As luck would have it, I have some free time tonight so let’s keep the Lucha Underground ball rolling. Last week’s episode set up a big Johnny Mundo vs. Big Ryck match and we’ll likely see some fall out from the triple threat insanity. Let’s get to it!
Lucha Underground Recap: Thrill of the Hunt
Lucha Underground Season 1: Episode 4
Original Air Date: November 19th, 2014
We open with the customary recap of last week’s show. This time it focuses on the Johnny Mundo / Dario Cueto angle and the triple threat main event.
This week we open on a live band performing for the fans at the temple. Striker and Vampiro welcome us to the show and focus on the recent brutality seen from Chavo Guerrero as their main talking point. We’re then sent to the ring as Sexy Star is announced. Sexy Star gets a mic and cuts a promo in Spanish on Chavo. She then threatens to embarrass Chavo for what he did to Blue Demon. She then threatens to kick his ass for taking out Mascarita last week. Sexy Star finishes by saying she will end the Guerrero dynasty. Ivelisse is out next with a mic and gets major heat from the crowd. She then cuts a promo on Sexy Star for trying to hang with the male roster. Ivelisse continues to berate Sexy Star for wearing a mask and declares herself the “baddest bitch in the building”. Sexy Star responds with a slap.
Match #1: Sexy Star vs. Ivelisse
I had to watch this in the context of the match happening over six months before the debut of the Horsewomen on main roster WWE. While maybe not up to the standards of late 2014 NXT, this is still a better match than what would show up on weekly WWE TV at the time. It’s a highly physical affair as much of the match features Star and Ivelisse trading punches, slaps, and chops. Sexy Star does hit a nice Codebreaker and solid suplex combo towards the end of the match. The match ends with Sexy Star getting a roll up win though… so while not exactly the “Diva rollup syndrome” that plagued WWE at the time, I was hoping for a more solid finish after such a physical match.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – A good match, but I felt a roll up finish didn’t really fit with the physical style worked by both women.
Back from break, Dario Cueto approaches Drago in the locker room. Dario said Drago left him feeling unsatisfied after last week’s triple threat match. Dario needs to make sure he’s not wasting his time, so he puts Drago in a match with the debuting King Cuerno. Drago responds by sliding out his snake tongue at Cueto and leaving.
We’re then sent to the ring where Pentagon Jr. has a mic. Pentagon cuts a promo in Spanish saying that in Mexico, no one respects him. He then thanks Dario for giving him the respect he deserves. He continues by saying that what he’s going to do to Fenix is just an example of what will happen to anyone that confronts him. He says everyone will respect him and then drops his “zero fear” catch phrase. Fenix is out next to a good reaction from the crowd.
Match #2: Pentagon Jr. vs. Fenix
I think I preferred last week’s triple threat, but this was still a solid match. I like how they work the athletic style you’d expect from a lucha match, but they’re also incredibly stiff looking at the same time. We see a couple of the same spots from the triple threat, but this time Fenix goes over by hitting a moonsault slam off the ropes. Just an insane looking finish spot. Wow.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – A fast-paced match with a crazy looking finish.
Next, we’re sent to a hype vignette for King Cuerno.
Back from break, we’re sent to the ring and Drago’s introduction. Striker describes Drago as “something out of GWAR”. LOL. Cuerno comes out next wearing a taxidermy deer head as a hat. It looks creepier than it sounds. Vampiro describes that “cuerno” means horn and that King Cuerno is clearly a “big game hunter”.
Match #3: Drago vs. King Cuerno
Some great story telling in this match. It also features one of the more interesting ref bump spots I’ve ever seen when Drago uses the downed ref as a springboard. All in all, Drago comes out on top with a crazy roll through into a pinning combination. Cuerno looks like a solid talent here, but the takeaway is more that he underestimates Drago and ends up losing because of it. Not as dynamic as the match it followed, but the story more than made up for it.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Some strong in ring work and great psychology used in this match. Well done.
Next, we see Prince Puma working out. Konnan shows up to remind Puma that Mundo’s match isn’t his fight. Konnan tells Puma to stay out of the match tonight. Puma acknowledges that he hears Konnan put appears to really just be blowing him off.
Back from break, Big Ryck is already in the ring and Mundo comes out to cheers.
Match #4: Johnny Mundo vs. Big Ryck
This is basically a brawl. Ryck hits a few basic moves, but he seems to be cast as more of street fighter. We go for the classic tale of the powerful big guy versus the smaller, faster guy. Mundo has things where he wants them, when we cut away to Puma backstage. Puma gets jumped by Cortez and Cisco in the locker room. C & C then run out to the ring and prevent Mundo from hitting a move off the ropes. The ref then calls for the bell and awards the match to Mundo by DQ.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – The interference angle seemed obvious so that was a little disappointing. I did like how they showed Puma getting jumped in the locker room to account for him not being able to neutralize Castro and Cisco’s interference though.
Post-match, Johnny starts to fight back but gets leveled by a huge clothesline from Ryck. Castro and Cisco get a table from under the ring and Ryck chokeslams Mundo through the table. The crowd boo the heels while Mundo sells in the ring.
While I liked this episode overall, I felt it really peaked in the middle of the show. I imagine with the way story is focused on in Lucha Underground, the interference / table spot finish of the main event will matter for future episodes though.