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Posted in: The Green Room
SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E22 - The Cup Begins
By Ryan Plant (73AF)
Jun 16, 2017 - 9:18:03 AM




Season 3, Episode 22
The Cup Begins


It’s the first week of the Cueto Cup ladies and gentlemen! My name is Ryan “Leaf” Plant and this once more is Sound of the Underground.

First off, I apologise for the later than usual replies to your comments last week. I was at Download Festival last weekend and then spent some time recovering so to speak! I've replied to your comments now so do feel free to take a look!

Anyway, my friends, we have another exciting show to recap and review so let's get to it shall we?!



We begin in Dario Cueto's office this week. In true Dario fashion, we see that his wall is now emblazoned with a giant over-the-top version of the brackets for his new tournament: The Cueto Cup. As he carefully arranges the names, he tells an intruder to go outside and knock as no-one enters his office unannounced.

“I do.”

He turns around with miedo to see none other than the skeleton ninja himself.

“Pentagon, you're back.”

The breaker of bones confirms that his own limbs are healed up, and immediately asks where Black Lotus is. Cueto has the unenviable job of informing Pentagon that she has gone back to Hong Kong. This doesn't sit too well with the fighter who threatens Dario with breaking his arm instead. The proprietor tells him that he wouldn't want to do that, only to have his finger grabbed straight away! Scrambling for ideas, he tells Pentagon that he will be part of the Cueto Cup for the Lucha Underground Championship at the very least!

That seems to be enough for the hold to be released.

He tells Pentagon that he expects that he will inflict violence along the way of the tournament, something that the man with Cero Miedo agrees with. In fact, he even mentions his catchphrase as he tells us that he will win the title at Ultima Lucha Tres because of it. If for whatever reason, he doesn't leave with Aztec Gold however, then all of Dario's bones will be broken.

He leaves, somewhat satisfied, leaving our owner and promoter to sweat out the latest threat hanging over his head.

This somewhat did what was needed to build Pentagon back up again. I want to believe in him as a badass once more but we've seen him threaten Dario with breaking all of his bones during the Matanza feud and it never happened, so why should we believe this now? One thing that I must say is that Pentagon has this charisma like no one else in the entire Temple. You hang on his every word and it is just simply magical to watch unfold. Maybe it's just me but I'm actually more convinced after this segment that Pentagon will not win the tournament. He threatened Dario by telling him that he needs to leave with Aztec Gold at Ultima Lucha Tres. That could be any title! Perhaps he will be the next Gift of the Gods Champion, as he doesn't play well with others for the Trios Championships!


***

We're at ringside in the Temple now as our resident commentators Vampiro and Matt Striker welcome us to the show. They introduce us to the sounds of Sergio Arau and Los Heavy Mex once more before promoting The Cueto Cup. Vamp's voice seems to be struggling here so let’s hope that there isn't too much excitement for the poor guy, but this is Lucha and there always will be! The Cueto Cup begins tonight as Striker tells us. He reminds us that the winner of the tournament receives the cup AND a Lucha Underground Title match at Ultima Lucha Tres.

Without any further ado, Striker take us to Melissa Santos who introduces our first competitor in the opening match.

From 'down the rabbit hole' comes Mala Suerte to kick off the tournament. The Rabbit Tribe member seems very familiar under the mask, it has to be said, as Striker tells us how much he wants the 'Do It Like A Rabbit' t-shirt. So do I Matt, so do I.

His opponent is none other than South Central's finest: The Mack! The man who only recently ALMOST became Lucha Underground Champion bursts down to the ring and combs his hair for good measure. This is his chance of redemption.


LUCHA UNO:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Mala Suerte vs. The Mack

The Return of the Mack chant can be heard again this week, which doesn't make AS much sense as the previous time that we heard it. The two men tie off and trade some surprising athleticism with regards to their respective bodyshapes. They trade fancy counters with one another for some time until Mala goes for a pinfall after a leg sweep. That wasn't even a one! Mack repays the favour for a zero count of his own before kipping up!

In a show of either mind games or an indication of the amount of drugs that Suerte is on, he offers a handshake but withdraws his hand and offers the other, only to end up offering both! A confused Mack is hit with both hands before he repays his sprinting opponent with a running knee. He goes for the cover but that's not enough. Suerte tries to get back into the match with a chop and an arm drag but again is floored by a big Mack strike; this time it was from a European Uppercut. He hits a big Samoan Drop, kips up and hits a beautiful standing moonsault for 1...2... No! “Damn!” he visibly mouths.

There's dueling chants now but Mack seems to have the larger share of the Believers. A front dropkick to the face gets two for the Rabbit Tribe member but he didn't hook the leg however! As both men get back to their feet, they collide in the centre of the ring. It looked to be that The Mack hit a big crossbody but he seems to be holding his wrist in pain immediately after the altercation. Nevertheless, the big man recovers to hit a series of moves on his opponent: notably a running boot to the face in the corner and a beautiful exploder suplex for 1...2.. No!

The recent challenger for the Lucha Underground Championship doesn't seem to know what to do here, and perhaps that shows as he takes too long to question his methods, allowing Mala to catch his kick and hit a HUGE German Suplex for good measure. He should really go for a cover but what is he doing?! He has Mack laid out in one corner and he runs to the opposing corner. A splash from there would have to cover a great distance! He looks to leap!.. but jumps down and runs to the Mack before hitting a senton splash. Oh Suerte, you devious rabbit. The Believers erupt with a “Holy Sh*t” chant in good humour as the following cover only gets a two once more. He should have probably gone for the fall immediately following that German!

Mala actually goes for a high risk senton this time but the risk does not pay off; Mack rolled out of the way! He hits a tilt-a-whirl Big Willie Slam to Suerte and tries a unique cover, hooking the arm between his legs and sitting down to cover the fighter but again, Mala Suerte kicks out! When both men come back to their feet, Suerte STUNS Mack with a Crucifix Bomb for 1...2.. Not quite! The commentators are stunned by what the Rabbit Tribe member is bringing and so am I! He goes for yet another senton which he misses once more, only to be POUNCED a moment later! That move is the prelude to the STUNNER which Mack hits beautifully here! As Striker tells us, that's bad luck for Mala Suerte. I see what you did there Matt. This leads to the 1...2...3 and just like that, Mack advances.

WINNER: The Mack

The brackets show that The Mack has now advanced but who will be joining him? We'll find out some more names tonight.

That was a really good match as Mala Suerte more than held his own here. Ultimately, he wasn't winning, but if the Rabbit Tribe can bring that level of offense in between their comedic moments in future, they may have a chance of winning Trios Gold. Mack really is one of the most over people in the Temple as the fans are behind him in spades. Great stuff from both men.


***

In the gym, Cage is working hard whilst a surge of electricity surges through his Gauntlet. He takes a moment to admire the artifact but someone else enters the scene to show their respect as well.

“Ah Cage, I see you're enjoying the fruits of your labour.” Dario mentions to Cage in his typical smarmy fashion.

He invites the Machine to visit Lawrence Delgado, an influential politician in Boyle Heights who we all know has a deeper purpose of course! Cage refuses to visit him but Cueto tells him that he is a powerful man who is expecting the juggernaut. He hands him his networking card and the physical specimen now seems to be considering this.

Dario has all bases covered, as he has arranged a ride for his fighter, whilst we all ponder the next move in Cage's own personal journey.

What business does Councilman Delgado want from Cage I wonder. Either way, I have to question whether this is a good move for the Machine? Will he meet the Lord?! Is he finally going to be revealed?! This segment did a great job of building up suspense and I think it would be somewhat weird now if they teased the meeting between Cage and Delgado only for it not to take place. I'm sure we'll find out what happened next.


***

We're back in the ring and Argenis has been introduced first for the next Cueto Cup match. The Believers seem behind him despite the fact that he consistently loses here, only for Melissa Santos to announce that his opponent is Pentagon Dark! Yeah, that won't be changing. One thing that I really want to note here is that Santos seemed less scared to announce his name now, is it because he had his arms broken by the Black Lotus Tribe? I don't know if that helps Pentagon's case, to lose such a character trait here.

The fans chant Cero Miedo collectively as Pentagon Dark stares down the camera and flashes the trademark signal. Vampiro is being surprisingly nice to his former client here it has to be said! Let's hope Pentagon can show such kindness to his opponent tonight (which I seriously doubt) as the bell rings!


LUCHA DOS:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Argenis vs. Pentagon Dark

We're off and already Pentagon chops the living daylights out of Argenis! He whips his opponent into the corner, follows with a huge right hand, whips him again and then hits a swift kick to the leg of his foe. He hits yet another to sweep the leg of Argenis and send him to the mat. The resident jobber of the Temple makes the mistake of trying to wrestle back so he becomes the victim of a Slingblade for his troubles. Pentagon tells him that he has Cero Miedo before hitting one hell of a hard kick to the face.

Pentagon isn't done here. He slaps his mask, only to be slapped in the face by Argenis himself. He hits a huge thrust kick only for Argenis to once again reply. This seems like a strange time to have this Luchador finally hold his own in the Temple as Pentagon NEEDS a dominant win here. Thankfully, Pentagon strikes him back with a swift chop. The Man From The Heavens though manages to hook Dark's arm behind him before lifting him up and slamming him to the mat. It looked more like Pentagon reversing with a cutter but Argenis hooking Pentagon's leg tells me otherwise. Dark kicks out.

The underdog charges at the skeleton ninja though he is flipped into the corner back first! Penta kicks Argenis in the face yet again but once more, this luchador finds a way to come back a moment later with a cutter apparently. Thank you Striker, as this time it actually didn't look like much of a cutter at all. I'm really not being biased here when I say that Argenis has some of the most unclear offense I have ever seen – I mean no malice by that! He goes for the cover but again Pentagon kicks out.

Argenis tries to follow up and keep this momentum going but gets caught in the PENTA DRIVER for 1...2.. WHAT?! He kicked out?! But how?! And why?! There's literally no reason why that kick out could ever be a good thing. Thankfully, Dark hits another sweeping kick to the hamstring once more, he kicks Argenis' raised torso on the corner and then hits a Package Piledriver for 1...2...3. There we go. It shouldn't have been anywhere near as hard as that but thankfully we ended up getting the right result in the end.

WINNER: Pentagon Dark

The Believers beg for Pentagon to break Argenis' arm as they buy into the dark violence of the breaker of bones and yes, he listens! For the second time, Pentagon has now broken the arm of this particular foe and you just have to imagine that Dario Cueto is sitting uncomfortably. Pentagon Dark advances.

When I discuss these matches, I try to be as unbiased as humanly possible. Admittedly, I'm a fan of Pentagon Dark so if the above did seem to indicate that quite clearly, I would normally be the first to say sorry. On this occasion however, I make no apologies whatsoever. If Lucha Underground wanted to give Argenis some more screentime and to give him a significant push, that's fine. He has more than paid his dues in the Temple. The problem is, he has been given no character whatsoever and has been destroyed in every match he has been a part of. The break of the arm at the end shows that there is absolutely no plan for him to be pushed any time soon.

Why they chose to have him hold his own and kick out of one of Pentagon's finishing moves, at such a vital point for Dark to pick up a dominant victory, I do not know. It just beats me senseless. Thank God then for the arm break. I'm not someone who thinks Pentagon looks weak after the double arm break, as the crowd seem to still invest in him as normal. Though if Pentagon is there defeating Argenis in the past and wants to show that he has came back stronger from his latest bout of adversity, he NEEDS to be picking up a dominant win here, and to give us such a back and forth match when Argenis has never brought that at any other time? This just made no sense whatsoever for me.



***

A musical interlude brings us back to the Temple and we're back with our next match! Santos introduces Texano who Striker describes as needing a victory here. When Melissa attempts to introduce his opponent, in true Famous B fashion, the promoter nabs the microphone.

“Damn Melissa! No, I told you to introduce me from Texas!”

Famous B continues his terrible Texan accent, accompanied of course with the similar jowl from the Beautiful Brenda. He tells Texano that he does not want to fight him but he instead wishes to represent him! He saddles his way across the ring before lying down on the mat for the Blue Collar Brawler. Is this really happening?!


LUCHA TRES:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Texano vs. Famous B

The fan favourite shrugs before pinning the promoter. 1...2... He releases it! Wagging his finger, he doesn't plan for it to end like that. He hits his HUGE sit-out powerbomb before going for the pin once more! 1...2...3! That has to be one of the quickest matches in Lucha Underground history!

WINNER: Texano

After the match, Brenda seems impressed with Famous' potential acquisition and spanks him before telling him to giddy up! Texano looks stunned for a minute before smiling with a devilish grin. Again, it seems like the key to the contract is Brenda!

This did exactly what it needed to: it furthered the story of Texano potentially joining Famous B's stable. There's nothing wrong with that at all.


***

We get a fantastic video package next for the Mundo vs. Mysterio match. It's very different than what we normally get as we get a voiceover involved here and see both of them in various out-of-ring training environments, before the package breaks down who the supporters are of each men. It sounds like the voiceover is provided by Michael Schiavello who if you remember did a fine job of replacing Vampiro on commentary for Ultima Lucha Part Dos. I could be wrong though! I can't really say much more about this other than please watch it. It's great to be treated to something that Lucha does very rarely. It made this match feel that much more special.


***

It's Main Event time as Melissa Santos introduces the two former friends now turned enemies! It's Drago who she announces first, accompanied by Kobra Moon. The Believers jeer the appearance of Drago being carried to the ring by his chain in a full blood red attire this time. I must admit, he looks more badass than ever with his attire matching the belt!

His opponent is from the Cosmos and that means it’s Aerostar! He is presented in a holy silver in what really feels like an Angel vs. Devil kind of match. He salutes the fans and we are on!


LUCHA CUATRO:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Drago vs. Aerostar

Aerostar already tries to break through to Drago with an outstretched hand. He calls him his amigo but instead, Drago boots him away. He hesitated before he did so but the Drago we once knew is somewhat lost. He hits an array of kicks, throws his opponent into the corner and floors him with another.

It takes a minute before Star kicks into gear, jumping on the ropes and faking out to show his former partner that he still has his senses. He goads the charging dragon into the corner before catching him with a rope-assisted kick to the back. He tries to strike Drago in the opposite corner but is felled by a front toss and running dropkick. Aerostar brings the fight back shortly afterwards with a double knee in the corner and a humongous armdrag and headscissors. A kick from the apron allows Star to jump with a front dropkick flooring his opponent.

Drago rolls out of harm's way but this allows Star to find his territory. He goes to fly but that snake Kobra Moon trips him! The rudo recovers to strike the tecnico in the back of the head. Aerostar tries to recover but falls to a cutter. 1...2… Not yet!

The Trio's Champion wastes no time hammering his former friend in the corner. He eats an Aerostar boot though before the two share a look. This still does not get through to Drago, who is flipped out of the ring shortly afterwards and is HIT BY A SUICIDE DIVE! Will that get through to him?!

‘Star makes the mistake of standing on the apron celebrating which gives Moon the chance to trip him once more. An apron DDT from Drago stuns the fan favourite and yet Aerostar still recovers quickly to hit a hurricanrana! It's still not enough though as a Lightning Screw floors Aerostar. Kobra’s Dragon attempts to work on the legs but his opponent tries to reverse the pin, leading to several attempts from each men.

After Drago’s attempt is kicked out of, Aerostar locks in a modified cloverleaf deathlock. It's rare to see some ground game from this man but it seemed effective as Drago had to struggle towards the ropes. Out of nowhere, Aerostar twists and turns and locks his friend in the DRAGON’S LAIR! Is he trying to remind him of who he once was?! Nevertheless, his opponent kicks out of the pinfall and hits another signature move of his - the flipping blockbuster! 1...2… Aerostar kicks out of the move and goes for another DRAGON’S LAIR and yet, no one has that move scouted better than the originator who turned it into a roll-up of his own! 1...2...3! This one’s over!

WINNER: Drago

Drago looks at his fallen foe but Kobra demands for him to come near. Vampiro translates her instruction to “kill him”, and with that, he kicks the tecnico before destroying him with an inverted Alabama Slam. With his chain wrapped around his neck once more and his hand raised in apparent victory, but at what cost to his own morality?

These two have had some better matches from a move standpoint but the story they told here was phenomenal. I’m sure this is just the start of Aerostar trying to get through to Drago and that's fine by me. I loved Aerostar trying to use Drago’s own moves to remind him of who he was. What a great piece of narrative.


***

The Machine is seen walking to City Hall, and within the next minute he is face to face with Councilman Delgado.

“Ahh. Can't take it off huh? That means it's working.”
“Working?”
“Yeah you were selected for a reason… and very soon you will have more power than you could ever imagine.”

Delgado makes the mistake of mentioning that when that happens, “Our work will finally begin.”

“Our work?”

Cage takes the moment to set the Councilman straight. He does not work for him.
Confidently, the political figure tells him that one day, he will, and the days of lifting weights and drinking protein shakes will become the past. He will have purpose.

The gauntlet surges and with that, the Machine grabs the suited man by the throat and pushes him up against the wall.

After a moment, he releases the hold and looks at the huge dent left in the wall. Apologising that he doesn't know what came over him, the juggernaut looks confused with his actions and looks at the artefact with wonder.

“That's okay… you’re still…” gathering his breath “you’re thinking like a man…”

And with one HUGE swing, as the light of the gauntlet flashes and the eyes of Cage glimmer with an unearthly presence, we watch as his arm becomes smothered in blood. He watches the remains of Delgado drop off the artefact.

“I’m not a man…” he says with more menace than he ever has before “...I’m a Machine.”

And with that, he walks past the headless body of the Councilman, crushing what's left of his face in the meantime.


In a show that has given us Matanza eating people alive and Dario bashing Cisco with his red bull, this is the most graphic moment that Lucha Underground has provided as we actually saw Delgado’s headless body!

What a twist! I did not expect him to die so soon. I wonder if this is what finally brings the Lord to the Temple!

Cage looked BADASS here and you have to wonder how much of a sacrifice this is for him - losing his sanity for the sake of ultimate power. Was this Dario’s plan, to get the Councilman off his trail? Was it the Councilman’s plan to somehow inherit his soul? Who knows? But I cannot wait to find out!



TEMPLE GOD

14th June – Cage (3)

7th June - - Prince Puma (2)
31st May – Johnny Mundo (4) and The Mack (3)
11th January – Dragon Azteca Jr.
4th January – Johnny Mundo (3)
28th December – Cage (2)
21st December – The Mack (2)
14th December – Jeremiah Crane
7th December – The Mack
30th November – Vampiro
23rd November – Johnny Mundo (2)
16th November – Sexy Star
9th November – Mil Muertes
2nd November - Rey Mysterio Jr. (2)
26th October - Johnny Mundo
19th October - Drago
12th October - Chavo Guerrero Jr.
5th October - Cage
28th September - Prince Puma
21st September - Jack Evans
14th September - Killshot
7th September - Rey Mysterio Jr.

There were no dominant victories this week other than Texano’s gifted pinfall over Famous B.

Other than the Machine, the only other real choice was Pentagon Dark who threatened his boss before dispatching of Argenis. Even so, he struggled to put away the lowly fighter and though he did break his opponent’s arm, Cage absolutely decimated one of the key characters of the show.

It's hard to look away from the man who is actually becoming more of a God every time we see him. When I think of this episode, I’ll remember that moment more than anything else and so I feel it would be hard to justify giving it to anyone else this week. Spare a thought for Vinnie Massaro who is due to face him in the Cueto Cup!


UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY SWEEPSTAKES

To those who are now joining us in reading Sound of the Underground each week for the rest of the season, I would like to re-explain what this section of the column is. At the start of the season, I asked commenters on Lordsofpain and Twitter to predict when they believe the “Lord” will appear during this season. The winner will receive a one-time joint column with myself on this very website AND a special prize that I am keeping as mysterious as the Lord itself. Entries have now closed.

I’m so sorry to say that my regular commenter RVDMark has been eliminated this week! It’s a real shame as I feel we’re that much closer to the reveal now as the Lord has a sure-fire reason to visit the Temple after Delgado’s apparent death! Let’s see who is still in the running following this week’s episode:

23- Maximilliean
24- @HBK4EVER17
30- Kblitzko
34- TNJacktion
35- StuartGosling
36- Grimjac
37- Ralph83
38- TheImplications
39- JSR-13
40- BeaverCleavage


FINAL THOUGHTS

The matches were short this week but the stories that were told were prosperous and enjoyable. Pentagon is fully healed and is back to breaking other people’s bones, the Drago we once loved is nowhere to be seen, Brenda might be securing the services of Texano single-handedly and Cage killed a guy! That escalated quickly!

We also had a fine competitive match between Mack and Mala Suerte. It has to be said.

There's plenty to discuss but I know what most of you will want to talk about here. So I ask: What do you think of Cage’s visit to Delgado? Did Dario plan it knowing what would happen? Has it backfired? Did both Cueto and Delgado plan it together with some weird after-death purpose? I’ll certainly reply more promptly this week to your comments below or on Twitter @ Leaflop

Until next week my friends, don't stop believing and thank you for reading.







WANT TO GO DEEPER UNDERGROUND?



The Lordsofpain Columns forum is very much like Lucha Underground – anyone can appear at any point, and they all have a story to tell.

This week, just like the Cueto Cup, it is competition time!

If you have ever wanted to start column writing: The Columns Forum Classic is open for business! This tournament will see you take on current CF and MP writers and will push your writing skills to the limit. To those who are nervous about debuting in such a competition, it's not as bad as you think. We’re all here to learn and hey, yours truly debuted in a competition and won the whole thing in order to be called up to the Main Page!

But if this is not your thing, you can simply write non-tournament pieces within the forum as well! No pressure, only pleasure.

Regular commenter JSR-13 joined the Columns Forum after one of these plugs and now he is a main page writer too! KamNewton has posted some great pieces in the CF too. What are you waiting for? Put your opinion to rewarding use!


  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E23 - Family First

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E22 - The Cup Begins

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E21 - Sudden Death

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E20 - All Night Long... AGAIN

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: Midseason Musings – What's Next? (Luchadoras)

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: Midseason Musings – What's Next? (S - V)

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: Midseason Musings - What's Next? (P - R)

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: Midseason Musings – What's Next? (M)

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: Midseason Musings - What's Next? (K)

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: Midseason Musings - What's Next? (F - J)