On the previous 99 episodes of Lucha Underground: An old regional lucha libre feud leads to a Spanish businessman organizing an underground pro wrestling ring that’s also a television show that, if I’m following this correctly, brings together all the people powerful enough to stop the ancient Aztec Gods from returning to Earth and killing everyone and keeps them from doing that by distracting them with wrestling storylines.
If you need to catch up on the rest of the episodes — if you aren’t caught up, you should need to catch up — you can read about season 1 here, and season 2 here. Season 3 episode recaps can be found here.
Hit those share buttons! Make sure to spread the column around so people can share in our love of all things Lucha, and encourage folks to finally bite the bullet and watch the first two seasons on Netflix. It’s on Netflix. It’s the best Netflix show about an enraged Ninja Turtle confronting a ninja skeleton about who gets to beat up a luchador!
And now, the Over/Under on Lucha Underground season 3, episode 35, originally aired on September 13, 2017.
This week’s opening match is supposed to be an atomicos match pitting Prince Puma, Fenix, Cage and Sexy Star against Johnny Mundo, PJ Black, Taya and Ricky Mandel, but Mundo finds out beforehand that RIcky legally changed his name to “Ricky Mundo” and subs in Marty the Moth instead. There’s only room for one Mundo in Worldwide Underground, which confirms that (1) Taya will be keeping her last name (“Valkyrie”) when she marries Johnny, because those are their actual IRL last names, and (2) Ricky Mandel is cool showing his drivers license on national television. I wonder which con-artist Believer already tried to identity thieve him?
While the actual match was relatively forgettable, it did an exceptional job of tying together a bunch of loose storylines into one cohesive thing. Previously I’ve only really been able to use that as a positive when writing up Aztec Warfare matches, so they managed to sneak an Aztec Warfare’s worth of story development into one atomicos match.
In this match, we got:
- the ongoing saga of Ricky Mun-del being obsessed with Johnny Mundo
- Mundo using the Damned Numbers Game® to pin Prince Puma, which not only references Mundo/Puma from Lucha episode 1, but illustrates the only real way Mundo will be able to beat him at Ultima Lucha Tres
- the awkward Sexy Star/Taya beef, taped a year before there was actual beef and everything went to hell
- a nice acknowledgment from the announce team that Cage and Prince Puma aren’t suddenly friends, Cage just agreed to be in the match so he could get his hands on Johnny Mundo
- Worldwide Underground showing they aren’t actually friends with Marty, and not letting him in on their Whoa Bundy taunt
- Marty the Moth continuing to harass Melissa Santos, having her throw hands at him instead of just being a damsel in distress (which is nice), Fenix coming to her aid again, and setting up Marty/Mariposa vs. Fenix/Melissa for next week
- Jeremiah Crane running out to steal Cage’s gauntlet so Catrina will hook up with him and luring Cage away from the match, which gives Worldwide Underground the man-up advantage they need to win, ties together the Crane/Mil, Crane/Cage and Cage/Mil stories nicely, and sets up a triple threat
Pretty good for one tag team match. On Raw, the most development we get from most tag matches is, “blank has pinned the tag team champions,” or, best case scenario, “can they co-exist??”
Over: Slide Into Her DMs Like
I really hope Worldwide Underground’s lawyer has gone the way of the Brady Bunch’s dog Tiger.
Over/Under: It’s So Bad
Backstage after the match, we get an enjoyable but corny even for Lucha Underground standards scene of Crane trying to give the glove to Catrina, Cage rushing in to take advantage of the fact that the glove won’t let Catrina teleport away with it, and a three-way brawl breaking out. I was hoping Cage and Mil Muertes would start doing karate like when Rey Mysterio fights people backstage, but it’s mostly slow motion haymakers.
During the melee, Dario Cueto sneaks in and steals the glove. I really hope he stole it just to like, set up a wrestling match and hang it above the ring or whatever, because if he was that into having the glove, he could’ve just put it on when it was sitting in his office for weeks instead of giving it to whomever won a best-of-seven.
Over: Poor Dragon Azteca Jr.
We’re only a few episodes away from Ultima Lucha Tres, so now everything appears to be building to that. Like the atomicos match, Pentagon Dark vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr., while being a grudge match, mostly exists to put over the larger stories, tie together the histories of Ultima Luchas Dos and Tres, and give Rey Mysterio Jr. a reason to get got.
As you might recall, Pentagon once broke El Dragon Azteca Jr.’s arm. Dragon eventually got a pretty crummy revenge by breaking one of Pentagon’s arms, but only after he’d wrestled three matches against the Mae Young Classic winner-quality Black Lotus Tribe and got one of his arms broken by Black Lotus. So he wasn’t exactly being a bad-ass there. Here, Pentagon Dark kicks his ass and wins an ahn-see-ant Aztec medallion to put him in a Gift of the Gods match with a bunch of rabbits that he’ll win unless something is seriously wrong. At the last moment, he decides, sure, let’s break this dude’s arm again.
Before that can happen, Matanza Cueto — the god-filled cage monster Pentagon lost to at Ultima Lucha Dos — shows up and sorta claims the kill himself. Pentagon has better things to do, so he hilariously jock-bumps Matanza and bails. Dario manages to use his key to keep Matanza from attacking, and Pentagon ceros miedo in his face about it.
THAT allows Matanza to beat up El Dragon Azteca Jr. himself, because Dragon is Rey Mysterio’s protege, Mysterio gave Dario a 619 several weeks ago and Matanza wants blood. Sure enough that brings out Mysterio, and the main event is on.
Over: Na Na Na Na, Rey Rey Rey, Goodbye
As you know if you’ve ever seen a Rey Mysterio Jr. match, he’s the best “fighting from underneath” guy in the world. Maybe the best ever. WWE called him the “biggest little man,” which sounded more like a Marlon Wayans movie than a compliment, but it’s true. The guy is at his best when he’s outgunned, and has to pull out some ridiculous timing and maneuvering to stay in a fight. Here, he gets a lot before finally falling to Matanza, which he should, because he’s REY MYSTERIO, capital letters.
It’s interesting that they had Rey finally fall to Matanza here instead of at Ultima Lucha, and the finish — with Matanza hitting a chair-assisted Wrath of the Gods, then wrapping the chair around Rey’s neck and posting him before literally carrying him away to his death (?) — seems like it’s writing Mysterio off for the finale. If there’s a season four, which as a fan and a new Los Angeles resident especially I hope there is, that would, I guess, be the hook for the premiere. “Did Rey Mysterio get his face eaten, or what?” Lucha’s got a weird habit of abducting people, keeping them off-screen for large periods of time and then bringing them back with a “they got better,” but maybe we’ll find out what’s what before the end of season 3.
And that’s this week’s show. Three enjoyable matches with a lot going on, a lot set up for next week, and even more set up for the four-part (!!) season finale.
And possibly RIP Rey Mysterio, 1974-2017.