Going into this episode of Lucha Underground the only match that was announced ahead of time was Prince Puma vs. Pentagon Jr. That promised to be a sure fire classic but the question is, was the rest of the card up to scratch?
Before the typical recap that opens every LU show there was a short backstage segment featuring Sexy Star and The Mack. It seems that Star is now free from Marty’s clutches and has returned to the temple where she runs into The Mack. The implication here is likely to be that Mack will now join the feud with Marty and the debuting female who he has been speaking about for the past few weeks. That is not the upwards trajectory that most would have hoped for him after he defeated PJ Black.
Following the recap there is third video package which shows Ivelisse asking for a Trio’s Title match. She is denied and instead her team is put into a number one contenders match. The only interesting thing to come from this was Catrina announcing that there are no guaranteed rematches for former champions, something that could have a huge bearing on future rivalries and title matches.
Number One Contenders Trios Match- Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico vs. The Crew and Chavo Guerrero.
Just as they do every time the former Trio’s champs are on screen, the fans went crazy for this unlikely group. All three have the potential to break out at any moment and become top stars for this company but at the same time they are highly valuable staying as a trio too. With them being one of only two true Trios it is likely that they will be staying as they are for the time being.
The Crew and Chavo have had some sort of alliance in the past but they have not previously been an actual team. The Crew used to be a trio with former member Bael before he was kayfabe murdered. Yes, LU actually kills off some characters. With no one really caring about Mr. Cisco, Cortez Castro, or Chavo Guerrero it was clear from the outset how this match was going to go.
Despite the predictability of the outcome this was still a decent contest. A simultaneous three person dive from the favourites was a highlight. They worked much better together in terms of teamwork than they have done in the past and it makes for a much more complete and effective grouping.
The Rudo’s put in some good work as they cut off Ivelisse from her teammates and used underhand tactics to try to keep their advantage. All that really did was make fans clamour for her to fight back and make the tag to one of her partners, which she did to great fanfare.
Ultimately this match was relatively short and ended with Castro being pinned by Angelico. It wasn’t much of a memorable affair but that was slightly made up for by what came after. As Chavo berated his partners for losing, Texano Jr came out and attacked them to signal that his feud with Chavo from last season is far from over. With some luck that means there will be plenty of Texano matches coming up as he is an excellent worker.
Winners and New Number One Contenders: Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico.
Up next there’s a Johnny Mundo video designed to build his feud with Cage and his heel character in general. The cockiness put forth by Mundo was highly effective at getting fans to hate him and you should be excited to see a resurgence for this talented grappler here in Lucha Undeground. This man could be, and perhaps should be, the champion.
Last week it was revealed that Catro was actually Officer Reyes and was sent to the Temple to investigate Dario Cueto. It was also revealed that Joey Ryan was also set to debut as an undercover cop. This week saw Ryan’s first venture into the Temple as he mocked Castro over his earlier loss before saying he was going to go out there and show him how it was done.
Joey Ryan vs Cage.
This seems like slightly odd booking as both men needed a win in this match. Joey needed one because this was his debut and losing would put him off to a very weak start, not something that is advised when building a new star. Cage needed one because he was set to challenge Johnny Mundo and, potentially, Mil Muertes so he would need to look absolutely unstoppable if he was to be taken seriously as a challenger. Someone was going to lose out big time.
The match itself started off quite slowly but evolved into a very enjoyable encounter that showcased both men’s vastly different talents.
Cage employed his usual power game and threw Ryan around like he was nothing. The most impressive feats of strength came in the forms of a Hiptoss Backbreaker, Sitout Pumphandle Facebuster, and a Powerbomb onto his knee. All of these moves looked suitably brutal but the one that should have made everyone wince is pain was the finisher that Cage employed this time around. He used the Steiner Screwdriver which is a move that sees the opponent lifted high into the air, turned upside down, and dropped directly on their head. It is banned in the WWE and a good argument could be made for it being banned everywhere, it is a dangerous maneuver.
Joey opted for the strategy of working over his muscle bound foe’s arms. It was nice to see this sort of tactic being employed as it makes sense, unlike a lot of the more flippy offence others utilise. In theory it should have made it impossible for Cage to hoist Joey up for the big impact moves that he loves to hit. It didn’t work out that way, possibly due to a lack of in ring psychology on the part of Cage, but it was still a smart touch that added dimensions to this match.
In the end though Cage took home the victory and Joey Ryan had a very unsuccessful debut. It will no doubt feed into his feud with Castro but that’s of little comfort at this moment.
Immediately after the contest Johnny Mundo made his way down to attack Cage in retaliation for the big man’s actions two weeks ago. He took the early advantage but once again Cage was booked to look like a brick wall as Mundo just sort of bounced off of him following an attempted springboard strike. It ended with Mundo receiving the Weapon X finisher from Cage. Logic would have dictated that Johnny get the upper hand over a battle worn opponent but it looks like he’s being sacrificed to further his rival’s push.
Yet another video package followed on from this and it depicted Rey Mysterio training the new El Dragon Azteca. It was quite the expository fight as Mysterio told Azteca all about his history whilst they grappled. All anyone really wants is to see Mysterio get in the ring and compete in LU but it seems the wait is far from over on that front. It had better be a damn good match when he finally does show up.
Prince Puma vs. Pentagon Jr.
Finally, the match that everyone had been waiting for was on and the fans were divided between the two combatants.
It is weird to say that Pentagon Jr has become one of the most popular Luchadores in the company as his whole character revolves around him breaking people’s arms. For whatever reason though that has gotten him over with the crowd in a big way and it can’t be denied that he is hugely entertaining.
Prince Puma is a far different type of wrestler as he plays a much more virtuous role. In recent weeks though that has been put to the test as he faces more and more hardship and the anger inside him grows. Therein lies the hook for this match, would Puma finally snap?
The offence was just as fast paced as you would expect from these two men and it made for some truly spectacular moments. Puma hit a picture perfect Running Moonsault from the ring to the outside that just highlighted his incredible athleticism. Pentagon was no slouch either as he hit a much more impactful looking Float-Over Backstabber that could realistically have finished the match there and then. The real treat though was the series of reversals that both men employed that served to showcase how well they know one another and how skilled they are at adapting on the fly. One such move saw Puma try for a Springboard 450 Splash only to land on the knees of Pentagon and get rolled up for a two count.
The excellent bout come to an end when Pentagon went for a submission win with a Surfboard Stretch only for Puma to slide backwards and pin him. It looked for a moment like both men’s shoulders would be down for the three but Puma arched his back at the last moment and secured his victory.
Pentagon took the defeat badly and promptly Superkicked the referee. Puma then ko’d him with a beautiful kick of his own that looked strong enough to take Pentagon’s head off. Then came an interesting moment. Puma signaled that he was going to break Pentagon’s arm with the same move he had used to break so many others. It caused the fans to come to edge of their seats as they questioned whether or not this through and through good guy could actually be pushed to taking out an opponent in such a way. Of course, Puma let him go but it was a tense end to a good night of wrestling action.
Winner: Prince Puma.
Overall this was a fairly good episode but it was far from the best. There were too many poorly booked moments that just didn’t click and as a result most of this show won’t be remembered by fans. The main event pushed the episode out of meh status though and once again proved that LU have struck gold with Prince Puma and Pentagon Jr. They should serve as the top starts in this promotion for a long time to come.
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