Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ultima Lucha Tres Night Four Review

It's the season three finale of Lucha Underground. Unfortunately, there's a strong chance it could be the series finale, as well.

Steel Cage Match: El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Matanza Cueto w/ Dario Cueto
This entire time, I totally thought it was Matanza vs. Mysterio. I don't know why, but I was 100% sure that was the match until Azteca was announced. Azteca came right at Matanza and hit a moonsault off the cage. That didn't last too long, as Matanza began throwing him around the cage. Matanza caught Azteca with a huge belly to belly that sent him THROUGH THE CAGE WALL! Before Azteca could be announced as the winner, Dario said the match would not end that way. Pinfalls and submissions became the only way to win. Azteca got his hands on Dario, who hilariously sold his fear, before Matanza saved him. He beat on Azteca inside, including ripping part of his mask. Just as Azteca rallied, Black Lotus appeared for the first time in months. She took out Azteca with a cross body off the cage, before Matanza finished him with the Wrath of the Gods in 8:27. This was good. It had the right amount of violence (without overdoing it) and told the story it needed to, while bringing Lotus back into the mix. [***]

Post-match, Dario Cueto celebrated in the ring. Matanza stood on the middle rope, giving an opening for Lotus to sneak up and powerbomb him. She backed Dario into the corner and called him a liar. She was talking about Dario telling her that Dragon Azteca killed her parents. Dario admitted he was a liar as Matanza got back up and planted her with the Wrath of the Gods.

Gauntlet of the Gods Elimination Match: Cage vs. Jeremiah Crane vs. Mil Muertes w/ Catrina
Dario made this an elimination match just before it began. Right from the opening bell, this was a war. Crane got busted open early and brought a trash can into play. It was a smart way to level the playing field against two larger opponents. Mil no sold a lot of his normal offense, before chokeslamming him through a table. Then, Mil busted out a TILT-A-WHIRL HEADSCISSORS as he and Cage went at it. In a sickening moment, Crane drove skewers into Cage's head! If that wasn't enough, he then drove them in further with a DDT that somehow only got a near fall. These guys also used a hammer and brought glass into play. Mil was laid on two tables outside, while Cage and Crane battled inside. Cage then DEADLIFE SUPERPLEXED CRANE ONTO MIL THROUGH THE TABLES! Cage took Crane inside and eliminated him with Weapon X at 11:33. Cage suplexed Mil back inside and got two on a twisting elbow drop. Cage and Mil traded offense for a bit until Mil hit a Flatliner on a chair to win in 14:04. That was a great, violent brawl. Some of the spots made me cringe, which is hard to do after everything we've seen in Ultima Lucha. I do feel like the final exchange between Cage and Mil could've been better. It didn't live up to the rest of the match. [****]

Dario Cueto brought out a box with the gauntlet. Catrina retrieved it and brought it to Mil Muertes. Mil put it on and punched the mat, causing the lights to go out. When they came back on, KING CUERNO was in the ring! He kicked Mil in the head, slammed Catrina and continued beating on Mil. Mil put him on the shelf at Ultima Lucha Dos last year. He stole the gauntlet, setting up a great continuation of the feud if Lucha Underground ever returns.

We got to see the finished product of Taya's documentary on Johnny Mundo. It was possibly the best thing Mundo's ever been a part of.

Lucha Underground Championship vs. Career: Johnny Mundo [c] vs. Prince Puma
Puma has now main evented all three Ultima Luchas. This pairing was also the main event of episode one (***3/4) and they had the first All Night Long Match (****1/4). This started with the athletic exchange we'd expect from these two. Puma nailed an awesome double jump springboard shooting star press to the outside. Puma got a flurry going inside, until Mundo slipped out and leveled him in the kidney. Eventually, we got a ref bump, which signaled the Worldwide Underground shenanigans. PJ Black and Mundo hit Puma with a superkick/brainbuster combo and Jack Evans added his own offense. The referee awoke, but Puma found a way to kick out. WU beat up the referee and attempted to use chairs. ANGELICO made his return and took out the group before hitting Mundo with a somersault dive. Pissed at WU, referee Rick Knox added his own dive and nearly killed himself. Puma hit a springboard 450 on Mundo, but it wasn't enough. They continued to battle until Mundo nailed a super Moonlight Drive for a close near fall. Puma got his knees up on End of the World and fired off a series of kicks and knees. Puma hit a shotgun dropkick and 630 to win the title for a second time in 18:23! Great main event. Though I didn't love the interference, it made sense and allowed for Angelico to get some revenge. Once left alone, Mundo couldn't beat a guy who was fighting for his life. Better than their first match, but not as good as the All Night Long one. [***3/4]

Vampiro stood with a strange smile as Puma celebrated. Dario Cueto came out of his office and congratulated Puma, before announcing that the night was not over. There was one match left and the crowd chanted, "Cero Miedo." Following a commercial, Dario announced that someone wanted to cash in a title shot after tonight's main event. Normally, he'd decline so he could promote the match, but rules are like bones; they're made to be broken. He introduced the Gift of the Gods Champion, Pentagon Dark, to a HUGE ovation. It gave me chills.

Lucha Underground Championship Career vs. Career Match: Prince Puma [c] vs. Pentagon Dark
Just before this started, Dario announced both careers were on the line. Puma started with a pump kick and the action flowed from there. Pentagon performed his trademark arm break spot within a minute or so. Puma popped it back into place and taped it up so he could keep going. That's some gangster shit. Vampiro barely commentated, because he was too invested in his two proteges going at it. Puma did an excellent job selling the arm, not using it for some of his signature moves. His series of one armed suplexes were incredibly impressive. Puma avoided the Destroyer, countered a Package Piledriver and hit his own Destroyer. The Benadryller connected, but Pentagon got his shoulder up. Vampiro got up from commentary as Puma went for the 630. He pulled Pentagon out of the way! Pentagon picked up a near fall before FINALLY winning the title with a Package Piledriver in 8:26. An awesome way to end the season. I think I liked this more than their excellent Cueto Cup Finals match. It was a wild sprint with the added intensity and drama of the stakes being so high. Vampiro's involvement was a great way to end a long storyline. [****1/4]

Vampiro and Pentagon celebrated in front of a heartbroken Puma. Pentagon said the Temple was now his.

The season ended with one of Lucha Underground's incredible montages. Here's what we saw: Puma removed his mask and exited the Temple. King Cuerno chilled in his trophy room with the Gauntlet. Sexy Star greeted fans when a little girl brought her a box and said, "She hasn't forgotten about you." The box held a tarantula. The Rabbit Tribe followed Mascarita Sagrada, who promised to bring them to the White Rabbit. Fenix and Melissa Santos left in a car, as Catrina walked in the background and Jeremiah Crane watched from a rooftop. My main DAGA was back and took his place as Kobra Moon's king. He beheaded Pindar, while Drago remained a prisoner. Vampiro met with his master, who said he did well. I believe he also said he wanted to cause Pentagon's fall. Matanza was still in his cage and it looked like Rey Mysterio was in one as well. Lastly, Dario had a meeting with Agent Winter. He promised to get the Gauntlet back, but was told not to worry. He gets a pass because he'll be dead. Winter then shot Dario and said there would be new management going forward. When he left, Dario used his possible final breaths to make a phone call. He said something in Spanish and the person on the line seemed to call Dario, "jefe." Dario said he needed help before falling to the ground and the line cut out. It ended with, "To be continued."

Overall: 9.5/10. All together, Ultima Lucha Tres may be my pick for show of the year. This was a great ending to what I considered an uneven season. The Cage match was a solid start and it continued some stories. The 3-Way was nuts in he best possible way. We were treated to the returns of Cuerno, Angelico and Daga, which were all cool. Puma winning was a cool moment to cap a very good match and everything involving Pentagon ruled. I absolutely loved the closing montage. If this is the end of Lucha Underground, it went out with a bang. I'll miss it if it's gone. They showed that wrestling could be done in a cinematic format and did so while making plenty of stars. I love you, Lucha Underground.

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