RICKY MANDELL GOT HIS NAME LEGALLY CHANGED TO "RICKY MUNDO" BECAUSE HE'S A MARK FOR JOHNNY MUNDO - Taya shows up and says that Johnny Mundo won't like it. Johnny shows up and confirms this. Then he gives a speech about tonight's big tag team match. It's that this wasn't well acted or anything like that (in fact, I thought Taya's camera added some humor to it because we could tell that she was clearly expecting Jonny to have some sort of hilariously angry reaction)... I just don't care about Ricky Mandell one bit, so I don't care if Johnny Mundo likes that he's a mark or not.
THE WORLDWIDE UNDERGROUND vs. PRINCE PUMA, THE MACK, SEXY STAR, FENIX, & CAGE -
I'm saying that is team doesn't make sense (it's pretty hard for it to not make sense because Dario told him to just name his team, not recruit a team), but I think some recruiting vignettes might have been interesting, mainly because I would like to see how babyfaces likes The Mack, Fenix, and Sexy Star are reacting to Prince Puma's newfound darkness- if they even notice it at all. I feel like Prince Puma's darkness needs some fleshing out, and that would be an interesting way to do it.
Mandell insisted on being called "Ricky Mundo" so Johnny told him he was being replaced in this match by Marty The Moth. I didn't like this for two reasons. Firstly, this isn't the match Dario made. He specifically booked "The Worldwide Underground" vs. Team Prince Puma, so why is Mundo allowed to change it. Secondly, sticking Marty The Moth in this match just because he's feuding with Fenix feels very WWE-style lazy to me. I like a universe where characters can exist outside of their current feud. These are our action heroes, but they're also theoretically people who are showing up to what is essentially their job, so them being booked in a match that doesn't directly involve the guy or gal they're feuding with adds more realism to me. I'd have rather not seen Fenix in this match than had this change. Even a run-in by Marty would have been better so that they're not facing off in a totally meaningless match in a horribly forced manner right before their big lucha de apuesta.
Anyway, now we've got...
PRINCE PUMA, THE MACK, SEXY STAR, FENIX, & CAGE vs. MARTY "THE MOTH" MARTINEZ & THE WORLDWIDE UNDERGROUND (w/Ricky Mundo) - 6/10
The referee didn't even make Cage take his METAL GAUNTLET off before ordering the bell to be rung. Also, at the time the bell was rung, both Fenix and Sexy Star were in the ring for Prince Puma's team.
Vampiro and the cameraman point out to us that not only is Cage still wearing his gauntlet, but he hasn't ever taken his eyes off of it. He's literally standing there on the apron, looking down at the gauntlet on his hand, totally ignoring the match (*insert WWE commentary joke here*). Cage did eventually take it off, after he got tagged in and both the referee and his teammates told him to do so in order to not get disqualified.
Taya is apparently facing Sexy Star in a Last Woman Standing match at Ultima Lucha III. This was news to me, and a passing comment by an announcer is a really crappy way to break news about a Last Woman Standing match at your biggest show of the year.
Speaking of Ultima Lucha III, Cage will probably be facing Jeremiah Crane, who came out here and stole his gauntlet. My guess is that Crane has some understanding of its power, and he thinks he can use it to kill Mil Muertes and win Catrina's heart. The interesting part of this is the deal that Catrina had made with her mother, Captain Vasquez, in Vasquez would give Catrina the other half of the immortality medallion if Catrina could have Mil Muertes get the gauntlet for her. Hmm... a three-way at Ultima Lucha would be interesting, but the pieces don't quite fit together in the right way to make that feel like the right match to me, but I can't really explain why.
Cage left the match to go chase after Crane, and right after Cage abandoned them, putting the babyfaces at a disadvantage... Prince Puma just started beating up all of the heels by himself, even in two-on-one situations. That was odd. Some dives happened and when things reset, Johnny Mundo and P.J. Black hit some double-team moves on Prince Puma and then Johnny hit him with The End of the World for the pin.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Marty went over and tried to grab Melissa Santos but she slapped him a bunch of times and Fenix came over to make the final save via superkick. This felt like the opposite of what their go-home angle should have been. Marty should have been the one standing tall.
JEREMIAH CRANE BRINGS CAGE'S GAUNTLET TO CATRINA - Great segment. He just saunters into the room, which seems odd, considering that I'd expect Cage to be chasing him. He probably used some sort of secret passageway that he knows about due to having played around in The Temple as a kid, but it would have been nice to have been shown that- or at least have the idea acknowledged.
He is willing to give it to her in exchange for her love (I doubt he would be willing to hand it over in exchange for just the one kiss he indicated here). Mil Muertes charged into the room and took Crane down, causing him to drop the gauntlet. Catrina teleported over to it and picked it up.
Cage then burst in and grabbed Catrina by the throat and pinned her against a wall. He revealed that the gauntlet prevents Catrina from teleporting because it is more powerful than she is. Cage starts to choke her to death so she drops the gauntlet so she can teleport away. Cage bends down to pick up the fallen gauntlet but gets run into by the still-brawling Crane and Muertes, and a three-way fight ensues... and while they're brawling, Dario Cueto walks into the room and picks up the gauntlet and walks away.
Striker and Vampiro tell us that because of what happened in the post-match segment, Dario has booked the Moth siblings vs. Fenix and Melissa next week. It felt kind of odd to have this set up by a segment that didn't actually involve Mariposa. Striker, of course, was full of glee that we were going to be getting to see Melissa Santos wrestle, not once doing his job as a babyface announcer and pointing out that she has no training whatsoever and will be stepping into the ring with two very dangerous professional fighters and thus her health could be in grave danger.
WINNER GETS ONE OF THE SEVEN ANCIENT AZTEC MEDALLIONS:
El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Pentagon Dark - 6.5/10
So much time has passed since anything has happened in this feud that this match feels like any random match rather than a grudge match in a feud where each has broken the other's arm out of sheer spite and sadism. The match was the usual "spotty but enjoyable" that you get from Pentagon Jr. when he works somewhere like AAW.
-MATCH SEGMENT - Baffling. Pentagon Dark went to go break El Dragon Azteca Jr.s' arm, and I actually groaned because it feels like we're just going around in circles. You'd think that Rey Mysterio Jr. would come out and save his protégé, and then Matanza would come out and they brawl to start off their match, but instead it was freakin' MATANZA who made the save. This appeared to be done specifically so we could have Pentagon Dark be a dick to both Dario and Matanza. Matanza wanted to go after Pentagon Dark but Dario ordered him not to. Instead ordered Matanza to beat up El Dragon Azteca Jr. Where the hell is Rey?
Ah. Here comes. Finally. Must be the knees.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. "THE MONSTER" MATANZA CUETO (w/Dario Cueto) - 7.5/10
Dario allowed a chair to be used- a rule he made at a time when it was convenient for Matanza, of course. Matanza eventually used the chair to take out Rey's knee, allowing him to take over the match. Rey had his foot on the ropes during the final pinfall but Dario pushed it off. I didn't like this. It just felt like overbooking, and pointless overbooking at that because it didn't really protect Rey in my eyes. Sure, Rey shouldn't have lost the match yet, but it felt Matanza had destroyed Rey and if he had pulled him over a foot or two before making the cover there was no chance Rey could have possibly kicked out.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Matanza beat crap out of Rey with the chair, then carried him backstage. That interests me a bit. Methinks that maybe Rey will be waking up in one of Dario's jail cells.
This was a decent show from Lucha Underground. My biggest issue with the show was that the feeling I have been developing that the writers really don't know what to do with a lot of their characters anymore and thus are spending their time focusing on the wrong things is still alive and well.