SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
LUCHA UNDERGROUND – “Ultima Lucha Tres Part 4”
OCTOBER 18, 2017 (Season 3, Episode #40)
TAPED IN LOS ANGELES, CALIF.
AIRED ON EL REY NETWORK
REPORT BY JOEL DEHNEL, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
-Show opened with recaps of the Black Lotus-El Dragon Azteca-Matanza, Cage-Catrina, Puma-Mundo.
In ring: Santos welcomed the crowd to Ultima Lucha Tres.
Announcers: Vampiro welcomed the viewing audience. Striker built up the championship for later tonight then threw to Santos in the ring.
In ring: Santos said that there are three ways to win the steel cage match: pinfall, submission or escaping with both feet touching the floor. She then introduced Matanza to the ring. El Dragon Azteca came out next.
(1) MATANZA CUETO (w/Dario Cueto) vs. EL DRAGON AZTECA, JR. – Steel Cage match
Dragon climbed the cage and hit a moonsault from the top to start the match. Azteca then hit a hurricarana. Matanza came back and tossed Dragon into the cage then the top turnbuckle. Dragon bounced off the ropes then Matanza tossed through the cage breaking the cage wall. Dragon’s feet hit the floor meaning he should be the winner.
Dario said that the rules have changed and you can only win by pinfall or submission. Matanza then went on to attack Dragon outside the ring. Dragon dodged an attack and went after Dario. Matanza hit Dragon from behind then tossed him back to the ring. Matanza continued the onslaught with several power moves. Black Lotus then appeared and leaped into the cage. She attacked Dragon allowing for Matanza to finish Dragon for the win.
WINNER: Matanza Cueto at 8:28.
Post match: Dario came into the ring to announce MAtanza as the winner. Lotus attacked Matanza from behind and hit a powerbomb. She then went after Dario calling him a liar. Matanza came in for the save and hit Wrath of the Gods on Lotus.
In ring: Santos introduced Jeremiah Crane to the ring. Next out was Cage then Mil Muertes. Dario came out and said that he doesn’t want any dispute of the winner so this match will now be a 3-way elimination match.
(2) JEREMIAH CRANE vs. CAGE vs. MIL MUERTES (w/Catrine) – Gauntlet of the Gods Three-Way match
Everyone hit kicks and clotheslines on each other. Crane took out everyone in the ring then hit a dive on Cage. Cage went back into the ring and dove onto Crane. Mil then leaped onto Cage on Crane to ignite the “This is Awesome” chant. Cage then slammed Mil then went to the outside to grab you guessed it, a table. Crane came back up with a bloodied face and hit Cage and Mil with a trash can. Crane setup another table then kicked Mil on the ring apron. Mil countered and choke slammed Crane through a table. Mil hit a headscissors on Cage then brought him back into the ring. Mil climbed the top turnbuckle Cage stopped Mil and hit a Frankensteiner then a springboard moonsault. Cage grabbed Crane from the ring apron. Crane jammed wood skewers into Cage’s head. Crane walked towards the backstage area to grab a glass sheet. Mil fell through the glass then attacked Cage and Crane. Cage set Mil onto a table. Cage caught Crane on the turnbuckle and hit an electric chair. Cage then brought Crane onto the turnbuckle and hit a superplex onto Mil through the table. Cage then pinned Crane inside the ring at 11:35.
Mil climbed back into the ring to trade blows with Cage. Mil grabbed a wooden chair from the outside. Cage suplexed Mil into the ring then hit a flying elbow. Crane came back into the ring and hit Cage with a chair. Cage hit a clothesline on Crane and Mil. Mil caught Cage hit a flatliner onto the chair for the win.
WINNER: Mil Muertes at 14:09.
Post match: Dario brought a steel box to the ring which contained the Gauntlet of the Gods. Catrina took it out of the box and brought it to Mil Muertes in the ring. The lights went out then King Cuerno appeared in the ring and took out both Catrina and Mil Muertes. Cuerno grabbed the gauntlet and walked away with it.
[JD’s Reax: LU can’t help themselves, but tipping their hand about surprise returns. Black Lotus was in the opening recap so it was quite obvious she would return. Striker mentioned during the match that we had not seen King Cuerno since Mil took him out.]
-The Johnny Mundo Story by Taya. It was a cheesy promo for Johnny Mundo put together by Taya. It included interviews with Dario and the Worldwide Underground bragging about Mundo.
Announcers: Vampiro and Striker talked about how over its three seasons LU has become about violence. They then threw to the Santos in the ring.
[JD’s Reax: Well, at least they admit it. LU used to be about the captivating storylines and great wrestling. Now it’s all about exploiting violence and dangerous stunts. LU has morphed into a product where the rules mean nothing and most things are done for shock value. This kind of wrestling does have niche audience which has kept it afloat. I hope that LU gets renewed, but I’m not a fan of what it has morphed into. LU has changed dramatically since the first season.]
In ring: Santos introduced Prince Puma who was wearing his vintage ring attire. Mundo came out next.
(3) Lucha Underground Champion JOHNNY MUNDO vs. PRINCE PUMA – Career vs. Title Lucha Underground Championship match
Puma and Mundo exchanged headlocks to begin the match. They tripped each other and flipped around. Puma caught Mundo in a power slam. Mundo kicked Puma on the outside. Mundo rammed Puma into the barricade then tossed him over the guardrail. Puma got up and bounced onto the ropes and hit a standing shooting star press onto Mundo. Puma brought Mundo back into the ring. Mundo punched Puma, but Puma came back with a neck breaker and a standing shooting star press. Mundo came back with some big kicks. Puma fought back but Mundo hit a standing C4. Mundo dodged an attack resulting in Puma kicking and knocking down the ref. Puma then hit Mundo and climbed the top turnbuckle. JAck Evans and PJ BLack then came in and attacked Puma while the ref was down. Taya brought a second ref into the ring. The new ref counted and Puma kicked out even though both refs saw Puma gt beat down. The Worldwide Underground then beat down the ref. Angelico entered the ring to save Puma. Angelico cleaned out the ring then leaped onto Mundo on the outside. The referee then dove onto the Worldwide Underground. Puma then leaped onto Mundo for a pin attempt. Mundo kicked out, but on the outside Angelico chased The Worldwide Underground out from ringside.
[JD’s Reax: So far all of Ultima Lucha Tres has been “We’ve never seen that before” or “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”]
Puma and Mundo exchanged strikes in the middle of the ring. Puma climbed the top rope. Mundo stopped him on the turnbuckle and flipped over Puma. Mundo hit End of the World for a two count. Puma countered a second End of the World. Puma hit a few flying knees the a drop kick. Puma climbed the top rope and hit a 630 splash for the win at 18:26.
WINNER: Prince Puma at 18:26 to with the Lucha Underground championship.
Post match: Puma celebrated with the title in the ring. Dario came out and congratulated Puma. Dario said that there will be one more match this evening.
Post match: Dario introduced Prince Puma who was already standing in the ring. He said his opponent came to him last week and said that he wants to face the LU champion. Dario said typically he would want to promote a match this big, but rules are like bones and they are meant to be broken. He introduced Pentagon Dark to the ring. Dario said in addition to the LU title being on the line so are both of their careers.
(4) Lucha Underground Champion PRINCE PUMA vs. PENTAGON DARK – Career vs. Career Lucha Underground Championship match
Puma kicked Pentagon then dove onto him.PEntagon then came back with a superkick of his own. PEntagon went to break Puma’s arm then “broke” it in the middle of the ring. Trainers tried to attend to Puma Puma showed full functionality of his arm as he wrapped it up. Puma kicked Pentagon to the outside continuing to hold his arm. Puma continued on the offense trying to not use his right arm. Puma hit a standing shooting star press for a two count. Puma hit several more kicks and chops on Pentagon. Pentagon tried a sunset flip then attempted a package piledriver which was countered by Puma who hit the neutralizer. Puma climbed the top rope and attempted a 630, but Vampiro pulled Pentagon out of the way. Pentagon then dropped Puma on his head then hit a package piledriver for the win.
WINNER: Pentagon Dark at 8:32 to become the new Lucha Underground champion.
Post match: Pentagon celebrated with Vampiro in the ring. Puma slowly walked to the back while fans cheered for him. Pentagon Dark declared himself the new champion of LU while the fans also cheered for him despite his heel tactics.
Backstage: Puma slowly walked outside of the temple. He took off his mask and dropped it in an ally.
-King Cuerno sat in a chair with the gauntlet on display.
-Sexy Star was signing autographs at a red carpet event. A little girl gave Star a box and said “She hasn’t forgotten about you.” Star opened the box to reveal a spider.
-Mascarita Sagrada told the Rabbit Tribe to follow him
-Fenix and Santos drove off in a car. While Crane and Catrina watched.
-Daga wielded a sword in front of Kobra Moon. Daga cut off Pindar’s head. Seriously.
-Vampiro said he has completed what he was supposed to do and Puma is gone. A mysterious figure in a skull mask told Vampiro that he has done well.
-Matanza growled in his cage. Mysterio emerged from another cage across from him.
-The man from the limo sat in Dario’s office. He told Dario he has nothing to worry about because he will be dead. He then pulled out a gun and shot Dario. The camera cut to outside the office so we couldn’t see where he was shot. Dario’s hands were covered in blood as he tried to make a phone call. It was difficult to understand what Dario was saying. Dario then fell over.
TO BE CONTINUED… (?)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow. A lot to unpack here. Way more than I will be able to type in this report. First and foremost, as of this writing there is no guarantee on a season 4 of Lucha Underground. It is possible that this could be the last Lucha Underground episode. If so, then it was fun doing this and I will write a much longer column reflecting on the series. Until we have a more clear answer, I will reflect on just Ultima Lucha.
Well, there was more tables this week, Pindar got his head lopped off with a sword and a referee dove to the outside. Oh and did I mention Dario was shot! Dario may have been killed off in the series. My instincts tell me that was not the end of Dario because we didn’t see exactly where he was shot or know who he called. If that was the end of Dario then he will be remembered as a very good heel performer who came from the acting world and into wrestling and got himself over with his acting and charisma.
There were two new world champions tonight. Again, as of this writing Puma has elected to not resign with LU. Things can and will change between now and if there is a season 4. If that was the true end for Puma then that will put a lot more pressure on Pentagon to carry that brand. Which is another confusing element. Pentagon has gone back and forth acting like a heel and face. The fans want to embrace him, but tonight he was clearly positioned as a heel going forward. This made for an awkward situation where fans were cheering for both Puma and Pentagon even though Pentagon retired Puma.
The steel cage match was like any other in 2017. You can always expect interference of some sort. Defeating the purpose of the match concept.
The three-way gauntlet match was more of what we had seen the past few episodes of Ultima Lucha. Lots of violence not a lot of wrestling. Striker and Vampiro even told the audience that this is LU’s new identity is just having violent matches. This does disappoint me because LU had so much more promise than just violent stunt bumps. They have a very talented roster that is capable of having high quality matches in the ring. They have been relegated to constant stunt bumps and using weapons to get through matches. There are no more rules, matches just become No DQ when it is convenient. This is all apart of the story that LU is trying to tell, but I don’t think it is the right direction. LU is capable of doing so much more than exploiting violence.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10/4 Lucha Underground TV Report “Ultima Lucha Tres Part 3”: Sexy Star vs. Taya, Son of Havoc vs. Pentagon Dark, Six-Man Tag