Taped in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California this is Lucha Underground for Season 2 – Episode 19.
Mexican rock band Voodoo Glow Skulls kick off this week’s episode with their musical stylings as our commentators Matt Striker and Vampiro welcome us back to The Temple. Striker lets us know that Rey Mysterio, Prince Puma & El Dragon Azteca Jr. will have a rematch for the Trios Titles after losing them to the team of Johnny Mundo, PJ Black & Jack Evans last week. He also reminds us that Cage is turning in his Gift of the Gods Title tonight for an opportunity to face Matanza for the Lucha Underground Championship.
Son of Havoc vs. Daga
Son of Havoc is on his own now because I believe his trios partners Angelico and Ivelisse are legitimately injured. The match kicks off with Havoc and Daga trading reversals until Havoc gets the upper hand and tosses Daga outside the ring. Havoc looks to continue the action outside, but Daga reverses Havoc’s attack and nails him with a superkick. Daga tries throwing Havoc into the ring post, but Havoc slips out of Daga’s grip and tosses Daga into the ring post instead.
Havoc rolls Daga back into the ring and hits him with a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Daga then gets a nearfall of his own with a big powerslam. Now being in clear control of the match, Daga laces Havoc with hard chops to the chest and then keeps him on the mat with a headlock. He goes for another pin attempt, but Havoc kicks out at two. Both men get to their feet at the same time and trade a series of elbows until Daga counters Havoc and puts him in a one legged Boston Crab.
Kobra Moon now makes her way to ringside as she looks to be admiring Daga. Un-distracted, Daga continues the match. Havoc eventually counters Daga and throws him to the mat with a couple clotheslines. When Daga rolls out of the ring to catch his breath, he’s met by a suicide diving Havoc crashing into him. Havoc quickly rolls Daga back in the ring and gets to the top rope. While up there, Kobra Moon tugs at Havoc’s leg, forcing Havoc to kick her away. Once Havoc attempts to recover his balance, he’s met with an enziguri kick from Daga. Looking to capitalize, Daga tries to suplex Havoc off the top, but Havoc counters throwing Daga back down to the mat. Havoc hits the shooting star press for the win after approximately 7 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Son of Havoc
Post-match, Kobra Moon aids Daga, helping him get back to his feet. She holds onto Daga’s leg as Daga gets creeped out and pushes her away.
Evaluation: Solid opening contest with a result that works for everyone involved. Son of Havoc getting the win is good for him since he’s now on his own and needs to remind everyone that he’s just as much of a threat alone than he is with Ivelisse and Angelico. The loss for Daga makes sense in continuing his storyline with Kobra Moon. Since Kobra is now showing up at his matches, Daga can blame her for costing him the match, which only helps build up the weird relationship tension between the two since Daga’s anger doesn’t seem to phase Kobra.
El Dragon Azteca Jr. interrupts Rey Mysterio’s workout to tell him that he knows where Dario Cueto’s keeping Matanza locked up, and that he’s going to destroy Matanza by himself since he’s tired of waiting. Mysterio tells Azteca that this is not the time as he should be more concerned about getting their Trios Titles back. Furious, Azteca asks Mysterio if he’s forgotten that Azteca killed their mentor, the original Dragon Azteca. Mysterio tells Azteca Jr. that their mentor wouldn’t want them seeking revenge, and Azteca Jr. mentions that Mysterio didn’t speak to him in years so he wouldn’t know what their mentor wanted.
Right as the two luchadores seem ready to fight one another, Prince Puma enters to let them know that it’s time for their Trios Title rematch. Mysterio puts his hands on Puma and tells him to leave as Mysterio and Azteca were in the middle of something that doesn’t concern Puma. Looking on angrily, Puma tells Mysterio that it does concern him since they are his partners tonight. Mysterio slowly takes his hands off Puma and agrees with him. All three men leave for their match.
Evaluation: Triple threat rivalry between these three? Yes, please!
Trios Championship Match: PJ Black, Johnny Mundo & Jack Evans vs. Rey Mysterio, El Dragon Azteca Jr. & Prince Puma
PJ Black and Rey Mysterio kick off this match. Both men evenly trade a series of reversals until Mysterio catches Black with a kick to the face. While Rey is in control, Mundo and Evans distract the referee, allowing Black to kick Mysterio in the groin. Black tags in Evans and goes for the pin right away, but Mysterio kicks out at two. Evans: “I swear, no refs can count to three here!” Mundo tags in and keeps his team in control with a cobra clutch submission. Mysterio eventually fights out of it though and tags in Puma while Mundo tags in Evans. Puma takes out Evans, Mundo and Black with dropkicks and suplexes. Puma, Azteca and Mysterio triple team on Evans by hitting him with a kick all at the same time.
While the action spills outside, Evans goes to the top rope to dive outside the ring onto everybody fighting each other. However, Puma catches Evans before he can do so and superplexes Evans off the top rope, onto everyone outside the ring. That was a cool spot. Puma rolls Evans into the ring and heads to the top rope to hit his signature 630 splash. He attempts it, but Mundo and Black pull Evans out of the ring just in time. Now, Evans goes to the top rope and hits Puma with the 630 splash. Evans goes for the pin, but Puma kicks out at two. Good nearfall there.
Both men struggle to get to their feet, crawling to their corners to get tags. Puma tags in Azteca and Evans tags in Mundo. Azteca hits Mundo with a springboard clothesline and a spinning head scissors takedown. Noticing Taya is distracting the ref, Mundo hits Azteca with a low blow. Puma gets in the ring to argue with the ref about what Mundo just did, but the referee isn’t listening and Mundo is mocking him. Puma begins to walk away, but turns back around and kicks Mundo in the groin right in front of the referee and the match is over via disqualification after 10 minutes.
Winner by disqualification and STILL Trios Champions: PJ Black, Johnny Mundo & Jack Evans
Post-match, Mysterio gets in the ring to try and calm down Puma, yet also argue his case to the referee. Puma goes to superkick Mundo, but Mundo moves out of the way and Puma’s superkick hits Taya instead. Puma is furious and Mysterio is holding Puma back from attacking Black, Mundo and Evans.
Evaluation: Good match as it’ll always be when these six get into a ring at the same time. Nothing you should go out of your way to watch, especially due to the faulty finish, but still a good match nonetheless. I like what I’ve seen so far from the first two matches tonight. Both solid matches that got enough time, but ultimately ended in a way that leaves loose ends and continues to develop a new story. There is clear friction between the team of Puma, Mysterio and Azteca Jr. It started in that backstage segment and we saw it leak over into this match. I like Puma being the one who looses his cool and costs his team the match, because now it makes him look like he’s also getting aggravated whereas in their backstage segment he was the level headed one who was trying to calm down the hot headed Mysterio and Azteca.
Azteca confronts Matanza in his cell. Black Lotus approaches Azteca from behind and tells him “whatever you think you came here to do, I can’t let you.” Azteca reminds Lotus that Matanza killed her parents and their teacher, and questions her as to why she protects him. Lotus tells Azteca that their mentor, the original Dragon Azteca killed her parents. Azteca Jr doesn’t believe her and the two get physical for a moment before Lotus pushes Azteca away. Azteca tells Lotus that she knows their mentor didn’t kill her parents, and then leaves. Lotus looks on at Matanza with an inquisitive yet serious facial expression.
Evaluation: This segment could be confusing for those who don’t know exactly what’s going on because a lot of this story is from season 1. What happened was Lotus was originally going to fight and kill Matanza for killing her parents, until Dario Cueto convinced her that her mentor El Dragon Azteca was the one who killed her parents. Therefore, Lotus killed Dragon Azteca and left The Temple with Cueto at the end of season 1. We know from this segment that Azteca Jr knows Matanza killed Lotus’ parents, but he doesn’t know that Lotus was the one who killed their mentor, the original Dragon Azteca. Things should be getting interesting as Azteca Jr learns more of the truth and as Lotus figures out it was actually Matanza who killed her parents (which seems like she is coming to grips with from her facial expression at the end of this segment).
It’s main event time!
Lucha Underground Championship Match: Matanza (w/Dario Cueto) vs. Cage
As they do every week, the El Rey Network’s YouTube channel uploaded this week’s main event in its entirety. You can watch the full match below.
Cage hands over his Gift of the Gods Title to the referee to make this exchange for the LU Title opportunity official. Both men slowly walk to one another, meeting in the middle of the ring as they stare each other down. The bell rings and we’re underway! Cage and Matanza throw quick punches at each other right away. Then they both start taking turns trying to take down the other with shoulder blocks, but their at a stalemate in regards to power as neither man can take the other one down.
Cage then impressively throws Matanza out of the ring with a spinning head scissors take down. While Matanza is catching his breath outside, Cage somersaults over the top rope onto Matanza. Cage always amazes me with how athletic and agile he is for a big man. Cage then heads to the top rope and moonsaults out of the ring onto Matanza. He continues to destroy Matanza by repeatedly throwing him into the barricade, until Matanza counters and begins to do the same to Cage.
Now in control, Matanza hits Cage with a series of powerslams outside the ring. He rolls Cage into the ring and goes for a standing moonsault, but misses. I’m not sure if he intended on missing or not, but they played it off well as Cage followed it up with a swinging neckbreaker and a nearfall. Matanza reverses one of Cage’s clotheslines and starts manhandling him with powerslams, throwing him around like he weights half his size. Both men have looked like beasts so far.
When both get back to their feet at the same time, Cage hits his X-Factor signature move, but Matanza kicks out at two. Cage and Matanza German Suplex each other but it has no effect on either man as they roll to their feet after each suplex. That was cool. Cage hits Matanza with a big discus clothesline and goes for another cover, but Matanza kicks out at two. Cage keeps coming so close. With Matanza now standing on the apron outside of ropes, Cage (who’s inside the ring) walks over to him, stands on the second rope and superplexes him into the ring. I’ve seen Cage do that move before, but it looks a lot more impressive when he does it do someone with Matanza’s size. He follows it up with a big elbow off the top rope and goes for the pin, one… two… no! Matanza kicks out.
Cage hits Matanza with an Alabama Slam and a standing moonsault for yet another nearfall. At this point, Matanza capitalizes on an exhausted Cage with a clothesline and powerbomb. Matanza keeps the offense up, but Cage counters with a Lucha Destoryer and ANOTHER nearfall. Pissed off, Cage pulls down the straps of his singlet and hits Matanza with a series of hard kicks. He then goes for a discus lariat, but Matanza reverses it into his Wrath of the Gods finishing move for the three count after about 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and STILL Lucha Underground Champion: Matanza
Evaluation: I enjoyed this match. It had a lot of very good nearfalls and big power moves from both guys. However, the ending kind of took away my excitement from the match. Cage dominated most of this bout, but Matanza just had to hit his big move one time and that was it. I understand that is LU’s way of putting over how much of a monster Matanza is and how devastating his finishing move is, but Cage was hitting him with everything and the kitchen sink and Matanza was still kicking out. I would of like to have seen Cage kick out of some big moves by Matanza too.
Game ball goes to…
Cage – He really impressed me in the main event. Although I’ve always really liked Cage, for a while I thought he was the type of wrestler I couldn’t really see as LU Champ. However, he changed my mind after tonight because as the match went on I was becoming very fine with the idea of Cage as LU Champ, to the point where I was rooting for it. Impressive showing once again from The Machine. His time will come.
Another good episode of Lucha Underground tonight. As I’ve mentioned above, they did a great job in terms of developing and progressing new storylines. This Mysterio, Puma & Azteca Jr rivalry that’s brewing should be great. I’m really looking forward to where that goes. I’m also really liking the team of Mundo, Black & Evans. They have nice chemistry together.
That’s it for me. 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.