Lucha: Underground – May 6th, 2015
The Temple in Boyle Heights is the venue of choice for post-Cinco de Mayo, pre-Lucha Libre World Cup action!
After successfully defending his championship title against Drago last week in a hard-fought and controversial contest, Prince Puma must focus on his next challenge: the talented but two-faced Hernandez, whose number one contender spot is placed in jeopardy. Two top luchadores vie for their right to compete for the Lucha:Underground Championship in tonight’s epic main event.
- Inside Dario Cueto’s office: Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron argue for their respective rights to a championship opportunity against Prince Puma. Cueto makes them a deal: Mundo vs Patron tonight, and the winner fights Hernandez for the number one contender spot.
- The Crew (Mr Cisco & Cortez Castro) vs Angelico & Son of Havoc: team combo move of Flap-Jack into Codebreaker is hit on Havoc and Crew picks up the pinfall.
- Inside Cueto’s office: DelAvar Daivari, the “stranger” who attacked Texano from the audience weeks ago, has a brief conversation with the boss, who welcomes him to The Temple.
- In the locker room: Konnan with Prince Puma confronts Hernandez about his interference last week. Cueto interrupts, informs the two they will team against Cage and King Cuerno tonight.
- DelAvar Daivari vs Texano: Texano attacks before the bell and the two brawl. Texano is disqualified as Daivari escapes his fury.
- Prince Puma (c) & Hernandez vs Cage & King Cuerno: there is dissension and miscommunication between the champion and the number one contender, and ultimately Hernandez attacks Puma with a powerbomb to the ring apron. Cage applies Weapon X and picks up a pinfall on the champion.
- Johnny Mundo vs Aberto El Patron: back and forth battle. Patron survives The End of the World and Mundo escapes the Arm bar submission, but Patron gets the win after knocking Mundo out with a side kick to the face.
- Katrina awakens Mil Muertes from the dead.
- Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron have been teasing a head to header since Patron first came to the Temple, and while the drama between the champ and Hernandez continues to unfold, there is no better time to put these two in the main event. The build, although thoroughly told, is one lacking any personal offense. These don’t hate each other, they each simply believe they are the best in the sport and are fighting to prove their own worth. Future contests may up the ante by adding some kind of bad blood, but for now this professional competitiveness is more than enough to suffice.
- The Trios Champions were in action for the first time since winning their titles, and they did not have a good night. The Crew looked well-oiled and cohesive, as usual, but their opponents lacked communication and both Havoc and Angelico battled for the spotlight – a theme which would recur later on in the night. Angelico was his usual dynamic self, but the fans were repeatedly cheering for Havoc’s involvement in the match, and much to their dismay he was bested with a double-team. The Trios Champs have learned an important lesson about teamwork this week, and it will no doubt serve to strengthen them in the weeks to come or else they will lose their gold. Also, the Crew showed that Cueto’s “additional motivation” given last week has not landed on them lightly.
- When I see Daivari, I cannot help but be reminded of his offensive Middle-Eastern terrorist gimmick from the earlier 2000s. Thankfully, we are past that. A different stereotype persists in his character, but perhaps one he feels is closer to reality but still villainous enough to elicit proper heat: that of the young, indulgent and materialistic opportunist, spoiled on family wealth. He shows his arrogance and disrespect by barely paying attention to the boss, Cueto, in the man’s own office, paying more heed to his smart phone. But like any good rudo, DelAvar Daivari has another layer to his persona: that of a sadist. He claims to enjoy inflicting pain, not simply watching others do so. This makes him a much more interesting character to watch.
- The locker room conversation between Konnan and Hernandez clears up whether the mentor is on the side of the champ or of the challenger. Hernandez at first attempts to get over how he helped Puma out in his fight with Drago, but Konnan calls him out as trying to hurt the champ. To this, Hernandez gives up the charade and launches straight into threats against the champ. His allegiance – or lack thereof – is now clear, yet his motivations remain muddled. It is difficult to put a thumb on a man who seems only to want to watch the world burn, a man out only for himself and honour be damned.
- DelAvar Daivari got his rudo character over with the Temple crowd – the people definitely despise him. That was the first thing this brief “match” accomplished. The second was to build on this fledgeling feud between the wealthy newcomer and the former AAA Heavyweight Champion. The third thing this segment accomplished was a push for Texano as a tecnico. The crowd responded with a resounding pop at his entrance and beat-down. He has no one better to make himself look like a saint than Daivari, who is already hated. The eventual contest between these two, if it ever comes to pass, will be one very physical.
- The tag match was heavy on story and a bit light on action. Puma was electric, as he always is. Hernandez, although a consummate showman, is revealing himself to be not much more than a punch/kick/suicide dive luchadore, and he displayed his somewhat limited and brutish move set in this match. Since this match was all about the odds at which the champion and challenger found themselves, Cage and King Cuerno were unjustly underutilized. Cage picked up a massive win by pinning the reigning champion, a feat that King Cuerno can already boast. I would not be surprised to see these two challenge each other for the right to challenge for the gold, eventually.
- But the story of the match was Hernandez finally showing his true colours openly and unapologetic. Turning his back on Konnan, attacking Prince Puma and turning the crowd firmly against him, he became the rudo we all should have seen him to be from day one. He is truly out for himself, and out for gold, and despite remaining untested in Lucha: Underground singles competition, he has looked impressive thus far and potentially poses a legitimate threat to Puma’s reign. Perhaps we may see a mean streak come out in the champ if and when these two square off in the ring.
- What can one say about Mundo and Patron? Two professionals in every sense of the word, classy, savvy and skilled. They told a great story in the ring tonight, and built one hell of a fantastic match. It began slow and built tempo, excitement and impact, until it reached a crescendo with a series of close calls and false finishes. Both men are tecnicos with massive favour from the crowd, but the stakes being what they were it was exciting to see the gloves come off: first Patron and then Mundo began early on to exhibit underhanded tactics in attempt to gain an edge.
- Probably the best thing about this match was its potential to draw in more new viewers to Lucha: Underground. Both Mundo and Patron gained fame in the world of WWE, which is where a large part of their fanbase still reside. Their styles lend themselves to lucha libre but equally so to the American-style of catch wrestling, and any fans who are used to WWE and want to give LU a try, this would be a perfect match to get them hooked. It came across like a high-octane version of the matches you see on Raw or Smackdown or NXT, but compromising none of the edgy style and grace of lucha libre.
- Mil Muertes is back from the dead, again. What memory will he have, if any, of Katrina’s betrayal? Or is this, in the end, her own sick game? Will Muertes seek revenge on Fenix, or will he be set on a new path? Stay tuned to see.
Photos copyright El Rey Network.