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Lucha Underground - Episode 34: Gold And Guerreros

Lucha Underground - Episode 34: Gold and Guerreros
Date: July 1, 2015
Location: Lucha Underground Temple, Boyle Heights, CA
Commentators: Matt Striker, Vampiro

Previously on Lucha Underground...

Konnan warns Chavo that Mexico will destroy him for what he did to Blue Demon Jr. Chavo sells out Black Lotus to Dario Cueto for his protection. Daivari attacks Texano. Drago returns to the temple and wins the #1 Contender spot. Catrina bullies Dario Cueto into making Drago defend the spot against Mil Muertes. Mil Muertes destroys Drago to become the #1 Contender at Ultima Lucha. 

We open in Dario Cueto's office with El Jefe counting his money. Chavo Guerrero Jr. walks in and Cueto congratulates him for killing the legend of Blue Demon Jr. twice. Chavo says he has one final request that Dario must honor as part of their Black Lotus arrangement: a title match with Prince Puma. Cueto agrees to grant him the match, and Chavo asks Cueto to make it no disqualification. Cueto says he would do anything for Chavo, so Chavo seizes on that and tells Cueto it would help him if Cueto could do something about Konnan and his cane. Cueto says that if Konnan gets involved in the match, Chavo will automatically win the title.

We cut to the temple floor with Mexican Dubwiser on the bandstand. Vampiro teases an explosion of "biblical proportions" between Drago and Hernandez tonight.

Match #1: Delavar Daivari (w/ Big Ryck) vs. Texano

Daivari and Big Ryck are already in the ring. Texano makes his way to the ring, and he and Daivari immediately start brawling.

The two exchange whips with Texano taking Daivari down to the mat with a back body drop. Daivari immediately bails out of the ring and runs to hide behind Big Ryck. Ryck's presence slows Texano's pursuit of Daivari, and Daivari rolls back into the ring. When Texano slides back in as well, Daivari puts the boots to him and unloads chops and punches in the corner. Texano counters with a chop and whips Daivari towards the opposite corner, but it's reversed. Texano leaps the turnbuckle to the apron, and plants Daivari with a forearm, then launches himself into a senton from the apron, back into the ring. Texano covers for a near fall. Texano yells at Daivari then run towards the ropes to attempt a move, but Big Ryck swipes at his leg. Texano turns towards Ryck and Daivari recovers and delivers a chop block to Texano's left knee. Daivari goes to work on the knee with kicks, elbows, and knees. After a series of knee focused moves, Daivari covers for a near fall. Daivari drags Texano over to the apron, and slams his knee against the corner of the ring, which forces Texano to fall through to the outside. Daivari then returns to the ring and distracts the referee while Big Ryck delivers a clubbing blow to Texano.

Daivari gets Texano back in the ring and puts him in the figure four. Texano rolls over and reverses it, forcing Daivari to break the hold. Daivari takes Texano over to the corner and drapes his left leg on the ring ropes, and delivers a running dropkick to the leg. Daivari attempts it again and is caught with an elbow by Texano which temporarily stuns him. Daivari continues his assault, delivering an overhand chop, and placing Texano on the top turnbuckle. Daivari goes for a top rope hurricanrana, but Texano hooks the rope, and Daivari falls to the mat. Daivari charges Texano and catches a boot to the face, then Texano makes his move planting Daivari with a missle dropkick. As the referee starts a ten count on both men being down, Vampiro asks Striker "Do you think Ryck can count?" Both men are back on their feet and both exchange chops. Daivari wins the exchange and whips Texano, but Texano reverses and catches Daivari with a jumping leg lariat into a pin for a near fall. Texano goes for a powerbomb, but Daivari counters it into an X-Factor and covers for a near fall. Ryck grabs Texano's bull rope and wraps it around his fist and then jumps up on the apron. Daivari goes to whip Texano towards Ryck, but Texano counters and tries to set Daivari up for a move from the fireman's carry position. Daivari slides out the back and shoves Texano towards Ryck. Ryck throws a punch with the bull rope, but Texano ducks, and superkicks Ryck off the apron. Texano then grabs Daivari and hits a sit down power bomb into a pin for the win.

Winner: Texano
Rating: *1/2
Reaction: Slower paced than the average LU match, but this was an acceptable, if unspectacular, TV match. They did a good enough job building the match around Texano's leg and the looming specter of Ryck on the outside. I assume we haven't seen the last of this feud, but that it may shift gears towards a Texano/Ryck match.

We cut backstage to Konnan and Prince Puma. Puma is lifting weights. Konnan tells Puma that it doesn't matter if Dario Cueto is stacking the deck against Puma. Konnan tells Puma he's known Chavo for a long time and that Chavo's a lot of things; a liar, a cheater, unscrupulous. But one thing Chavo is not is a champion. Puma sits up on the weight bench and Konnan tells him he can take Chavo. The lights start to flicker and then go out. The voice of Catrina is heard, and then the lights turn back on to reveal her standing in front of Konnan and Puma. Catrina tells Puma if he survives tonight, he's going to need all the help he can get, because Mil Muertes will destroy him at Ultima Lucha. Mil strides out from behind a row of lockers and stands face to face with Puma. The lights flicker and go out again. When they turn back on, Catrina and Muertes are gone. Puma looks bewildered, but Konnan tells him it's all mind games and to not let her get in his head. Nice segment to build the Ultima Lucha main event. The Catrina/Mil stuff can sometimes border on ridiculous, like last week when the Disciples of Death just appeared from some type of CGI'd electrical portal, but this was very basic, and very nicely done.

Commercial Break

Konnan is seen talking to someone who has not yet been revealed. Konnan tells him that they're boys so he's going to keep it 100. Konnan says he knows the mystery man wants to get his hands on Chavo ever since Chavo disrespected Mexico, and assaulted Blue Demon Jr. Konnan says he also knows that this "chickenshit" Chavo wouldn't have the balls to ask for a match with Puma if he didn't have a trick up his sleeve. Konnan says that's why he's giving the mystery person the go ahead to settle the Chavo/Mexico debt. Konnan says it's about time that Mexico delivers on its promise to their old friend Chavito.

Back in the temple, we are set for Drago vs. Hernandez

Match #2: Hernandez vs. Drago

Striker talks about how Hernandez denied Drago the opportunity Drago had won to face Puma at Ultima Lucha. Again, this was my problem with this angle last week. Mil Muertes is a freaking zombie who has basically been invincible since he came back. Interjecting Hernandez into that to pad Drago's loss was unnecessary. But I digress...

Vampiro throws it to commercial. We'll get the start after the break

Commercial Break

Both men are in the ring and the bell rings. Both men play to the crowd for a second. Hernandez flexes in front of Drago and shoves him to the ground, turning his back to play more to the crowd. Drago immediately kips up and when Hernandez turns back towards Drago he's stunned to see Drago in front him. Hernandez kicks him in the stomach and whips him to the ropes. Hernandez goes for a back drop but Drago flips over him into an attempt at a sunset flip position. Hernandez just stands still, then grabs Drago by the throat with both hands and picks him up off the mat and sets him on his feet. Drago immediately connects with an enziguri from the standing position which sends Hernandez stumbling into the ropes. Drago then goes for a whip which Hernandez reverses. Drago comes to him and attempts a flying headscissors, but Hernandez blocks it, and Drago rolls through to his feet. Drago then starts pummeling Hernandez in the back with forearms, before jumping on Hernandez's back in the electric chair position. Hernandez throws Drago off his shoulders and hits Drago with a kick to the stomach, then whips him towards the turnbuckle. Drago does the Ric Flair up and over the turnbuckle to the apron move. Hernandez charges him with a punch, but Drago blocks it and counters with his own punch. Drago then connects with a springboard dropkick to plant Hernandez.
Hernandez gets to his feet and goes for a kick which Drago blocks and then counters into a leg sweep to take Hernandez down again. Drago follows with a running senton then a series of kicks to Hernandez's chest as Hernandez is seated on the mat. Drago finishes off the sequence with a dropkick to the face.

Drago picks Hernandez up and goes to whip him, but it's reversed. Drago attempts a hurricanrana on the comeback but Hernandez catches him halfway through and pulls him back up into a power bomb position, and power bombs him into the turnbuckle. Hernandez does his strut and then starts stomping Drago. He places Drago on the turnbuckle and chops him, then snap mares him to the mat and places him in a chin vice. Hernandez breaks his hold by just clubbing Drago in the neck. Hernandez picks Drago up on his shoulder and delivers a back breaker into a pin for a near fall. Hernandez continues the assault by slamming Drago head first into a turnbuckle. He then sets Drago up against the turnbuckle, mocks Drago by playing with the ears of his mask, and chops him again. Hernandez whips Drago and attempts a clothesline but Drago ducks. As Drago comes back, Hernandez catches him in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker position, but holds the tilt-a-whirl halfway through the whirl with Drago perched on his shoulder. Hernandez smiles and then just slams Drago front first to the mat. A really weird move. Hernandez smirks and does the Dikembe Mutumbo finger wag then covers Drago for a near fall.

Hernandez picks Drago up and places him at a turnbuckle then whips him towards another. Hernandez charges him, but Drago moves, runs out and runs back connecting with a drop kick that places Hernandez in the seated position on the ground at the turnbuckle. Drago charges Hernandez, but Hernandez kicks him to block whatever Drago was going for, and pulls himself up from the seated position on the mat to a seated position on top of the turnbuckle. Drago charges again and hits an enziguri to stun Hernandez. Drago then climbs the turnbuckle and hits a hurricanarana into a pin for a near fall. Hernandez gets to his feet off the kick out and hits Drago with a boot to the face which stuns him against the ropes. Hernandez then charges Drago and launches himself, but Drago ducks and Hernandez falls over the ropes and to the outside. Drago then takes flight with a suicide dive to the outside, wiping out Hernandez.

Drago pounces on Hernandez, but Hernandez shoves him off of himself. Drago runs at Hernandez and gets toss up onto the apron. Drago kicks Hernandez away from the apron, and then does a springboard flip to the outside to wipe Hernandez out again. Drago goes to throw Hernandez back in the ring, but Hernandez elbows him in the stomach and connects with a kick to the face. Hernandez then Razor's Edges Drago into the apron! With Drago down, Hernandez grabs a plant from the crowd and rips the belt off him before pie-facing him back into his seat. Hernandez then whips Drago repeatedly with the belt and starts choking him out with it on the apron. The referee disqualifies Hernandez.

Winner: Drago vis disqualification
Rating: **
Reaction: The spot with Hernandez ripping the belt off the plant was cool. The match was ok, but it never really got to the next gear, although that was likely by design as I imagine we'll be seeing this one again, possibly at Ultima Lucha. As some of you may know, Hernandez has already parted ways with Lucha Underground and returned to TNA last week. That decision baffles me. I had heard through Wrestling Observer Radio that the split may have had something to do with the politics of AAA and Hernandez not being a AAA guy. Whatever the case may be, his short run in LU has been the best Hernandez has looked in a long time. It helps when you can fight guys like Puma, El Patron, and Drago with regularity.

After the match, Hernandez grabs the house mic and tells the fans that they're stupid for not realizing that dragons are not real. The fans boo. Hernandez says their hero is just a man.  A man whose ass he just whipped.

Striker teases Puma vs. Chavo tonight.

Commercial Break

Chavo is backstage warming up for his match against Puma. A light above his head flickers and goes out. It flicks back on and Catrina is standing behind him. Catrina tells Chavo if he beats Puma tonight, his celebration will be short lived because Mil Muertes will destroy the man who holds the championship at Ultima Lucha. The lights flicker and Muertes appears face to face with Chavo. Chavo tells them that he'll see them both at Ultima Lucha. Mil Muertes screams into the camera.

Back in the ring, Melissa Santos attempts to introduce our next match with Marty The Moth behind her, standing right up on her, flapping his arms, and breathing on her. Marty is the perfect slobby fan boy character. Alberto El Patron, with the AAA Mega Championship, is introduced as his opponent. Striker teases Mundo vs. Patron for Ultima Lucha.

Match #3: Non-Title - Marty The Moth Martinez vs. Alberto El Patron (c)

El Patron bullrushes Marty into the corner and begins kicking him relentlessly, then unloads punches. Vampiro says Marty is doing very well blocking those punches with his face. El Patron picks Marty up and runs him over to another corner and then delivers more kicks and punches. El Patron whips Marty from one turnbuckle to another and charges, but misses, and Marty connects with some punches of his own. Marty runs the ropes but is caught with a kick to the stomach and a double knee armbreaker. El Patron runs Marty shoulder first into a ring post, then slaps on the cross arm breaker for the submission.

Winner: Alberto El Patron via submission
Rating: N/A
Reaction: Standard squash match to keep El Patron's momentum moving for Ultima Lucha.

After the match, El Patron grabs the house mic. Alternating between English and subtitled Spanish, Patron says he wants to thank Johnny Mundo because he thought they were friends, but when Johnny put him through Cueto's office window, it was a wake up call. Patron says it didn't just wake him up, though, it woke up something inside of him: the evil part of El Patron. Alberto says that is the biggest mistake of Johnny's life because that side of him is crazy, and that's the part that's coming for him. El Patron says he's going to rip Johnny's face off at Ultima Lucha (on this show, that may be literal). Alberto says that messing with him wasn't just the biggest mistake of Johnny's life, but his last one. El Patron is such a star in this setting. The crowd loses it every time he shows up. Watching him on Lucha Underground, and how they've turned him into a bonafide star, makes me just shake my head at how badly WWE botched their attempt to make him the Mexican Bret Hart.

Vampiro sets up our main event, Puma vs. Chavo.

Commercial Break

Match #4: Lucha Underground Championship: Prince Puma (c) w/ Konnan vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr w/ The Crew.

Chavo comes to the ring flanked by the surviving Crew members, one of which is carrying a kendo stick. Konnan is at ringside with Puma, but as stated earlier in the show by Dario Cueto, if Konnan interferes, Chavo automatically wins the match and the belt.

Chavo and Puma stare off in the ring. Melissa Santos announces the Konnan stipulation to boos.

Vampiro starts yelling at Konnan as the match starts, because as anyone who watches this show for five minutes knows, Vampiro loathes Konnan. Chavo starts with a waste lock, into a snap mare, into a chin lock on Puma. Puma fights out and goes to work on Chavo's left arm. The two exchange arm locks in different sequences, ending with Puma rolling up Chavo for a near fall. Both get back to their feet and essentially restart. Chavo stops and goes to the apron and starts yelling at Konnan to hit him. Konnan doesn't take the bait.

Chavo goes back to work applying a side headlock. Puma pushes him off using the ropes, but Chavo takes him down with a shoulder block. Puma immediately kips up and Chavo charges right into an arm drag takedown by Puma. Puma holds an arm lock, but Chavo fights out and whips Puma to the ropes. Puma flips over Chavo, and Chavo sells a hamstring/knee injury from the contact from the flip. Puma extends his hand to Chavo to check on him, and The Crew immediately jump in the ring and begin attacking Puma. Cisco holds Puma in a front face lock while Castro hits him in the back with the kendo stick. The Crew stomp Puma to the outside and beat on him. The Crew throw Puma back into the ring. Konnan threatens them with his cane, but does nothing due to the stipulation.

Back in the ring, Cisco and Castro double whip Puma and attempt a clothesline, but Puma ducks and starts to fight back with uppercuts and punches. The Crew quickly overwhelms him, though, and Castro holds a front face lock, while Cisco goes to the top and connects with a foot stomp to Puma's back.

Cisco and Castro hold Puma down while Chavo gingerly climbs to the top rope to go for the frog splash. Konnan frantically waves for someone in the back. Texano runs out and shoves Chavo off the top rope, and then takes out both Crew members. He hits a sit down power bomb on Cisco.

Puma climbs to the top and hits the 630 splash on Chavo for the win.

Winner: Prince Puma
Rating: N/A
Reaction: This was more of a one-off filler angle then a match. I could have sworn that Chavo was going to reveal he faked the injury, but they never paid that off, so I don't know if Chavo came into the match hurt and that was their work around, or if he really did hurt himself, or if it was a storyline injury to set up the segment that would follow this. Either way, not much was accomplished here other than cementing Texano's face turn which really has been on going for weeks.

Post match, Texano grabs the house mic and tells Chavo that Mexico isn't coming for him, but Mexico is right here. The crowd goes nuts. Chavo screams at Texano.

Striker says Chavo did everything he could to 'Guerrero the title,' but Puma prevailed and Ultima Lucha is now set.

We cut to a vignette of Chavo in the locker room after the match holding his hamstring, and frustrated. In walks Blue Demon Jr. Demon tells Chavo not to worry, because he doesn't fight people who are already hurt. Demon tells Chavo that unlike Chavo, he is a good man. Chavo asks Demon if Texano is doing his dirty work now. Chavo baits him by saying that maybe after Demon couldn't get the job done, Mexico decided Texano, not Demon, was their man. Chavo continues saying the fans cheered Texano tonight in a way they never have Demon. Chavo says that's because Texano is Mexico, and Demon is just some has-been who lives in Miami. Demon grabs Chavo by the throat and starts bouncing him off lockers. Then he holds him up by the neck and screams in his face that he is Mexico ("Yo Soy Mexico!!!!"). Demon drops him and walks out. Chavo smiles at having gotten under his skin.

Final Thoughts: Compared to most weekly wrestling shows, Lucha Underground is one of the best ones each week, and still maintains that distinction. Compared to itself, Lucha Underground has dropped off a little in quality the last couple of weeks. It's actually understandable. For most of Season 1, the show has been free to blow its wad on great match after great match, week after week. Now, with the show building to a PPV quality card and a season finale, much of the show the past two weeks has been part of building the Ultima Lucha matches, or filler to avoid giving away things that they want to save for Ultima Lucha. The good news is Ultima Lucha looks like it should be a fantastic card. If it was actually a PPV, it'd be worth a buy. The build for Ultima Lucha has been as good, if not better, than any monthly PPV that WWE does these days. The bad news is saving their best matches for Ultima Lucha has hurt the show quality a little.


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