‘A Fenix To A Flame’ – Lucha Underground Review (S03 EP 26)

Previously on Lucha Underground, Sexy Star wants retribution against Johnny Mundo and the World Wide Underground for unjustly taking the championship from her. Fenix and Melissa Santos’ love flourishes, while Marty Martinez’ lust continues to drive him further into delirium.  Famous B makes an offer to Texano to make him ‘famous’, and Texano is left to consider. 

The crowd are hot in the temple tonight, and gruesome scenes will unfold in the main event. This is episode 26 season 3 of Lucha Underground, and round two of the Cueto Cup is set to commence.

Jeremiah Crane vs Taya: Quarter-Final Qualifier

We start off with Jeremiah Crane versus Taya, and their chemistry is immediately apparent. Right out the gates, Crane charges Taya, but she is able to sidetrack him and follow it up with a taunting slap. But Crane is having none of it, boots her square in the face and follows it with a suicide dive to the outside.

It’s high spots from the get-go: The ‘asteroid of destruction’ circles the ring and bowls down Taya through the chairs. Taya dives from the outside railings onto Crane, before both competitors return to the ring.

Taya is fierce, bringing the fight to Crane. Both competitors are intense, and the crowd is hot, as emotions run high. Taya even manages to hit an impressive Canadian Destroyer, and the crowd relish in her momentum. It’s not long before Sexy Star arrives at ringside, serving as a distraction to Taya momentarily. Crane is able to capitalise with the jumping pump kick, and ‘Cranial Contusion’, to get the win over Taya and advances to the final eight.

Sexy looks to seek revenge for Taya’s interference in her tournament match against PJ Black, by reacquainting Taya with a pair of brass knuckles post-match. She lands a fist to the face of the frail luchadora, leaving Taya knocked out cold in the centre of the ring.

Result: Jeremiah Crane advances.

We cut to the gym, where Aersotar greets Fenix. Fenix assures Aerostar that Drago will see the light, but Aerostar has his doubts, as a man who can ‘see the future’. Fenix asks his friend if he will win his match tonight, but Aerostar’s reply is in no way promising.

Paul London vs Mil Muertes: Quarter-Final Qualifier

The Leader of the Rabbit Tribe, has quite the challenge ahead of him, as he faces Mil Muertes in the next match of the second round tournament. Paul London seems to be punching above his weight, taunting Mil – Despite Striker referencing London’s past in matches against Samoa Joe and other brutal beasts, the announcer’s aren’t confident that he can protect himself against the wrath of Muertes.

It’s a game of cat and mouse, as Paul looks to escape Muertes. But Mil becomes increasingly infuriated. Paul goes for some ineffective strikes, to which Mil answers with a devastating shoulder tackle. Paul’s nose is busted open, as he is thrown face first into the turnbuckle. He is whipped back and forth, but Paul fights back with a spinning heel kick.

Paul is in Wonderland, but still has some wits about him. Mil barges him off the apron and onto the floor. Paul escapes once more through the ropes, and attacks with a series of kicks. The members of the Rabbit Tribe appear, for whatever reason, and to little effect other than breaking the count.

Both men still have fight – Paul hits a back stomp off the top rope onto Muertes, but Mil recoups as Paul taunts, and takes him down with the chokeslam. The Rabbit Tribe are back, but Male Suerte takes a big hit. London is fired up, landing two moonsaults, one after the other. But he can only obtain two near falls. As London argues with the referee, Muertes is able to bring the match to an end, with a ferocious spear and a Flatliner. Muertes advances, and Paul London glows at receiving the Kiss of Death from Catrina. He may be delusional, but he fought valiantly here tonight.

Result: Mil Muertes advances.

Brenda joins Texano at a bar. She appears to be attempting to seduce him, but she calls him ‘boring’ and ‘dull’. He crushes a bottle in his hands in rage at her insult, but she urges him to settle down. ‘All you need is a woman’s touch’, she says, as Famous B looks on in approval, reeling Texano in.

Marty “The Moth” Martinez vs Fenix: Quater-Final Qualifier

Marty breathes down Melissa Santos’ neck as she announces his name. He is eating from a yellow luncbox, and forces her to take a bite from his sandwich. She spits the bite back in his face, and calls down Fenix. As Mariposa holds the lunchbox at ringside, Melissa is smitten as Fenix makes his way into the ring.

Marty and Fenix grapple fast and fluid. As Fenix gets the upper hand, Mariposa grabs his feet for the first time while he runs the ropes. They go back and forth on the outside, before Fenix dives over the top and onto Marty. When they return to the ring, Mariposa grabs at Fenix for a second time, allowing Marty to take advantage.

Marty rips Fenix’ mask, much to the distress of Melissa. Mariposa looks to add to Marty’s handiwork. Marty continues to claw at the mask back in the ring, throwing a suplex and a sloppy choke in the mix. After being ushered to the corner, Fenix gets a moment of relief, before launching into a series of defensive kicks. A double leg stomp onto Marty’s back, as he is sat on the top rope, sends him tumbling to the mat. Near fall.

Fenix calls for the finish. He climbs to the top rope, but Marty escapes, and follows up with a big boot.  Marty gets Fenix in the underhook position and drops his opponent hard. It’s still not enough. Fenix struggles to get to his feet, but is able to answer Marty’s suppression with a big superkick. As both men lie exhausted, Mariposa bring the lunchbox to ringside, and Melissa stands in her way. The distraction allows Fenix to enact a unique roll-up pinning combination, to secure the win.

But the celebrations are short-lived, as Marty pulls a fork from the lunchbox. He proceeds to rip the skin of Fenix’ face to shreds, Mariposa forcing Melissa to watch as she cries out for mercy from Martinez. Marty calls out to Melissa, “I love you”, and the crowd are deeply disturbed by the menacing scene. Marty and Mariposa retreat, and Melissa holds Fenix’ bloodied head over the ropes and weeps.

Marty’s depth of character at this point is truly captivating. Credit to all the performers on this week’s episode, for delivering a highly entertaining and emotional series of bouts.

Another rollercoaster of events that was the most recent instalment of Lucha Underground comes to a close. Round two of the Cueto Cup will continue next week, and we will have all the coverage you need here, at VultureHound.