Lucha Underground, Season 3, “Evil Rising”
-Sexy Star VS Mariposa; Sexy Star wins.
-Trios Tag Match, The Rabbit Tribe VS Pindar, Vibora & Drago w/ Kobra Moon;
-Johnny Mundo VS The Mack, winner chooses a stipulation for their LUC title match; Mundo wins, chooses a
PLAY BY PLAY
Mil Muertes seethes in his lair over the shocking resurrection of Prince Puma. The Man of 1000 Deaths was sure he destroyed Puma when he buried him alive in Grave Consequences! Catrina reveals it was Vampiro and his “dark magic”. To get to Puma, destroy Vampiro. Catrina leaves Muertes be, but encounters Jeremiah Crane in the halls of The Temple. Crane rubs in how he defeated the Mil Muertes, “the man she loves”. But Catrina says she doesn’t love Mil. Is she telling the truth or simply toying with Crane’s emotions?
Sexy Star VS Mariposa!
There is no shortage of malice between these two lethal luchadoras, just look back at their brutal No Mas match. Sexy wants to fight even without a ring bell, so when the bell does ring, she goes right at Madam Moth! Sexy drags Mari around by her pigtails, letting go only to running headscissor Mari out. Sexy suicide dive! The Believers already love it! Sexy keeps the attack going on the outside, Mari blocks the whip into the wall to put Sexy there herself. Mari has control now as she uses the apron as a friend. Mari breaks the ring count but keeps the fight going. Sexy gives some strikes, but Mari uses the wheelbarrow carry to smack Sexy into the announce table not once, not twice, but NINE times in a row! They finally return to the ring so that Mari can prepare the Butterfly Effect, but Sexy slips out, shoves back, boots Mari in the face and unleash chops! Sexy and Mari collide, Sexy hits a flying armdrag and a hip toss driver, TWO! Mari fires up from Sexy’s punches, Sexy throws more hands, Mari Samoan Drops Sexy down, TWO! Mari takes Sexy’s legs and puts them into a modified Indian Deathlock, allowing herself to stomp Sexy’s back at the same time. Sexy reaches an arm out and gets the ropebreak, Mari is forced to let her go. Mari gives a little ax kick, taunts on the corner, moonsault FLOPS! Sexy comes back with a dropkick but her monkey flip is countered. Mari puts Sexy up top, punches and forearms, but Sexy blocks the Superplex. Sexy fires back, shoves Mari away, Sexy Double Stomps! Sexy wins! Sexy leaves nursing an arm injury, Mariposa’s brother Marty comes out to check on his sister. He gives a loving smile, before CHOKE SLAMMING HER!! Why Marty Why?! We knew The Moth Siblings were out of their minds, but what brought this sibling betrayal about?
Mascarita Segrada pumps iron in the gym when Paul London and the Rabbit Tribe come by. “We found you, White Rabbit!” They kneel before Mascarita? He says he’s not the rabbit. No, he’s their spiritual guide! Their guru! No he’s not. Yes he is! Join them ringside for their match, and they shall claim victory! “Tu estas loco.” Translation: You crazy. Mascarita walks away, but the White Rabbit Tribe is not convinced that they’re wrong.
Trios Tag Match, The Rabbit Tribe VS Pindar, Vibora & Drago w/ Kobra Moon!
Saltador (Jumper), Mala Suerte (Bad Luck) and yes, THE Paul London, may make an eccentric trio but they aren’t without their in-ring talents. However, the unofficially named Snake Tribe has the “Luchasaurus” in the 7 foot tall man-viper. Originally this match was billed with Kobra Moon participating, but she chose to make her captive dragon take her place.
Vibora and Mala Suerte start, Mala trying to use his speed against Pindar’s bulk, tilt-o-whirl headscissor flips the large lizard man upside-down! Mala tags BOTH Paul & Saltador, triple rabbit punch! Saltador becomes the legal man, he jumps only to get slammed. Kobra orders Drago to tag in, so he does. Drago and Pindar work together a moment to flip Saltador upside-down, Saltador slips out of the fireman so that Mala and Paul tag in. Dancing circle~!
The Rabbit Tribe gets distracted by their own antics, allowing Drago tags to Vibora! The Rabbit Tribe at first thinks they’re seeing things, but scramble when the Luchasaurus makes a move! Saltador springboards back in only to get caught, Mala Suertes also gets grabbed, DOUBLE choke slams! BIG boot for ol’ Paul, the giant viper grabs the Mad Hatter to tag Pindar. Pindar kicks Paul and chokes him with the ropes, Kobra gets in a cheap shot behind the ref’s back. Pindar keeps on Paul, denying his escape with stomps. Kobra then chokes Paul with the shackles she used on Drago! Pindar climbs up, drags Paul up but Paul headscissors Pindar! Paul bunny hops to tag BOTH teammates, they take care of Pindar but Drago tags in. Double double dropkicks, tag to Saltador, Mala has Saltador hold Drago on the far corner…! Just a running dropkick, that hits Saltador by accident! Drago headscissors, tags Pindar willingly, Pindar runs over Saltador before putting Mala in a torture rack position. Vibora comes in and uses a boot to jumpstart Pindar’s Blue Thunder Bomb! Paul returns to SUPERKICK Pindar AND Vibora, a second SUPERKICK to Vibora, jumping crossbody– caught! Vibora TOMBSTONE!! But Kobra wants DRAGO to finish it! Saltador returns, as he is legal, Drago unleashes a strike fest before a HARD running blockbuster! The Snake Tribe wins! Drago seems to have enjoyed the violence, and doesn’t resist when Kobra puts the leash back on, but wait! Drago’s trios champion teammates appear! Fenix and Aerostar attack with springboard dropkick and– Vibora catches the Code Breaker but SUPERKICK from Fenix helps it connect! Drago starts to return to normal but Kobra keeps him back using the leash! even so, Aerostar with an insane armdrag, double dropkicks send Vibora out before a “9 1 6” rocks the viper! Drago is freed from Kobra! Fenix and Aero try to remind him who they are, Kobra shouts at her dragon, Drago chooses his friends!
Sexy Star finds The Mack backstage. The Mack liked how Sexy squashed “that bug again”, and now Mack will squash Johnny Mundo. BUT he wants to go it alone, just to prove he can handle the Guru of Greatness. Sexy seals the deal with a secret handshake.
Dario Cueto also finds The Mack backstage. Dario says tonight’s match is NOT for the title, yet. He wants that Lucha Underground championship match to be a brutal war, so tonight is just a warm-up. Mack don’t need no warm-up, give him the title match! Dario says tonight’s match is still very important, because the winner chooses the stipulation for the actual title match. Mack’s got nothing to lose! Is Dario a betting man? Sometimes. Then “Always Bet on Mack”.
Johnny Mundo VS The Mack!
Just as Dario said, tonight’s match will greatly impact their promised title match, a huge advantage for the winner here. Mundo fakes a tie-up just to punch Mack in the mouth, Mack counters Mundo’s waist lock then the armdrag! Flying leg lariat by Mack, but Mundo kicks out of the early cover. Mundo feints a groin kick just so he can get a thumb to the eye, Mundo keeps Mack on the defensive. Mundo lays into The Mack with those strikes, then swing kicks from the apron. Mundo goes to springboard but stops himself when he sees The Mack duck, so Mundo lands and SLAPS Mack across the face! Mundo even flips Mack the bird! So Mack flips Mundo with an Exploder on the outside! Mundo slips under the ring, The Mack can’t find him, Mundo reappears around the corner but is spoted. Mack goes to grab Mundo but Mundo drags Mack into the railings, capping it off with a heel kick. In the ring, he shoves Mack into a corner and hits a Springboard Roundhouse to floor the contender. Mundo poses a bit too much, The Mack almost gets him with a modified roll-up pin! Mack starts to rally with hard right hands, Mundo kicks out a knee, Mack responds with a big lariat and jumping calf kick. Mack slams Mundo, and look at that, The Mack’s Elbow! TWO! Pele from Mundo outta nowhere, forearm in the corner, Mack counters the whip. Mundo boots back, Mack Samoan Drops the champ before a KIP-UP to standing moonsault! TWO! Mundo denies Mack’s suplex, Mack flapjack forearms Mundo, ropebreak on the pin! Mundo goes to the apron, Mack stands up to take a forearm but counters the shoulder with a Code Breaker, TWO! The Believers rally Mack to his feet, Mundo pulls himself up, Mack gives him a chop then the Stun– no, Mundo shoves Mack into the referee! Springboard– caught! Pop Up Powerbomb! The ref is still dizzy, he’s late to the pin! Mundo kicks out after at least five! The Worldwide Underground come out now to distract ref and Mack! Mundo low blows The Mack, roll up pin, Mundo steals the win! Jack Evans and PJ Black congratulate their leader while beating down on The Mack more. Mundo announces directly to The Mack that while The Mack doesn’t deserve to face him, their title match will be “All Night Long”, aka a One Hour Iron Man Match! As beaten down as The Mack is after the WWU finish with him, can he even hope to last that long against Mundo?
But wait, there’s more! Mil Muertes and Catrina appear! The WWU runs scared as the Man of 1000 Deaths and his Morbid Mistress descend the stairs. However, Mil’s business is not with them, it’s with VAMPIRO! A sudden assault that moves from announce table to the ring, Muertes beats down the lucha legend until Prince Puma arrives! This is who Mil wanted all along, but Vampiro orders his newest student to stay back. Puma must watch as Vampiro is hit with a Flat Liner and Mil Muertes leaves. The cornerstone feud of Lucha Underground grows ever more personal!
My Thoughts: For being only one hour at a time, it is hard not to get excited and engrossed in the world Lucha Underground creates. The official match card was only three matches deep but the stories behind each match go that much deeper: Sexy Star revisited an old enemy in Mariposa as part of the ongoing story of a new spider-themed stalker in town, and it just opened up a new story of siblings turned enemies with that swerve by Marty the Moth on his own sister; Drago was captured by “Queen” Kobra Moon and her serpent servants, but he was saved from Kobra’s clutches by his eternal and immortal friends, Fenix and Aerostar (the only flaw may be this story’s pacing, he was captured, missing then freed within the span of three weeks); Mundo continues his epic rudo saga, having moved from desperately working to obtain the Lucha Underground Title to desperately working to keep the title, all with the help of like-minded rudos like PJ Black and Jack Evans.
Mundo by far is LU’s best pure heel, getting heat for the cheap tactics and immature antics he uses to climb the card (I use the specification of “pure heel” because other heels like Mil Muertes or Pentagon Jr/Dark still get cheers for being brutal monsters while Mundo tends to be more of a “chickenshit” heel). Mundo gathering such heat will no doubt build to a boiling point so that when justice is served–aka a Face defeats him despite a stacked deck–the fans will immediately praise the one to dethrone Mundo as LU’s newest hero, which in turn solidifies Mundo as a top heel. That said, knowing next episode is an “All Night Long” match, it also shows how Mundo and The Mack have grown as characters to have earned literally all the spotlight for one night.
My Score: 8.5/10