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Ultima Lucha Dos Part 3: The End is the Beginning
Its 12:10 a.m. in Rhode Island and Lucha Underground’s second season has been over for about two hours now. My first reaction; dammit it all why does it have to be over for the next few months?! My second reaction; hot damn what a way to go out. Much like its second season, tonight’s finale to Ultima Lucha Dos is going to be seen as a masterpiece by some and a polarizing experience by others? What was it really? I tend to lean more towards the former, even though I can’t say right now it was better than the first Ultima Lucha. The reality for me though, aside from one match and a few too many commercial breaks (which, while understandable, did hurt the flow a tad) is that this show was really great and a lot of fun. We had three high caliber matches, one really good match with a great ending, several storylines that were wrapped up or started to lead us into season three, the making of two superstars despite them both losing and a main event that was worthy of that term in every sense of the word. Your mileage may vary but I for one am just recovering from the awe. For those who missed it, here’s what you need to know. Moses, get the meme and then go into hibernation!
Pentagon and Vampiro: Desert Vision Quest Edition
The start of the show actually caught me by surprise considering I’d already seen the scene LU was showing earlier in the day on Twitter. I guess this was for the peeps that don’t flock to social media? In any event this scene was as chill as it was earlier in the day, with Pentagon Jr. walking into a cave, fighting off an army of Pentagon’s (including Vampiro in what can only be described as the weirdest cosplay moment ever) and ultimately being deemed Pentagon Dark. Needless to say this was a good evening for Pentagon Dark following these events. But we’ll get to that in a moment or two!
Lucha Underground Trios Championships
Fenix, Aerostar and Drago defeated Worldwide Underground
There were a whole lot of beats to this match, which proved to be just as entertaining as one would expect. The match looked like it was going to be a highflying roller coaster to start but referee Rick Knox, evidently ticked off that no one listens to him or any of the other referees (which is true), changed that by preventing Aerostar, Fenix and Drago from doing what would’ve been a magnificent triple dive sequence. Yes the heat was real and spectacular and yes, I’m as disappointed in Rick Knox as you are. This is the same man who has pushed the Young Bucks off a ladder, done over the rope dives onto the Young Bucks, super kicked the Young Bucks…pretty everything you can think of he’s done to the Young Bucks. Yet suddenly he’s getting cold feet here?! I get that they aren’t listening to you, Marty and Justin Rick, but that’s El Jefe’s fault not there’s! He wants the violence; if you have issue take it up with him. Actually on second thought don’t do that. Just ask Bael and Cisco!
Anyways, Knox’s sudden epiphany quickly turned the match into a slow paced brawl, which the rudos controlled before chaos erupted again. This time Knox was unable to stop it and this match became everything you expected, with Aerostar doing unbelievable dives (including a throwback to his BOLA 2015 spot when he jumped off Fenix’ shoulders), Fenix and Drago being flat out awesome and the rudos cheating like crazy (aka also being flat out awesome). It actually looked like for a moment the rudos were going to get the job done after a good five minute sequence of nut and belt shots (all with Knox down mind you), only for the tide to turn with GOOD GAWD THAT’S ANGELICO’S MUSIC! Yes I marked out, yes Angelico was absolutely wonderful thwacking the shit out of Johnny Mundo with some sick crutches shots (I think it seems pretty clear Mundo is the guy who took Angelico out) and yes the technicos were able to take advantage of this and pull it out thanks to two great Drago/Aerostar dives (I know; ANOTHER GREAT AEROSTAR DIVE!) and Fenix just obliterating an already out Mundo with a kick to the back of the head and a Firedriver. In short; the King of Trios are now the Trios Champions (yes!), Angelico is back and in prime position for a big singles feud (YES!), we’re probably a little bit closer to Angelico vs. Jack Evans (TRIPLE YES!) and this was a whole hell of a lot of fun. My only complaint; not enough trash talk from Evans. Seriously Jack; the biggest stage of the year and you get out talked by TAYA?!
El Dragon Azteca Jr. and Black Lotus Fought to a No Contest
All due respect to both Lotus and Azteca here but this match was far and away the downer of the evening. It’s a shame because it started pretty well; Azteca was showing off his athleticism and Lotus, to my pleasant surprise, was moving around well and being very aggressive. Unfortunately after the first five minutes all that died away and the two seemed to just not click at all. My theory as to why; for some reason Azteca wrestled this match as a rudo despite the fact that he’s a full blown technico in every sense of the word. It was totally out of character and ultimately it was a choice that didn’t work as much as another would’ve for this match.
Luckily it seems as though LU planned for this match being the weak link, which is why Pentagon showed up mid match and continued is trek towards the greatest night of his life by breaking both Azteca and Lotus’ arms much to the delight of Vampiro and the Temple (who was nearly snoozing before Pentagon came out). Not finished, Pentagon then cut an excellent promo where he officially announced that he was now Pentagon Dark and then challenged Matanza to face him right then and there! Just like that folks, the title match went from being the show closer to being in the middle of the show. A bad thing? NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!
Lucha Underground Championship
Matanza (c) defeated Pentagon Dark
You may be looking at that result and saying to yourself, “how the hell did Pentagon have a good night if he didn’t win the damn title?!” Understandably it may seem that way…until you watch this entire match. When I say that Pentagon dominated this match more than Lords of the Rings: Return of the King dominated the Oscars, I mean it. This was even more one sided than when Matanza broke Pentagon’s back all those weeks ago, only this time Pentagon looked like the indestructible force and Matanza looked like Richie Gecko after five minutes in the Titty Twister. It was never boring either, which you can credit Pentagon for just being an electrifying bad ass, the surprising intrigue of seeing Matanza vulnerable and the absolute fear El Jefe had that Matanza would ultimately be beaten. It wasn’t without merit either; even when Matanza got a bit of momentum, Pentagon snuffed it out and put him in his place. This was a one sided beat down the likes of which not seen since the net dominated Fernando Torres during his stint with Chelsea.
Hence why the ending of this match will ultimately be the most talked about aspect. I can definitely understand the fans out there that wanted to see Pentagon win the belt and feel let down by the fact that he ultimately came up short. In all honesty I would’ve felt the same if Matanza had just beaten Pentagon clean after everything that came before it. That didn’t happen though; Pentagon clearly had the match won and only lost it once El Jefe finally stepped in and prevented Pentagon from destroying Matanza with a barbed wire baseball bat (introduced by Vampiro, who couldn’t have been more into Pentagon if he was Pentagon’s family). That distraction gave Matanza enough time to hit Pentagon with that bat and then put him down with the Wrath of the Gods for the win; clearly a fluke victory. As such I have no problem with the result; Pentagon should’ve won the match and was dominant throughout, Matanza was able to survive and show some resolve despite being pushed to the limit and best of all Pentagon’s moment wasn’t tarnished for the future. It was the best LU could’ve done with the cards played in my opinion, and they weren’t done. We got a brief tease of Vampiro and Pentagon having issues after the match when Pentagon shoved Vampiro away, which…well we’ll get to it. Let’s just say they didn’t wait till season three to resolve that plotline!
Taya defeated Ivelisse
This was a good match on the way to being great before storyline stuff took hold. Predictably these two meshed well together, with Ivelisse being the full steam ahead brawler we’ve come to love and Taya channeling Jack Evans by turning up the trash talk and cockiness to eleven. You bought that these two hated each other and, if given maybe ten more minutes and a bit more to do, this would’ve quietly contended for one of the best matches of the night. In keeping with the theme of setting things up for season three though, the finish of this match focused on reintroducing the feud we’ve all wanted; Catrina vs. Ivelisse. Yes, with Ivelisse having the match won, the lights dimmed and Catrina appeared (in ring attire that I’m sure helped many a young man reach puberty) to deliver what might my new favorite finishing move. The lights went off and Catrina disappeared to one of the many roofs in the Temple (the clear implication is that she can teleport) and Taya took the victory, allowing Catrina to then teleport back to the ring and add final insult by giving Ivelisse the lick of death. Again on one hand you can understand people not liking a non clean finish. On the other hand, THEY JUST SET UP IVELISSE VS. CATRINA! Unless I’m mistaken this finish gives us the beginning of that match, along with keeping Ivelisse strong (like Pentagon she had the match one) and giving Taya a nice singles win in a way that fits her character. In short, I don’t see a problem outside of the fact these two could’ve gotten more time. Solid match, great ending; like Great Silence level great, minus the ultra grimness.
Rey Mysterio defeated Prince Puma
Ladies and gentlemen, where do you possibly begin with this one? As popular as many of the other performers in the Temple are this was the match that everyone wanted, nay needed to see. It had the built in kayfabe and real life story of two men with two very distinguished goals; the youngster looking to prove he was the new king of lucha libre and the legend looking to prove he was still El Rey. This was the concept that worked so well for Vampiro vs. Pentagon last year (albeit in a different context) and I think everyone expected this match to use the concept to even better heights. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what happened. Rey Mysterio vs. Prince Puma didn’t just live up to the hype; it raced right by it and lapped it like an in his prime Jeff Gordon.
There are many reasons for that. First off, they did play this match straight, exactly what should’ve happened with the rest of the card being surrounded by good matches with finishes used to set up future stories. There was no interference, no shenanigans; just two dudes going full throttle to find out who was the best. Secondly, they played off the story perfectly. Puma sold everything in this match (good or bad) like his career depended on it while Rey was going to the well for some things we’ve either never seen from him or haven’t seen it years. It was clearly two men fighting for what they said they were fighting for. And thirdly, the execution was perfect. Puma was as crisp as ever, and the addition of his added character work made this one of the most complete performances of his career. And what can you say about Rey? He looked like peak WWE years Rey with a hint of his WCW days thrown in there. He was fresh, spry and he shocked me right out of my shoes when he hit the West Coast Pop for the first time in at least a decade to win the match. Before tonight I would’ve said there was a better chance of the Hartford Whalers returning than seeing that again. Long story short, this was everything everyone hoped it would be and more. It didn’t feature any move you’ve never seen before, but it was a great story, it was worked by two masters of the craft and it was done so well that even in defeat Puma came out of it a bigger star than he came in. Overall, this will be a Lucha Underground match fans soon won’t forget and a bout that even a non lucha fan will absolutely enjoy. It was that epic and any other night would’ve been a great way to close the show. Why didn’t it close the show though?
The Maestro is Broken
Let the record show that one of the most underrated aspects of tonight’s show was the performance of Vampiro. When Pentagon was riding high early in the show he was like a deranged giddy kid in a candy store; after Pentagon lost to Matanza (in a way that could be construed as Vamp’s doing) he became despondent and actually turned to his pills once again. Unless you were cubsfan you felt bad for the guy, and you could tell the Temple did too. That is exactly what made Pentagon’s return to utterly destroy Vampiro (and Striker to a lesser extent) shocking and brilliant. For those who wanted to feel sympathy for Vampiro this gave you the opportunity. For those of you who felt Pentagons till didn’t look strong enough after his match with Matanza, this made up for it by setting him up as a cold blooded monster who finally, truly was ready. Last year when Pentagon brutalized Vamp it was about proving himself to his master; this time it was about proving that Pentagon himself was the master, and I don’t think anyone can argue with the results. Overall, short of them having just cut to black after Puma-Rey was over, this was the best way to end LU’s second season in the ring and it further drove the point home that Pentagon is the man. For a guy who lost a major title match I can’t imagine someone having a better night than Pentagon had.
El Jefe Fought the Law and the Law Won (For Now)
Somehow, someway, Pentagon’s evisceration of Vampiro wasn’t the end of this damn show. That honor instead went to El Jefe, who was led out of the Temple by the LAPD and driven away in a police caravan, seemingly on his way to the big house for numerous illegal activities. Of course it’s El Jefe and the boss quickly went from looking like his red bull was stolen to flashing that evil smile the same way he did during season one’s awesome final scene. What does that mean? I can’t say for sure, but I’d bet my Batman bobblehead that it likely means Dario isn’t sticking around in prison that long and that this mysterious lord of Councilman Delgado (both mysteriously absent this evening!) will be the ones to spring him. Hopefully it’ll be soon as I’m pretty sure Matanza without his brother is either going to rot away or become even more dangerous than he was before! In any event, this scene, even if it wasn’t as epic as last year’s close, continued the trend of moving things forward towards next season and gave us a great shot of El Jefe at his lowest with a bunch of police lights flashing. If you liked nothing else about the sequence (and I don’t see why you wouldn’t), you at least can’t say it wasn’t a damn good visual.
And that my friends is the end (beautiful friend). Even though Lucha Underground will be off for a little bit (hopefully only until September/October), I’ll still be around covering some other Lucha Underground related topics, some other lucha promotions like CMLL and AAA (Triplemania and the Anniversary Show will be here before you know it!) and all sorts of other weirdness. Basically you’ll see me sometime in the next few days. Till then, a Pentagon pic because I really don’t want him to come find me and beat me to within an inch of my existence!
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