelico made his big leap in the trios title match, but the match turned on the stone. Catrina used the mystical power of the stone to raise her team from death (or semi-consciousness), and she used the physical aspect of it being a STONE to whack Ivelisse in the head to set up the win.

Ultima Lucha matches remaining

Angelico flies

Prince Puma (c) faces Mil Muertes for the Lucha Underground championship
Alberto del Rio versus Johnny Mundo
Fenix vs Sexy Star vs Aerostar vs Big Ryck vs Jack Evans vs King Cuerno vs Bengala for the Gift of the Gods
Pentagon Jr. vs Vampiro in a Cero Miedo match
Texano Jr. versus Blue Demon Jr.
(they also taped a battle royal; the commercial for next week indicated it’ll air.)

thoughts

Hernandez takes a shot back at the internet

Cage dropped down a little bit after his really big start. Most of that has come on the two losses to the Mack. This win, and how it came about, should raise him right back up and maybe bring Mack with him. Both guys looked outstanding, destroying each other and any door that happened to be in the way. The beer bash was hilarious and the cinderblock finish looked brutal, and this was a really good start to UltimaLucha.

LU is not most wrestling promotions, so this may be a vast coincidence, but the original story of LU letting Hernandez amicable leaving the promotion after season one made complete sense. Hernandez had a title program, lost to a midcard, and really didn’t have any direction left for him in Season 2. This didn’t have to be it, but it wouldn’t cause any problems if it was it. But then everything had to get messed up.

It’s pretty cruel the match where Angelico, Son of Havoc and Ivelisse won the trios titles also may have ended their reign. Ivelisse still hadn’t gained any mobility back at this point – in real time, she just starting wrestling again this past week – and even limping over to face off against Catrina look like immense struggle. The tornado rules allowed the Angelico dive to happen organically, but it also made this match a harder to take seriously competitive. (The numbers didn’t feel as overwhelming in the ladder match, for whatever reason. It felt like it hard more form to it.)

Hernandez had a really bad day

The Disciples sharp new masks looked great. Striker really emphasized the power of the stone, telling us how Catrina raising the stone raised them up, and Catrina dropping the stone made them drop. He said all this, but we mostly just saw Catrina during it. I don’t mind looking at Catrina, but it was very odd we didn’t see the Disciples actually doing those things (which seemed to be actually happening, but off camera.) I do enjoy the stone as a punching people device.

The strap match is now obviously the end for Hernandez, but it didn’t seem as clear as a ending for him as I had pictured. He still got to look strong, he still got to escape Drago’s cradle, he could’ve come back pointing out he had the numbers way against him (and maybe that inspires him to start a trio or something.) It still does work as an end, and it worked as the match. The lumberjacks did not hold back at all, didn’t seem nervous, and appeared totally dedicated to their job of strapping Hernandez just as hard as they possible could. I don’t know if this match was Hernandez’s idea or someone else’s idea, but Hernandez seemed to pretty much regret the idea after just the first time out. It was some good relief in the match and it set up Drago’s comeback well. I don’t think that match works nearly as well without the lumberjacks out there and maybe that’s a first time ever thing for a lumberjack strap match.

Progression, even sometimes confusing progression, is a welcome sight. I’m not sure who the white hoodie man is, but I’m guessing he’ll end up being the new Dragon Azteca by the time next week is up. Saying the Cueto’s were involved in underground fighting actually weirdly grounds Matanza and this whole storyline more to reality (or at least comic back reality?) more than it has in the past. That’s a good thing. They moved the story far enough along that it feels like they get a good conclusion out of it, though I also suspect it’s something intended to carry into season 2.

Hernandez has to get out of this temple!

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CMLL on CadenaTres: 2015-07-11 

Recapped: 07/07-14/15

Match 1: Bengala & Robin vs Cholo & Espanto Jr.
Arena México, 07/07/2015

triangular del Solar (or Bengala)
  1. rudos
    • Espanto top rope splash Bengala (4:51)
    • Cholo cradle suplex Robin (5:03)
  2. tecnicos
    • Bengala triangular del solar Espanto (2:23)
    • Robin senton con giro Cholo (2:55)
  3. tecnicos
    • Robin sit down powerbomb Espanto Jr. (2:36)
    • Bengala satellite armbar Cholo (3:17)

Winner: tecnicos (2-1)
Match Time: 11:15

Review: [ok] Disposable opening match. Bengala was solid as usual, but Espanto didn’t show as much as he had in other matches. Cholo’s existence is still amusing but there’s not a lot to say about this match.

satellite armbar

Match 2: Leono, Star Jr., Stigma vs Cancerbero, Metálico, Raziel
Arena México, 07/07/2015

Star Jr. :(
  1. tecnicos
    • Stigma torito Raziel (6:50)
  2. tecnicos
    • Star Jr. hammerlock Cancerbero (4:30)
    • Leono headscissors cradle Metalico (5:47)

Winner: tecnicos (2-0)
Match Time: 12:37
Notes: Star Jr.’s return from an injury in training.

Review: [below average] never really got rolling, tough return by Star, tough finish by Leono, Stigma stumbled a couple times in between, really short and wasn’t good while it lasted. There are better Cancerberos matches, and there are sure a lot of Metalico ones.

tecnicos take the match, somehow

Match 3: Fuego, Super Porky, Volador Jr. vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Pierroth, Vangellys
Arena México, 07/07/2015

Porky (and Volador) running
  1. rudos
    • Vangelis northern lights suplex Volador Jr. (4:53)
  2. técnicos
    • Fuego Flashina Vangellys (2:52)
  3. técnicos
    • Super Porky back splash Dragon Rojo & Pierroth (5:11)

Winner: técnicos (2-1)
Match Time: 12:56
Review: [below average] a Super Porky match; crowd enjoyed it, it’s the same thing you’ve seen on TV every week, and everyone else took a night off. Fuego had a bad blown spot in the third, probably wishes he took the night off. The other five guys did very little, probably should’ve done very little, but it didn’t make for much to watch.

Volador slingshot headscissors
not quite the smoothest armdrag

Stellar Moments

La Combinacion: Pequeño Olímpico German suplex, Mercurio cradle on Astral

El Castigo: Astral & Eléctrico sliding dropkicks on Pequeño Olimpico & Mercurio

El Triunfo: Shockercito reinera on Pequeño Olímpico

La Llave: Mística on Mephisto

Lo Espectacular: triple dive by Místico, Valiente and Dragon Lee

Match 4: Ángel de Oro, Dragon Lee, Mistico vs Kamaitachi, Mephisto, Pólvora
Arena México, 07/07/2015

CMLL video thinks Kamaitachi and Naito are the same guy.
  1. rudos
    • Mephisto Devil’s Wings Místico (2:29)
  2. técnicos
    • Místico la Mistica Mephisto (2:38)
  3. rudos
    • DQ Angel de Oro [foul on Pólvora] (5:48)

Winner: rudos
Match Time: 10:55
Notes: Kamaitachi’s video includes a shot of Naito because I guess all the Japanese guys are the same. Angel de Oro and Pólvora fight during the match, and Angle de oro fouls and unmasked Pólvora to end the match.

Mistico realizes his role as set up man

Review: [ok] best match on the show, though that’s not high praise. The first of this one wasn’t that good either, as the rudos beating up the técnicos in uninspiring fashion dragged. Things picked up after the comeback. Angel de Oro & Pólvora had generic exchanges; following that up with the much better Kamaitachi/Dragon Lee battles illustrated a big difference between the two. Dragon Lee & Místico show promise as a team, if only for all the spots where Místico sets up a big Dragon Lee spot.

don’t stop to taunt!
Dragon Lee over the top headscissors

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Lucha Underground 1×37: PenUltimaLucha

Prince Puma

matches

Texano Jr. defeated Johnny Mundo (5:50, DQ when the Crew ran in, GOOD)
The Mack defeated Cage (0:42, corner sunset flip, OK)
Fenix regained his Aztec Medallion (OK)

  • Ricky Mandell eliminated (0:42, thrown by Famous B)
  • Argenis eliminated (0:53, thrown by Famous B)
  • Killshot eliminated (1:50, shoved off the top by DelAvar Daivari)
  • Vincenzo Massaro eliminated (2:34, stunner by DelAvar Daivari)
  • Super Fly eliminated (2:47, monkey flip by Mascarita Sagrada)
  • Mascarita Sagrada eliminated (2:47, self elimination)
  • Famous B eliminated (3:30, slid out by DelAvar Daivari & Marty Martinez)
  • DelAvar Daivari eliminated (4:01, by Fenix)
  • Fenix pinned Marty Martinez (“huracanrana” 7:09)

17 gifs from the show

developments

Famous B wrecking people

The mystery of the medallions was finally explained on this show. Dario Cueto explained the seven medallion holders would fight at Ultima Lucha for a new belt, the Gift of the Gods. The holder of the belt can challenge for the Lucha Underground championship at any time, though they must inform Dario to give him at least a week to promote it. (“No cash-ins.”) The belt can be defended and the title shot can change hands. The medallions come back off the belt once it’s used, and begin being handed out again to repeat the process.

Six luchadors stepped in to attach their medallions to the belt. (Magnets!) Jack Evans, Aerostar, King Cuerno, Sexy Star, Bengala and Big Ryck all placed their medallions on the belt. Ryck was given his Medallion earlier in the show, as part of Dario trying to patch up their relationship. (Big Ryck also took some money.) Fenix was not there, with Dario happily noting Fenix had been destroyed by Mil Muertes.

Dario announced a battle royal (with the final two going to pinfall/submission) to determine the new holder of the Medallion. Fenix came out before Dario went any farther. He did not get the Medallion back, but did get placed in the battle royal – which he won, against some of the lower ranked LU competitors. No one quite explained why Fenix was late.

Dario had a busy night. He explained Ultima Lucha would in fact begin next week. (The August 5th show remains two hours; they’re expanding it.) Cage versus the Mack will be added to that show in falls count anywhere match, after Mack’s flash pin over Cage led to them brawling around the arena and laying out security. Dario promised to put any stray item he had laying around at ringside so they could use it too.

the CGI on this show is so life like

That wasn’t all for Dario: he informed Hernandez that the Lucha Underground fans on Twitter hated him. Hernandez wasn’t concerned until Dario decided to let those fans participate. Next week’s match will be a lumberjack strap match with the fans as lumberjacks (“Believer’s Backlash”.) Hernandez main concern was Dario having good insurance, suggested he wouldn’t be afraid to fight back.

The opener of the show was a competitive match between Texano & Johnny Mundo. Texano looks to have a chance to win until Mr. Cisco and Cortez Castro ran into attack him. Alberto made a surprising save, wanting to get after Alberto himself. Alberto and Texano were left alone in the wrong and had a testy staring contest before Alberto left.

The show was to end with a Prince Puma promo. Of course, that didn’t happen – Catrina and Mil Muertes interrupted before Puma said one word. They were the distraction to a Disciples of Death attack, but Puma fought them out and challenged Muertes to take him on right now. Muertes did, but Puma also took him out and landed the 630 senton to end the show. Striker pushed the idea of Konnan not being around; it’s unclear if he’ll be back for the title match.

Ultima Lucha Card (07/29 & 08/05)

Fenix launches himself into a tope con giro
  1. Prince Puma (c) versus Mil Muertes for the Lucha Underground championship
  2. Aerostar vs Jack Evans vs Bengala vs Big Ryck vs Sexy Star vs Fenix vs King Cuerno for the Gift of the Gods championship
  3. Johnny Mundo versus Alberto el Patron
  4. Angelico, Son of Havoc and Ivelisse (c) versus the Disciples of Death for the Lucha Underground Trios championship
  5. Vampiro versus Pentagon Jr. in a Cero Miedo match
  6. Hernandez versus Drago in a Believer’s Backlash match
  7. Blue Demon Jr. versus Texano
  8. the Mack versus Cage in a falls count anywhere match

The Mack/Cage was explicitly said to be taking place next week. They were less clear on the other ones, but they’re listed in the preview for next week. It probably will not be announced, but there will also be a ‘everyone who doesn’t have a match’ battle royal along the way.

thoughts

springboard kick on target

If the last one was kind of simple, this one was extremely busy. New belt, new match, new stipulation, new extra hour to the finale. There were matches too. Texano/Mundo was really fun while it lasted and something I’d enjoy seeing again down the road. They mixed well together, with Texano looking the best he’s been as a face and Mundo’s rudo antics working. They gave the Alberto/Texano staredown a moment to make sure everyone saw, and understood they weren’t still friends, which was nice. It’s like them going over the UltimaLucha card one more time, just giving time to make sure everyone knew what’s going and what’s coming up.

The battle royal had some good moments and some not as good. We got to see the alternate universe where Famous B was one of the top guys in the promotion, and it was not bad. It’s surprising to see Marty get the spotlight at the end instead Killshot or Daivari. It didn’t quite work out with the finish at the end (which looked like it was originally something much more complex, and even the cover up cradle they did should’ve been retried.)

Big Ryck getting a medallion like he did felt like they just ran out of time. Fenix got a big win after his long absence seemingly just to re-establish him as an important figure after his long absence. Big Ryck hasn’t been gone, but – as Dario noted – he hasn’t been a big figure since those early episodes. Ryck’s just been winning a lot of matches for Dario’s opponents.

I didn’t like doing the Prince Puma promo fakeout. It acknowledges how weird it is that he never talks, which doesn’t seem like something they’re going to ever address. They needed an excuse to do the fight and didn’t want to do the faceoff, but it’s a bait and switch. (And since the Mack/Cage match was a bit of a nonmatch, it was the second one on the show where they also had a DQ.)

Vinny made the GIFs!

It’s probably not as much an issue for most people, but I hope there’s an explanation of why Fenix was late and had to be in the battle royal (besides “they wanted to do a battle royal”.) That seems like too inexplicable to be ignored, and they usually go somewhere with those sorts of things.

The Mack/Cage post match brawl was good, but probably suffers a little bit by having the bad timing to come a couple days after Undertaker & Brock did a similar deal. (I think there’s a good chance Cage & Mack have a better match.)

The whole idea of the Aztec Medallions/Gift of the Gods title is interesting and opens up possibilities for the future. There are very clearly defined ways to get a title shot in Lucha Underground, and this opens up a new one without needing Puma to get beat or laid out to do so.

The fight at the end was fun. Mil Muertes is the killer, but the one big change they’ve made with Mil v2.0 is Catrina’s more obviously the one running the show. She’s not his valet, he’s her weapon.

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