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Posted in: The Green Room
SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E23 - Family First
By Ryan Plant (73AF)
Jun 23, 2017 - 7:19:56 PM




Season 3, Episode 23
Family First


Hello my friends, due to working overtime at my work following a few system outages, this is slightly later than planned so I won't bore you with any introduction. This is Sound of the Underground!


Some form of rock music blares out as a fancy car pulls into the garage. That looks like a Firebird. Waiting for the driver is none other than Melissa Santos. She giggles as she leans over to the window.

“Hola Fenix!”
“Hola Melissa!”

She has heard that he is in the Cueto Cup, which he confirms to be correct. He plans to win the whole thing.

“Well, I know who I'm putting ALL my money on.” She giggles.

Biting her lip, she looks impressed when he mentions that he will win for her. She leads him away as our camera lets them be as well... before it scrolls to a watching Moth.

Staring through the window, he grimaces before smashing his head through a glass pane. Is he snarling? No, wait. Is he laughing!? One thing's for sure, judging by this disturbing picture, I know that Fenix won't be.

So I take it Fenix doesn't feel too bad about the Trios Championships! He's won the heart of Melissa Santos here, but at what cost?! If you look at the brackets, you'll see that Fenix is facing Mariposa tonight and depending on results, would face Marty “The Moth” Martinez in the next round! You just know that it's set up perfectly for a good ol' fashioned feud. This could be a lot of fun!


***

“Don't blink and don't touch that dial. As a matter of fact, the drinking game begins now!” Vampiro introduces us to the show along with his broadcast partner Matt Striker. They give thanks to Sergio Arau for the music that we hear on screen before putting over the Cueto Cup. They immediately take it to Melissa Santos who looks to have changed her dress since her flirting in the garage!

She tells us that our first match is a Cueto Cup match scheduled for one fall, and introduces Vinnie Massaro! The friend of SOTU looks great here, and by great I mean covered in food stains but we wouldn't have it any other way right? That ties in brilliantly with his backstage segments earlier in the season.

His opponent however is The Machine from the 559, Cage! He takes off his gauntlet before the match this time, perhaps somewhat hesitant of its power as he decides that he doesn't wish to inflict murder in front of a live crowd. Rick Knox calls for the bell and we're off!


LUCHA UNO:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Vinnie Massaro vs. Cage

Vinnie makes the mistake of slapping Cage to begin with and he is shoved and headbutted for his troubles. Massaro aims a few punches at Cage which seem to do absolutely nothing. Instead, The Machine hammers back at the Italian and floors him with a big clothesline. Apparently Cage suffered an injury in the gym as his leg is taped up. Honestly though, he shows no signs of weakness as he slams Vinnie on the hardest part of the ring: the apron.

To his credit, Massaro tries to get back into the match by guillotining the big man on the apron but again, this can't stop his opponent who again sends Vinnie down to the mat with a uranage. As Cage looks to set up his opponent for some form of grapple, his foe grabs the arm, travels round to the front of the Machine and headbutts him. He connects with the Snoring Elbow and hits a huge STO! The commentators cannot believe it whatosever and neither can I! This has been a brilliant comeback, until he tries to take the Gauntlet that is...

Big mistake.

Cage is furious now as he kicks him hard, becomes increasingly livid with a number of punches in the corner, grabs his Gauntlet and hits the Drill Claw for 1...2...3.

WINNER: Cage

With the artifact placed back on his hand, he absolutely hammers Vinnie with it several times. You can't blame Knox for not wanting to get in the way of this post-match attack as Cage continues to attack the bleeding Massaro. Clutching him by the throat, he chokeslams him to the floor before celebrating. That's enough apparently!

This was fun to watch as I did not expect Vinnie to get in that much offense. No offense @snoringelbow! You looked great doing it! Of course, the main mistake is this: don't touch Cage's gauntlet. I'd love for this to now lead to a feud for the artifact as other people in the back notice how protective The Machine was being of this object.


***

There's another video package on Mysterio vs. Mundo. Rey mentions that in spite of the mask, he does not hide behind his headwear. Meanwhile, Johnny Mundo is seen taking several kendo sticks in the back in his dojo. He tells us that he always knew he was the best and when he beats the world-renowned best luchador, then no one will have any chance but to call HIM the best. Again, this was incredibly done and I cannot really analyze this so please, catch this if you can.


***

We return to the ring to find Melissa disturbed to the core as the flapping Marty “The Moth” Martinez prepares for his first round Cueto Cup matchup. As a result, she seems especially happy to introduce the man from down the rabbit hole... Saltador! Dressed in nothing but checkers, he spins down the steps, rolls ALL across the ring before re-entering it once more! This... is gonna be a weird match.


LUCHA DOS:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Marty “The Moth” Martinez vs. Saltador

Saltador tries to size up his opponent with his hands as Marty looks on with wonder. Vampiro makes a great point when he says that we have two guys who just see the world differently. Even in a promotion that includes dragons and time travellers, it certainly says a lot when we see this as a unique matchup! The two look to tie up before the Rabbit Tribe member turns around and wants Marty to tie his hand from the back instead. Even The Moth looks disturbed!

He obliges by putting him in a hammer lock and tries to take advantage though Saltador twists and turns it into a hammerlock of his own! Marty takes advantage by biting the hand though his opponent brings him to the edge of the ring and locks the Moth's arm over the rope. This is some very unique chain wrestling with the dirty tactics involved as well. I dig it. A “This Is Weird” chant breaks out as Moth shoves Saltador and the checkered man replies with a dropkick. He hits another before tying up the Moth Tribe namesake in the ropes and hitting a leg drop for two!

Marty exits the ring to take a look at the woman who plagues his mind: Melissa Santos. His opponent looks to hit a plancha though the Moth is too strong and catches him before absolutely decimating him against the wall of the arena! Santos looks worried for her dear life as Moth smiles at her. Saltador is rolled into the ring for a two count before he is unceremoniously dragged along the mat by his face. A gutbuster gets another two but you just feel like it will only be a matter of time now.

Next, Martinez chokes the black and white delight in the corner before spitting in Justin Borden's face! This allows Saltador some time to recover as he flips Marty to the mat, rolls over his back, rolls over the leg and unleashes a great arm drag. Off the apron, he hits a nice hurricanrana! Saltador slaps the leg repeatedly but his thigh doesn't seem to want to play ball. This amuses the laughing Moth though he is STRUCK with that superkick! Was that a trap? It certainly wasn't a three though!

Striker wonders if it's smart to get a man back to his feet once he is down. Vampiro asks if it's smart to get in the ring with someone he is a stalker and is mentally unstable. Probably not. Striker's point rings true as Marty has recovered to hit a German Suplex. An exploder suplex into the corner causes Martinez to hit his head on the canvas repeatedly in a tantrum before giving Melissa Santos the “v hand lick”. Oh Marty, that won't get you anywhere. Remember what it got Mickie James? A bollocking, that's what! He hooks the leg for a two.

As he gets distracted by Santos, he almost gets pinned off the rollup by Saltador, who immediately celebrates afterwards! He gets a kick to the midsection for his troubles before he is stunned by what looks to be a Double Underhook Gutbuster or Lungblower! Whatever it was, it gets Marty the three count and the win!

WINNER: Marty “The Moth” Martinez

Martinez flaps his wings before licking his fingers, staring directly at Melissa. She has visibly reached fever pitch now as The Moth advances!

Again, this was a short but enjoyable match here as just like the last Lucha, the winners may have been obvious however their opponents were given the chance to bring a lot to the table. There was the added element of the story here as both men looked to outweird the other. We're definitely looking like we are getting a pay off to Marty's fascination with Melissa now, and I can't wait to see Fenix go up against him, providing he beats the Moth's sister tonight!


***

In a sight that never fails to amuse me, Mascarita Sagrada is doing bicep curls with weights as big as his head. All of a sudden, the Rabbit Tribe kneel before him.

“Saltador has fallen in battle. So tonight, YOU can leaaaaad the Rabbit Tribe as we ascend towards Valhalla.” Paul London gleams.

Sagrada declines however, and marches out of the room.

Staring back with admiration, London tells Mala Suerte that Sagrada is divinity personified. Their love for Sagrada appears to be undeterred.

It's 2017, and is it wrong for me to love the fact that a midget luchador is being mistaken for a rabbit. If it is, I'm sorry, because I really do!

One thing to take from this is that London told Sagrada that he could lead the tribe as “Saltador has fallen in battle”. I hope that just meant for tonight only, as I really dug the checkered man tonight and wouldn't want to see Sagrada replace him. I would prefer for him to eventually be added to the group!



***

Flicking a switch on and off, Marty tries to bring some light to his disturbed mental state. He reveals his shrine dedicated to the woman who he adores. With pictures of her spread throughout the walls and ominous words of “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not”, he talks to the woman of his dreams through these mere representations of her. He believes that she is withholding her attention because she doesn't want anyone gossiping about them, he says, as he pulls another photo of her from his trunks.

“I'm not mad. I could NEVER be mad at you...”

He licks the photo before placing it on the wall with the rest of his Melissa possessions and reminders.

“Never...”

He takes some form of pot embedded with an “M”, and as he opens it, it becomes apparent that is the makeup of perhaps one Melissa Santos. He takes a moment to sniff whatever essence remains in the pot before we suddenly cut to... Mariposa!

“Have you forgotten what father taught us?!”

Marty appears stunned as he turns around to find his sister in his secret shrine in the Temple.

“No, I remember. Family first! Family... always.... first!”

She tells him that his lust for Melissa has made Marty weak, and after she beats Fenix tonight, she will hurt her brother. She laughs, only for Marty to grab the light for one moment before leaning close to her mask.

“Do you remember sister..? When we used to play..?”

She strokes his beard as the two look admirably at one another.

“Good luck tonight.” He wishes her.

With a slap, she departs the scene and leaves Marty alone with Melissa.

“Oh don't worry, I'm just gonna have to make you part of the family too.”

The light swings and illuminates the words: MARTY AND MELISSA FOREVER.


That was breathtaking. It's easily one of my favourite backstage segments of the season and is my favourite Moth moment thus far, even surpassing last season's Storytime With Moth.

Marty plays his character better than absolutely anybody else on the entire roster, and that is saying something. He is a TREMENDOUS actor. Within just a short space of time, we understood the extent of his love for Melissa, why he continues to pursue her – as he believes that she is purposely not showing any interest on the outside, I felt that he alluded to some form of weird happenings with his sister which would explain their flirtatious nature with one another, and he just came across as being some very disturbed childlike soul.

You could say that the light is a metaphor for his mind, constantly flickering, but never fully on.



Oh Melissa, if only you knew exactly HOW dangerous Marty could be. Nevertheless, here you are announcing another match as Pindar is introduced to the ring! He is accompanied by Kobra Moon of course but doesn't have the belt with him so I immediately don't like that if I'm honest. I know they tape out of order though so maybe there's been some weird editing here to have kept people guessing before they saw the title change live.

Santos' face lights up as she introduces the legendary Mascarita Sagrada to the ring as his opponent! Unless Aerostar or the Rabbit Tribe help him here, this could very well be squash. Nevertheless, the bell rings and we'll find out together!

LUCHA TRES:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Pindar vs. Mascarita Sagrada

Sagrada charges at Pindar but to Kobra's amusement, none of his strikes connect. A kick floors him before he is tossed ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE MAT. Another big toss causes Sagrada to wince up in pain before falling back down to the mat once more. A front dropkick to the knee and midlevel-hurricanrana are some of the moves that help Sagrada to get back into the match - surprisingly! When Pindar ends up on the outside after flipping over the rope, the former Famous B client leaps over to take him out!

When both men take to the ring, a crossbody block helps Mascarita to continue the advantage until... Pop Up Cutter from his knees! That was insane from Pindar. It's great to see some of the offense that some of these guys get to utilize because they're facing a mini wrestler here. This allows the lizard to gain momentum once more as he chokes Sagrada in the corner with his foot before Kobra kicks him in the face in the corner. She asks Sagrada if he's hurt which evidently looks to be the case. He gets hung on the rope with both Pindar and Kobra aiming strikes now. Pindar steps on the little guy and you just have to feel like a brief comeback / reversal of momentum is coming, shortly followed by the inevitable destructive end of the match.

Maybe now is the time as Sagrada unleashes one hell of a headscissors which takes the little man ALL OVER the body of the Reptile Tribe member, flipping him out of the ring. Kobra ends up inbetween the ropes and Sagrada uses her to flip off and onto her Lizard on the outside. She goes to follow him so he strikes her hard before re-entering the ring to hit the prone Pindar with another front dropkick. Can he even win this?! Moonsault! 1...2... No!

As Mascarita cannot quite believe it, he gets kicked in the face for his troubles and is then absolutely pummelled by a powerbomb facebuster for 1...2...3! What a finisher!


WINNER: Pindar

The Believers jeer the Reptile Tribe member but that means nothing to the Trios Champion for he has advanced!

Again, stop me if you think that you have heard this one before, but that was another fun match! I don't mind the quickness of all of these matches tonight as they have just been great to watch. Considering the show has been delivering from match to segment all night, I am more than happy with this short affair. Sagrada once again made me suspend my disbelief which deserves a hell of a lot of credit, and Pindar shattered my heart dramatically with the finish. Good work all round.


***

When we return from the break, we head to ringside for one last time tonight. It's the main event of the evening: the Ultima Lucha if you will. Melissa Santos tells us once more that this is a Cueto Cup qualifier and the first of the two combatants is none other than Mariposa!

The butterfly saunters down to the ring as the eerie tones of her music seem to hang within the air. Our commentators speculate the possibility of her facing her own brother, which given tonight's segments, would be intriguing to say the least.

Honestly though, it's hard to look past the Luchador that Melissa Santos smiles for tonight: Fenix! Matt Striker hypes up our Triple Crown champion, explaining that Fenix has been salivating over the thought of being the Lucha Underground Champion again. Again, so much for the Trios team then! The Firebird slaps the hands of the Believers as he grins on route to the ring. He gives Melissa a peace sign, who smiles and blows a kiss back. That might not be a good idea with Marty no doubt watching on! The crowd scream ANIMO with the Luchador; his trademark war-cry!

Marty Elias is happy with what he sees and thus he rings the bell to start this final match-up!


LUCHA CUATRO:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Mariposa vs. Fenix

Fenix shows some sportsmanship with an outstretched hand, which the sister of the Moth is all too quick to slap away. A collar and elbow tie-up leads to the tecnico leading the rudo into the corner. During that time, Mariposa tries to kick Fenix's hands away again which leads to the two frustrated competitors aiming a few strokes at one another, yet finding each of their moves countered. The butterfly goes underneath Fenix and locks in a waistlock, though the masked man attempts to push his way free of the hold and hit a superkick. Mariposa screams! As a result, he refuses to throw the kick. When she comes off the ropes at him however, he is more than happy then to hit a jumping side knee and to shrug at the cheering Believers!

Fenix waits for Mariposa to stir and when he does, he charges into a kick. And another! And one more! He does however catch a crossbody before placing his opponent back on her feet. That's a bad move as she runs and comes back with a huge tilt-a-whirl DDT for 1...2! Kick Out! Almost instantaneously afterwards, she slides her opponent out of the ring before kicking her adversary “right in the kidneys” to Vampiro's delight . She then uses the outside of the turnbuckle to finally floor the Bird of War with a hurricanrana. Satisfied with her mayhem, she sends him back into the ring and floors him with a bulldog. 1...2... Not quite!

Mariposa is still on the attack as she whips her fellow fighter into the corner, who then leaps over her sprinting body! A nice release German Suplex from Fenix leads to another superkick attempt which, again, Mariposa begs not to happen. Fenix takes a moment to think about it this time, before absolutely laying her with a kick to the side of the head. A lax one handed cover doesn't put away Mariposa, and Vampiro seems disgusted by the lack of maturity there. The cocky Luchador goes for a high-angle powerbomb which is countered into a sunset flip for 1...2... Still only two!

The pair get up to their feet and Fenix avoids a few hands from Mariposa before dropkicking her out of the ring. He takes a moment to pose but maybe it was for too long as when he attempts to suicide dive, the Butterfly slinks back into the ring and he has to turn it into a reverse-619 back to the canvas in order to meet his opponent once more. She absolutely winds him with a kick to the gut before meeting him at the top of a turnbuckle. Fenix goes for the Spanish Fly off the top though he is shoved off. Mariposa goes for the crossbody once again which the Firebird is able to stop once more. With Mariposa held high, he turns it into a FENIX DRIVER! That has to be it, just like that! 1...2...3!

WINNER: Fenix

Post-Match, Marty “The Moth” Martinez runs with great fury and attacks his sister's conqueror! Melissa absolutely screams as he lifts up Fenix. The masked man connects with a big kick to the face which sends Marty near Melissa. This only has her screaming more as Mariposa is sent in that direction too. A corkscrew body attack floors the Moths and protects Melissa at the same time who smiles vividly, knowing that her apparent love interest has fended off a two on one attack and has kept her safe in the process. With that, our commentary team wish us good night as we wrap up another fantastic episode.

I had a hard time watching this at times and it's only because with intergender matches, it's hard not to feel like you should be cheering the female no matter what. You are watching a man fight a woman and whilst in some cases, such as Ivelisse vs. Mil Muertes, it really works as you have to root for the tecnico lady anyway, in a match like this you still feel like you should get behind the truly rudo Mariposa.

The match took some time getting out of the starting blocks because of the “gentleman” approach from Fenix at the start, which was the best way to establish some early support for the Firebird and to get fans rooting for him to make a big move, but again, it still felt tough to get behind the tecnico for deep-rooted chivalry reasons. Still, it was a fun match of course, which is the story of the night. It's just that it also was very hard to pull off.

Once again, the real star here is Marty whose post-match attack ushered a reaction from the Believers much louder than anything that we received all match! This has REALLY been his show.



TEMPLE GOD

21st June – Marty “The Moth” Martinez

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.

This week's Temple God was the easiest award of the season to hand out and it goes to Marty “The Moth” Martinez.

It should come as no surprise that the man who made FOUR appearances tonight has picked up the award. With a plethora of short matches on the show, this episode still did not feel like it lacked anything because of his tremendous storytelling. From start to finish, he was the omniscient presence of the show.

His backstage segment in his Shrine of Santos featured some of the best acting work that I have ever seen not just in professional wrestling but EVER. You almost felt sorry for the character because of his childlike mind, in spite of the fact that he is a very dangerous and disturbed individual at heart.

Marty “The Moth” Martinez is one of the real success stories of Lucha Underground and its nights like tonight that remind you exactly why he is.


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.

This week, Maximilliean drops from the competition following no appearance from the Lord. If the Lord was called Marty “The Moth” Martinez, then he would have quite easily won tonight! Sadly though, he isn't, so we roll over to HBK4EVER17 next, the lone remaining Twitter reader of the competition. I wish you the best of luck going forward.

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


FINAL THOUGHTS

If you were looking for a standout match on this episode, one that you would talk about for the ages, it wasn't here. If you were looking for a match to place in the Top 20 of this season, it probably wasn't here either. And yet, this show was never even close to being a disappointment thanks to the unassuming back and forth battles that we witnessed but mostly because of the previously-addressed high level performances of Marty “The Moth” Martinez.

This episode is to be remembered for the huge steps that it took in establishing the extent of Marty's obsession, and for that acting performance that I still will be talking about come the end of season and way into the next.

In tribute to the Moth, I would like to know, what is your favourite Marty moment? Were you absolutely enthralled with his shrine segment like I was? Are you rethinking your winner of the Cueto Cup? If you wish to discuss any of this and more, please pop it down below in the comment section or give me a shout 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!

You have until  Friday, June 30th at 9am (US Eastern time) to enter so PLEASE, make sure that you don't miss out on this opportunity. Thank you.

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E35 - Cien

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND *Lite* : S3E34 - Career Opportunities

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND Special: An Interview with Ricky Reyes (Cortez Castro)

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E33 - Havoc Running Wild

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E32 - The Cueto Cup

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E31 - The Cup Runneth Over

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E30 - Bloodlines

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E29 - The Hunger Inside

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E28 - Booyaka! Booyaka!

  • SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E27 - Fade to Black