Lucha Underground: Ultima Lucha review Night 1

Lucha Underground had its season finale over the last two weeks. I wasn’t in a rush to watch it as I knew it’d be the last time all year I’d get to watch new episodes of my favorite wrestling promotion.

But when I finally did, it more than lived up to my high expectations and In one sitting, this will likely rival Wrestle Kingdom 9 as my favorite show of the year. Since the show was a two-parter, so is the recap. Night one definitely sets the stage for an unforgettable final act with some .

Back in the dungeon, Dario Cueto drops a major bombshell on Black Lotus — her mentor, Dragon Azteca, was the one who killed her parents and blamed Dario’s brother, Matanza, for it.

Falls Count Anywhere: The Mack vs. “The Machine” Cage

What made Ultima Lucha such an anticipated event is that every match has had sufficient buildup. Mack and Cage have issues stemming from the locker room ambush when Davari and Big Ryck were considering their third man for a Trios match.  Mack has beaten Cage twice, but they still hate each other.

Ultima Lucha - Mack vs CageDespite Cage taking two clean losses to The Mack, he’s lost absolutely none of his credibility with the fans. That’s a credit to the booking, which gets that winning and losing matters, but the follow-up is equally important. Cage wasn’t treated like a jobber after losing so the fans still buy him as a threat. The falls count anywhere format worked great for both guys.

We don’t see enough hatred in feuds anymore. This match was INSANE with some tremendous near falls including one fun spot when The Mack found a cooler and channeled Stone Cold Steve Austin complete with beer chug and a stunner. The crazy finish came when Cage stomped Mack’s head through a cinder block for the pinfall victory.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Cage and Mack haven’t exactly been mid-carders on the LU roster, but they both raised their game for this one putting together an immensely entertaining opening match that sets the bar high for the rest of the roster to follow.

Trios Championship: Angelico, Son of Havoc and Ivelisse vs. The Disciples of Death (Barrio Negro, Trece and El Sinestro de la Muerte) with Catrina

Lucha Underground - Disciples of Death Ultima LuchaCatrina wants all the Lucha Underground gold and dispatched her Disciples to capture the Trios title. Gotta figure this match would have been much more high-profile barring Ivelisse’s leg injury. As is, like every match since Team Havoc won the titles, it’s a glorified handicapped match.

The DODs are wearing some sweet colored skeleton masks to help further distinguish them from one another. There’s not a whole lot of flow here as it’s more or less a tornado match with 2 ganging up on Havoc or Angelico after taking Ivelisse out for extended periods of time.

In his continuing efforts to kill himself for the audience, Angelico leaps from another high stage set onto the DODs. In a rare botch for LU, the camera angle doesn’t fully convey how high up Angelico was and didn’t look nearly as cool as the sweeping shot of his initial dive into the ring in the Trios Title tournament finale.

Ultima Lucha - Angelico dives on Disciples of DeathWith Angelico down, Ivelisse finally did what I’ve been begging someone to do all along — go after Catrina’s power stone. Unfortunately, a one-legged Ivelisse was no match for Catrina, who clocked her with the stone, making The Baddest B in the Building easy prey for a Disciples pinfall and new Trios champions.

Ultima Lucha - Ivelisse getting licked by CatrinaRating: 3 out of 5 This was a fun match, but it never was able to get to that next level due to the familiar Team Havoc match set-up of 3 on 2. Catrina’s lick of death on Ivelisse was definitely the most shorts constricting one yet. And the former champs have a legitimate reason as to why they should get a rematch once Ivelisse is fully healed.

Believer’s Backlash: Drago vs. Hernandez

Initially, I thought Drago kinda got a bum deal here as he’d made the triumphant return just a few weeks ago to earn a title shot and now was in a feud with Hernandez. I was really surprised this was the main event for Night One, but midway through the match, I came around.

Hernandez pissed off the Temple believers (fans) so Dario was giving them an opportunity to get some payback as a group of fans surrounded the ring armed with belts they could use to force the action back to the ring. Of course, the fans had no interest in lashing Drago, which frustrated Hernandez. They had no such problem when Hernandez got tossed out and he took some major lashes.

Ultima Lucha - Hernandez vs DragoBy the end, Hernandez had some serious welts on his back. Hernandez played the cowardly bully well running away from the strikes as opposed to fighting the fans like he promised Dario. Drago  countered Hernandez’s SuperMex tope by spraying him with yellow mist then raised the stakes by bringing out nunchucks and hitting a couple of splashes for the win.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 This was a nice back and forth and since we don’t get a ton of this stipulation match, it felt fresher than the standard no DQ gimmick. Drago is easily one of the most popular members on the roster and the fans dig him and with the first two luchas ending with rudo wins, it made sense for a technico victory to close out Night One.

Final File: Cage vs. Mack stole the show further cementing Cage’s status as Lucha Underground’s best kept secret. The trios match was a bit disappointing, but for understandable reasons. The main event was fun, but would have worked just as well as an opener allowing Mack and Cage to put a perfect bow on the first part of Ultima Lucha.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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