Lucha Underground: The Calm Before Ultima Lucha
It has been a rough week. For me personally, I was hit with a cold on Monday that kept me in bed for the next two days, preventing me from reviewing the Arena Puebla show and previewing tonight’s Lucha Underground. That’s nothing compared to what happened in Mexico City, where they were hit with a 7.1 Earthquake just yesterday that has caused serious damage and significant loss of life. I think I speak for everyone when I say that my heart goes out to Mexico and those who lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy. As such, I was really hoping for tonight’s Lucha Underground to be a strong episode; even if it didn’t take place in Mexico, the LU features so much talent from Mexico (and featured so much talent on tonight’s show from there) that a good show could at least serve as a small moment of joy. Thankfully it was, as LU closed out their “regular season” with three above average matches while setting everything in place for Ultima Lucha Tres, a show that, if I’m being honest, looks like it could be one of the greatest shows EVER if LU is able to hit home runs on all the matches. After a terrible first two days, tonight’s LU was just what the doctor ordered. So with that, let’s get to what I do best; reviewing this show while making weird ass pop culture references. Moses, do us a favor and include the Ultima Lucha Tres card while you meme.
Romantic Training Sessions
The show began with Melissa Santos and Fenix, in the words of Xander Harris, getting all sweatay! No, not in that way; as a matter of fact Fenix was training Melissa for their big fight later on the show and Melissa showed she had some skills. After she got the upper hand in one exchange, she asked Fenix to take off his mask and did things get touchy feely from there. Why? As you can expect Fenix didn’t want to take off the mask, as like Kevin Costner’s gold medallion in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the thing is sacred to him and he doesn’t know who he is without it. Melissa made it clear Fenix would be Fenix to her with or without mask but Fenix wouldn’t budge; if he were to lose the mask, he’d lose everything. I was entirely sold on this segment at that point, and was then even more sold when Melissa tipped Fenix and put the moves on him. They got over how important the mask is to Fenix and why losing would be a huge deal (much better than they did anything with the Sexy Star-Veneno match), and the bond between Fenix and Melissa being deeper than thought. A complete success in my book.
Dante Fox defeated Texano
I guess it was that time for Texano to show us he can go, because he was less like the dope who couldn’t hang with Pentagon a few weeks ago and more like the hoss who had great matches with Cage earlier in the season. Huge credit must go to Dante Fox for that. I instantly felt better about this match the moment I saw him walk out and he was giving full effort yet again, busting out that running moonsault off the apron only two minutes in and just continuing to wow with breath taking sequences from that point forward. As long as Fox is doing stuff like that, it’s impossible for him to have a bad match with anyone. Texano did hold up his end of the bargain though, and I liked the contrast of styles with Fox using his speed and Texano using the power to try and win. The finish was great too; Texano hit Fox with a Double Underhook Backbreaker for a near fall…only ring announcer Famous B thought it was a three count and announced Texano as the winner. Oh yeah; Famous B was the ring announcer for the whole show as Melissa was too busy getting ready for her match later. Talk about burying the lead!
Anyways, Famous (who was hysterical all night long in his role) jumped the gun and got into the ring to celebrate with Texano while Texano and Rick Knox looked at Famous like he was Ben Horne when he re-enacted the Civil War. This allowed Fox the opportunity to roll up Texano to get the win (as Killshot watched on for the distance) and for Texano to then attempt murder on Famous before Dario came out to put a halt to things. But only temporarily; Dario needed Famous healthy tonight for ring announcing duties, but next week’s show (the first part of Ultima Lucha Tres) was fair game, leading to El Jefe booking Texano vs. Famous in a “handicap” match (get it? Because Famous’ arm is broken? CLASSIC EL JEFE!). There is one thing Famous does have going for him though. Should he somehow defeat Texano, Texano would have no choice but to become Famous’ new client, joining the ranks of Dr. Wagner Jr. and…unmasked Dr. Wagner Jr.? Hot damn, it really doesn’t work out to be managed by Famous B, does it? Either way, I’d expect the Good Doctor (with his mask still on) to potentially loom large for this one as I can’t see any way Texano gets a straight one on one match with Famous where no shenanigans whatsoever happen. I guess we’ll see. In any event, this was a very good match and a far more creative angle than LU’s usual bit of interference to set up next week’s show.
Havoc in El Jefe’s Office
More El Jefe followed as Son of Havoc entered his office to drop off his Aztec Medallion in preparation for the Gift of the Gods match later in the show. He made sure to tell Dario that he was going to win the Gift of the Gods AND immediately use it to enter himself into the main event of Ultima Lucha Tres. Someone’s been reading the blog! This idea didn’t sit too well with Pentagon Dark, who stared Havoc down for more than likely stealing his idea. Pentagon then added his Medallion to the belt, vowed to break everyone’s arm in the seven way match and left just as Dario gleefully called LU medical personal so they could be ready for all the injured people afterwards. Never change Dario. The segment would’ve been worth it for that, but it was quietly a big moment considering how the seven way match would end.
Marty “The Moth” Martinez & Mariposa defeated Fenix & Melissa Santos
All week I (and I’m sure many others) were anticipating this match more than anything else on the show, mostly because we all wanted to know a) how good Melissa Santos would be and b) how LU would use her. Would she only get brief spots in the end, or would she get a huge chunk of time to prove what she had? Instead LU went with the wisest decision of the bunch, building towards Melissa getting involved while Fenix traded sequences with Marty and Mariposa. These sequences were sublime by the way. Marty continues to show how much he’s evolved as an all around performer, Mariposa had her working boots on and, for the first time in awhile, Fenix worked like Fenix. It’s felt like he’s been trying to slow it down this season instead of going for big spots, but he threw that to the side tonight in favor of doing cool shit, like an awesome Brillo Fosbury Flop. Somewhere, several hundred LU fans threw their hands up in the air and screamed “IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME!” in unison. In other words, the same thing we all said when Sexy Star was sent packing from AAA again.
Back to the match! Eventually Fenix was forced to come from underneath against the Moths and it built perfectly to Melissa getting into the action to a huge response from the Temple. The best thing was she did just fine. I’m sure she wouldn’t claim to have reinvented the wheel here, but her double teams with Fenix were really well done and she showed a good deal of athleticism in the ring (proving she could probably be pretty good if she got more reps). But Melissa’s greatest strength remained the one that’s made her such a great ring announcer; her ability to convey character, which she did expertly as the match turned against her and Fenix was tied up in the corner by Mariposa. That was really the reason his match, despite not being great, worked so well. They had nice action and they built a shit ton of heat on Marty by having him and Mariposa corner Melissa and then put her down at the end, followed by Marty nearly stabbing Melissa with a pair of scissors. The boos were off the charts for this, and other than Marty pulling out the fork again, I can’t think of a better way for LU to go into this mask vs. hair match. The opening scene added an emotional aspect, this just added the sizzle.
Gift of the Gods Championship Match
Pentagon Dark and Son of Havoc defeated Paul London, Mala Suerte, Saltador, Cortez Castro and Drago
If this match had been given five more minutes it would’ve been one of the best matches of season three. As it stands, it was still really, REALLY good and arguably great, with the exact kind of pace a match like this warranted. All seven guys were working really quick and really crisp, with everyone getting stuff in. Drago, free from having to work as a rudo, looked like the guy he used to be in season one. Cortez Castro continued his momentum with some nice sequences with Saltador. All the Rabbit Tribe guys were excellent, which goes to show you how appealing this team could be if LU eventually decides to make them a little more serious. But the end game was obviously Pentagon and Havoc, with LU building around Pentagon looking dominant whenever he was in and Havoc impressing with suicide dives to everyone who asked and a bunch of other thrilling sequences. For the third time tonight LU also nailed the ending, this time with Pentagon hitting Mala Suerte with a Package Piledriver, followed by him hitting Paul London with a Package Piledriver. Just one problem; Havoc came off the ropes with a Shooting Star as Pentagon was wrecking London, and the two each got a three count at the same time, leading to a draw. WHO COULD’VE SEEN THAT COMING?! Luckily El Jefe, yet again, was there with a solution. Since there was No Gift of the Gods Champion and neither Pentagon nor Havoc had an Ultima Lucha Tres match, Dario decided the two would face each other at the big show for the Gift of the Gods Championship in a…alright let’s let El Jefe do it. Just be sure to pause after he says it the first time!
That’s right, the LADDER MATCH is returning and Pentagon and Havoc will be going at it in a match that I’m sure won’t lead to any injuries whatsoever. It feels right readers; Pentagon feels like he’s making it into the Ultima Lucha Tres main event one way or the other, and it was just an Ultima Lucha Dos ago that Son of Havoc had the main event of this show in his fingers, only for Dario, Famous B and Dr. Wagner Jr. to rip it away. Now Havoc will either get his redemption or Pentagon will get what is rightfully his. Smells like good booking all the way around to me. There may be a few annoyed that there wasn’t a clean finish, but it works fine for me with where they’re going. I just wish they had given this match a few more minutes; they were really hopping until the double pin occurred.
For Glory and the Glove
I was so caught up in thinking the show was done after the seven way match that I didn’t notice there was still time on the clock! No sooner did he announce the ladder match between Havoc and Pentagon did Dario scurry out of the Temple and into the Lord’s limo in the parking lot where he met with the Lord (who sat in silence) and Agent Winter. El Jefe revealed he had the power glove (which remains oh so very, very bad) back and it was made pretty clear that all three men in the limo had become wary of Cage having the glove long term. So Dario got creative again and made a triple threat match at Ultima Lucha Tres between Cage, Mil Muertes and Jeremiah Crane. Gee, if only someone had called that last week! Not only does it make sense for the reasons I could give (Crane wants the glove to prove his love to Catrina, Mil wants it for Catrina, Cage wants it for UNLIMITED POWAH!) but it makes sense from Dario, Winter and the Lord’s perspective, which is KEEP THE FREAKIN POWER GLOVE AWAY FROM CAGE AND HIS MACHINE PARTS BEFORE HE COUNCILMAN DELGADO’S US ALL! Sorry, had to capture the emotion they were feeling. Of course Cage could still win this match (I’d argue a triple threat may even give Cage a better chance of winning as opposed to a strict one on one match) so a backup plan was put in place; if Cage did win, the Lord would be on plan to…well I’m not sure but my guess is he’ll be there to break the machine into a thousand tiny gears. And so, it finally looks like we’re going to get our first glimpse of who the Lord is! About damn time LU. I don’t have many new theories to add since that column I wrote over a year ago, but let’s just say that Lucas Barton isn’t out of the question. In the words of Mariah Carey, he and the power glove belong together. Best love story since Fenix-Melissa Santos I say!
And scene. That’s all for tonight sports fans and, with CMLL looking to be on hold for a bit as Mexico City rebuilds, I’m not sure when exactly I’ll be back. That said I’ll look to get an El Santo column or two out for Saturday in honor of his 100th birthday. Till then, I repeat my earlier sentiments by saying my thoughts and well wishes continue to go out to all those in Mexico City as they continue to work through this nightmare. We love you Mexico.