Taped in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California this is Lucha Underground for Season 2 – Episode 24, aka Ultima Lucha Dos: Part 1!
Including this week’s episode, Ultima Lucha Dos will span three weeks. Part 3, which airs on July 20, will be Lucha Underground’s Season 2 finale. Once that happens, Lucha Underground won’t return for Season 3 until next year. With the long absence, you know Lucha Underground will be going out with a major bang over these next three weeks. I couldn’t be more excited, so without further ado, let’s get right into this!
The lovely Melissa Santos, who is dressed to the nines, welcomes us to Ultima Lucha Dos. The camera moves around The Temple to show cool looking posters of the marquee Ultima Lucha Dos matchups hanging from the rafters. Our commentators Matt Striker and Vampiro welcome us to the show and get us ready for our first match of the extravaganza.
We’re kicking tonight off with Dario Cueto’s “4 A Unique Opportunity” tournament. There are only four competitors in this tournament (Son of Havoc, The Mack, Texano and Cage) and the first semi-final match we’ll see will be between The Mack and Cage.
Melissa Santos introduces both men, but Dario Cueto comes out of his office with a microphone before the bell rings. Side note: I love how Cueto is dressed in a tuxedo for tonight. He tells us that last year, Mack and Cage started the inaugural Ultima Lucha off with a bang with their Falls Count Anywhere match. Cueto says that to ensure this year’s Ultima Lucha is just as successful and just as violent as last year’s, he’s making this match a Falls Count Anywhere match! And in classic Cueto fashion, he screams to a raucous ovation “RING THE BEEEELLLLLL!!!”
Semi-final Match “4 A Unique Opportunity” – Falls Count Anywhere: The Mack vs. Cage
Since this is now a Falls Count Anywhere Match, pinfalls are allowed anywhere; not just inside the ring. Mack rushes at Cage right away, but Cage dodges Mack and hits him with a standing dropkick and a springboard moonsault. Cage goes for an early pin attempt, but Mack kicks out at two. Cage puts Mack on his shoulders, but Mack slips off and nails Cage with a forearm strike to the face and an enziguri kick. This causes Cage to lean on the ropes, and while he’s doing so Mack runs at Cage and hits him with a running crossbody through the ropes and out onto the floor.
Mack gets to his feet first and rushes at a dazed Cage. However, Cage counters Mack’s attack and flips Mack onto the Temple steps, back first. Ouch! Holy shit chants from the crowd as Cage grabs a garbage can. He swings the lid of the can at Mack’s head, but Mack dodges, rips the lid out of cage’s hands and hits Cage over the head with it instead. Mack then puts Cage over his shoulder and hits him with a running powerslam onto the garbage can. He goes for the cover, but Cage kicks out at two.
The action spills into Dario Cueto’s office as they continue the fight there. Cage gains the upper hand and throws Mack out Cueto’s door back into the arena. Cage grabs a framed Lucha Underground poster from Cueto’s office and shatters it over Mack’s head! Cage goes for the cover, but Mack kicks out at two. Cage picks up Mack and slams him into the barricade around ringside a couple times. He then opens up two chairs and powerbombs Mack onto them. Cage goes for the cover again, and again Mack kicks out.
Cage takes a stop sign out from underneath the ring. It looked like Cage was going to piledrive Mack onto it, but Mack countered and Samoan dropped Cage onto it instead. Mack then hit Cage with a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Now, Mack takes out a guitar and smashes it over Cage’s head. He goes for the cover again, but Cage kicks out. Mack heads backstage and brings out come piñatas that were, as Striker mentioned, back there for Lucha Underground’s after party. Mack opens one of the piñatas and a wrench is inside. Cage opens the other and its filled with candy. Mack hits Cage over the head with a wrench while the fans in the front row help themselves to some candy.
Mack gets his hands on two beer cans, drinks it Steve Austin style and goes for the stunner, but Cage slips out of it and hits Mack over the head with the stop sign. This is awesome chants from the crowd. Cage is now seen bleeding from his forehead. Cage sets up a table outside and, as he turns around, gets nailed by Mack with a toolbox. Mack takes a steel chain out of the toolbox and whips Cage in the back with it. Mack then wraps the chain around his fist and punches Cage in the face with it.
Mack grabs more beers, drinks it Steve Austin style and this time connects with a stunner. He picks up Cage and lays him on top of the setup table. Mack climbs up into the stands and frogsplashes out of the crowd, onto Cage and through the table!! Loud “LUCHA! LUCHA!! LUCHA!” chants from the crowd. This match is absolutely nuts. With both men laid out, it takes a while for Mack to cover Cage but he finally does so. One… two… no! Cage kicks out! What a nearfall, I thought that would be it for sure. The crowd is stunned too.
Cage gets to his feet first and drags a cinderblock out from underneath the ring. Cage has his foot behind Mack’s head, ready to smash it through the cinderblock. However, as Cage leans back his back foot slips on the spilled beer. Losing his balance, Mack rolls up Cage in a pin attempt. One… two… three! Mack wins after ten minutes and is heading to the finals of the “4 A Unique Opportunity” tournament.
Winner by pinfall: The Mack
Evaluation: That was amazing. What a fun match to kickoff Ultima Lucha Dos with. The right guy won in my opinion as Cage has gotten plenty of opportunities throughout Season 2, it’s now Mack’s turn. This match was also the best I’ve ever seen out of Mack. He is agile for a heavier guy and can go in the ring, but I feel like he really shines when weapons are involved. Although both men are faces, you can tell the crowd was really pulling for Mack, as was I after that frogsplash through the table. Mack winning made for a great moment. By the way, this crowd is on their A-game tonight.
We’re continuing with the “4 A Unique Opportunity” tournament as Texano and Son of Havoc are in the ring and ready to face off. Melissa Santos introduces both men, but before the bell rings Dario Cueto once again comes out of his office with a microphone in hand. He says that he knows what we’re thinking – why is there a bar outside the ring? The camera then reveals a bar set up at ringside. Well, Cueto says that when he sees a cowboy and a biker, he can only think of one thing – a bar fight. Cueto announces that he is officially making this match a Boyle Heights Bar Fight! The crowd goes nuts and once again Dario Cueto hits us with his signature “RING THE BEEEELLLLLL!!!”
Semi-final Match “4 A Unique Opportunity” – Boyle Heights Bar Fight: Texano vs. Son of Havoc
Being a bar fight means that the bar accessories outside the ring will play a big role in the match. Son of Havoc runs the ropes and tries to shoulder tackle Texano, but Texano doesn’t budge. Now Texano runs the ropes and attempts to shoulder tackle Son of Havoc, which he successfully does. Havoc gets up quickly and hits Texano with his signature springboard back elbow. Texano runs at Havoc who’s leabing on the ropes, but Havoc moves out of the way, sending Texano over the top rope and out onto the floor. Havoc then hits Texano with a perfectly executed springboard moonsault.
Havoc then mooonsaults off of the announce table onto Texano. He picks up Texano and smashes him through one of the Temple’s side doors. He throws Texano out of the room and back to ringside, but he comes walking out of the room with a firemen’s helmet and a fire extinguisher, which he sprays in Texano’s face. Texano uses the liquor at ringside to clean out his eyes and when he’s done, smashes the bottle over Havoc’s head. However, Havoc’s still wearing the firemen’s helmet, so it clearly has no effect on him. That made for a funny moment.
Texano kicks Havoc in the calf and rolls him back into the ring. Texano brings three bar stools into the ring with him as well as two chairs and a keg. Texano wedges the keg into the corner of the ring as the crowd chants “we want beer”. Texano wraps his fist with his bull rope, and punches Havoc in the face. He goes for the cover, but Havoc kicks out. Texano tries to do it again, but Havoc counters, dropkicking Texano back into the wedged keg. Havoc smashes the wooden bar stools into one pile and hurricanrana’s Texano off the top turnbuckle and onto the pile of wood. Havoc goes the pin, but Texano kicks out at two.
Both men get to their feet at the same time. Havoc runs at Texano, but Texano dodges which sends Havoc into the corner. Seated in the corner, Texano places a steel chair in between Havoc’s legs. Texano then picks up another chair and slams it against the chair in between Havoc’s legs. Yikes. Now, standing on the apron outside the ring, Texano looks to suplex Havoc out of the ring. Texano tries, but is only able to get Havoc over the ropes and onto the apron with him. Havoc then counters by flipping Texano over his head and through the bar! Big reaction from the crowd on that one.
Havoc then takes out a box of bottles from underneath the ring. He brings them inside the ring and smashes all of them with his feet. Havoc rolls Texano back in the ring, and after doing so, hits him with a springboard double foot stomp which sends Texano straight into the shattered glass. Havoc finishes Texano off with a big boot and gets the three count after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Son of Havoc
Evaluation: Another fun match in this “4 A Unique Opportunity” tournament. It wasn’t as good as Mack vs. Cage, but that’s a tough match to follow. Some great spots in this match with Texano being sent through the bar and onto the shattered glass. Props to Texano for taking the brunt of the big bumps. With Son of Havoc winning, this means we’ll be seeing him face off with The Mack in the finals.
We return to a Mexican rock band in luchador masks rocking The Temple with their musical stylings. Striker and Vampiro run down the rest of the matches scheduled for Utima Lucha Dos. Over the next two weeks we’ll be seeing the following (please note that (c) refers to the champion/s heading into the match):
Death Match: King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertes (w/Catrina)
Trios Title Match: Johnny Mundo, PJ Black & Jack Evans (c) vs. Drago, Fenix & Aerostar
Taya vs. Ivelisse
7-Way Elimination Match for the Gift of the Gods Championship: Sexy Star vs. Daga vs. Sinestro de la Muerte vs. Marty “The Moth” Martinez vs. Mariposa vs. Killshot vs. a mystery partner (That mystery partner was revealed two weeks ago to be the debuting Night Claw)
Black Lotus vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr.
Lucha Underground Title Match: Matanza (c) vs. Pentagon Jr.
Prince Puma vs. Rey Mysterio
Evaluation: The order of the matches listed above is the order in which they were talked about by Striker and Vampiro. What I found most interesting is that Prince Puma vs. Rey Mysterio was mentioned last, over the Lucha Underground Title match. It looks like Puma vs. Mysterio will definitely be the Ultima Lucha main event as Striker was describing the match as being for “the highest honor” and how it will determine “the king of lucha libre”.
It’s now time for the finals of the “4 A Unique Opportunity” tournament. The Mack and Son of Havoc are already in the ring as Melissa Santos introduces both men. However, for a third time, Dario Cueto comes out of his office with a microphone in hand. Cueto says he’s impressed with both men and surprised as he thought it would have been Texano vs. Cage in the finals. Cueto: “However, my unique opportunity is so great, it’s so freaking awesome, that I’m really going to need you both to work for it!” This is why Cueto said that he’s going to make this match a Falls Count Anywhere Match as well. Wait, what the heck?!? No “RING THE BEEEELLLLLL”?? Oh, it’s because we’re going to a commercial break before the match starts. We better get it when we get back!
We’re back, and almost on cue…
Cueto: “RING THE BEEEELLLLLL!!!” NOW, we can start!
Final Match “4 A Unique Opportunity” – Falls Count Anywhere: The Mack vs. Son of Havoc
Mack and Havoc slowly walk to the center of the ring and shake hands. They enter into a collar-and elbow tie up with Havoc getting the advantage. He puts Mack in a headlock, but Mack pushes Havoc off of him. He sends Havoc into the ropes and hits him with a big running shoulder tackle. Neither Mack or Havoc are moving too quickly as they’re still feeling the wounds of war from their previous matches.
Mack slowly climbs to the top rope and uses all of his strength to hit Havoc with a corkscrew splash. Mack goes for the cover, but Havoc kicks out before the referee can even count to one. Mack looks stunned. He heads to the top rope again, but Havoc rolls away. Mack tosses Havoc outside the ring and throws him into the barricade. Havoc then chops at Mack and slams him onto the Temple steps. Havoc slowly rolls Mack back into the ring. This match is working at a very slow pace so far, which is what I was hoping to see.
With Havoc’s legs hanging on the second rope, Mack hits him with a swinging neckbreaker. He goes for the cover, but Havoc kicks out at two. Both men get to their feet. Mack jogs at Havoc, but Havoc dodges and pulls down on the top rope, sending Mack to ringside. Havoc then lands a big dive over the top rope onto Mack. He rolls Mack back in the ring and heads to the top rope. Havoc goes for the shooting star press, but Mack gets his knees up just in time and immediately rolls up Havoc in a pin attempt. One… two… no! Havoc kicks out.
Havoc and Mack struggle to stand. When they do, the both trade strikes until Havoc gets the upper hand, taking out Mack. Havoc heads to the top rope and looks to finish things with a shooting star press. This time he connects and gets the three count after six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Son of Havoc
Evaluation: Nice way to finish this tournament. The match shouldn’t have gone long and it didn’t. Both men were exhausted and they sold the wear-and-tear from their previous matches. Good for Havoc on picking up the win. He’s a really good performer and Lucha Underground seems to be high on him now as a singles competitor. However, something tells me Cueto is going to screw Havoc over with this “unique opportunity”.
Post-match, Havoc heads into the audience to celebrate with the fans. Dario Cueto exits his office with a briefcase in each hand.
Cueto and Black Lotus join Havoc in the ring. Lotus was holding two briefcases that she placed on the floor of the ring. Cueto congratulates Havoc on winning the tournament. Cueto has Lotus open up the first briefcase which is filled with $250,000. Cueto describes the amount of money as more money than Havoc will probably ever make in his entire career. Cueto: “However, with all unique opportunities, there’s a twist.” Instead of the money, Havoc could take the other briefcase which contains a contract for a Lucha Underground Championship Match at next year’s Ultima Lucha Tres.
Havoc tells Cueto that he doesn’t care if briefcase number one held two-hundred and fifty million dollars, because he’s going to be Lucha Underground champion. Havoc takes the briefcase with the contract as the crowd cheers him on. Cueto: “There you have it! Son of Havoc will be in the main event of next year’s Ultima Lucha……ASSUMING, you win one more match.” Cueto tells Havoc that since Havoc didn’t chose the money, he’s going to offer it to Havoc’s next opponent. If Havoc’s opponent wins he gets the money, if Havoc wins then Havoc will get his main event spot at Ultima Lucha Tres for the Lucha Underground Championship. Cueto takes the briefcase out of Havoc’s hands and wishes him luck.
Famous B stands at the top of the Temple steps and introduces himself as he always does. He tells the audience that he told them he’d find himself a new client, “and this time he’s already famous.” Famous B tells Havoc that he looks a little sick, but tells Havoc that luckily for him there’s a doctor in the house. Famous B turns around to reveal the name “Dr. Wagner Jr.” on the back of his jacket. Famous B introduces Dr. Wagner Jr. to a big ovation from the crowd. The crowd does the ole chant as Dr. Wagner makes his entrance alongside Famous B and Beautiful Brenda.
Striker tells us that Dr. Wagner Jr. is one of the most accomplished and famous luchadores in all of Mexico. He has over thirty years of professional wrestling experience, holding over twenty championships between tag team and singles titles.
Evaluation: I had a feeling Cueto was going to screw over Havoc, especially after noticing there was still a bit of time left in the show. I didn’t know who Dr. Wagner Jr. was previous to this, but I’m happy that it seemed like most of the crowd knew who he was since he got a nice ovation. I did a quick Google search on Wagner after Striker said he’s been in the professional wrestling business for over thirty years. Some of the bigger promotions he’s wrestled for are CMLL and AAA in Mexico, as well as New Japan Pro Wrestling. He’ll also be 51 years old in August. For a guy who’s 51, Wagner looks to be in great physical shape.
Son of Havoc vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. (If Havoc wins he main events Ultima Lucha Tres for the Lucha Underground Championship. If Wagner wins he receives $250,000)
The bell rings and Dr. Wagner Jr. spears Havoc right away and follows it up with a Samoan drop. Wagner lays into Havoc in the corner with punches and chops. Wagner sits Havoc up on the top turnbuckle and hits Havoc with a big cutter off the top rope. Wagner throws Havoc into the ropes and Havoc counters with a big springboard crossbody and a couple clotheslines. Havoc nails Wagner with a running boot to the face. Havoc heads to the top rope for the shooting star press, but Wagner rolls out of the way causing Havoc to miss. Wagner hits Havoc with his Doctor Driver finishing move and gets the three count after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dr. Wagner Jr.
Post-match, Cueto announces Wagner as the winner. Ultima Lucha Dos: Part 1 ends with Famous B and Beautiful Brenda celebrating in the middle of the ring with Dr. Wagner Jr. and the briefcase as Famous B shouts, “we’re rich! We’re rich!”
Evaluation: Thoughts on the result are included in my final thoughts below.
Game ball goes to…
The Mack – I know that it seems like Son of Havoc should get it, but The Mack really stood out to me tonight. I always thought Mack was solid, but with all the other talent in Lucha Underground, sometimes he just seems to blend in and be nothing more than a mid-card afterthought. However, tonight he really proved he could not only deliver but excel on Lucha Underground’s biggest stage of the year. The crowd was really behind him all night as well. I’m now looking at The Mack in a different light, so for that he gets Ultima Lucha Dos: Part 1’s game ball.
This was a really fun Part 1 to Ultima Lucha’s three-week extravaganza. Tonight surpassed what my expectations were for the tournament. I thought it was a great first course as we begin to head into the meat and potatoes of Ultima Lucha.
As mentioned above, although Mack going over Cage was surprising it was ultimately the right move as Mack was delivering big time and the crowd was totally on his side. Cage is someone who can bounce back from this due to his sheer size and ability. I think the win helped Mack much more than it would have helped Cage.
As we begin to put a bow on Season 2, I’ve got to say that it was a weak season in my opinion for the “Mexican Cowboy” Texano. His feud with Chavo Guerrero early in the season fell flat and he didn’t gain any notable momentum after winning that feud since he didn’t really do anything of note after that. His shining moment for me was his match with Daga to win an ancient Aztec medallion (which was Daga’s debut match in Lucha Underground). The match was fantastic and really showed me what Texano was capable of, even though I think Daga walked away as the standout. Maybe next season Texano’s character gets rebooted a bit because he can use it.
Dr. Wagner Jr. winning tonight, even though it was done cheaply, helped him walk away looking like a big player for the next season. It should be interesting to see Famous B in a less comedic role and more as a legit manager. He has a nice annoying presence about him that I think will work even better next season.
Lastly, as for Son of Havoc, he will bounce back. Havoc looks strong since he almost beat Wagner at the end, considering all he went through. He also has a great underdog relationship with the fans that’ll only grow after tonight.
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.