A Look at Ultima Lucha Part Two by Jerry Brandt

TJR Wrestling

Hello again everyone and welcome to a look into the Temple that redefined the genre of Professional Wrestling, Lucha Underground. This week’s article will be a bit different for me. Kurt wrote up an excellent play-by-play style review of the show which you can read right here. So I’m going to skip the usual chronological rundown and go straight to my thoughts on the final night of Ultima Lucha. It was a fantastic show and if you haven’t had a chance to watch yet, I highly recommend you seek it out. I signed up for a 7-Day trial of Sling to watch in glorious HD. The glorious part of course being Catrina’s insanely awesome outfit! Is there a hotter female character in wrestling right now? I say no. Of course there were a lot of awesome matches that made having the finale in HD worth it too. Let’s look at those, shall we? Without further ado and, for now at least, for one final time, let’s Lucha everybody!

Promotional Consideration Paid for by The Following

I love the choice of Michael Schiavello replacing Vampiro on commentary with Vampiro wrestling tonight. First off it gave me a touch of nostalgia for those old WWE shows with Lord Alfred Hayes announcimg. I know it’s probably narrow-minded of me to compare one English announcer to a guy that’s actually Australian, but that’s the memories this brought back. I loved Schiavello’s incredibly British descriptions of the in-ring action. Things like “He’s in a bother” (when a wrestler was down on the mat) really stuck out and made the announcing more fun. Early on Matt Striker said “I could listen to you read a phone book” and I totally agree. The guy has a great voice and would be a perfect choice to replace Vampiro in Season 2 if he moves on to becoming more of a character next season.

Fear in a Handful of Dust

I thought the Gift of the God’s Match would open us up, but instead the show starts off full-throttle with Mundo vs. El Patron. Wow, I really expected this to be much higher on the card but am pleased with them using this match to set the tone for the rest of the night. If you want your talent to really strive for their best, put two of your best in the curtain jerker to set the bar high, and watch everyone not named Texano or Blue Demon Jr. strive to top it. That’s exactly what happened here.

This match was everything I hoped it would be and then some. Mundo was great playing the cowardly heel and running all around the ring, drawing the ire of both the fans in the temple and Alberto El Patron. The show kicked off with a tribute to the “Original Rudo, Rowdy Roddy Piper” and you have to appreciate Mundo stepping up his heel tactics by taking some pages from Piper’s book. The dirt in the eyes when El Patron pulled Mundo out from under the ring was another great thing. If only he’d followed up with an eye-poke! El Patron was also awesome in his role as the fired up, pissed off baby face seeking retribution.

These two have a great chemistry as I’ve mentioned before and it showed again as they pulled out all the stops. The return of Melina was a nice surprise, and it enabled Mundo to pull out the win. I didn’t expect that result and that’s just fine with me. That’s why I love this show so much, because it consistently surprises me. I also loved El Patron getting the vengeance he came for post-match and throwing Mundo through the office window. The visual of an extremely bloodied up Mundo was great, and made me wonder if he’d legit cut himself instead of just the usual blade job. Such a strong way to start the show and I look forward to seeing what’s next for both these guys if they return for Season Two.

We Killed a Character…Again

If you guys didn’t catch it a couple of weeks ago (and why haven’t you?) Eric Van Wagenen was on the Stone Cold Podcast, and he discussed the fate of Bael. Well killing off one character wasn’t enough. El Dragon Azteca’s death at the hands of Black Lotus wasn’t a surprising plot twist, I think we could all see it coming from last week, but I wish the Season would have had more Black Lotus-Cueto segments to show him slowly brainwashing her into believing Aztec Dragon was the real culprit responsible for her parent’s deaths.

We got weeks of cheesy 70’s montages with El Dragon Azteca training Black Lotus to be ready, and while their relationship was adversarial I find it hard to believe that in 30-seconds Cueto could convince Lotus that El Dragon Azteca was the real villain. Lucha Underground didn’t miss the mark often this season but here I felt like they did. I also would have liked to see more of El Dragon Azteca seeking out Black Lotus so he would be more of a sympathetic character. I felt more emotionally attached to Bael’s death, and that’s not good. With that said, I still thought this was an interesting story throughout the season, and I’m curious to see where it goes next season.

Maestro of Puppets

If that video didn’t get you a little fired up for the return of Vampiro, I don’t know what will. That was posted on the @LuchaElRey Instagram earlier this week and got me very excited for the match between Vampiro and Pentagon Jr. Would the Maestro finally reveal himself and help Pentagon Jr. sacrifice Vampiro…well, yeah.

Vampiro’s entrance gear was awesome and I loved his movements and how well he embraces that character. The theatrics really added to the match. The match delivered a violent brawl to put over the fact that these are two dangerous, disturbed men. Chairs, tables, thumbtacks, broken glass, and fire were all used to perfection to prove that point. The belly-to-back off the top by Vampiro was impressive. I also was equal parts horrified and delighted when Pentagon got some of Vampiro’s blood on his arm and decided to lick it off. Gross but awesome, and totally worth the AIDS risk, right? Vampiro going through the flaming table after was an excellent visual too. This match really delivered and honestly exceeded my expectations.

I love the revelation of Vampiro as the Maestro the whole time, and I’m curious to see what that means for his on-screen relationship with Striker for next season, as I assume he’ll be leaving the announce table to take on a manager role for Pentagon Jr. This was just really well done from build to finish and if you want to see a wrestling angle carried out to perfection, go back and watch this feud from beginning to end.

Gift of the Gods

These 7-way matches have been a staple of Lucha Underground all season long, and it’s fitting that they would use the style here to contend for the biggest opportunity Cueto has presented to date, the Gift of the Gods. I love this tweak on the Money In the Bank concept and am excited to see how Lucha Underground uses the fact that the GOTG has to be defended next season. They already are teasing something towards that end, but more on that later.

There were some great spots in this match, I loved Aerostar’s reversal of Evan’s guillotine into a vicious looking DDT, and later his insane dive off the scaffolding near the top of the temple that even made Angelico jealous. Cuerno’s hunter persona was on full display here and that’s what makes what happened at the end of this match and in the final teaser vignette so great. Fenix was able to pull out the win after breaking up a Cuerno submission attempt on Evans. Fenix than hit the fire driver on Evans and get the three count before Cuerno could break it up. There was a brief moment of the camera focusing on Cuerno staring a hole through Fenix as he celebrated with the GOTG that was excellent foreshadowing for later. I’m cool with Fenix winning here as it gives them a chance to revisit his feud with Mil Muertes down the line. I would have loved a Cuerno win too but it makes sense why they’d go with Fenix here.

For Mexico

“Texano has to fend off the Crew”…I wrote that on this page before watching, because you knew it was coming. It was made that much more inevitable when Blue Demon Jr. had Melissa Santos announce the match was No DQ. Despite the constant interference, Texano held his own for a while and showed off some fire. I’m hoping he gets booked better next season because he’s a great talent. Chavo and Blue Demon Jr. joining forces could be an interesting angle for next season. We’ll see what they do with the two biggest wrestling families in Mexico uniting. This wasn’t a bad match, but it had the least build of anything on the card so it was hard to feel invested. It was a good comedown match though before the main event, so it served a purpose.

So The Darkness Shall be the Light

All signs pointed to a new champion to wrap up season one of Lucha Underground, and the signs were right. With the Disciples of Death winning the Trios titles last week, things were setting up nicely for Catrina to have her faction of Death holding all the Gold for next season. Fenix’s earlier win in the GOTG’s match further led credence to the idea of a heel champ. Even though the outcome looked predictable, we’ve learned from LU that bucking the norm is always possible. So what would happen?

What did happen was Mil Muertes and Prince Puma delivering an outstanding championship match that is definitely in the mix for a match of the year candidate, not just in Lucha Underground but in Professional Wrestling, period. There were so many excellent near falls with Mil Muertes kicking out of the 650 and Puma kicking out of the Flatliner. I was heavily invested in this match and was so sure it was over on multiple occasions. I loved Mil’s use of the top rope flatliner and he showed great agility when he leapt up to hit that so quickly. The camera angle that showed the ring shaking after that move was a great way to demonstrate the impact.

There are a lot of ways they can go with this storyline for next season, and it’s going to be a fun one. I thought Konnan might return tonight under the thrall of Catrina and Mil and cost his once-protégé. That didn’t happen tonight but could be a storyline next season as Puma presumably will begin Season Two looking for his gold back. They could go the other way too with Konnan returning to help even things up but I think a turn would be more interesting. Prince Puma held the belt for nearly the full 10 months and we haven’t heard him speak once. It would be good for him to get a chance to get out from Konnan’s umbrella and be his own mouthpiece. That’s just one of many questions that will be left for Season Two, let’s look at the others.

A Why to Live For

Here’s hoping there is a second season of Lucha Underground. The teaser trailer left us a lot to look forward to and featured some really great moments for those who were here from the beginning, and left us with questions for season two.

  • Cueto and Black Lotus leave in a hurry with a bag full of cash and Matanza in a horse trailer. Will Cueto be back and in charge next season or will they still be on the run?
  • Fenix leaves with the GOTG belt in a Firebird Trans Am (Beautiful car). King Cuerno pursues in a truck, paying off the tease from the GOTG match earlier. Next season will likely start with Cuerno forcing Fenix to defend the GOTG, giving Fenix something to do while Puma presumably chases the title.
  • Marty The Moth has Sexy Star hog-tied and threatens her that if she’s not scared of him, she will be of his sister. Who’s his sister?! Is she cray cray like the Moth?
  • Son of Havoc walks out and greets Angelico, telling him they’re going to get the titles back. This segment had some funny moments for me. Angelico leaves on a dirt bike, because of course he does, have you seen his ring gear. Son of Havoc walks over to Ivelisse on a Harley and asks her if she’ll take one more ride with him, and she tells him to shut up and get on. He climbs on the back because of course, again. Hilarious!
  • Drago and Aerostar grasp hands and Drago tells Aerostar they’ll meet again. He turns into a Dragon and flies off, and Aerostar takes off in rocket boots or turns into a rocket, not really sure. The kind of silly things that you can accept because of the theatrical presentation. Will these two form a team next season? Maybe find a third and chase the Trios belts?
  • Pentagon Jr. gets a close up shot and asks where they are going now to his Maestro. Vampiro comes into frame nursing his broken arm and tells them they are going to a much darker place.
  • The mysterious man in the white hoodie has El Dragon Azteca’s mask now. He spray paints a question mark on the Lucha Underground billboard that looks remarkably like Rey Mysterio’s trademark. Will Mysterio be here next season and make at least one of my 2015 predictions true? Let’s hope.

The Wrap

For those of you counting there were two T.S. Eliot references and a Neitzche reference in one article about wrestling (Google the section titles if you’re interested). I do that here in this final summation to illustrate a point about wrestling fans, and why Lucha Underground worked so well. We’re smart damn it! WE KNOW IT’S SCRIPTED, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat us like we’re dumb. Lucha Underground did such a great job of not doing this all season. Sure they had a guy turn into a dragon and another turn into a rocket. Sure they killed two characters in one season. All of that is the point. There was no bad guys pretending like a camera wasn’t in the room while they made shady dealings. The cinematic presentation of the backstage segments was a unique and great way to treat that aspect of wrestling without having to dumb it down for the audience. Lucha Underground basically thought, “Hey, it’s a scripted TV show, why not go all out and make it more like a film”. The segments didn’t always hit, but they tried. Something new, something different, and the fans responded.

Ultima Lucha was an amazing wrap up to the show. I thought it a testament to all the hard work everyone associated with Lucha Underground has put together all season. Currently there is no Season two announcement, but Eric Van Wagenen appeared on an episode of Steve Austin’s podcast and it sounded like they were very close. Here’s hoping a deal is inked and announced soon so we can start counting the days down to Season two. What were your thoughts on this final episode? What was your favorite match? What moment sticks out to you? Any thoughts on what’s coming if and when Season two happens? Let me know in the comments section below. My plan for next week is to post an article about my five favorite matches from this season of Lucha Underground. See you guys then! Thanks for reading and Lucha on everybody!