Notes In Observance – Lucha Underground 7/20/16: Ultima Lucha Dos Part III
By 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.
Ultima Lucha Dos Part III
– We wish we could write about Lucha Underground’s second season with more enthusiasm, but we cannot. Now don’t get us wrong. In terms of what makes the show work (cinematic elements, outrageously stellar in-ring action, diverse roster, etc.), we still had plenty of that here. Where things didn’t go as smooth was in the long-term storytelling. Where season one ended with Catrina/Mil Muertes in a stranglehold of the Temple branded a “Much Darker Place” was perfect as a start for season two and the show carried on like it usually does, until we hit the abomination that was Lucha Underground Champion Matanza Cueto and his disappointing debut where he simply and senselessly took down LUG’s greater warriors (Pentagon Jr., Fenix, Cage to name a few) and his slow, no-sell style began to affect the top of the card and in turn, the show. The fact that Matanza is still involved with this Championship was sickening. Albeit, one thing handled correctly was the use of Pentagon Jr. to this point. He disappeared after being destroyed by Matanza and Vampiro began to torture him to prepare for another battle, to which then he won his way to the one-on-one match. Pentagon is arguably LUG’s hottest act and it was no surprise he’d be involved with the Title. At least they got that right. Anyways, this episode left us a bit helpless, but we’ll get to all that excitement shortly. The opening video reminded us of season two’s good parts and set up how we got matches like the Lucha Underground Trios Championship battle between Champions The Worldwide Underground against Drago/AeroStar/Fenix, Ivelisse against Taya, Pentagon Jr. against Matanza and then the “Dream Match” in Rey Mysterio and Prince Puma.
– The opening cutscene with Vampiro/Pentagon was fine as far as LUG theatrics, because it revolved around Vampiro’s last plan to mentally Pentagon for the big fight, which basically involved him going into a dark cave where he fought lookalikes until there was a last one who put up a good fight, revealed to be Vampiro himself. Looked cool, though it lasted a bit too long. Nevertheless, we were supposed to come away from this feeling that our fearless warrior was finally deemed ready by his master.
– The LUG Trios Championship match between Fenix/Drago/AeroStar and Champions The Worldwide Underground was simply electric, start to finish. Drago particularly impressed us with his aerials, while Matt Striker emphasized the importance of this bout to Fenix, who went for his first LUG Triple Crown since he previously held the LUG Championship and the Gift Of The Gods Championship. There were some insane spots here, like how Drago leaped off Fenix’s shoulders atop the top rope to his opponents on the floor below. He also pulled off a huracanrana on the apron to the floor below. There were also traditional things, in how Referee Rick Knox constantly tried to keep control of the bout only to end up laid out when Jack Evans pulled him out of the ring before he could count to three for the babyfaces. WU ended pulling out all the heel tricks with Title shots and low blows but to no avail. The deciding factor here was the returning Angelico, who walloped the heels with his cane, as he took the most time to strike Johnny Mundo first, which revealed that Mundo was probably the one to take him out originally, likely setting up a feud for season three thankfully. Even better – Fenix got to get the pinfall on Mundo to get the first official LUG Triple crown achievement.
– With little more hype than sibling rivalry, the Lotus-DA bout wasn’t much to write about. Luckily, it kept up a fast-paced as Lotus proved to be decent in the ring in her debut, but besides that, it was a good reason to have Pentagon come in and break both their arms, which set up his fantastic promo where he talked about how he was now “Pentagon Dark” because his master took him from humiliation and made him strong through journeys to the dark places in the universe. It was essentially his battle cry, but a well-done one at that. he’s got so much charisma and doesn’t even speak English.
– The LUG Championship match between Pentagon Dark and Champion Matanza apparently happened “sooner in the night” because of Pentagon’s promo that apparently called out the Champion, though we didn’t hear that part. Maybe it was more because this wasn’t a worthy main event and the finish would send people home pissed as hell, yup. Anyways, we did like the idea that there needed to be a winner. The action was okay, as far as it was Pentagon getting thrown around and coming at Matanza hard in what was mostly a battle more than a match. The finish left a bad taste in our mouth, since they had Vampiro cost Pentagon the match when he introduced the barbed wire bat into the match and Pentagon ended up getting hit with it and that led to Matanza’s finisher to end it. So lame. This would’ve been the perfect moment for Pentagon, LUG’s hottest act, to win the big belt. Wasted so much emphasis on his return story, all for that to happen. The belt needs to leave Matanza as soon as possible. It only personified everything wrong with season two. Liked how the crowd chanted, “Bullshit” with it. Perfect.
– In the battle for the “Baddest Bitch In The Building,” Taya and Ivelisse had an alright match with little excitement for us, because it didn’t feel like a blood feud by any means. Taya had been a star through season two and was one of the shining highlights as a valet for Johnny Mundo. The action was decent and physical, but the match was used as a platform to further the Ivelisse-Catrina feud, as Catrina donned a darker, dominatrix look as she teleported back and forth to the ring and the crowd to cost Ivelisse the match. Straight up supernatural stuff. As you’d imagine, the lick of death to Ivelisse got the males in the audience excited.
– As fas as everything for the Puma-Mysterio main event, it was well-hyped through the episode and with the video that preceded the match. There was a lot of focus on Puma’s upbringing with Konnan as his trainer as he rose through the ranks to become the first LUG Champion. On the other side was “El Rey,” whose legend status as a lucha pioneer was self-explanatory. Maybe there was a slow start, but as things progressed, it was downright fantastic with all the near-fall trades. Liked the story in how Puma came close several times to putting Mysterio away, but he kicked out at the last second. In the end, it was Mysterio who won and they opted for the sportsmanship as the possible closing image of the show as Striker/Vampiro thanked the fans and home viewers, before Pentagon Dark sinisterly attacked them execution-style. Striker was laid out with a kick to the head and the brunt of his force went to Vampiro, who he busted open. In terms of shock value, it was a nice surprise, but not even original. Remember the build to the first Vampiro-Pentagon match and how this attack was the norm? Meh. Where we have a problem with it this time is that Pentagon had become LUG’s top face to a certain extent and here he was attacking the face announcers and his master, as he enjoyed the humiliation as he busted him open. Were we supposed to like this or hate this? It appeared to be an attempt at a heel turn, but the fans chanted along with Pentagon, so it didn’t seem to deter them, even with the brutal image of Pentagon as he licked Vampiro’s blood off his hands. We were so confused, even if this was likely a seed to plant a Vampiro-Pentagon feud for season three.
– We sort of looked forward to a long-winded cinematic cutscene to preview season three, but all we got was footage of Dario Cueto as he was escorted into a police van and he flashed a sinister grin from inside. That was it? It appears season three will start sooner than later, so maybe they’ll jump right into things.
- Lucha Underground Trios Championship – Drago/AeroStar/Fenix def. The Worldwide Underground via pinfall to become new Champions
- Black Lotus and Dragon Azteca Jr. to a no-contest
- Lucha Underground Championship – Matanza Cueto (Champion) (w/Dario Cueto) def. Pentagon Dark via pinfall to retain
- Taya def. Ivelisse via pinfall
- Rey Mysterio def. Prince Puma via pinfall
Posted on August 20, 2016, in Lucha Underground and tagged Aerostar, Angelico, Black Lotus, Catrina, Dario Cueto, Drago, Dragon Azteca Jr., Fenix, Ivelisse, Matanza Cueto, Matt Striker, Pentagon Dark, Pentagon Jr., Prince Puma, Rey Mysterio, Rick Knox, Taya, The Worldwide Underground, Ultima Lucha Dos, Vampiro. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.