Linus Report: Lucha Underground, 17/06/2015

Hey, it’s Lucha Underground! It’s that one show with that one match!

The show started with a re-cap of the events that led us to tonight, featuring Johnny Mundo, Dario Cueto, and Alberto el Patrón. Can you say foreshadowing?

The announcers welcomed us to the temple, and Vampiro thanked this week’s band, Mexican Dubwiser. Matt Striker laid out the show – one match, for the Lucha Underground Championship, and the man with most pinfalls at the end of the show wins the belt.

Hey, it’s Melissa Santos! She told the crowd the rules of the match – no DQs, no countouts, most falls wins – and then introduced the combatants – Lucha Underground champion Prince Puma, and the challenger Johnny Mundo!

After a handshake, they started slowly. Smart fellas. It was all matwork and WRESTLING! early doors, before Mundo knocked Puma to the outside and hit a corkscrew plancha. Puma dodged and Mundo landed on his feet, but then Puma hit the same dive to take Mundo down.

After a break, they exchanged nearfalls and then Puma hit a sunset flip for the first pin of the match, after nine minutes of action.

Mundo came after Puma fast, and took him down. Puma broke free and hit a dropkick and a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Puma went up top but Mundo caught him with a dropkick in mid-air, and then started working on Puma’s arm.

Puma came back and hit an RKO, and then went for a springboard dive, but Mundo dodged. Mundo tried to hit the End of the World but Puma pulled him down, and Mundo somehow managed to pin Puma (with his feet on the ropes for leverage) to even up the match.

After a break, Puma went for a quick schoolboy but Mundo kicked out and hit a side Russian legsweep. He lifted Puma up top but the champion fought back and hit a huracanrana off the apron. With both men down, Mundo crawled under the ring and had grabbed a wooden box and a chair when Puma pulled him back out.

Mundo tried to suplex Puma onto the wooden box but Puma reversed it and powerbombed Mundo onto it, smashing it to pieces. Great visual. Desperate, Mundo grabbed a crowbar and whacked Puma with it, then dragged him into the ring and covered him to go 2-1 up, after twenty-two minutes.

The referee checked on Puma – he had just been hit with a crowbar, after all – but Mundo bulled in and hit Moonlight Drive for another pinfall, going 3-1 one up. He then hit the End of the World for another pin, to take a commanding lead.

With Puma down on the mat, and down in the match, Mundo called for a bottle of water. He drank some, poured some more over his head, and then threw the rest at a prone Puma. Puma popped up and hit a desperation DDT but Mundo kneed him threw the ropes and hit a sick neckbreaker off the apron, leaving the crowd – not for the first time in the match – chanting “Holy Shit!”

After a break, Mundo pulled a ladder out from under the ring and rammed it into Puma’s head. While Puma was down, he grabbed two tables and set them up by the entrance way, under where the band plays. Yeah, you got it, but wait a while, right? He picked Puma up, threw him into the wall, and then set him up on the tables before climbing up onto the railing above. Puma roused and followed him up and over into the crowd, where they brawled, to the delight of the fans.

Puma got the best of the brawl and suplexed Mundo onto the top of the stairs. He then went back to the ring to grab two more tables, which he set up on top of the two Mundo had left. He went to grab Mundo, to throw him through the tables, but Mundo kicked him over the railing and onto the floor, narrowly missing the tables.

Mundo then climbed up to the band’s area, and grabbed a mic’. He told the crowd to look at the score, aiming to stall it out to the finish, three pins up, and then told the band to play a song as he drank some more water. Puma climbed back up towards Mundo, who tried to hit him with a 2×4, but Puma caught it and whacked Mundo with it. Puma then grabbed a guitar from the band’s M Bison-looking singer, and nailed Mundo over the head, then speared him off the stage and down through the tables to the floor.

Well, that was a mess. I don’t mean they fucked it up, I mean it was a twisted wreckage of bodies and tables. It was awesome. They went to a break and came back with that rarest of things for Lucha Underground, a replay. And then another. And then another. Like I said, awesome.

Puma was first up and dragged Mundo back to the ring, where he pinned him to make it 4-2 in Mundo’s favour, after forty-four minutes. Both men were spent but they started brawling again, and Puma hit a kick and a powerbomb for another pinfall, making it 4-3 to Mundo with just minutes remaining.

Still winning on pinfalls, Mundo tried to run away, leading Puma around the ring, and even trying to hide behind the announcers. Puma caught him and took him down in the ring, and went for a splash, but Mundo ran away again, climbing the steps of the Temple.

Suddenly, he was attacked by Alberto el Patrón, who tossed him down the steps and then threw him around at ringside, even putting him over the announcers’ table. He left Mundo in the ring and Puma hit a 630 Splash for a match-tying pinfall.

Alberto grabbed a mic’ and said that Puma & Mundo were now even, but that he & Mundo were not. He said he was going to kick Mundo’s ass and warned Puma he would still be coming for his title.

Back in the ring, Puma tried to roll-up Mundo and they traded nearfalls, but neither man could get a pin as the clock ticked down. Finally, as the clock neared zero, Puma hit a dropkick, and then another 630 Splash for the ninth pinfall and a 5-4 lead. Before Mundo could recover, the bell rang for the end of the match, and Prince Puma was still the Lucha Underground champion!

After the match, Johnny Mundo seethed as Prince Puma celebrated. After fifty-four minutes of punishing action, the show was done, and what a show it was. Iron Man matches – and, let’s be honest, the One Show One Match concept is just an Iron Man match – can be tricky things to pull off but these two knocked it out of the park, no doubt helped by a little judicious editing.

But that’s the strength of Lucha Underground – what it presents may not be actual reality, but a twisted, better version of it. Top, top stuff.

(Lucha Underground airs in the US on the El Rey Network on Wednesdays at 9pm ET, and en Español on Unimas on Saturdays at 4pm ET. It does not currently air in the UK but you can probably find it somewhere out there in the ether…)

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