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Temple Rants (7/15/15): Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita

Last week, Lucha Underground took big steps to build up the rivalry between Pentagon Jr. and Vampiro. After weeks of verbal sparring, things were finally taken up a notch when Pentagon Jr. attacked Vampiro and doused him in gasoline. Now, the ball is in Vampiro’s court as we look forward to his response. Will he finally take on the challenge set by Cero Miedo? Meanwhile, Mil Muertes continued his path of destruction, this time dispatching Trios Champion Son of Havoc as his match for the Lucha Underground Championship draws near. Is Prince Puma the next luchador to be taken down by death, or will he find a way against the odds?

We’re in Dario Cueto’s office to kick things off, and the remaining Aztec Medallions are spread over his desk. He says he’s giving away three out of the four tonight. Wait, three? Way to cram it, Dario. Pentagon Jr. is with him, and he says he doesn’t care about the medallions. Cueto teases that he may just give one to Pentagon for his impressive work. Pentagon Jr. says he doesn’t give a shit, and that if he wanted one he would’ve just broken Cueto’s arm. No, he’s really focused on making life a living hell for Vampiro. Cueto asks when he’ll get to meet this master, and Pentagon Jr. says he’ll reveal himself when he’s ready.

I can’t tell if I’m a fan of Pentagon Jr. having a mysterious superior whom he follows, as he’s interesting enough to just be the guy who goes around making life a living hell. At the very least, it adds another air of mystery to Cero Miedo. I don’t think we’ll be seeing this master anytime soon, though, but it’s always a direction they can go to for the future. For now, though, I enjoy watching him as the Lucha Underground version of Bray Wyatt, just a guy who likes to fuck around with people.

Match 1: Bengala vs. Delavar Daivari

Ah, Bengala! We’ve only seen him once before, so hopefully he can showcase more of his skills here. Delavar Daivari is out next with Big Ryck, and man, he’s really ending the first season as just some bodyguard? Not that he cares (it gets him paid), but for someone who was a lot more involved at the start of Lucha Underground I’d have expected something bigger for him.

Bengala shows off his athleticism early on, taking Daivari out with a dive onto the outside. Daivari with the distraction, though, allowing Big Ryck to get some hits in on Bengala. Bengala with a beautiful DDT into a pin, but Daivari kicks out. A superkick leads to another pin attempt, before Bengala flies onto the outside to take out Ryck! Daivari seizes the opportunity, though, and hits a superplex on Bengala!

Big Ryck tries to get involved again, but Bengala holds on and hits a nice roll into a german suplex for the win!

Winner: Bengala!

Man, Bengala can fly. Daivari with the usual heel tactics, but the tiger found a way to get past them. The Aztec medallion race is looking very flippy now, with Bengala joining Jack Evans, Aero Star and Fenix as bearers of these mysterious artifacts.

Vampiro’s in the ring, and he talks about how he’s been around for a long time. He addresses last week’s gasoline attack at the hands of Pentagon Jr., but Cero Miedo cuts him off! Pentagon continues to mock Vampiro, asking him if Ian Hodgkinson will accept his challenge for Ultima Lucha. Ian Hodgkinson, however, will not face Pentagon Jr. at Ultima Lucha. No, the man he’ll face is named...

After weeks of them teasing up to this moment, it’s great to finally see Vampiro get the upper hand over Pentagon Jr. for once. That chokeslam wasn’t the prettiest, but it showed that Vampiro is finally done taking all this crap. I don’t know if Vampiro can still go in the ring, so I’m at least interested in seeing how their match at Ultima Lucha will turn out. Hope he shakes his ring rust off by then.

We cut to Sexy Star backstage, and get a flashback of the Sexy Star/Super Fly storyline. I’m assuming that’s for a match later, so we may finally get the payoff to that feud in this episode.

Match 2: King Cuerno vs. Killshot

King Cuerno is back! It’s good to see that the luchador hunter is still alive and kicking. Killshot is his opponent, and ah, I see they haven’t forgotten about this. If you remember, they’ve teased a match between the two several episodes ago, so it’s nice to see that happen here.

King Cuerno takes Killshot to the corner, but the American turns the tides with a nice dropkick. King Cuerno goes for the Arrow, but Killshot kicks him right in the head. Killshot keeps up the offense with a nice cutter into a rana, but King Cuerno counters and drops Killshot’s head on the ring apron! King Cuerno goes for the Arrow from the Depths of Hell, and this time it connects!

King Cuerno nails Killshot with a flapjack, and he locks in a beautiful surfboard! Killshot has no choice but to tap!

Winner: King Cuerno!

Quick match, but it was a good show from both men. I love how they build up Killshot’s offense to include these kicks and slams that sound like guns firing off. King Cuerno picks up the victory, though, and picks up the 5th Aztec medallion.

Match 3: Sexy Star vs. Super Fly

Super Uso is out first, followed by Sexy Star. She receives a loud pop as usual, and this match is underway! Super Fly nails a dropkick, but Sexy Star hits a low blow into an armbar for the win! Wait, what!?

Winner: Sexy Star!

That was it? That’s our payoff to the very personal feud between Sexy Star and Super Fly? Oh, the Moth is on his way to the ring, and apparently the medallion Sexy Star has has a moth symbol. Jesus, even Striker and Vampiro no-sell Martinez. Well, apparently we’ve got another match for this medallion!

Match 4: Sexy Star vs. Marty “The Moth” Martinez

Sexy Star rushes at the Moth with some chops and kicks, hitting a couple of nice arm drags. She tries for a crossbody, but Martinez easily catches her and slams her onto the mat. The Moth locks in a figure-four, but Sexy Star turns the submission around! Martinez reaches the ropes, but Sexy Star does not relent, and she locks in an armbar for another submission win!

Winner: Sexy Star!

After a couple of episodes being on the downer, it’s nice to see Sexy Star gain some momentum heading into Ultima Lucha. Still, I’m a bit disappointed that the Super Fly vs. Sexy Star feud ended just like that. I mean, this is a feud that involved Super Fly losing his mask, his identity as a luchador. To have it end just like that just falls short, as they could’ve told a more intense and personal story given what happened in the past. I thought this was a feud that would carry over up until Ultima Lucha, but it seems they’re just going to shoehorn Sexy Star into the Aztec medallion race. Shame.

El Hefe is in the ring, and he talks about the Lucha Underground Championship Match at Ultima Lucha, and announces that we’ll have a face-off between Prince Puma & Mil Muertes tonight! Prince Puma is out first, followed by his challenger Mil Muertes. Neither Catrina nor Konnan are with them, so it’s just the two luchadors. Oh god, Dario is hamming it up in this segment! Give this man an Emmy! Catrina shows up at the top of the steps, which catches Dario’s attention. That distraction allows the Disciples of Death to enter the ring, and they help Mil Muertes beat up the champion. Wait, here’s Konnan! Konnan with cane shots to the Disciples! Mil Muertes slams him with his own cane, though, before laying out Prince Puma as well. Catrina knocks out Konnan as the Disciples roll Prince Puma’s mentor into a coffin! Prince Puma is forced to watch, before Mil Muertes lays him out with a flatliner, and the show ends with Mil Muertes standing tall in the ring.

Well, in true undead fashion, they take away the champion’s mentor by sealing him in a coffin. This is nothing new, but it’s always awesome to see the coffin pulled out. They’re doing a nice job piling up the odds against Prince Puma, though.

This week’s episode was a rollercoaster of quality. There were obvious high points (Vampiro’s chokeslam, the closing segment face-off), but there were also very low points that could have easily been improved (pretty much everything involving Sexy Star this week). The other matches were short, but still had that air of excitement we get only here at the Temple. This week’s episode gets a B, as the low points pull down what would have otherwise been a solid show.

TL;DR Results:
  • Bengala def. Delavar Daivari to gain an Aztec medallion
  • King Cuerno def. Killshot to gain an Aztec medallion
  • Sexy Star def. Super Fly to gain an Aztec medallion
  • Sexy Star def. Marty "The Moth" Martinez to retain her Aztec medallion

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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