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The Ten Best Lucha Underground Matches (Updated!)
Some time ago, I wrote a column detailing the best matches that Lucha Underground had produced in their short, but eventful run. It was probably my breakout column, and I always planned on following it up with a revised list once the first season ended. As it turns out, we're doing it now instead. Early? Yes. But so what? Did you see All Night Long just the other night? That match, as well as the ton of other great matches that have happened since Angelico flew in like a robin (just quoted Batman Forever. Shame will be setting in any moment), so it's only natural the list get an needed update. Get it? Got it? Good. I knew you'd understand. Alright, I've been working on this all day, so let's not waste any more time. ON WITH THE SHOW!!!
Jack Evans vs. Aero Star (5/13/15)
Here's the thing about debut matches; the guy who debuts always wins, and usually in a fashion that calls to my Golden State's thrashing of the Cavaliers in Games 4, 5 and 6. That certainly was what I was expecting when Jack Evans, FIFA Champ and Super Saiyan, break danced his way to the ring a little more than a month ago. Instead, Aero Star not only hung in there with Evans, but beat him, marking the greatest victory for any Power Rangers associate in at least fifteen years. Talk about surprise. So why does it make the list? Even in defeat, Evans was established as a dynamite in ring performer and an unbelievably charismatic rudo (think Shawn Michaels if he wasn't losing his hair), while Aero Star notched another "I'm quietly the most underrated performer in the Temple" performance in his belt. It also helps that there was a railing 450 splash and a top rope Canadian Destroyer. I reckon Petey Williams shed a tear from Scott Steiner's basement when that happened.
Son of Havoc vs. Angelico (3/25/15)
Great story going in (Son of Havoc trying to end his MVP esq losing streak), great action throughout (including one of the first Angelico daredevil moves) and featuring one of the two best endings in LU history. Seriously, it doesn't get much better than dumping your girlfriend and then hitting one of the coolest shooting star presses ever to get the weight of the world off your shoulders. So what if Ivelisse was/is way out of Havoc's league and he's not getting a girl any better? Man needs his independence. I will say this match gets points off for brutalizing the great Angelico so much. Not only does he lose, but Ivelisse kicks his head off at the end. Not a good day for the man that gravity forgot. Yes Neville, Angelico has your nickname now. FIGHT ME!
Death Match: Mil Muertes vs. Fenix (5/27/15)
Let's be real; nothing Fenix and Mil Muertes were going to do together after Grave Consequences was going to top Grave Consequences. It just wasn't in the cards. Have you seen that match? It had Seth Rollins clapping like a trained seal. We now go live to LOP's 'Plan reacting to Rollins clapping like a trained seal.
That said, the follow up here was epic in its own right, and not just because Mil ditched the pajamas for his new Beast King look. Yes, the beating Mil delivered to Fenix was vicious and yes, that powerbomb through the roof was sick nasty. But better yet was the dueling stories of Mil looking to reclaim his thrown as the baddest motherfucker this side of Goku vs. Fenix just simply not going away (which he didn't, until he met the roof). Wonderful stuff, and the perfect cap on this glorious feud between these two. Well, at least thus far. In the words of Joker, these two may be destined to do this forever.
Prince Puma vs. Hernandez (5/27/15)
Time for a potentially blasphemous statement; I like Hernandez. I know he's loathed by pretty much everyone, but I've always thought he's had decent ability, and should've been (in my opinion) a much bigger star in TNA than he ultimately was. Yet, even as a fan of the guy, I was completely blown away by how good his match with Puma for the Lucha Underground Championship was. Sometimes, two guys just click, and these two did just that. I've never seen Hernandez look as crisp as he did against Puma, and better yet, I've never seen Puma go as full throttle as he did with Hernandez. At the time of this match, I thought Puma, while still excellent, had kind of taken a backseat to guys like Angelico, Fenix, Havoc and the Beast King. This match with Hernandez served as a reminder of what the LU's champion is capable of.
Cage Match: Johnny Mundo vs. King Cuerno (3/11/15)
After a month long feud that included an ankle injury and a brutal no contest, Johnny Mundo and King Cuerno decided to settle their differences in the LU's first ever steel cage match. What you'd expect to be a brutal affair was instead more akin to the famous Bret Hart-Owen Hart cage match, with more technical, lucha libre action than blood. In the end, it was a wise decision, as both Mundo and Cuerno are able to play to their strengths. Also, it allowed Johnny to do some sort of Phoenix Splash style dive off the cage at the climax. Is there anyone we take for granted in the Temple more than the man from the Palace of Wisdom? And why am I having so much trouble coming up with a follow up joke?! Ugh, break out the Red Skull.
Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo (5/6/15)
There's that Mundo guy again! There's not enough words to describe how much I enjoy this match. In fact, as far as single matches go, I would probably put it in my top five for this year. Sure, it might not have been a traditional lucha libre contest (this was as close as the LU will probably get to being a full blown WWE style match), but it was still damn good, and most certainly the best of the encounters Mundo and El Patron have had over the course of their careers. Sometimes, the best wrestling matches aren't flashy and don't need gimmicks, they just need two guys duking it out in the spirit of competition. That's what Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo was. Somewhere, Mazza has wiped a tear from his eye before returning to his Triple H/Roman Reigns fan fiction.
Aztec Warfare for the Lucha Underground Championship (1/7/15)
For the first show of 2015, Lucha Underground decided to crown its first ever world champion with a twenty man battle royal onscreen boss Dario Cueto called Aztec Warfare. Sounds a lot like the Rumble right? Not so fast my friend; whereas the rules of the Rumble have you winning by tossing your opponents over the top rope, Aztec Warfare required each combatant to be pinned until there was one man left. Talk about a way to crown your first LU champion. Taking the entire episode to complete, the mega battle royal lived up to the hype, featuring the usual great lucha action, the entertaining chaos that has helped make the Rumble so popular, and a final four that included the LU's four biggest stars at the time; Mil Muertes, Johnny Mundo, Prince Puma, and Sexy Star. That's right, a woman made it to the final four. Awesome. In the end, the LU made the correct call with the result, and Prince Puma would go onto eliminate Mundo to become Lucha Underground's first, and thus far only, World Champion. Also, I made the right call in not changing this paragraph from the first column. The lesson as always; less is more. Or something like that.
All Night Long: Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo (6/17/15)
You know I loved this match from my running diary a few days ago. But even after that, I wasn't sure just how good this match was. You trying getting a complete read on something while you're trying to come up with 1,000 different pop culture references. Upon a second viewing however, this match not only holds up, it's better than I thought. Not a single spot in this match is blown. Not a single move seems out of place. There's flash, but not too much of it. There was interference, but it worked within the confines of the story. The rudo work by Mundo is great, whether he was stalling for time, running away or preparing for his close up. And how about Puma? If John Cena comes back from a 4-1 deficit in an iron man match, we're all rolling our eyes or throwing stuff at TV like the match was directed by Michael Bay. It's just not believable he'd be down by that much, and it's predictable he'd get back in it. With Puma? It was believable on both ends, and it was made even more riveting by the little things he did, like dragging Mundo back to the ring despite having no energy, or flinging himself and Mundo off the bandstand through four tables because there was no other option. In short, this is a match that keeps on giving. I don't know if it's one of the best iron man matches ever, but it's certainly an LU classic thus far.
Son of Havoc, Ivelisse and Angelico vs. The Crew for the LU Trios Championships (4/22/15)
Yup, even with All Night Long just in the books, the triumph of the greatest Trios team in the world still stays in the top two. It's got everything. The story is unbelievable. The fight of Ivelisse, who worked this match with a shattered foot, is amazing. You already know how I feel about Angelico's leap, perhaps the greatest spot done in wrestling this year. The fact that Son of Havoc and the Crew's solid performances get lost in those two facts is a testament to how strong this match was. Add the story of a dysfunctional group of wrestlers overcoming all odds to win not one, but two matches in a row to capture the Trios Titles, and you a Golden State style winner. We now go live to ESPN continuing to ignore their NBA Finals victory, because LEBRON!
1. Grave Consequences: Mil Muertes vs. Fenix (w/Catrina) (3/18/15)
Still the reigning and defending king of the jungle. And how could it not? This was as brutal an encounter as we've seen this year; an angered Mil Muertes looking to exact revenge on the upstart Fenix for stealing his woman (as it turns out, not really) and being the one guy he couldn't put away. Turns out, he couldn't put him away here either, as no matter what Mil did, Fenix just kept coming and coming and coming. It's a simple story, but sometimes, simple is the best thing. Most impressive; how innovative both men were with the coffin. Who knew using the thing as a weapon would be such a breath of fresh air? I wouldn't doubt that in the long run, Mil and Fenix have done the same for casket matches that the Hardys, Edge and Christian did for ladder matches over a decade and a half ago. That brilliance keeps this match not only as the LU's best match, but for my money, the best match of 2015.
That's it guys. I'll be back tomorrow, I think with something for my Chicago Cubs. Till then, watch all of these matches (and I mean all of them) and get ready for DUCHOVNY TIME!