Lucha Underground Review – Cage Pushes Matanza to the Limit


6/1/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters


Matanza def. Cage in a Gift of the Gods Match to Remain Lucha Underground Champion

The two behemoths traded shoulder blocks after the opening bell and neither could move the other. Cage shifted his focus to the air with a topez con giro and a moonsault to the floor- both jaw-dropping from a wrestler of his size. Even after a Cage powerbomb into the guardrail, Matanza rebound with a series of gutwrench slams on the floor. He cut off a potential Cage rally with a German Suplex on the floor.


Cage blocked a standing shooting star press (yes, a standing shooting star from Matanza) with a knee and hit a slingblade. Matanza came back with a t-bone suplex and a pumphandle slam. He nearly got himself disqualified when he repeatedly dug his fingers into Cage’s eyes. Cage somehow recovered enough for a pumphandle flapjack. They both made their way to their feet and went back down when they hit simultaneously bicycle kicks. The traded Germans, but neither could keep the other down.


Cage fought free when Matanza tried his spinning powerslam and answered with a discus lariat. He climbed onto the second rope and suplexed Matanza from the apron to the ring. He followed it with an elbow drop and got a two count. An Alabama Slam and a standing moonsault for another near fall. Matanza freed himself from an attempt at Weapon X. He hit an overhead belly-to-belly and a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall of his own. Cage countered the Wrath of the Gods again, this time with an inside cradle for a two count. He got the same from a Lucha Destroyer. He went for another discus lariat and Matanza caught him with the Wrath of the Gods for a three count.


This match was by far the most competitive one for Matanza so far. It was fun to see him have to come through this much adversity. He has won squashes and had a memorable hoss fight with Mil Muertes. This time, he worked something closer to an indy spot fest that fit wrestlers much smaller. In fact, the match was so competitive that I was surprised that it had a clean finish. Cage, even in the loss, built even more fan support and showcased his athletic uniqueness.


Johnny Mundo, PJ Black, and Jack Evans def. Rey Mysterio Jr, Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma by DQ to Remain Trios Champions

Although Mysterio and Dragon showed some dissent before the match, they made nice with Puma in time for their shot to regain their titles. Mysterio broke from his recent trend and started the match. The heels cornered him and systematically wore him down. Puma eventually got the tag and turned the match around. He impressively superplexed Evans onto a crowd of wrestlers from the top rope to the floor. He set up for a 630 on Evans, only for Black and Mundo to pull him out of the way. With Puma down, Evans hit his own 630 for a near fall. Puma stayed aggressive and hit a Benadryller, but was too tired to go for the cover.


Dragon and Mundo tagged into the match and went back and forth. Taya distracted the referee and Mundo hit Dragon with a mule kick low blow. Puma was so incensed at the tactic that he responded in kind directly in front of the referee. It caused a DQ, but I liked the edgier Puma. He even hit Taya (inadvertently) with a superkick after the match. Mysterio had to hold him back from further attack. Furthermore, Puma and Mundo were so good together in season one that I would be thrilled for LU to revisit the feud.


Other Notes

-Daga and Son of Havoc both showed impressive agility in a back and forth match. Midway through, Kobra Moon appeared at ringside to follow up on the win she gifted to Daga in his last match. She blocked Havoc’s Shooting Star Press, but he nailed it on a second attempt. Kobra pursued Daga after the match, and he resisted. With Ivelisse still linked to Havoc, it makes sense for the inter-gender storyline to abut it. I suspect we’ll see them in a tag match soon.