Lucha Underground – August 5, 2015: Marvel-Ous

Lucha Underground
Date: August 5, 2015
Location: Lucha Underground Arena, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Michael Schiavello, Matt Striker

It all ends here. Well at least it all ends here until they make the announcement of season two. This is the final night of Ultima Lucha and it’s a two hour episode, making the biggest show of the year a full on three hour special. The main event is Prince Puma defending the Lucha Underground Title against Mil Muertes, as well as the fallout of Black Lotus and the Cuetos. Let’s get to it.

This show is dedicated to Roddy Piper. That’s appropriate as he was a huge deal in Los Angeles.

We hear a clip of Cueto’s speech on the first show, leading to Konnan pitching Prince Puma to Cueto on the same episode. The rest of the video recaps the rest of tonight’s matches. That image of Muertes in the casket and opening his eyes is just chilling. I’m really, really impressed by how well they’ve set this show up and I’ve been looking forward to it all week.

Johnny Mundo vs. Alberto El Patron

This is quite the way to open a show. Mundo starts running at the bell and they wind up in front of Cueto’s window, which started this whole thing. A big kick to Johnny’s head gets things going and Alberto whips him into Cueto’s wall, followed by the announcers’ table. Alberto starts after the arm but the referee pulls him away, allowing Johnny to hide under the ring and find some powder to blind Patron.

Johnny cuts out the shenanigans and kicks Alberto in the head like a villain should. They actually get inside for a Mundo chinlock, followed by a running knee to the face. Alberto fights up and hooks a reverse superplex before it’s time for a slugout. Patron takes over and hooks a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by the Backstabber, which is kind of an odd series of offense when his finisher is an armbar. I’ve always like Alberto’s simple psychology but if he’s going for the arm later, this doesn’t make the most sense.

The low superkick misses and Johnny nails an enziguri for two. Mundo loads him onto the top for a big Backstabber of his own for two but Alberto clotheslines him to the floor. His suicide dive hits a knee to the head though, allowing Johnny to hit a flip dive over the top. Back in and Alberto grabs the armbar out of nowhere but Johnny is into the ropes almost immediately. With nothing else working, Alberto ties him in the Tree of Woe for some kicks but misses a baseball slide, sending him shoulder first into the post.

Patron gets tied up in the ropes, allowing Johnny to hit a top rope double stomp as Alberto tries to get up. The End of the World connects for two and Johnny is stunned. Alberto gets up and tries the superkick but Johnny pulls the referee in the way, only to get caught in the armbreaker. There’s no referee but it doesn’t matter as Johnny escapes and stomps away. Alberto grabs another armbreaker over the top rope but cue the debuting Melina to hit Patron with the AAA Title belt, setting up another End of the World to give Mundo the pin.

Rating: B. Oh yeah this show is going to ROCK. This was awesome stuff and Melina running in is a smart move as she fits in perfectly with the show, especially at Mundo’s heel side. You have to expect that at least one of these two is going to get into the title hunt next season, but I’d be down for a rematch. Finally, these two were brought in as the big names and they delivered in their big match. Well done.

Alberto is livid and throws Mundo into some chairs and then through a window. Melina goes after Alberto like the fire cat she is, earning her a spanking. Striker: “I’m going to rewind that on my DVR.” Alberto holds up the title as Mundo is COVERED in blood.

El Dragon Azteca comes in to free Lotus but Dario is waiting on him. The punishment for Azteca entering the temple is death, but as Cueto is distracting him, Lotus reaches through the bars and chokes Azteca. Cueto watches and Lotus hits Azteca in the back, seemingly killing him. Cueto lets her go but she says she’s done what she came here for. Now she needs his protection and they’re going to “the new temple” but first they unlock Matanza’s cage and let out the camera that’s inside.

Pentagon Jr. vs. Vampiro

I’m hoping we find out the master, and I’ll be surprised if it’s anyone but Konnan. Vampiro comes to the ring in what looks like a zombie Pope outfit. Unfortunately it’s not a zombie D’Angelo Dinero, which would be a much more interesting look. This is a Cero Miedo match, meaning No Fear. I have no idea what that means but I’d assume it means hardcore/street fight. It seems that I’m right as Pentagon hits him with a chair at the bell and they head outside for more chair shots.

Vampiro, still in the robes, is knocked into the crowd for more of a beating before they head back to ringside. The mats are pulled back for an AA onto the concrete as this has been entirely one sided so far. With Vampiro on the floor, Pentagon just unloads on him with chair shots as Striker wants the match stopped. The referee throws up an X (he’s Straight Edge Society?) and we take a rare break.

Back with Vampiro staggering back to the ring for one more swing. He takes Pentagon down with a spinwheel kick and it’s time for a bag of tacks. Pentagon screams when he’s slammed down onto the tacks but Vampiro is stupid enough to go up top for a flip dive WHEN HIS OPPONENT IS LAYING ON A PILE OF TACKS. He deserves all the holes in his back from the crash.

Pentagon busts out a light bulb tube to break over Vampiro’s back before CARVING UP HIS NECK with the pieces. I’m more impressed by that than Pentagon licking the blood off his arm. Vampiro fights up again and slugs away before hiptossing Pentagon through another light tube in the corner.

After doing that, why not rip at the eye holes of Pentagon’s mask? He smashes a third tube over Pentagon’s head (where do they store those things and WHY ARE THEY IN A WRESTLING ARENA???) but Pentagon backdrops him onto the tacks. As usual, the old, banged up man is able to not only survive this but also gets up and belly to belly superplex Pentagon onto the tacks. It’s table time and Vampiro finds a lighter for good measure. The table is lit on fire but, as is the rule in wrestling, if you set up a table you get thrown through it, meaning Vampiro is left rolling around on fire, allowing Pentagon to get an easy pin.

Rating: C+. This was your above average hardcore war with the ridiculous weapons and big spot to end things. Pentagon has somehow turned into a hardcore brawler after spending weeks building himself up as the arm breaker extraordinaire. Fun enough match though, especially given how banged up Vampiro is from all the years in the ring.

Post match Vampiro holds out his arm and demands that Pentagon break it. Pentagon does as he’s told and says he’s done what he promised his master. Here’s the master and it’s…..Vampiro. Now THAT is awesome as they played up Vampiro and Ian Hodgkinson as two different people, making this about as well done as it could have been. I was thinking it might be Vampiro when he offered Pentagon his arm but I never thought they would actually go through with it. Well done indeed.

Gift of the Gods Title: Big Ryck vs. King Cuerno vs. Sexy Star vs. Bengala vs. Fenix vs. Aerostar vs. Jack Evans

This is basically Money in the Bank but you have to announce a week in advance and the winner will have to defend it, which is a concept that Money in the Bank could REALLY benefit from. The match is without tags and one fall to a finish. It’s a wild brawl to start (a recurring theme tonight) with Ryck throwing everyone outside until Aerostar tries his luck with a waistlock.

That earns him an ejection of his own before all six of them get inside and go after Ryck at the same time like a smart group of people would do. Back up and everyone is sent to the floor, leaving Aerostar to hit a big flip dive to take Fenix down, only to have Fenix powerslam him off the apron. Back in and Evans kicks Cuerno in the head to send him outside for a big dive, which only hits mat as Cuerno is smart enough to step aside. It’s Ryck breaking up Bengala’s pin on Star before Ryck just starts throwing people around with ease.

As Ryck beats up various luchadors like a cyclops would destroy villagers, Aerostar crawls up to the balcony to dive down onto three masked men, only to have Marty Martinez come in to get in a slap fight with Star. After easily dispatching Marty (because he’s a freaking moth), Star dives onto the same pile of masked men, only to be stomped down by Cuerno inside. The Thrill of the Hunt puts Star down but Cuerno opts to roll her outside instead of covering.

It’s Bengala coming back in though and cleaning house and monkey flipping Cuerno into Fenix in the corner. A big corkscrew dive takes Fenix down again, only to have Cuerno hit that awesome suicide dive of his to put Bengala down as well. Evans remembers he’s in the match and puts Aerostar in a guillotine choke, only to get DDT’d down to break the hold. It’s Star back in to beat up Aerostar over a copyright issue I’d assume but here’s Daivari to destroy Ryck with a chair for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.

Evans hits a springboard splash on Ryck for two but Cuerno makes the save and puts Evans in a surfboard. It’s Fenix’s turn for a save but he gets caught in something like AJ Lee’s Black Widow from Evans. That’s fine with Fenix as he flips him up and fires off a bunch of knees to Evans’ head, followed by a fire driver (over the shoulder tombstone) to give Fenix the pin and the title.

Rating: C-. These really aren’t my thing. They’re just a bunch of insane spots with people staying on the ground for long stretches of time until it’s time for another spot. Fenix winning probably makes the most sense as Bengala hasn’t been around, people would have issues buying Star as the winner (though it would have been interesting), Ryck is an enforcer and Evans is a spot monkey. Cuerno or Aerostar could have been options, but it was really Fenix’s match to lose.

Blue Demon Jr. vs. Texano

Yeah and now there’s this match because Blue Demon needs a payday or something. Demon has the Crew with him, which likely means this was going to be Chavo Guerrero until he got hurt, which at least would have been a better option. Before the match, Demon hands the announcer a card, saying Cueto has made this No DQ. Ok, enough of the brawls with no rules. We get it already, now go have a regular match. Texano goes right after him to start but has to go after Cisco and Castro.

It’s back to the people actually in the match with Texano doing a cool little move in the corner where he’ll chop with the right hand and swing through with a left handed clothesline on the follow through. A spinebuster and a powerbomb get two on Demon but the Crew comes in for the save. Cue Chavo with a chair to nail Texano, allowing Demon to get the pin with one foot on the chest, because why let a young guy get a big win when you can give it to a guy pushing 50?

Lucha Underground Title: Prince Puma vs. Mil Muertes

Puma is defending and sans Konnan tonight. There must be a winner, which I really, really hope doesn’t mean anything goes. The bell rings and Muertes gets right in the middle of the ring to say bring it. Muertes pounds the champion down with ease when Puma is stupid enough to go right at the monster. They head into the crowd with Muertes continuing his destruction and throwing Puma down the steps. Striker: “This isn’t a football stadium or a bingo hall!”

With nothing else working, Puma picks up Catrina and swings her at Mil, driving one of the high heels into Muertes’ eye. That’s fine with Mil, who whips Puma into the chairs. Puma finally sends Muertes into the barricade, allowing him to use the apron as a springboard to kick Mil in the mask. We get a table, because where would we be without a table, but Muertes rams Puma face first onto the wood. Muertes powerbombs Puma onto the wooden stairs before finally tossing the champ back inside.

Puma gets a breather and tries a suicide dive, only to get knocked out of the sky with a chair shot. Muertes can’t send him into a chair in the corner though and gets kicked, down, setting up a big double stomp to put both guys down. Puma tries some flips and gets punched in the face for his efforts. As usual, why over complicate anything? The champ sidesteps a charge to send Muertes into a chair, setting up a GTS (with a kick instead of a knee) for two.

Muertes just unloads in the corner with forearms to the face until Puma backflips into a kick to the head because he can. Puma is somehow able to roll through some northern lights suplexes (fans: “SUPLEX CITY!” Wouldn’t that be ciudad de suplex?) Catrina is freaking out so she holds up the magic stone (that’s so stupid but it works here), causing Muertes to rise to his feet and spear Puma through the ropes onto the corner of the table (freaking ow man!), followed by a powerbomb onto the wreckage.

Somehow that’s only good for two so Muertes hits a wicked chokeslam. Appropriate since he’s basically the Mexican Undertaker. Puma fights up again and kicks Muertes in the head, setting up the 630 for a very near fall. A second attempt misses though and an even bigger spear cuts Puma in half. The Flatliner gets two (I thought that was it) and even Muertes is stunned. Another kick to the head sets up another 630 (Striker: “How many times can you use the same weapon if it doesn’t work?” Until it gets a pin you nitwit.) but Muertes gets up and runs the corner for a super Flatliner for the pin and the title.

Rating: A-. The ending was obvious as Puma has basically beaten everyone else in the main event and now we need a new hero. This was a great back and forth brawl with Puma fighting with everything he had but ultimately not being able to overcome the monstrous power that was Mil Muertes. It’s really, really hard to get me interested in a match with an obvious ending but they pulled it off really well here.

One last note: notice how big it felt when Muertes kicked out of the 630 and when Puma kicked out of the Flatliner. Those felt like important moments because they’re not something we ever see. In other words, it’s not like the AA where you see it get two on any given episode of Raw and are then asked to believe in the near falls. Look what happens when you can use this stuff in a big match, as it worked like a charm here.

Catrina gives Puma the lick. Well at least he gets something. Catrina, Muertes and the Disciples of Death pose in the ring as the credits roll.

Since this is Lucha Underground though, the cool stuff is after the credits. Black Lotus and Cueto are packing as much money into a bag as they can before running off. They get into a car hauling a trailer, which has a small hole cut open. We actually see Matanza’s mask looking out and growling in a nice touch.

Fenix gets in his car and drives away.

Marty Martinez is in a dark room where he has Sexy Star tied up. She won’t this is so funny when she meets his sister. Martinez laughs maniacally and rocks back and forth in a creepy shot.

Angelico tells Son of Havoc and Ivelisse that they’re getting those titles back before riding off on a motorcycle. Havoc asks Ivelisse if she wants one more ride but she tells him to shut up and get on.

Drago and Aerostar meet but Drago turns into fire and I guess flies away.

Pentagon asks Vampiro where they’re going now.

Dragon Azteca puts his mask back on and looks at a Lucha Underground sign with a question mark over it.

Cueto stares into the camera as lights go off behind him. To Be Continued.

Overall Rating: A-. Well that was amazing. This is a rare occurrence where I’m sitting here watching and wanting to see more because I care about these characters and want to know where they’re going from here. That’s a feeling I haven’t had about WWE or any other wrestling company (well other than NXT) in a long, long time.

The wrestling wasn’t great here, but this wasn’t about what happened in the ring. This was about advancing the drama, wrapping up the stories and setting up more stories going forward, all of which they did in spades. The key thing here is that I WANT to see more, not that I’ll see more because it’s on next week. Outstanding stuff here and well worth checking out, either on its own or with the previous week as a bonus.

Now why does this show (the series as a whole) work so well? I could go into a long list of why, but above all else, I’ll go with because they had a vision of what they wanted to go with and ran with it. This show established itself from the start and never gave up on that idea. It never became WWE-lite like TNA or got silly like so many WWE shows became. This felt like something genuinely different and that made it feel special. I’d love to see another season of this and hopefully they can get the funds together for another one. Great stuff here and check this show out, from the beginning if you can.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of NXT Reviews: The Full Sail Years Volume I at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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4 comments

  1. dookie blaster 3000 says:

    i will give up on wrestling if this show doesn’t get a season 2.

    Future Reply:

    I believe its already got a Season 2…

  2. deanerandterry says:

    Your first paragraph in your overall summary pretty much sums up my feelings on Lucha Underground. Throughout the 1st season I’ve grown to actually give a shit about the characters and stories, it’s the thing I love about wrestling the most and it’s so nice to see a wrestling promotion that actually takes the time to do this kind of stuff.

  3. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Ive also watched LU from pretty much start to finish in Season 1 and while most of the Matches themselves are fine along with a few of the stories to me its a little too over the top at times. I do wonder if they really will land a Season 2 given that money seems to be their issue.

    Only thing that didn’t make sense to me was Vampiro being the Master for Pentagon all along. Seeing as how the guy tried to set him on fire at one point.