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Lucha Underground Review: Judgement Day
We’re off on the road to Ultima Lucha and my goodness the scenery is damn good if I do say so myself. To the surprise of no one (well not no one but a small minority) Lucha Underground delivered yet again tonight as we creep closer to the Grand Papi of Them All. We got to see the set up for potentially not one but two big time matches for the show, all revolving around the impending destruction of the former Trios Champions. Oh and we also got three really good matches, including what might’ve been the best Trios match of the season and a main event that legit lived up the title of Monster vs. Machine. But enough set up; let’s break it all down! Play that Muse song peeps!
Son of Havoc defeated Daga
I’ve got good news and bad news here folks. The good news is Havoc and Daga were indeed given time to work some magic. The bad news; it didn’t seem the crowd got entirely into this match, which I thought took a little bit of the fire out. It’s a shame because overall I thought this match was quite good and probably even better than I view it right now. Much like the Cuerno-Fenix ladder match earlier this year there was more of an emphasis on a slower pace than balls to the wall high flying. Just because there wasn’t as much excitement as expected though doesn’t mean the match was bad, and overall I thought both guys carried themselves well, especially Daga who just seems to thrive in this type of environment. The two big talking points coming out of this though were a) Ivelisse being absent from ring side and b) Kobra Moon appearing again and doing all but going full blow Showgirls in an attempt to woo Daga, only to fail in helping him win (though she didn’t cost him outright either). My only thoughts on the first factoid are that Ivelisse and Havoc better not be broken up; a world without The Greatest Trios Team to Ever Live (in any form) is a place I don’t want to be! As for Daga and Kobra, I have no idea where we’re going with this, but it’s been entertaining and Kobra has absolutely nailed the lustful senorita after the confused and turned off Daga. Don’t worry Kobra; he’ll realize he’s into you eventually. They always come around. Well except Buffy with Xander, but that’s a whole other story man!
Dissension in the Justice League!
Get ready to hear me brag folks but this scene was the first of two that made me look like one of those prophets from…a movie where there were prophets? I know; I need to be more up to date with movies in the prophet genre. In any event, it looked for a minute that the Lucha Justice League was on the verge of exploding right here. First we had Azteca Jr., evidently mad as hell and not taking it anymore, confronting Mysterio about when they were going to take down El Jefe and Matanza. Mysterio wanted to focus on the Trios Championship rematch instead, leading to near blows between pupil and master before Puma arrived to break things up. Of course Puma then started questioning the issues between Mysterio and Azteca (they did have a pretty big match coming up after all!), leading to Rey and Puma nearly going at it before cooler heads prevailed and everyone calmed down. I don’t want to say I told you all so…no wait I totally do. And if you’re thinking this was just a one off and everything was hunky dory afterwards…we’ll we’re getting to it.
Trios Championship Match
The Wyld Stallions (c) defeated Lucha Justice League by Disqualification
You remember how these two teams had a match last week and it was really good, only they tried a little too much and had a few sloppy moments that kept it from being a classic? Polar opposite this week. I’m not sure if it was the rudos fully clicking as a team for the first time, everyone keeping it simple (aside from that awesome moment where Puma superplexed Jack onto everyone outside the ring), the added story beats from last week or a combination of all the above; whatever it was the action just seemed to flow a lot better and everyone seemed a lot more crisp. I was especially impressed with Jack and Puma this time around; as per usual everyone was good, but Puma looked to have an extra burst of energy (likely because of the direction the match went) while Jack…friggin a what can you say about Jack that hasn’t already been said? Not only did he continue to impress with what may very well be the best wrestling villain portrayal in wrestling today, but it looked like he was allowed to fly around for the first time in awhile. And boy did he impress there; for the love of all things he nailed a 630 on Puma that was better than many of Puma’s 630s! And Puma is Steph Curry levels of automatic with that move generally.
Much like the first match though, the biggest story here was the destination this match reached. Slowly we watched the low blows and cheating tactics of Jack, P.J. and Mundo wear mentally on the Lucha Justice League until Prince Puma, normally a pretty laid back dude all things considered, snapped like a twig and low blow Mundo to DQ the Justice League. Holy loss of cool Batman! To add even more fuel to the fire Puma would then attempt to superkick the hell of out Mundo, only to miss and nail Taya instead in a moment that was almost heelish. If the scene prior to this match wasn’t enough evidence that the Justice League is heading to Splitstopia than Puma’s loss of cool in the final minutes this bout is all you need to see. And yes I do think this is the true beginning of the end of this group. Certainly Taya getting knocked the fuck out (man) by Puma could lead to more, but a) the Justice League has no right to a rematch now, b) the Stallions seem more like the type of dudes who’d want to revisit this mini feud and c) you know that Rey is going to try to talk Puma down afterwards and it’s just going to lead to even more tension. Once again, I don’t want to say I told you so…nope, still do. In the end I think we all agree that we got an excellent match out of all this and a great ending that sets the stage for something special between Rey, Puma and maybe even Azteca down the road.
Azteca Jr. Confronts Matanza and Finally Sees Lotus’ True Colors
I don’t know about you but when my night has gone to shit following a DQ loss and an argument with my closest pals, I generally don’t follow that all up by going to visit an unstoppable killing machine. Evidently El Dragon Azteca Jr. doesn’t share my viewpoint because he chose to go confront Matanza, locked in his cage in preparation for his throw down with Cage. It was around this time Black Lotus appeared for the first time in eons and Azteca finally got a glimpse of what his mentor’s other protégé truly was when she made her “El Dragon Azteca killed my parents!” claim. Predictably Azteca Jr. didn’t buy it at all, which led to Lotus almost feeding him to Matanza before letting him go (a move that didn’t seem to change his mind on Lotus’ claims). I guess we’re potentially supposed to buy that Azteca Jr. may see “the light” and become corrupted like Lotus was, but I’m sticking with my belief that Azteca Jr. is going to figure out Lotus is no good, leading to yet another predicted Ultima Lucha II throw down by yours truly. My goodness I really nailed those two picks didn’t I?! Judging by tonight I may have a future as a psychic, and not one of those dopey ones either.
Lucha Underground Championship Match
Matanza (c) defeated Cage
Ladies and gentlemen I’ve seen my fair share of Godzilla movies, I saw Mil Muertes and Matanza wrestle twice; hell I’ve even witnessed a grown man satisfy a camel (just kidding. Or am I?). I think I speak for everyone when I say that Cage-Matanza was the best hoss match I’ve seen in quite a while. Whereas Mil-Matanza was violent hardcore battles, Cage and Matanza delivered a piece that was showcased both their amazing power and even more amazing athleticism. The fact that Cage came out of this match like he was shot out of a cannon was massive to this match; he literally looked like he turned into early career Rey Mysterio for a few moments and Cage’s aerial assault on Matanza wasn’t just a smart story beat but it immediately got the crowd hyped for the match. It was the best I’ve seen from a Terminator since Edward Furlong was hanging out with Ahnuld. Poor Eddie; he was truly something before the dark times, before the drugs.
From there the match rotated from being a massive brawl to both men trying to one up each other; Matanza broke out some aerial moves of his own and Cage eventually went to the power well and at times looked like he bested Matanza at his own game. We saw great slams, a standing shooting star headbutt attempt, a successful standing moonsault by Cage and a sequence where both men German Suplex’d each other to no effect until Matanza hit what looked to be the first ever swinging German Suplex in the history of the western hemisphere (and yes, you could hear Vader cringing throughout that entire sequence). All in all it was awesomeness upon awesomeness upon awesomeness; with only the ending being the weak point when Matanza beat Cage out of nowhere with his Wrath of the Gods reverse powerslam. Perhaps it was just because of how great the match was or because of everything Cage threw at Matanza but I would’ve liked to see it go on a tad bit longer. Take that away though and this was, as expected, the Match of the Night and another showcase performance for Cage. Don’t get me wrong; Matanza was great too and the more we’ve gotten to see of him in competitive matches the more impressive he looks. But my goodness that man from the 559 is just special. There are guys that can do some of what he can do, but overall I’m not sure anyone is quite the total package of power, athleticism and high flying like he is. This match proved all of that and more, and it should be the match that ultimately showed to the LU higher ups that he can be Lucha Underground Champion someday soon.
And that children is how our story concludes. I’ll be back really soon actually with the Group B section of the Euro 16 preview me and my pals are working on (read the Group A preview here!). Till then, this!
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