Lucha Underground – March 16, 2016: Rising From The Ashes

Lucha Underground
Date: March 16, 2016
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, California
Commentators: Vampiro, Matt Striker

It’s a big night here as two titles are on the line. First up we have a rematch for the Trios Titles with Son of Havoc/Angelico/Ivelisse trying to put their eternal problems aside to get the belts back from the Disciples of Death. Other than that we have Fenix cashing in his Gift of the Gods Title for a shot at Mil Muertes’ Lucha Underground Title. Their first match was a classic so hopefully they can live up to it here. Let’s get to it.

This episode is dedicated to the late Hayabusa. That’s a nice touch.

Fenix is in the back when Catrina comes in. She’s tried everything to destroy him and take his powers because they could give her life again. Fenix takes her hand as she talks about ruling the temple with him. They kiss (Didn’t they do that last season?) but apparently that’s never happening again because Fenix is going to die and Muertes is going to bring her back from the dead. When did Catrina die? That sounds like a plot point I should have known.

Trios Titles: Disciples of Death vs. Son of Havoc/Ivelisse/Angelico

The Disciples, with Catrina, are defending after taking the titles from the challengers back in season one. Since then thought he Disciples have basically disappeared so this isn’t the most interesting match in the world. To spice it up a bit (and possibly give away the ending), the challengers’ careers are on the line. It’s a big brawl to start of course with the Disciples (whose names are only used half the time) being sent out to the floor in a hurry.

Havoc’s shooting star is quickly broken up though, followed by a springboard missile dropkick to Ivelisse’s back. The champs start in on Ivelisse’s legs because of her history of LBI’s. What are LBI’s you ask? That would be Striker’s way of describing lower body injuries because Matt Striker is a pest. As you might expect, that means it’s time for a dragon sleeper until Ivelisse knees one of the Disciples in the head.

The hot tag brings in Havoc to clean house but Angelico tags himself in to keep control. A nice Pele kick drops one of the champs, setting up a triple dive to take down all three Disciples. Catrina break up something from Havoc and the Disciples switch places. That goes nowhere as Angelico kicks out of the small package and hits the Fall of the Angels (running Razor’s Edge into the corner), followed by Havoc’s shooting star (without a clean landing) for the pin and the titles at 4:53.

Rating: C-. Nothing much to see here and the champs never felt like they were in control whatsoever. Like I said though, it was made very clear that there was no chance they were keeping the titles after they more or less vanished. To be fair though, the dysfunctional team works better anyway so this was smart.

Johnny Mundo workout video.

Prince Puma is working out when Mundo comes in. Mundo brings up last year’s Aztec Warfare and promises to take him out this year. Johnny sounds more nervous than confident before leaving. Puma punches through the bag he’s working on.

Dragon Azteca comes in to see Rey Mysterio and drink some tequila. Rey says Dragon’s training is complete and hands him an invitation to Aztec Warfare. Dragon asks if Rey will come with him so Rey pulls out his own invitation and says may the best man win.

Chavo Guerrero vs. Texano

Bullrope match, thankfully with no time wasted on entrances. Chavo has the Crew in his corner and they’re on the apron right after the bell….before dropping down to leave Chavo on his own. It’s a tug of war to start with Texano getting the better of it and choking away. They head outside with Chavo avoiding a big bell shot against the post.

Texano gets sent into the chairs though and it’s time for Chavo to choke. Back in for more choking until Texano drops him with an electric chair. Chavo gets crotched with the rope and a clothesline gets two. Texano pulls him off the top and a good looking Batista Bomb is enough to put Guerrero away at 6:03.

Rating: D+. I’m really not sure what this story is even about anymore but I don’t care to see it again. Texano is someone I like more every time I see him but Chavo is one of those guys with a very low ceiling. We know who he is and we know what he can do and that’s the extent of what we’re getting from him. It’s not good for an opponent either as you can only get so far by feuding with Guerrero. Hopefully this wraps it up, though the match was far from bad.

We recap the end of last week show with Fenix cashing in the Gift of the Gods Title.

Mil Muertes beats down the Disciples of Death for losing the titles until Catrina breaks it up.

We go back to the other temple 375 miles away where Dario Cueto and Black Lotus listen to Matanza maul people. Dario thinks his brother is ready to take back the temple. He uses the key to open the door….and there’s Matanza, who looks like Jason Vorhees with blood running down his coveralls. That’s quite the reveal, though they should have waited for next week.

The announcers preview Aztec Warfare.

Lucha Underground Title: Fenix vs. Mil Muertes

Muertes is defending and goes after Fenix to start, only to get dropped with a springboard dive. A Lethal Injection puts the champ down again but he sends Fenix to the apron for a spear through the ropes. Back in and Fenix’s springboard is caught in a cutter to even things up. Mil goes full heel (because it’s such a stretch for him) by ripping at the mask, only to have Fenix climb the corner and dropkick Muertes out to the floor.

That’s fine with the champ who blasts Fenix in the head with a chair to bust him open. Mil starts biting at the cut and Vampiro is all “YAY FOR CANNIBALISM!” Seriously. A trip through the crowd goes nowhere until Fenix gets shoved off the barricade and into a pile of chairs. Fenix pops up (appropriate) and walks the barricade again for a big dive to drop Muertes.

Catrina holds up the stone though and Muertes powerbombs Fenix onto the announcers’ table. That’s still not enough to keep him down though as Fenix comes back with a top rope double stomp to the back as Muertes gets inside. Fenix starts ripping Muertes’ mask off for a real insult and now it’s time for the beatdown from the champion. You can see Fenix’s blood splattered all over the mat.

Muertes throws in another chair but Fenix pulls it up to block Muertes’ punch, followed by some shots to the head. The champ can barely get to his feet and a big superkick sets up the 450 for a VERY close two. I bought that as the finish. Muertes pops back up for two off a swinging chokeslam. A great looking spinning kick to the face drops Muertes again and Fenix powers him over with a German suplex.

Fenix goes up again but Muertes runs up for what I think was supposed to be a super Flatliner but wound up as a neckbreaker/DDT. Still looked good enough. Back up and Mil tries the Flatliner, only to have Fenix counter into a victory roll with a bridge to trap the legs (sweet move) for the pin and the title to blow the roof off the place at 13:40.

Rating: A. Oh man that was awesome. This was all about the drama of someone finally being able to stand toe to toe with Muertes and the great backstory and history made it even better. I had a great time with this and totally got into the match halfway through. Really good stuff here and one of the best matches this promotion has ever put on. I’m not sure if it was as good as Grave Consequences but it was still one of the best things they’ve ever done. Outstanding match.

Fenix celebrates in the crowd until Catrina changes the rules of next week’s Aztec Warfare, which is now for the Lucha Underground Title. To make it even more sporting, Fenix is now #1 and Mil Muertes is #20. And yes, this was taped before the Royal Rumble. Striker hypes up next week’s show WAY too strong (of course) to end the show.

Overall Rating: A-. Now this is the show that I’ve been waiting for this season. After all the stuff that they’ve set up for the last few weeks, this is where things started to come together and pay off. Muertes losing the title could have closed the season on a high note but it makes me wonder what else is going to be happening now that they’ve gotten it out of the way. Still though, excellent show and a great way to reignite the fire this show used to have.

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