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Posted in: The Green Room
SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E29 - The Hunger Inside
By Ryan "Leaf" Plant
Aug 5, 2017 - 8:34:04 AM




Season 3, Episode 29
The Hunger Inside


Sorry for the late post on this one my friends. Let's get started.


“Hungry? I bet”

Dario Cueto brings in some raw meat for his Monster, because of course he does. He tells Matanza that he knows he has been hungry as of late. The hunger made Matanza put his hands on his brother, the only one who has cared for him.. The hunger also allowed him to be overpowered by Rey Mysterio. It has made him weak.

Cueto tells his brother that though he has the power of a God, he is overwhelmed by his humanity. If he doesn't get over these emotions, he fears the other Gods will take away his humanity and take away what's left of his brother. Even worse, they could destroy him.

“Control your hunger, or it will destroy us all.”

It's good to see Matanza back! After this segment, I would love to see a completely different Matanza next season. Cueto warned his brother that his humanity may be taken away from him, but what if it was his God-like powers that were stolen instead? What if he then unmasks and is shocked by everything that he has done? What if we have him living in fear of his own actions and being completely erratic with everything that he does? I would dig that.

I love the Matanza character as it is but I always feel that as long as he is around, it makes Mil Muertes looks somewhat weak in comparison as they're very similar beasts.



***

We're welcomed back to the Temple and this must have been one hell of a long taping cycle as we are still with El Conjunto Nueva Ola for the start of the Cueto Cup Quarter Finals! Striker and Vamp are hyped and they take it to Melissa pretty quickly this week!

Santos shines like a diamond in that ring as she introduces the emerald-masked Kobra Moon. She of course is accompanying Pindar! The Lizard has had an easy route to here at this point, thanks especially to Cage's reckless actions.

It's a different story for the Firebird, whom Melissa introduces with a bit more stank than most of course. He seems to be re-masked and recovered following Marty's attack on the luchador. He receives an air kiss from our ring announcer before the bell sounds. It's Lucha time!


LUCHA UNO:
Cueto Cup – Quarter Final
Pindar vs. Fenix

It's a slow start with both men trying to size each other up. They block each other's strikes until Fenix gets a kick to the midsection then Pindar unleashes his to the face. Fenix gets another kick to the ribs but he gets backbreakered for his troubles. Striker praises Pindar's work on the back but I think working on the wound below the mask would be better. Kobra Moon holds Fenix back the very moment he gets back into the match, this then allows the Lizard to run into the corner with a splash. Still, the Firebird soon comes back with a series of slaps!

This really is back and forth as it's literally one man with one move and then the other returning the fire. In our first big move of the night, Pindar tosses Fenix all the way from the corner to the middle of the canvas with his feet. Wow! He gets a two count off that alone! Moon yells at Pindar to stay on top, and he does, by catching a crossbody and kneeing the back again. Pindar knees the front now before lifting his opponent into a rolling guillotine bomb for another two!

It's all Pindar until the point when Fenix changes strategy; he actually tries to overpower his opponent. An elbow to the back of the mask allows the Firebird to German Suplex Pindar for two! Later, when the Lizard takes to the top rope, he strikes him hard in the face before hitting a top rope neckbreaker. It's still high-risk but there have been less flips here. You can say the same thing about the diving knee from the top rope for 1...2...3! Yes!

WINNER: Fenix


Kobra Moon looks at her fellow reptile, dejected, whereas Fenix rejoices with the Believers. He will be facing the winner of Puma/Fox in the semi-finals! Wow!

This was good for what it was worth. It was pretty short but it was interesting to see Fenix opt for less flips this time around to put away his opponent. Normally, you try to be the antithesis of what you are fighting against but the tecnico fought fire with fire here. This was pretty good!


***

We cut to Dario's office featuring... The Worldwide Underground sans Johnny Mundo!

He thanks his guests for seeing him.

“Jack, hows' the recovery coming?”

In one of the best Dario Cueto moments of ALL TIME, he mocks Jack Evans trying to talk with his wired jaw.

“What was that?” He asks, in a smarmy fashion.

PJ Black tells Cueto that he said something about a ventriloquist and his dog having a vasectomy, causing Evans to yell at his teammate for quite obviously putting words in his not-so-open mouth.

“Zip it!” Dario stops the chaos.

He scolds the Worldwide Underground for always getting involved and yet, not always getting the job done. In spite of that, he gives three of the four members in the office a chance at the returning Gift of the Gods Medallions next week: Taya, Jack and PJ. It must suck to be Ricky right now! They only get that opportunity if the Worldwide Underground don't interfere in the main event tonight.

They all agree to the terms, including Evans who Dario again looks at, perplexed once more.

Dario and Jack were brilliant here. It was a pretty straight forward segment but it established two big things: It told us that the Medallions were back but it also gave us a clear reason for there being no interference in tonight's Johnny Mundo vs. Dragon Azteca main event. I can't fault that.


***

Melissa Santos introduces us to the first competitor of our next contest, and it's the skulking Dante Fox! He gets a mostly positive response from the Believers in spite of his rudo alignment because, let's face it, he has been putting on incredible matches every time he has performed.

So has his opponent though, and out comes the dark Prince Puma, STILL with his happy-go-lucky music! He walks slowly down the steps and lifts his hood to reveal his Darth Maul-like mask once more. It's go time!


LUCHA DOS:
Cueto Cup – Quarter Final
Dante Fox vs. Prince Puma

Striker tells us that many people are calling PJ Black vs. Prince Puma a five star match but with just 30 seconds on the clock here, with no disrespect to PJ, this could reach six, or maybe even 6.25, as Dante suicide dives onto Puma on the outside! Vampiro coyly hints that Puma is going through a transition process. Both men get back into the ring and Puma hits a big boot before sprinting to the outside to catch a recovering Fox with his own dive over the ropes! The two men take it back inside the ring once more and a spinning wheel kick and a bail-out by Puma allows Fox to get his revenge with a senton over the ropes on this occasion. Would you believe it? They go again! It's a jumping kick from Puma this time and a senton of his own!

The Believers love this but their “Lucha” chants are soon changed to “Ohhhh” with a slide from Dante, a caught dive, and then a counter into one hell of a DDT! The “Holy Sh*t” chant is out already in this match and it has only been going on two minutes! We now have dueling chants. This is just madness. The One Man Army rams the Prince into the apron, rolls him into the ring and goes for the cover. 1...2... No! The dueling chants continue here as Prince Puma is choked on the ropes. Vampiro tells us that he's still putting money on Puma though. I mean, why wouldn't he? He just cannot get back into the match though as Dante Fox turns a tilt-a-whirl into a neckbreaker! 1...2... Nope!

Puma manages to fight his way back now; he goads Dante to the ropes and hits a crossbody for a two count of his own. He even manages to win the sprinting exchange between the two with one hell of a cutter and an equally impressive standing shooting star press that even Son of Havoc would be proud of! 1...2... That's another two! Here's a thought, they should have totally started to call him Prince Panther during this phase. It's the wily Fox though who recovers and gets back into the match, hitting Puma with a huge springboard codebreaker for 1...2... Also a kick out! The Believers let us know that they think this is awesome, and it is, as both men exchange sunset flip roll ups. They then swap kicks and kip-ups before a spinning belly to back suplex gets another two count for the Prince!

It's a fist fight now. Dante punches Puma into the corner but gets whipped into the opposite for a jumping forearm and knee strike, although Fox simply catches Puma on the last one and slams him to the mat. It's the One Man Army's turn now, as he runs and hits a clothesline into the corner and stomps on him off the ropes. A rolling fireman's carry allows Dante Fox to hit the 450 Splash but Puma blocks it! The knees were up! Roll-up! One... two... NO! Fox is kicked silly now by Puma before he is slammed by a Modified Jackhammer for, you guessed it, ANOTHER FREAKING TWO COUNT!

Puma just can't be thwarted here, as when he ends up on the corner just a moment later, he catches a charging Fox to hit a Super Reverse Exploder Suplex. I love how cool that name sounds with all factors considered! A reverse suplex driver gets the millionth two count of the match! He pulls out the imaginary gun before hitting Fox with his own bullet – the shotgun dropkick into the corner. Here it comes. 630 SPLASH! It gets 1...2...3! He has done it!

WINNER: Prince Puma


Puma leaves the ring and here comes KILLSHOT! He hits the double stomp to... jeers?! The Storm Cradle Driver lays out his rival as he once again receives heat from the Believers. Considering the fans had no idea of the backstory between the two at this point, not knowing that this story would be built up in a way that you can relate to both sides, this has worked perfectly. He grabs the microphone and tells Dante that he's right...

“This isn't over between us.”

Sorry Killshot. Sorry Crane. THIS was the best match of Season 3 so far, AND the best gimmickless match in Lucha Underground history aside from Puma vs. Rey. This was just mindblowing. It looked good on paper, as Puma has always been reliable for fantastic matches and Dante has really built up a reputation this season. Oh My God though, it certainly didn't disappoint. Fox's stock really is rising and it shows in the way that the fans reacted to Killshot this week. Amazing work by all involved here.


***

Someone is watching a repeat of a Veneno match.

Who else would be watching a repeat of a Veneno match other than the man behind the mask himself? And Captain Vasquez of course.

“Not your best match, but most people wouldn't fare too well against a God.”
“He's not a God, he's a Machi-”
“-He's also a murderer!”

Vasquez reveals to Officer Reyes that Cage walked right into City Hall and killed Delgado. She reveals that she doesn't want to arrest him; she wants the Gauntlet.

“I'm sorry, but there's not a man alive who will be able to take that thing from Cage.”

As Reyes exits the room, Vasquez looks at her amulet...

“You might be right.”

Oh my. Looks like we're getting a Cage vs. Muertes feud then, and at this late stage of the season, I think that match has Ultima Lucha written all over it! They've beautifully intertwined these characters without us even knowing it. Cage killed Delgado, and way before that, we found out that Catrina and Vasquez share one half of the same amulet. They've been setting this up all along. Where does Jeremiah Crane fit though? Interesting stuff!


***

We're back in the Temple and that means we're back with some more Lucha! Melissa Santos introduces Johnny Mundo who bounces around with his belt to the sound of his rare lyrical theme and the jeers of almost all of the Believers. A man who looks like Patches O'Houlihan from Dodgeball, but dressed up in Mundo gear, applauds him from the crowd. He looks to be the only one though.

As for his opponent, well, here comes the young jedi himself, Dragon Azteca Jr.! He walks down the steps dressed head to toe in his historical gown, slapping the hand of every Believer along the way.

It's Champion vs. His Challenger's Student, and it's about to go down right now!


LUCHA TRES:
Johnny Mundo vs. El Dragon Azteca Jr.

How can both of these men follow the last match?

They start off slow as Azteca is thrown to the mat and Mundo flexes and shakes. He gets smacked in the face for being too cocky, and gets his arm locked by Azteca too. Johnny manages to knee and kick his way out of it before leg sweeping his foe. It's hard to keep the Dragon down though, as he springs back up and kicks him square in the face. Azteca finds his way to the ropes which is the last place Mundo wants him to be, as he springs off and hits a top rope 'rana. That move sends the champion scurrying to the outside. It looks as if he is going to fake out and he probably should have done as when he flips to the outside, Mundo spinebusters him onto the unforgiving floor!

The Worldwide Underground leader rolls in Rey's protégé for a two and then kicks him in the face for another failed pin attempt! He continues to work the neck now with a sleeper hold before throwing Azteca into the buckle hard and stunning him ready for the Chuck Kick. That's a two! If Azteca is out of it, the Believers certainly aren't, as they catch Mundo off guard by calling him a princess. This allows Azteca a chance to roll him up! 1...2... No! For that reason, Mundo spears his opponent into the corner and pummels him repeatedly. When the champion tries to whip him into the other corner however, Azteca flips him outside, sprints, and flies with one hell of a senton, clearing the top corner! He rolls him in for two!

The Dragon has fire now. He kicks Mundo silly before hitting the flashiest of leg drops. 1...2... Nearly! Before Azteca can capitalize, Johnny rakes the eye and looks to take advantage. When he goes for a powerbomb, his young foe flips through and slams Mundo to the mat for a sunset flip. 1...2... Still no! Johnny is pissed now. He goes for the Moonlight Drive and when his opponent blocks it, hits the Standing C4 instead. 1...2... Kick out! It soon becomes Azteca's turn to twist his body, as he gets Mundo up to the top rope and hits a body scissor driver for a two count of his own! We see Azteca get frustrated and that always seems to cost him. He takes to the top rope, gets knocked off it, and it's Mundo who flies off the top with the END OF THE WORLD! 1...2...3! That's all she wrote.

WINNER: Johnny Mundo


Mundo takes no time at all to grab the chair and he knocks Azteca down with it. The very moment that he wraps the chair around his opponent's neck, none other than Rey Mysterio comes out! He kicks Johnny off the apron and saves his student. Rey shakes his head as Johnny looks at the Believers with hatred. He raises the title as that's what it's all about.

Rey Mysterio raises Azteca's hand and he goes to see his family. His wife and son are here, and wait, here's Mundo once more! He tells Dominic that he got big.. When Johnny badmouths Dominic's father to his own mother, he decides that he has had enough! He turns his cap around and tells him that he needs to back up! Security are there to break it up but it doesn't stop Mundo getting in a cheap shot.

Mysterio runs out but wait, it's a trap! THIS is when the Worldwide Underground get involved. All four other members hold back Rey Mysterio and Johnny lines up the belt right where he wants it... BUT TURNS AROUND AND STRIKES DOMINIC INSTEAD! Rey jumps to his son's aid as Mysterio's wife looks on, devastated. He warns the Worldwide Underground and suddenly this has become much more than just a title match.

This is war.

The match was great. It was never going to live up to Puma vs. Fox but it was great. What happened after the match though was a stroke of genius. The Mysterio vs. Mundo match had already been built up spectacularly but now it's on another level. I cannot wait to see what Rey does next week and that tells me that this segment achieved exactly what it should have done.


***

After the show, Melissa Santos is walked to her car by Fenix. He puts his arm around her and is subjected to one hell of a question from Melissa – does he wear the mask all the time? He admits that he doesn't all the time – when he wrestles of course- but not all of the time, no.

The reason that's a hell of a question is that it might give some crazy individual an even crazier idea: Someone who happens to be watching the two.

As Fenix gives Melissa a piggyback, another creature is scheming.

“She won't like you when I take that mask away... and she'll see how ugly you really are.”

The Moth snorts and giggles, and with that, we come to the end of the episode.

Finally, for the first time since Season 1, it looks like we might get a match with a mask on the line, a Luchas de Apuestas match if you will! I just wonder what Marty will have to put up for the contest: How about his greasy hair? I mean, he did have a different hairstyle at TripleMania. Maybe it's his sister's mask that could be on the line? Who knows? I like it though!


TEMPLE GOD

2nd August – Prince Puma (3)

26th July – Pentagon Dark
19th July – PJ Black
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.

Johnny Mundo may have made an important step in his now-apparent war against Rey Mysterio, but even with such shenanigans, are we really going to take away anything other from this episode than that Puma-Fox match?

Dante Fox was terrific mind you, but when Prince Puma is able to defeat him in such an incredible match and also managed to beat PJ Black in the previous round (who had put in the performance of his life mind you) – well – surely there's no stopping him?

He looks like the clear favourite for the Cup, AND he is putting on insane matches along the way. He now faces Fenix in the Semi-Finals in what should be one hell of a match...

… If the Moth doesn't get involved, that is.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Fenix got the better of Pindar by toning down his normally high-flying style, Johnny Mundo took advantage of Dragon Azteca's usual quirks – his frustration – to pick up the win in the Main Event, but without a doubt, Prince Puma came out on top in the best match of the entire night and maybe even this season!

Away from the in-ring action, we saw several stories get advanced at once. I mean, let's think about this for a second. We now know that the Medallions are coming back, and depending on what Dario thinks of what happened near the end of the show, it looks like the Worldwide Underground have earned themselves a shot at them.

We also can assume that Captain Vasquez is going to rely on Mil Muertes to do her dirty work by way of Catrina. Are they lovers? Are they sisters? Are they both – I mean, Game of Thrones is pretty popular.

Not only that, but the Mysterio – Mundo feud now has a personal touch to it. You just have to wonder whether Rey will hit Mundo where it hurts. Will he attack Taya?! No, he's far too noble for that, right?

Lastly, we seemed to gain some insight into the Moth's intentions at the end of the show. Does Melissa believe that beauty is just skin deep? We'll soon find out I'm sure!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of this, and you can comment below or reach me on Twitter @ LeafLOP.

Until next time, 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. Here are some of my favourite recent pieces:

anonymous compares Game of Thrones and the WWE in the disturbingly brilliant Inside the Mind 193.34: Game of Battleground

TypeItInMaan has noticed the similarities between Wrestlemania 21 and the potential star-making Summerslam 2017 in Big Time: I'm on my way I'm making it

jeremydonovan continues his take on the G1 Climax within the WWE in WWE Fantasy G1 Climax Night 9: Reigns vs. Strowman


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