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Lucha Underground Episode 29 Review: Mil Lived, Mil Died, MIL LIVES AGAIN!
So...last night's Lucha Underground episode. Dare I say the greatest? I don't know about you, but I've watched it twice in the past 24 hours, and I may be tempted to watch it again. It's that awesome. Like, picture all the great things in life (Yvonne Strahovski, Fury Road, Pizza Pringles, Pepsi), mix them all together, and you'd get last night's episodes. It had everything from Vampiro drinking games, death defying leaps, and holy shit I'm starting to spoil stuff. Pretty much, it had everything but Angelico and the Moth, which saddens me, but hey, what can you do? Enough about my problems though, we have greatness to look at! ON WITH THE SHOW!
Lucha Underground Episode 29: Mil Lived, Mil Died, MILL LIVES AGAIN!
Black Lotus Meets Chavo
Would you believe that this was one of only three backstage scenes shot for the show? I know, I'm stunned myself! Not a whole lot to see here, as Chavo pretty much played it straight with Lotus and told her the best way to get revenge is to do it in the ring. Judging by what happens at the end, wise play Chavo, wise play. At least we'll finally get to see Black Lotus in the ring sooner than later, not to mention it's always good to see Chavo. I can't believe the guy who used to carry around Pepe the stick horse is still entertaining in 2015. He's like the Fury Road of wrestlers!
Johnny Mundo defeated Aerostar
Any other show, this would've been the match of the night. On Lucha Underground, it's doesn't even make the medal round. And this was a really fun bout. Aerostar was his usual, high flying self, and Johnny Mundo was exceptional as a rudo. Like, beyond exceptional. For those who don't remember Mundo's heel run as John Morrison in WWE, the guy was a capable bad guy, even though his talking deficiencies and face like offense kept him from being an all around great. While his improvement on the mic remains to be seen, the in ring work is there. Mundo was just as aggressive as I thought he'd be, and more importantly, there was an increased viciousness in the new ground and pound offense he employed. This was exactly what a rudo should be like. Mundo did such a good job that Aerostar, who isn't an unpopular dude by the way, was getting the loudest pops he's ever received in the Temple. That is some grade A heat Mundo is generating there. If he was able to get huge pops for Aerostar, wait till you see what popularity he brings for Alberto El Patron when he returns from his window shaving. They may have to rebuild the Temple. But you already knew that.
Vamp and Sexy Star
Another week, another awesome Vampiro interview. Is there a more organic color commentator in the world than this guy? Building on his interview with Mundo last week, his talk with Sexy was a lot more calm and civil than say the ones Vamp has had with Konnan/Puma and the Greatest Trios Team to Ever Live. Plus, we learned two cool things. First, Pentagon Jr vs. Sexy Star in a submission match will occur next week, which should be bonkers good. Secondly, Sexy Star has yet to hear from Super Fly since she unmasked him and Pentagon broke his arm. Interesting development there, that I in no way, shape, or form expect to lead to Super Fly turning on Sexy and joining Pentagon under a new name. Perhaps they should stick to the shape theme and call him Hexagon Jr. I know, I'm embarrassed with myself as well brother. Crap, I said brother. Time to play the Vampiro drinking game!
Lucha Underground Championship
Prince Puma (c) defeated Hernandez
So I was dead wrong about this match. In my predictions, I said this match would go about five minutes and end in a no contest after Konnan fulfilled his destiny and turned on poor Prince Puma. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Instead the match went over ten minutes, featured no Konnan heel turn and was unbelievable. For those that read me on the old site, you'll know I'm a Hernandez guy. I know a ton of people don't care for him, but I've never had that much of problem with the guy. Even I was stunned by how good he was last night. I don't know if Puma and him just have a chemistry or if Puma was the right guy to sell Hernandez' brutal offense, but everything just clicked. Well done Super Mex! Hopefully this can keep the haters quiet for awhile. Though that's like saying The Moth won't be main eventing Ultimo Lucha 2016. It's destiny.
As great as Hernandez was though, we have to talk about the champ here. As talented as Prince Puma is, it's been easy to forget about him as guys like Angelico, Fenix, Son of Havoc and Mil Muertes were rising up through the ranks the last few months. This match was a reminder of just how special a talent this dude is. He sold the hell out of Hernandez' move set. He delivered one of the most original kick combinations in recent memory. He did a great job of showing some urgency in this match, something I think lacked in his other recent performances. And how about that corkscrew moonsault off the railing onto Hernandez? It was no Angelico dive, but man was it something special (can you imagine Puma vs. Angelico? Sign me up now!). All in all, I think we're going to look back on this match as Puma's masterpiece thus far. An unbelievable contest that caught me by surprise. And yet, IT STILL WASN'T THE BEST THING ABOUT THE SHOW! Are we sure this LU episode wasn't the greatest episode of wrestling ever?
Mil Muertes defeated Fenix
Ladies and gentlemen, if you thought Grave Consequences couldn't be topped, if you thought Fenix and Mil Muertes couldn't quite replicate their performances in 2015's match of the year...you were correct, but just by a smidge. Of all the wrestling sequels out there, this one was the most worthy of its predecessor. Old Mil Muertes may have been a bad motherfucker, but new Mil is out of this world. Even though he didn't tear Fenix's mask off like last time, I think Mil delivered even more brutal punishment to the Man of A Thousand Lives than he did in Grave Consequences. He wailed on the poor bastard with chairs. He hit him with a perfect, painful looking crossbody from the ring to the floor. Mil's chokeslam to Fenix might've been the best, most violent looking chokeslam I've seen in years. And of course, there was the small fact that Mil powerbombed Fenix through the roof of some closet/bathroom/room at the end the match, which basically puts all those other moves to shame. Don't piss off Mil Muertes guys! You're going to find yourself lying in a broken heap before three dudes in skeleton masks carry you away. In other words..
Let's be real though; Mil might've been awesome in this match and the LU did a great job presenting him as the be all, end all of badass, but what impressed me the most about this match is how Fenix still mattered. Yes, for all intents and purposes this was a squash dressed in fancy clothing, but even still, I never felt like Fenix didn't have a chance. He continued to fight and claw throughout the bout and hit several amazing moves himself, including a moonsault and a double stomp from the railing where he seemed to be in the air forever (look at Angelico forcing these dudes to step up their aerial game!). Plus, as dominate as Mil was, the only way he could beat Fenix was to POWERBOMB HIM THROUGH A ROOF! Doesn't that prove Fenix is just as much a badass as Mil, to take all that punishment and keep coming? I don't know, I thought it was an excellent touch in a match full of excellent touches, and I literally got chills with the final image of Mil, Catrina and the Skeletor Army standing tall over Fenix's broken body as the showed "closed". It wasn't quite Grave Consequences, but it was brilliant none the less. And no, I'm not ignoring Catrina and the Skeletor Army walking around ringside counterclockwise (thanks for pointing it out Vamp), I just don't know what to make of it. What does it mean? Does it give Mil power? Does it weaken his opponents? Are they going to do this every match? The confusion is real!
Boy, THAT Escalated Quickly
So, you know how it appeared the show was over as the credits rolled during the Mil-Fenix finale? Not so fast my friend! Turns out, we needed to see a scene in the Temple basement where Dario Cueto (shockingly his first and only appearance of the night) gave The Crew their punishment for failing to win the Trios Championships. And well, to make a long story short, Dario killed a guy. Alright, he himself didn't do it, but he pretty much gave the order to have Cortez Castro and Mr. Cisco feed Bael to Matanza. Or did he just grind him into tiny pieces? I don't know! All I know is Lucha Underground killed off a wrestler, it somehow worked, and it still wasn't the most interesting thing that happened last night. If that doesn't make this show worth checking out, your name must be 'Plan (I'm kidding!). And no, this hasn't quenched my thirst to find out who Matanza is. On the contrary, I need to know even more than ever now! I don't care if the chances of the reveal being a colossal let down are greater than ever. I GOTS TO KNOW!
There you have it guys. Before we wrap this up, I'd like to personally thank the LU for such an awesome episode last night. Here's why; this show, as well as three others taped the same weekend, occurred right after the death of Mexican wrestler Perro Aguayo Jr. back in March. If you haven't seen LU's tribute to him, watch it; it's one of the most emotional things you'll see from wrestling this year. That these men and women in the ring and behind the scenes were able to put on such a great show with such heavy hearts is a tribute to how hard they all work and how much they cared about this man. So thank you Lucha Underground for being the awesome promotion you are, and giving the greatest tribute possible to a man taken from us too soon. We miss you Perro.
Alright, that's a wrap. I'll be back later today with another Lucha Underground column, hopefully with your assistance! Till then, something something DUCHOVNY, something something X-Files.