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

Lucha Underground Review – Phoenix, Dragon, and Spaceman

Prince Puma and Dragón Azteca Jr. doing crazy things
Prince Puma and Dragón Azteca Jr. doing crazy things

Lucha Underground

Watch: El Rey Network, Sling

Air date: June 29, 2016

Lucha Underground Temple – Boyle Heights, California

This is the last episode before three weeks of Última Lucha 2! Incidentally, I was at the taping and remembered absolutely nothing from it, probably in part because the first week of Última Lucha 2 was taped about 30 minutes after this episode was.

The opening recap mentions the recent history between King Cuerno and Mil Muertes, the Six to Survive Match, and Prince Puma’s challenge to Rey Mysterio. On the Temple floor, Matt Striker announces that, at Última Lucha 2, Drago, Fénix, and Aerostar will face the defending trios champions PJ Black, Johnny Mundo, and Jack Evans for the titles!

King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertesok

I wasn’t really feeling this match, but part of that may be due to my advance knowledge of how Última Lucha 2 proceeds. All matches tonight are preludes to Última Lucha 2, of course, but this one feels shorter and with less substance than the others. As we would find out later, Cuerno and Mil are booked in a deathmatch at Última Lucha 2, and by nature, it’s harder to do a convincing “preview” of that type of a match without undermining the main match itself. This match is also heavy on chairs to the head, which is a little off-putting even though the final sequence of the match is otherwise cool.

After the match, we cut to Dario’s office, where El Jefe sets up a match between Taya and Ivelisse because there can only be “one baddest bitch”. Catrina enters next to request – no, demand – a rematch of Mil Muertes vs. King Cuerno. Dario initially scoffs at the idea but, intrigued, agrees when Catrina wants it to be a deathmatch.

Prince Puma vs. Dragón Azteca Jr.great

There are lots of crazy, fast-paced sequences in this one. Two of the ones that caught my attention most were the opening sequence and the one toward the end where Prince Puma grabs Dragón Azteca Jr.’s leg and turns that into a spinning powerbomb and various suplexes. This match has lots of other great spots – a caught tope suicida, Dragón Azteca’s signature awesome Pizza DDT – and rarely a moment for my brain to catch up and process the last three things that had happened at any given point. Puma wins with his 630 senton and afterwards reminds Rey of their upcoming Última Lucha 2 match.

Dario next announces that at Última Lucha 2, Mack, Son of Havoc, Cage, and Texano Jr. will be involved in a tournament that he names “4 a Unique Opportunity”, after which he incites a brawl among the four. After the break, Matt Striker runs down the complete three-week Última Lucha 2 card before we come to the final match of the episode, a teaser for the trios title match.

Fénix vs. Johnny Mundogood

As you might expect from these two, there are the fun usual spots (and also Fénix’s comical facial expressions), but the main story of the match is that Taya helps Mundo out by interfering and distracting the referee, ultimately allowing Mundo to hit Fénix with the trios title belt and pin him for the win. The “good” rating is probably a little harsh, but this match had a tough act to follow, and this match isn’t in the upper echelon of either guy’s body of work in Lucha Underground.

After the match, Mundo’s teammates run out to help beat up on Fénix, but Drago and Aerostar soon appear as well to even the score – and so does Ivelisse, in order to confront Taya.

OVERALL: This was a good episode to lead into Última Lucha 2, but as someone who was at these final tapings, it’s a little hard for me to look at these lead-in matches and not compare them to what lies ahead. Dragón Azteca Jr. vs. Prince Puma smokes the other two matches on the show, and it may have worked better as the main event. But all the pieces are in place for a wild three weeks to close season 2 of Lucha Underground.


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