Lucha: Underground – July 1st, 2015
With its first big event a little over a month away, and with rumours casting doubt on whether or not it will be renewed for a second season, the best and only showcase for Mexican-style pro wrestling brings its unique brand of violent drama to the El Rey Network!
Tonight’s episode devotes itself to building major feuds going into Ultima Lucha, including the battle for the Lucha: Underground Championship. Prince Puma and his belt are wanted men, with everyone clawing for a title shot before the big event. However, the immense shadow of Mil Muertes looms over all, champion and challenger alike, as he is guaranteed his match at Ultima. Peripherally, Alberto El Patron returns to action after his revenge attack on Johnny Mundo weeks ago. In what state of mind did the Temple crowd find him? Also in clashes to settle personal scores: Texano and DelAvar Daivari with Big Ryck at his side, and former number one contenders Drago and Hernandez.
- In Dario Cueto’s office, Chavo Guerrero calls up the final favour owed to him for delivering Black Lotus to el jeffe. He has the Crew backing him up, he got his revenge on Blue Demon, now he wants a title shot – with stipulations, of course. No disqualifications, and if Konnan interferes at all, Chavo automatically wins.
- DelAvar Daivari vs Texano: the Golden Warrior is pinned with a sit-out powerbomb after Big Ryck’s interference fails.
- In the Temple locker area, Catrina confronts Prince Puma and Konnan. She gives a warning, then conjures Mil Muertes, who stands nose to nose with the champion before he disappears in a flash.
- Hernandez vs Drago: ref is lenient on count-outs and disqualifications, but Hernandez pushes it too far. After taking the leather belt from a ringside fan, using it to whip Drago across the back and then choke him, the match is called. Hernandez disrespects the Temple crowd.
- Marty “the Moth” Martinez vs Alberto El Patron: quick match, Patron showing aggression. He taps out Martinez in short time, then addresses Johnny Mundo on the microphone.
- No Disqualification Lucha:Underground Championship Match – Chavo Guerrero vs Prince Puma (c): the Crew interferes, beats down Puma. Chavo sets up for frog splash but Texano saves the day and dispatches the Crew. Puma hits a 630 splash for the win. Texano warns Guerrero that Mexico is coming for him.
- In the locker room, Blue Demon approaches a defeated Chavo Guerrero. Chavo compares Demon’s national pride and popularity to that of Texano’s, which angers the enmascarado.
- Davairi is an interesting addition to the Lucha roster. His character offers a different shade to the already varied palette: a gimmick unlike any other, and potentially threatening to esteemed people like Alberto El Patron and Dario Cueto himself. Money can buy many things, success and power are only two of them. But as an in-ring performer, he lands flat most of the time. He uses a style of American catch that slows the tempo of Temple action and, although it serves his rudo persona to make the fans boo, it does little to improve the overall enjoyment of the program.
- This match, however, and this feud as a whole, is all about Texano. The youngest AAA Champion (and, as Vamprio reminds us, the longest reigning AAA Champion) came on the Lucha scene as a bit of a blank slate, a rudo with no clear gimmick except for a cowboy hat and bull-rope. But as a face, he has become the hero of the working class, a self-made, rags to riches, guts and glory champion for the people of Mexico. Daivari, the cocky aristocrat, is a perfect person with which to bring out this side of Texano, and it has made him a real favourite with the crowd. It’s warming to see such pops for the man, and quite astounding considering how hated he was during his debut program with El Patron.
- After seeing Hernandez appear on TNA Impact last Wednesday, it is jarring to see him back on Lucha. It is painful as well, knowing that he has jumped ship because of the uncertainty of Lucha’s second season status. Drago continues in his popularity, for clear reasons. He may not possess an array of acrobatics as innovative as Aerostar, and he may not be as crisp as Jack Evans or as smooth as Prince Puma, but his gimmick is a winner. His pageantry, presence and look simply can’t be beat, and the people rightfully love him for it.
- Together with Hernandez, another just-underwhelming-enough-to-be-shy-of-top-shelf performer, he put on a nice match. The ending leaves one confused as to whom it is attempting to serve. Will the feud between Drago and Hernandez continue? Knowing that Hernandez leaves, on what note will he leave on in Lucha? What is Drago’s fate at Ultima Lucha?
- Alberto El Patron did a masterful job of selling a new aggressiveness, both in his lightning-quick dismantling of Marty “the Moth” and in his promo post-match which was, in any language, excellente. His match with Johnny Mundo at Ultima Lucha promises to be even bigger, better and more heated than their first match, which was in itself epic.
- One begins to wonder what stipulation will be placed on the match – because you know that in a blood-feud as high-profile as this, it deserves some kind of stipulation. But what would serve the match most? No holds barred seems a bit basic, but a steel cage match can be quite limiting to the performers. Honestly, after the Puma/Mundo match, it would be thrilling to have the contest be an iron man – but that wouldn’t serve the blood feud. Whatever direction they go, it will be a sight to behold.
- It’s nice to have Chavo Guerrero back, he is an excellent character and a master psychologist, on top of being a world class technical wrestler. However, his matches have become nothing more than brief exchanges which quickly deteriorate into shmozzes since hooking up with the Crew. This may be to serve the story of his character, but it does little to endear audiences. This match between the champ and his lying, cheating, stealing challenger was not about giving a good bout so much as it was about plot-lines. This is a shame, since the display of quick and fluid chain wrestling by the two fighters was impressive, and an extended one on one contest could prove to be a hell of a main event.
- The set-up, though, introducing Texano as Mexico’s avenger (and as a result pissing off Blue Demon, the nation’s hero) is interesting, and it leaves Chavo’s quest for Puma’s gold unresolved. Prince Puma will not, however, be losing his title before Ultima Lucha. He has too great a nemesis in Mil Muertes. The showdown between these warriors is too good not to see realized: an ultimate clash of good and evil, courage and death.
Photos copyright El Rey Network.