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Temple Rants (5/6/2015): Lord vs. World



Welcome to Temple Rants, your weekly coverage of the hottest wrestling show today, Lucha Underground!

On last week’s show, we saw the unfortunate end of one man’s time in the Temple. Drago is no longer in Lucha Underground, thanks to Hernandez interfering in the title match against Prince Puma. Speaking of Hernandez, he picked up a win last week over Cage and King Cuerno to become the new #1 contender for Puma’s Lucha Underground Championship. Meanwhile, Fenix defeated Killshot in singles action, Texano called out Daivari after his interference in the Trios Championship match, and Dario Cueto had a new pest to deal with in rabid fan Marty “The Moth” Martinez.

This week, The Crew looks to rebound after failing their lay-up, as Cortez Castro & Mr. Cisco take on 2/3 of the Trios Champions, Angelico & Son of Havoc! Will we see The Crew put one over the champs, or will they have to answer to Dario Cueto’s brother? Plus, Texano finally gets his chance to take on Daivari in singles action. Finally, two of LU’s biggest names clash for the first time in the temple! Alberto El Patron will mix it up with Johnny Mundo in a main event that is sure to have fans watering at the mouth. Once again, we’re in for another loaded week, so let’s get started!

We open backstage, with Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron walking into Dario Cueto’s office. Mundo says that he should get a shot at Prince Puma’s title, but El Patron says he should get that opportunity. Both, however, agree that they deserve it more than that “Fernandez” guy because he hasn’t beaten them. Cueto agrees, and announces that tonight’s Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo match will determine who will face Hernandez to become the #1 contender to the Lucha Underground Championship.

Yo dawg, we heard you like #1 Contenders, so we made a #1 Contender’s Match for the #1 Contender’s Match for the Lucha Underground Championship.

Cards on the table: I’m not a fan of booking like this. It cheapens last week’s win, and is definitely not fair to Hernandez. He was named the #1 contender last week, now he has to fight again before getting a shot? I’m not a huge fan of Hernandez, but I imagine he’d be pretty pissed. El Patron and Mundo are big names, so you’d assume they would have been  first in line for that #1 Contender’s match last week. But then again, this actually fits into Dario Cueto’s sleazy boss persona, so I’ll give this a pass. That’s exactly what you’d expect from him.

We go to ringside, and Matt Striker and Vampiro welcome us to the show. Ivelisse is already at ringside as our first match is about to start!

Match 1: Angelico & Son of Havoc vs. The Crew (Cortez Castro & Mr. Cisco)

The two teams are already in the ring as Son of Havoc and Cortez Castro start us off! Son of Havoc takes early control, and has some tension with Angelico before the South African tags himself in. He displays some fluid offense before Havoc tags in again. Mr. Cisco counters a standing moonsault, though, and The Crew take control. Angelico comes in and hits a series of knees and kicks. The Crew are sent out of the ring and Son of Havoc takes the opportunity, launching himself at The Crew before Angelico follows suit.

The Crew take control back in the ring and take out Angelico. Son of Havoc tries for a comeback, but is distracted by Bael on the apron, allowing Castro and Cisco to hit Psycho Realm for the win!

Son of Havoc has his lungs blown out as The Crew hit the Psycho Realm.

Winner: Cortez Castro & Mr. Cisco!

Ivelisse is pissed at her two teammates, as the crowd continues to chant “You still suck!” at The Crew. This match builds tension in our Trios Champions nicely, as it shows that they can be defeated, while allowing The Crew to pick up some momentum after their loss two weeks ago. Having Ivelisse barking orders at ringside is a nice touch, as it drives her “ring general” role in the team while keeping her involved despite her injury. Looks like this feud will continue for the time being.

We go back to Cueto’s office, and this time Daivari is the one inside. He’s on his phone, texting (hopefully arranging for another WWFX show in the Philippines!), and says that he likes to inflict violence. Cueto is impressed to see Daivari here, but does not seem to like how Daivari is paying little attention. Cueto goes ahead and makes him his first match against Texano Jr., which is up next!

Meanwhile, Konnan and Prince Puma walk up to Hernandez. Konnan tells him that what he did last week wasn’t cool. The two go back and forth before Dario Cueto walks in on them. He tells Hernandez how plans have changed, and he isn’t pleased. He’ll be facing the winner of Mundo-El Patron, so for tonight he needs to get along with Prince Puma, as they’ll be taking on King Cuerno and Cage in a tag team match.

Match 2: Delavar Daivari vs. Texano Jr.

Melissa introduces our newcomer as Delavar Daivari, as he waits in the ring while sipping on what looks like cognac. He’s billed as being from Beverly Hills, while Striker explains that Daivari left the wrestling business for a while so he could get rich working in the private sector. That explains the magnificent all-gold ring gear! Texano gives Melissa no time to finish introductions, though, as he comes to the ring charging!

We get a nice brawl between the two, which is cut short when Texano lays his hands on the referee.

Winner: Delavar Daivari (via DQ)

It does make sense that they’re saving the payoff for a little bit later, as these two came to a clash just two weeks ago. Nice tease, and we’re bound to get more from them in the weeks to come.

Back from the break, and we’ve got no time for entrances as Melissa introduces the two teams in our next match!

Match 3: Prince Puma & Hernandez vs. King Cuerno & Cage

Hernandez tries to raise Prince Puma’s hand but the champion is having none of it, and the bell rings! Cage and Hernandez start us off, and the Mexican manages to take the Machine down with a flying shoulder block. The champion tags in, but King Cuerno manages to counter a standing moonsault and takes control. Vampiro continues to trash Konnan on the mic as Cage hits a... hey, that move looks familiar!

I wonder what area code Cage is dialing here?

Cage continues to take control as he displays great strength. Puma manages to take both Cuerno and Cage out with some kicks and a Blue Thunder Bomb, then Hernandez gets the tag! He dominates King Cuerno and tosses him to the outside before flying at the both of them. Puma tries for a launch, too, but Hernandez gets in his way and the two argue. Prince Puma tags in, but continues to build some tension with Hernandez. Cage comes back in and lays out Hernandez with a vicious clothesline. Cuerno hits a dive onto Hernandez outside, but he pulls Prince Puma in the way and the champion takes the hit!

As Konnan is arguing with Cage, his team starts to argue, and Hernandez throws Prince Puma onto the apron! Cage seizes the opportunity and hits the Weapon X for the win!

Winner: King Cuerno & Cage!

Hernandez once again affects Prince Puma’s match, this time causing the loss, and you can guess that the champion won’t be too pleased with that. Konnan seems to be siding with his current protégé here, so at least we know whose side he’s on.

We go to Black Lotus, and El Dragon Azteca says she can leave if she can take him down. The two have a cozy sparring session, but Black Lotus cannot get a hit in. El Dragon Azteca mentions how her parents were once defenseless, but she won’t be if she stays.

Back to the temple, and it’s time for our main event!

Match 4: #1 Contender’s Match for the #1 Contender’s Match - Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo

Alberto El Patron makes his way through the crowd with the AAA Mega Championship, and the crowd is loving it. Fellow fan favorite Mundo comes out next, with an equally appreciative crowd behind him.

The two lock up in the middle of the ring, and we get a nice series of headlocks and takedowns. Alberto takes control early, but Mundo returns the favor with a takedown. Mundo tries for a dive, but Alberto traps him in the ring apron and hits an enzuigiri on Mundo. Alberto slows things down with a headlock, but Mundo hits some kicks and locks in a submission of his own. The Mexican tosses Mundo out of the ring and he hits the steel steps. Ouch, that did not sound good!

Wicked Wit: El Patron hits a vicious kick after trapping Mundo in the ring apron.

They trade some punches back in the ring, before Mundo dumps Alberto onto the floor and takes him out with a dive. He tries for The End of the World back in the ring, but Alberto catches him on the ropes and hits a suplex off the top! The crowd chants “This is awesome!” as Alberto calls for the armbar. He goes for it, but Mundo rolls through for a pin! No, but he kicks Del Rio and hits The End of the World! One, two... no! Mundo can’t believe it! Del Rio locks in the armbreaker! Mundo gets to the ropes, and this match isn’t over yet!

Alberto charges but hits the bottom of the ring post, and Mundo hits a stomp. Mundo tries for the pin, but Alberto gets up! Alberto goes for the armbreaker and hits it! He then hits a superkick for the win!

Winner: Alberto El Patron!

Wait, looks like we’re not yet done. It’s Catrina! She walks up to a casket, and talks about death as a permanent end. The time for sleep is over, she says, and we see that the casket contains none other than Mil Muertes. Catrina kisses him and he wakes up. The candles blow out, and Mil Muertes opens his eyes as the show closes.

Holy shit! Let’s take the last few minutes one by one. First of all, BRILLIANT match between Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron! The two are clearly familiar with each other, owing to their WWE days, and they managed to work some magic here in the Temple.

Awesome storytelling as Mundo got his spots in, but his moments of recklessness allowed Del Rio to gain some advantage. Nice sequence towards the end where each man managed to avoid the other’s finisher, before Alberto ended things with a vicious kick. This is the type of match that makes you want to see the two go at it again, but for now we must look forward to Alberto El Patron battling Hernandez.

And what about the last scene?! We thought Mil Muertes had been left for dead, but it looks like the dead man has risen, thanks to Catrina. I am not the biggest fan of Mil Muertes, but I just love how he was brought back. His revival does beg some questions – where will he fit in the current storylines? Is he out for revenge on Fenix? Those are questions I’ll be looking for answers for in the next few weeks.

Lucha Underground continues its solid string of impressive shows this week, highlighted by the main event match. We moved some steps forward in the Trios Championship storyline and the Prince Puma-Hernandez tension, as well as Texano’s current feud with Delavar Daivari. This week’s show drummed up interest in the shows to come, and that’s a great place for any wrestling promotion to be in. Lucha Underground hasn’t been here long, but they’ve managed to put (and keep) butts in seats – quite a rare feat these days.

Overall, I’m going to give this show a solid, shiny A – storylines moved along nicely, and the action in the ring was top-notch. The highlight would easily be the main event between Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron – if you want just one part of the show to watch, that would have to be it.

See you next week for another edition of Temple Rants!


TL;DR Results:
  • Cortez Castro and Mr. Cisco (w/ Bael) def. Angelico and Son of Havoc (w/ Ivelisse)
  • Delavar Daivari def. Texano Jr. via DQ
  • King Cuerno and Cage def. Hernandez and Prince Puma (w/ Konnan)
  • Alberto El Patron def. Johnny Mundo to earn the right to face Hernandez in a #1 Contender’s Match for the Lucha Underground Championship

*****
 
Anthony Cuello is an HR professional and training designer. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers NJPW and Lucha Underground for Smark Henry. A psychology nut, he tends to watch wrestling looking for these small nuances of in-ring behavior. He dreams of a wrestling business with good people management practices, and hopes to help make that happen one day.

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