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Temple Rants (5/4/16): No Mas!


Last week saw the culmination of the Trios tournament, with 4 teams vying for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship. It was a chaotic affair, but in the end, we saw Rey Mysterio, El Dragon Azteca Jr. and Prince Puma become the new Trios Champions. We also saw Cage put his feud with Johnny Mundo to an end, dispatching the latter in a hard-hitting cage match to pick up the victory, as well as an Aztec Medallion. Finally, we got an update on Pentagon Jr., and he looks to be struggling to recover from the beatdown he received at the hands of Matanza a month ago.


No Mas!




After months of tension, Sexy Star and Mariposa finally got to settle their differences in Lucha Underground’s first-ever “No Mas” Match. Yes, that’s the Dario Cueto spin on your standard “I Quit” Match, which is the perfect stipulation for these two to really lay it into each other. What came next was a violent, brutal encounter that will go down as one of this season’s most memorable matches.

This may also be the best women’s match Lucha Underground has had to date.

From the opening bell, these two sought to inflict as much pain on each other. They made great use of the Temple, taking the usual audience brawl one step further by choking each other out high above the rafters. Weapons were used liberally throughout, the most memorable of which was Sexy Star ramming Mariposa’s private parts with a steel chair (aptly called a “steely dan” by Matt Striker). Lucha Underground isn’t a stranger when it comes to hardcore matches, but they did it well once again this week, and even put new elements into it.

What I loved about this match was the emotion it conveyed. We saw Sexy Star go from a proud fighter to a cowering, traumatized shell of her former self at the start of this season. This match was a return to her old form—that of the tough, fighting luchadora who never backs down from a fight. Heck, she even took it one step further, displaying a rage that we have barely seen in her (aided by Dario Cueto’s actions, but more on that later). That guttural “Fuck you, Mariposa!” towards the end of the match? That was just raw hatred, and in that moment, you felt that it was Sexy Star’s time to beat her demons. When Mariposa finally uttered those two words, you saw how jubilant the Temple was, and how they applauded Sexy Star’s big win.

This was the culmination of the Sexy Star-Mariposa feud, and I’m looking forward to seeing the former move on. She also won an Aztec medallion in this match (it was easy to miss, since most of the focus was on their history), which means that she’ll be participating in the upcoming Gift of the Gods match. As for Mariposa, I’m less certain what they have in store for her, but I would like to see more of her and her brother. They play the well of tormentors very well, and it should just be a matter of time before they give someone else hell.


Gold Rush

With the Trios Tournament recently concluding, this gave the race for the Aztec medallions the feature time it needed. This week featured a total of three Aztec medallions being given away, so let’s take a look at what happened with the other two.


The show kicked off with a quick preview of our main event, with Marty “The Moth” Martinez squaring off against the Mack. This was match that served to highlight the Mack’s in-ring style. Moth got some offense in, but Mack gave him a Stunner soon enough to pick up the win. The Mack is one of those guys that is simply a joy to watch, and his offense was on full display in this match. It was a short match, but both men would eventually make their presence felt later on in the Sexy Star-Mariposa main event.

Next, King Cuerno made his return, competing for another Aztec medallion against a powered up Siniestro de la Muerte. When we last saw him, he was fresh off tearing his former Trios partners’ hearts out, and this was the first time he was in singles action. The Hunter started this match red hot, but was immediately cooled off after Catrina hit him with the rock. That provided Siniestro with the opening he needed to capitalize, picking up the win and a spot in the Gift of the Gods Championship match.

With much of Catrina’s attention focused on waging war against the Cuetos, it’s easy to forget that other people have beef with her and her undead men. Prior to Aztec Warfare, we last saw King Cuerno running into some problems with Catrina, and they look set to pick up this plot once more. We know that King Cuerno isn’t going to take things sitting down, so expect him to get back at Catrina and her friends sometime soon. I’m just glad that they’re featuring King Cuerno again, as he hasn’t really done much after this season’s early feud with Fenix (he appeared briefly in Aztec Warfare, but that was it.)


Quick Hits




  • We actually had a fourth match for another Aztec medallion, as last week’s winner Cage put his prize on the line against Mascarita Sagrada. This was a match set up by Famous B for his new client, although he might have picked the worst possible opponent. Mascarita Sagrada is roughly the size of one of Cage’s legs, so you know how this match ended. At the very least, Famous B was damn entertaining, and I spat out my drink when the Beautiful Brenda yelled “my baby!” when Mascarita Sagrada came crashing down.

  • Cage won, but he ended up losing his medallion as Chavo Guerrero nicked it from the referee. That’s just Chavo living up to the core Guerrero tenets of lying, cheating and stealing. It’s a smart way for him to sneak into a relevant position again, and we’ll see if he’s able to keep that medal away from a raging, unstoppable Machine.

  • Dario Cueto once again played a big role, fueling Sexy Star’s quest for revenge by setting up that big main event. He even tried to relate to Sexy Star’s plight, sharing with her the story of how he and his brother stood up to their abusive mother. It did feel out of place as he hasn’t been one to actually care about his fighters, but one must remember that Dario is a big, big proponent of violence. This was just him pumping up one of his employees to display the level of violence he wanted. Good job, boss.

  • We also got an idea of what to expect next week, as Dario met with Catrina to arrange another match between Mil Muertes and Matanza. Dario even booked Mil Muertes’ specialty match for the occasion—Grave Consequences. He then took it back only to set up a bigger match with more coffins, so next week’s match will be a Graver Consequences match! Yes, that really happened.

  • Line of the night: “And now Cage is wearing a knapsack, or perhaps a tight turtleneck!” – Matt Striker gives Mascarita Sagrada so much shit that I actively look forward to the next time Mascarita Sagrada has a match.


This was a very, very good episode, and I definitely enjoyed it more than the past couple of shows. It had your usual dose of good matches and funny moments, but the main event was just excellent. I wouldn’t call it the season’s best match yet, but it’s definitely up there, and should be one of the matches we go back to when we binge watch this show. It’s a solid A- effort, and is easily one of the better episodes of this season. Let’s see if next week’s big Graver Consequences match will top this.


*****

Anthony Cuello is an HR professional and training designer. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers PWR 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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