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    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Temple Rants (4/27/16): Cageception

    Last week saw Lucha Underground’s resident monsters clash, with Matanza and Mil Muertes finally going one on one. It was a brutal affair, and we didn’t really get a conclusion as both men were unable to continue after crashing through Dario Cueto’s office roof. Nevertheless, this seems to have sparked a war between Dario Cueto and Catrina, as both seek to be the one controlling the Temple. Meanwhile, we saw the team of Jack Evans, PJ Black and Fenix advance to the finals of the Trios Tournament, while Aero Star picked up the second Aztec medallion after beating a familiar foe, Drago.

    Cage in a Cage

    Johnny Mundo and Cage’s feud finally came to an end this week, with the two squaring off in the second steel cage match in Lucha Underground history. Considering that these two have been feuding since the start of the season, it was about time for this rivalry to culminate, and they capped it off in a wonderful match.

    The match was a nice summary of how this feud has played out—Cage has always thrown Mundo around, but the latter always found a way to get even thanks to some timely interference by Taya. Once again, Taya managed to aid Mundo even when outside of the cage, tossing weapons in and being a nuisance to the Machine whenever she could. Despite the liberal use of weapons, Cage managed to put away Mundo with a Steiner Screwdriver, picking up the win and an Aztec medallion.

    The win builds up Cage nicely, as that Aztec medallion means he’ll be in the upcoming Gift of the Gods Championship match. This may be his ticket back to the Lucha Underground Championship scene, but we’ll have to see who else picks up a medallion. Right now, though, I’d say Cage is the favorite out of the three confirmed participants.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure where Mundo goes from here. He has no one to blame but himself for losing this match. With Cage out cold, he could’ve taken the easy route and just dropped down the other side to win. Instead, he went with an End of the World from the top, missing badly and allowing Cage to get back in the match. It was odd seeing Mundo take that risk, seeing as how we’ve watched him take the easy way out all season long. At least he has Taya around, and with another luchador perhaps they could form a decent trios team.

    Trios Throwdown (For the Last Time)

    The Trios tournament also culminated this week, with Ivelisse and Son of Havoc being forced to defend their titles without Angelico due to a sudden injury announced by Dario Cueto before the match. Despite the champions being one man down, Dario let the match push through, continuing his hobby of fucking around with the defending champions. Never change, Dario.

    The early portions of the match were very confusing to watch, as each team had a legal man in the ring and they all took turns flying around. It cleared up after the first elimination, and from then on the match was smooth sailing. Everyone (except Jack Evans, who didn’t really participate yet) got their chance to shine—yes, even the Crew got a pop. They also did the usual dive spots to the outside, with each luchador taking turns jumping onto everyone else outside the ring. In the end, the “Dream Team” of Rey Mysterio, Dragon Azteca Jr. and Prince Puma picked up the victory to become the new Trios Champions.

    With all the praise this trio has been getting, seeing them win the Trios Championship was an expected outcome. They were touted as the “Dream Team” since the tournament started, and with your defending champions lacking in manpower, you just knew they were going to win it. However, this does seem like a sidetrack for the trio. Remember that Rey and Dragon Azteca came to the Temple to do something about uniting the Aztec tribes, and I’m not sure how winning the Trios Championship helps that goal. On the other hand, Prince Puma seems to have slipped from the top of totem pole—a far cry from the main event man last season. Perhaps they’ll get involved in the war between Dario Cueto and Catrina. As for our former champions, I’m not sure how long Angelico will be out, but when he comes back, I’d love to see Team Ivelisse challenge for the belts again.

    Quick Hits

    • Watching Mr. Cisco get cheered while squaring off with Rey Mysterio, Ivelisse and Fenix was fun to see. This is a guy who has received nothing but boos since he debuted, and now it seems that the Temple is finally appreciating all his efforts. Come to think of it, Mr. Cisco is your average everyday cholo who just wants to make a living, but to do so he has to contend with all the supernatural shit that happens here. Sounds like a relatable gimmick to me!

    • This week’s closing vignette featured Pentagon Jr. struggling to recover from his injury, all while Vampiro (in evil Sith mode) is berating him for being weak. With the tease on Vampiro not taking his meds, we knew that his dark side would pop up once again, and this was a nice way to remind us all just how twisted he can get. Nonetheless, it’s been a whole month since Pentagon got injured, and I was surprised that it took them this long to address the status of a huge fan favorite. Also, Vampiro may possibly be the shittiest caretaker in the world.

    • While we didn’t see them this week, commentary mentioned that Mil Muertes and Matanza are recovering and that they’ll be back in action in the next couple of weeks. With much of the focus being on these two behemoths the past weeks, their absence this week was actually refreshing. It allowed other storylines in the Temple to shine, which is what we got with this week’s two matches.

    Overall, this was a good show anchored upon two very fun matches. Compared to recent episodes, this one gave the payoff for two important storylines, capping them off with some great in-ring action. There’s not much in the way of plot advancement here, but expect that next week as we go back to building other rivalries up. I’d put this episode at an A-, with special mention to the steel cage match being a great culmination to the Mundo-Cage feud.

    What did you think of this week's episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!


    Anthony Cuello is an HR professional and training designer. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers PWR and Lucha Underground for Smark Henry. A psychology nut, he tends to watch wrestling looking for these small nuances of in-ring behavior. He dreams of a wrestling business with good people management practices, and hopes to help make that happen one day.

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    Item Reviewed: Temple Rants (4/27/16): Cageception Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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