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Lucha Underground Running Diary: All Night Long II
The time has come sports fans. Tonight Lucha Underground crawls out of hibernation and returns to our lives, looking to overcome off screen drama and unexpected hiatus' to reclaim its thrown as the best wrestling show going today. Will they do it? They're certainly going to try, starting tonight with the second ever All Night Long match between Johnny Mundo and The Mack, with Mundo's Lucha Underground Championship on the line. That's big; so big that I absolutely need to document it with a running diary. Good thing I've had a lot of practice with CMLL recently then! So with that said sports fans, let us wait no longer. It's time to go back to the Temple!
7:47: We are live from Casa de Cult, approximately 13 minutes from show time with Matanza vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr. currently on the big screen. Fitting considering that was the last thing we saw before the hiatus. I'm like Oscar in Armageddon right now; 98% excited, 2% scared. Or is it 98% scared, 2% excited? THAT'S WHAT MAKES THIS SO INTENSE!
7:50: Watching this Azteca-Matanza match reminds me that it's really, really good and for some reason was underrated by people. Must be because it didn't go too long. Or maybe people just don't like dudes going through bleachers. SPOILER ALERT!
7:51: Azteca literally just jumped off the ceiling. Again; why didn't people like this match?!
7:53: AND THROUGH THE BLEACHERS HE WENT! Still awesome. Although El Jefe acting like he just won the World Series may have been even better.
7:55: Rey Mysterio has arrived and after a few minutes of brawling Matanza has now powerbombed him into part of the ceiling. Again; WHAT WERE WE THINKING?! This is awesome shit.
7:57: And there goes Matanza through the roof. I'm gonna be honest; that's awesome, but it's no "going through the bleachers." Although I may be biased because Matanza's roof bump is like the tenth of LU's history. There've been more roof bumps than Joey Ryan victories for crying out loud.
7:58: We are two minutes away and watching Marty the Moth stalking Melissa. Fun stuff. Not nearly as fun as the fact that it's almost officially time! I tell you folks; for all the troubles LU has had and for all the good wrestling I've seen from New Japan and CMLL since the break, nothing has gotten me as hyped as tonight. The power of the LU is still alive folks, at least for me.
8:00: Ladies and gentlemen, it's that time again!
8:01: Good job by LU showing the usual recap video. We're getting the full run down on Big Willie's issues with Mundo, his victory of the Battle of the Bulls tourney; everything. They probably had that planned from the beginning, but still; good move LU, good move.
8:02: Mariachi music plays us in as Vamp and Striker are back. Oh Grodd; Striker. There's one man I haven't missed.
8:03: Just like last time, both guys are in the ring to start the show. We're trying to save as much time as possible here! We also have our first editing mistake, with Striker saying Mundo screwed over Sexy Star two weeks ago. You've lost track of time Striker!
8:04: HERE! WE! GO!
8:05: They're starting out slow here, with some headlocks and Mundo trying to shoulder block Big Willie. It doesn't work, and Big Willie sends Johnny into the corner for some strikes. Johnny then uses his parkour style to get around Mack and get a roll up for a near fall.
8:06: That is a Wasteland into a Gutbuster! How I have missed you Big Willie. He gets a near fall on that then a near fall on a knee drop. Quite a few covers in just a few minutes of action.
8:07: Johnny with some brutal kicks on Big Willie that ends with a Shining Wizard. Mack gets out at two. In case you're wondering, crowd is fully behind Big Willie, which will make them sad that Mundo just hit Moonlight Drive on the challenger. It's another near fall though, which is interesting because that's a move that should've given Johnny a fall.
8:08: Striker name drops Lex Luger for some reason, Vamp shoots that reference down and we're on the top rope. Big Willie seems poised to hit a big move, but Johnny slides down the poll and trips up Mack. This allows Johnny to hit a flush End of the World and just like that it's 1-0 Mundo. Story thus far is Johnny using his speed/athleticism to his advantage while Mack is trying to out muscle him. May want to try something else Big Willie.
8:12: We're back from a rather sad string of commercials. Get your shit together El Rey! Mundo is starting to get cocky, but that backfires after Mack catches him with a Backdrop Suplex for a near fall. Striker is already speculating whether Mundo will attempt to run away to preserve his win, much like he tried against Puma last time.
8:13: If that is Mundo's strategy he may want to get on it quick! Mack is wrecking him with attacks in the corner, including an awesome running senton. Mundo keeps kicking out though; perhaps this ends 1-0 with Big Willie being unable to get the tie?
8:14: Mundo laying some hard rights on Big Willie. He then makes the mistake of picking him up and sending him into the corner...which turns out to not be a mistake as Mack collides chest first, stunning him long enough for Johnny to get an Enzugiri.
8:15: Instead of going for a cover, Johnny stalls as he goes for another End of the World. Mack prevents him going up top, but Mundo manages to get out and get a La Casita hybrid for a pinfall. And yes, he had help from the ropes. 2-0 Mundo.
8:16: Desperation is kicking in for Big Willie, which leads to him sending Johnny out of the ring so he can hit an awesome dive. Mundo tries to get away, but Mack just wrecks him, driving him head first off the apron and to the floor! It's getting good folks.
8:17: Big Willie throws Mundo back in the ring but Johnny is out of the pinfall again. The story thus far has been Big Willie having most of the advantage, but Johnny has managed to get the falls while also kicking out of everything Mack has thrown at him. Not good for Big Willie.
8:18: Mundo rolls to the apron and gets Big Willie with a kick. He appears to hit a crossbody, but Mack rolls through and MY GRODD that's one hell of a sitout powerbomb. Finally Mundo stays down for the three count and Mack is back in it. 2-1 Mundo as we go to the break. Somebody get me a water.
8:21: They're actually doing a Johnny Mundo workout commercial right now. Only on the El Rey Network folks.
8:23: We're back. The clock says there's 25:50 left. The crowd is also chanting "Return of the Mack", which must be something Justin Harvey started. Mundo gets Mack in the corner with a choke and starts going on about Slamtown, as one does.
8:24: Mundo taking complete control with several kicks to the ribs. He can't get Mack up for a suplex though and Big Willie successfully counters it with a brainbuster. Another two count though. How many near falls has Mack had that Johnny just kicked out of?
8:25: Back and forth strike and kick exchanges between these two. Mack hits the ropes, but Johnny counters with a standing Spanish Fly. Mack just kicks out, a good thing cause I'm pretty sure that would've been it for him if he didn't. Mundo goes for the top, but can't hold off Mack, who goes up and MY GRODD THAT IS A TOP ROPE EXPLODER!
8:26: Big Willie is too tired to capitalize on that slam and his pin attempt ends with Johnny successfully reaching the ropes.
8:27: We're back up top, with both guys exchanging strikes. Johnny rakes the eyes and kicks Mack to the floor, leading to Johnny walking the ropes and turning into Soberano Jr. with a 900 spin dive! Awesome stuff. It appears Johnny hurt his leg on the way down though, as he immediately clutches his leg. Marty Elias and Justin Borden immediately call for the X sign and it appears Johnny may be done...or he could just be faking to get out of this match!
8:28: Either way Big Willie doesn't care! He tosses Mundo into the ring and looks to be going for a pin, but the LU medical staff is already out and is putting a stop to things. We go to break with this match seemingly over, even though I'm pretty sure Mundo is faking and Mack is going to make him pay for it.
8:32: Gotta love El Rey's hustle to try and sell us this new allergy medicine. In any event we're back, medical staff is still looking at Johnny and the fans are chanting "Johnny's crying!" Only in the Temple.
8:33: I TOLD YOU IT WAS A FAKE! Mundo gets right up, kicks Big Willie hard and then DDT's him on the stretcher brought into the ring as the crowd goes NUTS! That's heel heat right there folks; you could see it coming but it got great heat and was really well done.
8:34: Big Willie is up and he's pissed! He tosses the stretcher out at ringside, which is a mistake as Johnny picks it up and spears him in the gut with it.
8:35: Johnny runs up there stairs with the stretcher as Mack gives chase. He wins a tug of war for the stretcher, then drops it and starts trading blows with Mundo. He eventually wins and proceeds to slam Johnny unto the stretcher...and now he's strapping Johnny to the stretcher at the top of the stairs...OH NO!
8:36: Big Willie just surfed Johnny all the way down the stairs! Luckily for Johnny he didn't flip over or anything; it was just a really huge scare. Honestly that may have been a mistake for Mack; shouldn't he have just pinned him instead? We'll leave it at that for now and go to commercial.
8:38: Not only is LU back, but they're debuting a brand spanking new beer commercial where Melissa Santos swoons over Fenix. Highest of quality. It took awhile, but LU's commercial game is back, Arrow season 5 style.
8:41: We're back as the crowd chants "This is Awesome." It's been very good, but we need a little more for this to be the huge comeback match LU needs. Big Willie is working hard to get us there though, stopping Mundo from unstrapping himself from the stretcher and dropping him face first on the floor. Big Willie brings Johnny back in and nails his first Stunner of the match. It's 3-2 and time is running out!
8:42: "Return of the Mack" chants reigning down on the Temple. Naturally this is the time Johnny starts to create distance between the two. Big Willie chases Johnny to the back...excep the doesn't because Johnny is under the room. P.J. Black eventually runs in to reveal he was the one Big Willie was chasing, and this allows Johnny to retake control and start teeing off on Mack with a Kendo Stick.
8:44: SON OF HAVOC! He has come to help the Mack! He leaps over kendo strikes and starts teeing off on both Mundo and P.J! Great stuff. Unfortunately Big Willie is out cold and Havoc seems unable to revive him. So he knocks on El Jefe's door and...LOL EL JEFE IS GIVING HIM BEER!
8:46: Havoc pours the beer all over Big Willie and HE'S ALIVE! Havoc hands him a stick and now may be a good time for Jack Evans to run out as Big Willie tees off with his weapon.
8:47: Havoc and Big Willie set up two tables. Unfortunately this allows P.J. and Mundo to recover, and they neutralize the technicos with some more kendo stick shots. Johnny then picks up a mic, calls Mack a fat piece of trash and asks the band for a victory song. Gotta love Johnny calling back to his first All Night Long match.
8:48: WHAT THE HELL?! The musician just did a crossbody off the stage! AND IT'S SEXY STAR! Officially the coolest Sexy Star moment in ALL history. She gets Mack to his feet and he's able to drag Mundo to the ring while Sexy and Havoc send P.J. to the back.
8:49: THAT IS A LEAPING TOMBSTONE OFF THE APRON AND THROUGH THE TABLES!
8:50: Big Willie manages to roll Johnny back in and gets the cover. WE ARE TIED! 3-3 with...who know show long is left? Mack and Mundo then trade desperation covers in a really nice sequence, with each just missing the three count.
8:51: Mundo rolls out of the ring and grabs a table. That didn't work out well for him last time but hey; what the hell right? Mack meanwhile grabs a ladder, because THAT'S JUST WHAT YOU DO!
8:52: Five minutes left! Mack sets up the table in the ring, but Johnny manages to recover quick and hits Mack with a piece of the announcer's table. He doesn't go for a cover though, instead choosing to set up a ladder.
8:53: Johnny hot shots Big Willie off the ladder for a near fall. Big Willie tries to Irish Whip Mundo into the ladder, but Mundo does an awesome leap over the ladder. Big Willie is unphased, as he slides out of the ring and trips Mundo into the ladder! Great spot! Mack makes a cover but Johnny just gets the ropes.
8:54: 2:30 left as Johnny trips Mack onto the ladder. He's going for the End of the World...AND MISSES! Can Big Willie make the cover? No; instead he sets up the ladder and that is probably a mistake.
8:55: Mack sets up Johnny on the table...and he's going up the ladder! Welp, this is an all or nothing sort of thing ain't it? Ricky Mandel is now out and he holds Mack up, but Sexy and Havoc are back for the save! 30 seconds left! Big Willie is at the top! HE HITS THE SPLASH! CAN HE MAKE THE COVER?! HE DOES...AND TIME RUNS OUT! NO!
8:56: Time just ran out on Big Willie! Oh my Grodd.
8:57: Hold on! HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLD ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! El Jefe is out and THERE ARE NO TIES IN HIS TEMPLE! He declares there must be a winner, and declares that next week the match will continue until Big Willie or Johnny Mundo can get the win. How about that?
9:00: Mundo is celebrating his great escape, so Big Willie decides to come in and stun him one last time. That's how we close the show.
My Grodd, that was something wasn't it? There was drama, there was awesome moments, there was heartbreak...there was everything. I'll have to watch it back to see if the match was legit great or not, but the stories they told were great. Big Willie being unable to get pinfalls on big moves early while Mundo seemingly stole falls. The fake injury that got Mundo huge (albeit cheap) heat. Big Willie's comeback. Havoc and Sexy coming to even the odds. The oh so close finish. Really the only thing that could've been explained better was Ricky Mandel, but even then we knew he was a Mundo fan so it's not entirely out of left field. Maybe it would've been preferable if they had done a clear cut finish, but I don't think leaving people hanging for a week will hurt, I certainly don't think they should've ended the first half of the season with this episode (everyone who may or may not be bitching about it now would be even more furious afterwards) and I expect next week will be just as nuts. As of now, I'd say this was an episode with good wrestling (though not great, considering who was involved), great storytelling and overall a nice return for LU. I just hope nice is good enough.
That's a wrap sports fans. I'll be back soon with...something. Till we meet again, THIS!