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Posted in: The Green Room
SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E26 - A Fenix to a Flame
By Ryan Plant (73AF)
Jul 14, 2017 - 4:08:28 PM




Season 3, Episode 26
A Fenix to a Flame


Hello, it's the newly image-reinstated Sound of the Underground! It's the first of our Second Round weeks this time around as we have some huge matches tonight: Paul London vs. Mil Muertes, Jeremiah Crane vs. Taya and what will no doubt be our main event: Fenix vs. Marty “The Moth” Martinez!

Let's not wait any longer, the Temple is calling us.



You know it's part of a new taping cycle when El Conjunto Nueva Ola have returned to the Temple to provide tonight's upbeat soundtrack. Vampiro thanks our musicians before himself and Striker turn the conversation to the last 16 competitors. Matt Striker channels his inner Spinal Tap as he tells us we are going to turn this up to eleven! He nods to the professional Melissa Santos who looks just fantastic tonight.

She announces our first Cueto Cup match and in turn, our first competitor of the evening. From The Last House On The Left comes Jeremiah Crane, a man who almost won the Battle of the Bulls Tournament and now looks to continue his good form in Temple competitions here.

He has to go through the Worldwide Underground's Taya, the lady who Striker describes as the Midnight Sun. She mimics the intro of one Johnny Mundo of course, as the fans show her some love as usual, in spite of her alignment. As Striker tells us that “Taya vs. Jeremiah” may be the only sweet sounds we hear all evening, and as Vampiro notes how rehearsed that line was, Matt tells us that he has one more for us. I'll tell you what Taya has for Crane though: It's a slap! Here we go!


LUCHA UNO:
Cueto Cup – Second Round Match
Jeremiah Crane vs. Taya

Crane simply tastes the hit as Taya swivels her hips. Perhaps there was too much showboating there as she got kicked right in the mush and wiped out with a suicide dive when she tried to recover on the outside! The reserved seats are cleared which is a good thing as Crane embarks on a victory lap all around the ring before launching himself with a HUGE cannonball! He blows a kiss to the camera, but there's no doubt it's for Catrina. The Worldwide Underground member tries to escape as she punches him off the railings before unleashing a big crossbody!

The Believers show their appreciation as the fight spills back to the ring. Taya continues with some mounted punches. She eats some turnbuckle though after a scouted sprint. Jeremiah's run is more successful as he darts and kicks her right in the face. This only fires up the luchadora who kicks him away before repeatedly throwing her body into him in the corner. She can't quite get the pinfall though! La Wera Loca smirks before continuing to kick Crane in the face. He goads her to slap him and that's exactly what she does, before Jeremiah's own heavy hands get the better of her. He can't pin her either here as we've reached a real stalemate!

A big right hand to the face in the corner stuns Taya, or so Jeremiah thought! She flips Crane's head onto the mat and almost gets the three, just like that! Instead, she tries to get the win with an aerial attack. Her slow ascent up to the top buckle is halted though by the appearance of Sexy Star. Crane recovers with a huge turnbuckle powerbomb but even then, Taya almost gets the win with the bridge. Nevertheless, a jumping pump kick and the Cranial Contusion see off the exciting luchadora just like that!

WINNER: Jeremiah Crane

Post-match, Sexy Star cockily kicks Taya repeatedly and the fans don't seem too impressed with this. Smiling, she brings out the brass knuckles before knocking out La Wera Loca, earning her vengeance.

This was short but I also think they took this match as far as it could go. Crane has been extremely impressive within this tournament and you genuinely feel that he cannot deliver a bad match. I'm still waiting to see if we get a big reveal for that Tarantula storyline, if they haven't dropped that in a very rare example of this company backtracking!


***

In the back, Fenix works out by performing sit-ups with his legs wrapped firmly around the punchbag. He is approached by his slow-strolling friend. Of course, he has all the time in the world. It's Aerostar!

He tells his former Trios partner that now he is out of the tournament, he is putting all of his money on Fenix. The Firebird jokes that it's not fair to let a Time Traveller gamble. This brings out a smirk from the Man from the Cosmos.

Fenix tells Aerostar that he is confident that Drago will see the light and that he will leave the Reptile Tribe, just like he has done before. Admittedly though, Aerostar isn't so sure.

“Come on. How about a little optimism?”
“Optimism is not always easy... for a man who has seen the future.”

As the Man from the Cosmos walks away, Fenix at least asks him one more question:

“Aerostar!.. Am I going to win tonight?”

He shrugs, laughs, and gives a simple thumbs up, essentially trolling his former partner. That's just mean!

I really loved this segment as it shows that Fenix and Aerostar now share a strong friendship – it was something that wasn't always touched upon in the series compared to that of Drago and 'Star. However, I do have to wonder why Aerostar didn't see the Drago turn coming. Unless he did. I mean he hasn't cut a promo about how shocked he was, has he? They've really got to manage this time travelling shtick really well here so that they don't get rid of all logic whatsoever. So far, I think they've managed to do that.


***

We're back to the ring and that means we're back with Melissa for our second match of the evening. In the ring already is the luchador from Beyond the Grave, Mil Muertes! Catrina holds the stone up high whilst Muertes pummels his fist into the ancient Aztec Seal.

His opponent is someone just as polarizing as Mil but for a very different reason. The marching beat of the Rabbit Tribe music hits as the eccentric London walks backwards on the stage, dressed in his full Mad Hatter-like gear. When we come back from a break, he is smiling at the fearsome monster and even offers his glasses to the behemoth! When the Believers chant that “Mil's gonna kill you”, he gestures for them to quiet the chant before he waves and sways across the ring. His fate is yet to be determined, but I have to agree with the fans here!


LUCHA DOS:
Cueto Cup – Second Round Match
Mil Muertes vs. Paul London

Somehow, for a moment he is able to avoid the charging of Muertes with his wavey tactics which judging by Mil's expression only annoys him further! Unfortunately, just like all rabbits, his hunter eventually catches up but wait, he trips the leg and hits a big stomp! He doesn't put Mil away of course, so his next plan of action is to run around the outside of the ring - helplessly might I add - before deciding to re-enter. He decides to strike the beast, or at least he tries before he gets absolutely pounced and then hammered on for his troubles!

Striker's commentary is brilliant here as he puts over London's work with Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson and Low-Ki, but surely this is one beating he can't take, as the man who is the personification of death himself throws him hard into the buckle, flattening him. He sends London into another corner but the Rabbit Tribe member stuns him with a spinning wheel kick! This only angers the behemoth who resumes his business, stomping on his face repeatedly! Mil gets him onto the apron but London buys some time with a jawbreaker, at least I thought, until he ends up being pounced to the outside again of course! He is thrown into the commentary table and this looks bad now!

The Believers are chanting “One More Time", who then jeer Mil Muertes when he fails to co-operate. That was a mistake as London comes back with superkick after superkick; he must be on about six here! The Rabbit Tribe members run into the ring and high five the referee now and why am I not surprised that London's luck changes when a man who is called Mala Suerte has appeared? Mil absolutely leathers him with a right hand.

Even so, when the fight is taken to the ring, Paul London is still in this with a number of kicks. Not only that, but he hits a double stomp from the top rope to the back of a crouched Muertes! However, when he sprints, the Man of a Thousand Deaths looks to add maybe Death #1001 as he hits a huge chokeslam for 1... 2... Not yet anyway! As he is taken to the top rope, this time not off his own accord, London lets himself lean back and spreads his arms like a sacrificed Christ. Still, his own disciples hit the ring once more as Saltador and Mala Suerte emerge and the latter takes a huge hand from Mil. This has given Paul a moment to recover, kick his opponent in the head and hit a SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Oh my! 1...2... No! But wow what a match this is!

The Shooting Star wasn't enough so what happens now? HE HITS IT AGAIN! 1... 2... No! Unfortunately for Paul, he thinks he has won the match! The overcelebration allows Muertes to not only club him with a huge hand but then deliver a Reaper's Trident that may have even separated his soul from his body! If that didn't, the Flatliner certainly has done, as Mil Muertes decimates London and picks up the 1-2-3. Nice!

WINNER: Mil Muertes

Catrina's Lick of Death may have sent London to a pleasant afterlife as he is seen grinning in his stunned state. Nevertheless, there's nothing for Jeremiah Crane to grin about as the man he took out a few weeks ago will now be gunning for revenge against him in the quarter-final.

I really didn't know how they were going to do this match – as I could not imagine their styles matching up. Call me pleasantly surprised here, as we got a match in which London actually looked like he had a chance for a great underdog victory, without making Mil look weak! I have to give props to both men for managing to pull off such a tricky scenario there! Still, this was the right result as I'm absolutely salivating at the thought of Crane vs. Muertes from both an in-ring and storyline perspective. Yes, a thousand times yes!


***

“Buy me a drink?”
“What do you like?”

The calm and collected Texano is interrupted at the bar by The Beautiful Brenda and seems more than happy to grant her request.

“Something strong... like you.”

He's definitely not opposed to the situation, as she feels his biceps before he orders two whiskey shots. She tells him that when she gets tipsy, the truth comes out. Out of nowhere, she admits that he's boring, in what has to be the weirdest flirting tactic ever. She says that whilst he's an ass kicker and a brawler, he is a little bit dull.

He smashes the glass.

“Texano is not dull!”
“Relax big boy!”

She tries to calm him down as the lift of a hat reveals that Famous B is secretly watching what is going down. Brenda tells him that he simply needs a woman's touch and with a grin, it seems that Texano is not opposed to that idea, and nor is Famous B who continues to signal reeling in his potential client.

I'm enjoying this story as it's becoming apparent that Texano is not interested in Famous B but IS interested in Brenda. It's going to make for an interesting dynamic. I do have to ask though, is Dr. Wagner Jr still around? And if so, how will he take to this? This is far more interesting than I ever thought it could be. Again, kudos to all involved.


***

We return to the Temple for one more time tonight as Matt Striker and Vampiro run down next week's matches. We'll be getting Cage vs. Pindar in what should be a real fun physical vs. technical affair, PJ Black vs. Puma in which will no doubt be an athletic showcase and Son of Havoc vs. Dante Fox which will give us a little bit of everything!

For now though, we have tonight's final match as Marty “The Moth” Martinez tries to show Melissa his Aztec Pride lunchbox! Mariposa stands behind them flapping her wings before Marty tries to offer Melissa a bite of whatever that sandwich includes. Don't do it Melissa! She can barely announce the name of the next competitor: Fenix!

The Firebird is universally loved by the Believers but judging by Melissa's grin, he's certainly adored by Santos too. Will their romance blossom further here at the expense of the lovestruck Moth? The Believers scream his war cry: ANIMO! With that, the match begins.


LUCHA TRES:
Cueto Cup – Second Round Match
Marty “The Moth” Martinez vs. Fenix

As Marty decides to rub his trunks repeatedly, Fenix takes to the fight. Both men are evenly matched to begin with, as The Moth matches a perfect backflip that was performed by Fenix just a moment ago! A kick to the midsection gives Moth the first blood but as he gives chase to the Firebird on the rope, he is sent to the outside. Mariposa grabs the leg though to stop any form of dive and that gives Marty some time.

Both men fight on the outside now as Fenix uses the apron to jump over Marty. He delivers a kick from that apron position, rolls back into the ring, sprints and leaps back onto The Moth with a beautiful plancha! He delivers one hell of a stiff hand to the chest of his opponent before giving a hand symbol not too dissimilar to his brother's, in tribute perhaps. Both men take to the ring but before Fenix can capitalize, Mariposa distracts Fenix which allows Marty to baseball slide his opponent back down to the temple floor.

The Moths decide to completely disrespect Fenix as both members of the Tribe expose the head of the high-flier by ripping the top of his mask. The pinfall attempt gets a two. Marty drags Fenix by what remains of his mask before whipping him into the corner. Martinez delivers a hard German Suplex for another two before delivering a sleeper hold. He uses that position to bite the mask before locking in another choke from behind. The destruction of the mask has stunned the Firebird – only momentarily however! He is able to boot The Moth a couple of times before delivering one hell of a spinning heel kick in the corner! Melissa Santos is beaming here as Fenix takes to the air and delivers a brutal double stomp to the back of the Moth's neck. 1...2... Kick Out!

The Believers have decided that this match is awesome and I have to agree with them – any match in which a Luchador's mask is ripped certainly has you buying into it more because of the symbolism behind the act! Marty hits a running big kick to that exposed head and this time it's the Moth Tribe member who gets a two count! An elbow to the gut sets up that move that Marty delivered in the last round – that double underhook and double knee facebreaker for the 1...2... That wasn't three?! Wow I'm actually shocked with that one.

Fenix tries to get back into the match with a hurricanrana attempt but Marty turns it into a falling neckbreaker for another two. The Firebird really does seem knocked out here. Marty taunts him to rise but even though he tries, he falls back down to the canvas. Out of nowhere, Fenix rises up and goes for the springboard back elbow. His foe catches him but he isn't able to avoid the superkick! It is at this point that Mariposa looks to assist her brother with the lunchbox but is stopped by... Melissa Santos?! Moth seems distraught that his love interest is stopping him from gaining an unfair advantage. At this point, Fenix locks in the body scissors, turns it into a bridge and locks it in for the 1-2-3! Against all odds, he has done it!

WINNER: Fenix

As Fenix celebrates the win, Matt Striker puts over Melissa Santos' heroism and the brackets display on screen. That's when everything comes to a grinding halt as Marty floors Fenix with that metallic lunchbox. Opening the box, he reveals more than just food. At that moment, he picks out none other than a fork. Melissa screams for him not to use it, as do all of the Believers. Mariposa forces Melissa to watch as Marty pierces Fenix's skull.

“This is for you! This is for you! I love you!”

With that, he licks the blood of his love rival before continuing with his assault. This is uncomfortable to watch as he continues to destroy the skin of Lucha Underground's only Trios Champion. Licking the fork once more, he leaves Fenix with his broken mask and in his own blood on the canvas. The Believers' “Creepy Bastard” chant fades to a stunned silence before finally Melissa is able to check on her fallen man. With that, the episode ends.

I can barely even talk about that match as all that is on my mind now is what happened after the bout, and rightfully so. Suddenly, this feud has been turned up a notch as Marty has turned his creepiness into complete and utter violence. Whilst I'm not normally a fan of such weapons being used, in what is essentially a blading method, it makes PERFECT sense here. THIS is what has caused Marty to finally completely snap: Not only has he been rejected by Santos, but he has a rival for her love. With that in mind, things can only get worse for Fenix here. This has got me wanting to see this feud play out all the way to Ultima Lucha and after that dastardly act, I genuinely think it will.


TEMPLE GOD

12th July – Marty “The Moth” Martinez (2)

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.

When Fenix picked up the victory, I had his name typed here ready. I couldn't believe that I hadn't given him the weekly award yet this season. Yet, in spite of all this, Marty's attack at the end forced me to award this to him once more.

I have only given the Temple God on around five occasions to a losing combatant – and all three of Marty's previous victories since I started this column series have actually came from losses. That should tell you the strength of his character – I could not fathom giving this to any other winner tonight. The way that he ripped the mask, the fact that he came prepared with a weapon this time, and the fact that his sister accompanied him tonight to force Melissa to watch: this was all a premeditated attack it seems. Admit it, you got goosebumps when he told Melissa that he loved her, whilst licking the blood of the man she holds dear, right?

He is absolutely NAILING his character right now, and I feel compelled by every little thing that he does. Brilliant, brilliant work.


FINAL THOUGHTS

As great as a show that this was all around, I really am struggling at this point to talk about anything other than that fork attack, and that's exactly what I would love to talk further about going forward:

Was this act too much for you to watch as a viewer? Did you make an exception as well because of the story? How invested are you in this feud now as a result? What do you think of Marty's character? I would love to hear all of this, along with anything else that comes to mind such as who you think will win any of next week's matches or even that Crane vs. Muertes showdown whenever that may be!

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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