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Ultima Lucha Tres Part 1: A Match for All Seasons
We aren’t going to waste any time sports fans. Trust me; you’ll understand once we get to the Hell of War match, or as I’m going to start calling it (among other things), the single craziest thing since America decided a deranged reality star was a good idea for the Presidency. At least this was the good kind of crazy though! But enough politics; onto the show!
Famous B & Dr. Wagner Jr. defeated Texano
Look who totally called Wagner getting involved in this match! The story was that Famous somehow convinced Dario Cueto to make this a true handicap match during the week, thus allowing the Good Doctor to return AND return masked. Somewhere Psycho Clown was protesting furiously. Wagner’s involvement was definitely a good thing, as it allowed Texano someone to work off of, creating a few good spots in the beginning. Ultimately though this was exactly what we all thought; Famous ran, Texano gave chase, Famous was at one point thrown off the stairs (in a really cool spot) and ultimately the numbers became too much for Texano to overcome, with Brenda planting Texano with a kiss to distract him long enough for a Famous B roll up. As harmless entertainment goes, this was just fine and I’m actually glad this match didn’t try to be more than it was supposed to be considering what we had in store. Let’s just hope for two things going forward; a) this pairing finally allows Texano to put it all together in the Temple and b) the fact that Dr. Wagner is now unmasked eventually plays into the proceedings. Maybe Psycho has to come and unmask him in the Temple too? I wouldn’t be opposed.
The Hell of War
Killshot defeated Dante Fox two falls to one
There is so much to cover from this match that we’ll simply start by going through all the madness. The first, and most tame, fall featured Fox gaining control through the use of chairs, an amazing running moonsault onto Killshot (who was propped up on a ladder) and a gravity defying leg drop from the stands to the ring apron, where Killshot lay prone with a chair draped over him. And that was just the first five minutes; the next five featured more chairs, Killshot nearly kicking Fox’s head off, the gnarliest Spanish Fly in history (both men went for a springboard, with Fox catching Killshot in midair and just keeping his balance to hit the move) and Fox finally winning it by, and this is true, putting Killshot through a glass window pane from off the top rope, turning Killshot’s back into a Jackson Pollack. That would’ve been enough violence to last one match, so naturally the two just turned it up even more in fall two! Fox tried (and failed) to put things away with a Lo Mein Pein onto a chair and the tightest 450 in history, Killshot made a comeback and ultimately tied things up after powerbombing Fox, and this is also true, through a barbed wire board and nailing the JML Driver. It was such a bone chilling moment that Rick Knox, the man who has looked the Young Bucks in the eye with no fear, looked like he was on the verge of an emotional breakdown. That he and the rest of us kept it together in the third fall is a miracle because it only got crazier, with DVD’s onto stretchers, Double Stomps onto stretchers, Killshot nearly clearing a gurney the hard way and, finally, the grand finale that saw Fox get a beer bottle broken over his head, dazing him long enough to send him off LU’s band stage and through a death trap of tables, boards, glass and chairs below. By the time Killshot finally loaded him into the ambulance for the victory, I think everyone’s collective expression looked something like this.
There are a lot of reasons this match worked beyond the spectacular violence. Huge props must be given to Chris DeJoseph for coming up with this storyline and to Killshot and Fox for making it work. I would’ve enjoyed this match regardless, if for no other reason than because of the effort and violence put in from both competitors. But to argue this match would’ve worked just as well as a random one off is just silly. In the end it delivered because everything in this match meant something. Fox needed to win because he can’t let go of the hatred in his heart towards a man he felt abandoned him in his darkest hour. Killshot needed to win because he couldn’t make Fox see the misunderstanding that tore them apart, leaving him no choice but to fight for his life (and that’s not hyperbole; there were several times I thought one or both these dudes were dead). All of those issues had been building up for practically the entire season, making the only way to settle it this insane match that, like the angle itself, just seemed to keep escalating the further down the rabbit hole we went. The LU creative staff deserves high praise for going with this angle, never shying away from it and then taking a chance on the sort of ultraviolent match I’ve never seen on TV before and probably never will again.
Obviously though, the bulk of the credit has to go to the two men who gave everything over the course of this near half an hour match. From what I’ve seen, the bulk of the credit is being given to Fox and it’s hard to go against that as he’s practically stolen the heart and soul of Lucha Underground away from everyone (including Pentagon) during the latter half of season three. But the truth is both men tonight were equals; there was no carry job, there was no guy making the other look better, it was simply two top athletes doing stuff we’ve never seen before and going to places we never thought possible. It was as if the athleticism and storytelling of Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada met with the disturbing, awe inspiring violence of Undertaker vs. Mankind, Hell in a Cell 1998. That match, like this one, was a testament to how far a performer was willing to go to give the fans what they want. I saw the same thing tonight from both Dante Fox and Killshot. Whatever happens to Lucha Underground from here on in, I think we can all safely say that these two are made men who can go anywhere they want to in the wrestling business from this point forward. I cannot applaud them enough for putting their bodies on the line, for doing things many didn’t think possible, just to leave us fans with our mouths agape. Hot damn did they succeed. And with that, Dante Fox vs. Killshot now settles in right next to Grave Consequences and the Cero Miedo match as the peak matches of LU’s three year history and one of the best matches seen in 2017. A match for all senses, a match for all feelings, a match for all seasons.
And with that lame line, we exit stage left! I’m off to ponder what exactly I’ve seen tonight, but I’ll return at some point soon. I guess it depends on when CMLL finally decides to return! Till we meet again, another round of applause for Killshot and Dante Fox. Thank you guys. Thank you.