Lucha Underground Report
September 7, 2016
Taped in Los Angeles, Calif.
Season 3 – Episode #1 aired on El Rey Network
Report by Joel Dehnel, PWTorch contributor
Follow @DehnelTorch on Twitter for live updates
The show opened with Dario working out in a jail cell. A police officer released him from his cell. The Honky Tonk Man made a cameo as a security guard returning Dario’s items to him. Dario left through the gates and entered a limo. A man told Dario that the charges had been dropped. Another man who was not seen except for his literal iron fist told Dario that next time something like this happens that there will be death to pay. Dario said the temple was back in business with a bit of uncertainty.
Announcers: Matt Striker welcomed the audience to the show and thanked them for sticking around. Striker told Vampiro that he appears well rested and he is glad that he is back.
In-ring: Dario stood center-ring with Lucha Underground champion Matanza at his side. He welcomed the crowd back to Lucha Underground. He said he has some exciting news to share, but before that he wants to announce the main event. He said it was Rey Mysterio versus… (he teased Matanza, then said no). Instead, Cueto said he will face the man who tried to break his arm and turned Vampiro into a stuffed pig, Pentagon Dark. Dario said no one can stop Matanza, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. He walked outside to a curtain to reveal his new idea which is called Dario’s Dial of Doom. It was literally a giant spinning wheel with wrestlers’s names like you would see on Wheel of Fortune or The Price is Right. Dario spun the wheel and it landed on Son of Havoc. Dario then threw to the ring to start the match.
In-ring: Santos introduced the opening contest for the Lucha Underground Championship. Son of Havoc then emerged through the crowd to a big pop.
1 – Lucha Underground champion MATANZA CUETO vs. SON OF HAVOC – Lucha Underground Championship match
Havoc quickly began to attack Matanza. Matanza stopped him, then threw him into the corner. Matanza went to charge Havoc, but Havoc tossed Matanza to the outside then dropped an elbow from the apron. Havoc landed a big kick followed by a stomped for a nearfall. Matanza went on the attack again and hit a standing moonsault followed by a standing Shooting Star Press (from the camera angle you can see Matanza completely miss Havoc).
Havoc attempted a tornado DDT then turned it into a choke. Matanza drove Havoc into the corner then fell to the outside. Havoc hit a moonsault from the apron. Havoc hit a double stomp from the apron then a shooting star press and after a near fall locked in an armbar. Matanza lifted up Havoc to break the hold then Havoc hit a neckbreaker for another nearfall.
Havoc hit another Shooting Star Press from the top rope, but Matanza still kicked out. Matanza caught Havoc off a flip and hit Wrath of the Gods for the pinfall.
WINNER: Matanza retained his championship at 7:24.
Still to come: Pentagon Dark vs. Rey Mysterio.
Dario’s office: Johnny Mundo, Taya, P.J. Black, and Jack Evans walked in and Mundo demanded a title match. Dario said the last time he saw them they lost the Trios Titles. Mundo said that was only because of Angélico, but they took care of him. Flashback to Ultima Lucha Dos when Mundo and the crew brutally beat down Angélico outside the temple. Dario laughed at the story, but told Johnny he’s not getting his match. Mundo said he would fight Sexy Star for the Gift of the Gods title, then take on Matanza. Dario said instead tonight Taya will fight Sexy Star.
In-ring: Ivelisse stood center ring. She said Catrina has caused her to lose two Ultima Lucha matches. She demanded a match with Catrina at Ultima Lucha Tres. The lights went out and Catrina stood at the top of the temple and accepted her challenge.
Still to come: Sexy Star vs. Taya.
In-ring: Santos introduced Taya and Sexy Star. Both were already in the ring.
2 – Gift of the Gods champion SEXY STAR vs. TAYA – Gift of the Gods championship match
Both women locked hands to start the match. They both did some mat wrestling which Striker found as a great opportunity to point out the stars of “From Dusk Til Dawn,” which also airs on El Rey.
Back in the ring, both women exchanged slaps until Taya gained control. Taya crushed Star in the corner, then hit a slam before missing a moonsault. Star came back with some fire. Taya hit a fallaway slam, then Mundo and the crew came out to help Taya, but Star was able to get a roll-up for the win.
WINNER: Sexy Star retained her title at 5:10.
Post-match: Mundo, Taya, Evans, and Black beat down Star until Drago, AeroStar, and Fenix made the save.
Dario’s office: Marty Matinez walked into Dario’s office. He told Dario he was glad that he’s back. Dario told him to not talk about his unfortunate vacation again. Marty said he wants to conquer the temple. Dario pointed out Killshot’s dog tags. Dario said next week Marty will face Killshot in a weapons of mass destruction match. Marty began to laugh and Dario began to realize how insane Marty is.
In-ring: Santos introduced Rey Mysterio to the ring. Pentagon came out to a few boos, but most fans still chanted his catch phrase “Cero Miedo.”
3 – REY MYSTERIO, JR. vs. PENTAGON DARK
Mysterio hit a head scissors, then hit a seated senton on Pentagon to the outside. Pentagon argued with the ref, then took control of the match. Pentagon hit a hard chop followed by a few slingblade clotheslines. Pentagon hit a superkick then Mysterio and Pentagon stood on the top rope and Mysterio hit a hurricarana.
Pentagon launched Mysterio to the outside under the ropes, then hit a chop. Mysterio tried a standing moonsault off the apron, but Pentagon caught him. Mysterio still hit a DDT, though.
Mysterio dove onto Pentagon from the top rope for a nearfall. Pentagon then hit a big slam on Mysterio for a two count. Rey set up Pentagon for the 619, but Pentagon moved out of the way, then he superkicked Rey and drove his knees into Mysterio.
Pentagon then walked out of the ring to yell at Vampiro, who then walked out of the temple. Back in the ring, Rey hit the 619, then a sunset powerbomb for the win.
Post-match: Pentagon slammed Mysterio, then attempted to break his arm. El Dragon Azteca came out for the save.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio at 8:10.
Backstage: Prince Puma sat backstage and contemplated his loss to Mysterio last season. Vampiro came out and said maybe he just needs some guidance. Vampiro said he thinks he needs to take out Mil Muertes because he was never the same after that loss. Puma said he was surprised he’s not asking to take out Pentagon. Vampiro said it’s not about him, it’s about Puma.
For the most part, I will take a wait & see approach as to the direction of Season 3. It is becoming more and more clear that there is heavy WWE influence here. What! No! Lucha is totally different! Well, I hate to break it to you but Lucha Underground is similar to WWE in that the show’s biggest story is about the authority figure. Lucha is not about the titles or who is the best wrestler. The championship was thrown out in a meaningless opening contest that probably nobody will remember. The biggest storyline throughout the show and the series is about a non-wrestler. It’s about a heel authority figure who screws over the babyfaces. I’m tired of seeing this story over and over. I had optimism that this season would not be about this with Dario being shipped off to jail , but I was mistaken when in the first scene Dario is let out and back to his job like nothing happened. LU must bring it back to the wrestlers and emphasizing the wrestlers and winning championships – not the wrestlers feuding with Dario and Dario putting them in their place. I still have optimism things will turn around once Matanza is no longer champion, but they will need to make changes. I just hope they thought of these things while writing the shows because there’s no turning back now that it’s all been taped.
Pentagon vs. Mysterio is a dream match-up. It was a good match, even though it was short. Mysterio has proved he has a ton left in the tank. Sure, he’s slowed down, but he still looks like Mysterio after all of the injuries he’s been through, which is quite remarkable. Pentagon turned full heel at the end of last season which would make you think people would boo him. Surely he would be booed against the beloved legend in Mysterio. Nope, there were a few jeers that were soon drowned out by ‘Cero Miedo’ and ‘Pentagon’ chants. I still don’t know what LU was thinking turning him heel when he was on the rise to become a huge babyface attraction – the exact kind of wrestler they needed. The fans still want to like Pentagon because they didn’t get that babyface run they wanted to see. LU cheated fans out of the babyface title run with the championship. Only time will tell if that opportunity ever comes by again.