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Temple Rants (6/24/15): Death & Dragons



Last week’s episode had just one match, but all the plaudits. Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo tangled once again, this time in a match that lasted the entire show. Mundo took a massive lead early, and for one second we thought we would have a new Lucha Underground Champion. However, thanks to some spirited offense, as well as aid from a certain Alberto El Patron, Prince Puma came roaring back to even the series. Eventually, the champion scored the deciding pin with barely any time left on the clock. Thus, Prince Puma is STILL our Lucha Underground Champion, and it looks like he’s heading into Ultima Lucha with the big gold belt.

We kick off this week’s show with a HUGE announcement:




Johnny Mundo. Alberto El Patron. Two former WWE talents meeting here in the Temple. Both men have had a resurgence after leaving the biggest promotion in the world. Mundo has established himself here in Lucha Underground since Day 1, with a style reminiscent of his WWE days. That doesn't mean he hasn't grown, though, as he's had the opportunity to show different styles and characters here in the Temple. He's been one of the best reasons to tune in to Lucha Underground weekly. El Patron hasn't been here as much, but he's certainly made his presence felt here in the Temple. Both men have something to prove, and come Ultima Lucha we’ll see these two go at it once more.

We cut to the ring where Melissa is doing introductions, and it’s time for our first match!


Match 1: Super Fly vs. Sexy Star

Sexy Star is already in the ring showing off her skills at twirling. Super Fly is out next, and dear God, he looks like a cross between a Mexicool and an Uso. They explain Super Fly’s actions a couple of weeks back via an interview with dude brother Vampiro. Apparently, Super Fly wanted Sexy Star to experience what he went through at the hands of Pentagon Jr. Hey, at least they got that out of the way early. Super Fly takes early control, grounding Sexy Star and pelting her with boots and kicks. This continues for a little while (longer than usual, actually) before Sexy Star hits an arm drag. Super Fly comes right back with a kick, but he gets tossed out of the ring and eats a dive from Sexy Star!

Sexy Star with a crossbody, and now it’s her turn to ground Super Fly with kicks. She tries for a pinfall, but Super Fly easily kicks out. Super Fly eats a suplex, but he comes right back with a double powerbomb for the win!

Winner: Super Fly!


Super Fly tries to rip Sexy Star’s mask off, before tossing her out of the ring. For someone who was shown to be pissed at losing his mask, Super Fly didn’t seem angry enough here. He could’ve amped up his intensity a little bit and shown us just how important his mask was to him. Sexy Star didn't get to show her skills here like in previous bouts, but she did well with the limited time they had. Surprised she picked up the loss, but that means we'll probably see these two face off soon.

We cut to a clip of Drago warming up to some dubstep, and he looks awesome as usual. They can have an entire show full of this, and it would still be worth watching.


Match 2: Pentagon Jr. vs. Cage vs. The Mack vs. Marty “The Moth” Martinez vs. Aero Star

Pentagon Jr. grabs the mic, and says that he’s not interested in some medallion. Instead, he wants to destroy the man who took away his greatest sacrifice, and it’s none other than Vampiro! The two have a staredown outside the ring, and Pentagon tries to goad Vampiro into attacking him before exiting. Vampiro is pissed. Great way to build the feud between these two without having an actual match.

We get back from commercial with our other four competitors in the ring, and Mack wastes no time going after the Machine. You’ll recall that Cage laid out the Mack a couple of weeks ago, so there’s some bad blood here. Cage hits a suplex, but Mack sells that like he’s Davey Richards and lays Cage out with a clothesline. The Moth gets some time to shine, and Vampiro rightly knocks him for being a weirdo. The Moth launches himself onto Mack and Cage outside, before Aero Star follows suit with more flippy shit!




Cage catches Aero Star in the ring, and does his usual strongman spot. Now it’s the Moth’s turn to get wrecked, and Cage picks him up on the apron with a suplex. Great stuff from Cage, as usual! Aero Star hits a splash on the Mack, but Mack counters with a Samoan Drop into an impressive standing moonsault. Martinez with some nice lucha moves on Mack. Cage just wrecks the other three guys again, but Aero Star and the Moth team up to take him out! Mack pulls Cage to the outside, and he hits an exploder suplex onto Cage on the apron! Frog splash to Cage! Mack and Cage are out cold!




Aero Star crosses the ropes, and hits the hurricanrana into a springboard splash for the win!

Winner: Aero Star!


Just a fun, fun match here, folks. This is how you do a multi-man match. All four competitors got their chance to shine, including the Moth (and that guy can actually go). Cage, as usual, continues to shine here in the Temple, and his arsenal of moves was once again on display. I hope we get to see more of Mack vs. Cage, as the two put on quite a show tonight. Surprised by the Aero Star win (I really thought Cage would get it), but he’s definitely earned it. Aero Star joins Fenix and Jack Evans as bearers of the medallions, which is shaping up to be a nice cast so far.

Meanwhile, our Trios Champions are being their usual dysfunctional selves, and they’re paid a visit by Catrina! Death is coming for them, she says, and the Disciples of Death suddenly manifest behind the champions! The skeletal trio lays them out, and it looks like we’ve got our next challenges for the Trios Championship. Death vs. Dysfunction. I can get behind that.

Mil Muertes pops up, and he heads to the ring with Catrina for our main event!


Match 3: Mil Muertes vs. Drago in a #1 Contender’s Match for the Lucha Underground Championship

Wow, Drago’s entrance is so reminiscent of Finn Balor’s from WWE, red lighting and costume and all. Drago poses in the middle of the ring, and hey, it’s Hernandez! Hernandez whips the dragon around with a belt, before trying to choke him out. I know a lot of people aren’t too hot on Hernandez, but he just plays the role of douchebag so, so well. He’s perfect for it.

Drago agrees to continue the match despite the attack, and here comes Mil Muertes! The Man of a Thousand Deaths makes his way down the steps to some nice dim lights, and it begins! Muertes goes on the offensive, cornering Drago with some shoulders. Drago hits Sliced Bread, but Muertes shakes it off and counters with a belly to belly. Striker uses a physics equation to describe Mil Muertes, which actually fits him, as the dead man clubs Drago in the corner. Drago fights back with some kicks, but Mil Muertes shakes it off and spears Drago into hell!




Mil Muertes hits a DDT, but Drago fights back and sends him to the outside. Drago flies out onto Mil Muertes outside, but once again he shakes it off! Mil Muertes rams Drago into the ringside seats, before whacking him with a chair! Apparently, this match is no disqualification, so stuff like this is legal. Drago gets up from the carnage, but Mil Muertes just rams him into the barricade. Mil Muertes lifts Drago by the throat, and powerbombs him onto the announcer’s table! He brings Drago back into the ring, but Drago with the comeback! Springboard DDT! Dragon’s Tail Pin! No! Mil Muertes breaks out of it! He counters with the Flatliner, and this is over!

Winner, and NEW #1 Contender: Mil Muertes!


Well, there’s your main event for Ultima Lucha. Prince Puma is up against what seems to be his biggest challenge yet in an invincible Mil Muertes, and I’m looking forward to that. These are two of the most entertaining men here in the Temple, and to have them close out this season of Lucha Underground is just fitting.

As for Drago, his second wind was unfortunately cut short here. When Cueto made this match two weeks ago, I realized one thing had to give. Either they put a damper on Drago's return, or halt the momentum Mil Muertes has had since rising from death. Looks like it's Drago who takes the fall here, but he at least has a consolation prize in Hernandez. Expect the two to cross paths again in the weeks to come.

If this episode proved anything, it’s that we’re full throttle on the road to Ultima Lucha now. Rivalries were built, as Hernandez/Drago, Sexy Star/Super Fly, Pentagon/Vampiro and Cage/Mack were given screen time. Meanwhile, the Trios Champions have found their new challenger, and if they don’t figure it out soon they may be the latest to embrace death. Mundo/AEP was also announced, as well as the #1 Contender determined. This show gets a B+. It was an exciting show in its own right, but doesn’t quite match last week’s classic.


TL;DR Results:

  • Super Fly def. Sexy Star
  • Aero Star def. Cage, The Mack and Marty "The Moth" Martinez to gain the 3rd Aztec Medallion
  • Mil Muertes def. Drago to become the #1 Contender to the Lucha Underground Championship

How did you find this week's episode? Sound off on the comments section below!


*****

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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