Lucha Underground S2E14: Cage In A Cage

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Lucha Underground – S2E14: Cage In A Cage
Date: April 27, 2016

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Previously on Lucha Underground…

The Lucha Underground Trios Title Tournament saw the teams of Rey Mysterio Jr/El Dragon Azteca Jr/Prince Puma, Joey Ryan/Cortez Castro/Mr. Cisco, and Fenix/Jack Evans/P.J. Black advance to face the champions, Ivelisse/Son of Havoc/Angelico in a finals fatal four-way elimination match. Johnny Mundo and Cage, and their bitter rivalry, was set to conclude in a steel cage match. 

This week’s episode was pretty much wall to wall in-ring action (with only one story vignette at the end), in the form of two long, blow off matches, and it was a pretty fantastic show.

The Johnny Mundo/Cage feud is about as basic at is gets conceptually: these two hate each other’s guts. Cage thinks Mundo is an arrogant self-serving prick (he is). Mundo thinks Cage is a jacked up meatheaded moron, who tried to steal Mundo’s spotlight (he is, and he he did).

The match these two ended up having was very good, but didn’t quite reach the level of all-time great for Lucha Underground. It lacked some sense of urgency, and concern about the competitor’s well being, and the built up drama that are all staples of the best cage matches. But it was definitely fun. There were some excellent spots, and there were some really well planned out sequences (for example, the whole sequence around the kendo stick), and the two wrestled a very solid match. I think the way the show uses Taya, who kept trying to feed Mundo weapons, and at one point jumped off the top of the cage, is the best use of a valet in wrestling right now. She’s a nice cross between a mischief-maker and someone who can legitimately mix it up in the ring, and she’s also utterly hateable most of the time. In the end, Taya’s interference, and Mundo’s athleticism weren’t enough, and Cage emerged with a decisive victory, probably laying this feud to rest.

The second big match on the card was the Trios Tournament Finals. Prior to the match, Angelico was announced as mysteriously injured and not able to participate for his team, so the Son of Havoc/Ivelisse team was handicapped. This show was taped on 1/9/16, and it does appear Angelico actually did get hurt sometime in between his last LU taping match up to this point (the match shown in Episode 10 against the Disciples of Death, taped on 12/12/15), and this January taping. But I have no idea whether he got injured in that match with DoD or in another booking in-between.  We’ll also have to see if they incorporate it into storyline.

The match itself was a clusterfuck to start, with a member of each of the four teams in the ring at all times, but settled into a nice spotfest groove shortly after. Once the match was down to Rey/Azteca/Puma vs. Fenix/Evans/Black, it really turned into a fantastic match. Some things I think we learned from this:

  • The Rey/Azteca/Puma team is awesome. Rey is a great elder-statesmen leader for these two as proteges.
  • Azteca, in particular, got a chance to show what he can do in this match and looks like he’s going to be an excellent addition to this roster.
  • We saw more turbulence in the Joey Ryan/Cortez Castro relationship. Castro’s refusal to tag Ryan in to let him gloat over Ivelisse, before defeating her, led to Ivie rolling up Castro for their elimination.
  • Clearly the LU producers think Jack Evans is gold. They intentionally zero in on everything he says in the ring and make sure it’s picked up by the camera mic, and addressed by the announcers.

Rey/Azteca/Puma emerged victorious and there doesn’t seem to be an immediately evident challenger for them at this point. Maybe a rematch with Fenix/Evans/Black. I’ll just throw this one out there: a Mil Muertes/Pentagon Jr/Sinestro De La Muerte trio could be a lot of fun as a foil to these three.

Speaking of Pentagon, in our lone vignette tonight, we saw our first glimpse of him after being eviscerated by Matanza. Vampiro entered his dojo and called him out. Pentagon, wheelchair bound, rolled up to Vampiro who immediately told him to get up. When Pentagon sat silently not acknowledging it, Vampiro poured hot wax on him which moved Pentagon to fall out of his wheelchair. Then Vampiro called him weak, and left him to lay on the floor. This relationship is so much fun. Clearly Vampiro is gearing up to play a Mickey of the dark arts to Pentagon’s confidence-shaken satanic Rocky.

The synopsis on this one is pretty straight forward. If you like wrestling, there’s two pretty good, lengthy matches on this show. Go watch ’em!

Misc. Notes

  • Lucha Underground’s viewership nose-dived this week with just 159,000 combined viewers (107,000 first run, 52,000 replay). This is the peril of running a show well into the summer months, which LU will be doing. Not only does viewership drop seasonally, but you’re running up against MLB, NBA Playoffs, and NHL Playoffs. I would expect their viewership to stay at these levels. The greater indication of how the promotion’s doing overall, to me, will be how the show sells on iTunes, and whether or not they finalize another TV deal in-between Seasons 2 and 3. If nothing changes on the TV front heading into Season 3, as Dario Cueto would say, “dark times are ahead.”
  • Ironically, we had an Angelico injury impact a match this week, and he was apparently injured yet again this past week:

     

  • There’s been some intrigue about the future of Ricochet/Prince Puma as of late. A week or so ago, it seemed all but certain he was WWE-bound as soon as he was contractually able. That’s a little murkier now. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported on a WOR show this week that Lucha Underground was making a very competitive offer to try and keep him beyond Season 3. Personally, I hope he stays. If Lucha Underground stabilizes business-wise, he’s undoubtedly the franchise star of the show. If he goes to WWE, I just dread that he’ll be treated like Neville.

The Matches

Match #1 — Steel Cage/Aztec Medallion Match — Johnny Mundo vs. Cage

(Note: This is going to be unreadable with “Cage” and “cage”)

The two start by trading punches, but Mundo gains a brief advantage with kicks. Cage picks Mundo up and whips him into the corner and beats on him, then hits a running uppercut into the corner, and a lariat. Cage whips Mundo to the ropes, and Mundo ducks a lariat and tries to escape over the top of the cage, but Cage pulls him back down. Mundo comes back with a dropkick, but Cage reverses a whip attempt, and hits one of his own. Cage starts bouncing Mundo face-first off the sides of the cage. After a couple times, Mundo escapes, and runs at Cage, but Cage press slams him into the cage and then hits a fireman’s carry into a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall.

Cage sends Mundo into a turnbuckle, and then locks on a Boston Crab around the turnbuckle in a very cool looking move. He releases the hold, and surveys the top of the cage, but seems to have some trouble with his footing, and Mundo climbs up and starts throwing kicks, eventually crotching Cage on the ring ropes. Mundo comes back with a couple knees strikes, each bouncing Cage back into the cage, then a running drop kick. Mundo starts climbing the cage, but Cage is in hot pursuit. Cage gets Mundo in a fireman’s carry on the top rope, but Taya scales the cage and starts whipping Cage’s hand he’s using to balance, with a belt. Mundo slips out, and hits a C4 from the top rope for a near fall.

Mundo frames some kicks, and then stomps Cage into the corner. Mundo goes for a Stinger splash, but Cage catches him mid-move and just flings him down onto the mat. Cage begins climbing, and gets to the top of the cage, but Mundo beats Cage down to the top rope, and then hits Moonlight Drive from the top for another near fall.

Taya pulls a kendo stick from under the ring, and tries feeding it through the cage to Mundo, but Cage wipes Mundo out with a lariat, and Taya pulls the stick back. Mundo goes for some parkour nonsense via a springboard, but Cage grabs him by his thighs, leans forward and hits a vicious release German suplex. Then Cage hits a buckle bomb that doesn’t quite land, followed by a powerbomb into the cage. Cage begins climbing to escape, but Taya climbs up the other side and awkwardly hits him with a kendo stick in the head. Cage falls back down to the ring, and Taya tosses Mundo the kendo stick. Mundo beats on Cage repeatedly, and covers for a near fall. Mundo goes back to the kendo stick and takes a swing, but Cage catches it and takes it. Mundo escapes, and Cage starts swinging the kendo stick wildly, with Johnny using his parkour to dodge in a number of different ways, using the cage wall, ring ropes, rolls, etc. Finally after enough misses, Cage tosses the kendo stick to Mundo, who catches it, and just bull rushes him into a corner, then hits an Alabama Slam. As Mundo hits the canvas, the jolt causes him to pop the kendo stick back up to Cage who catches it in mid-air. Then Cage goes to work beating the hell out of Mundo with the stick, including a head shot, before breaking it over his knee and throwing it away. Cage covers for a near fall.

Cage sets up Mundo for a suplex, but Mundo escapes and hits a super kick, and a spinning front kick. Cage comes back, however, with a discus lariat for another near fall. Taya begins climbing the cage with a steel chair on her arm. Meanwhile, Cage sets up Weapon X, but Mundo reverses it into a sunset flip for a near fall. Mundo pops up out of the pin, and Taya tosses him the chair, which Mundo uses to give Cage a head shot for another near fall.

Mundo begins climbing the cage and gets to the top, and tries a corkscrew senton, but Cage moves. Sensing danger, Taya climbs to the top of the cage, and as Cage gets up, she hits a flying cross body from the top. Taya and Mundo put the boots to Cage, and then hit a Magic Killer for a near fall. Taya pulls out handcuffs, and the two try to drag Cage over to the ropes to cuff him, but Cage kicks Mundo away, and handcuffs Taya. Mundo charges Cage with the steel chair, but Cage moves and Mundo hits Taya. Then Cage hits a spinebuster, then a Steiner screwdriver on the chair for the pin.

Winner: Cage via pinfall
Rating: ****

Match #2 — Trios Title Match — Fatal Four-Way Elimination — Ivelisse/Son of Havoc (c) vs. Prince Puma/El Dragon Azteca Jr/Rey Mysterio Jr vs. Joey Ryan/Cortez Castro/Mr Cisco vs. Fenix/Jack Evans/P.J. Black

As stated earlier in the show, Angelico is injured and can’t compete.

I have no clue how to recap the early portions of this match. There’s a big four-way standoff sequence at the beginning. Um, there’s so much going on, it’s just impossible. Uhhhhh…flips. Ivelisse got superkicked…there’s a “CISCO! CISCO! CISCO!” chant (???).

“What the hell are we looking at? Crazy! I feel like I’m in a discotheque with strobes lights going off, I don’t know which way to look” -Vampiro

It settles down for a minute with The Crew taking control briefly. Cisco hits a sit-down X-Factor on Azteca, and Castro almost pins him. Havoc comes in and wipes them out with his bounce back, back elbow.  Joey Ryan takes out Ivelisse to big heat. Uh-oh, it’s dive time. Fenix with a corkscrew dive is first. Puma pushes PJ off the top rope mid-dive, into the group. We get a brief interlude for Azteca to hit a missile dropkick on Jack Evans. Back to dives. Azteca with a standing corkscrew from on the ring rope. Puma looks like he’s going to try and hit a springboard split-leg moonsault, but P.J. gets revenge for Puma messing up his dive, and hangs him up on the ropes, and then does a somersault dive over Puma on to the group below. Next up is Rey, who climes to the top rope and just launches himself. Puma, who’s still hung on the ropes, final decides to just use them as a slingshot, and shoots himself into some type of flip to take out the guys under him. Havoc’s next with a handstand corkscrew flip dive. Ivelisse is last, but she’s cut off by a creeping Joey Ryan.

Ryan gets up on Ivelisse, so she slaps him and hits him with kicks, slaps, and a German release suplex. Castro sneaks up on her, but she dodges him and hits some forearms, but then Castro just clocks her, and hits her with a brainbuster.

At this point, Joey Ryan is back on the apron demanding a tag from Castro so he can finish off Ivelisse, but Castro argues back, having none of it. After some back and forth, Castro goes back to Ivelisse who cradles him for a pin.

Joey Ryan/Cortez Castro/Mr Cisco are eliminated

We reset with Ivelisse and Jack Evans, but Havoc tags in quickly and we get a hard reset with Havoc, Puma, and Evans.

They lock hands, then Evans hits Havoc with a kick, but catches a double dropkick from the other two, and rolls outside. Havoc and Puma go toe to toe. Havoc hits an enziguiri from the apron, then a springboard double foot stomp, then a standing moonsault for a near fall. Evans jumps back in and beats on both. Havoc is able to tag Ivie, who comes after Evans with forearms, but Evans boots her to the face, and screams to the crowd that he’s the baddest bitch in the building. Evans grabs Puma and tosses him outside, then goes back to work on Ivie. She fights back with a chop, and a push kick to knock Evans down. Havoc goes up to the top rope, but Fenix runs over, and knocks Havoc off the top. Fenix tries to go up top, but Ivie kicks Fenix off the top rope. Ivie hits Evans with Code Red, but P.J. Black superkicks her during the roll up, and Evans turns it into a pin on Ivelisse.

Son of Havoc and Ivelisse are eliminated.

We restart again with Fenix and Azteca. The two trade takedowns, then Azteca tries to roll up Fenix, but he evades it and hits a double foot stomp on Azteca’s back for a near fall. Azteca comes back with a springboard body scissors, but the two trade reversals off this, neither hitting a move, then Azteca hits the ropes and comes back with a sick looking tilt-a-whirl DDT. He comes at Fenix again with another tilt-a-whirl, but Fenix pops him up and hits a superkick on him while he’s still in the air. Azteca tags Puma, and Fenix tags P.J. Black. Puma enters the ring with a springboard elbow drop on P.J, then hits a spinning enziguri. Evans charges Puma and Puma hits a northern lights suplex that he floats over into a standing suplex. Then Puma grabs Evans and hits a GTS. Puma goes up top and hits the 630 splash, but before he can cover, Evans comes in and kicks him in the balls.

Black tags Evans who jumps on Puma. He backs Puma into his corner, then asks his team to hold Puma. Evans comes at Puma attempting a springboard enziguri, but Puma moves and Evans catches Fenix in the face. Puma tags in Rey, and Rey hits a hurricanrana off the top on Evans, then catches Black in a headscissors that sends Black to the apron. Rey comes back with a springboard cross body on Evans. Puma hits a baseball slide dropkick on Black to perch him on the middle rope, and Rey hits a 619 on Black, then hits a slingshot into a headscissors on Black, then a 619 on him. Puma and Azteca hit the ring, and Azteca hits the ropes, with Puma picking him up and tossing him onto Evans, with Azteca turning the momentum into a vicious DDT. Then Azteca and Puma hits stereo topes on the other two members of Evans’ team. Rey finishes off Evans with a split-leg moonsault for the pin.

Winners: Prince Puma/El Dragon Azteca Jr/Rey Mysterio Jr via pinfall to capture the Lucha Underground Trios Title
Rating: ***3/4