Ultima Lucha Part 2

With me taking a week off to get married, my Ultima Lucha Part 2 review comes nearly a week after the actual event took place. No doubt that means that most of you who might be reading this will have already seen the end to Season One of the Lucha Underground experience, but with the quality of Ultima Lucha Part 1 and the second part that I will be reviewing today, it is an event that is worth relieving. At least it might help get rid of the nasty taste in the mouth left by Triplemania XXIII

Johnny Mundo vs Alberto El Patron

If anything, Lucha Underground has shown itself to be able to make me care about two wrestlers that have recently done very little for me whatsoever. Johnny Mundo is a wrestler that I’ve never been too fussed about, whilst El Patron hasn’t exactly blown me away in his recent outings. Together, in the world of Lucha Underground, they put on an incredibly entertaining match that highlighted a lot of what makes Lucha Underground such an interesting concept within the world of wrestling.

It is Mundo’s chickenshit heeling in the initial stages that engaged me into the match, as I always felt that he was better in this type of character. The guys brawl around the ring, and it is only after crawling under the ring and using dirt from the floor that Mundo truly gets into the match. The match feels like a big time match, with the violence adding to the feeling of the heat between the two, without detracting from the match as a spectacle. During a couple of close near fall, the escalating frustration of Mundo is more than apparent, leading to a whiffed attempt at the End of the World.

During El Patron’s fightback, Mundo used the referee as a shield to block a Patron superkick. This allowed Melina to make her LU debut to help out her old friend Mundo by hitting Patron with a chair (whilst Mundo was locked in an over the top rope armbreaker). Following the interference, Mundo finally does hit the End of the World to get the tainted three count. Patron is naturally frustrated, attacking Mundo after the bell and giving him the receipt of throwing him through the window, retribution for Mundo’s window assault several episodes back. An excellent start to the show with a satisfying conclusion.

Vampiro vs Pentagon Jr. (Cero Miedo match)

I’ve seen different views on this match, but one thing I must say straight off of the bat – they went balls to the wall with the violence to cover the limitations that Vampiro brought with him into the ring. It was over the top, but it was a spectacle, one that I definitely enjoyed.

Pentagon’s initial assault of Vampiro felt that it had real heat behind it, a feeling only developed by the various weapons Pentagon Jr. introduced to Vampiro’s face and back. Thumbtacks, light-tubes and tables all made their way into the match, but it arguably what was needed to make this match in anyway interesting to the viewer – I can only assume that Vampiro can’t go the same way that he might have been able to go back in the day, and the way the storyline had been built meant that the expectations were pretty significant.

Pentagon Jr. eventually picked up the win when dumping Vampiro through a flaming table (which saw Vampiro on fire for an uncomfortably long time due to him rolling away from the fire extinguisher). The reveal of the ‘master’ could be seen as a stupid piece of storytelling, with Vampiro revealing that it was him all along in an effort to make Pentagon Jr. more evil, but as a way of building intrigue for Season Two, it worked for me. I want to see what Pentagon Jr. will do with Vampiro in his ear.

Big Ruck vs Sexy Star vs Fenix vs Aero Star vs Bengala vs Jack Evans vs King Cuerno

A match that was booked and clearly designed to allow some of the biggest names of the season show off some of their best moves, this was a pacy and exciting multi-man match, with only the multiple interferences dragging it down in my estimation.

Big Ryck is a guy that works best when he has smaller guys to chuck around, so the early Big Ryck Domination section was incredibly fun, including the part where the remaining six began to work him over as a team. This gave way to a number of amazing diving spots; we saw Aero Star hit a step up senton onto Fenix; Evans missing a Sasuke special but managing to land on his feet; Aero Star diving off the balcony onto three of the other participants; Bengala hitting a corkscrew dive, and Cuerno landing a bullet-like tope in retribution. Each move was crisp and exhilarating to watch.

With a match that contained seven wrestlers, two lots of outside interference felt like a lot. Daivari came out and hit Big Ryck with a chair, whilst Marty Martinez tried to attack Sexy Star. I’m sure that these would make a lot more sense had I watched week by week (I’ve admitted in Part 1 that I watched bits and pieces), but even if that is the case, two lots of interference is overkill for a match that already has so many participants.

The ending saw Fenix pick up the victory, thus winning the Gift of the Gods Championship, entitling him to a title shot at a later date. He pinned Jack Evans after a sequence of knees and the Fire Driver. I must say how much I do enjoy watching Jack Evans now, considering how much he has improved since his earlier days in ROH. I’ve not seen him in years, and he is still very flippy, but also very enjoyable to watch.

Texano Jr. vs Blue Demon Jr

Effectively an angle rather than a match. A No-DQ stip is added to the match at the start, allowing The Crew to liberally get involved on behalf of Blue Demon Jr. It is necessary, as Texano initially blitzes straight through him, a big spinebuster and powerbomb leaving Demon needing help to escape a pinfall. Chavo Guerrero Jr. hits the ring to seemingly defend Texano, only to whack him with a chair. Demon Jr. gets the pinfall in a match that barely goes three minutes. Complete meh, although it does make me want to see more Texano Jr.

Prince Puma (c) vs Mil Muertes

What a good way to end the season! Classic size vs strength match-up, with the biggest underdog babyface versus the most powerful ‘heel’ on the roster (although as is often the way, Muertes gets a lot of cheers). Surprisingly, they mostly go toe to toe, with Puma using his speed to try and counter the size advantage that Muertes brings to the fight. Maybe the match might have been better suited to a longer heat sequence, but that would be nit-picking what was a very good match to close out the show.

To be fair, an extended heat sequence might have ended up with Puma getting killed, as Muertes did go out of his way to destroy the champion with several high impact moves. The powerbomb on the wooden steps at ringside was vicious, as was the chairshot blocking a Puma dive. It took innovative offense from Puma to even stay in the match, at one stage using Catrina herself as a weapon, and using his athleticism in nailing a double foot stomp after landing on his feet after a release german suplex. Puma even showed his ability to match strength with an insanely impressive deadlift fishermans buster after rolling through and hanging on after a northern lights suplex. Unfortunately for Puma, that was only enough for a two.

Speaking of twos, both men managed to hit their finisher for two counts, legitimately close falls that looked like they would end the match. This was helped by the way Lucha Underground has seemingly protected finishers during their booking. The crowd now knew that something bigger needed to occur, and we definitely got it. Having been knocked back away from Puma whilst on the turnbuckle, Muertes showed impressive agility to spring to the top and plant Puma with a top rope flatliner! The victory was academic, and we finish the season with a new Lucha Underground Champion.

The end of the show saw hints for next season – Havoc/Ivelisse/Angelico are gunning to regain the trios titles, Vampiro and Pentagon Jr. promising evil things and Dario Cueto on the run with Matanza (at least, that is what I gathered from my brief knowledge). Still, the second season hasn’t yet been finalised. Whilst the noise coming out of the producers is good, it is difficult to not be cynical until it is written in stone. Hopefully, Lucha Underground does return – it did enough in Ultima Lucha to make me want to be there from the very first minute of Episode 1.

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