Lucha Underground 1×20: The Art of War

Angelico corner tope con giro

the matches

Son of Havoc b Angelico (6:39, shooting star press, good)
Alberto el Patron (c) b Texano Jr. to retain the AAA World Mega Heavyweight Championship (8:22, armscissors over the ropes, great)
Prince Puma (c) b Son of Havoc to retain the Lucha Underground Championship (12:13, 630 senton, great)

the developments

Ivelisse, in an angrier mood than usual, spent the match yelling at Havoc (and occasionally the referee.) Announcers pushed that Havoc was showing marked improvement and wondered if Ivelisse’s behavior was causing it. Son of Havoc didn’t think so, pausing to dump Ivelisse before hitting the shooting star press for the win. Ivelisse couldn’t believe it, and took out her anger with a kick to Angelico when he tried to flirt again after the match.

table explodes

The rules for the bullrope, as explained by Striker, were victory by pinfall, submission or touch all four corners. Neither man attempted to touch the corners, but they did take advantage of the lack of disqualification. Texano brought a chair and table into play, and both men used the cowbell in the center of the rope on each other. Alberto won by using his cross armbreaker while hanging backwards over the ropes, a move which would not be legal in a normal match.

In his office, Dario signed Hernandez to a deal and noted he would not be limited to a tag team in Lucha Underground. Dario also told Hernandez that Konnan convinced Dario on the merits of Hernandez. Hernandez seemed satisfied but not completely on the same page as Dario. Later, Hernandez happened on Puma and Konnan while they were warming up for the title match. Konnan greeted him warmly, bringing up their time to get as part of LAX, but Puma seemed a little wary. Hernandez watched the main event from the front row. (Striker and Vampiro were surprised to see him and not sure why he was there; it’s clear they haven’t been seeing the vignettes.) Dario presented a new Lucha Underground championship belt before the match.

crazy SSP (and great angle too)

Cage and Puma brawled and used weapons in the street fight main event. Puma impressed, but missed the 630 senton. Much like their last match, Cage powerbombed Puma into oblivion and rained punches from the mount. Konnan did not throw in the towel, but could not as Cage had knocked Konnan down prior. Cage could’ve gone for the pin, but instead beat up Puma more, and seemed to pick a fight with Hernandez. (Hernandez had not gotten involved in anyway, Cage just saw him and challenged him too.) Herandnez got on the apron, allowing Konnan to sneak in and hit Cage with the new cane as he turned around. Puma recovered, landed the 630 senton, and remained champion.

Stray Thoughts

No tribute to Perro.

I actually read the Art of War last summer. Figured I’d heard enough wrestling promos about it, might as well just read it myself. It’s not that long; it’s the background pieces and scholarly discussion about what the words actually were supposed to mean at the time that take forever to get thru. It’s all about convincing your army they have no choice but to win, and put it in the best position to win. Putting Prince Puma and Cage in a street fight didn’t figure to be the best situation for Cage to win a street fight, but maybe Konnan figured all along that he’d eventually have a shot to use that cane at a key moment. It seemed like Cage beat himself in the end; Hernandez wasn’t going to get involved until Cage prompted him.

The dynamics of the Angelico/Son of Havoc/Ivelisse triangle seemed very changed even to start. Son of Havoc was an underdog cult favorite tecnico from the start of the match, and only solidified by dumping Ivelisse and winning. Ivelisse was much more antagonistic than in past matches. Angelico was neutral, but kind had the rudo role in the match.

Puma goes a long way on the springboard 450 splash

Alberto and Texano was good and different than the other matches they’ve done in Mexico. One constant in Lucha Underground is the stipulation matches always emphasis the aspects making it different from other matches. The bull rope match had a ton of rope spots (Bruce Dickinson would be happy with the amount of cowbell) and a finish that wouldn’t happen in a normal match. Kind of the same thing in the street fight too.

Announcers pushed the finality of the matches – the two title matches were going to settle the issue. They gave the impression that Havoc and Ivelisse were done with each other too. And sure enough, next week is something slightly different…

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Lucha Underground 1×18: No Escape

landing is the worst part

the matches

Pentagon Jr. b Argenis (5:03, standing surfboard armbar)
Angelico b Ivelisse (6:12, spinning kick to the head)
Johnny Mundo b King Cuerno in a cage match (13:40, top of the cage tornillo moonsault)

the developments

Dr. Striker updated us on the injury status of Pentagon Jr.’s past victims
Famous B – UCL reconstruction
Ricky Mandell – humerus, clavicle, scapula reconstructed
Vinny Massaro – no info known yet

Argenis controlled the early portion of the match, but Pentagon came back to destroy him and broke his arm.

Ivelisse makes head spin

Announcers were unaware Son of Havoc would be referee until he appeared for the match. Ivelisse got in some nice offense, but was helped by Angelico not wanting to hurt her adn Son of Havoc blatantly helping her. In the end, Iveisse got annoyed by the help, and an Angelico kick meant for Havoc got her instead. The story seemed more about Angelico foiling Havoc & Ivelisse’s plans than any breakup between them.

Mundo and Cuerno destroyed each other in the cage. Cuerno had a chance to escape, but it would’ve taken falling out of his mask to the floor and he did not do it. Mundo had a chance to escape, but instead pulled off the moonsault to win.

Catrina warned Fenix that the only way to get rid of Mil Muertes would be to bury him. In a separate segment, Catrina reminded Mil Muertes that they first met on the day of the earthquake, the day Mil embraced the persona of Mil Muertes, but told him all must come to an end. Catrina told Mil Muertes she would have Fenix put him in a coffin in a Grave Consequences match next week, trapping him again like he was in the earthquake. Catrina seemed to appear and disappear like a phantom in these segments

Another Konnan Vengeance promo aired.

thoughts

just craziness

Argenis actually looked better with Fenix than Pentagon, which is not something I would’ve ever bet on. He was still fine and they got the purpose of the match over.

Angelico/Ivelisse was not near as bad as suggested in the reports. It was also definitely edited; they left a little bit of Angelico flirting in there, but played down or edited out other elements. (His suggestive cover on Ivelisse was about partly got the far away video camera treatment.)

Main event was Great, easily among the best matches they’ve had on this show. Putting them in a cage would seem to take away some of their usual offense, but they did a lot of fun side of the cage spots that made it worked. They took advantage of the environment and the tight spaces to pull off moves that wouldn’t normally work. It was worked as a completely even match where either man could’ve won. Mundo is clearly on a higher tier than Cuerno and did decisively won in the end, but not before both men looked great.

that needs to be on the King Cuerno all time highlight reel

The Grave Consequences match was played up in a special commercial for the episode. All the reports from the show suggested this was a big deal match and we got to see a little tease of it.

This was another quality show.

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