Lucha Underground, Season 3, “Gods Among Men”
-Texano VS Joey Ryan; Texano wins.
-Cage VS Veneno; Cage wins.
-Death Match, El Dragon Azteca Jr. VS Matanza Cueto;
PLAY BY PLAY
In his office, Dario Cueto tells Councilman Delgado, “It’s perfect.” They’ll be seeing Cage in action, wearing the mysterious gauntlet. Cage is already “consumed by its power,” but in reality “it’s the power that’s consuming him.” Delgado notes that they were soon be “men amongst gods”, but Dario says those gods will owe them a “great deal of gratitude.” Just then, El Dragon Azteca Jr. enters, but he ignores Delgado. He wants to destroy The Monster, Matanza. He wants him in a match, tonight! Matanza broke Rey, tried to break Dragon Azteca, now it’s time to return the favor! Delgado respects Azteca’s guts, and Azteca steps it up by requesting a Death Match. Dario fulfills the request and makes the call. A new main event has been set!
In response to the sudden attack last week, Vampiro sends a message to Mil Muertes: “Mil. It won’t be tonight. It might not be next week.” But Vampiro vows to the Man of 1000 Deaths that “your time will come.”
Texano VS Joey Ryan!
The Blue Collar Brawler and the Sleazy One couldn’t be more different in appearance and personality, especially when Joey sticks the signature lollipop down the trunks… The two tie up, roaming about the ring until Texano ends up in control, Joey incessantly calls for the referee to honor the ropebreak. The two separate, Joey eases back in, then kicks Texano before putting on a headlock. Texano powers out then no-sells Joey’s shoulder tackle, Texano dares Joey to try harder! Joey returns to the headlock, Texano turns it into his own headlock, Joey pushes out but gets shouldered down. Texano’s whip is countered, he tumbles up and over to the apron, but sees Joey coming to give the Sleazy One a bump on the buckle and a slingshot senton on the stomach. Joey rolls out of the ring, Texano pursues, a little cat and mouse leads to a hotshot. Joey then throws Texano to railings and the apron, dazing the bigger man. The return of the lollipop! Joey puts it in his mouth! He rains fists on Texano before putting him in the corner for a long leg choke. Texano is let out of the corner, Joey throws the lolli at Texano! Joey twists Texano’s neck, Texano stands up and fights out, big dropkick from Joey knocks him back down! Spotlight hits the stairway as Famous B and Beautiful Brenda come moseying on down to ringside. Famous B tries kissing up to “Tey Ha No”, but the confusion doesn’t stop Texano from booting Joey in the head and flying off the second rope with a leg lariat. TWO! Joey sunset flips the body drop but gets a sharp kick from Texano, TWO! Famous B reckons that was three. Tilt-o-whirl backbreaker to Joey, Texano saddles Joey on the top rope before dropkicking him down to the floor! FLYING– no, Texano stops when he sees Joey ducking for cover. Joey thinks he’s outsmarted Texano, but he didn’t think a slingshot splash was possible. Famous B continues to talk up Texano as Texano goes top rope, Joey topples Texano down before a pumphandle suplex and SLEAZY KICK, TWO! Joey spots the bull rope, Famous B take sit from Joey while Brenda slips Texano a golden horse shoe. Joey lets go of the bullrope but takes the horse shoe to the face!! Texano wins, are we seeing a new stable forming? Not from that shove to Famous B. Though, perhaps Brenda did rope herself a new stallion.
Lucha Underground Champion Johnny Mundo addresses the Temple, the Worldwide Underground’s Jack Evans and PJ Black are with him in the ring.
Mundo would first like to give a shout-out to Taya, she’s busy editing the champion’s biographical documentary. The Mayor of Slamtown and face of Lucha Underground would also like to remind everyone in the Temple that no matter what “insults slip out of your foul mouths”, they must also call him CHAMPION. Mundo joined this “upstart fight league” as its ONLY star, backed against a wall, and he defeated everyone put in his way to the top. From Big Ryck to Fenix to Sexy Star, to Pentagon to Prince Puma to The Crew, Killshot, everyone. And yet the Believers never believed in him! No one did, EXCEPT for the WWU. The Darewolf and the Dragonslayer are his best friends, group hug and secret handshake. He then dismisses Evans & Black so that he can talk directly to The Mack, aka “Sto Mack”. The Mack is literally not “built to last all, night, long” and certainly not against Johnny Mundo and his 8-pack. The Mack is more suited to the couch next to “Hot Tub Guy”. (Yes, Mundo poked fun at Shawn Scoville, who happened to be in attendance this night) Mundo is INSULTED to share the same ring as someone with The Mack’s physique, because this is Mundo’s World! But speak of the man, The Mack attacks! He unleashes fists on the arrogant champion, stompin’ a mudhole in him! But the WWU returns to jump the #1 contender, beating him down 2v1. MACK STUNNER for PJ Black! MACK STUNNER for Jack Evans! Mundo shouts for security but they can’t save him before being stomped some more! The security focuses on Mack, WWU gets Mundo the hell outta there! So Mack slaps and STUNNERS the security! The Mack owns the ring, and vows to own the LU Championship after he whoops Mundo’s ass “all, night, long!”
Cage VS Veneno!
Cage won the “Ultimate Opportunity” and wears the power gauntlet proudly as he faces a debuting superstar rather reminiscent of a certain amazing wall-crawler. It makes sense when “veneno” is Spanish for “venom.” However, LU fans all know this is in actuality the newest undercover persona for Cortez Castro, aka Officer Ricky Reyes. At the bell, Veneno/Cortez/Reyes charges right into Cage but bounces off. He slips under Cage before hitting a spinning headscissors. However, Cage doesn’t feel the kicks or forearm of his opponent, he instead throws Veneno to the corner and flattens him with a clothesline. Terminator drums as Cage goes corner to corner, but Veneno catches Cage with a kick. Veneno builds speed, hits a running forearm, but Cage pops him up into fireman carry. Veneno slips down, sharp enziguri but he runs right into a hard lariat! Cage is finishing it, standing suplex into piledriver! Cage wins, then slips the gauntlet back on! But he takes offense to his arm being raised, he shoves the referee and runs him out of the ring! Cage then leaves Veneno behind, SEXY STAR comes out! Spiders, spiders, spiders, now she has an answer to who has been leaving them! Sexy attacks Veneno, and warns him to “stay the hell away!” Veneno’s got a rough start already, has he really been Sexy’s stalker?
Prince Puma trains in the gym, remembering the lessons of Konan. “Remember what I’ve taught you.” Puma also remembers the two Grave Consequences matches he has been in against the Man of 1000 Deaths. The first killed Konan, the second killed Puma! “It’s never the same, once you die.” Catrina finds him! She hears the voices just like him. The one vision he can’t escape is of blood and pain, but whose? Catrina knows the answer. Puma thinks it’s Mil’s, but she says it’s Puma’s. She disappears again, Puma backflips and slams the heavy bag into the wall! Will the vision of blood and pain come to life? And whose life shall it end?
DEATH MATCH, El Dragon Azteca Jr. VS Matanza Cueto w/ Dario Cueto!
Azteca Jr. has vowed not only revenge upon The Monster for his predecessor, the previous Dragon Azteca Jr, but also for his teacher, Rey Mysterio. The question is, is this too soon for the young luchador? For anything and everything is allowed in such a match, and the Monster always thirsts for blood. The bell rings, Azteca jumps over Matanza and uses his agility to stay a step ahead, but Matanza stays up even after a missile dropkick. Rolling huricanrana is turned into a swinging back suplex! Matanza rains fists on Azteca’s head, grabs a steel chair to bring to the ring, and sits it up in a corner. Matanza stalks Azteca, choking him against the ropes. Matanza whips Azteca across, tilt-o-whirl pop-up huricanrana flips Matanza over! But Matanza is right back up! Azteca stops himself in the corner with the chair, hops over Matanza who also stops himself, Matanza grabs that chair for Azteca to SUPERKICK into him! Azteca throws the chair at Matanza’s head, making the Monster retreat to the outside. Azteca stands up the chair, it serves as a launching pad for a FLYING DRAGON SENTON into Matanza!
Azteca does not let up, he jumps onto Matanza only for Matanza to fireman carry TOSS Azteca to a post. Matanza bowls Azteca into a solid wall and drives him into the railings. With Azteca on his shoulder, Matanza ascends the stairs to drop Azteca on another railing. Azteca fights back, Matanza chokes him with both hands. Matanza brings Azteca over to the walkway overlooking the arena, powerbomb lift but Azteca fights to save his own life! Azteca runs in, uses Matanza’s alley-oop to get him up on the side of the light box to then perform a somersault senton onto the hardwood floor! Both men get back up, Azteca dodges a kick to almost send Matanza tumbling down the stairs with a huricanrana! Matanza knocks Azteca over the banister, driving heavy right hands into his head, but Azteca hotshots Matanza to NO EFFECT. Matanza grabs Azteca, CHOKE SLAM THROUGH THE BLEACHERS!! The match is ended right there and then, for Azteca has plummeted down through darkness to hit the concrete floor below! Matanza wins, Dario raises his beastly brother’s hand in victory, REY MYSTERIO appears! He goes to check on his protege, but Matanza blazes a trail through the Believers to get his hands on the King of Lucha! Matanza even knocks fans aside when they refuse to move! Rey takes the fight to the Monster! Rey is thrown into a wall, Matanza picks Rey up gorilla press to toss him to the top of the stairs. Matanza climbs to follow his prey, Rey fights back, but Matanza picks him up for another Gorilla Press! Rey grabs scaffolding bars to save himself, then rains punches down while on Matanza’s shoulders. Rey uses the scaffolding to bash Matanza’s head, twisting huricanrana– no, Matanza blocks it to then smack Rey’s head into the light box! Matanza bounces Rey off the security gate, the Believers rally for Rey, Rey rallies back with strikes. Rey leans against the gate, Matanza comes charging in, a BODY DROP SENDS MATANZA UP AND OVER!! Matanza CRASHES THROUGH the roof of the storage room!! A panicked Dario hurries to unlock the door to help his brother, then demands the Believers IMMEDIATELY leave the Temple! Rey stands tall over the hole Matanza’s body made, what is the fate of the Monster and the protege?
Melissa Santos encounters fans at the back door of the Temple, but there is someone else lurking down the way. Marty the Moth has always been obsessed with Melissa, but before he can escalate any further, someone snatches MARTY up! Cut to a rope-bound Marty in a dirty bathroom, his sister Mariposa is there! “Bravo, Martin. You have my attention.” In regards to last week’s inexplicable assault, Mari starts to think “The Moth has finally seen the light.” She slaps him around, Marty smiles and laughs, saying “I did good!” Just what further madness dwells within the minds of the Moth clan’s sibling duo?
Let me just start by saying Lucha Underground has yet to have a serious low point in its three season run. The mid-season break is literally the first thing to sadden me about this entire series-promotion hybrid but the wait will undoubtedly be worth it.
That said, this proved to be a quality mid-season finale because they even gave it an organic reason as to why The Temple would have to shut down for roughly four and a half months: Dario Cueto’s blood brother, Matanza, just got dropped THROUGH A WOOD FLOOR to hit a CONCRETE FLOOR FOUNDATION. While Dario loves to say how he loves violence and brutality, he still has a soft spot for his baby brother, the victim of both their father’s occult experiments and their mother’s heartless abuse. Sure the Monster is a blood-stained brute, but he’s still the one person El Jefe cares for.
As for everything before the moment the Temple’s Believers went “HOLY SHIT” of the highest order, it all mattered to some degree. Texano seems to be coming over to the rudo side, though not necessarily to Famous B’s side. Perhaps Famous B will keep trying to win Texano over, only to lose Brenda to Texano in a rare valet-on-manager swerve. After weeks of teasing a spider-themed stalker, Cortez Castro/Ricky Reyes makes his return to the ring as Veneno, only to lose to the even more powerful Machine that is Cage and get an ultimatum from Sexy Star, who he may or may not have tormented as part of his cover. That segment benefited all involved: Cage dives deeper into rage thanks to the mysterious power gauntlet Dario and Delgado introduced; Cortez/Reyes continues investigating Cueto under his nose as part of the very slow build that is the world-altering war of men and gods story; and Sexy Star has a story to keep going after losing the Lucha Underground title, rather than just falling off to the wayside.
As I speculated last week, Johnny Mundo the ultimate chickenshit heel in Lucha Underground got a portion of comeuppance when The Mack finally took the fight to the Worldwide Underground, proving he is the hero the Temple deserves. It’s just a shame we’ll have to wait months for this because of the mid-season break, but I’m confident it’ll blow off the roof as El Rey’s way to kick off the summer.
My Score: 8/10