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Temple Rants (7/1/15): Chavito's Heat



We’re now on the road to Ultima Lucha, with last week’s episode kicking things into high gear. Rivalries between Sexy Star and Super Fly, Pentagon Jr. and Vampiro, Cage and Mack, and Drago and Hernandez were all given time to develop as we head to Lucha Underground’s finish line (for season 1, hopefully). We also got some progress in the Aztec medallions arms race, as Aero Star became the third man to pick up one of Dario Cueto’s mysterious artifacts. He joins Fenix and Jack Evans, and this contest is looking very flippy right now. We also got two huge matches confirmed for Ultima Lucha, with Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron set to go at it again. Meanwhile, Mil Muertes won the right to challenge Prince Puma at Ultima Lucha for the championship.

This week starts off in Dario Cueto’s office, and Chavo Guerrero is paying him a visit. He demands his championship match tonight. Dario agrees, and in true Cueto fashion he makes it no disqualification. But wait, there’s more! Cueto bans Konnan from getting involved, saying that his involvement would lead to Prince Puma forfeiting the title! The odds are once again stacked against the champion, and this time he’s up against a guy who knows how to lie, cheat and steal. Will Chavo fulfill his destiny tonight?

Cut to the Temple, where Striker and Vampiro welcome us to our first match!


Match 1: Delavar Daivari vs. Texano Jr.

After a few weeks of not hearing about them, looks like we’re finally getting some payoff for this feud. Daivari throws some ice into the audience, because nothing screams “EVIL!” more than some ice cubes.


He ain't got time for your problems. He's busy. With Korean shit.


Daivari uses Big Ryck as a meat shield, which is successful as the distraction allows Daivari to take control. Texano with a nice splash from the apron, but Big Ryck is there for the distraction. The Golden Warrior works on Texano’s knee. Good strategy by Daivari here, working on the bigger man’s knee. Big Ryck gets in more cheap shots. Daivari tries for a figure four, but Texano rolls over to break the hold. Daivari goes back to the knee, but Texano hits a dropkick from the turnbuckle!

We get a nice exchange of slaps and chops, and Texano nails a leg lariat. He goes for a powerbomb, but Daivari counters with an X-Factor. Ryck’s got the bullrope, but Texano hits him on his blind side with a kick! Sitout powerbomb on Daivari! Texano wins!

Winner: Texano Jr.!


Short match, but it was very entertaining. Daivari plays the sneaky heel very well, and his work on the knee was a good show of psychology in grounding the bigger man. So this match pretty much confirms that Texano is now a face. We got hints of it in their previous encounters, but after this I think it’s safe to say that Texano is now a tecnico here in the Temple. He’s spent most of his time in AAA as a rudo, so this should be interesting to see.

Meanwhile, Konnan is giving Prince Puma a pep talk. He tells the champion that no matter what odds are against him, he’ll win. Catrina appears and tells them that Mil Muertes will destroy both of them. Konnan tells Prince Puma not to let Catrina get to him, which sounds very hard. They’re wasting no time at all building this feud up, which is great. Prince Puma vs. Mil Muertes is a classic David vs. Goliath matchup, and I’m interested to see how Lucha Underground adds their own spin to it.

We cut back to Konnan once again, but this time he’s talking about Chavo Guerrero. Konnan says that Chavo needs to pay for his actions against Blue Demon, and puts out a hit on him. I hope Konnan wasn’t just talking to the locker there.


Match 2: Drago vs. Hernandez

Ah, here’s our favorite douchebag Hernandez, who deserves a special mention for the fact that he’s appearing in more than one show this week. He’s basically a Latino Rick Rude. Oh, wow, we’re getting this match right away? Drago continues to have an awesome entrance, as usual.

We get an entertaining first exchange with both men showcasing their attitude. Drago takes control with a dropkick and some nice kicks. Hernandez tosses Drago into the turnbuckle and kisses Drago on the forehead, before slapping hard on the chest. This is some 50 Shades of Gray-esque shit. Someone get Ellie Goulding to perform Love Me Like You Do in the Temple. Hernandez continues to power through Drago’s speed, tossing him around like a sack of vegetables. Drago fights back, though, and hits the Frankensteiner from the corner! He flies out onto Hernandez on the outside!

Drago with more flippy shit on the outside, but Hernandez hits the Border Toss onto the ring apron! Hernandez takes a fan’s belt and just assaults Drago with it, choking him out. The ref isn’t taking any of this, though, and calls for the bell!




Winner, via DQ: Drago!


Hernandez talks trash to the fans, and says that dragons aren’t real and that he can do what he wants. Way to ruin kids’ dreams. Man, Hernandez is perfect in his role as a douchebag heel. I know very few people were fans of him during his previous TNA run, but he’s really embraced his role here in Lucha Underground. I hope he carries this kind of work with him now that he’s back in the Impact Zone. The match ending like that means that Drago will likely get some form of payback, so this feud continues.

Chavo is working out backstage, and Catrina pays him a visit. She tells him that Mil Muertes will come for him should he win tonight, and Chavito stands his ground. Nice display of, uh, gutz, Chavo.

Back to the ring, where Marty “The Moth” Martinez is being creepy as usual. Looks like he’s in our next match!


Match 3: Marty “The Moth” Martinez vs. Alberto El Patron

His opponent is none other than the reigning AAA Mega Champion, Alberto El Patron! Bertie’s back in his white towel and trunks outfit, which looks miles better than his shirt getup. It’s not like he has a dadbod, so no use hiding that physique.

El Patron just mauls Martinez right from the start, cornering him with kicks and strikes. He hits an armbar into the cross armbreaker, and this is over!




Winner: Alberto El Patron!


Alberto takes the mic, and the Temple is going nuts for him. He calls out Johnny Mundo, and thanks him for the wake-up call. Mundo woke up the evil part of El Patron, though, and El Patron says that he’ll rip Juanito’s face off at Ultima Lucha. But of course, we already knew that. Yep, we are totally calling him Juanito Mundo now.

Perfect squash match here, making El Patron look boss (heh). It kind of sucks that it has to be the Moth, though, just one week after he showed some promise in the ring. Alberto’s promo was well done, and his delivery and message is reminiscent of another great Latino promo:




Remember when AEP first debuted on WWE? He was compared to JBL and Eddie as a hybrid of the two. Alberto’s promo this week is very similar to the one Eddie cut above. More than anything, here is where the Eddie comparison really shines through. Alberto continues to prove that he’s amazing on the microphone, a trait which never showed during his WWE run. I’m very, very happy that people are seeing how he’s not just a technically proficient wrestler, but a good talker as well. He’s come a long way from wrestling Dolph Ziggler every damn week, that’s for sure.


Match 4: Prince Puma (c) vs. Chavo Guerrero in a No Disqualification Match for the Lucha Underground Championship

Chavo comes out with Castro & Mr. Cisco (henceforth known as C&C Security). The champion is out next to a huge pop, and Melissa mentions the stipulation banning Konnan. He’s still at ringside, though, which pisses Vampiro off.

We get some flippy chain wrestling to start us off, before Prince Puma hits an arm drag. Chavo clutches his knee all of a sudden, and the C&C Security capitalize on the distraction to beat up Prince Puma. The numbers game catches up to our champion, and it looks like Chavo is hurt. Konnan is calling for someone, though, and is this the guy he was talking to earlier? It’s Texano! Texano manhandles C&C and Chavo! Puma hits the 630 for the win!



Winner, and STILL Lucha Underground Champion: Prince Puma!


For fuck’s sake, Chavo, you got a match where lying, cheating and stealing is allowed, but you still couldn’t do it. For shame. FOR SHAME. Eddie is rolling in his grave right now.



Breaking image from Wrestling Heaven: Eddie reacts to this week’s Lucha Underground.


Chavito’s clutching his knee backstage, and Blue Demon pays him a visit. Chavo taunts him on the fact that Texano did what he couldn’t do, which pisses Blue Demon off.

Looks like Chavo is going to start playing Blue Demon against Texano, which should be interesting. Texano, for his part, looks to be done with Daivari and is moving to a storyline with Chavo, C&C and Blue Demon. This fits, as these guys are some of the more well-known names on the roster, at least to lucha fans. They’re not as known as El Patron/Juanito, though. Having them involved with each other should be fun to watch. Blue Demon’s role here in the Temple has been as lucha libre’s elder statesman, and with Texano solidifying his face turn this week we might see Blue Demon work as a heel. We know he can play this kind of role before, having been a rudo in Mexico.

Despite having four matches this week, none of them really were that good. I’d say the Daivari-Texano match was the best, as everything else was just too quick. They all told a story, though, which is what Lucha Underground has always been about. It’s a telenovela about a wrestling promotion in Boyle Heights, after all. Nonetheless, I think B is a fair grade for this episode. Top-notch storytelling, but the in-ring action wasn’t anything to write home about. It seems that Lucha Underground is saving up energy for Ultima Lucha, and that’ll be fun to watch.


TL;DR Results:
  • Texano Jr. def. Delavar Daivari
  • Drago def. Hernandez, via DQ
  • Alberto El Patron def. Marty "The Moth" Martinez
  • Prince Puma (c) def. Chavo Guerrero to retain the Lucha Underground Championship in a No DQ Match

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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