1/27/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
The thing that made Season 1 of Lucha Underground exciting and revolutionary was the promotion’s willingness to tear up the script for a traditional wrestling show. LU branched out to more theatrical backstage productions and very unique characters to great effect. When financial troubles called Season 2 into question, I worried that the company might try to save money by becoming more customary. The debut of Season 2 allayed my fears because, once again, it looked nothing like any other wrestling show on TV.
LU doubled down on its weirdness- from a Vampiro fever dream in an insane asylum to a cross-country fight/dinner club starring Dario Cueto’s cannibal monster of a brother. It also recreated its own Temple and power structure in a way that makes it fresh while keeping it vaguely recognizable. With Catrina in charge and Mil Muertes looking down from above the Temple, the show had a darker tone than the jovial parties of Season 1. Nonetheless, the action in the ring brought the fans to a frenzy because they engaged the characters and their prior histories brilliantly.
King Cuerno def. Fenix to Win the Gift of the Gods Title
When Fenix came looking to cash in his title shot against Mil Muertes, Catrina told him that he would have to defend the belt against Cuerno first. They started at a fast pace on the mat and dialed up the temp when Fenix hit a crazy springboard arm drag and followed it with his own version of the Lethal Injection. He took the action outside and delivered a step up topez con giro. He brought Cuerno back in the ring with a Yakuza Kick and a superkick, but Cuerno answered with a superkick of his own. Still in control, Fenix hit a second Lethal Injection and turned it into a dragon sleeper, only for Cuerno to counter it into a surf board.
Once again, Fenix fought back. He hit a stomp to the back of Cuerno’s head while he was perched on the top turnbuckle. Cuerno finally hit his own big move with his Thrill of the Hunt for a near fall. Fenix tried a 450 Splash, but missed, and Cuerno hit an impressive package tombstone to get the win and the Gift of the Gods Title. Cuerno was the LU exception in Season 1- an impressive wrestler whose character never clicked and who lost momentum as the season went along. I like the idea of him getting a high-profile rehabilitation because his work in the ring is outstanding.
Ivelisse def. Son of Havoc and Angelico to Earn a Lucha Underground Title Shot
When the former Trios Champions arrived at the Temple demanding a title shot, Catrina told them that they would have to wrestle each other. Their only incentive for breaking up their team was a title shot for the winner of the match. They accepted the challenge and showed that they have no problem reengaging their old hostilities for each other.
Each wrestler tried a variety of pins in a quick start, but the pace slowed when Angelico hit a very stiff knee to Ivelisse. Havoc built some momentum when he hit a suicide dive to each of his opponents on opposite sides of the ring. He maintained control with a stomp and a standing moonsault on Angelico for a near fall. He went back to the top rope and Ivelisse shoved him before he could attempt his 450. She took advantage of the downed Angelico and rolled him up for a pin to win.
Mil Muertes def. Ivelisse to Retain the Lucha Underground Title
Ivelisse’s win immediately pitted her against the even bigger, more intimidating Mil Muertes in a lopsided main event. Catrina summoned the Disciples of Death, and they hauled Havoc and Angelico to the back to remove her backup. Muertes was impervious to Ivelisse’s strikes early in the match and he threw her off when she tried a guillotine choke. He continued to ragdoll her around the ring, but she occasionally found a leverage hold to stay afloat. An armbar in the ropes followed by a tornado DDT earned her a two count for her best chance of the match.
Catrina entered the ring and Ivelisse fell victim to their old hostilities. She became distracted momentarily, but side-stepped a Muertes spear that hit Catrina instead. She rolled him up with a schoolboy for a two count. Muertes then strung together a powerslam and a Flatliner to get the pin and retain his title. An angry Catrina ordered Muertes to punish Ivelisse further with another Flatliner. As he set up, Prince Puma ran in to save her. Muertes stared Puma down from the ring and Pentagon Jr. appeared from behind. He hit Muertes with a back-stabber and his patented arm-breaker to a wild reaction from the Temple.
While I am typically skeptical of inter-gender wrestling matches, this one was booked in a way that did not insult anyone’s intelligence. Ivelisse was only able to muster offense when there was a logical reason for an opening and she used leverage to neutralize her opponent’s superior strength.
More importantly, the post-match story again showed LU’s willingness to go way off the script. The Muertes-Puma stare-down was the traditional wrestling story. The second run-in from a psychotic, partially-turned, red-hot tweener to take the Champion out of action was bold, thrilling, and forces everyone to come back next week to see what happens next.