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Temple Rants (5/13/15): Tapas




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

Last week, we had a little #1 Contender-ception as Alberto El Patron and Johnny Mundo fought to determine who would face Hernandez to determine the #1 Contender to Prince Puma’s Lucha Underground Championship. The reigning AAA Mega champion picked up the victory in an exhilarating back-and-forth match, setting up a dance this week with Hernandez.

Hernandez, meanwhile, lost a tag team match with Prince Puma after attacking him. Tensions between the two now approach the breaking point. The Crew were also able to rebound with a victory over the reigning Trios Champions Son of Havoc and Angelico, giving them a solid claim to challenge for those belts.

This week, our contender confusion comes to an end as Hernandez and Alberto El Patron square off to determine the #1 Contender to the Lucha Underground Championship! Will El Patron continue on his quest to add more gold around his waist, or will Hernandez successfully defend the opportunity he earned? Plus, a new face arrives at the Temple – who could he or she be?

We kick things off with Dario Cueto talking to his brother behind bars. He pulls out a red pouch, containing medallions of the great Aztec tribes. The bearer of all the medallions becomes as powerful as a god, he says, and that starting tonight he’ll be releasing some of them. That’s certainly interesting. I’m a sucker for supernatural things, so I’m interested to see whether those medallions are more than just a piece of decoration. Or maybe they’re just pogs. This is Dario Cueto we’re talking about, after all.

Matt Striker and Vampiro tease the imminent debut as the band wraps up their first set, and Melissa announces our first lucha!


Match 1: Aerostar vs. Jack Evans


Aerostar makes his return after his scintillating best-of-five series with Drago. He may have lost that series, but he’s the one still here in the Temple as Drago is gone after losing the title match he earned.

Now, he’s facing none other than the debuting Jack Evans!

If you follow AAA, you should be familiar with the name. Evans is a master of the high-flying arts, so he’s a natural fit here in the Temple. The King of Flippy Shit Style shows off a bit before entering the ring, and here we go!

Evans’ cocky approach gets him a “Culero!” chant from the crowd, establishing himself as the heel. Aerostar runs the ropes (literally) to take early control, sending Evans to the outside before diving onto him. Evans fights back with some nice tosses, though, before grounding Aerostar with an STF. Evans continues the assault with some stiff knees and a German suplex. Aerostar tosses him to the outside and slams Evans onto the guardrail, but a timely counter gets the American an advantage. Evans climbs up the guardrail and hits a beautiful 450 splash! He wasted no time showing off his arsenal here at the Temple!

Action goes back into the ring, where Evans tries for another splash, but misses. Aerostar tries to climb the ropes, but his knee is slowing him down. Evans catches up at the top rope, but Aerostar takes control and hits a SICK Canadian Destroyer for the win!


Welcome to the Temple, Jack Evans.

Winner: Aerostar!

This was a nice way to introduce Jack Evans to the Lucha Underground viewer. He played his role of cocky, arrogant newcomer well, and showed enough style to make you tune in for more. That said, I did not like the inconsistency of Aerostar selling the knee. One minute he’s clutching it in pain, next he’s diving and posing like nothing’s wrong. They could’ve done a whole lot more with it, but for now we’ll chalk it up to Aerostar being a galactic superhuman unaffected by a hurt knee. Yeah, I can live with that.

In the locker room, The Mack comes across Big Ryck holding a pile of cash. Mack asks him where he got it, but Nick Fury tells him to bugger off. Typical secretive S.H.I.E.L.D. director. Mack plays up the family part, but Big Ryck is still upset at their Trios title loss. He thinks Mack is at the Temple just to show off, and says his goal is to make money – he’d even kick a family member’s ass for the right price. Short, sweet way to build up these guys.

Back to the ring, and a bunch of guys get jobber entrance’d as Sexy Star makes her way down the stairs. Pentagon taunts her, showing that he isn’t really over that loss from two weeks back. The Mack then makes his way out, followed by Dario Cueto. He announces that this match is a free-for-all for the first Aztec medallion, and he calls a referee to start the match!


Match 2: Cage vs. King Cuerno vs. Killshot vs. The Mack vs. Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Sexy Star


Everyone starts brawling until Fenix and Pentagon Jr. are left standing. The two go back and forth in the ring before Fenix hits a hurricanrana. Now Killshot and Cuerno duke it out, but their usual partners Cage and Mack come in to spice things up. Cage and Cuerno hit a double suplex into a dive from the top, but Sexy Star and Fenix break that up.

We get a nice chain of one person hitting moves on another, before Cage and Cuerno try for a pin. Sexy Star breaks that up, and she’s holding her own against Cage and Cuerno. She leaps out onto Pentagon, and we get another chain of moves ending in Cuerno hitting Thrill of the Hunt! Do we have a winner? No, as Sexy Star breaks it up. Pentagon kicks her HARD, as Mack hits a moonsault and tries for a pin. Bodies are strewn all around the ring, and the Machine just catches Fenix mid-air! Killshot flies at them, taking all three men out! Cuerno launches an arrow from the depths of hell! Pentagon takes out both Sexy Star and Fenix!

Double Sacrifice: Pentagon one-ups his previous offerings with a double this time.


ARMBAR time, but Sexy Star to the rescue! She gets a pair of knees for her troubles. Fenix takes advantage and hits a hurricanrana into a moonsault for the win!

Winner: Fenix!

We got a little bit of everyone in this match, with some pairings playing out a little bit of plot. Sexy Star and Pentagon continue their feud, while Cage and Cuerno continue to work as a solid duo. Otherwise, this was your typical multi-man match.

Backstage, Dario Cueto is talking to Trios Champions Angelico, Ivelisse and Son of Havoc. Cueto says that the Crew will get another shot at the titles, which doesn’t bother Ivelisse–she may have a broken ankle, but she only needs her hands to beat the Crew up. Badass. Cueto says she’ll need her legs, though, because their title match against the Crew is a Ladder Match! That should be something!

Meanwhile, Fenix comes across Catrina, who tells him that he has fallen into her trap. Eh? Apparently, Fenix's win allows Mil Muertes to get the life he seeks. Huh? Catrina disappears, and a trio of skeleton-masked luchadors jump on Fenix!

We cut back to Melissa in the ring, and it’s time for our main event!


Match 3: #1 Contender’s Match for the Lucha Underground Championship – Alberto El Patron vs. Hernandez


Hernandez comes out with his usual swagger, and I have to commend him for carrying himself so damn well. He’s the kind of guy you want to punch right in the face. Alberto El Patron is out to a huge reaction, as usual, and the two lock up to start!

The two work the corners early on, and Hernandez gets the upper hand by ramming El Patron’s shoulder into the ring post. They go outside, and Hernandez works over El Patron’s back. El Patron fights back with a clothesline into a lungblower, but that just gets a two. Hernandez takes control again, trying to choke Alberto out. Alberto fights back, though, and hits a superkick!

He tries to lock in the armbar, but Johnny Mundo pops up and spikes Alberto with a DDT! Mundo picks him up and tosses him into Dario Cueto’s office! What the hell!?

Jannetty'd: El Patron gets a crash course through the glass as El Jefe and Mundo look on.

Mundo rolls El Patron back into the ring, allowing Hernandez to pick up the win with an easy pin!

Winner: Hernandez!

And it continues! It seemed too early to end the Alberto El Patron-Johnny Mundo story, so Mundo evens the score here by costing El Patron the #1 Contender status. We know what we can get between these two, so I’m excited to see how they’ll build towards their next encounter.

Hernandez, meanwhile, finally solidifies his shot at Prince Puma's title, and expect that to be tense as well. The two haven’t exactly been the best of friends, so they’ll relish the chance to go at it one-on-one.

Overall, this week was a smattering of many different things. We didn’t really get a full-length showdown like we had in previous weeks, but everyone chipped in here and there. Think of it as those sampler platters they serve at restaurants - there’s a little bit of everything for everyone, but not enough to make you full. In contrast, last week’s Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo is like a well-grilled steak - filling, meaty, and something that you just love.

I’ll give this week’s show a B, which is down from last week. It was a good show, but nothing too special, and unfortunately I have to dock points due to Aerostar’s knee.

See you all next week for another edition of Temple Rants!

TL;DR Results:
  • Aerostar def. Jack Evans
  • Fenix def. Cage, King Cuerno, The Mack, Killshot, Sexy Star & Pentagon Jr.
  • Hernandez def. Alberto El Patron to become the #1 Contender 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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