Saturday, August 8, 2015

Lucha Underground - Ultima Lucha (Part 2) Review - August 5th, 2015

It's been a great ride covering Lucha Underground's premiere season, but it's time for it to come to a close. It will do so in the form of what is being looked at as their WrestleMania, a two week, three hour event called Ultima Lucha. Last week, the first hour aired and saw the unlikely successful team of Angelico, Son of Havoc, & Ivelisse lose the trios titles and Mack & Cage tear the house down in a crazy Falls Count Anywhere match. This week, part 2 of Ultima Lucha airs and it's a two hour special featuring several big matches. I've missed several episodes of LU leading up to this, but I made sure to go out of my way to see this considering it's the season finale and the blow off to all the main feuds. The show is packed and that is displayed by the fact that the rematch from the LU MOTY thus far between Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron is opening the show.

1) Johnny Mundo vs. Alberto El Patron
As mentioned before, Mundo & El Patron had an amazing match earlier this year which ended up being the start of this feud. It's quite possibly my favorite LU match of the year as it completely blew away my expectations. With that mind, they had a lot to follow and I'd say they did a good job of it. This wasn't positioned to be the show stealer like their previous encounter was and I'd honestly say that was a great decision. Don't put these two in a position where they HAVE to follow up their last contest which was highly praised. Just let them go out and have the quality match you know they can and that's exactly what happened. The chemistry from the first encounter was there and the result was a match just as enjoyable. The action was crisp and kept me intrigued from start to finish. Plus, beyond that, Melina made her return to help Mundo win. It was in cheap fashion and more of a shock than a hype moment, but it was something that certainly added some drama to the match. Afterwards, Alberto gets his payback and throws Mundo through the door/window of Dario Cueto's office. He appeared to get busted open pretty bad.

Match rating - ***1/2

2) Pentagon Jr vs. Vampiro - Cero Miedo Match

This was I honestly have no clue to what to say. Being new to lucha and thus not familiar with Vampiro, I didn't really know what to expect here. I've only seen Pentagon a few times yet he was built up as such a beast that as soon as Vampiro made his entrance and I realized what a character he was, this had a big feel to it. The fact that Vampiro came out of retirement for this made it even more special as well. At first, it looked like Vampiro was only going to last a minute or two as the refs stopped things momentarily then things got back going and went absolutely bonkers. This felt like an absolute war with Vampiro, the veteran fighter, not backing down one bit from Pentagon Jr, the vicious new age violent revolutionary, out to prove himself by brutalizing an icon like Vampiro and boy, did he ever. We saw chair shots, light tubes, flaming tables, thumbtacks, and blood. Lots of it. This was a deathmatch in every sense of the word and while I'm a fan of that style of wrestling, I admit that it sometimes is stupid because there's no story behind, but THIS had a story behind it and it was amazing to watch unfold. The swerve that took place at the end of the match was just the icing on the cake as Vampiro revealed himself to be "the father" of Pentagon basically symbolizing that this was all so Pentagon could prove himself against him. After they bloodied each other to no end and Vampiro demanded Pentagon lock him in his signature dangerous armbreaker and break his arm, they embrace in the ring. Un-fucking-believable. Must see.

Match rating - ****1/4

3) Jack Evans vs. Big Ryck vs. Fenix vs. Aerostar vs. Bengala vs. Sexy Star - Gift of the Gods Match
These multi-man medallion match ups rarely disappoint and this was no different although it could be soon as a step below previous matches of this kind. You had various stories unfold during the match with Davari running in and blasting Big Ryck with a chair. It all made sense, but it did hinder this from appearing as a high stakes match because of all the outside stuff. It wasn't overboard though so I can't complain too much. Fun little sprint with everyone getting their share of crazy stuff in. This is worth seeing solely for Aerostar's crossbody off a platform near the top of the building. In the end, Fenix picks up the big win.

Match rating - ***

4) Blue Demon Jr vs. Texano
Agh. This was another one like the medallion match up where it was solid however there was a bunch of overbooking and outside stuff going on. It's not really anything to rave about although I wouldn't skip it if I were watching this show in full either. Chavo Guerrero comes down and helps Blue Demon pick up the win as some sort of payback to Texano for something that happened earlier in the season. This was what it was. If you've done a better job of keeping in tune with the storylines than me, this may do more for you than myself.

Match rating - **3/4

5) Prince Puma (c) vs. Mil Muertes - Lucha Underground Championship Match
At first glance, I wondered how this contest would fare. Puma and Muertes aren't similar by any means and to my knowledge, they don't have any past experience working with each other which rules out chemistry coming into play to make this match good. I literally went into this almost and blind or essentially, with a clean slate. I was unbiased. I'm a massive Puma fan however as far as this match goes, I had no clue what to expect. That led to me enjoying the hell out of it when it turned out to be completely awesome. The brawling outside early on almost turned me off because I was like "damn, is every match tonight No DQ and loaded with shenanigans?" Thankfully, they didn't go too far in that direction and in fact, when they did go in that direction, it added to the match. The bottom line that made this one so good was the simple story of both men laying it all out on the line for the chance to be called the Lucha Underground Champion. Both Puma & Mil pulled out all the stops in this fantastic match that saw each men hit all their signature stuff and even go crashing through a table at one point. It seemed like nothing would be able to put either guy away which led Puma to the top turnbuckle yet again. He's already done the 630 and attempted the Phoenix Splash, what's next? Well, before we could find out, here comes Mil Muertes and he nails his finisher, the flatliner, on Puma OFF THE TOP ROPE and it plants his head into the mat yet again. This earns Muertes the 1-2-3 and the Lucha Underground Title. Awesome main event.

Match rating - ****1/4

The show closes out with a video package of basically what everyone on the roster is doing to finish off the season. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, & Angelico leaving, Marty the Moth doing some weird shit with Sexy Star, among other things. I liked it just as much as all the other segments LU has done. I love their approach to these backstage features.

Overall thoughts: What a way to end the season! That's all I can say. As you can see, there are two matches over four stars so that tells you that this is well worth your time to check out. In fact, I'd say that if you've never watched LU, this is the perfect event to watch to get yourself a taste of what they've had to offer during the past year. Of course, things aren't as brutal week in and week out as we got in some cases here, but you will get an idea of how wrestling oriented the show is and how well done many of the stories & backstage segments which is what LU does best. I really enjoyed this show as the time flew by much like every episode of LU that I've had the pleasure of watching & reviewing in recent months. Here's to another season of pro wrestling action in the Temple!

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