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Temple Rants (5/20/15): Chaos is a Ladder (Match)



Last week, we finally had an answer to our #1 contender conundrum, as Hernandez defeated Alberto El Patron to become the sole challenger to Prince Puma’s Lucha Underground Championship. The match was not without controversy, though, as Johnny Mundo attacked El Patron during the match, throwing him through Dario Cueto’s window. Speaking of El Jefe, he released the first of the Aztec medallions in his possession, as 7 luchadors fought for control of the mysterious artifact. After a thrilling match, Fenix gained the first medallion, before being attacked in the locker room by a trio of skeletal luchadors. Also, the exciting Jack Evans was introduced to the Temple, but he lost his debut match to Aerostar.

The Trios Championship takes center stage this week as Angelico, Son of Havoc and Ivelisse look to fend off The Crew once more. This time, however, they’re in a Ladder Match, which does not bode well for the champions’ defense considering Ivelisse has an injured leg. Also, Delavar Daivari and Texano look to settle their beef as they go one-on-one again! Looks like we’re also in for the in-ring debut of rabid fan Marty “The Moth” Martinez, among other things. 

We start off in the Temple right away, as Striker and Vampiro hype us for our first match!

Match 1: Marty “The Moth” Martinez vs. Prince Puma

The Moth is already in the ring as he does this weird, moth-like movement behind Melissa. Get away from him, Melissa! She introduces Konnan and we know who’s coming next, as Lucha Underground Champion Prince Puma comes out to cheers! Oh, hey, Roman Reigns Robert Trujillo is in the audience today! It’s always cool to see famous people watching wrestling, as it gives us hardcore fans the assurance that we aren’t as crazy as we think we are.

Martinez plays rabid fan and tries to get a picture taken with the champion, but it’s a trap, as he pulls Prince Puma in and takes him down with a lariat. The Moth takes early control but doesn’t last long, though, as the champion fights back and just destroys Martinez. Prince Puma hits a Blue Thunder Bomb, and after some prodding from Konnan to end things, climbs up top and hits a 630 for the win!


 Prince Puma moves in for the kill on a hapless Moth.


Winner: Prince Puma!

Hernandez makes his way out to boos, presumably to start something again with Puma and Konnan. Before he gets to the ring, though, Konnan grabs a mic and challenges Hernandez to a fight right now. Konnan also calls him “baby nuts”, which is sort of the best nickname you can ever give someone. Puma waits for Hernandez in the ring, but the challenger backs up the stairs. Not today.

After a couple weeks’ worth of setbacks, Prince Puma needed this win to establish himself again as a solid wrestler, so the result might have been predictable. He also faced the Moth, who doesn’t really look threatening. What did you expect when a puma goes up against a moth? 

Martinez, for his part, was okay. I think he played his role of rabid fan/jobber well. In-ring action was limited for the newcomer as Prince Puma took the time to look strong, so we can’t really judge Martinez yet. I still think he should rename himself the Mothman, though, because nothing is more intimidating than a deadly humanoid insect. Seriously, have you seen the Mothman? That thing makes Pentagon Jr. look like your baby puppy.

We cut to a backstage interview with our dude brother Vampiro, with Johnny Mundo as his guest. Vampiro cuts right to the chase and asks Mundo about his actions last week. Mundo talks about how he’s been here since the first day, and how he’s proven to be the best around. Oooh, Mundo takes a shot at Alberto El Patron and catering (a reference to Alberto’s backstage issues before he left WWE). He says that Alberto may be a second generation luchador, but he’s overrated. He ends the interview by saying that Alberto El Patron is done, and that Mundo is the best in the Temple.


But of course, you already knew that.


Mundo came off looking strong in this interview. I’m fine with the Mundo-El Patron feud continuing, as the two can put on a solid match. Heck, I wouldn’t mind having one episode be a 60-minute Iron Man match between the two. They’re that good.

Meanwhile, Dario Cueto is once again with the Crew. He talks about gods and sacrifices, and how they’ll be sacrificing Angelico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc tonight. This is basically their previous backstage segments. Win, and all is well; lose, and Cueto’s brother will deal with them. It’s really just the same idea from before, just restated. The fact that Dario Cueto can make you look forward to a match by just by rephrasing what he’s said before is a testament to his character. Easily one of the best authority figures in wrestling right now, if not the best.

Back to the ring, and Daivari is already in the ring as we begin our second match!


Match 2: Texano vs. Delavar Daivairi

The Golden Warrior is lounging in the ring again, sipping some cognac and looking pretty chill. We didn’t really see him in action last week, so I hope they work something longer this time. Texano comes out with his bullrope, and wastes no time charging at Daivari, so here we go!

Texano takes early control, but Daivari counters and starts working on Texano’s left arm. The two work the corner, and Texano hits a nice superplex and leg lariat! Daivari comes fighting back with some nice suplexes before Texano catches him with his knees. Texano charges at Daivari, but Big Ryck clotheslines him out of nowhere!

Winner (via DQ): Texano


Daivari hits a top rope frankensteiner to add insult to injury, and Big Ryck intimidates the referee into counting the pin, even if the match is already done. 

So that’s why they had that Big Ryck segment last week! They needed him to come across as a fighter for hire, as someone that’s all about the money. Big Ryck doesn’t want to make the world dance, he’s all about the price tag.

We go to Dario Cueto’s office, where Catrina tells the boss she has a sacrifice for him. Catrina is doing Catrina things, and suggests that Fenix be that sacrifice. Cueto goes ahead and books a match between Fenix and the returning Mil Muertes. Oh boy! Catrina then suggests that Cueto make it a deathmatch. Wow. I’m excited to see this play out, as the last time Fenix and Mil Muertes were in the ring, we had a great match. This should be just as good, if not better.

Black Lotus is walking through some tracks, and we get a reminder of her mission to destroy Dario Cueto’s brother. Meanwhile, El Dragon Azteca is approached by none other than Chavo Guerrero Jr! He tells Azteca that they need his help, and the two sit down to talk a little more. They talk about their families, and how the Guerreros are known for being liars and cheaters (heh), but Chavo says that what matters is familia (heh again). Man, these ex-WWE guys are being quite subtle today. El Dragon Azteca agrees to clear Chavo’s debts, provided he protects Black Lotus.

Interesting. It’s good to see Chavo’s family background being brought up here, and it looks like he’ll be involved in Black Lotus’ story moving forward.

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


Match 3: Ladder Match for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship – The Crew (Cortez Castro, Mr. Cisco, and Bael) vs. Angelico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc (c)

The Crew come out to boos and to chants of “You sold out!”, as Striker gives us a little history lesson on ladder matches in the Temple. The champions FINALLY come out together, but the Crew rush to them and they start brawling at the stairs!

The Crew get the early advantage, as Ivelisse is handicapped due to her injured ankle. The two teams play with the ladder for a little while, as Angelico leaps onto the Crew. Angelico tries for the climb, but is quickly assaulted by the Crew. The Crew work on the champions one by one, with Angelico taking a ladder shot to the gut. Tables and chairs are introduced, and Son of Havoc takes out all three of the Crew! He eats a DDT for his troubles, though and now it’s Angelico’s turn to try. He ends up getting rammed into Cueto’s boarded-up window (thanks to Mundo), but is able to fend off the Crew. Angelico senses it’s time to fly, and he goes up the ladder – wait, no, he’s going back to the rooftop! Will we see it again!?


These two are having themselves a little rooftop party.


Well, no, as Angelico is taken out with some kendo shots. Meanwhile, the Crew continue the assault, this time on Son of Havoc. Son of Havoc goes for the belts, but hits a nice moonsault off a falling ladder! Momentum is with Mrs. Havoc’s baby boy now, and he sends one of the Crew crashing through a table! Shooting Star Press! Well, that looked awkward, as Son of Havoc landed it but the table didn’t break. Cortez Castro is all alone now, and he’s climbing the ladder! He looks off to the side though, as –


Rooftop flying, now with 100% more dropkicks!


HE DOES IT AGAIN! Angelico has once again flown off the office roof to the ring! Beautiful dropkick onto Cortez Castro! And now Ivelisse tries to climb up the ladder, but Mr. Cisco follows! Ivelisse bites Mr. Cisco’s hand! That’s enough for her to make it to the top and pull down one of the belts! The champions retain!

Winner, and STILL Trios Champions: Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc!


The match itself was just good as far as ladder matches go, but the two teams kept up the energy throughout with great spot after great spot. The Crew played a nice game by working on one champion at a time, and made effective use of the weapons. Our champions got their hope spots, though, and once again the Crew fell prey to a death-defying leap. 

Speaking of Angelico, someone better check on him, as he just died again for our sins. That man is impressive. There was less Ivelisse in this match, which does make sense with her injury, but she played her part well. She shone in that last minute, showing her grit and desire to win with that bite on Mr. Cisco, which gave enough time for her to seize the belt. The champions retain, and I’m looking forward to what this means for the Crew. Looks like they have a dinner date set up with Dario Cueto’s brother.

Another steady show this week for Lucha Underground. This was by no means their best show, but it’s good enough to keep you tuned in. There was less in-ring action than usual compared to previous shows. Yes, there were three matches, but one was a squash, the other never really got going, and the third match was spot after spot packaged as a nice little brawl. Angelico’s leap of faith is once again the show’s bright spot. The main event was good, so I’d say this week’s episode is a good, solid B.

See you next time for another edition of Temple Rants!


TL;DR Results:
- Prince Puma (c) def. Marty “The Moth” Martinez in a non-title match
- Texano Jr. def. Delavar Daivari via DQ
- Angelico, Ivelisse and Son of Havoc def. The Crew (Cortez Castro, Mr. Cisco and Bael) in a ladder match to retain the Lucha Underground Trios 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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