SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Lucha Underground Report
July 20, 2016
Taped in Los Angeles, Calif.
Season 2 Episode #26 aired on El Rey Network
Report by Joel Dehnel, PWTorch contributor
Follow @DehnelTorch on Twitter for live updates.
Ultima Lucha Dos Part 3
The show opened with a video package recapping the biggest events this season and how all the storylines got to where they are now.
Undisclosed location: Vampiro told Pentagon that he has earned the right to face Matanza Cueto at Ultima Lucha, but he question whether or not he is ready. Vampiro told him he must destroy the man he once was. Pentagon then walked through a cave. He gave the sign, then beat down several other men in Pentagon masks. Pentagon fought someone who looked like himself. It was revealed as Vampiro. Vampiro told him he was ready. He told Pentagon to blow out a candle so Pentagon Dark can take his place.
Title sequence rolled.
In-ring: Santos welcomed the crowd to Ultima Lucha Dos.
Announcers: Vampiro and Matt Striker hyped he conclusion of Ultima Lucha tonight then threw to Melissa Santos.
In-ring: Santos said the opening contest would be for the Trios Championship. First out was the trio of AeroStar, Drago, and Fenix followed by the champions.
1 – Trios Tag champions THE WORLDWIDE UNDERGROUND (JACK EVANS & P.J. BLACK & JOHNNY MUNDO) vs. AEROSTAR & DRAGO & FENIX – Trios Tag Championship match
Mundo started the match with Fenix. Mundo took a cheap shot on Fenix then Drago tagged in and took out Mondo. Black came in illegally to fight Drago. Evans then hopped in and beat on AeroStar as Striker kept emphasizing how they were in the ring illegally. Then, the Worldwide Underground all fell to the ground. Fenix, Star, and Drago went for a dive, but the ref stopped them.
Black and Evans double-teamed Fenix. Evans tagged back in for another double team move. Mundo came in and they hit a triple-team move on Fenix. Everyone came in the ring for another all-out brawl. Fenix knocked Evans and Black to the outside, then hit a frog splash on Mundo for a very near fall.
Mundo tried to roll up with the ropes for a win, but couldn’t nail it. Fenix then hit another splash on Mundo, but Evans pulled Fenix out of the ring. AeroStar and Fenix continued to work on Mundo in the ring.
Suddenly, Black pulled AeroStar to the outside. The champs grabbed their belts and hit Fenix. They pulled the ref back in the ring and Fenix kicked out at two. They continued their attack on Fenix. Angélico came to the ring on crutches and hit Mundo. Drago and AeroStar recovered to take out Black and Evans. Angélico continued to beat Mundo, which allowed Fenix to hit a flying knee and a piledriver for the win.
WINNERS: Fenix & AeroStar & Drago at 11:50 to become the new Trios Tag Champions. Very good tag match here. As much crap as Striker gets I think it’s funny how he points out how absurd all the tag matches are that basically everyone does whatever they want. All that aside this was an exciting outing from both teams. (***3/4)
In-ring: Santos introduced El Dragon Azteca who was already in the ring. His opponent tonight is Black Lotus. She was already in the ring as well.
2 – EL DRAGON AZTECA, JR. vs. BLACK LOTUS
Dragon flew at Lotus and missed to start. Lotus threw Dragon across the ring. Lotus went to the top and hit an arm drag. Lotus went for a dive on Dragon but Dragon slid back into the ring. Dragon kicked Lotus then went for a dive and missed. Lotus hit an enziguri on the outside. Dragon countered Lotus and threw her into the barricade.
Dragon rolled Lotus back into the ring and missed a cross-body. Lotus attempted a cover for a two count. Dragon took down Lotus and went to the top rope. As Dragon was positioned on the ropes, out came Pentagon to knock him off. Pentagon went over to Lotus and ‘broke’ her arm. Pentagon then hit a package piledriver on Dragon and ‘broke’ his arm.
WINNER: ??? at 4:10. No announcement of a finish, but I would assume that it’s a No Contest. I feel cheated out of a good match because this was building to something really good. We had been waiting for the debut of Black Lotus since Season 1 and it just kind of got crapped on.
In-ring: Pentagon looked over at Vampiro who gave the sign of approval. Pentagon said last year he beat his teacher. Pentagon said he though he was ready but Matanza destroyed him. He said he and his master went to the darkest places and now he is stronger than ever. He said Ian Hodgkenson is dead because he was destroyed by Vampiro. Pentagon Jr. Is also dead. He was torn apart and made into someone more powerful. Pentagon Dark. He said Pentagon Dark would defeat Matanza because of Cero Miedo.
In-ring: Santos introduced Pentagon Dark already in the ring. Next out was Matanza with Dario.
3 – Lucha Underground champion ‘THE MONSTER’ MATANZA CUETO (w/Dario Cueto) vs. PENTAGON DARK – LU Title match
Pentagon dove onto Matanza to start the match. Pentagon strangled Matanza with a cable then threw Matanza into the barricade. Pentagon hit a Death Valley driver on the floor and continued his beat down. Pentagon grabbed a chair and whacked Pentagon over the back then the head. Pentagon threw Matanza into a crowd of chairs.
Matanza tried to fight back, but Pentagon kept laying the beat down. Pentagon threw Matanza into the crowd again and hit his leg with a chair. Pentagon finally went back in the ring and hit a superkick. Pentagon set up Matanza in the corner and flipped him in the mat. Matanza reversed an Irish whip, but Pentagon also reversed and kicked his chest. Pentagon grabbed another chair and placed it in the corner.
Matanza countered a charge and rammed Pentagon into the chair then hit a suplex and a standing moonsault. Matanza hit a German, but couldn’t set up a pin. They both stood toe-to-toe in the center and traded blows until Matanza hit a slam.
Matanza charged at Pentagon and Pentagon hit him with a charge followed by a piledriver. Vampiro pulled out a barbed wire baseball bat and handed it to Pentagon. Dario tried to save Matanza, but Pentagon grabbed Dario and Matanza hit Pentagon over the back and hit Wrath of the gods for the win.
WINNER: Matanza at 11:29 retain the Lucha Underground Championship. It started out well with Pentagon dominating the match. Then Matanza made a miraculous comeback which led to a stupid finish. Pentagon was supposed to be revitalized and improved and instead he lost after getting hit by a few moves. (** 3/4)
Post-match: Vampiro entered the ring to help up Pentagon, but Pentagon pushed Vampiro away.
Announcers: Striker thanked the fans and hyped the main event. Vampiro appeared very depressed after what just happened.
In-ring: Santos introduced Taya to the ring. Next out was Ivelisse.
4 – IVELISSE vs. TAYA
Ivelisse charged at Taya and threw her to the mat. Taya caught Ivelisse on the apron and knocked her to the mat on the outside. Taya attempted a suplex, then drove Ivelise into a chair. Ivelisse knocked Taya into a chair then kicked her over. Taya tried to threw Ivelisse into the barricade. Ivelisse grabbed the barricade and hit a cross-body. Taya recovered and rammed Ivelisse into the announce table.
Taya dragged Ivelisse up the stairs of the temple and the two fought on the stairs. They knocked each other down the stairs onto the ringside mat. Ivelisse kicked Taya in the ring then hit a German suplex. Ivelisse hit a powerbomb and then the lights turned off. The lights turned on and Catrina hit a move on Ivelisse. The lights turned off again and Taya hits a stomp for the win.
WINNER: Taya at 6:48. Third screwy finish of the night. This is starting to feel like WWE PPV main events with interference and no clean winner. These two are capable of much more, but LU makes this again a free for all match with no rules enforced and interference to top it off. Is it so much to ask for a clean fight with rules then if they want to set something up have it happen backstage or after the match so you don’t feel screwed investing your time? (**1/4)
Post-match: The lights go dark yet again and Catrina appears. Ivelisse says ‘death comes to everyone even you, b—-.’ She then proceeds to give Ivelisse the lick of death.
Video Package: Konnan speaking about Prince Puma and him training at the temple.
In-ring: Santos introduced Prince Puma to the ring. Next out was Rey Mysterio.
5 – PRINCE PUMA vs. REY MYSTERIO
Puma and Rey shook hands before the match. Rey and Puma flipped each other around the ring to start. Rey landed a few kicks to earn the early advantage. Puma picked up Rey and drove his knees into Rey’s chest. Puma charged Rey in the corner then wrapped him around his back in a submission maneuver.
Rey slid under the ring and onto Puma on the outside. Rey climbed to the top in the ring and hit a seeded senton followed by a crossbody for the near fall. Rey spring boarded off the ropes and hit a DDT. Puma picked up Rey but Rey countered with a kick then Puma countered and slammed Mysterio. Puma climbed to the top rope, but Mysterio stopped him. Puma picked up Rey and attempted a Razor’s Edge, but Rey stopped him and hit a reverse hurricarana.
Both men traded blows again in the middle of the ring. Puma picked up Rey and drove his knees into his back then hit a blue thunder bomb. Rey set up the 619 but Puma dodged hit and hit a kick which set up Rey on the ropes. Puma hit the 619 and 630 splash for a near fall. Puma drilled his knees into Rey again for another near fall.
Puma hit a drop kick then climbed to the top. Rey moved out of the way off the splash then hit a reverse hurricarana. Rey set up the 619 but Puma caught him. Puma set up a Tombstone, but Rey reversed it and finally hit the 619 and seated senton for the win.
WINNER: Mysterio at 16:37. Very good match between two veteran guys. Mysterio can still do a lot on his own and looks great when he has another guy doing some fantastic selling. Easily could have been one of if not the best match this season. (****1/4)
Post match: Puma and Rey hugged it out and celebrated in the ring. Fans chanted the “323” area code at Prince Puma. They then chanted “thank you” to Rey as he left the temple.
Announcers: Striker thanked the audience for watching Ultima Lucha. Vampiro stood up, then Pentagon attacked him with the barbed wire baseball bat. Pentagon racked the bat across Vampiro’s head to draw blood. He continued the beat down inside of the ring. Pentagon told Vampiro that he was no longer his master and that only he himself was the master. Pentagon said that Vampiro’s blood feeds him. Pentagon continued to kick Vampiro as fans booed/chanted “Pentagon” and said his catchphrase.
Outside Temple: Dario was being placed into a white van by police officers while in handcuffs. As the van drove off, Dario looked up and and smiled to close the show.
To be continued…
FINAL THOUGHTS: I will reserve much of my thoughts for “Moonlighting with Greg Parks” this weekend, but I will give a quick run down of this show. Part 3 did rise above the other parts, but really three weeks was too much for this. It needs to be cut down to just one two-hour episode that is solid start to finish. In general a television series finale ties up a lot of the ongoing plot points and plants seeds for the next season with a hook at the end. This felt too much like laying the foundation for the next season like you would see in a premiere versus a finale. Nothing really got solved. They just tried to come to a conclusion then moved on to something else. Instead of the next chapter it was either inconclusive or moved on to the next thing.
They are going to the well too many times in these matches with having no rules and high spots in the crowd that ultimately lead to nothing. Season 3 needs to fill the holes in their storylines and make the matches feel important like they did in Season 1. Limit the high spots and weapons matches. Make title matches important. Most importantly build to things and give fans a real pay-off instead of it being about the spectacle of violence and guys beating the crap out of each other.
LU is capable of doing some really great things, but I feel they have gotten away far too many times with stories that make no sense and matches that are about entertaining the fans instead of telling a great story through visuals. Despite the cool things LU does like their editing and cinematography, I can see why LU has become Vince Russo’s favorite wrestling show.