Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 7/29/15: Ultima Lucha Part I
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Ultima Lucha Part I
– If you’re just catching on to Lucha Underground now, you’ve either made the best decision (since it’s the peak of the season) or the worst (since you’ve missed all the stellar storytelling and buildup that has led to this point thus far) but alas, we applaud you for being here right now. Ultima Lucha – the culmination of all storylines and buildup, the “WrestleMania of Lucha Underground” (if you will) started off a week early and gave a glimpse into just what we were in for: an amped-up crowd, heightened tension in the air and the determination for the talent to go out and steal the show. All the elements were there. The pins were certainly “set up.” Could they be knocked down? As always, the opening video did a nice job of briefly hyping the matches on the show – The Mack vs. “The Machine” Cage in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, Drago vs. Hernandez in a Believer’s Backlash Match (Fans surround the ring with straps) and the Trios Championships match between The Disciples Of Death and Ivelisse/Angelico/Son Of Havoc.
– Dario Cueto was in cheesy antagonist mode and on his biggest night as a promoter, it was a nice touch to see him suit-clad and champagne-driven. His interactions with Black Lotus have been an integral part of the season and it was good to see it continue here, where he basically tried to brainwash her with the claim that El Dragon Azteca, her trainer, was in fact the person that killed her parents and blamed it on Cueto’s brother, the caged Matanza. The obvious intent was to turn Lotus against EDA, which seemed to work given how Cueto’s words rang through her and fueled her anger anew. It gave us some intrigue as EDA could very easily be a hidden villain, but at the same time, who can trust Cueto?
– Given that Cage-Mack had little backstory besides one instance where Cage annihilated Mack and then Mack got a few wins on Cage in the ring, expectations were understandably low headed into the match, which at least promised weapon use. Oh, we got more than that here. They started brawling right from the very start and worked in some brutal-looking spots (Belly-To-Belly Suplex on the hardwood bleachers, Spinebuster on top of Cueto’s Office, etc.) and the crowd was incredibly hot for it. Mack was incredibly over with the crowd, which also helped us buy into the near-falls as he literally brought everything he had to Cage, who kicked out every time. The Curb-Stomp finish on the cinder block was an appropriate finish for Cage to win, ending a match that exceeded the hype with clever weapon incorporation. Was it also a shot at WWE? Not to mention Cage worked in a “beer spit” and stunner spot. As for both guys’ evolution in Lucha Underground, you have to be impressed with Mack, as he pretty much went from Big Ryck’s lowly henchmen to a true breakout star with athleticism to match his size. Cage we wonder a bit about, since he came in with a big build, guns blazing to the Lucha Underground Championship, since cooling off to opening this show with a hardcore match basically, but it’s no knock on his character by any means.
– Another consistent build throughout the season was the fighting, dysfunctional team of Ivelisse/Son Of Havoc/Angelico as they fought their way to become Trios Champions, with The Disciples Of Death gaining ground on them thanks to Catrina and her magic stone, coinciding with the monster return build of Mil Muertes. The showdown was imminent and it lived up to the buildup. DOD reigned dominance early on, while the faces gained momentum eventually. We got another crazy spot with Angelico’s latest leap from the top of Cueto’s office to the floor. SOH also sold a lot in the ring, which made things dramatic. The Ivelisse-Catrina staredown/confrontation was also well-done, leading directly to the finish, which saw Catrina wallop Ivelisse with the stone after she was originally taken down, to let the heels get the win and the Championships. This was a better option anyways since it could’ve served as a foreshadow of things to come later with Catrina’s Death Crew gaining power and it also gives the faces a killer comeback story. Entertaining bout all-around.
– For all the flack Hernandez’s name has caught with TNA, he has been a draw for Lucha Underground, with a cocky character that stands out more whom doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. He’s a guy who is easy to hate and that was the motivation for this “Believer’s Backlash,” which also drew on his past taunts and assaults on fans in the past. Mix that with Drago’s return – hot upon arrival but simmering with time – gave us the ingredients for something entertaining. Their two styles mesh together and that was evident despite the “spectacle” of the stipulation. Hernandez’s facial expressions were excellent, while Drago had the crowd’s energy fueling his comeback spirit. The fans may had laid it on a bit thick with their “We hate Hernandez” schtick, but their whips were at least buyable. Hernandez’s welts spoke for themselves. With it being a heel’s night to this point, it made sense for Drago to come out on top, to continue his momentum and see Hernandez finally get his.
– The final segment with the hooded figure and EDA was quite intriguing, as it told us EDA was willing to fight to get in the Temple even if it was written in fate that he’d die. The message coming out of this was that he was willing to rescue Lotus at any cost, contrary to what Cueto said about him earlier. The key is in the hooded figure reveal and how EDA will convince Lotus not to attack him, since she had been brainwashed. It will be a showdown worth seeking out, either way. Lucha Underground has made a niche of clever, cinema-esque storytelling within its athletic stomping grounds and it was no different here.
– Falls Count Anywhere – Cage def. The Mack via pinfall
– Trios Championships – The Disciples Of Death (w/Catrina) def. Angelico/Ivelisse/Son Of Havoc (Champions) via pinfall to become new Champions
– Believer’s Backlash Match – Drago def. Hernandez via pinfall
Posted on August 3, 2015, in Lucha Underground and tagged Angelico, Black Lotus, Cage, Catrina, Dario Cueto, Drago, El Dragon Azteca, Hernandez, Ivelisse, Matt Striker, Melissa Santos, Son Of Havoc, The Disciples Of Death, The Mack, Ultima Lucha, Vampiro. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.