After 37 episodes, Lucha Underground is gearing up to close out their first season with a two part finale. Tomorrow night, July 29th, 2015, Lucha Underground will kick off the finale with an hour of big matches, and then one week later, on Wednesday August 5th, 2015, the two hour finale will provide the climax to season one while also setting the stage for season 2.
For those of you uninitiated, I will tell you that Lucha Underground is nothing less than the best wrestling show on TV. With its cinematic presentation, larger than life characters, and well built matches and stories, the quality of the show is astounding. To get something truly new and truly fresh in the modern age of wrestling is extremely rare, which only enhances the artistic achievements of the show.
Below, I will preview the full card and give my full feelings on the event’s matches. I won’t bother giving predictions since the events were taped back in April, but I have feverishly avoided spoilers in order to get the full experience and excitement of the show. I think that Lucha Underground is going to close out season one with a bang! Top to bottom, the card is stellar.
LUCHA UNDERGROUND HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Prince Puma –c- Vs. Mil Muertes w/Catrina
•Likely to Main Event on 8/5
Prince Puma has been the Lucha Underground Heavyweight Champion since winning the Aztec Warfare Match to determine the first title holder. This carried him through successful title defenses against the likes of Cage, Hernandez, Fenix, and Johnny Mundo. On the other side, Mil Muertes has been tearing through the roster ever since his debut. Aside from his loss in Aztec Warfare and a couple of loses to Fenix, Muertes has been nearly unstoppable. After a few weeks on the sidelines following his loss to Fenix in The Grave Consequences match (my favorite Lucha Underground match to date), Muertes came back with a vengeance and has destroyed everyone in his path, including Fenix, Drago, Son of Havoc, and even Puma’s mentor Konnan. It only seemed natural to have the two eventually cross paths. When you go back and watch the previous 37 episodes, it feels like Puma Vs. Muertes for the gold was the end game all along. Puma’s determination and fighting spirit mixed with the brute force and monstrous nature of Muertes should make for a great match and a perfect capstone to season 1 of Lucha Underground.
LUCHA UNDERGROUND “GIFT OF THE GODS” CHAMPIONSHIP: 7 WAY MATCH
Fenix Vs. Aero Star Vs. Big Ryck Vs. Sexy Star Vs. King Cuerno Vs. Jack Evans Vs. Bengala
Months ago, Dario Cueto started having his wrestlers fight for the 7 Ancient Aztec Medallions which he claimed would give the 7 winners a “chance at immortality”. It turns out the Medallions are each a part of Lucha Underground’s newest championship belt labeled “The Gift of the Gods”. The way the championship will work is that whoever wins this title will then have a shot at the Lucha Underground Heavyweight Championship, a title match in which the winner of Gift of the Gods can select the date. Unlike Money in the Bank, the title shot must be given at least a week’s advance notice because as Dario said “I like to promote my title matches”. Prior to deciding on a date for the title match, the Gift of the Gods may be defended like a regular championship. Once the title shot has been cashed in, the Gift of the Gods Title is vacated and the process starts all over again with 7 wrestlers having to win the Aztec Medallions.
Got all that? It really is less complicated than it sounds. To put it as simply as possible, this new championship is basically a midcard championship with a Money in the Bank flavor. Remember in the old WCW how the US Champion was usually ranked as the top contender, but almost never got a title shot for the World Title? Well this new championship takes advantage of the midcard title holder basically being the top contender by default. I like the concept and in future seasons, it could make for a nice regular story thread throughout the show. A 7 Way match will most likely be a wild spotfest, but we’ll see how it all goes. As for the 7 they selected for this match, I’d say it is a nice combination of great high fliers, great characters, and Big Ryck thrown in to add some muscle and power to the mix.
LUCHA UNDERGROUND TRIOS CHAMPIONSHIP
Son of Havoc, Ivelesse, & Angelico –c- Vs. The Disciples of Death w/Catrina
The show that concluded with Son of Havoc, Ivelesse, and Angelico winning the Trios Title Tournament was probably the best episode of Lucha Underground to date and arguably the best episode of wrestling television this year. It was an exciting and emotional conclusion to the Trios Title tournament and it served as a reminder to even the most jaded fan that this art form can be the most entertaining form of storytelling on Earth when done right. The match itself was punctuated by Angelico’s insane flying crossbody from the heavens to turn the tide in his team’s favor. Like Prince Puma with the World Title, Havoc, Ivelesse, and Angelico have been the only champions to hold the gold in the Trios Division. At Ultima Lucha, they will be defending the titles against The Disciples of Death, three masked minions of Catrina and Mil Muertes. Will there be a title change or will the underdogs find a way to pull of another miracle against unlikely odds? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Alberto El Patron Vs. Johnny Mundo
Two former WWE superstars are colliding on Lucha Underground’s big season finale in a match that has been built up for months. Ever since El Patron’s arrival into Lucha Underground, the two characters have been linked in a story based on competitive spirit and professional jealousy. Once Alberto defeated Mundo in a stellar contenders match, Mundo retaliated by throwing El Patron through the window of Dario Cueto’s office (Shawn on Marty style!). They have both cost each other chances at the Lucha Underground World Title and the match has slowly built up to this point and at Ultima Lucha, I expect them to tear the house down. If anyone is worried about the Ex-WWE guys taking it easy and resting on their laurels, I can assure you that Alberto and Johnny have done nothing but bring their A-Game since being on Ultima Lucha. El Patron has brought a passion and energy that was rarely seen during his WWE run which led to an exciting feud and series of matches with Texano Jr. As for Mundo , he has been involved in some of the best matches in Lucha Underground to date. These include (but are not limited to) the show’s first ever Ladder Match, Cage Match, and Iron Man Match. His matches with Prince Puma were particularly strong. And as I said before, the match they had earlier in the year was fantastic, so combine that with the added build up and emotion and I think we can expect great things out of them for this match.
HARDCORE MATCH (I’m assuming)
Vampiro Vs. Pentagon Jr.
I have no idea what to expect out of a near 50 year old Vampiro at this point in his career, but I can truthfully say that this has probably been the most exciting build up on the card. That is a testament to how good of a show Lucha Underground really is because I don’t know many other wrestling programs that can successfully build a match with an old retired veteran and make it such a great story. I think part of the reason the story worked so well was that they’ve acknowledged Vampiro’s age and the catalyst for the match was Pentagon Jr. goading him out of retirement through threats and violent attacks which forced Vampiro’s hand. It isn’t about Vampiro being a legendary figure that is just as good as he ever was, but is rather about a sadistic force that has pushed a man to the edge. Speaking of which, Pentagon Jr is absolutely fantastic. Between breaking the arms of jobbers, his attacks on Sexy Star and even ring announcer Melissa Santos, and especially the scene where he poured gasoline on Vampiro and threatened to light him on fire, the guy has easily become one of the most intense heels in wrestling. There is also the added mystery of who his Dark Master is. Who is the one telling him to do all of these things and who is the one that Pentagon is sacrificing everyone to? Maybe we will find out at Ultima Lucha. Again, I have no idea what we are going to get out of Vamp at this point, and the Hardcore stipulation is largely a guess on my part , but the build up has been great and hopefully the bout delivers on some level.
BATTLE FOR MEXICAN PRIDE
Texano Jr. Vs. Blue Demon Jr.
To be honest, this is the one match on the whole show that I am not really that interested. I believe it was originally supposed to be the culmination of the Blue Demon Vs. Chavo Guerrero storyline with Chavo finally having to feel the fury of Mexico following his attack on Blue Demon on the second episode of the show. Unfortunately, Chavo’s legitimate injury during his title match with Prince Puma caused some rewrites to take place. Now Texano got turned face and will be representing Mexico while Blue Demon Jr. is the heel and is aligned with The Crew, the guys that were working for Chavo. It is uncharacteristically sloppy writing, but again, it gets a pass from me since the issues stemmed from having to work around a legitimate injury.
FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH
The Mack Vs. Cage
•Confirmed for 7/29
Ultima Lucha kicks off tomorrow night and we already know that this match will be featured. The Machine Cage has been a dominant force in Lucha Underground since his arrival. He was Puma’s first big challenger for the Lucha Underground Title and secured non-title victories over Puma as well as a victory over top contender Johnny Mundo. Only two men have been able to pin Cage’s shoulders to the mat. One of them is the champion Prince Puma. The other is The Mack. Their rivalry began when Cage proved his worth to be on Daivari’s Trios team by attacking The Mack. On its face, it would appear that The Mack would be no match for Cage, but the old adage of “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and rung true in this case he has used his power and unexpected athleticism to gain two upset victories over Cage. The second loss enraged Cage and led to a massive brawl between the two, which gave Dario the idea to sign a Falls Count Anywhere match for Ultima Lucha. The match will be on tomorrow night’s show so if you want to see two athletic big men brawl all over The Temple, you might want to check this one out.
BELIEVER’S BACKLASH MATCH
Drago Vs. Hernandez
•Confirmed for 7/29
In another rivalry that has been building for months, Drago finally has a chance to get revenge on the man who cost him two chances at the Lucha Underground Championship. It all started when Hernandez interfered in the title match between Drago and Puma in which Drago would be banned from The Temple if he lost. Drago eventually returned and was one match away from getting another title shot against Puma but Hernandez’s pre-match attack left Drago as a sitting duck for Mil Muertes who ultimately got the title shot. After a third attack on Drago, this time with a leather strap, this match was made for Ultima Lucha and will take place on tomorrow’s episode. A Believer’s Backlash Match is very similar to a TNA concept “Fan’s Revenge”, which is basically a Lumberjack Match with fans acting as the lumberjacks and being given leather straps to whip the participants with. Needless to say, the fan favorite character has a slight edge in a match like this. Truthfully, Drago is one of my personal favorites on the show given his cool persona and style, so I’m just happy they had something for him.
There are also hanging story threads built up throughout the season that I feel may come into play during the course of the show. Will Dario Cueto’s monster of a brother, Matanza, be revealed? What is the fate of Black Lotus? Who is Pentagon’s dark master? All these questions may be addressed in the season’s closer.
So that is what we’re in store for at Lucha Underground’s big season finale. It has been one heck of a ride, and if the first 37 episodes are any indication, the two part finale is going to be spectacular.