Lucha Underground – April 20, 2016: The Fun Stuff
Date: April 20, 2016
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, California
Commentators: Matt Striker, Vampiro
We’ve reached one of the biggest matches (or at least fights) in the history of Lucha Underground as Matanza will defend his Lucha Underground Title against Mil Muertes, the only one who could potentially hurt the monster champion. We’ll also see some more in the trios tournament. Let’s get to it.
The opening recap talks about the tournament and tonight’s title match.
Dario has Fenix, Drago and Aerostar in his office and makes them a team in the trios tournament because that’s the kind of guy he is. Actually not so fast though as they were in last year’s tournament and lost, so this year Fenix will team with PJ Black and Jack Evans to face the Disciples of Death. Drago and Aerostar can fight over an Aztec medallion.
Aztec Medallion: Drago vs. Aerostar
They start fast (duh) with Drago’s half crab being reversed into some near falls. That turns into a fight over a wristlock with Aerostar knocking the arms away a little bit more intensely than he should to a buddy. Aerostar backflips off the ropes but gets caught with a kick to the chest, followed by a springboard wristdrag as the fans are behind Drago. Well for now at least as the Lucha Underground fans change directions faster than a fish swimming towards a funhouse mirror.
Aerostar tries a dive but crashes to the floor, allowing Drago to send him into the barricade to make things even worse. Back in and Aerostar (now being cheered) sends him outside for a big dive, only to further bang up his already injured knee. Drago throws him over the top and down onto his feet, followed by a big flip dive. Aerostar’s knee is still banged up as an Orton hanging DDT gets two for Drago.
That’s no sold (because lucha) and it’s Aerostar popping up with a springboard dropkick, followed by the walking across the middle rope. Amazingly enough that extra time lets Drago get up and shove him away. Drago wins a quick slugout but Aerostar springboards into a Codebreaker, followed by a springboard splash (with a salute) for the pin on Drago at 6:08.
Rating: C+. This is Lucha Underground 101 with limited selling, basically no psychology and pure fun with both guys doing fun stuff and high spots to win a prize. Not everything needs to be the big epic showdown as sometimes you just need to have a fun, fast paced match that means very little for the moment.
Johnny Mundo is working out when Taya comes in to tell him he looks good. She’s told Dario to give him an Aztec Medallion so Cueto has given him a match……against Cage. That should be a lot of fun. Johnny isn’t worried because Taya will be there. Actually not so fast again because it’s a cage match. Johnny panics but insists he’s not worried.
Trios Tournament First Round: Disciples of Death vs. Jack Evans/Fenix/PJ Black
This is the final first round match so maybe we’ll get some brackets, even though only two other teams have won. Black and Trece (these guys are harder to keep straight than the Crew) start things off with PJ grabbing a wristlock. He won’t tag Fenix and Jack thinks PJ is doing just fine on his own though so he superkicks Trece to stay in control. Fenix springboards in to take out Trece but Sinestro does the same to drop Fenix as well.
That’s fine with Fenix who dives over the ropes to take out Sinestro again before it’s off to Evans for a kick to Trece’s ribs. Well it should be at least but Sinestro crotches Jack against the post. Black gets beaten down in the corner until Sinestro lets him roll away for the hot tag off to Fenix. A sweet looking springboard dropkick sends Sinestro into the corner for a baseball slide but Catrina holds up the rock.
That sets up a big superkick for two, followed by a PerfectPlex for the same. Since these Disciples are a bunch of goons though, Fenix drops all of them with some strikes, allowing Evans to tag himself in and start with the springboard flippy kicks. Evans, ever the braggadocios one, spends too much time celebrating and gets triple kicked in the chest.
A kind of flapjack gets two for Barrio but it’s off to Black for a springboard 450 and a near fall. Fenix and Black get into it for no apparent reason though, only to have Evans tag himself in and promise to show Fenix how it’s done. That means a big flip dive, leaving Fenix to hit a 450 of his own for the pin on Barrio at 9:11.
Rating: B-. Better than the first match but nothing close to the awesome stuff in last week’s tournament match. Evans and company are a fun trio and the Disciples are a bunch of worthless goons who can lose something like this and go nowhere as a result. Another fun match here and a good place to wrap up the first round.
Ivelisse, Son of Havoc and Angelico are in Dario’s office and are informed that they’re in the tournament…..which is for the Trios Titles. They’re already in the finals though, meaning they get to defend in a fourway title match next week.
The Disciples of Death teleport into Catrina’s office where she yells at them for failing again. She wants one good reason to not destroy all of them. Now stay with me here: Sinestro REACHES INTO THE OTHERS’ CHESTS AND RIPS OUT THEIR BEATING HEARTS! Barrio and Trece disintegrate and Sinestro gets some gauntlets. I’ll be back in a minute as my jaw finds its way back off the floor.
Lucha Underground Title: Matanza vs. Mil Muertes
Matanza is defending and this is going to be a war. The fans are behind Muertes because it’s either that or being behind a glorified serial murderer. They slug it out to start with Muertes pounding him down to the mat for the first time ever and a HUGE reaction as a result. Dario tells the champ to do it for the family so Matanza sends him into the buckle and hits a hard clothesline to drop Mil. A snap powerslam puts Matanza down again but he grabs Muertes by the throat.
Back up and Muertes fires off a string of clotheslines in the corner but Matanza stops him with a raised boot. Rolling gutwrench suplexes put Muertes down until he flips out of the third and flips Matanza over the top. A suicide dive puts Matanza down again and he’s holding his knee. Dario goes after Muertes and gets choked in the air until a limping Matanza makes the save.
Catrina hits Matanza in the head with the stone and now it’s Muertes making the save with a chair to the back. Some metal can shots to the back have Matanza in trouble until he takes it away and hits Mil in the head. They fight up the steps and on top of Dario’s office and tease throwing each other off to no avail. Instead Mil loads up the Flatliner…..AND THEY GO THROUGH THE ROOF to end this in a no contest at around 7:15.
Rating: B. Oh yeah that worked. I was totally into the fighting and battle of titans here with both guys beating the tar out of each other. I’m assuming this was cut short due to a combination of the knee injury (may or may not be legit of course) and wanting to save the required rematch for a bigger stage. The ending made my eyes bug out though and it was a lot of fun throughout. Good stuff here, as expected.
We go back to the police station where we see a DECEASED poster for Bael and MISSING posters for Alberto Del Rio, Hernandez, Big Ryck and Blue Demon. Now that’s a nice touch. The captain is looking around when Councilman Delgado (as portrayed by Hollywood actor Lorenzo Lamas) comes in to tell her to stay out of his territory. He’s from Boyle Heights and his employer (apparently someone much more powerful than the mayor) wants her to drop the case against Dario.
Overall Rating: A. This show was a blast and everything I love about Lucha Underground. Here’s the biggest thing about it though: those posters at the end. How many times do you see someone leave a wrestling company and then never get mentioned again? Lucha Underground just flat out said “yeah these people are gone” and then tie it into the big overarching story. That’s the kind of thing that makes this promotion so much fun and it’s always worth watching.
The key word for this whole place is fun. Whether it’s a match like the opener or a fight like the main event, there’s almost always something going on around here that is going to entertain you. I’ve yet to be bored by an episode of Lucha Underground and this was one of the most entertaining episodes they’ve ever done. I had a blast with this and I’m really interested in seeing where things are going in the rest of the season.
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