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Posted in: The Green Room
SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E25 - Left For Dead
By Ryan Plant (73AF)
Jul 7, 2017 - 2:58:37 AM



Season 3, Episode 25
Left For Dead


Hello, it's the temporarily image redundant Sound of the Underground! I'll upload them to somewhere that isn't Photobucket and put them back in tonight. Anyway! This week, we have the last of the Cueto Cup First Round matches.

My name is Ryan “Leaf” Plant and I'm sure you know the drill by now. What we don't know, we'll soon find out, and it starts with the backstory of one Dante Fox!



BOYLE HEIGHTS

Dante Fox sprints down the streets with nothing but his accelerating heartbeat providing the soundtrack.

AFGHANISTAN

Fox looks on from his secluded captivity, only to see Killshot destroying the enemies in his path. “Help!” he screams repeatedly.

YOUR FRIEND ESCAPED... AND LEFT YOU BEHIND

We watch now as Dante grimaces, taking the torture of his captors, and spitting blood that gushes from his mouth with every strike.

WE WILL FIND HIM... AND WE WILL KILL HIM

AND IF WE DO NOT

They repeatedly punch Fox before uttering the ultimate threat:

WE WILL KILL YOU

We watch as these two men prepare the film for Fox's end of days, his execution. Thankfully, they are the ones who find their end as Dante is saved by the entering forces.

His sprint is juxtaposed with clips of his rescue, as his eyes take a moment to take in the light of freedom.

During his travels, he looks up at the familiar question mark billboard and sees a man placed upon the roof of the temple. That man is Killshot, and he strikes his finger gun pose at his former friend.

Or does he?

What is real anymore?

Brilliant work here. Lucha Underground always knows how to deliver on a backstory and this was no different. If you can't quite bring yourself to agree with Fox's side of the story, you can at the very least understand why his feelings are as heightened as they are. I heavily enjoyed this introduction.


***

Just like the past few weeks, Sergio Arau and Los Heavy Mex get the Temple moving as Vampiro tells us that he is losing his mind! Matt Striker saves his partner before his head explodes by introducing the lovely Melissa Santos.

She in turn introduces the participants of our first match of the evening. Like all matches tonight, this is a Cueto Cup qualifying match and out first comes the Darewolf, PJ Black! He laughs at the jeers from the Believers and tells the fans to suck it. At least he has one fan in Vamp who seems to enjoy the airplane-jumping and funny vegetable eating antics of Black.

His opponent is none other than The Worldwide Underground's rival, Sexy Star. She smiles as she slaps the hands of the fans. She takes to the top rope and salutes her fans who scream “Sexy!” aloud. We're on!


LUCHA UNO:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
PJ Black vs Sexy Star

PJ Black gets the early advantage, lifting up Star almost single-handedly by her wrist before sending her to the mat. When he tries it again, a hurricanrana foils him. Star gets the tilt-and-whirl headscissors. She continues the assault with a jumping armdrag before locking in a guillotine. However, Black manages to turn this into a suplex. This can't turn into an advantage however as he is crotched on the corner before taking a number of strikes and a Frankensteiner! 1...2... No!

Sexy Star continues her assault. When Black takes to the top rope, she shoves him to the Temple floor before laying him out with a huge dive! The former Lucha Underground Champion hits a crossbody in the ring this time! 1...2... Not quite! Suddenly, we are greeted with the appearance of Taya who grabs the leg of Star. Distracting the referee, she throws Black the brass knuckles but somehow, Sexy evades them! In fact, not only that, but Sexy Star grabs hold of them! She strikes PJ Black, only for Justin Borden to turn around at the right time! That's a very rare disqualification in Lucha Underground.

WINNER by DQ: PJ Black

As Matt Striker explains that Dario Cueto has reinforced the rules during this tournament to ensure legitimacy and some definitive endings, Sexy Star argues the result with the official. She knocks out the referee next before staring down Taya!

That was a pretty decent opener. I love that they explained why there was a disqualification as that would have been a huge plot hole to say the least. I think this will lead to Taya being behind the tarantula. The fact that they won't meet up in the Tournament suggests to me that Star and Taya may face off at Ultima Lucha Tres. As for the referee being knocked out, I hope they follow up on that and Cueto punishes Star. It would be silly for them not to, otherwise, why wouldn't every Lucha star do that if they're frustrated?


***

We're back with another promo video for Rey Mysterio vs. Johnny Mundo. This week, they explain why they wish to win. Mysterio wishes to restore the legacy and legitimacy of a belt that Prince Puma once won as the first champion. He wants to win for all of the support that the people all around the world give to him.

Mundo explains that whilst he respects Rey's resumé, you don't win matches because of what you've already won. He has the title right now. The workout never stops, it never gets easier and you're not born with rock hard abs or the ability to jump off the tope rope. You have to earn everything... “with hard work... and sweat.”

Rey tells us that Lucha Libre is a people sport. He's not the biggest dog, and neither are the people who support him. If he can give them hope, that's why it's worth it... “and that's why I fight.”

Mundo tells Mysterio one last time: Rey is entering his world, and he has no problem taking the legend to Slam Town.

I say this every week, but these promo packages are really making me want to watch this match. That's their point, and they're most definitely working.


***

We return to the Temple and the lovely Melissa Santos introduces the beloved Son of Havoc to the Believers! He greets the fans as he makes his way down the steps. Entering the ring, he psyches himself up as receives quite the ovation.

Santos seems pretty stunned with her own announcement here, as she tells us that his opponent is also from the Open Road. With that, here comes Son... of... Madness?! Even Havoc seems shocked but he seems to recognize his doppelganger as he appears at the top of the steps. Frustrated, Havoc takes off his jacket and goes to meet him for a fist fight outside of the ring!


LUCHA DOS:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Son of Havoc vs. Son of Madness

The heat is real here as the normally calm Havoc takes it to the man, throws him down the steps and rubs his hands together. He slams his head onto the table before throwing him into the wall. Vampiro advises that as they share a similar logo, it may be a case of Madness replacing Havoc as the Sergeant of Arms in their biker club. As I type this, Madness seems to be getting back into the match as he knees Havoc, escapes the ring, and avoids a Havoc vaulting press. He himself runs, only to be thwarted by the fan favourite's knee.

Madness drags the original biker off the apron, throws his vest in the face of his rival, and slams him against the wall. He clubs the back and chokes his adversary against the apron. When they take the fight to the ring, Havoc tries to get back into it with his signature handspring back elbow but gets lifted up by Madness! They evade each other's clothesline in the corner several times before the jumping knee scores an advantage for Havoc. He runs to hit another in the corner but Madness has an answer for that too, as he turns and hits a jumping kick of his own which sends our original biker to the outside.

In a big spot, Madness sprints and hits a suicide dive through the gap at the side of the turnbuckle! He chokes Havoc and shoves the vest at him, “you see this?” Taking the fight back to the ring, Havoc is kicked repeatedly in the corner before he is choked by the boots of this newcomer. He manages to land on his feet after he is dragged, builds steam with several clotheslines, hits the handspring back elbow this time and a springboard crossbody for two! The Son of Havoc chant breaks out from the fans but is quietened when Havoc is shoved into the corner. He is the victim of a double stomp to the back of the neck and shoulders before being floored by a falling suplex. 1...2... Kick Out!

Out of nowhere, Son of Havoc hits a handspring cutter for 1...2... Damn I thought that was three! Maybe so did Havoc too, as the former Trios Champion took a while before deciding to go to the top rope, where he is met by his biking rival – not for long though! He is headbutted off! He goes to join him once more but Havoc manages to jump and send the face and neck of his foe right into the rope with a guillotine. He tries anything he can now just to gain some momentum: A suicide dive might just do that! Taking the rudo back into the ring, Havoc now goes for the Shooting Star Press yet Madness manages to roll out of the way again! Madness goes for the schoolboy for 1...2... No! Havoc tries the same! 1...2...3! That wins it!

WINNER: Son of Havoc

Before he can even celebrate, he is floored by a big boot from his apparent heated rival before he leaves the arena with both vests. He has stolen Havoc's covers and apparently that means he is out of the club!

It's nice for Havoc to have a really personal story now, as he hasn't really had that in Lucha thus far. Yes, he's had great rivalries but nothing overly personal. I have to wonder whether this club didn't take so kindly to Mascarita being initiated without their permission! You never know! This should be fun to watch unfold in the coming weeks.


***

We're back with another match straight away as the black hooded Prince Puma is introduced! He looks darker by the week here, as I do wonder what on earth the Believers were thinking whilst all of this was going on live for them!

His opponent is introduced as “currently interning with the Worldwide Underground”, it's Ricky Mandel! Out comes the Johnny Mundo superfan who tries to replicate the pose of his leader, only to be put off by the steam! I have to say though, his pants are more classic HBK than anything else! Without any further ado, he grabs the mic.

“Hey Puma! I hope you're ready for an early exit in the Cueto Cup because Ricky Mandel is about to take YOU to Slam Town!”, he says, just before being booted right in the face.


LUCHA TRES:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Prince Puma vs. Ricky Mandel

A bridging suplex is then turned into one of the standard variety. Mandel kicks out to Puma's immediate surprise, and he even manages to elbow out of a fireman's carry. He tries his best to take the fight to Puma with a superkick, however the Prince simply adjusts his mask and stays on his feet. His own kick sends Mandel to the floor with ease. He then hits a move that I think we have yet to see in the Temple, at least for a finish: It's an inverted facelock sitout scoop slam piledriver. Try saying that after a few too many beers from Dario Cueto's office. It gets the win, with authority!

WINNER: Prince Puma

Without even needing to take off his hoodie, he flips off the ropes, places his hand on the seal and looks to a proud Vampiro who signals his approval.

This dark Puma is all kinds of fun right now, and it's good to see him bringing Vertigo to the Temple, a move that he is known to perform as Ricochet. Mandel was enjoyable in his role and I do hope this becomes a permanent gimmick of his. I think he's found his calling.


***

Dragon Azteca Jr. is preparing for our main event when he is greeted by an unexpected visitor.

“What are you doing here? You should be training.”

Rey Mysterio advised that he wouldn't miss his big comeback, to which Azteca respectfully replies that he wishes to face Mysterio for the Lucha Underground Championship after he wins the tournament.

“Hey Rey!”

Both men turn to look at the skulking Puma who advises that after HE wins the Tournament, he wants his Ultima Lucha rematch and this time, he promises, he won't lose.

The two men look at the darkened Prince who departs from the picture, before Rey looks to the seething Dragon.

“One match at a time.”

I'm not normally a fan of promotions changing the title just before their biggest show, in order to set up a certain match. That being said, I would definitely not be opposed to Rey beating Mundo and Puma winning the tournament. The great thing about Puma is that Johnny Mundo is also one of his biggest rivals so if he wins the tournament, it makes sense either way, but I'll be damned if they don't give us Rey vs. Puma after these glimpses of greatness. Also, did Azteca listen to Rey without losing his cool? That's certainly surprising.


***

We are almost ready for our main event of the evening as our announcers plug next week's second round matches! We're going to see Mil Muertes vs. Paul London, Taya vs. Jeremiah Crane AND Fenix vs. Marty “The Moth” Martinez. However, there's still one last first round match to play out and it should be brilliant.

Introduced first is Dante Fox who, like Killshot, aims the finger gun salute as a throwback to his past. He receives a mixed reaction from the fans here.

Announced as making his return to the Temple, accompanied by Rey Mysterio, it's El Dragon Azteca Jr. and his beautiful gown! Vampiro isn't so sure what to make of Rey accompanying him but the fans certainly seem pleased to see the legend! There's the bell!


LUCHA CUATRO:
Cueto Cup – First Round Match
Dante Fox vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr.

The two men size each other out to begin with, with each man getting their fair share of striking offense. Azteca gets the early advantage with a guillotine and a crossbody. A strike to the chest stuns Fox and an armdrag sends him right out of the ring! He manages to get back between the ropes before Azteca has the chance to dive before luring his opponent out of the ring himself and hitting him with his own suicide dive! He takes to the ring once more with a diving senton back to the outside!

The two fighters take to the ring once more as Fox now gets his name chanted by the Believers. A top rope leg drop to the head on the apron almost gets a three! Kicking the taped-up lower back, he tries to wind his foe before throwing him into the corner. He pulls him out of it to hit a beautiful side rolling fireman's carry slam. Again, he still can't pick up anymore than a two here!

Azteca tries to come back into things here as he stops Fox in his tracks on the apron with a kick. Still, he can't take advantage as the One Man Army is back up there to meet him once more. Fox stops himself being DDT'd and superkicks Azteca right to the floor. He tries to hit some form of reverse plancha which Azteca manages to avoid before hurricanraning (now a verb) the former army man into the Temple wall! As the fans chant “Holy Sh*t”, Fox is sent into the railings too!

Strangely enough, the ring is the safest place right now despite the fact that you can be pinned in there. Azteca tries to do just that to Fox but only picks up a two. A kicking combination and a legdrop is good for another two but nothing more! Rey wills on his student as the man in green now takes to the top rope, but he is sent straight to the mat with a Seated Springboard C4! Good gracious! Did that fully connect? It looked lethal either way! 1...2... No!

The two men share an array of punches before Azteca goes for the Pizza DDT. Though Dante blocks the move, he sets himself up in prime position for Azteca's own C4! 1...2... Not yet! The crowd tell us that “this is awesome” as the two men now reverse irish whips and trade basement dropkicks of all things! As Azteca looks to be telling Mysterio that he is injured, Taya comes out of nowhere to attack Rey! That doesn't go too well for her but suddenly Black and Mandel are here too! Even Mundo is here who slams Rey against the railings and then the apron. EVEN Jack Evans is here in a face mask!

Marty Elias doesn't call for the bell as the competitors themselves are not being attacked here, but Azteca makes himself involved by diving to the outside and taking out the Worldwide Underground! When he returns to the ring, he is superkicked from the sky before being drilled with the Fox Catcher! 1...2...3. It's all over!

WINNER: Dante Fox

Fox advances at the expense of Azteca, thanks to the Worldwide Underground who have decided to now make things personal with Rey. He goes on to face Prince Puma in the tournament. As Mysterio glares at his upcoming opponent, Mundo welcomes him to Slamdown as we go off the air.

This was a fun match that I think could have been absolutely marvellous with a little bit more time. Judging by the fact that we have three announced next week, we may go back to seeing some longer match-ups as the tournament progresses thankfully. Fox has delivered in every match that he's been a part of so I can only imagine what a bout against Puma would be like if they dedicate enough time to it!

You have to wonder if Azteca will blame Rey here. He seemed to be trusting him then all of a sudden, his insistence on being there has inadvertently led to his exit from the Tournament. Things are getting very interesting around here.



TEMPLE GOD

5th July – Dante Fox

28th June – Jeremiah Crane (2)
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.

With no disrespect to the other advancing luchadors, for me this was between Puma and Dante Fox here.

Whilst Puma dispatched of Ricky Mandel in quick fashion whilst also seemingly getting into the head of his friend and rival Rey Mysterio, I think Dante Fox earned the title just that bit more this week.

We learnt about his backstory at the start of the show, and by the very end of it, he had his hand raised in victory against arguably, a much harder opponent than Ricky Mandel! Here's the kicker though, Killshot was nowhere to be found this week. It seems as if his former army brother still is finding it hard to feud and battle with someone he once knew so well. Dante’s appearance in Killshot's match last week did not hinder him here, and for reading the situation that well, I think he truly deserves the moniker for this week.

Not only that, but bloody hell, is this guy a great worker or what?!


FINAL THOUGHTS

This was a good episode of Lucha Underground. Nothing really disappointed but nor did we have any real unearthly goings on or insanely great matches. That's not to say that anything was bad, for everything was as good as it could have been given the time that the competitors had to work with. Plus, we saw the beginning of a personal feud for Son of Havoc and we received a bit more depth with regards to Dante Fox's story. Next week could be very entertaining as I struggle to think what kind of crazy a London-Muertes match would even be like, and I think that Taya/Crane and Fenix/Moth could be some fantastic TV matches.

With the first round all under wraps, I want to know now at this stage: Who do you think is winning the Tournament? Has your pick changed? For me, I'm still going for Prince Puma. My logic hasn't changed there – for the Prince is a perfect opponent for either man, and certainly the seeds continue to be planted for a rematch with Mysterio! Who is your pick though? Please let me below or reach out to me @ 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!

The entrants are in for this year's Columns Forums Classic. Out of respect for the competitors, I won't share my favourite entries thus far, but for those who are looking to read our equivalent of Dario Cueto's extravaganza, you can find everything here:

http://www.lordsofpain.tv/forumdisplay.php/21-Competitions

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