Lucha Underground – August 2, 2017: He’s Grown Up

Lucha Underground
Date: August 2, 2017
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, California
Commentators: Vampiro, Matt Striker

The tournament is really starting to pick up and that means it’s time to start winding it down. We’re three weeks away from the finals and at the moment, we’re down to just eight to go. On top of that, the build towards Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio for the Lucha Underground Title is really taking off. Let’s get to it.

The standard opening recap gets things going with a focus on the title match and Mysterio vs. PJ Black from last week.

Dario Cueto brings Matanza some raw meat while saying that Matanza is shaken by his recent loss. If he doesn’t control his human desires, the powers of the gods will be taken from him. Matanza refuses the food.

Cueto Cup Quarterfinals: Pindar vs. Fenix

Melissa still seems to have a thing for Fenix. Pindar wastes no time in kicking Fenix down and hammering away. A backbreaker gets two but Fenix flips out of a second one and kicks Pindar in the head. Fenix tries to get all fired up but Pindar charges into the corner to crush both Fenix and his comeback.

One heck of a monkey flip sends Fenix flying and a double underhook spinning slam gives Pindar two. That’s enough for Fenix as he elbows Pindar in the jaw and muscles him over for a German suplex. Melissa is openly cheering for Fenix now and a springboard C4 (or close to one) sets up the top rope double knees to advance Fenix at 5:18.

Rating: C. Fenix winning is the right idea as he’s a valuable person to have in the tournament. While he isn’t likely winning, there’s the slightest chance that he could pull off a big upset and win the whole thing and that makes his matches more interesting. Even if he doesn’t win, whoever beats him is going to get a big rub as a result.

The Worldwide Underground comes in to see Dario with Jack Evans’ jaw wired shut. The short version: next week Taya/PJ/Jack are getting a Trios Titles match and they’re all involved in the Gift of the Gods title matches (there are a series of medallions, whoever gets all of them together can cash in for a Lucha Underground Title shot).

Cueto Cup Quarterfinals: Dante Fox vs. Prince Puma

They run the ropes to start with Puma flipping all over the place and avoiding a dropkick, only to have Dante take him down with a dive. That’s fine with Puma who hits a dive through the ropes and another over them to really wake the crowd up. Fox is right back up and tries a running shooting star off the apron but gets caught in the air. That’s fine with him as he spins around into a tornado DDT on the floor. The fans are all behind Puma as Dante chokes him on the ropes like a villain is supposed to be doing.

Puma jawbreaks his way to freedom but gets caught in a twisting suplex for two. A 619 in the corner into a springboard crossbody gives Puma two of his own as the Fox chants are starting to sprinkle in. Fox is right back with a springboard Codebreaker for two, followed by a pinfall reversal sequence. One heck of a Blue Thunder Bomb gives Puma two and he snaps off some running knees in the corner.

Puma misses a charge though and Fox hits a slingshot dropkick. Fox’s 450 hits knees though and both guys are down again. Some kicks to the head and a brainbuster give Puma two more. A reverse exploder suplex of all things plants Fox again but he STILL kicks out. Puma has finally had it so a shotgun dropkick into the corner sets up the 630 to put Fox away at 11:03.

Rating: B. Now that’s more like it. This was a match where they just kept hitting each other with bigger and bigger spots until one of them couldn’t get up. Puma is of course the right call for the win here and it makes sense to have him go one gear further than Fox. There’s a good chance that Puma is winning this thing, especially with the extra gear he’s had in recent weeks thanks to Vampiro.

Post match Killshot comes in and hits something like a One Winged Angel before saying it’s not over between them.

Captain Vazquez (Cortez Castro’s boss) isn’t happy with him getting crushed by Cage, but to be fair Cage is a god. Cortez says no man alive can get the gauntlet away from him. He leaves and Vazquez agrees but looks at her half of the medallion.

Johnny Mundo vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr.

Non-title and Rey Mysterio’s family is in the crowd. Mundo can’t get a suplex so Dragon smacks him in the chest. An enziguri drops Johnny and he bails to the ropes for a staredown. A hurricanrana sends Johnny to the floor but he catches a flip version and plants Dragon on the floor with a spinebuster.

Back in and we hit the chinlock for a bit before Mundo rams in some shoulders in the corner. A backdrop puts Mundo on the floor though and that means a BIG flip dive over the top to take him down. Back in again and some kicks to the face give Dragon two more, only to have Johnny grab a standing C4 for two of his own. Dragon’s super victory roll of all things gets two more but he gets pulled off the top, setting up the End of the World to give Johnny the pin at 9:00.

Rating: B-. Dragon Azteca is good but he’s clearly a step or two behind some of the top names. Having Mundo beat Mysterio’s protege is good storytelling though and you can tell there’s going to be something involving Rey’s family to wrap things up. I really like how they’ve been setting up the title match as it feels like something important that they’re actually building for a change instead of just doing it all of a sudden. You don’t get that enough anymore and it’s working for me.

Post match Johnny wraps a chair around Dragon’s neck but here’s Mysterio for the save. Johnny bails and Rey leaves but Mundo comes back. Since Rey apparently isn’t watching, Mundo gets in Rey’s son Dominic’s (who has grown WAY up) face and here’s the Worldwide Underground to beat Dominic down, including a belt shot from Mundo.

Fenix and Melissa Santos seem to be getting rather comfortable in the parking lot with Melissa asking if Fenix ever takes that mask off. He says on special occasions and they leave together. Marty the Moth Martinez is shown watching from the shadows and promises to take Fenix’s mask.

Overall Rating: B. I had a great time with this show as it flew by but more importantly it made me want to see the big show in three weeks. The tournament finals should be a lot of fun and there’s a major match on top of it. They’re also starting to tie some of the bigger stories together for once instead of having things all over the place. That’s plagued this season horribly and it would be a great thing to fix, which it seems like they are for the time being.

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