Lucha Underground Preview: The Big 100
Would you believe it sports fans? Tomorrow night, Lucha Underground will air its 100th episode, a milestone that welcomes LU into the wonderful world of syndication and gives it bragging rights over Veronica Mars till the end of time. I’m honestly a little surprised that it made it this far, especially when there was all the uncertainty following the end of season one. But through a lot of highs, a few lows and a whole lot of stuff I never thought I’d see in professional wrestling, LU has accomplished something many shows do not, and will look to ring in the 100th episode with a bang. On paper, it looks like they will. Of course paper doesn’t guarantee anything (see: The Cueto Cup Final) but unlike that show the three matches here all look good to great, and with a little luck some could be even better. In other words, it’s definitely a show worth giving a chance to, even if you’re not feeling so hot about LU now. Luckily I’m still enjoying myself, which is why I’ve cranked out 1,600 words plus for you to read here about this show. Exciting right? You’ll see. Moses, time to meme again!
Match for the Final Aztec Medallion
Pentagon Dark vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr.
What to Expect: I think I can say with 100% certainty that this match can be counted on to deliver in spades. After all, even the people who loathed the Cueto Cup Final episode thought Puma-Pentagon was a stellar match, and El Dragon Azteca Jr. is at least close to the level Puma’s at. Plus, he doesn’t hang around with Vampiro so you don’t have to worry about rage quitting about him doing something. Oh who am I kidding, there’s a 9000% Vamp will get up to celebrate some big spot in this match and someone will go on a rant about how things were better in season one when Vamp didn’t do this shit.
Whoops almost let all my snark out there! As I was saying, there’s no reason at all to believe this match won’t party like a rock star. Pentagon is immune to bad matches at this point, and the last time we saw El Dragon Azteca he was putting together a very solid performance against Johnny Mundo right before the Cueto Cup final. On top of that there’s some actual meat to this match; remember when Pentagon was out for a long period of time because both of his arms were broken? It wasn’t just ninjas that snapped him like twigs and El Dragon Azteca Jr. was there too. This will be Pentagon’s chance to finally get revenge, and I think that leads to him working this very aggressively while Azteca flies around like his life depended on it.
Winner: Full disclosure; I’m of the belief that somehow, someway, Pentagon will find his way into the Ultima Lucha Tres main event. I know I know, there’s seemingly no way that happens, but the fact that Pentagon threatened to end Dario if he didn’t walk out of UL3 with the title lingers in my mind and leads me to believe he’s going to find a way. And the easiest way to do that would be to win the Gift of the Gods and try to smuggle yourself into the match by challenging a week before (remember, El Jefe will let you in if you challenge a week in advance as it gives him time to promote!). Therefore I say Pentagon squeaks this one out and takes the Aztec Medallion, getting him into the Gift of the Gods match. But never fear Azteca; I’m sure there will be an opening for you against a certain monster dude. You know, if you want to go through the bleachers again.
Prince Puma, Luchador Sopressa, Luchador Sopressa, Luchador Sopressa vs. Johnny Mundo, Taya, P.J. Black and Ricky Mandel
What to Expect: If you take away the fact that Sexy Star will obviously be one of Puma’s partners, this match looks super fun. Johnny, P.J. and Taya are always fun to watch, Puma is Puma and Ricky Mandel…will also be there! It just comes down to who Puma is able to get to go against the Worldwide Underground. Sexy (unfortunately) will be one of them as she’s feuding with Taya, but that’s the only one I’ve got a good read on, and all the other people who have feuded with Worldwide Underground recently (The Mack, Rey and Azteca) are all preoccupied with something else. Maybe Angelico is coming back? Maybe Ivelisse? Or could we be getting the Jack Evans technico turn everyone has been waiting for?! Either way I’d set my expectations high for this one, but not too high. This is the sort of match that feels like it’ll be fun, but not to the extent where it rises to the level of what the opening match may reach.
Winners: I have absolutely no idea. On the one hand, the Worldwide Underground pulling this out via underhanded tactics is their MO, and will get more heat (if there can be any more) on them as the Puma-Mundo match draws closer. On the other hand, it’s Puma and I don’t think he’s lost ever since Vampiro brought him back with that dark magic of his. So what to do…I think I’ll play it safe and go with Worldwide Underground taking this one through nefarious means. Excuse me while I go prepare for people complaining about dirty finishes on the internet. Hot damn the snark almost escaped again!
Rey Mysterio vs. Matanza
What to Expect: If ever there was a match worthy of headlining the 100th episode of Lucha Underground, this would be it. Well either this or Fenix vs. Pentagon, but those two are like Journey; they touched and went Separate Ways. Wow that was a bad reference. Let’s move on by talking about how Rey and Matanza got here. I guess you could trace it back all the way to Aztec Warfare II, where Matanza squashed Mysterio like a bug to win the match and the Lucha Underground Championship, but I think the better starting point would be Aztec Warfare III, where Rey finished off Matanza with a Code Red (admittedly after Matanza had been hit with finisher after finisher), Matanza’s only pinfall loss…ever. Before that the two hadn’t really crossed paths, but after that Matanza was all “BRING ME THE HEAD OF REY MYSTERIO!”, a quest that ultimately led to El Dragon Azteca falling through some stairs, Matanza falling through a roof and Dario punishing Matanza by locking him in his cell for a long ass time before Dario (in an attempt to keep Johnny Mundo from bolting LU) screwed Mysterio at the Cueto Cup Final a few weeks ago. And thus here we are. I’d say that’s some damn fine storytelling there (it is) but I’m honestly more amazed to remember that Mysterio actually beat Matanza with a Code Red. You know, the same move Psycho Clown used to unmask Dr. Wagner Jr. That’s not a coincidence sports fans. If I don’t see Zeuxis, Princesa Sugehit, Niebla Roja, Gran Guerrero or Niebla Roja’s replacement Octagón (just kidding. OR AM I?!) use that this Saturday then they can expect this picture to show up on their TL for weeks afterwards.
Anyways, there’s a ton of heat for this match and I get the feeling this has the makings of being a particularly brutal encounter. It’ll also be a very great encounter, provided El Jefe doesn’t get involved too much. We forget this now (and understandably so because Matanza’s only worked one match since that out of control Death Match with Azteca) but the Monster is a phenomenal worker. He’s especially great against smaller guys too, as seen by his excellent matches with Pentagon, Puma, Havoc and Azteca earlier in the season. Combine that with how aggressive Matanza will be to get his hands on Rey and I’m expecting big things from the monster. And there’s no question I have confidence in Rey, who’s continued to look like a new man throughout his LU run. As long as El Jefe doesn’t get too involved, this has the potential to be outstanding. Of course the same thing was said about Johnny Mundo-Mysterio a few weeks ago and there are still people acting like that match wounded them deep. So who knows? I’m sure the ride down will be fun as hell; I just hope LU knows what they’re doing for the audience come the finish.
Winner: The fact that they’re doing Mysterio-Matanza now instead of at Ultima Lucha Tres (which seemed like the ideal spot) leads me to believe the plan is for Matanza and Azteca to collide yet again. Yes, that sound you just heard was me gulping as loud as humanly possible at the thought of that rematch. As for how we get there, I see one of two ways; either Azteca screws over Matanza and helps Rey pick up the victory, or Matanza wins, destroys Rey and Azteca comes out for the save after, vowing revenge. The latter makes the most sense to me, mostly because the former means Mysterio would then move onto something else and, at least right now, I don’t see any match that makes sense for Mysterio come Ultima Lucha Tres. So I’ll say Matanza wins this match in devastating fashion, injuring Rey to the point where he disappears and Azteca arrives after to try and get revenge. But we’ll see; with LU, nothing surprises me. And yet everything does. I guess that’s why I still enjoy it so much.
That’s game sports fans. I’m off to a night of leisure, but I’ll return tomorrow for more CMLL history and a review of LU’s big 100th episode. Till we meet again, THIS!