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The 7 - Pro Wrestling - Lucha Underground #38 - 7/29/2015
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Boudin blanc
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#1 Posted on 1.8.15 1926.30
Reposted on: 1.8.22 1929.01
37 weeks of some of the best wrestling on television and some of the best wrestling television of all time comes down to a three hour, two week season finale in the form of Ultima Lucha, and they’ve done such a great job making this feel like a big deal that I feel compelled to pull out two last recaps.

Tonight, we have three matches: The Mack vs Cage in a Falls Out Anywhere match (contrary to popular belief, the winner doesn’t get his first name back), The Disciples of Death vs The Disciples of Dysfunction for the Trios tag team championship, and Drago vs Hernandez in a Believers Backlash match which entails “fans” surrounding the ring lumberjack style, armed with leather straps.

But before we go into the action we learn that Black Lotus is still imprisoned in the temple, but she continues her training via pull ups in her cell. Dario Cueto walks in, clad in a tuxedo. He offers her a glass of champagne but she responds with a middle finger.

Cueto informs Black Lotus that she’s wrong about his brother, Matanza, being responsible for the death of her parents. Matanza was forced to fight in Cueto’s father’s underground fight club, which is how he became the monster he is today, but he didn’t kill Black Lotus’ parents. The man responsible for that was… Dragon Azteca. Cueto claims that the Black Lotus triad and the Dragon Azteca mercenary clan were at war. Cueto excuses himself to start the show as Lotus unleashes her anger against a chalk outline on the concrete wall.

Ringside, large banners promoting for the matches give the night a big fight feel despite taking place in the same place as every other episode. Striker & Vampiro run down the card and then send it to Melissa Santos for introductions.

The Mack is out first, but Cage attacks him at the top of the stairs without waiting for his introduction. He rocks Mack with forearms and slams him into the concrete wall. Mack fights back and tosses cage over the barricade on top of the room where Fenix was choke slammed to hell. Cage regains the advantage and yanks Mack over the barricade as well.

Cage slams Mack on the roof, as Stryker notes it was reinforced after the Fenix incident. The Machine yanks him down into the bleachers and calls for the audience to clear out. It looks like he wants a power bomb but Mack backs him into the wall and then catches him with an exploder suplex on the wooden bleachers, drawing an extremely enthusiastic holy shit chant from the audience members who were inches away from the action. It’s only good for a 2 count, however.

Cage rolls down to the floor and Mack follows, but Cage catches in him the gut with a steel chair, then slams it across his back. Cage rears back to nail Mack in the head but Mack spears him through the door of the room they were previously perched atop, drawing another holy shit chant.

Mack acquires a 2x4 but Cage blasts him with a fire extinguisher, then acquires a stop sign that he smashes across the back of Mack’s head, followed by a DDT on the stop sign, which probably softened the blow considering it was lying on solid concrete. Either way, Mack kicks out at 2.

The crowd chants for tables but are quickly silenced as Mack catches Cage in the gut with the 2x4 and then breaks it in half over his back. Mack disappears behind Dario Cueto’s office and comes back with a cooler. He smashes Cage in the face with it, causing beer & ice to fly everywhere.

The crowd begins chanting drink, drink, drink so Mack cracks a couple of cold ones, toasts Cage, chugs a Miller Lite, and nails Cage with a stunner. Stunner! Stunner! Stunner! comes the call from Striker. Bah gawd, that man has a family! Mack quickly covers but Cage manages to kick out at two.

Striker: Awwwww! No one ever kicks out of the stunner, dammit!

Huge THIS IS AWESOME chant from the crowd, who may very well be literally hanging from the rafters.
The Mack acquires a glass bottle that he shatters over the back of The Machine’s head, but Cage completely no sells it, turns around, and blasts Mack with a clothesline. He then posts him and begins to set up a table at ring side. Cage climb up to the second rope and looks like he wants to superplex Mack, but Mack catches him with an enziguiri and then sit-out powerbombs him through the table, but Cage once again kicks out again at two.

Mack steals someone’s crutch but returns it after a single shot, then follows Cage up the steps toward Dario Cueto’s office roof. He sends him over the railing with a trash can lid shot to the head then acquires the trash can itself, quickly flattening it via spinebuster. But again, Cage kicks out at two.

Mack looks like he wants a Michinoku driver but Cage slips out the back and sends Mack flying back over the railing via a discus clotheslines. Cage stands on the railing and suplexes Mack back onto the office roof in an impressive display of strength but Mack also kicks out at two, prompting yet another THIS IS AWESOME chant from one of the hottest crowds I’ve seen in a long time.

Cage spots some cinder blocks nearby (Cueto did specify he would litter the temple with weapons for them to use) and sets Mack up. It looks like he wants the leglock portion of an STF but Mack’s foot slips out, so Cage takes him out with a (Paul Burchill-style, not Seth Rollins-style) curb stomp through the cinderblock, finally putting Mack down for the 1, 2, 3.

After a recap of events leading up to the rest of the Ultimo Lucha matches, the Disciples of Death make their way to the ring lead by Catrina as Striker announces this will be a tornado rules match. New differently colored masks for the Disciples which look good.

Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico come out next and appear to have gotten on the same page at last. Ivelisse is still on crutches from her broken ankle but that doesn’t stop her from getting in the ring.

The bell rings and the Disciples attack immediately. Barrio Negro (aka Argenis) picks Ivelisse up over his shoulder but simply holds her for quite some time before sitting her down in the corner and kicking her in the gut. Trece (Ricky Mandel) has Angelico isolated in one corner while Sinestro de la Muerte (El Mariachi Loco) works over Son of Havoc in another. Ivelisse rolls out to the floor while Trece puts Angelico in a torture rack and then F5s him around into a sit out powerbomb.

Negro levels Ivelisse on the floor while Trece does the same to Angelico. Negro then jabs Ivelisse in the gut with her own crutch while Sinestro goes for a cover on Son of Havoc following a crucifix that they worked almost as a powerbomb of sorts.

Havoc ducks a shot form Sinestro and tosses him out to the floor. He nails a suicide dive to Sinestro, then immediately runs back into the ring and does the same to Trece on the other side of the ring. This fires up Angelico who hits a somersault dive onto Negro to put all three Disciples on the ground.

Havoc does battle with Sinestro on the floor while Angelico and Barrio Negro make their way back into the ring. Meanwhile Ivelisse has acquired her crutch and is using it on Trece.

Standing Shooting Star Press from Havoc to Negro and Angelico attempts to assist with the pin but ti’s broken up by Sinestro. All three Disciples make their way into the ring and Sinestro attempts to drag Ivelisse in by her throat but she bits him and then slaps him hard across the chest. He takes offense to this and bends her leg around his head in a sort of combination leg lock/Boston Crab combination that causes Ivie to scream out in pain.

All three Disciples surround her but Son of Havoc is able to come in and make the save. The numbers game turns against him but he bounces off the top rope and lands a double elbow to Negro & Trece. Meanwhile Angelico and Sinestro and fighting up into the stands, heading for the perch. They fight back and forth but Angelico eventually takes a high back drop onto the wooden bleachers. Barrio Negro & Trece provide Son of Havoc with some free birth control by posting him crotch first from the outside.

Havoc starts to fight back, giving Angelico a chance to recover and dive off of the perch, over the fans, onto two of the Disciples (and Havoc) below.

Catrina has had enough and stalks Ivelisse as Angelico bleeds from the mouth. Catrina enters the ring and raises the stone. Ivelisse enters the ring, with her crutches, but tosses them aside and hops over to Catrina on one foot. Catrina seizes her by the throat but Ivelisse turns it into an arm drag and then mounts Catrina and starts throwing punches. Ivelisse pauses to play to the crowd, allowing Catrina to reverse, grab the stone, and knock Ivelisse the fuck out. Catrina then summons the Disciples, allowing Barrio Negro to come into the ring and cover Ivelisse to become the new Trios champions.

Afterward, they continue to beat down Son of Havoc and Angelico as Catrina administers the Lick of Death to Ivelisse. The Disciples of Death then pose with their new belts before we fade to commercial.

It’s time for the Believer’s Backlash match and several fans come out to ringside. From what I can gather through commentary and Google, these are apparently podcasters and other wrestling reviewers, not indie wrestlers like I had originally assumed.

Hernandez is out first as Striker talks about Hernandez mocking the fans for their faith in Drago. He asks for Vampiro’s thoughts. Vamp talks about how Hernandez isn’t just mocking Drago but the entire history of dragons, claiming that dragons have never existed. This leads to perhaps the single greatest line in the history of professional wrestling commentary: “If you don’t believe in dragons, you’re not a real man.” Somewhere Ricky Steamboat is smiling.

Striker makes a point to note that insurance waivers have been signed and Hernandez has just as much a right to hit the lumberjacks as they do to whip him. Drago makes his way down to the ring as the fans chant Drago’s gonna kill you. We cut to commercial prior to match start and get a preview of next week, with several clips of the matches we’ll be seeing during the two hour season finale. I’m hyped.

Hernandez attacks the second the bell rings. Drago tries to dodge but eventually gets caught and atomic dropped onto the top rope. Hernandez then goes for a springboard drop kick to send Drago out to the awaiting leather straps but the fans simply help him up and make no attempt to hit him, much to the ire of Hernandez.

Super Mex comes out after Drago and shoves him back but is immediately set up on by leather straps and runs the gauntlet halfway around the ring, taking several hard shots, before running up the stairs and calling for a time out.

Hernandez has a bright red mark across his forehead. Striker seems to think it’s from getting whipped but it was there before he left the ring and the only thing I can think of is that the red bandana he was wearing somehow stained his head.

Hernandez runs back into the ring to avoid the straps. Drago dodges a few moves but eventually gets caught with a big boot, but he dodges a corner charge, then comes off the top with a corkscrew. Drago kicks Hernandez’ legs until he’s down on his knees, then kicks him in the head. Jawbreaker sends Hernandez over to the ropes and then Drago Cactus Clotheslines him and they both go over the top. Again, the fans ignore Drago and lay into Hernandez.

Hernandez runs around the ring again, giving plenty of people opportunities to whip him, and some of them are really loud. One guy tries to come at him head on and Hernandez reaches out and yanks the strap out of his hand but the guy runs off before Hernandez can return fire.

Slingshot shoulder block drops Drago and Hernandez struts but there are some pretty nasty welts on his back. He charged Drago in the corner but eats sole. Drago goes for a flying crossbody but Hernandez catches him and turns it into a sitout powerbomb.

Hernandez goes for a huge top rope splash but Drago gets the knees up, then nails him with a tornado DDT. Drago sweeps the leg and goes for a sunset flip but he isn’t strong enough to take the big man over. Hernandez grabs him by the mask and pulls him to his feet but gets kicked in the head for his trouble.

Drago wants a body slam but Hernandez no sells it. He wants the Border Toss but Drago slips out and turns it into the Dragon’s Tale but can’t hook the leg and Hernandez kicks out. Hernandez goes for the Border Toss again and throws him over the top rope, onto several of the lumberjacks on the floor.

Hernandez goes for an over the top suicide dive but Drago spits the mist in his eyes and Hernandez slams face first into the floor and is probably lucky he didn’t break his neck. That looked nasty even in slow motion.

The believers lay into Hernandez with the straps again and Hernandez flees under the ring. The believers lie in wait on the other side while Drago sets up a table. Hernandez emerges and is immediately whipped again. He backs away from the lumberjacks, having acquired a strap of his own, and doesn’t realize Drago is behind him with a pair of nunchucks that he apparently actually knows how to use.

Drago nails him three times with the weapon, bounces his head off the table, then comes off the top rope with a big splash through the table. Hernandez rolls back into the ring and Drago comes off the top with another big splash for the victory to close out the first hour of Ultima Lucha.

Hernandez’ back is a nasty mess of welts and after that face first bump on the floor I’m not so sure if he intentionally screwed TNA over or if he doesn’t actually remember being in Lucha Underground.

Next week, we have Johnny Mundo vs Alberto El Patron, Texano vs Blue Demon Jr., Vampiro vs Pentagon Jr, and Prince Puma vs Mil Muertes for the Lucha Underground championship. I’m pretty sure we also have the 7 way match for the Dragon Balls Gift of the Gods championship, considering it was in the earlier preview clips, but they failed to mention that in the rundown for some reason.

Outside the temple, Dragon Azteca has arrived. Someone in a white hoodie and a mask we can’t see steps out and they have a martial arts battle that ends in a stalemate.

Whoever it is reminds Dragon Azteca that “the prophecy” says he cannot enter the temple. He demands entry because it’s his fault that Black Lotus was captured. The mystery man tells Dragon Azteca that he’ll go get Prince Puma who delivered Black Lotus to him once before.

Dragon Azteca states that Puma has more important things to worry about tonight. The mystery man offers to do it but Azteca insists he isn’t ready yet. The mystery man says the prophecy states that if Dragon Azteca enters the temple, he will die. “I may die, but the Dragon Azteca lives on forever!”

The mystery man steps aside and Dragon Azteca walks through the doorway. A door immediately closes, revealing a KEEP OUT sign, and the lights go out.

This was a great show. Two excellent matches and one decent match. If this were a PPV, I’d already be satisfied with my purchase, and I’m confident it’s only going to get better from here.

(edited by InVerse on 1.8.15 2116)
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Peter The Hegemon
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#2 Posted on 1.8.15 2042.11
Reposted on: 1.8.22 2042.44
What a fun show. The Mack/Cage brawl was really awesome. While the fan in me hates to see Havoc and company lose the belts, my head says there's a great storyline to be had in the team getting their revenge with a healthy Ivelisse.

The Spanish show definitely included the Gift of the Gods match in previewing next week.

One small, odd note from the Spanish version: while the announcers and graphics translated "believers" as "creyendos", as you'd expect, Melissa Santos changed it to "fanaticos". Maybe she's had some bad experiences? B^)
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#3 Posted on 1.8.15 2115.52
Reposted on: 1.8.22 2116.20
    Originally posted by Peter The Hegemon

    One small, odd note from the Spanish version: while the announcers and graphics translated "believers" as "creyendos", as you'd expect, Melissa Santos changed it to "fanaticos". Maybe she's had some bad experiences? B^)

How do they handle her announcing in Spanish? Do they just overdub it or do two takes?
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#4 Posted on 1.8.15 2354.25
Reposted on: 1.8.22 2355.57
Melissa (and Dario when he's in-ring) does two takes - first in Spanish, then in English. They use whichever reaction goes better.
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#5 Posted on 4.8.15 1614.19
Reposted on: 4.8.22 1614.19
In advance of the finale, Cubs has dutifully compiled a ranking of every episode from worst to first (
Dr Unlikely
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#6 Posted on 4.8.15 1838.09
Reposted on: 4.8.22 1838.27
I think it speaks to what makes Lucha Underground so interesting that you can rank it by episode like that. WWE, which claims to be the show competing with all scripted television entertainment, would do well to take a look at what LU is doing. It's functionally done what some people in WCW/WWE have been trying do since - what, 1999? - and recreated a weekly wrestling show to operate like a real, actual television series.

Two things especially stand out as strengths worth exploring, if not emulating. The first is the production style and approach. If NXT is sleeping on anything, it would be that they live at a creative arts production studio and don't appear to be using that (or the virtually limitless time and access to their hardcore audience, a built-in test focus group) to do bold, interesting experiments in how they produce and present their show.

The other thing is the flexibility of the format. Cubs' Top Four are exactly what I figured they had to be and with good reason. Part of what makes the show worth following is that feeling that something different and unexpected could happen because shows are allowed to have differences and themes. It's telling that LU takes place in the same place every week and manages to feel so different so often, while WWE is on the road constantly and both feels and looks exactly the same no matter where they are. There are many, many ways WWE needs to break up its homogeneity, and the visual and presentation aspects are one of the most important. As a great man once said, this is live TV pal. Make it feel like it every few weeks, would ya?

On Lucha Underground itself, I really enjoy it when I see it. I wish I got to see it more/contribute to discussions of it, but I don't have El Rey, so I basically have to pick my spots with committing to watching online. (I do have AXS, it turns out, and am up to date on the NJPW show on there. Regular exposure to LU and NJPW on AXS have only served to expose how borderline unwatchable Raw is on a weekly basis.) LU is pretty close to my platonic idea of an alternative wrestling show. (Obviously, mine would be set in space and favor sci-fi over fantasy; basically I want Chikara with production values and tongue sliiiightly less in cheek, and this is as close to that as I could ask for.) I've thought for a few years that there's money to be made by putting something as meta as Chikara on TV somewhere like Adult Swim or Comedy Central, and now LU makes me feel like it's one watershed moment (and a firm budget and commitment for Season 2) away from sparking into something that would genuinely be dangerous for WWE, especially if it had a forum like, say, Netflix that brought a hungry, vocal audience to it.

So, anyway, what is the story behind the "heavily edited Angelico/Ivelisse match"? I've heard things of various credibility and would love to know what actually happened with that.
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#7 Posted on 4.8.15 2234.21
Reposted on: 4.8.22 2238.32
Thanks for the plug.

    So, anyway, what is the story behind the "heavily edited Angelico/Ivelisse match"? I've heard things of various credibility and would love to know what actually happened with that.

In the live version of that match, Angelico is more of a creepy sexual heel, maybe more considered about what positions he can get himself and Ivelisse in than actually winning the match (much to boyfriend Son of Havoc's horror.) You can still see some of those spots in what aired, but those were there live and saw on TV said it was very toned down.

(There's a side story about one wrestling writer seemingly losing it during the match over the storyline. LU seems to have ultimately agreed with him about the content.)

    Part of what makes the show worth following is that feeling that something different and unexpected could happen because shows are allowed to have differences and themes.

A lot of credit here has to go to making as many characters interesting as possible. Lots of people have a reason to be there and an ongoing issue, and it lets them shift different acts into the main event, or off the show entirely to give them a break. (Just running an hour helps too; 40 hours of LU was one long season, 40 hours of WWE is two months of RAW & SmackDown.)

WWE tries to do the unexpected and change things up, but sometimes at the expense of any long term vision. LU has changed things along the way, but those big shows meant something because of they were ends of long stories. Aztec Warfare was Puma overcoming his previous stumbles to win, Grave Consequences was the end of weeks of Mil/Fenix/Catrina drama (and Mil being near invincible since the start of the show), All Night Long was the culmination of a rivalry from week 1. It's not just things being thrown together for a three week build, but arcs going back months.

    LU makes me feel like it's one watershed moment (and a firm budget and commitment for Season 2) away from sparking into something that would genuinely be dangerous for WWE, especially if it had a forum like, say, Netflix that brought a hungry, vocal audience to it.

The amazing thing to me is how much of a vocal audience LU has gotten despite maybe 100K seeing it per week on El Rey. Maybe 3x as many people see it on Unimas, but most of the people I see reacting to it are obviously reacting to the English version. If you like to read wrestling websites and are not a fan of LU, you're probably thrilled it'll be over tomorrow so you can stop seeing it everywhere; it's gotten much more coverage than it would seem to deserve based on those traditional numbers. (You could argue that about NJPW too, but it had a few years of good press to get to this point; LU has did the same in months.) Maybe it's just good internet media work on their part or maybe it shows how many people are willing to find non-traditional means to watch a show if gets good enough buzz.

    From what I can gather through commentary and Google, these are apparently podcasters and other wrestling reviewers, not indie wrestlers like I had originally assumed.

This is the good social media work! People with the show seem to read everything (hello!) and go a hold of their biggest fans. The guys who took the Border Toss and the guy who lost his belt (again!) were indie wrestlers, but the rest were big fans invited to watch the finale and be on the show if they could find their own way to Los Angeles. (Not everyone said yes, and those people might regret missing watching the finale a little bit.)
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#8 Posted on 5.8.15 0214.14
Reposted on: 5.8.22 0215.49
Lucha Underground is, quite simply, the best damn wrestling show on television right now. I dearly hope El Rey picks it up for a second season. They've already devoted their entire prime time block on Wednesdays to replays of previous episodes, why not keep it going? Especially with the debut of the GotG belt, it definitely feels like they're establishing their future path with the finale at Ultima Lucha, rather than trying to wrap things up (like they might if ER was planning to drop them in favor of more old kung fu and monster movies).
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#9 Posted on 5.8.15 0736.52
Reposted on: 5.8.22 0745.14
For what it's worth (probably not much), Konnan did an AMA on Reddit last night.

Someone asked if he knew whether or not there would be a second season of Lucha Underground and he ambiguously said "yes". Further down, someone directly asked if Lucha Underground was any closer to being confirmed and his response was "I would not be the person making that announcement..".

Six hours later, he returned and answered more questions and someone asked "Is there anything you can say about Lucha Underground getting a season two?" and his response "yes, there will be".

The highlight of the whole thing was probably when someone asked what he thought of TNA and his response was "if WWE wasn't around they would still be the no. 2 promotion".

Also, there may be a minor storyline spoiler in the AMA because someone asked about something that I have no idea what they're talking about and I have to assume it's in reference to a match on tonight's episode, unless I completely missed something fairly major. (It's only a storyline, not match, spoiler and it's to one of the relatively minor storylines.)
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#10 Posted on 5.8.15 0858.39
Reposted on: 5.8.22 0859.01
Lucha Underground started with the right combination of recognizable names to hook a casual viewer(Chavo, Johnny Mundo) and the right talents to keep that viewer around for the rest of the product. I've become a big fan and this show boosted my interest in lucha libre in general; really wanting to check out AAA Triplemania.
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#11 Posted on 5.8.15 0926.37
Reposted on: 5.8.22 0926.53
    Originally posted by thecubsfan
    This is the good social media work! People with the show seem to read everything (hello!) and go a hold of their biggest fans.

They found a months-old Tumblr art post I made, turned it into a tweet, and credited my work. That's astounding.

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