Lucha Underground's sophomore season is just a month away. The wrestling telenovela, while not having the huge audience that WWE, TNA, or even Ring of Honor may have, has been beloved by most wrestling fans simply for embracing what they are: a fictional wrestling show that embraces both the wrestling and its fiction. This unique brand of storytelling produced by famed reality show producer Mark Burnett has produced many moments in its first season.
But what's the best Lucha Underground moment of Season 1?
Recently, we took this question to you; once again, you've come through with some awesome moments. Over three dozen to be exact, but we can only let in ten. But before we get to the list, here first are...
Ten honorable mentions.
1. The season's final match, Prince Puma vs. Mil Muertes for the Lucha Underground Championship, was a barnburner as expected, but (SPOILZ, YOU GUYS), Puma's love for the top rope came to haunt him as Mil Muertes took him out with a SUPER FLATLINER OF DOOM, clinching the win and a clean sweep for Team Catrina.
2. Ivellise, Son of Havoc, and Angelico, a trio who most anyone watching thought they could not get alongânot even a little bit, thought they had the Lucha Underground Trios Championship, but not so fast, my friend. After winning the tournament final, they were thrown a wrench their way: the team of dysfunction had to take on Dario's personal hitmen, The Crew if they wanted to claim the titles for themselves.
3. A rivalry that lasted most of Lucha Underground's first half of the season, Drago and King Cureno turned ugly in their third encounter when Drago dove about 20 feet off a makeshift roof, sending a prone Cureno through a table.
4. The end of GRAVE CONSEQUENCES was punctuated not by either of the competitors, but by Mil Muertes' ex-manager Catrina. Before shutting the lid on the coffin, Catrina twisted the knife just a bit by giving her lick of death to Muertes' lucky stone. Hell hath no fury, amirite?
5. The June 17 episode featured a single match: Prince Puma versus Johnny Mundo for the Lucha Underground Championship. The match was under Ironman rules, running for the entire night. As you can probably imagine, it was a thriller, with (SPOILZ, EVERYONE!) Prince Puma coming from down 4-1 to win the match in the show's final seconds.
6. Most battle royals are the same: cluster of bodies, punches and kicks, fights for attrition, that sorta thing. The first Lucha Underground of 2015 would crown the show's first ever champion, but not just in any match, or any battle royal for that matter: an anything goes battle royal called Aztec Warfare.
7. Though he didn't win, The Mack provided the most exciting moment of Ultima Lucha's opening match when he gave the Stone Cold Stunner to Brian Cage. Middle fingers. Beer. And no three count. That's bullshit. That should have been the finish, and you know it. You know it in your heart.
8. That show's opening match would have a just as memorable finish when THEY CALL HIM CAGE used a cinder block--A CINDER BLOCK--to finish off The Mack.
9. When Catrina's around, you might not want her to lick your face. That's her way of marking you for death and destruction. And make no mistake: that lick don't discriminate. After the Disciples of Death won the trios championships, Ivellise found out the hard way if Catrina's gonna lick you, she's gonna lick you. Her lick on Ivellise was a little angry though, as she licked her whole face, including her eye and nose. Gross.
10. As dysfunctional as they were, the trio of Ivellise, Angelico, and Son of Havoc somehow worked together quite well. When their trios titles were slipping away, Angelico made a huge save by diving off one of the roofs of the smaller rooms of the Temple and dropkicked Mr. Cisco off the ladder. It was one of the most insane things I've ever seen. Ever.
So, if these aren't good enough to make the best of Lucha Underground Season 1, what is? Well, here they are, as voted by you...
The top ten moments of Lucha Underground Season 1.
This was voted by you, so if you hate the list, that's on you.
10. Prince Puma's spear through four tables.
On June 17, Dario Cueto ordered a single match on the show, an all-night Ironman match between champion Prince Puma and challenger Johnny Mundo. About a half hour into the match, Mundo takes a 4-1 lead over the champion. With the match and championship seemingly in hand, he took the next few moments to take in the house band. But Mundo forgot the cardinal rule: as long as there's time, the match is not in hand.
Puma climbs a ladder, and though Mundo does his best to prevent it, Puma makes it to the band's platform, where he beans him with a 2x4 and a guitar (immediately drawing a couple dimes). With both men staggered, Puma gets himself in position and spears Mundo through four tables to the floor. It would be the turning point of the match, as it began Puma's rally towards retaining the Lucha Underground Championship. And provide one of the most extreme moments in wrestling in 2015.
9. The Prince Puma-Johnny Mundo Epic Handshake Of Respect.
Who needs context? Just look at it and be mesmerized. BE MESERMIZED, I SAID!
8. Mil Muertes kills Fenix with a powerbomb.
So remember that one time Fenix with the help of Catrina put Mil Muertes in a coffin (this is something we'll elaborate on later)? Well, not only did that act of aggression not stand, it turned out to be an elaborate ruse. Now what I'm about to explain may be a little to wacky for the wrestling purists.
Turned it out it was all a trap concocted by Catrina and Mil because they thought they could harness the power of Fenix to resurrect himself or something. Anyways, everyone's favorite dead luchadore rose from the coffin and went after the man that put him there, and needless to say, the man of a thousand deaths did not get over it. I mean, wouldn't you?
On the May 27 episode, Muertes punctuates the deathmatch against Fenix, by killing him straight dead with a powerbomb through the roof. Needless to say, Fenix didn't have any life left in him after that; the Disciples of Death carried the lifeless luchador back to the ring. Flatliner. Three count. Lick. Now Mil's even.
7. Ivellise fights on one ankle.
Ivellise Velez is a tough, tough woman. She's also injury-prone; that cost her a shot at winning the 2011 Tough Enough. At a Lucha Underground taping in February, she turned up with an ankle in a cast and crutches. Turned out it wasn't a work, as she did indeed break her ankle. A broken ankle would normally put most people on the shelf for quite sometime, especially in an endeavor such as professional wrestling.
Ivellise Velez is not most people. On the May 20 episode (taped in February), Ivellise breaks her ankle during the trios title match against the crew. She would wrestle the next few episodes with said broken ankle, including winning a ladder match for her team the next show. She would go down swinging, as eventually her broken ankle played into the Disciples of Death winning the tag titles at Ultima Lucha. But let it never be forgotten: Ivellise is indeed the baddest bitch in the building.
6. The Cero Miedo match.
One of the big bouts of Ultima Lucha was a Cero Miedo match between armbreaker extraordinare Pentagon Jr. and lucha legend Vampiro. A Cero Miedo (or No Fear for our non-Spanish speaking Cagesiders) match is basically a fancy name for a hardcore match.
Now I know what you're thinking: a hardcore match in 2015. What could they possibly get away with, considering everything we know about concussions and such, plus the fact that many people haven't seen a decent hardcore bout in years?
Well, right out the gate, we get Vampiro as a demonic pope. But you know Pentagon Jr.: cero miedo. Nonplussed, Pentagon rushes in with a steel chair to Vampiro's back. And not just one chair shot, but many. Vampiro fights his way back in the bout--through the crowd, no less--but Pentagon slams him on the concrete and pounds him with chairs again and again until the referee forces a stop to the bout.
But Vampiro would not stay down. Like Mick Foley in 1998, Vampiro fought his way off the stretcher and kept on fighting. The two continued to beat on each chairs, thumbtacks, lighttubes, and even a flaming table. Both men bled and gave their all, but in the end, Pentagon Jr. was victorious. But Vampiro wouldn't stay down in defeat, demanding Pentagon to break his arm. And surely enough, he obliged. Pentagon declared that his mission set out by his master was done. Then the biggest twist of Lucha Underground's first season was revealed.
No, Vince, but close.
Vampiro was Pentagon Jr.'s master all along. The sick minds of Vamp and Pentagon are gonna do a lot of damage in Lucha Underground's second season. I mean, if they can do what they did to one another, imagine what they'll do to someone else.
5. GRAVE CONSEQUENCES.
Just as the good hardcore match has gone the way of the do-do bird, so has the casket match. Seriously, they're all a degree of awful, even the better ones.
Then the March 18, 2015 episode of Lucha Underground happened. On that episode, GRAVE CONSEQUENCES. A coffin match where the loser would end up being carried out in a coffin. I mean, obviously, right? But they drove that point home with a specially decorated coffin and a death squad and everything. Somebody's going six feet under. Hey, this show already had a death when Bael was sacrificed to Dario Cueto's brother Matanza.
The match, as Cagesiders Vidence and LU reviewer Manolo Has Pizzazz have put it, was beautifully violent. The casket, though never opened once by either competitor, came into play often, as both men used it as a tag team partner. In the end it was a double stomp to the back that put Mil Muertes in the coffin, then Catrina, licking Mil's lucky stone, punctuated it by dumping it in the coffin before slamming it shut.
As mentioned earlier, it was an elaborate ruse, as Mil Muertes returned a few weeks later and made Fenix's life a living hell.
4. Pentagon Jr.'s package piledriver/Gory neckbreaker combo.
A moment to recognize once again that Pentagon Jr. is awesome. Why do you need context for this? Just watch it and see how awesome it is.
3. Johnny Mundo sends Alberto El Patron through a window.
Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron were two men that washed out in WWE over the last decade, both leaving amid a bit of (or in Alberto's case, a ton of) controversy.
Somehow, the winds of fate saw the two land in Lucha Underground. On the April 23 episode, Patron defeated Mundo. Three weeks later, Patron met Hernandez (who wasn't even supposed to be in LU in the first place, but that's another story) to determine who would face Prince Puma for the Lucha Underground Championship. Alberto was moments from putting it away when A WILD JOHNNY MUNDO APPEARS, drags Alberto out the ring, and DDT's him on the ramp. Johnny wasn't done.
EVIL MUNDO launches Alberto through Dario Cueto's window (or, depending on who's telling the story, Alberto tried unsuccessfully to escape Mundo's path of rage by trying to jump in Dario's office, but badly misjudged the jump). Yup. He mad. But it would come back to haunt the former Johnny Nitro.
Cause you see, three months later, in Alberto's last act in a Lucha Underground ring, he got payback by sending Mundo through a glass door pane. As Matt Striker said, payback's a bitch.
2. Ultima Lucha's final scene.
When Ultima Lucha ended, the show's future was in the air. Would it get the funding for a second season? Would it find a network where they could get more exposure? What would happen to the men and women of the show? None of those questions were answered right away, but to drive the point home that what you're watching is a wrestling telenovela and not say, a PPV that tells you to tune into their next weekly show.
Ultima Lucha ended with a bit of a cliffhanger with everyone clearing out of the Temple. Dario Cueto and Black Lotus pack away anything they could find as they were probably on the run. Fenix rode away with his Gift of the Gods Championship, a title he could trade away for a shot at the Lucha Underground title should he so choose. But he was trailed. Marty the Moth kidnapped Sexy Star. Would she live to see another day? The trio of dysfunction rode off, but with the mission that they would reunite soon enough for another shot at the Disciples of Death. Drago and Aerostar (who had a thrilling best of five series) literally flew away. Vampiro and Pentagon began their plan for world domination. While a mysterious luchador put a big question mark over the Lucha Underground billboard, playing to its uncertain future, an empty Temple turns out the lights, possibly for the last time as Dario disappears.
To be continued. We hoped.
Then, on September 21:
Believers, are you ready? #LuchaUnderground season 2 is coming in 2016! pic.twitter.com/a7233Rft4c— Lucha Underground (@LuchaElRey) September 21, 2015
Welcome back, Lucha Underground. January 27 cannot come fast enough.
1. Angelico's really, really, really big dive.
So... can we all agree that Angelico's a crazy person? Can we? If we're not in agreement, then we need to talk.
On the April 23 episode, Lucha Underground crowned its first ever trios champions in the trio of dysfunction (i.e. Ivellise, Son of Havoc, and Angelico, aka the weirdest love triangle this side of Daniel Bryan and the Bellas. Wow... that may be the most obscure reference I've ever done in this feature. And I doubt any of you will get it.). But they had little time to enjoy winning the tournament and the titles because Dario Cueto added A FINAL BOSS LEVEL to begin immediately following the match. The trio of dysfunction would have to face Dario's personal instruments of destruction, The Crew.
And the trios champions took a beating. Ivellise was working with an injured foot. Son of Havoc may have dislocated his shoulder. And Angelico was left for dead. With a kendo stick in the ring as her only defense, Ivellise with whatever strength her body had tried to make her way to the stick that two-thirds of the Crew was making their way towards... HOLY SHIT! WHERE DID ANGELICO COME FROM? WHAT IN THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED? WHAT DID I JUST SEE?
In keeping with the superhero vibe of this show, Angelico swooped in with a crossbody from the roof of Dario Cueto's office--THE ROOF...OF DARIO CUETO'S OFFICE--onto the Crew in what was easily one of the most insane things anyone has seen in the history of anything. Seriously. That could have--and should have--gone wrong in so many ways. But on this night, the stars aligned for what you considered to be the signature moment of Lucha Underground's first season.
Oh, and the trio of dysfunction won.
Consider your last request fulfilled, Zents. Godspeed, brother.
Obviously, this is the last Cageside Countdown of 2015, but don't worry kids. There'll be more coming in the new year. For now, feel free to comment on this one, and check out the ghosts of Cageside Countdown's past.