TV REPORTS DEHNEL'S LUCHA UNDERGROUND REPORT 12/17: Battle Royal & 10-way match set up main event (w/Analysis of Booking 101)
Dec 18, 2014 - 1:46:42 PM
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Lucha Underground Report
December 17, 2014
Taped in Los Angeles, Calif.
Episode #8 aired on El Rey Network
Report by Joel Dehnel, PWTorch contributor
Lucha Underground opened with a video package recalling the events of the past week involving Chavo Guerrero, Sexy Star, Prince Puma, Johnny Mundo, and Big Ryck.
Opening credits rolled which brought us to The Temple to begin the show.
Ten wrestlers were standing in the ring waiting for the arrival of Dario Cueto. Dario walked out sporting a black eye. The fans booed and he said, "I love you, too." He introduced himself again and revealed that there would be a 10-man match taking place right now. He said that there would be a second match later tonight. The winners of the two matches would be given a unique opportunity.
1 -- PRINCE PUMA vs. BIG RYCK vs. DRAGO vs. MASCARITA SAGRADA vs. FENIX vs. PENTAGON, JR. vs. KING CUERNO vs. SUPER FLY vs. SON OF HAVOC vs. EL MARIACHI LOCO -- 10-Way Match
All men jumped on Big Ryck right away. Sagrada squared off with Ryck and Ryck threw him to the ground. Drago landed a drop kick on Cuerno. Loco and Pentagon all landed dropkicks on Ryck. Pentagon launched Drago to the outside and he landed on top of Loco. Sagrada kicked Pentagon until he was knocked down. Sagrada then hit a head scissors on Pentagon. Super Fly knocked Pentagon off the apron then Pentagon monkey-flipped Sagrada to the outside. Super Fly hit a moon sault to the outside on Pentagon. In the ring, Havoc and Puma faced off. Both men flipped around until Puma hit a huracanrana. Puma then did a front flip to the outside onto a few men.
Back in the ring, Ryck knocked over Super Fly and Loco. Drago went for a cross-body, but was caught by Ryck. Ryck threw Drago on top of Super Fly and Loco. Ryck then clotheslined anyone who ran at him. Puma and Fenix double teamed Ryck and kicked him out of the ring. Puma and Fenix then traded kicks back and forth. Fenix went to the top rope, Puma jumped up and went for a superplex until Cuerno got involved and hit a tower of doom with all men crashing to the mat. Havoc hit a shooting star press and went for the pin but it was broken up by Super Fly. Super Fly hit a moonsault of his own, but the count was broken up by Drago.
Drago went for the Dragon's Tail, but Super Fly kicked out. Cuerno and Drago squared off and Cuerno hit Thrill of the Hunt, but the pin was broken up by Loco. Pentagon hit a Musclebuster on Loco. Sagrada came in and kicked Pentagon in the head. Sagrada hit a sunset flip powerbomb on Pentagon, but the pin was broken up by Puma. Puma gorilla-pressed Sagrada then kicked his gut. Ryck got involved and clotheslined Puma. All men came in the ring and kicked Ryck.
Super Fly and Loco dove to the outside onto a few men, followed by a front flip from Pentagon to the outside. Then a corkscrew by Havoc. Sagrada then dove off the top and hit a huracanrana on Pentagon. Fenix then hit a 619-like move on Ryck followed by a big kick from Puma onto Fenix. Puma then went to the top rope and hit a 450 splash on Ryck. Fenix followed up by hitting a tilt-a-whirl DDT for a two count. Fenix picked up Puma and hit a modified piledriver for the win.
WINNER: Fenix at 10:49.
In-ring: nine Luchadors were in the ring preparing for the next match. Santos revealed that this match would be a Battle Royal. The 10th wrestler was revealed to be Chavo Guerrero.
2 -- FAMOUS B. vs. CISCO vs. CORTEZ CASTRO vs. BAEL vs. RICKY MANDEL vs. JOHNNY MUNDO vs. SEXY STAR vs. MIL MUERTES vs. PIMPENELA ESCARLATA vs. CHAVO GUERRERO -- Boyle Heights Battle Royal
Star leaped onto Chavo on the outside for a seated Senton. Star kicked down Chavo and Cisco., then the camera panned to show the mysterious woman from the crowd watching the match again. Mundo was almost thrown out, but held on. Famous B went for a cross body but missed. Pimp clotheslined Famous B over the top rope to eliminate him. Cortez lifted up Mandel and threw him over the top rope for elimination. Pimp went for "old school" on Mundo, but was countered. Muertes then grabbed Pimp and threw him over the top rope. Star jumped on Chavo's back, but Chavo knocked her off and grabbed her hair. Chavo almost eliminated, Star then Star went to the top rope and leaped for a cross-body, but Chavo caught her. Chavo then tossed her to the outside for the elimination. The crew tossed Mundo over the top, but he held on. Mundo grabbed Cisco with his legs and threw him over the top. Then, Chavo tossed out Cortez. Muertes then threw out Bael. Three were left in the ring: Chavo, Muertes, and Mundo.
All men fought back and forth. Chavo slingshot Mundo towards the outside. Mundo planted Chavo. Catrina then grabbed Mundo's leg so Muertes could take advantage. Mundo hit a springboard dropkick on Muertes. Mundo then springboard-kicked Chavo to the outside. Muertes hit a big spear on Mundo. Johnny took control and tried to lift Muertes over the top, but both men stood on the apron and Muertes kicked down Mundo. Mundo slid back into the ring. Mundo went for End of the World, but was countered. Muertes clotheslined Mundo over the top rope for the victory.
WINNER: Mil Muertes at 11:00.
In ring: Mil Muertes and Fenix were standing in the ring together until Dario came out. Dario said that in his hands he holds power. He then introduced the Lucha Underground Championship belt. He said that the luchador that holds this belt will be the best fighter in the world. He said he has created a new match to honor those before him called Aztec Warfare. He said that after the new year, the one who wins this match will be his new champion. Dario congratulated both men and their night was not over as they have one more match against each other. He said that the winner of this match will receive the unique opportunity and be the last entrant into the Aztec Warfare match. The loser of this match will be the first entrant which will give them the worst odds of winning.
3 -- FENIX vs. MIL MUERTES (w/Catrina)
Muertes beat down Fenix. Fenix escaped and hit a springboard armdrag. Fenix hit a dropkick off the top rope. Muertes rolled out of the ring and Fenix hit a corkscrew to the outside. Both me were down on the outside while the crowd counted to ten. Back in the ring, Muertes hit a spear on Fenix. He put Fenix on the ropes and Catrina hit his head. Muertes then grabbed Fenix and hit a DDT. Muertes picked up Fenix and hit a running powerslam.
Fenix ran at Muertes, but he countered with a powerbomb. Fenix then came back with a springboard neckbreaker. Fenix climbed up the top rope, where jumped off and was uppercut by Muertes. Muertes picked up Fenix and hit the flatliner for the win.
WINNER: Mil Muertes at 5:47 with The Flatliner.
Post-match: Catrina licked Fenix, then made out with Muertes. The camera then went to the backstage area. Dario was talking to a mysterious figure while holding the belt. He told the mysterious figure that he can't hold the belt because he knows how he likes to destroy beautiful things.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Lucha Underground accomplished a lot of Wrestling Booking 101 that was very effective. When Dario came out to set the show, he did not tout about how all these sports entertainers would entertain you and you should be great full for the entertainment. He instead gave a purpose to the match he said they would receive a unique opportunity that would be revealed later in the show. Something more powerful than money. Bam! As easy as that there is now a legitimate reason for this match happening. Second, now the viewer is wondering what is that unique opportunity, maybe I should stay tuned into the show to find out. What could be more powerful than money within the wrestling universe? At this point the viewer is hooked.
As Vince McMahon said in his interview with Steve Austin, there needs to be a purpose to matches you can't just throw them out there. Well it appears Lucha Underground understands that concept a hell of a lot more than Vince does at this point. Another thing I really liked was the variations between the 10-person matches. If WWE had booked this it would've been two consecutive boring battle royals with a Divas buffer in between. Instead Lucha Underground kept that momentum going in the show in a logical way by having both matches after one another, but making it two slightly different matches.
Let's set the stage so far. The viewer wants to find out what is the opportunity so they stick around. Next, the viewer doesn't want to tune out and come back in two-and-a-half-hours to find out the mystery. Instead they watch the entire program because the wrestling matches are entertaining and keep the audience engaged. And, finally, there is a pay-off. Dario came out and did something very very important to the wrestling formula. He informed the audience and the wrestlers the consequences of the match. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat is what has made sports and competition popular for centuries. If one wrestler wins he gets an advantage in an upcoming match and the loser will be at a disadvantage, thus giving even more purpose to these matches. Finally, to top it all off they plugged a huge match that's coming up in a few weeks, giving fans something to look forward and see how it shapes up. Fans and other promotions should look to this episode to truly understand how a wrestling show can work and get people invested in the product itself. It's not hard to do nor is it anything new, it is what has worked efficiently in the past and can work now and into the future.
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