Lucha Underground (December 17, 2014)

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Things kick off this week with a video package summarizing what went down last week with Chavo and Sexy Star as well as the ladder match between Johnny Mundo, Price Puma and Big Ryck. We get some credits and then it’s to the Temple for Lucha action!

There are a heap of dudes in the ring as Dario Cueto comes out of his office. Dario takes off his shades revealing a black eye from where he got deck by Johnny Mundo last week. The fans boo, but it doesn’t even phase Dario who’s like, “I love you too.”

He does his “I’m Dario Cueto and I own Lucha Underground,” spiel before saying that there were going to be a pair of ten man matches and the winner of each match would be given a unique opportunity that was better even than a briefcase of $100,000. Let’s Lucha!

Match 1: Prince Puma vs. Big Ryck vs. Drago vs. Mascarita Sagrada vs. Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. King Cuerno vs. Super Fly vs. Son of Havoc vs. El Mariachi Loco
This is a ten way match. One fall to a finish. So needless to say there’s a shit ton of stuff going on here.

The match begins with everyone rushing Big Ryck. After Ryck tosses everyone off, it’s Mascarita Sagrada who steps up to face Ryck one on one while everyone else sells death. Sagrada holds his own for awhile but the Ryck just tosses him to the ground.

El Mariachi Loco and Pentagon Jr. hit a pair of dropkicks on Ryck. He seems to be the guy to beat in this match since he’s really the only one everyone teams up against at any point in this match.

Drago and Cuerno kind of seem more concerned with continuing their feud than they did with winning a unique opportunity since they basically brawl one another and kind of ignore the other competitors.

A bunch of dudes do flips n’ shit to the outside clearing the ring except for Son of Havoc and Prince Puma. Puma’s ribs are all taped up due to injuries suffered in the ladder match last week. He and Son of Havoc flip around in the ring for awhile until Puma nails a hurricanrana. Puma’s bandages start coming undone so he looks like a wrestling mummy or perhaps Yeti. He then dives to the floor and takes out the heap of dudes that are selling death out there and rips off his bandages. Vampiro does not think this is smart.

Back in the ring Ryck is going on a rampage, leveling dudes with clotheslines n’ shit. Drago goes for a cross body block but Ryck catches him and chucks him into Loco and Super Fly. He clotheslines more dudes until Puma and Fenix double team him and kick him out of the ring.

Fenix and Puma trade kicks. Fenix goes to the top rope but Puma follows him up for a superplex only for Cuerno to get involved. TOWER OF DOOM! All three dudes are down so Son of Havoc shows up and hits a shooting star press. He goes for the pin, but Super Fly breaks it up. Super Fly hits a moonsault and goes for a pin of his own only to have it broken up by Drago.

Drago locks on the Dragon’s Tail or whatever his weird pin/submission hold thing is called, but Super Fly escapes. Cuerno’s back in it and he and Drago square off. Cuerno nails Drago with his finisher which I guess is called the Thrill of the Hunt and goes for a cover but Loco makes the save. Pentagon Jr. hits a musclebuster on Loco and goes for a pin. Mascarita Sagrada kicks Pentagon in the head and goes for a pin after a sunset flip powerbomb. Puma breaks the pin attempt and gorilla press slammed Sagrada. Big Ryck turns Puma inside out with a clothesline.

Everyone gangs up on Ryck again. Everyone hits kicks n’ shit before things break down again and everyone ends up on the outside save for Ryck, Fenix and Puma. Fenix hits Ryck with a 619. Puma kicks Fenix and then goes up top and hits a 450 splash on Ryck.

Fenix is on his feet and hits Puma with a tilt-a-whirl DDT before Puma can go for the cover. Puma somehow kicks out at two, but he’s spent. Fenix gets Puma up and destroys him with an inverted piledriver for the one, two, three.

Winner: Fenix

This match was honestly a lot of fun. Sure it was a cluster fuck, but it was fast and not overlong and the person who ended up winning surprised the heck out of me. Far too often in these massive multi-man matches you can guess who’s going to win before the match even begins or at least pick a couple dudes who are most likely candidates. Fenix would not have been my pick at all so him picking up the win honestly surprised me which is a rare feat in wrestling in the 21st century.

Commercial Break…

We come back from break to find nine luchadors in the ring getting ready for their match. This time around it’s going to be contested under battle royal rules. This is kind of smart booking I think. It’s better to have mixed up the match stipulations so we, the audience didn’t get bored due to back to back 10 man cluster fucks or 10 man battle royals. Good job Lucha Underground.

Matt Striker and Vampiro wonder about who the 10th man is going to be. It’s Chavo. He’s the only person tonight who doesn’t get a jobber’s entrance…

Match 2: Famous B. vs. Cisco vs. Cortez Castro vs. Bael vs. Ricky Mandel vs. Johnny Mundo vs. Sexy Star vs. Mil Muertes vs. Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Sexy Star attacks Chavo on the outside before the match begins. She nails him with a seated senton and some kicks before returning to the ring with kick other dudes. They briefly show that mysterious Asian dominatrix lady from a few weeks back in the crowd again watching the match.

Johnny Mundo’s got his arm taped up due to injuries suffered last week. Vamp and Striker wonder how that’s going to effect him in this match as he almost gets tossed out but manages to hang on.

Famous B. becomes the first dude eliminated when he misses a cross body and gets clotheslined over the top rope by Pimpi. He is quickly followed by Ricky Mandel who gets dumped over the top by Cortez. Pimpinela goes “old school” on Mundo but gets countered and then is chucked over the top rope by Mil Muertes.

Sexy Star jumps onto Chavo’s back, but Chavo tosses her off and grabs her hair. Chavo almost eliminates Sexy Star, but she manages to survive. Sexy goes up top and goes for a cross body block, but gets caught by Chavo who dumps her out of the ring to eliminate her.

The Crew triple team Johnny Mundo and throw him over the top rope, but Mundo manages to hold on to the ropes. He somehow manages to grab Cisco with his legs and flip him over the top rope to eliminate him. Chavo and Muertes then eliminate Cortez and Bael (the dude who showed up in the Pentagon Jr. mask last week during the ladder match I guess) respectively in quick succession, and we’re down to our final three dudes: Chavo, Muertes, and Mundo.

All three men fight back and forth. Eventually Mundo kicks Chavo out of the ring to eliminate him. Muertes hits a Bill Goldberg circa 1998 spear on Mundo sending him out onto the ring apron. Mundo recovers and gets in control and tries to lift Muertes over the top rope and out to the floor, but only gets him as far as the ring apron. Both men are out on the apron exchanging blows. Mundo gets the worst of it and goes down, but slides back into the ring.

 

Mundo drops Muertes and goes for the End of the World, but Muertes gets his knees up to counter. Both men are back to their feet. Muertes destroys Mundo with a clothesline that sends him over the top rope to pick up the victory.

Winner: Mil Muertes

Less of a surprise than the previous match since the only real contenders were Chavo, Sexy, Mundo, and Muertes, but it was still a pretty decent battle royal. Lots of cool near eliminations thanks to Mundo.

Commercial Break…

Mil Muertes and Fenix are in the ring when we come back from break. Cueto comes out with a championship belt. He says that in his hands he holds power and the luchador that holds the Lucha Underground Championship will be the best fighter in the world. He continues by saying he has created a new type of match to honor the ancestors of lucha, and that match is called Aztec Warfare and says that after the New Year the winner of the Aztec Warfare match will become the first Lucha Underground Champion.

Dario congratulates Fenix and Mil Muertes for their victories but says that their night is not yet over. They will have one more match against each other. The winner will receive the unique opportunity of entering Aztec Warfare last, while the loser has the disadvantage of entering the match first and having the defeat 19 other luchadors to become champion.

Match 3: Fenix vs. Mil Muertes (w/ Catrina)

Mil Muertes basically kills Fenix as soon as the bell rings, but Fenix is a crafty motherfucker and escapes the bigger man and hits a springboard armdrag followed by a dropkick off the top rope. Muertes bails to the floor, but Fenix is unrelenting and hits a corkscrew to the outside. Both men are down. The ref begins administering the ten count. Fenix gets back to the ring first. The ref is up to nine when Muertes finally rolls back in.

Muertes destroys Fenix with a spear and then leans him on the ropes and starts jawing with the ref allowing Catrina to smack Fenix in the head. Muertes goes back to Fenix and DDTs him and then picks him up and hits a running powerslam.

 

Fenix gets back to his feet and charges at Muertes, which proves to be a stupid thing to do when Muertes powerbombs him. Fenix recovers and hits a springboard neckbreaker. He then goes up top and leaps off. I’m not entirely sure what he was trying to do but he gets uppercutted in the face by Muertes. Muertes picks up Fenix and lays him out with the flatliner for the win.

Afterwards Catrina licked Fenix and then made out with Muertes as the credits roll and gravelly Matt Striker bids us a pleasant evening.

 

Winner: Mil Muertes

This was another solid match and cemented Mil Muertes in the main event scene while also making Fenix look like a guy who can hang.

Post-Credit Teaser…

Dario Cueto is backstage still holding his belt and talking to someone off camera. He says that the belt was made from Aztec gold so it’s got magical powers, but he can’t let the person he’s talking to hold it, because Dario knows how the person off camera likes to destroy beautiful things.

Final Thoughts

I really liked the structure of this episode. It worked in the context of Lucha Underground as an episodic TV show and it worked as a standalone episode. Sure there were callbacks to earlier episodes and stuff someone watching for the first time might not understand, but the concept of the “unique opportunity,” laid out in the opening was a solid hook that built to a conclusion with the introduction of the championship belt, which in turn served as a hook to get people to tune in for the next episode. All in all a pretty outstanding episode.

It wasn’t anything mind blowing. It was just really basic booking, done really well. “These guys are fighting for a ‘unique opportunity’ but they and the viewers don’t know what that actually is. Surprise it’s a belt! But you two guys aren’t even the two fighting for it…you’re competing to see your placement in the match will be having next time. Win tonight are you’ll enter the match last, giving yourself an advantage. Lose and you’re the first one into the ring…”

 

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