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Temple Rants (6/17/15): #AllNightLong




Before kicking off this week's review, let me start off with awesome news: LUCHA UNDERGROUND IS IN THE EMMY NOMINATION LISTS. Yes, that's right. If the voters vote like they ought to, we could be seeing Dario Cueto hold up that Emmy. That's amazing. Of course, there's slim chance that it'll happen, but hey, those are some pretty terrible shows Lucha Underground is up against.

We kick things off with Striker and Vampiro, who tells us that this match is #AllNightLong! No time is wasted, as both competitors are in the ring and Melissa does introductions!


Iron Man Match for the Lucha Underground Championship: Johnny Mundo vs. Prince Puma (c)

The two men start off with a tense handshake, and it’s Mundo who scores an early takedown. We get some mat grappling, which is unexpected considering the two wrestlers participating here. Mundo tries for a dive onto Prince Puma outside, but the champion slips into the ring just before Mundo lands, and hits a spinning plancha of his own!




We resume with both men back in the ring, and the clock shows we have roughly 33 minutes left. Prince Puma catches Mundo and easily flips him over for a pinfall!


Mundo comes right back with a neckbreaker, before going back to that ground and pound style he’s using in this heel turn. Prince Puma hits a dropkick and a standing moonsault, but Mundo kicks out. Prince Puma tries for a dive from the corner, but Mundo gets the knees up just in time! Johnny Mundo continues to go for the arm, hitting it with kicks and slams. Prince Puma with a cutter (from outta nowhere!), but he misses a crossbody. Mundo goes for End of the World, but Prince Puma catches him. Mundo still gets the last laugh with a pinfall thanks to the ropes, and the score is even! Sneaky!


LOL at the referee telling Miundo that there are no timeouts in wrestling. We resume once more, and this time Mundo hits some kicks and a leg sweep. Very varied offense here from Mundo, which is nice to see. The two jockey for position on the top rope, and Prince Puma gets the edge and hits a hurricanrana onto the outside! Mundo drags out a box and a steel chair (what the hell is in that box?), but Prince Puma picks him up and drops him onto the box!



Johnny Mundo smacks him with a surprise crowbar, and holy shit, that sounded painful. Mundo tosses Prince Puma into the ring to score another pinfall!


Johnny Mundo picks him up and hits the Moonlight Drive for another pinfall!


Mundo keeps up the offense with a springboard kick into the End of the World! He scores another pin!


Mundo, of course, deserves a break after all that hard work, so he takes a quick water break. Classy. Prince Puma is dazed, but continues to fight back with some kicks and a DDT. BRILLIANT move by Mundo with the foot on the ropes right after the DDT. That’s very, very good psychology there! Mundo drops Prince Puma’s neck on the ring apron, and things are looking grim for the champion!

Mundo brings out a very long ladder, and decks Prince Puma in the head with it. He sets the ladder up and picks up a couple of tables, setting them up. Mundo turns back to Prince Puma and leaves him laying on the tables. Mundo climbs up the ladder, but Prince Puma races up to prevent disaster! Mundo and Puma go at it around the fan stands, and Prince Puma finally gets a reprieve. Puma goes all the way back to the ring and picks up even more tables, and now we have a quartet of tables set up. Prince Puma turns back to Mundo, but eats a superkick and falls down!

Mundo parkours across to the band area, picks up the microphone, and gives us an update on the score (in case we forgot). Mundo tells the band to play a song (holy shit, that guy does look like M. Bison) while taking another water break. Prince Puma climbs right after him, and slams Mundo with a guitar! Somebody call Jeff Jarrett, this is gimmick infringement!


Prince Puma then tackles a dazed Mundo onto the table stack below! HOLY SHIT!


Mundo is busted open, but there’s only 11 minutes on the clock. Puma tries to drag Mundo back towards the ring, but he’s struggling to do so. The two make it back, and Prince Puma makes up some ground with a pinfall!


The two men trade slaps and strikes, before Prince Puma hits a roundhouse into a driver for a pin! Score another for the champion!



Momentum is shifting here, and Mundo senses that so he halts action and exits the ring. Mundo takes a break near the stands and plays cat and mouse with the champion, running the clock out. Smart! Prince Puma finally catches him with a kick! Puma climbs up top for a Phoenix Splash, but he misses! Mundo backs up the stairs to put some distance and this looks like it’s over –


ALBERTO EL PATRON IS BACK! He picks up Mundo and beats him across the Temple, tossing him into the ring! Puma hits a springboard 450 and evens the score!


Bertie picks up a mic and says that things aren’t over between him and Mundo. But of course, we already knew that, so he’s really just running the clock down. Heh. Mundo rushes Prince Puma in the corner with three minutes left, but Puma tries for a package pin! No! Johnny with a schoolboy! No! Pin, no! And another! The pace has picked up here, and we’re down to the last two minutes!

Mundo catches Prince Puma and hits a Spanish Fly, but that doesn’t get the fall! Mundo corners the champion, but Prince Puma escapes and hits a dropkick! Puma up the corner! 630 splash! Pinfall! Game over!



Winner, and STILL Lucha Underground Champion: Prince Puma!


Well, there you go, folks. Lucha Underground has done it again. By "it", I'm referring to the fact that this show has taken another classic wrestling match and gave it its own unique spin. The typical multiman match? Nah, have some Aztec Warfare. A casket match? Here's Grave Consequences. This episode sought to redefine wrestling once again, and it has delivered another spectacle.

The match itself was great due to the mixture of styles it incorporated. We started off with some mat-based wrestling, followed by some nice high-flying. Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo brought in some foreign objects for that hardcore feel, and then we were treated to these extraordinary spots. Once the two men got back in the ring, we then got some classic wrestling at a frenetic pace, with a variety of strikes, slams and spins. This match had everything.

Of course, credit should be given where it is due. Many, many praises to Johnny Mundo for his performance in this match. He played it up as a heel incredibly well. From taking those water breaks, to trashing Prince Puma on the microphone, Mundo made you want to hate him tonight, and he was damn good at it. The man formerly known as John Morrison has really come into his own here at the Temple, and has been one of the best reasons to continue watching this show. He may have lost, but we have a shiny consolation prize in the possibility of Mundo going at it again with Alberto El Patron soon.

This is the kind of show that makes me feel proud to be a wrestling fan. Textbook A, folks.


TL;DR Results:
  • Prince Puma (c) def. Johnny Mundo in an Ironman Match to retain the Lucha Underground Championship. Prince Puma won with a score of 5-4.

*****
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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