Lucha Underground – S2E18: Enter The Mundo

Lucha Underground – S2E18: Enter The Mundo
Date: May 25, 2016

Previously, on Lucha Underground…

Joey Ryan and Cortez Castro, working as undercover cops, infiltrated the temple to investigate Dario CuetoSon of Havoc and Ivelisse lost the Trios Titles in a Fatal Fourway Elimination match to Rey Mysterio Jr, El Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma, when Angelico was determined unable to compete, handicapping their team. Havoc and Ivelisse received their rematch with replacement partner Johnny Mundo, but the team was too dysfunctional to win. Chavo Guerrero Jr stole Cage’s Aztec Medallion, and entered the Gift of the Gods Championship match. Cage ensured Chavo won so he could fight him for the title the following week.

Season 2 of Lucha Underground has been extremely storyline heavy for most of the run, but this week’s episode dialed back a lot of the overarching plots, and settled into a fun, action-packed wrestling show with two really quality matches, and it was a breath of fresh air after some hit and miss weeks on the in-ring front.

The biggest news of the episode was Cage disposing of Chavo Guerrero Jr, in a good match that was far and away Chavo’s best of his tenure, and then proclaiming immediately after the match that he was cashing in the Gift of the Gods Championship for a title match against Matanza next week. A Cage/Matanza match could be a fun brawl to buy us 1-2 more weeks before the Ultima Lucha II push begins, at which point, I expect Pentagon to re-emerge as Matanza’s top challenger.

Pentagon was seen in the opening vignette of this week’s show, appearing to be healed thanks to Vampiro employing the age-old medical practice of torturing someone who’s crippled until they’re miraculously cured. Pentagon stated his desire to return to the temple, but Vampiro warned him that he hadn’t conquered his fear yet. Pentagon defiantly said he had no fear, but Vampiro was skeptical. One of the drawbacks of Season 2 has been it feels like we’ve barely seen Pentagon in the ring at all. The show desperately needs him back in action, as he’s far and away the most over character on the show.

Elsewhere, new Trios champions were crowned when Johnny Mundo assaulted Fenix, and took his place on a Trios team with Jack Evans and P.J. Black, and they defeated the champions Rey Mysterio Jr, El Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma in a great match. The new team was forged after some hilarious Bill & Ted style air guitar bonding, over Fenix’s limp body. (Evans: “He can shred! He can shred!”)

They meshed together well and form probably the best collection of heels LU has put together to date. I’m fine with the Rey/Puma/Azteca team dropping the titles this soon, because there was really nowhere for them to go. Rey and Puma need to turn their attention back towards Dario, and Azteca needs to finally uncover the truth about Black Lotus and his father’s death.

As great as the air-guitaring bros were, the single weirdest/greatest moment of this episode may have been the vignette in which it was revealed that King Cuerno, who stole Mil Muertes’ casket after the Grave Consequences match a couple weeks ago, had in fact taken Mil’s dead body and mounted it like a trophy in his cabin, pretty much like Han Solo frozen in carbonite at Jabba’s Palace.

This show does a lot of weird shit, put this could very well push the top of that list. I legitimately laughed out loud when I saw it. How Mil’s awoken from his stasis will be an interesting point in itself, but I’m guessing he’ll be looking to murder Cuerno when he’s revived.

The show had two other vignettes: one, a profile piece on Taya Valkyrie in which she’s established as “the perfect woman,” being a blend of deadly ability and beauty like a femme fatale. I wonder if this is the set up to a feud with Sexy Star. It was ok. The other one was Joey Ryan and Cortez Castro searching Dario Cueto’s office for evidence, only to be found out by Mr. Cisco. With their cover blown, they were forced to arrest Cisco. Who knows where that storyline is going.

All in all, a very fun, easy to watch episode. It’s one of the best of the season, has some good action, a healthy dose of LU weirdness without getting overly plot heavy, and I’d recommend it start to finish.

Misc. Notes

  • Because the review is actually early this week, I don’t have the ratings for LU as of the time of publishing this. If you check back Thursday afternoon around 5-6 PM ET, I’ll update this section with the ratings for anyone who’s interested.
  • AAA has announced its second Lucha World Cup for June 3rd, 2016. The teams are as follows: Team AAA: Pentagon Jr, Texano, Psycho Clown. Team Mexican Legends: Canek, La Parka, Blue Demon Jr. Team Mexican Internationals: Rey Mysterio Jr, Dr. Wagner Jr, El Dragon Azteca Jr. Team TNA: Ethan Carter III, Eli Drake, Tyrus. Team Lucha Underground: Brian Cage, Johnny Mundo, Chavo Guerrero Jr. Team NOAH: Taiji Ishimori, Naomichi Marufuji, Mayback Taniguchi. Team Zero One: Masato Tanaka, Akebono, Ikuto HIdaka. Team Rest Of The World: Mil Muertes (Puerto Rico), Rockstar Spud (England), Apolo (Puerto Rico). There is also a Women’s Cup with four teams: USA: Santana Garrett, Cheerleader Melissa, Siena. Canada: Taya Valkyrie, Cherry Bomb, KC Spinelli. Japan: Aja Kong, Yuki Miyazaki, Natsu Sumire. Mexico: Lady Apache, Mary Apache, Faby Apache. If it’s on iPPV with an English commentary, I may review it.

The Matches

Match #1 – Mascarita Sagrada vs. Joey Ryan

Famous B gives Mascarita Sagrada his epic intro again, but mid intro, Joey Ryan just runs over and punts Mascarita to start the match, which draws considerable heat.

Ryan stomps Mascarita into the corner. Mascarita comes back with a drop kick to Ryan’s shin, then a tilt-a-whirl headscissors that sends Ryan to the outside, followed by a flipping tope to take Ryan out. Mascarita gets Ryan back in the ring and goes up top, but Ryan crotches him on the turnbuckle and smacks him, then takes a lollipop out of his trunks and offers it to Brenda. Famous B distracts Ryan by offering him his card, and Mascarita hits a double foot stomp from the top rope, to Ryan’s back. Ryan fights back by kicking Mascarita in the stomach, then tries to press slam Mascarita but sells that he’s too dense, so Ryan just lightly body slams him. Ryan tries to follow with an elbow drop, but Mascarita rolls away. Mascarita lifts Ryan up in a fireman’s carry (!) showing he’s stronger than Ryan, and slams him, then hits a double foot stomp, and a springboard moonsault from the top rope for a near fall.

Famous B takes the referee again, while Brenda counsels Mascarita. Mascarita runs over and kicks Joey Ryan in the balls, but sells it like he just kicked a wall, and Ryan flexes his penis strength, then taunts Famous B and Brenda about how strong his dick is. He turns around and Mascarita rolls him in a small package for another near fall. Ryan gets up and rushes Mascarita into a corner, then kicks him, then hits a springboard tornado DDT off the middle rope, and covers for the pin.

Perfectly fine comedy match. Arguably the best use of Mascarita Sagrada to date (other than Big Ryck nearly killing him). The fact that this was never portrayed as a serious match made it fun, and there were a couple credible near falls where the crowd bought Mascarita might pull off the upset.

Winner: Joey Ryan via pinfall 
Rating:
*1/2

Match #2 – Gift Of The Gods Championship – Chavo Guerrero Jr (c) vs. Cage

Cage blocks a kick from Chavo and plants him with a clothesline, then picks him up and rams him into a turnbuckle, and unloads about 20 corner clotheslines. Chavo bails outside, and Cage chases. Chavo jumps back in the ring, and kicks Cage on the apron as he attempts to climb back in. Cage recovers and grabs Chavo by his throat, lifting him off his feet, but Chavo pulls Cage down on the ring ropes neck first, knocking him to the outside. Chavo attempts a standing plancha to the outside, but Cage catches him and starts ramming him into things around ringside before shoving him back into the ring.

Back inside, Cage sends Chavo to the ropes, but Chavo comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors that sends Cage back to the outside, then hits a tope. Chavo rolls back inside and gloats. Cage makes his way to the apron, and Chavo kicks him, pulls him through the ropes, and hits a draping DDT with Cage on the middle rope, and covers for a near fall. Chavo gets up and grabs Cage’s legs, but Cage kicks Chavo into a corner. Chavo comes back at him, and Cage monkey flips him across the ring. Chavo cuts him off with a dropkick to the knee, and tries a spinning cross body from the middle rope, but Cage catches Chavo in mid-air again, and hits a rolling slam. He follows with a middle-rope springboard moonsault, but Chavo rolls away and hits another dropkick, and covers for another near fall.

Chavo goes to work on Cage’s left leg. Cage attempts to fight him off, but Chavo just pounds him with elbow strikes. Cage retreats to a corner, and Chavo goes after him, but Cage backdrops him out to the apron. Chavo attempts to shoulder-block Cage in the stomach, but Cage hits him with an enziguri, then climbs on the middle rope, and suplexes Chavo from the apron, back into the ring. Cage Euro-uppercuts Chavo into a corner, then whips Chavo across the ring and charges. Chavo tries to avoid it, but Cage catches Chavo’s legs on his shoulders and hits him with an Alabama Slam into a near fall. Cage sells his left leg a little, then lifts Chavo up into a fireman’s carry. Chavo escapes onto his feet and Cage attempts a discus lariat, but Chavo ducks, hits the ropes, and comes back with a running tornado DDT for a near fall.

Chavo sets Cage up for a butterfly suplex, but Cage backlifts him off it, so Chavo tries to turn it into a sunset flip, but Cage rolls out of it. Chavo pops back up to his feet and hits a rolling Liger kick, and Cage half-sells it and fires back with a discus lariat and covers, but Chavo breaks it up with a foot on the rope. Cage sets Chavo up on the top turnbuckle and tries a superplex, but Chavo fights him off and hits a sunset flip powerbomb, followed by a top rope frog splash for a very close near fall.

Matt Striker acknowledges this is the best we’ve seen from Chavo in the temple (he’s right). Chavo kicks Cage in the gut, and hits the Three Amigos suplexes, but on the last one, Cage blocks, reverses it into a powerbomb, maintains the hold and does a re-run powerbomb with the second bomb into a turnbuckle, the lifts Chavo up again and hits a Steiner Screwdriver and covers for the pin.

After the match, Cage throws Chavo out of his ring, grabs a mic and says he’s cashing in the GOTG championship on Matanza next week.

Fine match and clearly the best we’ve seen from Chavo in his LU run. A little slower paced than normal LU matches, but better than most LU matches in terms of storytelling. Cage winning a decisive victory was what needed to happen here given the hotshotting of him to a match with Matanza. I’m very much in favor of Cage using the Steiner Screwdriver as his permanent finish, instead of the much more convoluted Weapon X.

Winner: Cage via pinfall to capture the Gift of the Gods Championship
Rating: ***

Match #3 – Trios Championship – Prince Puma, El Dragon Azteca Jr, and Rey Mysterio Jr (c) vs. Jack Evans, P.J. Black, and Johnny Mundo

The challenger team was originally supposed to have Fenix on it, but Johnny Mundo attacked him before the match, and took his place on the team.

Azteca starts with Jack Evans, and Evans screams about how he hates dragons. Evans teases a test of strength, then knees Azteca in the gut. The two trade shoulder blocks with Azteca’s knocking Evans down. Evans kips up, and Azteca immediately dropkicks him back down. Azteca chops him into the corner, then whips him out, but Evans reverses. The two trade dodges on corner charges, then Azteca kicks Evans away, sits up on the top turnbuckle, and hits a top rope springboard lucha arm drag, followed by a running hurricanrana. Azteca charges Evans, but Evans stun-guns him on the ring ropes. Evans charges Azteca, and Azteca backdrops him out to the apron, ducks a clothesline attempt, and hits an enziguri sending Evans to the outside, then teases a dive, but Evans moves. Both men tag out with Black and Puma tagging in.

Puma immediately tries to flip into a headscissors on Black, but Black counters by kicking him in the chest, and covers for a near fall. Black brings Puma over to his corner and ties him in a tree of woe then tags Evans back in, who runs across the ring to taunt Mysterio, then hits a corner dropkick. Evans tags Mundo in, who hits a falling spin kick to Puma’s face. Mundo tags Black back in, and he goes up top and hits the Del Rio top rope double foot stomp to finally knock Puma loose. Black covers for a near fall. Mundo tags back in, and Mundo and Black hit a double back drop on Puma, with Mundo covering for another near fall. Mundo tags in Evans, and slams Puma. Evans stands flat-footed on Puma’s chest then does a standing moonsault off Puma’s chest onto Puma, and covers for another near fall. Evans tags Black back in, and the two attempt a double clothesline, but Puma ducks, and shoves Evans into Black. Evans locks Puma in a full nelson, but Puma fights away again, sending Evans into Black again, then hits a running neckbreaker on Black where the momentum carries Evans down resulting in Black DDTing Evans. Black tags Mundo, and Puma makes the hot tag to Mysterio.

Rey hits Mundo with kicks and punches, then a twice-around tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Rey tags back out to Puma, and Azteca jumps in with him and the two chop Mundo down with a series of kicks, then Azteca hits a jumping leg drop, followed by Puma hitting a running shooting star press for a near fall broken up by Evans. Puma shoves Evans to the outside, then goes back to Mundo. Azteca jumps back in and runs the ropes, with Puma catching him and throwing him up in the air to give him extra momentum on a DDT, but Mundo catches Azteca and holds on, then swings Azteca’s body at Puma knocking Puma down, before back flipping Azteca onto Puma. Mundo tags out to Black.

Black lifts Puma on his shoulder and hits a pop-up Diamond Cutter and covers for a near fall. Black comes back at Puma with punches and kicks, but Puma breaks the momentum with a reverse spin kick that catches Black on the chin. Puma tries to reach his corner, and Mundo runs in, but Puma hits him with a back elbow. Evans runs in next and cuts Puma off with a spinning front kick, but this prompts Mysterio to climb to the top, and he jumps and takes Evans out with a top rope hurricanrana. Mundo gets back to his feet and picks Rey up in an electric chair position, and Rey takes Mundo over the top ropes, but Mundo maintains the electric chair on the outside, until Rey flips around on Mundo’s shoulders, and hits a hurricanrana sending Mundo into the apron. With Mundo stunned, Azteca hits a slingshot hurricanrana from the ring, onto Mundo, on the outside.

Left in the ring are Puma and Black. Puma hits an enziguri to take Black down, but Evans, from the apron, hits a springboard spin kick to take Puma out. Evans gets back to his feet and drags Puma to the corner, and climbs up top, but Puma jumps up and crotches Evans on the turnbuckle. Evans fights Puma off and flips over him, then charges back at Puma, but Puma hits a crane kick to stun Evans. Puma goes up top, but Evans comes back with cartwheels into a Pele kick to leave Puma stunned on the turnbuckle. Evans and Puma fight on top of the turnbuckle, and Black sneaks back in the ring, but Azteca stuns him with an enziguri setting up a spot where Puma pushes Evans off the top rope, and seamlessly transitions into a flip onto Black, into a hurricanrana.

Evans staggers into a corner, and Puma hits an enziguri to his back from the apron. Rey is back in the ring with Black, and dropkicks him into the middle rope and hits the 619 which plants Black near a turnbuckle. Puma goes up top and and hits a 630 splash on Black, then covers, but Mundo pulls the referee out of the ring before the three count. Rey attempts a seated senton from the apron to the floor on Mundo, but Mundo ducks, field goal kicks Rey in the balls, and then Mundo and Taya hit stereo superkicks on Rey.

In the ring, Puma picks Black up in a fireman’s carry to set up a pop-up Pele kick, but Black dodges on the pop-up, thumbs Puma in the eye, and kicks him in the balls. Evans and Azteca jump in the ring, and Evans nails Azteca with a ballshot. Black superkicks Azteca, picks Puma up in a fireman’s carry, Evans jumps up top and hits a double foot stomp, into a Death Valley Driver by Black. Then Black picks Puma up in like he’s about to suplex him, Jack runs over and kicks Puma in the balls from behind, and Black hits The Wellness Policy (a brainbuster). Mundo jumps back in the ring and hits End Of The World on Puma and covers for a close near fall counted by a new ref.

The heel team is shocked, but Mundo grabs Puma, sets him up on the top rope, and attempts to German suplex him from the top, but Puma flips over and lands on his feet and is able to tag Azteca. Azteca enters the ring with a springboard splash on Mundo, then tries a hurricanrana from the electric chair, but Mundo holds on and hangs him vertically. Taya distracts the referee by trying to get in the ring with a chair. Azteca sits up then turns his momentum into a sunset flip on Mundo, for a cover, but Evans sneaks in from the other side of the ring with a chair and hits Azteca. Mundo reverses the cover and pins Azteca.

The crowd agonized over the babyfaces being screwed, while the heels celebrated after the match.

Excellent match. A lot of times these Trios matches are complete chaos, but this was much more controlled chaos. The heels worked great as a team, the crowd work on both sides was excellent, and there were a lot of innovative moves. The extended low blow sequence just highlighted how desperate the Evans/Black/Mundo team were, and as good as the Rey/Puma/Azteca team can be, those three need to re-enter the singles scene. This was P.J. Black’s best showing in LU by far.

Winners: Jack Evans, P.J. Black, and Johnny Mundo to capture the Trios Championship
Rating: ****