Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lucha Underground "The Cup Runneth Over" Review

We're nearing the finals of the Cueto Cup!

Right to the goods, as Catrina met up with Cage backstage. She wants the gauntlet for her mother. Cage wouldn't give it up, saying it was his. She said he wouldn't be himself soon enough. He still refused and said he would do things the hard way, even though she claimed he'd hate it that way. He attempted to hit her with the gauntlet, but she disappeared.

Dario Cueto was in his office when Joey Ryan entered. He correctly suspects that Veneno is Cortez Castro. Dario was surprised by this news and booked Veneno vs. Sexy Star next week in a Mask vs. Mask match.

Cueto Cup Semi-Finals: Fenix vs. Prince Puma
I believe this match only happened once and that was way back in season one for the Lucha Underground Title. This is a much different Puma, though. They worked this at a quick pace and showed how evenly matched they are. It was a battle of the top two faces in LU history. Neither guy seemed to gain a clear advantage, until Fenix got a near fall on a kick to the back of the head. Vampiro and Melissa Santos were way into this at ringside, rooting their respective guy on. Marty Martinez arrived to stalk Melissa and Fenix took him out. That opened the door for the guy who isn't the clear good guy anymore, Puma, to strike. A Michinoku Driver wasn't enough but the 630 was, giving Puma a ticket to the finals at 10:27. Awesome stuff. The crowd was hot, the action was wild and even the Marty stuff was fine as it added to the story. [****]

Mil Muertes worked out backstage and was so violent he was shaking the Temple. Dario and Sexy Star felt the effects. Catrina told him to save it for Pentagon. Cage jumped Mil from behind, hitting him with the gauntlet and dropping a weight on him. After he left, Catrina made Mil rise with her weird rock thing and told him that Cage's time would come, but to focus on Pentagon.

Cueto Cup Semi-Finals: Mil Muertes w/ Catrina vs. Pentagon Dark
During his entrance, Mil favored his ribs. Mil attacked quickly, but Pentagon went after the ribs. Vampiro noted how he showed improved wits by doing so. Pentagon was in control, but all it took was one chokeslam from Mil to stop his momentum. Mil avoided the Package Piledriver, only to have his momentum cut off. Pentagon kicked Catrina away and delivered a double stomp to the injured ribs to win in 7:29. Solid match, but not as good as I'm sure they could do without the injury angle. It did give Mil a reason to lose cleanly in under ten minutes, though. [***1/4]

Pentagon went to break Mil's arm after the match, but Catrina raised the rock and he overpowered Pentagon to escape.

Dario Cueto brought out Johnny Mundo and Rey Mysterio Jr. to, as he put it, talk shit to each other ahead of their title match. I love that Dario got so excited about his fighters talking shit. Mundo ran down Rey and said he'd crush his dreams. He had his security team with him to hide behind. Rey attacked him when he threw verbal jabs towards Rey's son. The Worldwide Underground came out to trip Rey and jump him. Rey took a curb stomp and the WU celebrated. It was cut short by the arrival of Dragon Azteca Jr., Sexy Star and the Mack. They all brawled around the Temple, leaving Rey and Mundo to do battle in the ring. Prince Puma arrived and stood between them. Pentagon Dark joined them and brawled with Puma, while Mundo and Rey went at it. Mil arrived and took out Pentagon and Puma, while Cage handled Rey and Mundo. That left Cage and Mil to come face to face and trade blows. Marty Martinez tried getting involved, but was cut off by Fenix. Mariposa came to help. Joey Ryan, Jeremiah Crane and others joined the riot. The Rabbit Tribe watched from above Dario's office with carrots. London seemed to be doing commentary. Dante Fox watched from above, when Killshot attacked him. Puma hit a 630 onto a crowd. Rey delivered the 619 on Mundo and celebrated with the title. Dario had a huge grin as he watched this. His violence boner was real and so was mine. This was everything I love about Lucha Underground. Violence, excitement and chaos.

Overall: 9/10. One of the best episodes all season long. This is the Lucha Underground I love. Puma/Fenix was excellent and Pentagon/Mil told a fine story. The extra stuff all delivered as well. From the seeds being planted for Cage/Mil to the brawl that ended the show, it was LU at its finest.

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Random Match Review: 8/16/17

PROGRESS Championship: Marty Scurll [c] vs. Mark Haskins vs. Tommy End – PROGRESS Chapter 36: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Room…Again 9/25/16; O2 Academy Brixton

It was the biggest event in PROGRESS history. They started from the bottom and sold a record 2,400 tickets for this event. At the start of the year, Marty Scurll captured the PROGRESS Champion in a phenomenal match against rival Will Ospreay. Over the next few months, he defeated some big names, including Chris Hero. However, he failed to get past Tommy End and had Mark Haskins hot on his trail. That led to this, which was billed as the biggest match in PROGRESS history. Could Scurll survive this challenge? Would Haskins finally win the big one? Could Tommy do the unthinkable and win the PROGRESS Title in his final independent wrestling match before joining WWE? Yea, that was another story coming into this one.

Their entrances told a story. End basked in his, knowing it was the end of the line for his indy run. Haskins was quick, wanting to get down to business. Scurll’s was extravagant, featuring several women cosplaying as him. The early stages of this weren’t too great. They didn’t resort to the overly done “one person out of the ring” spots in most Triple Threats, but a lot of the stuff didn’t fully click with me. There were some cool spots, particularly Haskins stopping a Marty Chicken Wing by pulling him and End into a double armbar. After Haskins took a table bump, the match really kicked up, bringing several near falls that made you question the outcome, even though most people felt it was obvious coming into this.

Unable to pick up the win, Scurll grew frustrated and attacked several referees with his umbrella. PROGRESS co-founder Jim Smallman even got in the ring to try and calm him down. It was a callback to an old PROGRESS Title match with Jimmy Havoc and Will Ospreay back at Chapter 20. And just like that, Havoc’s theme music hit to a thunderous ovation. It was the biggest in PROGRESS history to that point and remained that way until the South Pacific Power Trip edged it in 2017. It was Havoc’s first appearance in PROGRESS in over a year. He took out Scurll with an Acid Rainmaker and left. That left Haskins free to use the Sharpshooter to make Scurll submit and win the PROGRESS Championship after an emotional 29:32.

A big time main event that ran a bit too long. The early stages weren’t great and if this went closer to 20 minutes than 30, I think it would’ve worked better. The action was great and there were several creative spots that stood out. The moment of Havoc returning was huge and very memorable, though I feel that it took away from Haskins’ title win moment. The crowd popped big for it either way, though. I recommend this match, but it’s not in the upper echelon of PROGRESS main events. [***½]

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