Taped in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California this is Lucha Underground for Season 2 – Episode 9.
Lucha Underground Champion Fenix runs into Pentagon Jr. backstage. Pentagon tells Fenix that he’s coming for his title. The lights flicker and Catrina appears. She tells Pentagon that he never received an invitation to compete in Aztec Warfare and that’s what he gets for putting his hands on her. Pentagon let’s Catrina know that she doesn’t scare him, and that he only listens to one person, his master (Vampiro). Catrina tells Fenix that his time is up and by the end of the night, Mil Muertes will be Lucha Underground Champion once again.
The show opens to loud Aztec Warfare chants from the crowd as there are dancers and people playing bongo drums in colorful tribal outfits. Our commentators Matt Striker and Vampiro welcome us back to The Temple and to Aztec Warfare! Striker explains the rules: two fighters will enter, every 90 seconds another fighter will enter until all 20 competitors have entered. The only way to be eliminated is by pinfall or submission. Whoever survives will be the Lucha Underground Champion.
Aztec Warfare Lucha Underground Championship
As was announced last week, the #1 entrant for Aztec Warfare is newly crowned Lucha Underground Champion Fenix. Famous B makes his Temple debut. He’s at ringside with a lady friend and is admiring Fenix as he makes his entrance, “That’s the guy we want. That’s our guy.” It’s Rey Mysterio Jr. (he goes by the Jr. again in LU) as the #2 entrant. Great ovation for Mysterio. This is his LU in-ring debut. Mysterio and Fenix shake hands, the bell rings and we’re underway! The two go back and forth dodging each other quickly until Mysterio catches Fenix with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Mysterio trips Fenix into the ropes and is looking for the 619 right away, but Fenix gets back up quickly and hits Mysterio with a big superkick. Fenix lands a handspring into an inside out arm drag. He goes for the cover, but Mysterio kicks out at one. The drummers play the drumroll as the countdown for the third entrant starts. That’s cool. It’s King Cuerno at #3. We’ve got some big names in there early.
Cuerno goes after both Fenix and Mysterio, forcing Fenix to catch his breath outside the ring. Cuerno “pulls the arrow from his quiver” and lands a big suicide dive through the ropes onto Fenix. Fenix tries to get back into the ring, but Mysterio prevents it knocking Cuerno to the floor. Mysterio does a running slide through the bottom rope and falls on top of Cuerno at ringside in the process. It’s Argenis at #4. He goes after Fenix right away with a hurricanrana. He then hits Mysterio with a superkick and goes for the cover, but Mysterio kicks out at two. Mysterio gets back to his feet. He trips Argenis into the ropes and hits the 619 followed by a frog splash for the three count, eliminating Argenis. Johnny Mundo is #5 in a very sweet looking jacket as we go to our first commercial break.
Although there was a commercial break, nothing was missed as the match was essentially put on pause until they returned. Big props to LU for always doing such a great job of never letting commercials take away from the match. Mundo heads towards Mysterio instantly, but Fenix interrupts. Both Fenix and Mundo trade a series of nearfalls on one another. Joey Ryan is #6 and he’s looking as sleazy as ever. He doesn’t get in the ring right away as he slowly walks over to the barricade, pulls out a pair of handcuffs and cuffs himself to the barricade. He can’t get pinned as long as he’s handcuffed, so that’s his strategy for the time being. Cuerno lands a superkick on Ryan and Famous B goes to give Ryan his business card afterwards. First ever Lucha Underground Champion Prince Puma is #7. Puma hits Fenix with a springboard clothesline as he enters the ring. He clears the ring knocking Mundo out with a big kick to the head and hitting Cuerno with a cutter. As Mysterio, Fenix, Cuerno and Mundo are outside the ring, Puma takes out all of them with a springboard shooting star press. Puma got a lot of air on that one. Loud “holy shit” chants from the crowd. Puma also punches a still handcuffed Joey Ryan in the face, because why not.
Jack Evans is #8 as Mysterio has Cuerno locked in the middle of the ring with an armbar. Cuerno is eliminated as Mysterio’s armbar is too much for him. Evans springboards into the ring looking to land a big splash on Mysterio, Fenix and Puma who were teaming up on Mundo, but they all move out of the way and now begin to team up on Evans. Fenix and Mysterio work together as Mysterio stands on Fenix’s shoulders and falls straight down onto a laid out Jack Evans. Mundo pulls Evans out of the ring by his feet, as Matt Striker says, “helping his fellow gringo to safety.” The heels of Mundo and Evans form an alliance as they wait at the bottom of the steps for number nine to make their entrance. The lovely Taya is #9 and Mundo and Evans are pumped that they’ve got another ally. I’m a big Taya fan after her match with Cage a few weeks ago. Mundo, Taya and Evans go face-to-face with the alliance of Fenix, Puma and Mysterio before the two temporary groups go at it trading punches. Evans dodges Puma which causes Puma to fall to ringside. Puma’s selling a knee injury from the fall as Striker mentions that it looks like he tweaked it. Fenix is knocked outside too as the three heels now begin to pick apart Mysterio who’s by himself in the ring. Here comes Cage at #10 as Mundo’s freaking out over his current rival’s entrance. Cage destroys Mundo, Taya and Evans with huge clotheslines as LU takes their second commercial break of the evening.
As happened during their first commercial break, no in-ring action was missed as the match was essentially put on pause until the show returned. That’s the benefit of being a pre-recorded show, you can do stuff like that. Mundo escapes outside as Cage follows him. Taya leaps at Cage outside the ring, but Cage catches her and slams her on the floor. He turns around and is greeted by Mundo with a superkick and enziguri. Famous B is shown handing out his business cards to some fans. Mundo continues going at Cage as he throws him through the glass windows of Catrina’s office. Mascarita Sagrada is #11. There’s been different incarnations of Sagrada over the years, and he was even at one time played by WWE’s El Torito. He hits a tilt-a-whirl head scissors on Fenix and suicide dives onto Mundo at ringside, but Mundo catches him and takes him out with a big boot. Cage has now recovered and as Mundo turns around Cage hits him with a big spinning clothesline. I know clotheslines could get old and overused sometimes (i.e. Roman Reigns), but it never gets old for me when Cage does it. Props to Mundo and everyone who sells it too; just looks so devastating. Cage then hits Mundo with his Weapon X finishing move on the floor, before rolling him in the ring for Puma to hit him with a standing shooting star press. Puma goes for the cover and gets the three count as Mundo is now eliminated. That’s now the second year in a row where Puma’s eliminated Mundo from Aztec Warfare and subsequently Mundo’s shot at holding the LU Title. Marty “The Moth” Martinez is #12 as he quickly enters and lays waste to everyone in the ring with clotheslines and big boots. Sagrada tries to go after Marty, but Marty drops him with a boot to the face. Marty then reverses Evans’ body scissors into a powerful looking German Suplex. Drago is #13 as Evans (The Dragon Slayer) looks on angrily.
Evans looks to go after Drago right away with a big dive outside the ring, but Evans misses, lands on his feet, and Drago knocks him down with a big kick to the head. Drago sprays green mist into the face of a still handcuffed to the barricade Joey Ryan, blinding him temporarily. Drago and Evans take their brawl into the crowd while Mysterio and Sagrada team up on Marty in the ring. Sagrada hits Marty with a tilt awhirl DDT. Mysterio then hits Marty with a big splash off the top rope. Both Mysterio and Sagrada pin Marty for the three count, eliminating “The Moth.” Famous B seems to be impressed with Mysterio.
The Mack is #14 as he nails Marty with a stunner as he was heading to the back. That’s payback for Marty (along with his sister) abducting Mack’s friend Sexy Star for weeks. Mack and Cage are alone in the ring as the two heavyweights come face-to-face and begin trading blows. Mack then catches Cage with a stunner, forcing him to retreat to ringside. Puma lays in some chops on Ryan as Fenix throws Sagrada at Ryan as well. Chavo Guerrero is #15 as Drago is shown powerbombing Evans onto the steps in the crowd. Chavo goes right after Sagrada; I guess he wants to try and rekindle the same magic with him as he had with Hornswoggle years ago (sarcasm). Chavo puts Sagrada into the camel clutch, forcing him to tap out. Sagrada is now eliminated.
Mysterio hurricanrana’s Cage into the ropes as he looks for a 619. However, as Mysterio spins through the ropes, Taya holds down the second rope causing Mysterio to slide right out. While Cage is still draped over the second rope, the already eliminated Mundo returns with a cinderblock and smashed it over Cage’s head. Taya then rolls up Cage for the three count, eliminating Cage. Right after her pinfall, Fenix German Suplex’s Taya and holds the bridge for a cover. He gets the three count and Taya is now eliminated. PJ Black is #16 as he heads straight into the crowd to aid Evans and take out Drago. He then suplexes Drago onto the hard, unforgiving steps in the audience. However, Drago slowly fights back, flipping Evans over his head and throwing Black into the ring post. You can see the welts forming on Evans’ back. Aerostar is #17 who’s making his Season 2 in-ring LU debut. He springboards into the ring taking down Black and Evans with a double kick to the chest. Aerostar then hits Evans with a Petey Williams style Canadian Destroyer off the top rope (Wow!) at the same time Black hits Drago with a brainbuster. At the same time, Aerostar pins Evans for the three count and Black pins Drago for the three too; so both Evans and Drago are eliminated.
Dragon Azteca Jr. is #18 as yet another fighter makes their LU in-ring debut. Azteca hits Black and Aerostar with a flying cross body. Azteca and Black quickly trade a series of reversals until Azteca gets the upper hand and nails Black with an enziguri. Azteca then leaps over the top rope and lands on Mack, hitting him with a flying hurricanrana. Azteca quickly gets back in the ring, and dives over the top turnbuckle onto The Mack at ringside. Azteca Jr. is looking sharp. Texano is #19 as LU takes their final commercial break.
Texano enters the ring and summersaults over the top rope onto a pile of fighters at ringside. Texano brings Black into the ring and hits him with a sit down powerbomb for the three count, eliminating Black. As was announced last week, former Lucha Underground Champion Mil Muertes is the final entrant at #20. He’s accompanied by Catrina and the two slowly make their way to the ring. While they do so, Pentagon Jr. runs out and attacks Muertes with a steel chair. “Cero Miedo” chants are ringing through The Temple. Pentagon kicks Muertes in the head and rolls him in the ring where he meets a big splash off the top rope from Mysterio. Mysterio and Puma both get on top of Muertes for the cover and pin Mil for the three count! Muertes is eliminated already! That was quick. Catrina looks stunned. She starts screaming at Vampiro: “get the hell over here!” Once they come face-to-face Catrina tells him to “get the f**k out!” and slaps him in the face. Since Vampiro is Pentagon’s “master” she’s taking it out on him. She slaps him a second time even harder.
The crowd starts to roar as Dario Cueto returns to The Temple for the first time this season! He introduces himself to a big pop and states that this is his Temple. Cueto: “I’m in charge now! I’m El Jefe! I’m the boss!” He announces one more entrant into tonight’s Aztec Warfare, his brother “The Monster” Matanza Cueto. All the fighters left are standing together in the ring (aside from Joey Ryan) waiting for Matanza to enter. They all look a little intimidated. Matanza enters the ring and all the fighters gang up on him until Matanza throws them all off him at once. He nails Fenix with a big scoop slam for the three count. Fenix is eliminated meaning we have a new Lucha Underground Champion.
The Mack flips Matanza off and hits him with the stunner, but it has no effect on Matanza as he German Suplex’s Mack and holds a bridge for the cover. He gets the three count and Mack is eliminated. He does the same to Aerostar and eliminates him as well. Texano goes to choke Matanza with his bull rope, but Matanza fights out of it and powerbombs Texano for the three count, eliminating Texano. Chavo hides from Matanza and Joey Ryan tries to sell him out. Ryan tells Matanza that Chavo is hiding from him, but Matanza attacks Ryan and bends the barricade breaking Ryan from the handcuffs. He hits Ryan with three gutwrench suplexes and gets the three count eliminating Ryan. Puma, Mysterio and Chavo are all on the outside looking in at Matanza, seemingly coming up with a game plan as to how to go forward with this. Chavo then sucker punches Puma and takes out Mysterio. Azteca bravely enters the ring and hits Matanza with some kicks before Matanza catches him with a monstrous chokeslam for the three count, eliminating Azteca.
Final four: Puma, Mysterio, Chavo and Matanza. Chavo gets in the ring and looks to make an alliance with Matanza, but Matanza clotheslines him and hits Chavo with a standing moonsault! Wow, that was impressive. He covers Chavo for the three count eliminating Chavo. Puma and Mysterio get in the ring and double team Matanza. They hit him with a series of punches and kicks before throwing him into the corner with a double dropkick. Puma hits Matanza with a flying forearm and when Mysterio tries to do the same, Matanza catches him and throws him like a ragdoll to ringside. Matanza hits Puma with a couple of big slams before German Suplexing him and holding a bridge for the three count, eliminating Puma.
Mysterio slowly takes his time getting into the ring and Matanza stares him down. Mysterio runs at Matanza, but gets thrown into the corner and nailed with a giant clothesline. Mysterio fights back with kicks and an enziguri knocking Matanza to his knees, in position for a 619. Mysterio goes for the 619, but Matanza catches him and throws him on his shoulder. However, Mysterio slips out and trips up Matanza, once again getting him in position for a 619. This time Mysterio connects with it. Matanza is on his feet but dazed. Mysterio then heads to the top rope and leaps looking for a flying hurricanrana, but Matanza reverses it. He throws Mysterio in the air, catches him and hits him with a big powerslam. One, two, three. That’s all she wrote.
Winner of Aztec Warfare and NEW Lucha Underground Champion: Matanza
Post-match, Cueto hands Matanza the title and officially announces his brother as the new Lucha Underground Champion.
Game Ball goes to…
Matanza – Nice debut champ. As is the case every week, it could have gone to a lot of guys. However, the debut of Cueto’s brother has been built up for a while. It was a critical part of the night and the future of Season 2 and it didn’t disappoint. Matanza delivered.
Evaluation/Final Thoughts: That was great. Here’s some thoughts on the match as well as some final thoughts since the actual Aztec Warfare match took up the whole show.
– I thought Aztec Warfare was much better than this year’s Royal Rumble. I think having pinfall or submission as the means to eliminate helps, as well as their being no disqualification. I’m pretty sure there’s no disqualification in the Rumble match too as eliminated wrestlers come back in and make eliminations all the time, but WWE never really uses weapons too much. LU did a nice job utilizing weapons. There was also a lot of great action outside the ring. They really made use of The Temple and their surroundings.
– As far as criticisms go, Puma selling a knee injury early and Striker selling that he thinks he may have tweaked it was great. It gave Puma an excuse to hang out by the sidelines for a while, but stick around till the end. It was necessary as he entered the match pretty early. I would have liked to see that a little more with some of the other wrestlers like Mysterio.
– I thought Muertes was pinned a little too easily. I expected him to throw off Puma and Mysterio once they went for the pin attempt, but that didn’t happen. I’m fine with Muertes being eliminated quickly, just after enduring a little more destruction.
– Famous B’s presence was kind of lame and quickly forgotten about. It looks like he doesn’t have a set plan. He just showed up and said to every competitor that does something well, “that’s our guy.” Nothing really too memorable from him. That’s pretty much it though when it comes to criticisms as I really enjoyed tonight’s show.
– That cinderblock shot from Mundo over the head of Cage looked awesome. Unrealistic (as most of LU is), but awesome.
– The Pentagon/Muertes feud looks exciting. I really liked the interaction with Vampiro at ringside. I can’t wait to see where this goes.
– They did a great job incorporating all the current LU feuds and storylines into this match without making it feel like it was too much.
– There were a lot of big debut’s tonight between Mysterio, Azteca Jr. and Matanza. Mysterio looked good. It was nice seeing him wrestle again and he can still very much hold his own. He’s not as quick or as versatile as he once was, but that comes with age. Azteca Jr. looked very good too. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the coming weeks. It should be interesting to see if Mysterio and Azteca stick together and form a tag team, or if they go their separate ways but stay friends. Mysterio made it to the very end while Azteca lasted late into the match too, so maybe a future feud with Matanza is in the cards.
– Speaking of Matanza, he looked like a monster. Although it stinks Fenix only had the title for a week, it’s usually better when a monster heel holds the belt and the babyface is chasing after it. The arrival of Cueto’s brother has been a long time coming, so it felt like a big deal when he showed up. He looked good in the ring and was certainly booked like a top level heel. What was great about his debut is that, considering he eliminated a ton of wrestlers, he’s now got beef with a lot of guys. Due to this, there are plenty of new feuds lined up for Matanza down the road. The LU Title picture can be taken in a lot of different directions.
– Overall, excellent Aztec Warfare. It’s a great take on the Rumble concept, where it’s similar, but just different enough that it has its own distinct feel.
That’s all for me. Next week’s show should be a lot of fun as the atmosphere of The Temple is being shaken up again with Cueto back as boss and his brother as champ. Thanks for reading. If you like Lucha Underground and have other friends who enjoy the show too, then give this review a share. I appreciate any thoughts or conversation in the comment section below.
Pictures used above are courtesy of Lucha Underground.