Welcome everyone to another look into the Temple of shooting star presses and licks of death, Lucha Underground. This week was a great week for me as I was able to attend a live taping of the show last Saturday. The folks at Lucha Underground were all superb hosts and I will be writing about the experience and posting it here shortly. I will keep it spoiler free as the episodes I saw taped are not going to air for some time. I’ll focus instead on the overall experience and what it was like to enter the temple.

I also conducted a few interviews while I was there and those will also be posting here over the next few weeks. I’d like to say thank you to everyone at Lucha Underground and the El Rey Network for having me down. I’ll be back in the temple again. If you’re in the Los Angeles area or are planning to be any time soon, I’d highly recommend attending a taping.

As for this week’s show, we have a highly anticipated main event match between Johnny Mundo and King Cuerno, plus Cage taking on Puma for a shot at becoming the number one contender. Those two matches alone should make for an excellent show, so let’s get to it! As always, I’ve broken down the show chronologically below, and after will get into my thoughts on the episode. I’ve included a link to the episode at the bottom of the page in case you weren’t able to catch it or just don’t get El Rey in your area. Now to the show, let’s Lucha!

 

The Breakdown

Recap of Cage Puma storyline, Johnny Mundo King Cuerno storyline, and Black Lotus Matanza storyline

Opening shot of a car driving, we see x-ray vision style into the trunk to see Black Lotus is tied up inside

Aerostar defeats Drago via pinfall

Dario Cueto comes out post-match and sets up best of five series for “Unique Opportunity”

King Cuerno vignette

Cage defeats Prince Puma via Konnan throwing in towel

Konnan backstage segment with Prince Puma

Sexy Star in Dario Cueto’s office, sets up match with Big Ryck for next week

Pentagon Jr. defeats Vinny Massaro via pinfall (post-match puts Vinny through a table and “breaks” his arm)

King Cuerno vs. Johnny Mundo ends in double countout (post match they brawl into the stands)

The car from opening comes to a stop, the trunk opens and an unknown Luchador opens the trunk and reaches in to grab Black Lotus

 

Best of Five

DragovsAerostar

The opening match this week is a rematch from a few weeks ago pitting Drago against Aerostar. Drago was victorious in the first match, and Striker tells us that Aerostar requested this rematch. The two Técnicos work a fast paced, high-flying match. There is lots of solid chain wrestling and effective counters, including a beautiful counter to Drago’s Dragon’s Gate pinning combination.

Aerostar is eventually able to pick up the win, which immediately had me excited for a third match between the two. Aerostar returned the show of sportsmanship Drago showed him in their first match, shaking his opponents hand. Drago raised Aerostar’s hand in victory and out comes Dario Cueto from his office to make an announcement.

Cueto said this match was so good it left him wanting more. Since the two luchadores clearly love each other, he’s going to make sure they see a lot more of each other. They each have one win, and will continue facing each other until one of them accumulates three wins. The winner of the best of five series will go on to be awarded with one of Cueto’s “Unique opportunities”.

I’m pretty stoked for this as Drago and Aerostar work very well together in the ring. They have great chemistry and it should lead to a good series of matches as they grow more comfortable with each other.   I like the way Lucha Underground continuously puts solid feuds together instead of just one-shot matches. This one is just getting started and I wonder if both men will stay on the side of good as the series progresses.

Caged Puma

CageVsPuma

I have to admit, when Cage first showed up in Lucha Underground I was fearful that he was going to be one of those WWE style big men that wouldn’t have much to offer in the ring. I thought his style might clash with the Luchadores style. I was completely wrong. Cage is agile and fast for a man of his size, and while his style contrasts with the Lucha style, it works quite well because of that. I also met Cage in person this past weekend and the dude is very nice and extremely funny.

I was impressed with Cage’s first match against Prince Puma, and have been waiting for this rematch since. The stipulation on this is it’s non-title, but if Cage wins he will be named Number One contender and get a shot at Puma and the championship.   I expected this to be the main event but instead was early in the show. Of course champions rarely win in non-title matches, and so I expected Prince Puma to lose this match, but not in the way it happened.

Cage and Puma fought a hard-hitting match that pitted Cage’s power against Puma’s speed and agility. Cage showed off his quickness on a couple of occasions, once jumping up in the corner and ascending the ropes to attempt a moonsault. The move missed, but the quickness Cage showed in getting to the top was extremely impressive.   Puma was his usual amazing self as well, he hit a beautiful shooting star press from the top rope onto the outside of the ring to a standing Cage. That was a beautiful spot.

Towards the end of match, Cage had Prince Puma in trouble with a submission hold when Konnan came out from the back, making his return for the first time since Cage left him lying in a pool of blood. Konnan’s presence motivated Puma to get to the ropes, but Cage was able to hit his Weapon X finisher moments later. Rather then go for the pin, Cage began punching Puma repeatedly in the head.

I thought another DQ finish was coming but instead Konnan grabbed a towel from a nearby worker and threw it in the ring, giving Cage the win. Vampiro was great on commentary here, incredulously stating, “Konnan has never backed away or given up ever!” Striker played devil’s advocate saying Konnan is smart and must have a plan.

After the match, Konnan and Puma were shown in a backstage locker room segment. Konnan told Puma he knew he was upset but Konnan did what was best for him. He told Puma to remember what Konnan had taught him about the art of war, it’s based on deception. He told Puma they should execute their plan to fruition. Puma still looked upset.

This could all be setting up for Konnan turning on Puma to side with Cage. It seems like it’s only a matter of time until these two part ways, and I’m wondering if this is the beginning of that break. It’s disappointing that in the month that Puma has been champion, we still haven’t heard him talk. I’d still like to hear him get on the mic to build this feud with Cage up, and perhaps further the issues he has with Konnan, but can’t complain too much with the quality of matches he’s putting on.

 

Pentagoned Up Aggression

PentagonJr

Pentagon Jr. is on a tear lately, and no one’s arm is safe. This week’s victim is a new entrant into the temple, Vinny Massaro, who looks like he doesn’t really focus on cardio much. Pentagon Jr. makes short work of the man of 1,000 pasta dishes, beating him with his three up, three down finisher.

Post-match, Pentagon Jr. grabs a table from under the ring, much to the crowds delight. Massaro gets powerbombed through the table from the top rope, and then Pentagon Jr. applies his submission hold and “breaks” his arm. That’s three straight weeks Pentagon has “broken” a wrestler’s arm.  Good thing this isn’t WWE, the luchadores would go on strike due to “unsafe working conditions.”

I like this new aggressive version of Pentagon Jr., and it also seems like he’s enjoying himself. He dedicated this match to his master, who still remains a mystery. It’s only a matter of time before the master is revealed and Pentagon Jr.’s agenda becomes more clear, but until then Pentagon’s opponents may want to hide their arms.

 This Will Be a Fight

MundovsCuerno

Johnny Mundo and King Cuerno put on an amazing main event this week. The build in this feud has been excellent; with Cuerno interfering in Mundo’s match with Cage a couple of weeks ago and attacking again after Mundo beat Son of Havoc. Right off the bat Striker and Vampiro emphasize that “this will be a fight”. The two luchadores proved the announce team right.

Mundo and Cuerno went at it in such a way that you could feel the hatred coming through the TV Screen. They beat on each other in the ring, executed crazy dives onto one another outside the ring, and brawled until they were both counted out. The match stopping didn’t matter to either combatant, they continued to go at it outside the ring, and Cuerno threw Mundo’s face into the wall of Cueto’s office (Vampiro “Cueto just got woke up from his nap!”) Mundo returned the favor by whipping Cuerno into a stair rail. It was very violent, and the fans loved every minute of it.

The brawl continued up the temple stairs to the top of the temple amongst the standing room only fans. At one point, Marty Elias, who leads the Lucha Underground league in ref bumps, took a shot. It finally ended when Cuerno drove Johnny Mundo back through a steel fence that looked like it was part of some kind of storage room. It was an excellent finish to the carnage and left both men lying exhausted.

Clearly there’s another match in the works for these two, hopefully sooner rather than later. I was surprised at first when Cage and Puma weren’t the main event, but after seeing this match and the subsequent melee, it made perfect sense. This is the kind of match we watch Lucha Underground for. Hats off to Mundo and King Cuerno for their efforts.

What do you know about Lucha Libre?!

Last week the show ended with Black Lotus apparently finding the cage Matanza was locked up in, only to have the camera flash black, leaving us wondering if she had met her fate. This week the show kicked off with a shot you’ll only see in Lucha Underground, a car speeding down the road, an x-ray like shot into the trunk to reveal a tied up Black Lotus struggling in her bonds. Robert Rodriguez’ fingerprints all over this.

The show ended with the same car finally coming to a stop. Someone opens the trunk and we see Black Lotus. Flash up to a shot from her perspective to see a familiar masked face “What do you know about Lucha Libre? Come with me!” This is the type of storytelling that makes this show so different and fun to watch!

Astute viewers will remember the masked stranger from the very first episode of Lucha Underground. He told the story of Lucha Libre and invited us into Lucha Underground. His line in that opening episode was exactly the same as tonight, though delivered with a different cadence. Now we are left with the question of whether this is Matanza, or some other as yet unknown entity.

I went back and watched that opening segment from the first episode. The luchador we saw tonight seemed like a benign presence at that time. I’m really hooked on this story and can’t wait to see how it plays out. My prediction is this man will play a foil to Dario Cueto and is going to help Black Lotus in going after him. Time will tell.

The Wrap

As you can tell from my lengthier post this week, I really enjoyed this episode of Lucha Underground. The main event featured one of the best pure brawls I’ve seen in wrestling in some time. The Cage Prince Puma match delivered as well. I am so impressed with the storytelling in the Black Lotus storyline and how Lucha Underground is executing things from a cinematic perspective. That approach is what makes this show stand out so much.

Thanks everyone so much for following us to the new site, and give John Canton and Thomas Briggs some major love for getting the new site up. It looks great and I’m happy to continue to be a part of the TJR Family.

That’s it for me this week. As always your comments are welcome and appreciated. You can also hit me up on my social media but we’d really love to engage you guys here on the site as much as possible. Thanks again for reading everyone, I’ll be posting again soon with my thoughts on the live Lucha Underground experience, so keep an eye out for that.