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Posted in: The Green Room
SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND: S3E31 - The Cup Runneth Over
By Ryan "Leaf" Plant
Aug 18, 2017 - 7:09:25 AM




Season 3, Episode 31
The Cup Runneth Over


It's Semi Final night as two of Fenix, Prince Puma, Mil Muertes and Pentagon Dark will be involved in the Cueto Cup Final next week. Tonight, we decide who is in that match. Also, we're one week away from Rey Mysterio vs. Johnny Mundo for the Lucha Underground Championship! What will happen tonight? Let's find out!


The Machine is living up to his name, working out in the gym when a flash brings Catrina right in front of him.

“What the hell do you want?”
“Do you even know what that is?” She looks directly at the removed Gauntlet.
“It's mine.”

She tells him that it doesn't belong to him, and soon, he won't belong to himself. The spirit inside of it will soon consume him. His refusal to hand it over to Catrina earns him a slap. She warns him that he will hate the hard way, and just as he goes to strike Catrina, she disappears out of the room.

The volts surge through this artifact and with that, the segment ends.


You knew it was coming after last week. This was just a tease for the upcoming Cage-Muertes feud - you could say it was the calm before the storm - and it was enjoyable to see. There's not much more I can say about this really other than the fact that Cage seems to be attached to the Gauntlet like Gollum with the ring


***

Dario Cueto is in his office, so you just know that he's about to be disturbed.

“Come in!”

Joey Ryan enters the scene, sucking on his lollipop of course. He has to digest Cueto's insults too as he tells Ryan that he was embarrassed about his first-round loss in the Cueto Cup.

“So what do you want?”
“You told me to report if I see anything suspicious.”
“I did. So...”
“Well I've got something big. You know Veneno? The guy with the spider mask?”

Dario Cueto hilariously doesn't remember his own fighter at first, but then it just about comes to his mind. That's when Joey Ryan tells him what we all know, that he thinks that Officer Reyes is behind the mask.

He quickly comes up with a solution. He books Sexy Star vs. Veneno in a Mask vs. Mask match, which he says is to allow Star a chance at revenge due to her ongoing spider issues. We all know that he wants Reyes exposed though of course.

“I love it!” Ryan exclaims.
“You know what I love? Solitude... so get the hell out of here.”

With that, Dario Cueto can be left in peace again.

For now.


I've been wanting to see more of these Ryan-Cueto interactions for a while. It seems strange though that someone from a police background didn't bring any evidence to the table. He just had his suspicions and that was all! With Dario mentioning the spider, I reckon we'll see the return of the weakest storyline in Lucha Underground history next week, with the true holder of the tarantula being revealed. I expect it to be Taya and for some lame Tayantula pun to be made, but we'll see. One thing is for sure, Veneno is losing that mask.


***

After two opening segments in a row, the sounds of funky slap bass from Slapbak welcome us to the Temple. So too does our commentary team. Matt Striker and Vampiro tell us that the Cueto Cup Semi Finals are tonight! Not only that, but there is one final face-off between Johnny Mundo and Rey Mysterio! It's time for our first match though and here is the lovely Melissa Santos!

She seems delighted to announce Mexico City's Fenix. He gets a huge reaction from the Believers as always as he slaps every possible hand on the way down the steps. When he enters the ring, he receives an air kiss from Santos for good luck.

I wonder what Prince Puma thinks of that bias, as he gets announced next! He probably doesn't think much of it as only darkness lives inside him now. Again, his theme is too out of place here but I doubt it will change before the end of the season. He skulks his way to the ring. Let's go.


LUCHA UNO:
Cueto Cup – Semi Final
Fenix vs. Prince Puma

The two lock up and begin to chain wrestle using headlocks and arm drags. They avoid each other's handspring back elbows, meet each other with kicks to the face and get into a right-hand sparring match. A double headbutt floors each other before they both get to their feet immediately! They spar again and this time Puma wins the battle before the two smash heads again! Duelling “Animo” And “Puma” chants fill the air before Vampiro's protégé manages to superkick his opponent over the rope. Advantage Puma. He dives to the outside with a big senton and takes the Firebird out.

Back in the ring, Fenix is rocked by another kick before Puma goes for his suplex combination, ONLY FOR FENIX TO FLIP PUMA OVER INTO A PIN! That was nice. 1...2... No! Both men take to opposite corners before the Prince sprints into him with an uppercut. He hits a 619 before a jumping forearm gets 1..2... Kick Out! Just when Puma takes to the top rope, and what looked to be a Phoenix Splash attempt is unsuccessful as Fenix moves out of the way before delivering a Destroyer for 1...2... Another kick out!

The Believers tell us that they think this is awesome. I'm inclined to agree! Fenix does something pretty unique here as he takes to the outside of the ring and manages to get a couple of clean shots on his opponent through the rope – a leaping palm strike and a huge upwards kick. When he comes back in the ring though, he can't keep the darkened first ever Lucha Underground Champion down as he floors Fenix with a big forearm off the ropes before recovering. The two men eventually make it to their feet and Puma is stunned with a cutter out of nowhere! 1...2... No!

What will it take now for either man to pick up the win? A rolling elbow from the Prince stuns the Firebird before he is whipped into the corner. Puma dashes into a superkick, receives another kick off the ropes for good measure and a German Suplex! Fenix screams out a battle cry and dropkicks the back of Puma's head. He gets 1...2... KICK OUT, JUST! Vampiro scolds Striker as the latter had picked up on him being quiet throughout the match until that moment. That's when we get a different kind of animosity on the outside: The Moth is here!

Marty stalks Melissa before a diving standing moonsault from Fenix takes him out! Of course, in one of wrestling's biggest cliches, the distracted Firebird is then rocked by a knee from Puma and a reverse suplex driver for the inevitable pinfall.

But he kicks out!?

Melissa asks Marty what he's doing as he sits down, sulking away. If he looks at what's going on in the ring, he might have something to smile about, as Prince Puma takes to the top rope and hits the 630 Splash. This time, he gets the 1...2...3! Puma is in the Final!

WINNER: Prince Puma


Melissa looks to comfort Fenix as The Moth looks at the damage he's caused. In the ring, a really creepy looking Believer slowly caresses a Moth sign.

The interference stopped this match dead just as it was getting really good. I think these two could have had a better match with more time and less interference – but that's the story of Season 3 – isn't it? I get why the interference happened and it's definitely logical, but it seems to be affecting this season a lot.

Don't get me wrong, it was still a great match. It's just a shame when you know what both of these men are capable of.



***

Sexy Star is seen trying to drink some water but is struggling as the Temple is shaking. Even Dario is concerned by this in his office.

We see the source of the tremors as Mil Muertes' workout routine is apparently so powerful that it rocks the whole place to its core.

“Save some for Pentagon.” Catrina advises.

Speaking of being rocked to the core, here is Cage! He strikes Mil with a weight before dropping it right on the back of Mil!

“You were saying...” He looks at Catrina before walking away proudly.

Catrina uses the stone to revive her fallen beast.

“His time will come. For now, use this anger to break Pentagon in two.”

Muertes nods which draws a wry smile from Vasquez' daughter. It's on.


What did I say earlier about that segment being the calm before the storm? Mil's workout routine was a storm in itself but wow, Cage really took it to Catrina's fighter right there!

My biggest worry now is whether this will affect Muertes in his match. I imagine it will as even though he has been revived, you can't just not sell a weight to the ribs. Right? It's logical again, so I must praise that, but these two matches on paper could have been the best that Lucha Underground has ever seen and yet these factors are preventing that.



***

We're back with Melissa Santos and she introduces the man that she used to fear the most, which has probably been eclipsed by Marty “The Moth” Martinez at this stage, it's Pentagon Dark! The skeleton ninja receives a mindblowingly loud Cero Miedo reaction as always and he looks at the camera to give us that trademark taunt. He simply nods at the reaction from the fans before rolling his hands.

His opponent is from Beyond The Grave. Accompanied by Catrina, here comes Mil Muertes. He slaps the camera away as usual. Vampiro notices that his entrance attire is not being worn here but most importantly, he is holding his ribs. I bet the Believers think Pentagon did it. On any other week, he probably would have done! Hell, Catrina referenced a certain pre-match attack in Season 2 just the other week!

The bell rings and they instantly get into a slugfest!


LUCHA DOS:
Cueto Cup – Semi Final
Pentagon Dark vs. Mil Muertes

Muertes wins the battle of the hands and then kicks a downed Pentagon. He headbutts him repeatedly, however, Pentagon gets back into it with a superkick to the ribs. Vampiro praises the tactics here before a huge senton to the outside floors The Man of a Thousand Deaths. Pentagon continuously kicks the ribs as an aqua-haired Believer is seen grimacing at the strikes.

The fight is taken back to the ring for a series of hammer fists in the corner. Pentagon hits the ribs to allow him to try to unleash another sequence of these strikes. It doesn't work as Mil Muertes picks him up and slams him down onto the canvas. The behemoth wrenches Pentagon's back against the ropes before sending him to the outside.

The Immortan has his foe in a fireman's carry position before slamming him repeatedly against the turnbuckle. Mil Muertes stares down Vampiro, even though he no longer manages the man he used to call Junior. Mil slams his rival into the railings before taking him back into the ring. Despite all of this, Pentagon Dark gets back into the match before Catrina yanks his foot. A Modified Reaper's Trident sends him down but he cannot take advantage of it because of his rib injury. This momentary distraction allows Pentagon to get back into the match as he tries to hit a Package Piledriver. Muertes powers out but gets a kick to the face as a result, and a codebreaker! He goes for the pin! 1...

KICK OUT AT ONE!

Not only that, but Mil Muertes hits his trademark powerslam for another unsuccessful pinfall attempt. He strikes Pentagon as hard as he can in the corner but again, it's the superkick that gets Dark back into the match. He normally brings the lungblower to the table, and it's no different here, although just think of the damage that it has inflicted to Mil's already-injured ribs! A few more superkicks finally send Mil Muertes to the canvas and he saves one for Catrina with good measure. In a rare move, Pentagon hits a double stomp, perhaps because of Mil's injury and he goes for the pinfall.

1...2...3! He's done it!

WINNER: Pentagon Dark


Wait, the onslaught isn't over here as Pentagon goes to break Muerte's arm AGAIN! Catrina raises the stone though and just like that, Mil gets the strength he needs to shove Dark away.

Penta shouldn't care too much this time, he's in the Cueto Cup Final against Prince Puma!

Again, this was a great match that could have been something more without the pre-match attack. I loved that Muertes sold the rib injury throughout, but I also wish that these two could have fought one-on-one under different circumstances. I said on Twitter that tonight's show had the potential to be one of Lucha's best and because of these factors, I don't think it has reached it.

No matter how good this match was, it's hard not to look at it and think what could have been. I preferred it to the first match though as it was great watching Pentagon change his tactics for this match which included a different finishing move than normal!



***

After a short break, we now see that our owner and promoter is in the ring!

“Next week, we will have one of the greatest title matches in Lucha Underground history: Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Mysterio. BUT, before that happens, I want to get both men out to my ring to say any final words 'cause I'll be honest, I LOVE WHEN MY LUCHADORS TALK SH*T TO EACH OTHER!”

Dario grins as he introduces Rey first, and he receives a positive reaction as always! Matt Striker reminds us that Mysterio's son Dominic was the victim of a cheap shot two weeks ago. You know that will be mentioned again tonight of course!

El Jefe seems very pleased when he introduces Johnny Mundo and he has his own security force. Wait, is that Eric Watts from Tough Enough as one of them? He stands at the entranceway and tells Rey that he will crush Rey's dreams, just like he crushes everything. He's been working harder than he ever has in his life just so he could take him to Slamtown next week.

Like a true coward, he sends his security to the ring first before he tells him that it was really good to see his son Dominic.

“Man, he must have got his size from his mother.”

Dario Cueto is smirking away here as Mundo instructs his security force to make sure that Rey doesn't try anything. He continues to laugh at his size. He alludes to the fact that Rey Mysterio may not be his real dad – what a throwback. Speaking of throwbacks, Johnny Mundo is thrown OUT of the ring by a raging Mysterio and the security force can not stop the heart of this man! He sentons away from them and out to Johnny on the outside.

Dario loves this as Rey continues to strike the champion. The security try to stop Rey so he takes one of them out with a kick. When they pursue him again, this allows The Worldwide Underground to appear and beat on Rey. They hold the challenger down before the Leader of Slamtown stomps on his back. But wait, here comes Dragon Azteca Jr, The Mack and Sexy Star!

The fight is on as Star takes it to Taya. Mack stunners PJ Black. Mundo and Mandel work together but Azteca manages to fight off Mandel before taking him out. Rey Mysterio tries to set up Johnny Mundo for the 619 in the ring but a spear floors him. Here comes Prince Puma though!

Mundo tries to reason with Puma and for a moment, it looks like he is about to turn on his strained friend. That's until Pentagon Dark arrives!

The four men who could contribute towards the Ultima Lucha main event square off with one another! As they fight away, here comes MIL MUERTES WHO STRIKES PUMA AND PENTAGON!

The Machine is here! Cage takes out Rey Mysterio with a discus clothesline. That's the Gauntlet talking. He powerbombs Johnny Mundo and the monster mash is on! The two men take the brawl to the outside and here comes Marty!

And there he goes! Fenix brawls with him all the way down the steps. This is MENTAL!

Mariposa comes to assist her brother as Dario cannot believe what he's seeing. Even Joey Ryan and Vinnie Massaro are brawling on the outside. That one makes no sense but I love it! Hell, even the Rabbit Tribe are sat on top of the office with some oversized carrots, simply watching what is going on.

Here comes Jeremiah Crane now! I wonder if he's come to fight Mil Muertes! Dante Fox can be seen watching this brawl. We see Muertes shoving Crane against the railing as Cage watches on. Wait, up in the rafters, Killshot appears and takes it to Fox! Within moments, you can see these two former friends taking the fight down the steps.

Prince Puma takes out everyone on the outside with a huge 630 Splash to the outside! He took out everybody, and I mean everybody... Except Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo! Rey hits the 619 on Mundo and holds the title high as Dario Cueto proudly smirks at the mess before him. That was awesome.


That was insane! This episode needed that badly. Whatever you thought of the two semi-final matches, and you know by my comments that I had my criticism of them, this brawl was the perfect accompaniment! When done right, a multi-man brawl in wrestling is brilliant, but for so long it hasn't felt natural.

In the WWE, you get it before a Royal Rumble and it just seems far too “convenient”. This was the most natural version of a brawl that I have ever seen! Yet in spite of all of it, my favourite parts were the onlookers. I loved seeing how happy Dario was as he got to see plenty of violence. I also loved watching the Rabbit Tribe enjoy the action from afar.

I've actually gone back and watched this segment again just to catch every last moment, and you can still see the Rabbit Tribe chattering away to themselves in the background of the final shot as Rey holds up the title. This was just so much fun to watch. It was a real pleasure.



TEMPLE GOD

16th August – Dario Cueto

9th August – Mil Muertes (2)
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.

I thought long and hard about this but I really think Dario was the biggest winner tonight! He gained some important information on Veneno and has set up a match next week that will assist him in getting rid of Reyes for good. Most importantly, he GOT PLENTY OF VIOLENCE! When Marty came to stalk Melissa, he was taken out by Fenix. Cage injured Muertes tonight, which led to some devastating blows to the ribs by Pentagon.

Then, just when things couldn't get any more brutal, there was that huge ending brawl which led El Jefe to simply look back at his beautiful underground wrestling promotion with nothing but sheer appreciation. Imagine if Matanza was involved!

For his hilarious expressions, but also because of what he gained tonight from a character standpoint, Dario Cueto picks up his second ever Temple God award and the first of this season.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I'll keep this section fairly brief this week as I think I've expressed a lot about how I felt throughout this column. The two dream matches that we had for the semi-finals were both solid, but with the names involved, if Fenix and Mil Muertes weren't already embroiled in different feuds, they could have been so much better.

That brawl though made up for everything. I don't think I would have looked back on this episode too positively before that. It was just so unexpected as the segment was supposed to revolve around two men. It wasn't like, let us say, an Aztec Warfare debate or something bizarre like that. You could not anticipate this brawl and it was wild to say the least!

Next week, we have the Cueto Cup final between Prince Puma and Pentagon Dark, AND we have the Lucha Underground Championship match between Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo. When all is said and done, we'll know the main event of Ultima Lucha Tres by the end of the night! What I want to know is who do YOU think will win these matches?

I'm going for Prince Puma to defeat Pentagon Dark as he fits into the storylines with both Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo just that little bit more. As for who wins the title match? The hints tell me that it's going to be Rey Mysterio, and yet the nature of Mundo's reign tells me that it shouldn't end just yet. I mean, this guy is essentially the Ric Flair of Lucha and the Worldwide Underground are his horsemen. His reign should continue until Ultima Lucha Tres and when it comes down to it, I think it will. I'm going with Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo – the two men who started off as friendly rivals in Season One, fighting for the title in the main event of Season Three.

Please let me know of your thoughts either below or on Twitter @ LeafLOP.

Until next time, don't stop believing and thank you for reading.







WANT TO GO DEEPER UNDERGROUND?



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