Lucha Underground – Episode #35: Fuel To The Fire

Lucha Underground – Episode #35: Fuel To The Fire
Date: July 8, 2015
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, CA
Commentators: Matt Striker, Vampiro

Previously on Lucha Underground…
Mil Muertes was resurrected. Catrina muscled Dario Cueto into giving Mil Muertes a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship. Cage wasted The Mack. Catrina warned Angelico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc of their pending doom, right before being laid out by the Disciples of Death. Alberto El Patron promised Johnny Mundo he will rip his face off at Ultima Lucha

We open with a vignette inside Pentagon Jr’s training dojo. Pentagon tells his master that Vampiro will not face him and is not the man he once was. Pentagon’s master, a shadowy figure walking in the background and talking like a Sith Lord, tells Pentagon that he must destroy the man Vampiro has become. Pentagon replies that he wants to destroy Vampiro in the ring at Ultima Lucha. Pentagon’s master tells him that Vampiro is at his weakest point and he will have no choice but to be Pentagon’s sacrifice. Pentagon responds “No master, Ian Hodgkinson will be your sacrifice.”

We are inside the temple with Mexican Dubwiser on the bandstand again this week. Vampiro teases an Atomicos Match Main Event (aka an Eight Man Tag holla playa playa playa playa playa playa!) with teams captained by both Alberto El Patron and Johnny Mundo. Matt Striker teases a sit down interview between Pentagon Jr. and Vampiro that is “explosive.” Striker throws it to the ring.

Match #1 – The Mack vs. Cage

Both men start trading punches, and then lay into each other with stereo lariats, with neither man knocking the other off his feet. Mack hits the ropes, and Cage ducks a flying press from Mack. Mack gets back to his feet and hits Cage with a big boot to the face. Mack charges Cage, and Cage counters it into a powerslam. Cage immediately jumps up and attempts a middle-rope moonsault from the corner, but Mack rolls away. Mack gets to his feet and with Cage on all fours, comes back with a running single leg drop kick to Cage’s head to gain the advantage.

Mack lays into Cage with chops, then picks him up in a standing suplex position, walks Cage over to the corner and then runs out to the middle of the ring before dropping him for the suplex. Mack covers for a near fall. Mack picks Cage up and attempts a powerslam, but Cage slips out the back and plants Mack with a backbreaker. Cage then puts the boots to Mack before picking him up for a standing suplex that Cage held for about 10-15 seconds. Cage bounces Mack off the turnbuckle then sits him on the top turnbuckle. Mack fights back with a right hand and a kick to the face and then plants Cage with a flying knee strike from the top.

With Cage slumped up against a turnbuckle, Mack charges and connects with a splash. He then whips Cage out to the opposite turnbuckle, but Cage reverses it and charges Mack connecting with an uppercut. Cage then misses a clothesline, and Mack hits him with an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle. Mack goes up top and attempts a frog splash, but Cage rolls under it. Cage gets to his feet and connects with a discus lariat and covers for a near fall. Cage sells surprise at Mack kicking out. Cage sets Mack up for a powerbomb, but Mack escapes and kicks Cage in the head with a spin kick. Mack hits the ropes to attempt a move, but Cage charges ahead and connects with another uppercut slumping Mack up against the ropes. Cage then runs the ropes but Mack comes back at him with a running forearm that staggers Cage up against the ropes. Mack hits the ropes again and Cage attempts a big boot, but Mack slides under him and rolls Cage up with a school boy for the pin. Cage freaks out at the flash pin, ripping the straps down on his singlet and screaming at Mack.

Winner: The Mack
Rating: **1/2
Reaction: This was a fun little match in terms of what they did, and if these two were given more time, they could have a really great one. If there’s one valid criticism of this show, and the Lucha style in general, the lack of selling when it comes to many of the moves in any given match does sometimes take you out of the match. This was one where it was treading dangerously close that point. Mack and Cage are big guys, and when they fully connect with high impact moves, that really should be devastating, but you had several sequences where they just traded big move after big move, with neither really looking any worse for the wear. Again, I did enjoy this, but for some reason, I noticed the selling issue more here than I normally would watching this show. I am aware it’s symptomatic of this style in general.

We cut to a vignette of Son of Havoc in the locker room with his Trios belt. A hand with blue nail polish reaches behind him and taps him on the shoulder. Havoc turns around and sees no one. He turns back around and Catrina is standing in front of him. Catrina, physically flirting with Havoc, tells him that her Disciples of Death will be coming for the Trios gold soon, but tonight, death will be coming for Son of Havoc: a thousand of them. Ivelisse appears behind Catrina and yells “Back off bitch!” Catrina kisses Havoc on the cheek and pulls him towards Ivelisse by his beard as the lights flicker off. When they come back on, Catrina is gone, and Ivelisse is laying on top of Havoc in the locker room looking at him. Angelico appears in the doorway and surveys the scene saying “Oh god, please don’t tell me you two are getting back together.” Havoc and Ivelisse, in stereo, tell Angelico to shut up.

Commercial Break

Vampiro promotes the Johnny Mundo/Alberto El Patron match at Ultima Lucha while Striker promotes the Prince Puma/Mil Muertes title match for that show. Striker then sets up the Pentagon Jr/Vampiro sit down interview he teased at the top of the show.

We cut to Ringside with Vampiro with Pentagon Jr. As Vamprio does his set up, Pentagon stares a hole in Vamp. Vamp apologized to Pentagon for getting in Pentagon’s business, saying that his time has come and gone and that he should have never have gotten involved. Vamp then segues to asking Pentagon who his master is. Pentagon remains silent. Vamp says he was not exactly expecting an answer to that question, so he changes the subject to Pentagon himself saying that Pentagon is violent, aggressive, and hurts people. Vamp says he gets it, and it reminds him of himself when he was younger. Pentagon finally speaks up agreeing that he and Vampiro are both similar because they liked the pain of others. But Pentagon wants to know what Vamp is now. He asks Vamp if he is Vampiro, or a coward. Vamp tells Pentagon to never say that again, and threatens to kick Pentagon’s ass if he does, but then says he’s not that person anymore and that his time if over. Vamp talks about everything he’s sacrificed for his career, and everything he’s accomplished (“32 time world champion”), and how he lost his family and it’s just him and his daughter now, but he’s a better man now. Pentagon tells Vampiro if Vamp is not a coward, to face him at Ultima Lucha. Vamp tells Pentagon to forget about it, and that it’s Pentagon’s time now. Pentagon jumps on Vampiro saying both his response and Vamp himself are weak and pathetic. Pentagon then says he will show both Vamp, and the world who both of them really are. Pentagon jumps out of his chair and into Vamp’s face and screams that he is Pentagon Jr: Zero Fear (“Yo Soy Pentagon Jr, Cero Miedo!”). Good segment to set up their likely match for Ultima Lucha. Pentagon’s presence is so good. The fact that he’s not been booked as one of the top guys in the promotion is a little bit of a disappointment, but I have no doubt he’ll get there if we get to a second season. I like the approach they’re taking to drawing out Vamp’s inner demons, but Vamp was a little wooden selling the inner turmoil over whether or not to go back to the place in his mind in which the El Vampiro character lives.

Commercial Break

We are back and Mil Muertes is in the ring looking to murder someone. Catrina walks around the ring holding up the piece of rubble from the Mexico City earthquake (see Mil’s origin story).

Son of Havoc, flanked by his partners, makes his way to the ring. Ivelisse is still on crutches.

Match #2 – Mil Muertes w/ Catrina vs. Son of Havoc w/ Ivelisse & Angelico

Mil charges Havoc and catches a boot to the face. Havoc attacks with chops that Mil no sells. Mil kicks Havoc in the stomach and clubs him.

Striker talks about each wrestler’s advantages in this match. Vampiro responds saying “I think Mil has an I hate you and I want you to die advantage.”

Mil sends Havoc to the ropes and Havoc bounces back with an elbow to the face. Havoc tries to whip Mil to a turnbuckle, but Mil slaps away his hand and just shoves Havoc into another turnbuckle. Mil charges and catches another elbow to the face. Mil charges again, and Havoc slips through the ropes to the apron and his an enziguri from the apron. Havoc then hits a springboard High Fly Flow for a near fall.

Mil sits up in Undertaker like fashion. Both men get to their feet and establish themselves in opposite corners. Havoc charges Mil with a handstand into a back elbow attempt but Mil grabs him at the waist out of the the air. Havoc throws some elbows and fights out of the waist lock, but Mil grabs Havoc by the face and just tosses him over the top rope to the outside.

Mil pursues Havoc bouncing him face first off the grandstand railing, and then waves off a bunch of fans seated in the floor seats, and sends Havoc head first into several rows of folding chairs. Mil grabs a steel chair and hits Havoc in the back with it. Striker mentions that the referee may be reluctant to disqualify Mil because as we get closer to Ultima Lucha, Dario Cueto is looking to increase the level of violence in the ring. Mil picks Havoc up out of the chair wreckage, and powerbombs him on the announce table, which does not break. Mil then clubs Havoc in the back in front of the grandstand, and then bounces Havoc off the outer wall of Dario Cueto’s office, before sending him headfirst into a trash can outside of Cueto’s office. Mil finally rolls Havoc back into the ring. Mil goes to whip Havoc to the ropes, but Havoc hooks the ropes. Mil charges him and Havoc ducks sending Mil over the top to the outside. Havoc then hits the ropes and launches himself to the outside with a tope that take Muertes down.

Havoc takes a minute to celebrate with the crowd prompting Ivelisse to yell at him to stay on Muertes. Mil rolls back into the ring and Havoc comes back to the apron and connects with a springboard foot stomp to Mil’s back, then seamlessly transitions into a standing moonsault into a cover for a one count.

Havoc goes to the top and jumps with a double axel handle attempt at a standing Mil, but Mil catches him around the throat. Mil attempts a chokeslam, but Havoc flips out of it on the way up. Mil attempts a clothesline and misses and Havoc catches Mil on the come back in the fireman’s carry position, but Mil escapes and shoves Havoc towards the ropes and just lays him out with a forearm to the face.

Mil picks Havoc up in a rack position and carries him over to the corner setting him on top of the turnbuckle. Mil starts trying to bite Havoc on the head through his mask. Both men trade blows on the top and Havoc regains control with a front suplex that plants Mil on the mat. With Mil down, Havoc attempts a shooting star press off the top, but Mil rolls under it.

With both men down in the ring, Catrina approaches Angelico on the outside, but Ivelisse charges over on her crutches and spins her around to yell at her. Catrina gets in Ivelisse’s face and raises the Mil Muertes rock in the air. Both Ivelisse and Angelico look at it in confusion, while the Disciples of Death sneak up behind Angelico. Ivelisse grabs Catrina by the throat. Angelico turns around and notices the Disciples of Death who proceed to beat him down. Catrina grabs Ivelisse back by the throat and overpowers her, choking her out before smacking her across the face with the rock.

Havoc, noticing all of this, hits a corkscrew dive to the outside wiping out the Disciple of Death. Catrina slips away from Ivelisse. Havoc gets back into the ring to find a standing Mil, and after ducking one lariat, Havoc gets wiped out with another. Mil then crushes Havoc with a spear, picks him up by the throat, and then connects with the flatliner for the pin. Catrina gets in the ring and administers the lick of death to Havoc, while Mil and the Disciples look onward.

Winner: Mil Muertes
Rating: **3/4
Reaction: They gave Havoc a lot more offense then they’ve given some of Mil’s opponents as of late. This was pretty solid. The build of Mil Muertes heading into to Ultima Lucha is exactly what you want out of a monster challenger, and I like the emerging feud over the Trios titles between the Disciples and Lucha Underground’s Job Squad. Catrina has really been given a chance to shine managing four wrestler who I don’t believe have spoken one word between the four of them (I do think Mil screamed into the camera last week).

Commercial Break

Texano is in the ring with a microphone. He says he hasn’t always been a good guy, but he’s always been one thing: Mexicano. He says he likes hurting people, and he can’t be trusted, even by his own family, because he’s a cheater. But he says he never turns on his people. Texano says he’s been watching Chavo Guerrero and The Crew disrespect people like Sexy Star, Mascarita Sagrada, and the legendary Blue Demon Jr, and that he doesn’t particularly like or care about any those people, but he really hates Chavo, and he wants to settle the score with him once and for all at Ultima Lucha. Texano says that Chavo’s going to have to do it, because he won’t take no for an answer. Texano then says he doesn’t care if Chavo broke his leg last week, because he’s going to break the other leg. At this point, The Crew sneaks in the ring behind Texano, and Cortez Castro hits Texano with a kendo stick. The Crew then proceeds to beat down Texano. Blue Demon Jr runs out to make the save and chases The Crew from the ring. Cisco grabs a steel chair and threatens Demon with it, then slides it into the ring. Demon grabs the chair and waves it towards The Crew, then turns and hits Texano in the head with it (unprotected chair shot). Texano is busted open and Demon lays into him with kicks and slaps before unloading on him with the kendo stick. Demon grabs the microphone, and holding Texano’s head screams at him that Texano is not Mexico, he is Mexico, and that he does not need Texano to fight his battles for him. Demon says that at Ultima Lucha, Texano will fight him. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. First, Texano’s promo was a little disjointed. Granted, he cut it in his second language, but some of his points didn’t really make all that much sense, logically, in terms of why he suddenly cares about being the face of Mexico. As for the Demon part of this, I have to imagine that was written on the fly after Chavo legitimately hurt himself in last week’s match with Prince Puma. It’s not a bad cover. The Chavo/Demon post match segment last week, where Chavo baited him was pretty good at planting the seeds of the Demon heel turn, and the premise for the Texano/Demon feud works, even if I’m not quite buying babyface Texano. Still, it doesn’t explain why Demon is friendly with The Crew now, considering they’ve either beaten the shit out of him, or assisted in him getting the shit beaten out of him numerous times.

The teams are revealed for the Atomicos main event. Alberto El Patron, Sexy Star, Aerostar, and Drago vs. Johnny Mundo, Hernandez, Jack Evans, and Super Fly. That is next.

During the introductions for out main event, Matt Striker announces Drago vs. Hernandez has been signed for Ultima Lucha.

Match #3 – Atomicos Match: Alberto El Patron, Sexy Star, Aerostar, and Drago vs. Johnny Mundo, Hernandez, Jack Evans, and Super Fly

This is likely going to be extremely difficult to follow. El Patron and Mundo start the match, but before anything happens, Mundo immediately tags in Jack Evans. Evans does some karate and a back flip upon entering the ring, and El Patron, after watching, just slaps him knocking him to the ground. Alberto hits a back suplex, and a kick to the chest then drags Evans to his corner and tags in Aerostar.

Aerostar whips Jack Evans to a corner and charges, but Evans ducks and lifts Aerostar over the ropes to the apron. Evans tries to connect with a kick which Aerostar rolls under. Aerostar then connects with an enziguri that plants Evans. He then climbs the top and connects with a double knee drop to the shoulders. Aerostar goes to pick Evans up off the mat, but Evans connects with a chinbreaker, and then lifts Aerostar up and rushes him back into the heel team corner. Aerostar tags in Super Fly.

Super Fly charges Aerostar and misses, but springs off the ropes into a back flip and lands back in the center of the ring. Aerostar hits the ropes and connects with a tilt-a-whirl flying headscissors. Super Fly bounces up immediately, though, and kicks Aerostar in the stomach sending him flying back into his corner. Aerostar tags in Drago.

Drago enters the ring with a springboard into an armdrag to take down Super Fly. Drago then hits the ropes and connects with a spinning arm drag. Super Fly kicks Drago in the stomach and Drago lands in between top and middle rope balancing himself there. Super Fly charges to spear him through, and Drago ducks, sending Super Fly to the floor. With Super Fly outside, Hernandez jumps in the ring.

Hernandez misses a lariat. Drago hits the ropes and flips over the back of Hernandez, and then connects with a kick to the mid section and then another kick to the head, and then tags in El Patron.

El Patron charges and misses a lariat. As he hits the ropes, Mundo kicks him in the back. El Patron turns towards Mundo, and then chases him out of the ring. Jack Evans attacks Patron, and then he, Super Fly, and Hernandez begin to stomp El Patron on the outside. Hernandez grabs El Patron, rolls him in the ring, puts him in a front face lock, then tags in Johnny Mundo.

Mundo unloads some punches on Alberto and drives him into the turnbuckle with punches and shoulder blocks. After posing, Mundo charges Alberto, who’s in the corner, with a splash and misses. Alberto comes back off the miss and misses a lariat. Johnny escapes by diving to his corner and tagging in Super Fly. El Patron takes out Super Fly’s left leg with a drop kick, and then decks him with a superkick. El Patron tags in Aerostar.

Aerostar misses a lariat and posts up at the ropes. Super Fly charges him and Aerostar backdrops him over the top. Jack Evans slips into the ring behind Aerostar and misses a spin kick when Aerostar ducks. Drago jumps in the ring, charges Evans, uses Aerostar, who’s in a table position, as a springboard, and dropkicks Evans through the ropes to the outside. Aerostar then charges the side with Evans and Super Fly on the outside, and Drago back drops him over the top rope, but Aerostar holds the ropes and balances on the apron. He then hits what I can only describe as a springboard Vader Bomb in which he lands on both Evans and Super Fly who are both standing. Very cool move. With Aerostar, Evans, and Super Fly all on the outside, Drago climbs to the top rope and hits a corkscrew onto all three.

Hernandez jumps down to the outside to help Evans up. Sexy Star, who has not been in the match yet, climbs to the top and hits a corkscrew plancha taking out Hernandez, Evans, and others. Alone in the ring, Alberto El Patron riles up the crowd building up to his big dive. As he goes to hit the ropes, Johnny Mundo, crouching outside on the opposite side of the ring, swipes El Patron’s legs out from under him. El Patron rolls outside and chases Johnny up the temple stairs and out of the arena.

Back in the ring, Super Fly is on his back and Aerostar hits a springboard splash. He then goes for another springboard but catches an enziguri from Jack Evans. El Patron makes his way back down the stairs of the temple. Super Fly puts the boots to Aerostar and hits a spinning elbow to take him down. As Johnny Mundo makes his way back into the temple, Hernandez is tagged in.

Hernandez sends Aerostar head first into the turnbuckle. He then whips him to the opposite corner and charges, but Aerostar stops him with a kick to the face. Aerostar climbs to the top and tries a flying press, but Hernandez catches him and turns it into a sit down powerbomb for a near fall. Hernandez drags Aerostar into the heel corner and tags in Mundo.

Mundo hits a shining wizard into a near fall. Mundo then goes for a back suplex, but Aerostar counters into a sunset flip. As Mundo is going down, he tags in Evans, and Evans enters the ring breaking up the sunset flip. Evans whips Aerostar to the ropes, but Aerostar bounces back with a handstand flip into an elbow. Evans gets to his corner and tags Mundo back in. Mundo, ignoring Aerostar, immediately goes for El Patron and knocks him off the apron. Mundo then turns to work on Aerostar, but Aerostar slides through Mundo’s legs and tags in Sexy Star.

Sexy enters the match and chops Mundo. Mundo a quarter sells these chops. Sexy then goes for a drop kick and Mundo swats her away. Mundo goes to whip Sexy from one corner to another, but Sexy reverses it. All of a sudden Jack Evans runs into the ring and grabs Sexy by her hair and holds her for Mundo. Mundo charges, and Sexy escapes leading to Mundo clotheslining Evans. Sexy hits the ropes and then connects with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Johnny to take him down.

Super Fly jumps into the ring and attempts a handstand back elbow, which Sexy just bails on leaving Super Fly to fall on his back. Sexy then hits a leg drop on Super Fly and mounts him to unload forearms. Hernandez then enters the ring and grabs Sexy, puts her on his shoulders and hits her with a backbreaker. Hernandez, on his knees, poses after hitting the move, and Drago sneaks in behind him and lays him out with a superkick. Drago then runs at Johnny and plants him with a tilt-a-whirl DDT. Evans jumps in and slows Drago with a kick, and then Evans and Super Fly stomp Drago, with Hernandez joining in.

Alberto jumps in the ring and breaks up the heel attack. He takes Hernandez down with a backstabber. Then Super Fly goes down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Then Evans gets slapped in the cross armbreaker near a corner. As Evans is about to tap to the move, Johnny Mundo climbs to the top and hits End of the World on El Patron to break the hold. El Patron and Evans roll outside. Johnny celebrates his move. Behind him, Sexy Star climbs to the top. Johnny turns around and Sexy hits a flying cross body, but Johnny rolls through it, and covers her for the pin. El Patron charges the ring after the pin making one last attempt to get his hands on Mundo, but Mundo rolls out and escapes with his heel team.

Winners: Johnny Mundo, Hernandez, Jack Evans, and Super Fly
Rating: ***1/4
Reaction: This was a fun match. It was surprisingly well paced, and told a great story. Every time El Patron tries to get his hands on Johnny Mundo, Johnny escaped. Every time El Patron was about to do something great, Johnny foiled him. This match really set the table for their Ultima Lucha showdown by denying El Patron at every turn. The pace was quick, and there were spots, but it wasn’t a total spot fest. It was more of a ‘someone hits one or two moves and quickly tags out’ set up, and it was pretty pleasing to watch.

Matt Striker teases a face to face confrontation between Prince Puma and Mil Muertes for next week. As the credits roll, and Striker teases Puma/Muertes, Pentagon Jr. sneaks in to the arena behind the announcing table, and kicks Vampiro in the back of the head. Pentagon then grabs a chair, and cracks Vamprio in the back with it twice. Pentagon grabs the microphone and says he dedicates this sacrifice to his master, because he’s going to destroy this shell of a man. Pentagon winds up and punts Vampiro right in the chest, sending Vampiro into a group of fans seated at ringside. Pentagon goes back by Dario Cueto’s office and grabs a can of gasoline, and begins dousing Vampiro with it. Pentagon grabs the mic again and starts screaming at Vampiro that he’s not afraid of him, and that Vampiro is afraid of Pentagon. Pentagon tells Vampiro that if Vamp doesn’t accept his challenge for Ultima Lucha, he will set Vampiro on fire right here in front of his family and friends. Pentagon holds up a zippo with the flame lit and tells Vampiro he has one week to decide on the challenge.

Final Thoughts: What a phenomenal ending angle to build this Pentagon Jr/Vampiro match (and really everything related to this they did throughout the show was good). Pentagon is just fantastic on every level. I’ve said before, I don’t have a lot of faith in a Pentagon Jr/Vampiro match being an in-ring masterpiece, but in front of that crowd, I believe they’ll lose their minds for this match, and pretty much anything Vampiro does when he gets in the ring, so it should be fun. 

This was a really solid show. LU gave us three nice matches, all a little different, and all really quality TV matches. The build for the double main event at Ultima Lucha (Puma/Muertes, Mundo/El Patron) has been great. We got two new matches announced for the Ultima Lucha card tonight: Drago/Hernandez and Demon/Texano. I’m not crazy about the Drago/Hernandez feud, but Hernandez saying that dragons aren’t real made me laugh last week, and the match will be decent. I’m a little less sure about the Texano/Demon feud just because it seems to have been slapped together last minute, and Texano and Blue Demon Jr are probably two of the most underdeveloped characters on the show. LU, if they have the time at this point, would serve this feud well by giving some background to both guys, which they really haven’t done at all. It also looks like we’ll get a Trios titles match with Angelico/Ivelisse/Havoc vs. the Disciples of Death. Catrina continues to impress in her role as the top heel mouthpiece. And of course, we’ll get Pentagon Jr vs. Vampiro. That’s probably the whole card right there unless we get some type of closure on the Aztec Medallions at Ultima Lucha. 

We are coming down the home stretch of Season 1, with just a few episodes left to go, and only two before Ultima Lucha starts. With no announcement on a second season as of yet, here’s hoping this isn’t the last we’re seeing of this show. It really deserves a chance to build its audience. In terms of non-WWE promotions, it’s as well produced, and entertaining a show, as I have seen since WCW went out of business.

Up to Date Ultima Lucha Card:
Lucha Underground Championship: Prince Puma (c) vs. Mil Muertes
Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo
Drago vs. Hernandez
Blue Demon Jr. vs. Texano