Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: November 7, 2018
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Vampiro, Matt Striker
It’s the final show of the season and that means we should be in for something good. If there’s one thing that Lucha Underground knows how to do, it’s the big show at the end of the year because this is where you’ll get to the good stuff. The big match is Pentagon Dark challenging Marty Martinez for the title and you know something bad is going down there. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at a lot of the backstage stuff from over the series, with a big focus on the Cuetos and their bosses trying to take over the world.
Johnny Mundo is warming up with the gauntlet as Taya isn’t sure about this. He seems a little too excited about it and asks if Taya is going to be there tonight. She wouldn’t miss it for the Mundo. Johnny says he loves her in case he gets sacrificed tonight and leaves. Ricky Mundo’s doll loves Taya too because she’s the perfect host. Taya seems to have been possessed, which is never a good sign.
El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Fenix
2/3 falls, no countouts and no DQ. They go straight to the loud kicks to the head to start with Fenix getting the better of things and sending a charging Dragon into the corner. A sunset bomb gives Dragon two and he sends Fenix outside for the big springboard dive. Back in and Fenix avoids the 450 so Dragon heads up top, where he gets caught by a palm strike to the face. The Black Fire Driver gives Fenix the first fall at 2:22.
We take a break and come back with Fenix bringing in a chair and a table. That takes too long though and Dragon hits some clotheslines before they go head to head. Dragon is right back with the tornado DDT for the second fall at 4:23. This brings out Antonio Cueto to say let’s make the third fall falls count anywhere.
We take another break and come back with Dragon throwing him to the floor and grabbing a table. Fenix gets in a shot of his own and now it’s his turn to throw in a table of his own. Dragon goes back to the floor though and they climb into the crowd with Dragon hurricanranaing Fenix through the table. That’s only good for two, allowing Fenix to put Dragon on the other table for a Swanton…and the table doesn’t break.
Back in and they both head up to the same corner, with Dragon hitting a wheelbarrow driver through another table. A chair gets added to the mix but Melissa Santos begs for them to calm down. The distraction lets Fenix BLAST Dragon with a chair and drive him through another table. A second Black Fire Driver finishes Dragon at 15:22.
Rating: B. Now that’s how you open a big show as both guys beat the heck out of each other and Melissa getting involved keeps Dragon somewhat safe. Dark Fenix is a heck of a villain and the kind of guy who could go a long way. Dragon is still growing on me, but that high flying is hard to ignore, even against someone as talented as Fenix.
Melissa can’t make the announcement and leaves in tears.
Back from a break and Antonio says Melissa has left the building. Therefore, here is your new ring announcer: Shaul Guerrero. Well that’s certainly lucha royalty. Shaul says she’s honored to be here and starts introducing the next match but here’s Famous B. to interrupt. He’s the only guest announcer we can have around here and doesn’t know Shaul or her family. If she wants to REALLY be famous, she can call him. Shaul: “EXCUSE ME!” Well you know that’s getting a pop.
She lists off her family members, including her father Eddie. Apparently the B stands for b**** and a fight is teased but here’s Chavo Jr. for the save. A shot to the face allows Shaul to hit Three Amigos and Chavo adds a frog splash. I’m not big on Chavo but this was excellent and the best feel good moment this place has had in a long time.
The Mack vs. Mil Muertes
Death match so Mil wheels out a casket with DEATH MATCH painted on the top. Mack’s early kick to the face is caught, meaning it’s a loud “OH S***!” A running knee to the head rocks Muertes and he gets sent outside for a flip dive from Mack. They fight on the apron with Muertes getting the better of it and going to find a second casket. An X Factor drops Mack face first onto one of them and Muertes fires off clotheslines in the corner.
The tenth misses though and Muertes gets dropped in the corner for a Cannonball. Mack goes to find out what’s in the casket….and it’s a bunch of weapons, including an ax. This is going to hurt isn’t it? He spends a long time looking though and it’s a suicide dive to take him down instead. Muertes clears out the rest of the coffin (including a brick and a sickle among other things) before throwing Mack back inside.
Mack misses a swing with an ax (well, death would make sense) and gets ice picked in the head. A running clothesline gets Mack out of trouble and it’s time for a metal trashcan. Mack manages a Coast to Coast with said can for two but Muertes is right back with a swinging chokeslam. They head outside with Mack going for the mask (a rarity for Muertes), which seems to shake Muertes.
Back in and Mack gets two off a running DDT, followed by the standing moonsault for the same. The Flatliner gets Muertes out of trouble for two (BIG pop for the kickout) as Vampiro is rather pleased that Striker is enjoying the violence like this. Mack is right back with a pair of Stunners, followed by a BRICK to the head and another Stunner (complete with middle fingers and an F bomb) for the pin at 12:53.
Rating: B+. That’s the kind of Mack that makes you see the kind of star he really can become. He has some great charisma and I’m still curious as to why WWE let him go so soon. Beating Muertes is a big enough deal but to do it in a match where Muertes should excel is even better. That’s a big win for Mack and I’d love to see more of him in the next season.
Post match Mack throws him in the casket and pours some beer on top for a little Austin flavor.
Johnny Mundo vs. Matanza
Mundo has the gauntlet, which the announcers recognize for a change. Antonio freaks out about Johnny having it…and no one notices that because Matanza comes out in a sacrificial headdress and a skull mask. He’s now wrestling in gear and I’m going to need a second to get used to this. Johnny chokes him down with the gauntlet so Matanza takes it off without much effort. Well so much for that. Johnny flips out of a suplex but gets caught in something like a swinging Boss Man Slam.
A German suplex drops Johnny again but he slips out of Wrath of the Gods and scores with the Moonlight Drive. End of the World mostly connects for two so Mundo goes up, only to get caught in a belly to back superplex with Mundo landing on his face. With Matanza going near the gauntlet, Johnny dives underneath the ring to distract him. That’s enough to get the gauntlet but Matanza doesn’t let him get it on. Matanza throws it up onto the balcony for some reason so Johnny goes for a climb and jumps for it….but gets caught and slammed face first into a wall. Again, well so much for that.
Matanza can’t powerbomb him onto the fans though and Johnny goes up top and finds the gauntlet. He STILL can’t get it on though so Matanza throws him through the roof of the freezer. The announcers say it’s over but Johnny comes out of the freezer with the gauntlet on and of course hits his pose. A right hand knocks a chair into Matanza’s face and he bails into the ring. Matanza looks scared but hits Wrath of the Gods…for two. Some more punches, including a SUPERMAN PUNCH from the top (ok that was awesome) finishes Matanza at 11:53.
Rating: C+. This is the kind of goofy fun that has been missing from Lucha Underground for so long. It was so over the top and insane with cool visuals and nothing more than a hero fighting a monster. The Superman Punch alone made it look like a scene from a comic book. What more could you possibly want from this?
Post break, Aerostar tries to get the gauntlet back from Johnny but he’s not sure. Aerostar convinces him to take it off though and Johnny is off to celebrate with Taya.
Lucha Underground Title: Marty Martinez vs. Pentagon Dark
Martinez is defending and anything goes. They both bring chairs and Pentagon pelts his at Marty’s head to start. Marty gets kicked around the ring and a posting busts him open. That means it’s time to bring in the weapons and DANG Martinez is bleeding badly. Pentagon blocks a whip through a table and superkicks Marty, only to get sent through the table a few seconds later.
A few kendo sticks rock Pentagon and they head inside for the first time with Marty rips at the mask. It’s time for a lunchbox, and of course that means the fork going into Pentagon’s forehead. They head outside and Marty buries him underneath a bunch of chairs. Shockingly enough, Marty is capable of rolling out from a pile of chairs and hits a package piledriver on the floor. That’s only good for two back inside and Marty gets him caught in the Tree of Woe, complete with a trashcan around Pentagon’s head.
Marty finds a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire to beat on the can a bit….and let’s have some gasoline. Pentagon gets doused but he kicks the lighter away. The shot with the bat hits the rope and bounces back into Marty’s head because he’s not bleeding enough yet. They head outside again with Pentagon sending him through a well placed glass window (Striker: “OH S***!”). Pentagon sets up six chairs back inside and a package piledriver through them is enough to give Pentagon the title back at 12:33.
Rating: B. That’s exactly what this needed to be: mindless violence and destruction with Pentagon winning the fair (ish) fight. These guys beat the heck out of each other and got into the higher levels of carnage, which is what these matches call for. I don’t think anyone bought Marty as a long term champion and Pentagon has been the star of this place since the beginning. This made sense and was a lot of fun, but you know things aren’t over yet.
Post match Reklusa runs out for the beatdown but Vampiro gets up for the save. Vampiro hands him the title…and kicks him low. The fight is on but another masked man (smaller than Pentagon but looking rather similar) comes in to chair Pentagon down. Vampiro introduces him as his master, who hits a shooting star off the entrance onto Pentagon. They head inside again with the guy hitting a Red Arrow…and here’s Jake Strong. You know the drill.
Lucha Underground Title: Jake Strong vs. Pentagon Dark
Strong is challenging and the ankle lock goes on. Pentagon’s ankle is snapped and the referee calls it at 40 seconds to make Strong champion, with the fans being rather displeased (you can imagine their chant).
Dragon Azteca, King Cuerno and Aerostar meet to talk about the gauntlet. They agree it must go back into hiding but Dragon says they need to strike now to give them the advantage they need. Dragon gets to take it and mentions a she that needs to use it.
Black Lotus comes in to see Matanza, who she knows killed her parents. She has the gauntlet….and RIPS HIS BEATING HEART OUT, killing him (in theory of course). Dragon comes in to say her parents can finally be at peace. She says Dragon can be too and leaves. Strong, wearing the title and a suit, comes in to break Dragon’s ankle and takes the gauntlet, saying it belongs to “us”.
Johnny comes in to see the still possessed Taya, saying it’s time for their honeymoon. Taya says she’s not his wife and chokes him against a locker. The laughing doll can be heard and Taya says she’s god.
Antonio meets with the big bads from earlier, who say everything is coming together. Apparently the gods have taken human forms and the title is back in their control. Strong comes in with the title, saying the blood on his shirt is Matanza’s. As Antonio is sad, the really big boss (who we still haven’t seen), says the Order will never forget Matanza’s sacrifice. The man says they need a new host before leaning forward to reveal Stu Bennett (Bad News/Wade Barrett) who asks if anyone else has any BAD NEWS. Everyone shakes their heads and Bennett says it’s time to take over the world.
We flash back in time to one year ago with Antonio taking the key from Dario’s coffin. Antonio leaves and Aerostar warps in with Catrina’s amulet. He puts it on Dario, who wakes up and says “What the F….” to end the season. To be continued. Now that’s the kind of cliffhanger you use to end a season.
Overall Rating: B+. This show felt like Lucha Underground trying to make up for a lot of lost time in one night and dang if it didn’t work. They know the right buttons to press and did so to near perfection here with a lot of fun action, but more importantly the over the top stories that make this show work so well. You can’t do the same kind of stuff that you see everyone else here and that’s what they seemed to remember this time. I had a great time with this show and it was a ton of fun.
Strong as the new champion doesn’t seem like the best idea as the fans just don’t care, but him being part of the big group of bads makes sense. The problem is it takes them WAY too long to get back to those stories and that hurts things a lot. What matters here though is the show feeling fun and I REALLY hope we get another season, even if it’s the last one to wrap everything up. They seem convinced that another is coming, and with that ending it almost has to. Really good show, though it doesn’t quite make up for the weak season.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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