A Primer for Ultima Lucha

A Primer for Ultima Lucha

Beginning on July 29th with a one hour show, and leading into a two hour show on August 5th, Lucha Underground will present Ultima Lucha, the promotion’s season finale (and possibly final show?) on the El Rey Network.

The card looks phenomenal, and if Lucha Underground plays its cards right, there should be a lot of IWC buzz about this over the next week heading into these shows.

So if you haven’t watched Lucha Underground at all this season, but are thinking about checking out the card, or just want a refresher on how we got to this point, or just want to talk about the show in general, this is for you. So let’s check out the card after the jump

Lucha Underground Championship: Prince Puma (c) vs. Mil Muertes

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Prince Puma is the native son of the Lucha Underground Temple, being from the temple’s home turf of Boyle Heights. Trained by Konnan, Puma became the first Lucha Underground champion by winning the inaugural Aztec Warfare match, a spin on the WWE Royal Rumble in which elimination occurs only by pinfall or submission. Puma has defended his title successfully against pretty much every major star in Lucha Underground this season, except for Mil Muertes.

Mil Muertes is the Lucha version of the Undertaker; a man who straddles the line of life and death after surviving a Mexico City earthquake that killed his family at a young age. Muertes dominated the early part of Season 1 before losing a rivalry with Fenix that culminated in a Grave Consequences (casket) match. Muertes disappeared from television for months before being resurrected by his valet, Catrina. Muertes has come back with a zombie like presence, and an aura of invincibility. He destroyed Fenix upon his return, powerbombing him through the ceiling of a storage room in the temple, and stole Drago’s title shot for this event by dominating him. Mil has shown little weakness since his return and has upped his intensity, despite already having been a pretty intense character.

Two weeks ago, Puma and Muertes had their first face to face confrontation in which Muertes, with the help of the Disciples of Death, beat down Puma and destroyed Konnan, rolling him into a casket to symbolize his demise. Last week, Puma and Muertes confronted each other again, this time resulting in Puma eviscerating the Disciples and leaving Mil Muertes laying; the first real vulnerability he’s shown since returning.

The match should be great. Puma is as good a wrestler as you’ll see on television in North America, and Muertes has had some of Lucha Underground’s best matches to date.

Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo

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When Lucha Underground debuted in October 2014, Johnny Mundo was the marquee star of the promotion, and one of the temple’s fan favorites. Mundo took Prince Puma to the wire at Aztec Warfare, but Puma prevailed to become the first Lucha Underground champion, thus removing Johnny from that top spot. Shortly afterwards, Alberto El Patron arrived on the scene to a hero’s welcome. At that point it became clear, that with Puma and El Patron driving the show, Johnny’s star was waning.

Mundo and Patron started with a friendly rivalry of sorts, taking good-natured shots at each other about their WWE tenures in backstage vignettes. The rivalry led to a match between the two in which the winner would receive a shot at winning the #1 Contender’s spot from Hernandez. El Patron took the victory and moved on to face Hernandez. It was during the Hernandez match that Mundo interfered and put El Patron through a window of Dario Cueto’s office. Mundo followed up by verbalizing his hatred and resentment for El Patron in a sit down interview with Vampiro.

El Patron responded by interfering in Mundo’s All Night Long match with Prince Puma, for the Lucha Underground Championship, costing Mundo a critical fall which led to Mundo’s defeat.

Since then, the two have had their sights set on each other. Both men are arguably doing the best work of their careers in Lucha Underground, and this should be another fantastic match.

The Gift Of The Gods Championship – Seven Way Match: Fenix vs. Aerostar vs. Jack Evans vs. Sexy Star vs. Bengala vs. King Cuerno vs. Big Ryck

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Mid-way through Season 1, Dario Cueto introduced a set of Aztec medallions to the temple, stating that he would put each of the seven up for competition, and that the medallions brought the promise of immortality. One by one, the medallions were won in various matches:

  • Fenix won his in a seven-way match against Pentagon Jr, Sexy Star, Killshot, Cage, King Cuerno, and The Mack. Fenix, after being destroyed by Mil Muertes in a Death Match, disappeared from TV for weeks, and Cueto put his medallion back up for grabs in a Battle Royal last week, however, Fenix returned in the Battle Royal and won his medallion back.
  • Jack Evans defeated Argenis
  • Aerostar won a Fatal Four-Way against Cage, The Mack, and Marty Martinez
  • Bengala defeated Delavar Daivari
  • King Cuerno defeated Killshot
  • Sexy Star defeated Super Fly, and then fought another match against Marty Martinez

The final medallion was handed to Big Ryck by Dario Cueto. Cueto explained what the medallions meant, saying that they made up the Gift Of The Gods Championship, a seven panel title belt, each panel with a holder for each medallion. The title would be contested at Ultima Lucha amongst the seven medallion winners. The winner of the belt has the ability to cash in the title for a future title shot against the Lucha Underground champion, but the longer the winner waits, the more risky the proposition becomes, because the title also has to be defended and can be lost. Cueto then said that once the title is cashed in, this whole process starts again. The title does not carry an instant cash-in stipulation like Money In The Bank. Dario Cueto stated he believes that’s silly and doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want at least one week to promote a title match.

Lucha Underground Trios Championship: Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico (c) vs. The Disciples of Death

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Son of Havoc and Ivelisse debuted as a couple, but Havoc racked up losses week after week, frustrating Ivelisse and leading to their break-up. Angelico debuted as an extremely gifted acrobatic wrestler who would push the top stars of the promotion, but could never seal the deal with a key victory. After a brief feud between these three, Dario Cueto, for his own amusement, decided to put these jobbers together as a Trios team to compete in his Trios Title tournament. The unlikely team fought with each other week after week, but in the guts of their matches, found ways to work together to steal victory after victory and won the Trios Championship capped off by a death defying dive from the top of the temple by Angelico to wipe out The Crew. The team has successfully defended the titles twice since winning them, but still maintains an uneasy alliance where none of them really trust each other.

When Mil Muertes returned after Grave Consquences, the Disciples of Death, three nondescript wrestlers in skeleton masks, returned with him as servants responding to Catrina’s directions. The Disciples have mostly been utilized as muscle for Catrina, doing her bidding to help carry out Mil Muertes’ agenda.

There’s not a lot of backstory to this match. It basically comes down to Catrina, in an overall power play to exert her and Mil Muertes’ will over the promotion, set her sights on these titles. The Disciples have attacked the Trios Champions on more than one occasion since Catrina became fixated on the titles.

Believers Backlash Match: Hernandez vs. Drago

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Drago is the literal embodiment of a dragon. Placed in a Best of Five series, by Dario Cueto,  for a “unique opportunity” with his friendly rival Aerostar, Drago emerged victorious and won a chance to face Lucha Underground Champion Prince Puma with a stipulation that if he lost the match, he’d be banished from the temple forever. Drago pushed Puma to the limit, but Hernandez, who was brought in by Konnan to protect Puma, interfered in the match and cost Drago a victory, leading to Drago’s banishment.

Hernandez eventually turned on Puma, setting his sights on gold and earned a title shot himself, but lost. Searching for a new #1 contender, Dario Cueto decided that everyone who had faced Prince Puma for the championship to that point (minus Fenix who had been destroyed by Mil Muertes), and lost, would be thrown in a match to determine a new #1 Contender. Drago returned to the temple and stated that as a person who had faced Puma and lost, he deserved to be in the match, regardless of his banishment. Cueto agreed that Drago could use the loophole to return and enter the match, but with the stipulation that if Drago lost, he would be banished and it would cost him his mask. Drago competed and won the #1 contender spot. Catrina pulled strings with Cueto to make Drago defend the title shot against Mil Muertes, and prior to their match, Hernandez assaulted Drago with a leather strap softening him up, and leading to Drago’s defeat. Weeks later the two would fight, and again Hernandez would use a leather strap to beat Drago and hang him from the ring ropes. Hernandez then ran down the crowd for supporting Drago, declaring them idiots for liking him because “dragons aren’t real.”

Cueto signed this grudge match for Ultima Lucha, but given Hernandez’s animosity with the fans and the prominence of leather straps in the feud, Cueto booked this as a Believers Backlash match; a match in which the fans surround the ring, like lumberjacks, only with leather straps to hit the wrestlers when they’re tossed to the outside. Hernandez has promised to destroy any fan who hits him.

Vampiro vs. Pentagon Jr

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Pentagon Jr made a name for himself by praying to a yet-to-be-revealed satanic master, and breaking the arms of Lucha Underground wrestlers after matches, as sacrifices to this master. After running through many different wrestlers and breaking their arms, Sexy Star, having had enough, decided to stand up to Pentagon. The two had a feud culminating in a submission match won by Pentagon after Super Fly, a former friend of Sexy Star’s, interfered and cost her the match as payback for Sexy beating him in a Lucha de Apuestas match earlier this season. With Sexy beaten, Pentagon went to break her arm, but Vampiro made the save.

Since that point in time, Pentagon has been on the warpath, trying everything to coax Vampiro into facing him, including attacking him at the announce desk, and dousing him with gasoline while threatening to set him on fire, if Vampiro refused to face him. Vampiro, for his part, has maintained that his life as “Vampiro” is over and he’s a different person now, but as the story has progressed, Vampiro’s inner demons (in an almost schizophrenic way) have emerged and Vamp finally accepted Pentagon’s challenge for a match at Ultima Lucha. I’m not sure how good this match will be given Vampiro’s age and likely ring rust, but the Lucha Underground fans love the guy and should be super hot for his in-ring return.

Texano vs. Blue Demon Jr

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Blue Demon Jr became engulfed in a feud with Chavo Guerrero Jr from the very start of Lucha Underground, with the latter using every opportunity available to attack and embarrass the legendary Demon. The tactics lead to threats on Chavo from the Mexican side of the border, and Chavo quit Lucha Underground to go into hiding for most of the season. He re-emerged late in the season, approaching Dragon Azteca, a mysterious sensei of lucha libre training Black Lotus for her future encounter with Matanza, and offering Azteca a deal that he would watch over Lotus in exchange for Azteca helping Chavo get rid of the heat on him from Mexico over the Blue Demon affair. Azteca agreed to the deal. Chavo returned to the temple to guide Lotus, but immediately sold her out to Dario Cueto in exchange for Cueto’s protection from Mexico. With Cueto watching his back, an emboldened Chavo, with The Crew as his muscle, attacked Blue Demon Jr again.

As a result of Chavo’s new arrangement with Cueto, Chavo was granted a title shot against Prince Puma in which The Crew was granted free reign to intervene in the match, and if Konnan attempted to help Puma, Puma would be disqualified and title forfeited immediately. Fearing the worst, Konnan approached Texano and sold him on Mexican pride, urging him to stand up against Chavo. Texano backed Puma in the match, and Puma prevailed. During the match, Chavo was legitimately injured and ruled out for the rest of the season’s tapings. As a result, an angle was filmed in which Chavo was confronted by Blue Demon after the match, and Chavo berated Demon, telling him that Texano must be the new face of Mexico and Demon is just a washed up has-been living in Miami. Chavo’s baiting, and Texano’s attempt to steal his mantle with Texano’s new found Mexican pride, enraged Demon, and Demon set his sights on Texano, conspiring with The Crew, and attacking Texano, leaving him bloodied. The match for Ultima Lucha was signed shortly afterwards.

Falls Count Anywhere: The Mack vs. Cage

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This feud started when The Mack’s cousin, Big Ryck, was hired by Daivari to do some bodyguard work. Daivari obtained a Trios Title shot and asked Ryck to find one more person to be on their team. Ryck asked Mack if he wanted the spot, but before Mack could take it, Cage walked into the locker room and took Mack out while the other two watched. Cage then stole Mack’s spot on the team, but the team went on to lose their match.

Since then, these two have faced off several times, one as part of a fatal fourway for an Aztec medallion in which Mack and Cage took each other out leading to Aerostar winning the medallion, and twice in singles matches, both of which were won by Mack with flash pins, the last of which only lasted 40 seconds. Cage’s anger has grown with each defeat, and after the 40 second match, the two fought all over the temple leading to Dario Cueto telling the two they would fight in a Falls Count Anywhere match at Ultima Lucha, in which all the loose objects of the temple would be dumped around the ring so they could use them to tear each other apart.

Ultima Lucha begins July 29th on El Rey Network at 8PM ET, and concludes in a two hour special on August 5th beginning at 8PM ET .