Lucha Underground – February 24, 2016: The Hunt Is On

Lucha Underground
Date: February 24, 2016
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, California
Commentators: Vampiro, Matt Striker

We’ve actually got a big match set up for this week as we have Johnny Mundo vs. Cage in a match that could go a long way towards crowning a new #1 contender for the title. Other than that the interesting thing could be seeing what kind of new backstory we get for this place, which have been some of the more interesting things int his season. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Mundo and Cage challenging Mil Muertes before fighting each other, along with Texano coming back to go after Chavo Guerrero and the Crew.

Pentagon Jr. kneels before his master, who talks about the split between Vampiro and Ian. We see a recap video of Vampiro becoming Pentagon’s master and their match from Ultima Lucha. They’re still together now and no one can stand in Pentagon’s way, not even her, whoever that is.

Jack Evans vs. PJ Black

Evans does his own intro and further ticks off the fans, including speaking in rhyme while promising to take out Drago if he comes anywhere near this match. Jack’s office of a handshake is of course a ploy and he gets sent into the corner but PJ misses a charge. Something like a lifting German suplex gets two for Black and a nice vertical suplex gets the same.

The fans keep telling the referee that the near falls were three’s because they want to see Jack lose so badly. Striker: “As Jack gets Kerouac’ed it’s PJ Black on the attack.” Vampiro threatens to steal Striker’s notes as Jack does a corkscrew kick to the head, drawing Drago to look down from the balcony. Evans tells Drago to come get him but the distraction lets Black throw him into the air for something like a one man 3D. Somehow it only gets two so here’s Drago to accidentally mist Black, setting up the rollover backslide to give Jack the pin at 3:53.

Rating: C-. Evans is such a natural heel and he’s really starting to grow on me. Black continues to be a guy who isn’t doing much for me, which has been the case since he left the Nexus all those years ago. The Drago stuff could be interesting and this likely sets up Drago vs. Black, possibly with the winner facing Evans in a rematch. The wrestling here wasn’t great but it was good storytelling and that’s more important.

Johnny Mundo workout video.

Famous B. video with the theme of a used car salesman. “I’ll turn you from a jobber to a robber.”

King Cuerno vs. Killshot

Non-title which makes Striker curious about why Cuerno won’t defend the belt. Killshot quickly sends him out to the floor for a dive, followed by a big running kick up against the apron. Killshot has to bail out of another dive so Cuerno hits one of the loudest superkicks I’ve ever heard. There’s the Arrow to drop Killshot but he’s still able to win a battle of kicks to the head.

They head to the apron with Killshot bringing Cuerno down with what looked like a semi-botched cutter. Back in and they trade more loud kicks to the face (Vampiro: “I haven’t seen something like that since Puerto Rico.”) until Killshot reverses a Tombstone into a wheelbarrow gutbuster. Cuerno avoids a top rope corkscrew moonsault though and the Thrill of the Hunt puts Killshot away at 5:30.

Rating: C. I’m still not getting much out of Killshot but it was good to see Cuerno continue to look dominant. This is one of those things that Lucha Underground does so well despite having a limited roster. Instead of having people interact before a big match, the contact between Fenix and Cuerno in this case has been minimal. You know the rematch is coming but they haven’t been fighting or even talking to each other. In other words, save it for the ring.

Cuerno stays on him after the match but Fenix runs out for the save, sending Cuerno running away as fast as he can.

Mil Muertes is Luchador of the Week.

Texano vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr./The Crew

Gauntlet match with Cisco starting things off, which includes a superkick for the pin in about 20 seconds. That was barely enough time for Striker to get in a Lieutenant Loco reference. Cortez is in next and has some more success with a few running shots in the corner. A clothesline gets two on Texano but he comes back with a pop up sitout powerbomb to get rid of Cortez.

Chavo comes straight in with a rollup for two and Texano is suddenly in trouble. The fans think they’ve seen this stuff before until Texano comes back with a superkick to the ribs. Castro gets back up though and trips Texano with his bullrope to give Chavo the pin at 5:45 total. The Rude/Warrior ending always works.

Rating: D+. Texano really needs a better opponent than Chavo. I mean, Chavo will be fine in the ring but this whole “Mexico is mad at you” thing isn’t really working all that well. Granted some of it probably has to do with the fact that it’s Chavo Guerrero who is as by standard (yet talented) as they come.

We go back to Black Lotus and Dario Cueto, still 375 miles from Boyle Heights as they make sure Matanza is ready to fight. Cueto talks about Matanza saving his life from their evil mother. One day Dario stood up to her but he wasn’t strong enough to back up his words. Matanza saved him by beating her to death with a bull statue, which Cueto has with him. That’s a happy memory for Cueto because it taught him just how much he loved violence.

Catrina is walking through the back when Pentagon shouts to her from a spare ring. He wants Prince Puma, so Catrina teleports to the ring and says he gets nothing after injuring Mil Muertes. Pentagon loads up her arm for a break but more teleporting saves Catrina. She says Pentagon can have the match next week but putting his hands on her was the worst decision he ever made.

Cage vs. Johnny Mundo

Mundo slaps him in the face to start so Cage drives Johnny into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. The fans call him JOHNNY ZERO as Mundo flips away from Cage, only to get hiptossed into a backbreaker. Johnny has to kick Cage in the head to escape a superplex attempt and sends him outside for a big flip dive. Back in and Johnny rides him on the mat for a bit, only to get caught in a sitout Alabama Slam for two. This heel speed vs. face power is working for the most part even though it’s not something you see that often.

A sitout faceplant gets two more on Mundo, who grabs a rollup with his feet on the ropes for a near fall of his own. The Lucha Destroyer (cool name for the F5) gets two more for Cage but Johnny pops up with a Flying Chuck. A discus lariat drops Johnny again but here’s the debuting Taya Valkyrie to distract the referee, allowing Mundo to sneak in a pipe and knock Cage out for the pin at 7:57.

Rating: C. The story worked well enough here and the debut at the end is at least an improvement over Melina showing up in the Alberto match at Ultima Lucha (Did we ever get an explanation for where she went?). Cage is basically Ryback with a bigger moveset, which means I’m not really surprised that he lost here.

Post match Taya gives Cage two running knees to the chest in the corner and hugs Mundo.

After the credits, Cuerno (again looking ridiculous as a cowboy) comes in to see Catrina and says he wants his title match next week. Catrina says not so fast because he has a title defense against Fenix in a ladder match.

Overall Rating: D+. I really wasn’t feeling this one as the wrestling was mostly dull but they did a really good job of setting up stuff for next week. Cage vs. Mundo was fine and the rest of the show was watchable enough but there was nothing on here that really jumped off the page at me. It’s cool to see Dario back but I’d like to see some of these things actually coming together. It does help though that we’re getting a big match next week and there’s enough stuff they didn’t cover here to make me wonder what we’ll get next week.

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