Lucha Underground – March 23, 2016: Light The Fire Again

Lucha Underground
Date: March 23, 2016
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, California
Commentators: Vampiro, Matt Striker

We’re FINALLY here with Aztec Warfare II, once again for the Lucha Underground Title. Basically it’s a Royal Rumble with nearly the entire roster involved and pinfalls or submissions for eliminations. This was a blast last year and this time Lucha Underground Champion Fenix is entering at #1 and former champion Mil Muertes is entering last at #20. Let’s get to it.

Pentagon Jr. tells Fenix that the title is coming to him tonight. Catrina comes in to say that Pentagon knows nothing about the darkness. He shouldn’t even be here anyway since he isn’t even invited to the match. Pentagon doesn’t care because he only listens to his master. Catrina laughs it off because Pentagon has no idea what real fear is. As for Fenix, tonight he takes his last breath and Muertes takes the title back.

The Aztecs play drums and blow horns to introduce the match.

There’s going to be a lot of play by play here as that’s most of what these matches are about.

Lucha Underground Title: Aztec Warfare

90 second intervals with Fenix in at #1 (just like last year) and REY MYSTERIO is in at #2. Oh yeah this is going to be awesome. Rey gets the better of it to start but a superkick breaks up the early 619 attempt. Both guys spin through the ropes to counter Irish whips before it’s King Cuerno in at #3. Cuerno takes over in a hurry and drops Rey with a kick, followed by the Arrow through the ropes to Fenix. The clock speeds up and the returning Argenis is in at #4.

Cuerno was knocked down off camera so it’s Argenis cleaning house, only to get knocked into the 619, followed by a frog splash (more like a Low Down) to get rid of Argenis. Fenix hits a nice corkscrew onto Cuerno and it’s Johnny Mundo in at #5. Now this could be interesting, or at least it will be after a break. Cuerno stays on the floor as Fenix and Rey work over Mundo in the corner. Mundo and Fenix trade rolling covers while Cuerno and Rey fight outside. Joey Ryan is in at #6 (Striker: “The cold sore on the lip of lucha.”) but opts to handcuff himself to the barricade where he can’t be eliminated.

Cuerno superkicks him anyway and here’s Famous B. to offer Joey his card. That goes nowhere and it’s Prince Puma in at #7. Puma springboards in with a CM Punk style clothesline and a running cutter to Cuerno as things speed way up. A HUGE springboard shooting star takes down almost everyone and it’s Jack Evans in at #8. During the entrance, Mysterio grabs a cross armbreaker on Cuerno for a surprise tap out.

The three masked men go after Evans but Mundo’s contributions aren’t exactly appreciated, earning him a chop to the chest. A big splash crushes Jack again so Johnny pulls him outside as Taya is in at #9. We get the big three on three staredown with the rudos taking over, including sending Puma to the floor where he might have tweaked his knee. Cage is in at #10, terrifying Mundo and giving us Fenix, Mysterio, Mundo, Ryan (handcuffed), Puma, Evans, Taya and Cage.

We take a break and come back with Cage slamming Taya on the floor, only to eat a Flying Chuck off the apron. Cage is thrown through what used to be Cueto’s office window and it’s Mascarita Sagrada (Striker: “Call him a paragraph because he’s too short to be an essay!”) in at #11. Mundo kicks him in the head but Cage no sells the window and gives Johnny Weapon X on the floor for a big crash and a bigger reaction. Puma adds a splash and Johnny is eliminated.

Marty the Moth is in at #12 and actually starts cleaning house until Evans spin kicks him in the head. That only makes Marty laugh and it’s Drago in at #13 to freak Evans out. Back from a break with Drago misting Ryan by mistake, followed by Rey splashing Marty for an elimination. The Mack is in at #14 and gives Marty a Stunner on the way in. This gives us a big showdown between Mack vs. Cage but the clock speeds up again as Chavo Guerrero is in at #15.

We currently have Fenix (haven’t seen him in a while), Mysterio, Ryan, Puma, Evans, Taya, Cage, Sagrada, Drago, Mack and Guerrero though Chavo makes Sagrada tap out to a camel clutch about ten seconds after getting in. At least they made it quick before it was a Hornswoggle rehash. Taya breaks up a 619 to Cage so Mundo can BREAK A CINDER BLOCK OVER CAGE’S HEAD, giving Taya the easy pin.

Puma grabs a German suplex to get rid of Taya as PJ Black is in at #16. Black suplexes Drago on the steps and here’s Evans to help beat him up. Drago takes them both down, including a hard launch into the post to drop Black. Aerostar is in at #17 as the camera keeps having to cut around the ring to pick up what it can. Back in and Black suplexes Drago, followed by something like a top rope Canadian Destroyer from Aerostar to Evans, giving us a double elimination. Yeah Drago was eliminated off a suplex. Not everything can be great around here.

Dragon Azteca Jr. is in at #18 and starts fast with a dropkick to Aerostar, followed by a spinning kick to Black’s head. A BIG flip dive over the top takes Mack down and it’s Texano in at #19. I’d rather watch Azteca more but we take a break as Texano clears the ring with the bullrope. Back with Texano diving on a bunch of guys and powerbombing Black for the elimination. Mil Muertes is in at #20 to give us a final field of Fenix, Mysterio, Ryan (STILL handcuffed), Puma, Mack, Guerrero, Aerostar, Azteca, Texano and Muertes.

Not so fast though as Pentagon Jr. comes in through the crowd and destroys Muertes with a chair. Rey adds another top rope splash and Puma helps with the cover to get rid of Muertes in less than a minute. Catrina yells at Vampiro for what just happened……but the clock counts down again to bring us Dario Cueto, who introduces MATANZA at #21. The match stops and even Catrina is terrified as he comes down the steps, though the fans cheer for Cueto.

Everyone goes after Matanza but he shrugs them off and grabs a reverse powerslam on Fenix (as in he loads up a powerslam but turns Fenix’s feet towards the mat to turn him instead of head first) for an easy elimination to guarantee us a new champion. Mack gets in a Stunner for no effect and it’s a German suplex (dropping Mack on his head in the process) for the elimination. Another German suplex gets rid of Aerostar so here’s Texano….who is powerbombed for the fourth elimination in about a minute.

Matanza breaks the barricade to get Ryan in the ring for some rolling gutwrench suplexes and a quick elimination. Mysterio, Guerrero, Puma and Azteca try to form strategy on the floor but Chavo goes after all of them like the moron that he is. Azteca goes in for some strikes to slow Matanza down for a bit, only to walk into a swinging chokeslam to get us down to four. Chavo’s deal making goes nowhere so Matanza busts out a standing shooting star to get rid of him as well.

Puma and Mysterio hammer away on the monster and a double dropkick puts him in the corner. That’s about it though as Rey gets thrown to the floor, leaving Puma to get German suplexed for the elimination. Mysterio is all alone and gets in a few kicks to set up the 619, only to have Matanza grab it out of the air. The second attempt works but the top rope hurricanrana is countered into another reverse powerslam to make Matanza champion at 50:26.

Rating: A. This was the show I had been looking forward to all season and it certainly delivered. Where do you even start here? This was AWESOME stuff throughout as it never got boring and went through the whole match without ever letting up. You had multiple debuts to set up multiple matches down the line for some amazing storytelling. I had a great time here, even though the ending was clear as soon as Dario came out. That doesn’t make it a bad thing though, especially when Matanza was amazing to see.

Dario celebrates with his brother to end the show.

Overall Rating: A+. In recent weeks, Ring of Honor, NXT and now Lucha Underground have all had hour long shows but this was the best of them all. I haven’t been this invested in a show in a long time and I had a blast the entire time. This was the show that Lucha Underground has been needing this season and the fire is back, which is a good thing for everyone. Really fun stuff here and one of the best non-Royal Rumble Royal Rumbles I’ve ever seen.

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  1. El Killjoy says:

    Did you notice it was almost verbatim what WWE did for the Royal Rumble and this was taped in December?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yep. I made note of it last week.