By Nicholas Jason Lopez
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 Prince Vs. The Student
– It’s everybody’s favorite time of the year – Ultima Lucha time. At least Ultima Lucha Uno had us that way. Season two has been a mixed bag of ups and downs, but the train’s near a solid stop, it’s up to LUG to take it upon a smooth sail. The opening video focused on Mil Muertes’ “rebirth” thanks to Catrina in spite of King Cuerno’s hunter mentality to take him down and a battle was set for them. Also in that package was highlights of what closed last week’s show – a bold challenge from Prince Puma to Rey Mysterio and Mysterio’s humbled acceptance. Ultima Lucha Dos was upon one week’s wait and the hype was on.
Six To Survive
– Lucha Underground was back on the prowl with one of those “whole hour” matches, which when worked correctly, goes smooth to perfection. The opening video focused on the LAPD storyline as well as how Vampiro built up Pentagon Jr. after he was decimated by Lucha Underground Champion Matanza Cueto to take out Chavo Guerrero and earn a spot onto the winning team last week, which put him in a “Six To Survive” elimination match which would also involve Ivelisse, King Cuerno, Johnny Mundo, Taya and Fenix. The winner of that match would go on to fight Matanza for the LUG Championship at Ultima Lucha Dos. Oh and as well as the fact that Catrina reawakened Mil Muertes once more and he was probably out for blood, at least by the sight of his eyes…
– This episode’s focus was primarily upon the Gift Of The Gods and Trios Championships, which more or less, meant that it’d be another Lucha Underground Champion Matanza-less episode. Three cheers.
Four-Way Trios Madness
– Another week of Lucha rolls on and it showed plenty of promise, as far as in-ring competition. The opening video hyped the Johnny Mundo-Cage match in a cage to determine the third holder of the seven Ancient Aztec Medallions as well as the Trios Tournament finals, where four teams, including Champions Angelico/Ivelisse/Son Of Havoc would battle with the belts on the line.
Battle Of The Monsters
– With the Trios Tournament in full effect and several intriguing undercard storylines, it has been enough to deter us from Lucha Underground’s tame little monster, LUG Champion Matanza Cueto and his boring squashes. On this episode, we saw an impending clash between LUG’s two biggest forces – Matanza and former LUG Champion Mil Muertes in a rematch for the belt. The twist here was that Muertes stood as the lesser of two evils in this situation.
Rise Or Die Trying
– As Lucha Underground’s second season continues nods on, so do the semi-enticing storylines. They haven’t been as polished as last year’s, but with Dario Cueto back, we’re as close to “throwback” as possible. It might as well be Thursday. Hardy har har. Anyways, the opening video reminded us of Sexy Star’s affected state thanks to Marty “The Moth” Martinez and Mariposa, as well as Joey Ryan/Ricky Reyes working together as underground police officers in an attempt to take down Dario, while his brother Matanza has tightly gripped the Lucha Underground Championship, downing any challengers to this point.
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.
– Catrina and Fenix certainly have a tangled history. When we thought she abandoned Lucha Underground Champion Mil Muertes for him, everything seemed to come together, before she ultimately sided with Muertes and screwed Fenix over. Sometimes we can’t tell if she still has a thing for Fenix or is simply manipulating him by getting in his head, but the opening cutscene with the two was good hype for the big main event. Catrina kissing him and then boldly claiming that Muertes would destroy him once and for all was like a “hot damn” moment.
Three-Way Temple Havoc
– The backstage segment with The Mack and Sexy Star hyped the opening match, as he requested her company for his match against Marty “The Moth” Martinez. She initially refused, but he convinced her otherwise. For fearless Sexy Star to be scared, “The Moth” had to do some mental number on her.