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Temple Rants (8/5/15): Mi Ultima (Lucha) Adios, Pt. 2

Last week got us off to a red-hot start with Ultima Lucha, as we kicked off the end with three great matches. In the opener, Cage defeated Mack in a very creative brawl, putting Mack out of commission with some cinder blocks. Meanwhile, the Trios Championship reign of Ivelisse, Angelico and Son of Havoc came to a ghastly demise at the hands of the Disciples of Death, who pick up their first titles here at the Temple. Finally, Drago (and the fans) got some good payback in the Believers’ Backlas match against Hernandez, as the latter’s abrasive attitude proved to be his downfall at Ultima Lucha.

We get a nice recap video of everything that has happened in the Temple so far, recalling the events that have led us to tonight’s matches. Matt Striker welcomes us and introduces tonight’s special commentator, Mike Schiavello. A quick background check tells me that this guy is very, very good, so at least they didn’t get some random shmuck off the streets.

Mundo comes out with some very Shawn Michaels-like tights, even down to the red design. El Patron is out next to a very warm reception, with his trademark towel and the AAA Mega belt. They play cat and mouse for a little while, before El Patron catches Mundo Mouse and starts ramming him into everything. Mundo Mouse sneaks under the ring, and Alberto catches him again, but Mundo throws some dust in El Patron’s face and gets the advantage!

They finally get into the ring, and Mundo keeps it up with a knee to the face. He sets up for the End of the World, but that opens him up to a reverse suplex from El Patron! They trade punches and lungblowers, and Mundo gets knocked out of the ring. El Patron gives chase, but Mundo sneaks back in and nails a corkscrew dive onto El Patron outside!

El Patron locks in the armbar, but Mundo easily spins to the ropes forcing a break. They get tangled in the corner for a while, and Mundo hits the End of the World! No! El Patron kicks out! El Patron takes out the referee by mistake, but he locks Mundo in the armbar and he taps! There’s no referee to call it though, so he locks in another armbar on the ropes, and –

IT’S MELINA! Melina knocks El Patron out with the AAA Mega Belt, and that allows Mundo to hit End of the World for the win!

Winner: Johnny Mundo!

Mundo & Melina’s (M&M) live sex celebration is ruined by a pissed off El Patron. He tosses Mundo into Cueto’s office window in a nice throwback to how this feud started. Melina goes after him, but El Patron catches her and gives her an old-fashioned spanking for being, well, a naughty girl.

Okay, in all honesty, who expected Melina to make the save here? That came out of the blue, but she gave the edge Mundo needed to pick up the win. Overall, this was a very good match with both men showing off what they’re capable off. El Patron continued to display his mastery of in-ring psychology, constantly working on Mundo’s arms to set up for the armbar. Mundo has settled comfortably into a slower, methodical heel style, and he pulled it off well here. With Melina now involved, perhaps we’ll see El Patron look for someone to even up the odds. Let the speculation commence.

Meanwhile, El Dragon Azteca finally finds Black Lotus in the Temple, but Dario Cueto arrives just in time. El Hefe tells El Dragon Azteca that his punishment is death, and Black Lotus catches him from behind and chokes him out. She hits him squarely in the back, and whoa, is El Dragon Azteca dead? Cueto, Black Lotus and Matanza leave the Temple, and wow, what just happened?

Did they really just kill El Dragon Azteca? Well, at least he can’t say he wasn’t informed. Still, Dario Cueto seems to have gotten into Black Lotus’ head. We actually don’t know if he’s telling the truth, though, which opens the door for some more twists to come.

Pentagon Jr. comes out in a white shirt, which is a nice change in color. Vampiro comes out to a pop, and holy shit, he looks like some sort of dark Pope Francis in the Joker’s color palette. He’s pretty much Uncle Fester from the Addams family. Striker tells us that a Cero Miedo match is, well, a match “with no rules,” which fits our two competitors perfectly.

Pentagon Jr. wastes no time, bringing the steel chair and whacking Vampiro around with it. They brawl around the stands for a while, before Pentagon continues the steel smackdown. He chokes out Vampiro with a cord, and now the referee is signalling to the back. A stretcher is brought out as we cut to a break. Wait, that’s it? No! Vampiro rises from the dead, and he comes back with a kick to Pentagon! Vampiro brings out the thumbtacks, and this match is ON!

Vampiro slams Pentagon into the thumbtacks, but he misses a dive and lands on them himself! Pentagon Jr. brings out a light tube and breaks it over Vampiro’s head! He cuts into Vampiro’s scalp with the broken tube and licks some blood, which isn’t surprising. They trade some blows for a while, and Vampiro scores some payback and tosses Pentagon Jr. into a lightbulb. He rips off Pentagon’s mask, before nailing Pentagon on the head with a lightbulb!

Vampiro nails a huge suplex off the tope rope, and it’s time to bring out the big guns! Vampiro gets the table and a lighter, and we’ve got a flaming table now! Pentagon sneaks up behind him, though, and tosses him into the table! Vampiro is on fire! Pentagon covers him for the pin, and this match is over!

Winner: Pentagon Jr.!

Pentagon Jr. takes the microphone and celebrates, but it looks like Vampiro still has something to say. He begs Pentagon to break his arm, to which Cero Miedo gladly obliges. Pentagon asks for his master, and Vampiro’s got a mic. Huh? Vampiro calls himself “teacher”, and deems Pentagon Jr. ready, because....

Photo taken from 411mania

Vampiro is Pentagon’s master! It was him! It was him all along! Sunuvabitch! The whole thing was a test to see if Pentagon Jr. could really take over as the true face of fear (eat shit, Bray Wyatt), and he passed it with flying colors. Everyone’s happy in the end, as master and student celebrate in the ring together.

Holy shit. Holy shit. Now, some of you may have called that, but still, they pulled it off in spectacular fashion. Some are calling it WCW/Vince Russo levels of absurdity, but I’m fine with it because unlike WCW, Lucha Underground isn’t a show that takes itself too seriously. This was just a well-executed plot twist on a telenovela, which just so happens to be about wrestling.

And what about that match? Vampiro has obvious limitations in the ring, but the stipulation covered his weaknesses. There’s a reason why he’s a hardcore legend, and this match showed why. This was just a bloddy, brutal beatdown between the two men, with some creative use of weapons involved. It’s nice to see the thumbtacks and light tubes for once, and they helped tell the violent story between the two men. I’m not normally a fan of these CZW-type deathmatches, but it seems they’re good in small doses, as I really enjoyed this match.

Our 7 competitors get jobber entrances, which doesn’t really do anyone a favor. Everyone else gangs up on Big Ryck, because hey, it makes sense to take out the big man first. Macho Nick Fury cleans house, though, before Fenix and Aero Star knock him off. Jack Evans takes out King Cuerno, but his dive hits no one and Cuerno responds with an enzuigiri. It’s pretty much your usual multi-man formula of two people being featured at one time, as now Sexy Star plays a part. Big Ryck covers for a pin, but everyone else breaks it up. They’re telling a good story with everyone going after the outlier, Big Ryck. They brawl outside some more, and wait, is that Aero Star up top?

Aero Star comes in like a wrecking ball, taking a number of luchadors out! Sexy Star is in the middle of the ring, but someone sneaks up behind her—it’s the Moth! The two go at it, and Sexy Star locks in an armbar to take him out. Sexy Star takes out Fenix, Aero Star and Jack Evans, but Big Ryck pulls her by the hair and brings her back into the ring. King Cuerno comes in and hits the Thrill of the Hunt on Sexy Star, taking her out. Now Bengala’s getting the spotlight, going at it with Fenix and King Cuerno. Bengala takes out Fenix with a corkscrew outside, followed by Cuerno with the Arrow from the Depths of Hell!

Meanwhile, Jack Evans locks Aero Star in a guillotine, but he counters with a DDT! Big Ryck comes back in and nails Sexy Star with a chokeslam, and here comes Daivari! Wait, what!? Daivari knocks out Big Ryck with a chair! Evans capitalizes with a 450, but Cuerno pulls him off. King Cuerno locks in a surfboard lock, but Fenix hits a leg drop to break it up. Evans knocks Cuerno out of the ring and locks Fenix in a tarantula, but Fenix counters into the Firedriver and scores the pin! Fenix wins!

Winner, and your FIRST Gift of the Gods Champion: Fenix!

Well, this was a case of Lucha Underground sticking to what it does well, as they’ve proven they can do multi-man matches very well. Everybody got their spots in well here, with each luchador having a chance to show off their skill. Aero Star wins Spot of the Match with that Angelico dive, but in the end, it’s perennial fan favorite Fenix who is blessed by the gods. That sets up the possibility of Fenix vs. Mil Muertes for the Lucha Underground Championship, provided the big guy wins later on. I have no qualms with that.

Moving forward, it seems that we’ll get something between the Moth and Sexy Star, as well as Big Ryck and Delavar Daivari. Those set the tone nicely for what to expect come the next time Lucha Underground airs. I won’t get into it too much here, as that warrants another column on its own. Needless to say, it’s good to see them building towards the future.

Texano is billed as the longest-reigning AAA Mega champion in history, which is an amazing feat in itself considering he’s just 31. The original rudo (wait, I thought that was Piper?) Blue Demon Jr. is out next, and even the Crew have dressed up for the occasion. Melissa makes the announcement that this match is now a No DQ match, and the Battle of Mexico is underway!

Texano hits some early clotheslines, before shaking off Cortez Castro and Mr. Cisco. Texano is just tossing Blue Demon around at will, and that’s the cue for the Crew get involved again. The numbers game finally catches up to Texano, as Chavo comes out with a steel chair. Chavo and Blue Demon play up the tension, before both eventually take out Texano! Blue Demon with the cocky pin attempt, and this is over!

Winner: Blue Demon Jr.!

So I guess that means this isn’t over yet, as that would be a lame way to end what looks to be a historically significant feud. There’s really nothing to say about this match, other than it’s weird to see Blue Demon Jr. and Chavo on the same side. That’s another one on the list of “Things to Resolve on Lucha Underground’s Next Season,” I guess.

This is it, folks. Welcome to the final showdown, and it’s for the Lucha Underground Championship! The challenger is out first, as Striker and Schiavello play up the possibility of Catrina’s men holding all the Lucha Underground titles by the end of Ultima Lucha. The champion is out next, sans Konnan, and it’s finally time for the two to fight!

They trade blows in the middle of the ring, and Prince Puma gets the first salvo with some kicks. Mil Muertes shakes it off, though, and tosses the champion to the outside. The two brawl around the fan stands, with Prince Puma using Catrina as a weapon against the big undead Muertes. Sadly, the champion doesn’t get to use his table, as Mil Muertes powerbombs him onto the steps! Prince Puma tries to dive onto Mil Muertes on the outside, but he’s easily swatted away with a chair shot!

Mil Muertes tries for the corner chair, but Prince Puma continues to run circles around him. Puma hits a double foot stomp, and Mil Muertes comes crashing straight into the corner chair! Prince Puma hits a Benadryller, but no! Mil Muertes kicks out! The champion sets up for a 630 splash, but Mil Muertes rolls out of the way and takes him out with a crisp powerslam. Prince Puma fights back with superhuman strength, but it doesn’t get him the pin. He lingers too long on the apron, though, and Mil Muertes spears him out of the ring and through the table!

Prince Puma eats a powerbomb to the table, as the Man of a Thousand Deaths carries him back to the ring. The champion kicks out, but eats a chokeslam from Mil Muertes. Prince Puma fights back with some kicks, setting him up nicely for the 630! No! Mil Muertes kicked out! Prince Puma tries for a second, but again Mil Muertes moves out of the way. The challenger hits another spear, though, leading into a Flatliner! Still no pin! Prince Puma gets up and goes up top again, but Mil Muertes meets him up top. Prince Puma knocks him off, but Mil Muertes rushes at him and hits a Flatliner off the top rope! New champion!

Winner, and NEW Lucha Underground Champion: Mil Muertes!

Prince Puma is laid to rest as Catrina gives him the lick of death, and death now reigns supreme in the temple as we cut to credits and a nice montage that sums up where everyone is headed off to at the end of Ultima Lucha.

That was a great match to officially end the first season of Lucha Underground. Despite having his reign ended, Prince Puma showed why he is one of the best wrestlers in the world today. I’ve mentioned before how the champion was playing the role of David in this match up, having to use his agility against the slower, stronger Goliath that is Mil Muertes. He played that role perfectly, but spiced it up by proving that he can go toe to toe with the big man in strength. Him picking up Mil Muertes was an unexpected, but pleasant surprise to see. We’ve got a new champion, though, and Mil Muertes played his role just as well. The real winner here, though, is Catrina, as now she holds two of Lucha Underground’s titles. Looks like the Reign of Death has officially begun.

Well, what else can I say about this show that hasn’t been said above? Solid, solid A. This was an amazing 2 hours of wrestling, and nothing less. Lucha Underground comes to a close with a great show, firmly establishing itself as one of the best wrestling promotions right now. They’ve put up a lot of cliffhangers to end it, which I hope will be addressed in their second season.

TL;DR Results:
  • Johnny Mundo def. Alberto El Patron
  • Pentagon Jr. def. Vampiro in a Cero Miedo Match
  • Fenix def. Aero Star, Bengala, Big Ryck, Jack Evans & Sexy Star to become the first Gift of the Gods Champion
  • Blue Demon Jr. def. Texano Jr.
  • Mil Muertes def. Prince Puma (c) to become the new Lucha Underground Champion

Cover image taken from 411mania

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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