Ultima Lucha Tres Part Dos: The Moth Meets the Flame
Question; how do you top an Ultima Lucha Tres show that was so crazy it had some wrestling people calling it one of the wildest shows ever? The answer; by doing an even better show the next week! Granted, LU had the benefit of having two very strong matches this week as opposed to one last week, but that one last week was so unbelievable that it seemed too daunting of a task. Turns out it wasn’t; with the exception of the opener, LU delivered the goods again with two awesome, satisfying matches that wrapped up stories the right way, brought a ton of heat and emotion and my Grodd I can’t say anymore cause then there wouldn’t be a review! So with that let’s just dive right in. Moses, meme it while I go look in the mirror and cry tears of joy.
The Break Up
Our only backstage scene of the night was important as it gave us (what I thought at the time) closure to the Ivelisse-Jeremiah Crane relationship. Ivelisse was back and immediately could tell that Crane was attempting to step out on her while she was recovering from injury. She asked who and Crane had no problem admitting it was Catrina. You know, the woman Ivelisse was fighting a few minutes from then. Ivelisse laughed it off, promised to make Crane her next target once she put Catrina in her place and then just skipped to doing that anyway when Crane called her a bitch. BIG MISTAKE DUDE! No sooner did he say that did Ivelisse put Crane through a bathroom stall with a kick. Oh yeah, did I mention that this all happened in the LU restroom? The tradition of violence occurring there continues, though sadly the tradition of Vinnie Massaro walking in with food did not. Even still, that was good enough to make this the third best thing that happened on this show, and the second best thing Ivelisse was involved in.
Unique Opportunity Battle Royal
The Mack defeated Argenis, Cortez Castro, Joey Ryan, Mala Suerte, Mascarita Sagrada, Paul London, Pimpinela Escarlata, P.J. Black, Rick Mundo, Saltador, Son of Madness and Vinnie Massaro
You’ll never believe this, but the silly battle royal was, gasp, silly! Who would’ve thought? I said it in my preview and I’ll say it again now; the most interesting thing about this match wasn’t the match itself but who came out on top. Luckily for LU they got that part right, making it easy to live with a whole lot of Pimpinela Escarlata (who is entertaining in doses, but kind of meh as an overall talent) and Vinnie Massaro getting dumped out first. COME ON LU! You can’t tease us with Vinnie and then give us no Vinnie; that be like the Blade Runner sequel indicating Gaff might make an appearance only for him to be deader than Edward James Olmos’ career! Alas I’m now passing time so here’s the gist; as we all hoped, Big Willie walked away with the W (eliminating P.J. Black) and as we all thought the “unique opportunity” was a shot at the Trios Championships (on next week’s show). And yes there was a catch in typical El Jefe fashion. What was it? El Jefe got to pick Mack’s partners, and he decided to pick Killshot and Dante Fox. Or as they’re otherwise known as, those bad ass legends that are probably little more than slabs of meat still considering what they went through just over a week ago. Now Big Willie will have to team with whatever is left of them to win the Trios Titles, not to mention probably play referee between then (like Killshot and Fox will suddenly be best buds)? This is either going to be a disaster for Big Willie, or the season three version of what Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc did back in season three. SPEAKING OF IVELISSE!
Ivelisse defeated Catrina
If this match had been booked any better…no wait, it couldn’t possibly have been booked better because the booking was PERFECT! All caps yo. I had no idea what to expect from this match going in, what with Ivelisse being away for so long with the ankle injury and Catrina not having wrestled consistently in several years. So Lucha Underground did what it does best, played to the strengths of both performers and hid the weaknesses. There weren’t any attempts at risky moves or any attempt to do what Fenix and Marty did in the main event; it was just two women kicking the shit out of each other all across the Temple as the fans roared. Considering what the story was, it was exactly the way to go. Ivelisse didn’t unleash the full arsenal, but she brought the usual fire and intensity, and holy hell was her selling in this match off the charts (more on that in a moment). And Catrina’s performance was almost a culmination of her work in NXT mixing with her now iconic persona. She didn’t do much and she didn’t have to because everything she had done for the first three seasons helped make this match important. Though I will say, it didn’t hurt that she has a spear that’s almost as good as Mil Muertes’. Hey, maybe that’s who he learned it from!
But yes, this match couldn’t have been booked any better if the LU staff had tried. The heat was off the charts. Both women played their roles to perfection. The violence levels were appropriately high, and Catrina nailing Ivelisse with three consecutive beer bottles to the face would’ve been the most violent moment in any other promotion. Most importantly is that we got exactly the result that was needed; Ivelisse had to fight hard, but ultimately the fight and tenacity that made her so beloved in the Temple prevailed, and she finally got that big singles win plus revenge after pinning Catrina by hitting Catrina with Mil Muertes’ stone, followed by a DDT. Maybe LU could’ve stretched the match out a few more minutes (it was going that well), but it’s hard to complain too much when Ivelisse sold the victory like it was the biggest thing ever and the crowd reacted like it was. That’s the sign of great booking there sports fans. Unfortunately Ivelisse’s night was going so well that it had to take a down turn in the form of Jeremiah Crane, fully recovered from his meeting with the bathroom stall, coming out and taking a hammer to Ivelisse’s surgically repaired ankle. I guess we know what the season four feud for those two is going to be if we get there! I’ll just say this now for Crane; did you not learn from crossing Ivelisse the first time? Did you not learn from Catrina’s mistake? It may take a bit, but sooner or later it’s going to end badly for you Jeremiah. I just hope it’s not when you’re trying to win a certain power glove for the woman of your dreams…
Mask vs. Hair Match
Fenix defeated Marty “The Moth” Martinez
This. Was. AWESOME! I mean, we never doubted that it would be considering it was Fenix and Marty, but holy hell this may have been even better than I expected. And once again, a good chunk of credit goes to the awesome booking of the match. The story of the match began with Fenix having to fight off both Marty and Mariposa, who was getting involved left and right from the floor to prevent Fenix from going full throttle. Eventually Fenix took Mariposa out with a dive, only he was intending to hit Marty, who pulled his sister into the dive at the last second. That was the last straw for Mariposa, who left Marty to fend for his own and, quite frankly, he probably never needed her anyway as he went on to decimate Fenix for the next ten minutes, busting him open, powerbombing him into oblivion. You know, Moth things. Naturally Fenix made his rally, the match devolved into an immensely heated back and forth battle (with Fenix doing a rolling *insert move here* to great effect) and the next thing I knew Fenix was hitting a top rope Spanish Fly and Marty was kicking out. Marty eventually got control again and looked like he was about to slit Fenix’s throat with scissors before Melissa stepped in and saved the day by, and this is true, telling Marty they could run away together. Marty wasn’t fooled, but that didn’t stop Melissa from slapping him and dealing a low blow, allowing Fenix to hit the single greatest flying kick in history before hitting a rope jumping 450 to save his mask and take Marty’s hair, a haircut Marty nearly got out of till Mariposa returned to make him pay for his betrayal, leading to Melissa and Fenix breaking out the clippers. Excuse me while I go get myself an oxygen tank.
If that sounds great in print, imagine what it was like watching it. It’s not as though the story was ground breaking; it was basically the same “underdog scratches and claws his way from the jaws of defeat to victory” story we’ve seen countless times. It worked so well here because it had the perfect hero and villain. Marty may just be the best rudo LU has and no one generates as much sympathy in his performances as Fenix, who takes beatings and makes comebacks like no other. As such, they essayed that story perfectly and then went past it because Marty has become an incredible in ring worker and Fenix might possibly be one of the best wrestlers alive. It may not seem like it, but he barely even did that much crazy shit in this match, a testament to how much he’s honed his craft at other aspects of his game in season three instead of just resorting to the high flying. Those two guys were off the charts, and by themselves they would’ve made this a memorable, off the charts match. But a huge chunk of credit must be given to Melissa Santos too. I’m sure there will be some who didn’t like her getting involved at the end of the match, but if you did, you’re missing the big picture. Fenix and Marty has been a hot feud in season three; but it’s only a feud because the issues between Marty and Melissa go all the way back to season one, when Marty creepily flapped his wings right near Melissa every time she introduced him. This match was as much about her giving Marty his comeuppance as it was Fenix, and I can’t think of a more righteous way for this match to end than with Melissa delivering the slap and low blow that led to Marty losing his hair.
And that sort of storytelling sports fans is why Lucha Underground holds such a special place for yours truly. Look at this match, the Catrina-Ivelisse match and even Fox-Killshot from last week. You had three different stories, all spanning at least a season (and in the case of tonight’s matches, three seasons) culminating in a satisfying conclusion with the crowd going absolutely ape shit (and I’m not kidding; the Temple somehow sounded even louder than usual and those fuckers are ALWAYS loud). You had Ivelisse finally getting revenge on Catrina for screwing her over several times, not to mention her first big singles win. You had Killshot finally overcoming the hatred of Dante Fox while not giving into hatred himself. You had Fenix fighting back from the dead (again) to save his mask while Melissa Santos finally put her stalker in his place after three years of hell. For the love of Grodd, LU even had Mariposa finally stand up to her brother after he attacked her, used her, and through her to the wolves throughout this season. It shouldn’t be this hard to come up with wrestling this satisfying, and yet here I am surprised that LU is the only one (for me anyway) that’s consistently doing it. This match, this second straight awesome LU main event, highlighted that for me in a way I’m still not sure I quite understand. It wasn’t as crazy as last week’s Hell of War and I’m not sure if it was better, but it’s at least right there, which is quite the accomplishment when you take into account how nuts last week was. Well done everyone. And remember, we have two more weeks of this. If they’re anything like this…I’m gonna need a bigger bottle of ice water.
That’s game sports fans. I’m off to watch Logan. Gotta follow up great storytelling with more great storytelling! Till we meet again, THIS!