Lucha Underground Review 4-29-15

Hello again everyone and welcome to another look into the Temple where Dragons, Pumas, and Machines are all welcome but Moth’s need not apply, Lucha Underground! This is one of the tapings I attended, and I’m excited to be able to give you both a review of the show and some of my reactions to what was happening during the taping. After an amazing Trios Tournament Final last week the Temple faithful were still buzzing over Angélico’s leap into the ring.   There won’t be any cool down this week as there is a match between Puma and Drago for the Lucha Underground belt with the stipulation that if Drago cannot beat Puma for the title, he will be banned from the Temple. There’s also a number one contender’s match between Hernandez, King Cuerno and Cage. This show should be another fun one, so let’s get to the action! As always I’ll break down the show chronologically followed by some of my key takeaways from the episode. Let’s Lucha everybody!

 

The Breakdown

Recap of Trios Championship Final and Drago winning best of 5 series and Cueto’s “Unique Opportunity”

Cueto rips The Crew for not winning Trios Title and introduces them to Matanza

Fénix defeats Killshot via Pinfall

Cueto backstage segment with Drago

Cueto backstage segment with Puma and Hernandez

Four-way between Famous B, Vinny Massaro, Ricky Mandel and Argenis ends in no decision when Texano crashes the ring and beats everyone up

Texano in-ring promo, calls out Daivari

Cueto segment with “fan” Marty “The Moth” Martinez

Hernandez defeats Cage and King Cuerno via pinfall to earn number one Contender spot

Trios Champions interview with Vampiro

Puma defeats Drago via pinfall to retain Lucha Underground title, Drago banned from Temple

Backstage segment with Cueto and Drago

Laying down the Law

In the opening segment, Dario Cueto let the Crew know that he was none too happy with their failure to capture the gift-wrapped Trios Championship last week. The most significant tidbit from this segment is Cueto introduced the Crew to Matanza, who Cueto reveals is his brother. They must have some kind of Danny Devito Arnold Schwarzenegger thing going on here because Matanza’s shadow is huge, and the Crew looks terrified. Cueto lets the Crew know the next time they let him down, they will be locked in Matanza’s cage as punishment. Looks like we’re getting closer to a reveal.

 

Too Many Kicks

Fenix_Killshot_edited

The opening match of the evening pitted crowd favorite Fénix against newcomer Killshot. I keep wanting to write Deadpool for Killshot, but I like the character and his in-ring skills are legit. I remember while watching this live that some of the kicks seemed really stiff. There were a lot of “oh s*$t” moments with some of the kicks watching live, and again watching the show.

The other thing about watching live was at the time I had no idea who Killshot was, since the tapings were well in advance of the airing and Killshot hadn’t had his TV Debut yet. I remembered thinking then that even though I didn’t know anything about him; he was good enough at conveying his character that I was able to get an idea of who he was.

The match did a good job of establishing Killshot as a singles competitor to be reckoned with since he held his own in a loss with one of the top guys in Lucha Underground. Fénix is completely over with the Temple faithful and the crowd was eating up every bit of his offense, especially those kicks. It will be interesting to see what happens for Fénix going forward as for now he seems to be out of the title picture and doesn’t have a feud going. As for Killshot I’m excited to see how they build his character and what his first big feud in Lucha Underground will be.

Cueto in Charge

Cueto was featured heavily in this week’s episode, as they continue to develop his slimy owner character and show how manipulative he can be. He got bookend segments around a commercial break this week, first meeting Drago in the bathroom (they pee at the same time a lot, apparently), and telling him that he had done him a favor by putting the stipulation of banishment on the title match. This is typical Cueto spin where he tries to take something dickish he’s done and make it seem like he’s doing it for altruistic reasons. We all know it’s crap, but it’s interesting to see him try to convince everyone that it’s not.

After the commercial break, Cueto met with Puma in the locker room to tell him he should not be sympathetic to the fact that Drago would be banned if he lost in their match. Cueto told Puma that warriors do not show sympathy, and only warriors deserve to be his champion. Puma said nothing but looked concerned.

As Cueto went to leave he was confronted by Hernandez, who was upset that Cueto put him in a triple threat match with Cage and King Cuerno since they both have a beef with him and might gang up to beat on him. Cueto told Hernandez that both men had legitimate complaints, but since Hernandez was the only reason Puma was still champion, he would make the match to determine the number one contender. That way Cuerno and Cage would be focused on more than just beating on Hernandez. Puma was shown overhearing all this, and I kind of have a problem with the way they portrayed him here. He looked dejected, and that made him look a bit weak. I feel like Puma’s reaction to things is often looking bummed out and I wish they’d show him get angry instead. It’s a small gripe I guess but he’s the champion and I think it’s important for him to look strong and confident outside the ring as well as in.

Either way, Cueto flexed his promoter muscle and the implication is that Puma will have a lot on his mind going into his title match tonight. He’s concerned about retiring Drago, but also wants to hold his title. In addition now he has to worry about his next challenge if he is able to defeat Drago. It was a good bit of storytelling and did an awesome job of creating more drama for the title match.

Number One

The number one contender’s match was the basic triple threat formula of two luchadors gaining up on one until one went for the pinfall, causing dissension in the ranks. Cage and King Cuerno took it to Hernandez for much of the match, with Hernandez occasionally rallying to mount offense. When Cuerno went to pin Hernandez though, Cage made the save. If Cage tried to win the match, King Cuerno made the save and the two would argue for a bit before getting back on the same page.

This went on for the duration of the match until a “fan” we met earlier in a segment with Dario Cueto arrived in the ring screaming, “ Marty The Moth is here!” Everyone ganged up to throw Marty out of the ring and the distraction allowed Hernandez to throw Cage outside and hit a sitout gutbuster on King Cuerno to get the pinfall win.

The story coming out of this match is Hernandez is Konnan’s boy, so whose side will Konnan come down on when the Hernandez faces Prince Puma for the title? The match itself was just ok, but that will be an interesting plot line going forward if Puma retains the title against Drago. While watching this match live it was pretty clear that the Lucha Underground faithful aren’t the biggest fans of Hernandez. Is a fast heel turn coming for Super Mex?

Successful Dysfunction?

It’s been awhile, but this week we get another Vampiro sit-down interview, this time with the new Trios Champs. Team Dysfunction showed they still aren’t quite on the same page as all three took turns claiming they were the reason the team won last week. There was lots of bickering throughout the interview but Son of Havoc said that while they may not like each other, they’ll fight for each other.

The big news coming out of this interview is Ivelisse was in a leg cast after hurting herself in the championship match. She was one of the people I interviewed while on site for this show and she told me her timeline for recovery is about 5 weeks, so she should be ready for the home stretch run of Season one, which will air in August. It will be interesting to see how they keep the Trios Championships fresh while she recovers, but I trust Lucha Underground writers to find a way.

The Last Dragon

Drago_Fenix_edited

Drago came out first for the match where he needs to win the title or be banned from the Lucha Underground Temple forever. There was a lot of drama for this match and the two worked great together. Drago definitely seemed to be working with a real sense of urgency as so much was on the line for him. The match was really strong going back and forth, with Konnan constantly in his charges ear. One note on this, I think they need to have Vampiro ease up a bit on the Konnan hate. I know the two have a long history and it’s great to play that up a bit but sometimes Vampiro’s anti-Konnan commentary distracts from the match.

This match had the crowd hot the whole way through. There were several near falls and the two both worked in a way that showed how important the match was to them. This was an outstanding match live, and I’m one of the voices you can hear screaming, “this is awesome” at various points in the match. At one point Puma got Drago up on his shoulders to set up for the fire driver but spun Drago into the ref. That allowed Drago to come back and hit a sunset flip powerbomb. He had Puma pinned but there was no ref to get the count.

That’s when the new number one contender showed up and hit Drago with a big shoulderblock, but it looked like he was going for Puma. Marty Elias recovered after this and Puma was reluctant to take advantage of the situation, but Konnan was screaming “No Mercy” at him. Puma hit the spinning fire driver and scored the pin, but looked disgusted. Konnan tried to console him but Puma really didn’t look happy. Puma raised Drago’s hand and the crowd chanted “Thank you Drago” in a show of respect, but fan support doesn’t change that he is banned from the Temple.

As Drago left the temple, Dario Cueto was waiting outside for him. Drago told Cueto “We will meet again” then walked through a fence. As he left a giant fireball erupted from beyond the fence, so either he turned into a Dragon or he hopped in Vince McMahon’s limo. You decide.

The Wrap

This week’s show was pretty good all around. The number one contenders match was just ok to me but I liked the Killshot Fénix match and thought the main event was superb. Also the show was heavy with Cueto and I’m always a fan of his segments. His frustration with the Crew was particularly entertaining this week. I’m bummed that Drago was banned from the Temple but wrestler firings are like comic book deaths, so I’m guessing he’ll be back at some point.

The big question coming out of this show is how will Konnan’s relationship with Hernandez affect the title match between Puma and Hernandez? They have been teasing dissension between Konnan and Puma for some time so perhaps this will be where Konnan turns on Puma, but time will tell. That’s it for me this week. What did you guys think of the show? Do you think Drago will return? What are your thoughts on Killshot after his first singles match? What will happen with Puma, Konnan and Hernandez? There’s a lot to look forward to going forward. Thanks for reading everyone! See you next week!