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    Monday, September 25, 2017

    Good Lucha Things (9/20/17): The Calm Before Ultima Lucha Tres

    Welcome to the go home edition of Good Lucha Things!

    Before we proceed to the latest episode, let me give a quick recap of the 100th episode, which we unfortunately missed out on reviewing. The Worldwide Underground did Worldwide Underground things to win their atomicos match against Prince Puma’s team. Dario Cueto now holds the mysterious gauntlet after Cage, Mil Muertes and Jeremiah Crane were too busy fighting over it. Pentagon Dark won the seventh and final Aztec Medallion, and Rey got pretty much killed by Matanza in the main event. It was a jam-packed century episode, and I definitely recommend watching that if you haven’t.

    Now, on to this week’s episode!

    The Debut We've All Been Waiting For

    We’re at the very last point before Ultima Lucha Tres, and we still have a debut to talk about!

    Melissa’s first-ever match was just fine—it wasn’t a total mess, and she played her role well for the most part. She didn’t do a whole lot in the match, but that was to be expected of someone who was just debuting. Nevertheless, she made her brief time in the match count, showing off a couple of tandem moves she learned from Fenix. Fenix took on the burden for most of this match, dishing out and taking most of the punishment. While I don’t think Melissa competing is going to be a regular thing moving forward, this was a nice treat for fans just right before Ultima Lucha Tres closes off the season. Who'd have thought that the random girl Dario hired to announce matches in his promotion would end up wrestling one day?

    This has been one of the feuds they’ve really given time to develop, and we should be in for a nice payoff come the Hair vs. Mask match. Given that Melissa finally got physically involved, I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns the favor at Ultima Lucha Tres. I can easily see her helping Fenix when the numbers game catches up to him, especially since Mariposa will likely be at ringside given that she doesn’t have a match. Wrestling logic does indicate that because the Martinez siblings came out on top this week, we'll have Fenix winning the upcoming match. I really don't see him losing the mask at this point, so let's hope they put on an absolute show in the next few weeks.

    Gift of the Gods Co-Champions?

    This week’s main event was the Gift of the Gods Championship Match, which came as a surprise to me since I was expecting it to take place at Ultima Lucha Tres. Either Dario had too much going on that he had to kick one match off the big show, or he just wanted more violence and big matches. I’m guessing it’s the later.

    The show made it very obvious who the two likely winners were—Son of Havoc and Pentagon Dark. All other five competitors—Drago, Cortez Castro and the Rabbit Tribe—were just there to fill in the numbers. They got their moments to shine, sure, but you could tell that the focus was just on Havoc and Pentagon. There was barely a minute when neither man was involved in the action, which is a shame because the other guys did have some momentum heading into this match. Cortez Castro just came off a feud-ending win against Joey Ryan, and the Rabbit Tribe recently made Matanza look like a fool for a couple of seconds. Here, it felt as if they were just warm bodies so we could have a match.

    I am, however, a fan of how they ended this match. They wanted two guys to look very good here, and that’s exactly what we got. It’s a fresh scenario for the Gift of the Gods Championship, and pits two of the Temple’s favorites against each other. Having a ladder match at Ultima Lucha Tres offers something different from our usual multi-man chaos, and is sure to be an excellent match. The only question now is who’ll get cheered louder—Pentagon Dark or Son of Havoc.

    The Calm Before Ultima Lucha Tres

    In many ways, this was Lucha Underground’s go-home show before Ultima Lucha Tres. The next four weeks are going to be an absolute storm of chaos and violence, which is pretty much the par for this show. With a fourth season still up in the air as of this writing, this might be the last of Lucha Underground we'll be seeing for a while, so we might as well make the most of it.

    Just to recap what's lined up for us at Ultima Lucha Tres, here's a quick preview and prediction combo of all announced matches so far:

    This match makes a ton of sense, mainly because of the Cueto brothers' actions towards Rey Mysterio as of late. With Mysterio presumably out hurt, El Dragon Azteca Jr. must now take up his mentor's fight and go to war against the Monster. Unfortunately, a steel cage sounds exactly like the kind of stipulation suited for Matanza—nobody really wants to be trapped in a cage with him, after all. Matanza Cueto takes this one, and probably tears down the steel cage in the process.

    Oh, the one match they announced at the start of the season, but then completely forgot to hype.

    Of course, part of that is because of Ivelisse's injury, which sidelined her for practically the whole season. Still, there's very little reason to care about this match, particularly if you've only tuned in to Lucha Underground starting with this season. There's a fair amount of history between the two, but that's all been forgotten lately. The least they could've done was to reintroduce Ivelisse and Catrina's feud in the past couple of weeks, so that we can at least remember why these two are going at it. I really don't mind either result, so I'll just pick Ivelisse for the feel-good return victory.

    Well, we already talked about this above, so I'll just say it again: Fenix wins this match, because I really don't see him losing the mask anytime soon.

    Do you really want me to predict a Sexy Star match? Really?

    Taya is going to destroy her, and no other result will do.

    Now this is a match I'm legitimately looking forward to!

    Killshot and Dante Fox have had one hell of a season, and we're finally going to get their long-awaited showdown. Matt Striker described the Hell of War as having three different stages, which makes me very sure that this is the Lucha Underground version of the Three Stages of Hell match. This is the perfect match to let these two shine, and I have a feeling this is going to be the best match out of Ultima Lucha Tres. Fox has had more chances to shine lately, so I'm guessing Killshot picks up the win here.

    Contract Match: Texano vs. Famous B

    Barring another miracle client like Dr. Wagner Jr. last year, I really don't see this ending well for Famous B. He's got a broken arm and a pissed off Texano to deal with, and that's just too much. Texano wins here so he can finally get rid of Famous B once and for all.

    Ladder Match for the Gift of the Gods Championship: Son of Havoc vs. Pentagon Dark

    They couldn't have picked two guys more deserving here, and either result is going to make me happy and sad. Both men have had so many near misses at championship opportunities, and only one is going to break his unlucky streak here. This should be a fun, fast-paced match with both men likely to make use of the ladder at some point, and things are just going to get crazy from there. I'm going to guess that Pentagon Dark ekes out the victory here, but I'd also love a Son of Havoc victory. Can't we just split the title and give it to both of them?

    Three-Way Match for the Gauntlet: Cage vs. Mil Muertes vs. Jeremiah Crane

    Two of Lucha Underground's forces finally go head-to-head, but with an added element in the form of chaotic Jeremiah Crane. The show has done well to keep Cage and Mil Muertes on separate paths, and this'll be their first major match against each other. Expect lots stiff strikes and bodies flying around, with a pinch of Jeremiah Crane's frenetic style to keep things exciting. With the gauntlet supposedly containing great power, I'm rooting for Cage to win and get back what's rightfully his.

    Finally, we end this season as we started the first one—with Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo going at it. With Prince Puma making it well-known that he intends to leave after Ultima Lucha Tres, this makes it seem like an easy prediction for Mundo to retain. I don't think it'll go down like that, though, and instead I see Prince Puma getting one more reign as Lucha Underground Champion. It's the perfect way to cap off his redemption arc under Vampiro's tutelage, and marks a significant change from the Prince Puma we saw as the first Lucha Underground Champion.

    Quick Hits:

    • LOL at Dario giving Famous B a “handicap” match. Okay, that was actually really witty. He’s going to need all the handicap he can get, though, because I doubt he could beat Texano even if he had both arms.
    • Speaking of Texano, he and Dante Fox had a nice opener to kick off the show. It shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as how both men are talented, though the false finish by Famous B did put a damper on what could’ve been a solid match. Still, it’s a set-up for Ultima Lucha Tres, which I can live with.

    Overall, this week’s episode was a decent show with plenty of set-up. We got our last pieces of the puzzle set in place for Ultima Lucha Tres, which looks to be an absolutely stacked card over the next four weeks. This is going to be one fun month for Lucha Underground, and they had a nice couple of final touches here to hype people up for the big show. B-

    Photos taken from Lucha Underground.


    Anthony Cuello is an HR professional and training designer. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers 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: Good Lucha Things (9/20/17): The Calm Before Ultima Lucha Tres Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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