Between some of the stylistic similarities, the shared rosters, and the fact that getting that money seems to be a central theme of both, all the Urban Wrestling Federation I’ve been watching as of late made me realize it’s been awhile since I’ve looked at Lucha Underground, so here’s another review of that show.
Previously on Lucha Underground…
We get a recap package focused on Cage’s path of destruction, Johnny Mundo’s issues with Dario Cueto, as well as Cueto’s interaction with the mysterious Asian lady.
Meanwhile in the Temple…
The band Mariachi El Bronx is playing to hype up the crowd. We check in with our announce team for the evening: Matt Striker and Vampiro who is wearing a mariachi jacket for some reason.
Match 1: Son of Havoc (w/ Ivelisse) vs. Angelico
Havoc and Ivelisse are already in the ring. Ivelisse gets on the mic and says that she’s tired of people on social media saying that Son of Havoc sucks. “I don’t date losers alright?” she insists. Ivelisse then says that is anyone has a problem with Havoc they have a problem with her, “the baddest BITCH in the building.”
Angelico then heads down to the ring and the match gets underway. They start thing off with some chain wrestling that Striker declares to be World of Sportesque. After this initial opening exchange they do some rope running until Angelico hits a dropkick to take control.
He then starts to work Havoc over with martial arts kicks that Vampiro compares to, “that guy, that did that move in the UFC, and used to fight for PRIDE for all those years, that big guy.” Striker has absolutely no idea what the fuck he’s talking about.
Angelico connects with a pair of massive flying knees in the corner that drop Son of Havoc. Angelico hits the ropes to finish Havoc off but Ivelisse grabs his foot which distracts him.
He goes for a rana but Havoc counters it into a flapjack and covers for two. He unloads on Angélico with rights as the crowd gets behind him. The South African comes back with some forearms and follows with another knee strike to take over on Havoc again.
Angelico goes to send Havoc off the ropes but Havoc reverses it, sweeps the leg and then hits a standing moonsault for another near fall.
Havoc sends Angelico off the ropes but telegraphs the back body drop and ends up getting caught with a Pele kick. Angelico then comes off the ropes but Havoc catches his with a POP UP INVERTED ATOMIC DROP! He covers again but only gets two.
Havoc chokes Angelico in the ropes for a bit and then distracts the referee to allow Ivelisse to choke him some more.
Havoc tries for a sunset flip but Angelico doesn’t go over and instead nails Havoc with a double stomp. He doesn’t cover though.
Havoc gets back to his feet and charges at Angelico who low bridges him causing Havoc to tumble out to the floor. Angelico then hits a flip over the top rope that takes out Son of Havoc. He then plays to the crowd a bit before sending Havoc back in.
Angelico goes in after Havoc and hits another knee strike. He goes for the cover but only gets two. Havoc comes back with a backbreaker for a near fall of his own. Havoc heads up top but Angelico cuts him off and tries for a superplex. Havoc holds on and sends Angelico off.
The audience is solidly behind Havoc as he goes for a shooting star press. He misses but lands on his feet. Son of Havoc charges Angelico in the corner but Angelico gets his foot up to cut him off and then sends Havoc face-first into the turnbuckles.
Havoc climbs back up but Angelico nails him in the back of the head with an enziguri. He goes for a Razor’s Edge but Havoc reverses it into a rana that sends Angelico out to the floor after he got caught up on the bottom rope.
Havoc looks for a dive but instead just bounces off the ropes and backflips into the ring and poses for the crowd. He then kisses Ivelisse.
Angelico comes back in and tries to blindside Havoc who gets out of the way. Angelico puts on the breaks before he blasts Ivelisse who is still up on the apron. Havoc charges in and this time Angelico moves out of the way, but again Havoc manages to stop before taking out Ivelisse.
We repeat the spot a third time. This time Angelico attempts to kiss Ivelisse who slaps him allowing Havoc to roll him up. Angelico kicks out at two which sends Havoc crashing into Ivelisse. She falls to the floor and Havoc is beside himself. This distraction allows Angelico to roll Havoc up to pick up the win.
After the match Ivelisse storms off unwilling to listen to Havoc’s apology while the crowd chants, “You fucked up!” at Son of Havoc.
This was a fine opening match with some decent moves from both guys. The ending was what it was but sometimes you need to do that sort of thing to kick off a storyline which seems to be the case here so I’m fine with it. [**½]
Meanwhile in Dario Cueto’s Office…
Cueto is with Johnny Mundo. He wants to put the past behind them. Cueto tells Mundo that “when Johnny Mundo is around we always get five star main events,” and then books him in a match against Cage for later tonight.
“You mean that hambone who tore apart your title belt?” Mundo asks.
Cueto nods sadly and in response Mundo tells him, “You better get a new one.”
We get a hype video for Pentagon Jr. We see him fight various kung fu and karate guys in a dojo or something while Pentagon provides voiceover explaining how he mixes martial arts with Lucha Libre. “I represent the purest form of hand-to-hand combat, the most lethal and most violent. … My way of fighting encapsulates the dark parts of the imagination and the human spirit that few have ever realized and fewer have passed on. When you fight like me, all manners of fear disappear and you are free to fight without limitations.”
Match 2: Famous B vs. Pentagon Jr.
Famous B goes for a dropkick at the bell but wiffs. Pentagon boots him in the dome. He then sends Famous B into the corner and blasts him with a chop that sounds like a gunshot.
They run the ropes for a bit and Famous B heads up top where he catches Pentagon with a luncha armdrag. Famous B kips up but gets blasted with a superkick.
Pentagon follows with a package piledriver and then slaps on a submission hold that Vampiro says is a Kimura lock (it’s not). Famous B submits but Pentagon doesn’t release the hold. On the contrary he snaps Famous B’s arm back. Striker and Vampiro says that B’s arm is likely dislocated or possibly even broken.
After the match Pentagon gets on the mic and cuts a promo in Spanish where he pledges loyalty to his master and talks about zero fear.
Winner: Pentagon Jr.
This was a perfectly cromulent squash match. Pentagon looks like a world-beater and his post-match promo adds another level of intrigue to him. [NR]
Meanwhile in Dario Cueto’s Dungeon…
Dario is sitting on a stool playing with his key monologuing to someone or something that’s growling in a cage. He tells this unseen entity that news of the temple and what’s happening there is spreading. He tells whoever is in the cage that it’s a shame he can’t share this fame and notoriety with them.
He then says that the mysterious Asian woman, who is now calling herself Black Lotus, came looking for whoever is in the cage. Dario says that he could have given her the key and let her have her revenge but he has to protect the temple from Matanza.
Match 3: Drago vs. Aerostar
They lock up and jockey for position for a bit. Drago works the arm but Aerostar slaps him off and snaps off a rana. Drago comes back with a basement dropkick and covers but Aerostar kicks out.
Drago sends Aerostar into the corner and charges in but Aerostar hops out to the apron and blasts Drago with an enziguri to drop him. He the springboards off the middle rope from the apron back into the ring and nails Aerostar with a double stomp for two.
Aerostar whips Drago into the corner but Drago puts on the breaks and catches Aerostar with a drop toehold. Drago then hops up onto the middle turnbuckle and comes off, connecting with a Codebreaker for a two count of his own.
Aerostar back body drops Drago out onto the apron on a charge and then hits a quasi-619 to put him out on the floor. Aerostar follows with an insane tope. He sends him back in and covers for two while over on commentary Vampiro asks Striker what’s up with all his terrible references.
“I don’t know,” replies Striker sheepishly.
Drago fires up and unleashes a series of roundhouse kicks. He then hurks Aerostar up and faceplants him for two.
They run the ropes and Aerostar attempts to leapfrog Drago but gets his bits caught on Drago’s horns. He then randomly does some flippy shit and Drago kicks him in the gut. Aerostar rolls out to the floor clutching his midsection as Drago hits a tope con hilo.
Aerostar gets sent back in and Drago covers but only gets two. Drago sends Aerostar off the ropes but Aerostar catches him with a handspring back elbow and rolls him up for two. Drago comes back with a back kick to Aerostar’s gut and then comes off the ropes and connects with a Buff Blockbuster into an inverted DDT. He then covers to pick up the win.
After the match Drago checks on Aerostar and helps him back to his feet. He gives Aerostar the thumbs up and Aerostar raises Drago’s hand.
This was a good match between two of the best luchadors around today. Both guys looked good and Drago got to pick up a win after losing his feud against King Cuerno to get back on track. [**½]
Meanwhile in a Gym…
Fenix is working over a heavy bag as Catrina creeps up behind him. She touches his shoulder but when Fénix turns around she’s vanished. He turns back towards the bag and she’s now standing in front of him.
She caresses his dreamcatcher tattoo and asks why he has it. She asks if it protects him from nightmares. Fenix shakes his head and she asks him “What could possibly scare a man that cannot die?”
She then tells that she has a message for him but it’s not from Mil Muertes it’s from her. She kisses him and then tells him to keep it between them because if Mil Muertes finds out it will bury them both alive.
Match 4: Johnny Mundo vs. Cage
Johnny comes out and does rockstar poses while his hair blows. Cage is out next. He seemingly has entrance music that starts with him screaming, “I’M A MACHINE!” It rules. Another thing that rules? Cage is now wearing the belt he ripped in half around his neck like a shawl.
Cage uses his power to take control early on but Mundo starts to use his speed and savvy to get an edge on cage. Mundo nails Cage with a Pele Kick and covers but only gets two. He takes Cage down with a leg sweep for another two count.
Cage ends up on the outside so Mundo goes for a dive off the apron only for Cage to catch him in the powerbomb position and slam him into the ringpost. Vampiro helpfully informs us, “Did you know that if you fall and hit your head on those metal steps you could die?”
Back in, Cage covers for two. He then hits a pair of tilt-a-whirl backbreaker in opposite directions for another near fall while we see King Cuerno lurking in the crowd watching the match.
Cage jumps up to the middle rope and then jumps up from the middle rope to the top rope turning 180 degrees mid-leap. Cage goes for a moonsault but Mundo moves to avoid it and starts to make a comeback.
He hits a leg lariat and then hits Moonlight Drive for two. The inverted DDT gets another two count but Cage catches Mundo and wrecks his shit with a sitout Alabama Slam for a near fall of his own.
He tries for a pumphandle slam but Mundo escapes and nails Cage with a quebrada for another near fall. Mundo then goes for the End of the World but Cage bails out to the floor.
Mundo lands on his feet and hits a corkscrew dive over the ringpost to take out Cage on the floor. The crowd (and announcers) go absolutely apeshit.
King Cuerno slowly creeps down the stairs. Mundo gets up on the apron and Cuerno strikes, clipping Mundo’s leg and wiping him out to draw the DQ.
Cuerno brutalizes Mundo’s leg, smashing it into the ringpost repeatedly before getting a chair out from under the ring and screaming, “The hunt begins again!” (according to Matt Striker) and blasting Mundo in the leg with the chair.
Cage heads to the back since the match is over but when he’s halfway up the stairs Dario Cueto comes out of his office and tells Cage to hold on.
Dario tells his new best buddy, Johnny Mundo, that he’s not going to let his five star matches end with fuck finishes. He says that they’re restarting the match and calls for the bell to be rung.
Cage smiles and heads back down to the ring as Vampiro wonders if Dario Cueto is doing this just to be a dick. Cage goes right after Mundo’s injured leg. Mundo uses the rope last to pull himself up but Cage kicks his leg causing Mundo to take the Mr. Perfect flip bump.
Mundo, perhaps having more guts than brains, gets back to his feet and starts to fight back, but ends up kicking the ringpost with his already injured leg allowing Cage to take control again. He slaps on a stretch muffler but again Mundo fights back. He drills Cage with a kick and then hits an Overdrive for two.
Cage comes back and hits an F5. ONE! TWO! NO! Mundo kicks out. Cage goes for something but Mundo manages a sunset flip on him for a two count. Cage pops back up and takes Mundo’s head off with a discus lariat. He then gets Mundo in a Gory Special into a Flatliner to pick up the win.
The match was mostly fine. Both guys did some cool moves and worked well together but I didn’t really like how the match was structured. Yes, I understand that Cueto was a dick and that’s why it went down the way it did but it kind of ended up making Cage look like a chump since it took him like another four minutes to put away an injured Johnny Mundo. I would have been okay with Cage toying with him for four minutes and maybe letting Mundo get one hope spot because Cage is being arrogant but to have a one legged Mundo get as many near falls as he did didn’t help Cage look like the machine he’s supposed to be. [***]
Meanwhile in Dario Cueto’s Office…
Dario’s on the phone with someone, telling them, “All I know is that she found the place and she is pretty pissed off. I need to do something about this. Now.”
Someone knocks on the door and Dario tells them to go home since the show is over.
A man’s voice replies, “Oh no, we’re just getting started.”
Dario hangs up the phone and turns as the door opens.
“My name is Alberto…El Patron, but you already knew that,” says the man once known as Alberto Del Rio with a wink.
Dario nods at him and Alberto smiles back to end the show.
There was some okay action (no five star matches, main event or otherwise) but enjoyable televised wrestling all the same. That being said a lot of this episode kind of felt like table setting for bigger stuff to come that more or less ignored the on going storylines.
With the exception of Cage having a ripped in half belt and one backstage segment referencing Dario’s encounter with the Mysterious Asian Woman this episode had no ties to the episode that directly preceded it. I wish there’d been at least an interview or backstage segment with Puma or Konnan after what went down last week but we didn’t get that or even anything from the announcers about it beyond Vampiro saying that Cage hand Konnan’s blood on his hands.
As for the shocking appearance of Alberto El Patron it probably would have been a bigger shock if I wasn’t watching this years after the fact. Whatever he does in Lucha Underground he doesn’t last very long since he was back in the WWE by October. Moreover, I never really cared for him much in WWE. I always thought he was kind of dull. My hope is that maybe he’ll be better here with other dudes that know how to work a lucha style so I’ll finally see a good Alberto Del Rio match.