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Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 3/23/16: Aztec Warfare II

Lucha UndergroundBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 3/23/16)

Aztec Warfare II

– Nobody can deny the similarities between Aztec Warfare and WWE’s Royal Rumble. It’s almost like an homage to what remains WWE’s most popular annual happening. LUG benefits because they get to advance individual feuds, create moments and build stars. Last year was intriguing because it was the first time we got to see Prince Puma emerge as a big name, which paid off by the end, since he ended up being LUG Champion for the majority of season one. Aztec Warfare II comes around and we’ve gotten used to the way season two has rolled out, but with LUG Champion Fenix getting settled in as Champion, he already faced an insurmountable obstacle in being the match’s first entrant having to defend the Title and then have Mil Muertes as the final entrant. Much like in the past, Fenix always “rises” to the occasion, but that wasn’t the story they wanted to tell and the short-term booking might’ve hurt this in the long run. More on that below.

– The opening cutscene with Fenix, Pentagon Jr. and Catrina was a fine set-up to the match. Pentagon was always looking to get a piece of the gold and made his threat known, while Catrina showed up to throw her weight around, saying that she didn’t invite Pentagon to the match after he put his hands on her. She also kept things brewing with Fenix, making it known she was confident that he’d take his last breath and Muertes would get back his Title.

– LUG was smart to hook people in for season two with the signing of Rey Mysterio, since he’s arguably the most popular luchador on the American market due to his WWE years. He’d been appearing on recent episodes as a mentor to Dragon Azteca Jr., but the moment was here – his Temple debut right in Aztec Warfare. That alone had us hyped and actually looking forward to the match. Fenix came out as the first entrant as expected, followed by Mysterio. Monster pop. People there probably didn’t expect that. Their brief face-off didn’t disappoint, with the respect factor rampant. King Cuerno was the next entrant and besides for an impressive straight arrow-esque suicide dive, he wasn’t a factor. Argenis also made his return, but also was a non-factor. Johnny Mundo had a good showing, mostly continuing his feud with Cage, as they traded finishers and smashed office windows. Ultimately, Mundo got the last laugh by clobbering a cinder block over Cage’s head, allowing Taya to get the pin. We also saw some nice advancements in the Drago/Aerostar-Jack Evans/PJ Black feud, as they battled it out for some time. Joey Ryan also had some comic relief moments, his cunning plan of handcuffing himself to the barricade backfired when he became a standing duck for many kicks and strikes. The action was all over the place simultaneously – the bleachers, the floor, the ring, etc. This was shaping up to be even better than last year and then we reached the turning point of no return. Obviously, Muertes’ moment in the match backfiring with Pentagon attacking him and then getting pinned by Mysterio was huge and eliminated the instant threat to Fenix. The biggest moment came from Dario Cueto’s return upon a big pop as he then introduced his monstrous brother, Matanza Cueto. He has a Braun Strowman-esque build to him, but could sell and also do some slight flying to stay close to the lucha libre way. What seemed to take fans out of the match was the fact that he pinned Fenix first, which guaranteed a new Champion. With Catrina running the Temple with an iron fist and lick of evil death, Cueto actually presented something fans wanted to cheer. That said, why did they need to do it all at Fenix’s expense, since all we got was a one-week Title reign most notable for the match wrestled to start it than anything else? It would’ve made more sense to keep the belt on Muertes in that case. Could’ve told the exact same story. He then pretty much demolished the rest of the competitors in the match, mostly tecnicos with some rudos thrown in the mix. The crowd didn’t seem too warm to this idea and they definitely packed too much into one episode. That said, Mysterio lasted to the end and actually had us believing he could perhaps overcome Matanza, but it wasn’t to be. Matanza emerges the new LUG Champion. Now, it was a hell of a way to debut a monster figure, but again, our gripe with it was throwing Fenix to the wayside again. It shake things up and we’re stoked that Cueto’s back and are curious where Catrina will factor into the equation, but we question the decision to go all the way in this. Oh yeah and bonus points to Famous B’s cameo appearance, who handed out business cards to everyone there, showing interests in potential clients. Maybe he’ll make us famous one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

  • Lucha Underground Championship – Aztec Warfare – Matanza Cueto (w/Dario Cueto) def. Rey Mysterio, King Cuerno, Argenis, Fenix (Champion), Johnny Mundo, Joey Ryan, Prince Puma, Jack Evans, Taya, Cage, Mascarita Sagrada, Marty “The Moth” Martinez, Drago, The Mack, Chavo Guerrero Jr., PJ Black, Aerostar, Dragon Azteca Jr., Texano and Mil Muertes to become new Champion 
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About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 25 year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently Freelancing for The Bensonhurst Bean website in Brooklyn, he has also been published on sites such as Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on March 31, 2016, in Lucha Underground and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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