Lucha Libre WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

Lucha Underground Review – Fame and Fortune

Night Claw
Night Claw, one of the seven to participate in the Última Lucha 2 Gift oft the Gods match.

Lucha Underground

Watch: El Rey Network, Sling

Air date: June 22, 2016

Lucha Underground Temple – Boyle Heights, California

The show opens with a brief recap of the last Gift of the Gods cycle, Mascarita Sagrada, and the situation between Dragón Azteca Jr. and Black Lotus.

We are next introduced to a new luchador in the Temple (!): Night Claw, whom Dario Cueto outright awards an Aztec Medallion based on what he’s heard about him and based on Night Claw’s Jaguar tribe ancestry. As a result, Night Claw will debut in the Gift of the Gods match at Última Lucha 2. But in a foreboding tone, Dario warns Night Claw that the Jaguar tribe was the first to be killed by the ancient gods.

Next up is a singles match for one of the remaining six medallions.

Aztec Medallion match: Mascarita Sagrada vs. Dagaeh

This was a really, almost absurdly, short match in which Daga squashed Mascarita and earns one of the Aztec Medallions. As we discover immediately afterwards, though, this was intended to be more of an angle than a match: Famous B turns on his client, throwing his shoe at him, and promising to find a new client.

After the match, we find ourselves back in Dario’s office for another vignette, this time with a familiar face, Dragón Azteca Jr. Leading into the Dragón Azteca Jr. vs. Black Lotus match already announced for Última Lucha 2, Dario tries to convince Azteca that Lotus is his real enemy.

Returning to the Temple floor, we have five medallions left to be awarded over the next two matches.

Aztec Medallions match: Killshot, Siniestro de la Muerte, Marty the Moth vs. Cortez Castro, Mr. Cisco, Joey Ryanvery good

Before the match starts, Marty the Moth tries to make peace with Killshot by returning his dog tags, which he had stolen in a previous episode.

Early on, we get some comedy spots with Marty the Moth, Joey Ryan, and Joey Ryan’s lollipop. This doesn’t exactly set a promising tone, but fortunately the match takes off afterward. Cisco has a particularly fun exchange with Siniestro. Spot of the match (and night) goes to Killshot, who has a crazy dive in which he springboards off of Cortez’s chest! This is one of the few pre–Última Lucha 2 spots that I actually remember seeing live. Overall, too, Killshot looked the best in this match by a considerable margin, and secures the win when Joey, Cisco, and Coortez begin to fight among themselves and he’s able to double-stomp Cisco. After the match, Marty runs off with Killshot’s dog tags again, because reasons.

Two more medallions to go!

Aztec Medallions match, parejas increíbles: Sexy Star, Mariposa vs. Ivelisse, Tayaok

Parejas increíbles is Spanish for “incredible pairs”, and refers to the practice of teaming up natural opponents, as is the case with these four luchadoras. This match feels very unmemorable until action leaves the ring and a brawl breaks out, forcing people on the floor level to vacate their seats because the ladies are throwing each other into them. This is the point at which the match feels like it shifts into a new gear and becomes much more exciting until the end. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to completely negate the uneventful first half of the match.

The show ends with a Prince Puma promo. Recalling that Konnan had told him that he could be the next Rey Mysterio, Puma wants a singles match against Rey at Última Lucha 2. Rey comes out to accept the match, in part because he wants to know whether he’s still the best.

So in summary, this show established two more matches for Última Lucha 2:

  • Night Claw vs. Daga vs. Killshot vs. Siniestro de la Muerte vs. Marty the Moth vs. Sexy Star vs. Mariposa for the Gift of the Gods Championship
  • Rey Mysterio vs. Prince Puma

As a side note, Lucha Underground doesn’t do things for the benefit of the live audience and often outright tries to confuse it, but setting up Rey vs. Puma in the ring was a significant factor in my decision to come back for Última Lucha 2. (Even though I didn’t have tickets, a group that I met at the taping ended up having an open slot because one of them wouldn’t be able to make it.) I’ll have a lot more to say about these matches when they air; they’re two matches that I’ll never forget.

OVERALL: This episode was more about setting things in place for Última Lucha 2 rather than sheer action. It isn’t one of the better episodes in terms of match quality, although there were some still good moments to be found, just not at the rate of the best episodes of Lucha Underground. The trios match was easily the best of the episode.


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