Lucha Underground Review: Sins of the Prince
Another Wednesday night ends with another really good Lucha Underground in the books. And yet it didn’t start out that way, thanks to an uninspired performance in the opening match that ruined two solid performances from the other competitors involved. Luckily things picked up afterwards, with two good to great matches, a highly entertaining debut and a warning for Killshot that could be leading to some of the most diabolical matches since the so called Beautiful. What do I mean by that? Let’s find out! Moses, just meme’d a man.
El Jefe Spins the Wheel!
We jumped right into El Jefe spinning the wheel to determine Matanza’s opponent tonight, and just his luck the wheel landed on perhaps the most dangerous opponent his brother could have; Prince Puma. You could tell El Jefe hated this when he made a face that resembled someone whose roommate just took the last Sunkist out of the fridge. No matter; Dario promised Puma would be Matanza’s next casualty and then threw the mic down battle rap style. This is why we love El Jefe folks; well that and his promises always come true. Oops; spoilers!
Ivelisse defeated Mariposa
This was all about Ivelisse having to overcome both Mariposa and Marty, who accompanied his sister to ringside and seemed to be at peace with how his battle with Killshot ended. As such Ivelisse was only offense for spurts, leaving the rest for Mariposa to methodically control. I’m not sure that was the best strategy to go here and I can’t say I was highly impressed with Mariposa; she’s more than capable of doing some great work and here it just seemed like she was going through the motions. That would be fine, except we see every week every luchador in the Temple not doing that. Hopefully there’s a better pace when these two collide again, which they will as was established at the end of the match when the Moths attacked Ivelisse. At least Ivelisse looked good when she had chances to actually do something, and Marty once again made a great impression even in a limited appearance. I’m pretty sure the guy could talk about torturing the phone book and somehow find a way to make it work. This is why the people want the Moth; this is why the people NEED the Moth!
OWN DARIO OWN
After reassuring a worried investor that Matanza would defeat Prince Puma this evening, Johnny Mundo made another appearance in Dario’s office demanding an LU title shot. And boy oh boy did El Jefe take him to school again. First Johnny tried to appeal to El Jefe by talking about how hard he worked to get to this point (specifically using his abs as an example. You read that right). Naturally El Jefe didn’t bite as he believes in fate, so Mundo then played his only card left; a Gift of the Gods match against Sexy Star, which Johnny justified by pointing out that Sexy lost to Worldwide Underground last week and took the pin. Dario was far more accepting of this and decided to make the match…for Jack Evans.
Yes, despite what Dave Meltzer would falsely tell you, it was Evans and not Mundo who got the pin last week and El Jefe decided to use that to troll Mundo even further by giving Evans the title match instead of Johnny. What I would give to see Mundo’s reaction to all this again for the first time! I didn’t quite catch what Johnny said on his way out of the office, but rest assured he’s not happy about El Jefe jerking him around and you got to wonder if this frustration is going to lead to him doing something that creates a little more tension between the Worldwide Underground. Don’t give up Johnny; one day you’ll prove yourself worthy in El Jefe’s eyes. You just may need to win on your own to do that first; or be the first guy to challenge whoever beats Matanza. Then Dario will be receptive!
FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT!
Not a lot here and who cares?! PAUL LONDON BABY! He’s coming, so are his friends and I cannot wait. And yes, I’ve already started a Kickstarter to get funds so LU can buy the rights to “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. HELP US GE T THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS PEOPLE!
Best of Five Series, Match Two
Cage defeated Texano
If you weren’t a fan of the first match between these two (and strangely a lot of people weren’t), chances are you were turned around here. I thought both guys built really well on what they started in the first match and Texano in particular looked a lot more energetic, and not just because he actually hit a dive here. Honestly in some ways I can’t quite put my finger on what was better this time around; I can just tell you that it was, down to the action to the way the crowd got into the match. I mean for crying out loud, there were times Texano was the favorite in this match. TEXANO! The same guy who at times has seemed like the most hopeless dude in the Temple in terms of crowd reactions. This just goes to show you that the guy has the tools; all he needs is the right dance partner. Cage is most definitely that guy, unless you don’t like big guys who can do flawless moonsaults and SPRINGBOARD TORNADO DDT’S! In fact, I have a bone to pick with the Temple audience for the first time ever. Cage breaks out that Springboard DDT and it only get a slight roar?! Where’s El Jefe to make the “all the Sunkist is gone? I AM DISAPPOINT!” face at all of you? Grumble grumble.
The Love Interest
If you tuned in to find out who Ivelisse’s new squeeze was, you got to see him here. And well, you’ve seen him before.
That’s right; Ivelisse has shacked up with the Artist Formerly Known as Sami Callihan (now named Jeremiah here) and in less than two minutes LU managed to make him more entertaining than NXT did over the course of a few years. The gist of the segment was that Jeremiah was late getting to the show to see Ivelisse, was irate over the Moths beating her up and wanted to help out, only for Ivelisse to reject this help. Why? Because Ivelisse has already mixed business with pleasure and she wants no part of that anymore. This then led to the greatest exchange of the evening and possibly of my entire life when Jeremiah referred to Son of Havoc as Son of Chaos, Ivelisse corrected him and Jeremiah responded with the greatest “OH WHATEVER!” in the history of “OH WHATEVER!”’s. Tremendous stuff. Ultimately the two simply decided to get drunk and nothing was settled as of yet. That’s fine with me, and I look forward to this Jeremiah getting a chance to go in the ring. I can’t say it’ll do much for his relationship with Ivelisse though, especially considering some of the things we saw in the season three trailer. Let’s just say Jeremiah isn’t going to be staying on the side of good for long.
Lucha Underground Championship Match
Matanza (c) defeated Prince Puma
These Matanza title defenses have been good this season, but none of them on this level. This was an absolutely fantastic match, right up there with Marty vs. Killshot for the best of season three and, in a statement I don’t make lightly, it might’ve been the best one on one match either guy has ever had (I’d have to watch Cage vs. Matanza again to be sure). The story they told here was immaculate. Puma had Matanza on the rails in this match every time he turned up the jets, much like Mack and Son of Havoc did earlier in the season. The problem is that Puma often times tried to match strength with Matanza in accordance with his new, darker persona that he’s been trying out, instead of going for the aerial assault. In the words of Bill Clement, mistake, as this led to Matanza looking the most dominant he had all season, throwing Puma around like a rag doll with Suplex after Suplex after gorram Suplex. It was something to behold, and it made it all the more exciting when Puma did start to make comebacks, including one where he did match Matanza’s strength and hit an ultra impressive dead life brainbuster. If he had won the match with that, El Jefe would be supervising a new roof as we speak.
Ultimately Puma, much like Pentagon Dark at Ultima Lucha Dos, should’ve won this match after he hit a flawless 630 on Matanza (who stayed down quite a bit after to give the visual that he was done). And this is where the storytelling prior to the match paid off brilliantly and ultimately cost Puma. Mil Muertes, angered over Puma targeting him, made his way to the ring and proceeded to spear and Flatline Puma’s soul out of his body and all the way to the depths of hell (that’s how well Puma sold these moves). It was absolutely beautiful (even more so because Dario, brilliant on the outside all match, forced an angered Marty Elias to keep the match going. “I didn’t see it, and neither did you!” I think was his response) and was sadly poetic for the hero. In the midst of trying to reclaim his former self, Prince Puma ultimately cost himself the match by getting in Mil Muertes’ business. If he hadn’t, Mil never comes out here and Puma is the man who goes over Matanza. Instead he woke the dragon, and has now suffered the consequences. Put that all together and that ending was a fantastic way to close a fantastic match, not to mention the heat it delivered. Puma now has complete sympathy, Matanza remains tough but vulnerable and in need of assistance to retain his belt, Mil is the most hated man in the Temple and everyone can’t wait to see Puma vs. Mil again. I know I can’t. In other words, mission accomplished.
The Fox Approaches
Naturally, because this is Lucha Underground, the show can’t simply end with a great match. Oh no; it needs to have an unbelievable end tag to boot, which we got thanks to Killshot and strangely enough Joey Ryan. Evidently while Ryan was outside the building greeting fans, he came across someone who had a package for Killshot. He brought it to Killshot (who was lifting weights in the locker room), cracked the second best line of the night after Killshot pressed him for info (“what am I, a detective?!” Tremendous!) and left Killshot to open his gift; a burned piece of paper that said “You Left Me for Dead”. Killshot didn’t take this well, the complete opposite of my reaction which was extreme joy, both because I was right and because AR FOX IS A COMING TO THE TEMPLE PEEPS! And evidently he isn’t taking too well that Killshot made it out from the war and he was left behind to suffer. Now that we know these two are on the warpath (pun FULLY intended), the questions will start to pile up. Is Killshot the loveable broken hero we all thought or has he been hiding something from us? Is Fox truly wronged, misguided or has he been driven mad by the evils of war? SO MANY WAYS THEY CAN TAKE THIS ONE! This is why we love the LU end tag folks; it’s the gift that keeps on giving just when you thought there was nothing left. Between this and the main event the only way LU could’ve closed stronger is if Aerostar had done a Shooting Star Press off the Temple roof. Sadly that’s next week.
It’s in the bag folks! I’ll be back tomorrow with some more baseball talk, a CMLL preview and if I can find the time that Lucha Tribute I have planned. One way or another it will be done by the weekend; the great Cthulhu commands it. Till we meet again, vote El Jefe 2016!