Lucha Underground – June 1, 2016: Feed Cage More

Lucha Underground
Date: June 1, 2016
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, California
Commentators: Matt Striker, Vampiro

It’s a big week as we have Matanza defending the Lucha Underground Title against Cage, who is cashing in his Gift of the Gods Title for a shot at the big belt. Other than that it’s hard to say what to expect as the show goes up and down more often than not these days. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the Trios and Gift of the Gods Titles in recent weeks.

Daga vs. Son of Havoc

Havoc sends him to the floor in about fifteen seconds and kicks him hard in the chest. In a ridiculous display of strength, Havoc hangs horizontally off the post before dropping down with an elbow. A standing moonsault gets two back inside as we definitely seem to be in squash territory. Daga flips him into a faceplant for two before talking a bit of trash.

They hit the mat with Daga spinning around into a Tequila Sunrise but here’s Kobra Moon for a distraction. It doesn’t seem to bother Daga that much though as he slingshots in with a dropkick in the corner. Havoc pops back up and kicks Daga in the face but misses his springboard double stomp. Kobra distracts Havoc so Daga can kick him in the head (not a DQ for interference of course) but Havoc shoves him off and hits the Shooting Star for the pin at 6:07.

Rating: C-. I’m still not a fan of any of these people though Son of Havoc winning is the right call. Daga and Kobra Moon are as far down on the Lucha totem pole as you can be and this really didn’t do them a lot of good. They’re just not interesting and their matches aren’t worth seeing either.

Post match Kobra almost wraps herself around Daga, who doesn’t seem pleased.

Rey Mysterio is warming up when Dragon Azteca comes in to say he’s found Matanza’s cell. Dragon wants revenge but Rey say go after the titles again. That makes Dragon think Rey doesn’t care about the dead Dragon Azteca. A fight is about to break out when Prince Puma comes in. Rey tells him to leave but Puma doesn’t take kindly to the suggestion. They all head to the ring in peace.

Trios Titles: Rey Mysterio Jr./Dragon Azteca Jr./Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo/PJ Black/Jack Evans

Rey and company are challenging after losing the titles last week. The champs now have matching bandanas and sunglasses. Mysterio and Black start things off with PJ being taken to the mat but ducking a basement kick to the head. The second isn’t as avoidable though as Rey blasts him with another kick, only to have Mundo kick Rey low from the apron.

Evans pulls Rey back across the ring so Mundo can hit him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Rey has flashbacks to teaming with Kidman though and counters a powerbomb with a DDT for the hot tag off to Puma. A northern lights suplex into a vertical suplex drops Mundo again and Azteca helps Puma with a corner enziguri to Evans. Mundo kicks Puma in the head to break up a dive so Black can hit the dive instead.

Evans dropkicks Rey to break up another dive, only to have Puma do the same thing to him. A big old superplex sends Evans and Puma onto the pile and all six are down. Back in and Puma’s 630 is broken up, allowing Jack to hit one of his own for two. Puma is right back up with a suplex to send Jack into the corner though and it’s a double tag to Dragon and Mundo. The other four fight to the floor as Dragon does his big spinning DDT for two on Johnny. Taya gets on the apron so Johnny can kick Dragon low. That’s too much for Puma who gets in the ring and kicks Johnny low for the DQ at 9:45.

Rating: B. Another fun match here with an ending smart enough to keep the good guy dream team looking strong. Puma was so frustrated with all the cheating on top of the pre-match stuff backstage that he snapped and turned all evil for a bit to cost his team the match. The thing I like about Lucha is that they don’t flat out say that and let you figure it out on your own for a change. If this was WWE they would have explained it three times during the five replays.

Puma superkicks Taya to really act evil. I could go for Puma vs. Mundo.

Dragon Azteca is at Matanza’s cell when Black Lotus (Remember her?) comes up and tells him not to do this. She tells Dragon Azteca that the original Dragon killed her parents but he doesn’t seem to believe her.

Lucha Underground Title: Cage vs. Matanza

Cage is challenging by cashing in his Gift of the Gods Title. Vampiro thinks Matanza is distracted as Cage holds up the title. So the solution is to just distract him? A slugout goes nowhere and they trade shoulders and elbows. Cage headscissors him out to the floor to set up a BIG flip dive. If this guy isn’t back in WWE in a year at most I’ll be stunned. Cage isn’t done yet as he moonsaults off the top to take out Matanza again.

Dario is freaking out as Matanza is sent face first into the barricade a few times. The champ gets a breather while Cage peels back the floor mats, allowing Matanza to suplex Cage on the concrete. Cage misses a clothesline and gets caught in a release German suplex. Back in and Matanza pounds away with rights and lefts but a standing shooting star (more like a headbutt than a splash) hits knees.

Twenty straight clotheslines in the corner rock Matanza but he comes right back with a fall away suplex for two. Now it’s Cage popping back up with a pumphandle into an X Factor of all things. Back up and both guys try bicycle kicks for a double knockdown. They trade no sold German suplexes but a swinging German suplex knocks Cage silly. Wrath of the Gods is broken up and Cage BLASTS him with a discus lariat for two. A superplex plants Matanza again and a top rope elbow gets two on the champ.

An Alabama Slam and standing moonsault give Cage yet another near fall and that means it’s time for Weapon X. That’s countered as well but the Wrath of the Gods is reversed into a small package for two. The Lucha Destroyer (F5) gets another two for Cage and there go the straps. A series of kicks stagger Matanza but he grabs Wrath of the Gods for the pin at retain at 13:27.

Rating: B+. I don’t think this one needs much of an explanation: take two big guys and have them beat each other up for about fifteen minutes. The important thing here though is that they’ve adjusted Matanza’s character to someone who can be beaten after a lot of difficulty. Basically he’s their version of Kane and that’s not the kind of character who can only last so long without being adjusted and those necessary changes have been made. Really fun power brawl here with Cage looking like someone who could indeed beat Matanza if he had another shot.

Overall Rating: A-. Two out of the three matches were highly entertaining and we got an important change to a major character. Black Lotus’ cameo didn’t really need to happen but it’s nice for them to throw a bone back to the whole Dragon Azteca story. That’s one of the problems around here: there are so many stories and only an hour a week to get to a lot of them so there’s only so much you can do. Anyway, really strong show this week which you have to expect every now and then.

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  1. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    Strong episode and that Cage vs Matanza match was glorious. Who knew Cage of all people had the high flying lucha skills in him?

    The Trios titles feel important all of a sudden and I can’t wait to see where Gringos R Us( that’s what I have decided their name should be) do next while the super team has combusted.

    I can’t believe you were so down on Daga and Son of Havoc. That was the most realistic match I have seen in the temple yet with both guys actually selling.

    Also it’s shame that Lucha Underground has resorted to the canned boos. I have really started to notice it the last few weeks especially with Evans and Mundo who by themselves usually get great heat but when they are being goofy with PJ Black they sorta become lovable goons and LU has decided to just pump in those obvious boos despite crowd shots in the background of no one cheering or booing.

  2. NightShiftLoser says:

    I like Son Of Havoc quite a bit, but Daga and Kobra Moon could pull a Blue Demon and never be seen in the temple again, and I wouldn’t miss them. The title matches were both really good, but I’d even put Cage/Matanza in MOTY territory, for right now.

  3. Isaiah Morrow says:

    Did KB forget a title to his review???? OH MY GOD!