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Lucha Underground recap (Jan. 27, 2016): The Temple is a much darker place

At long last, Season 2 of Lucha Underground is here. The Temple looks more or less the same, but everything is different.

Fade in.

Vampiro (sorry; Ian) is in the Youssef Floro Clinic, Psychotic Break Division. It's been six months since he's been committed (which we saw in the first issue of the Lucha Underground comic book) and 181 days without incident. This is graduation day. Ian says he no longer feels his violent impulses. He's no longer having anger or hallucinations.

His therapist is prescribing him an anti-psychotic. He must avoid the people and places that trigger his violent impulses. Vampiro has one glorious, violent hallucination of killing the doctor and drinking his blood before the world comes into sharp focus. He agrees to the terms of his release.

Outside the clinic, in the middle of the desert, who else but Matt Striker picks Vampiro up. At least he had the presence of mind to cover the sweet low-rider convertible he was driving in the time between parking and seeing Vamp.

Striker says they both got an invitation to return to the Temple, but it's not like it was before. It's a much darker place. Vampiro smiles as the tires spin.


At the Temple, Catrina has taken over Dario Cueto's office. She's the proprietor now. Fénix of all people walks in, carrying the Gift of the Gods championship. Catrina is impressed he had the guts to return. She says it's his right to challenge Mil Muertes for the title, but it's her right to make him wait for a week. That is, of course, if he can manage to hold onto the Gift of the Gods until then. She tells him he'll be facing King Cuerno, who has been hunting him sense they've been gone. She says Mil Muertes will be watching.

And indeed, Mil Muertes now sits on a throne overlooking the Temple (where the band of the week used to be), keeping a watchful eye on everything.

Gift of the Gods Championship Match: King Cuerno def. Fénix (c)

Stray observances: After the long hiatus between seasons, this is exactly the match we needed to see. Amazingly, this was the first one-on-one match ever between the two beloved Lucha Underground originals. REALLY missed seeing the Arrow From the Depths of Hell. It's still gorgeous. Fénix hit one of the most brutal Helluva Kicks I've ever seen. It really can't be overstated how difficult Fénix's little rope-straddle double-jumps are. Fénix always makes them look effortless.

You know, some people find Strike and Vampiro grating, but they're probably my favorite announce team in wrestling. I love Vamp's infectious, unbridled enthusiasm for everything (which sort of makes the contrast with his Dark Master persona even more drastic) and I'm a sucker for how genuinely the two men seem to like each other. Friendship goes a hell of a long way.

In a bit of a shock, Cuerno wins with what I'm choosing to call a package tombstone. It looked vicious as hell.

What we learned: Cuerno is the new Gift of the Gods champion, so polar opposites Fénix and Muertes are NOT on an immediate collision course. It seems likely that they'll hold that card for as long as they can. But now Cuerno has the right to challenge for the title ... or someone can attempt to take the Gift of the Gods from him.


The Unlikely Trio is back! They roll up on their dirt bike and chopper and stroll into the weight room, telling Catrina they're here to fight. Catrina says Mil has very specific instructions for the three of them. He wants to see them fight, all right ... but fight each other. Son of Havoc says they're not going to fight after spending the year trying to get on the same page. Catrina says whoever wins gets to fight Mil Muertes for the title ... tonight. Okay, they're in! Ivelisse says when she wins that title, she's coming for Catrina. Oh man, all of this is going the wreak HELL with the fanfic.


No. 1 Contender Triple Threat Match: Ivelisse def. Son of Havoc and Angélico

Stray observances: Catrina strokes Melissa Santos' face creepily, then whispers in the ring announcer's ear. Melissa nods, shaken, and introduces the triple threat match. The Temple crowd slowly realizing who the three combatants are going to be is pretty great. It's fantastic to finally see Ivelisse in Lucha Underground at full strength again. Angélico's dirtbike pinup gimmick will never not be great.

(Before the triple threat gets underway, we go to the locker room for KING CUERNO IN STREET CLOTHES. Hot damn, that will never get old. Catrina appears and Cuerno says she and Mil have nothing to worry about. Then Catrina disappears, because she's a sultry ghost.)

The Unlikely Trio isn't holding anything back in this one. Ivelisse hits both men with stiff shots, then gets DRILLED with a running knee from Angélico in the corner. This was a solid short triple threat, although after I just praised the announce team, they do tend to sort of be at their worst whenever there's a woman onscreen. Whoops! Son of Havoc goes up for the Shooting Star Press, but Ivelisse crotches him and traps Angélico in the La Magistra cradle for the pin.

What we learned: Catrina, Mil and Cuerno are obviously in cahoots (or at least Cuerno wants them to believe that they are). The Trio are finally lifelong friends and almost certainly have matching tattoos, but they're smart enough to take hold of opportunities that come their way. Ivelisse is back at full strength and can definitely go. She's going to be a major player in Season 2, methinks.


375 miles from Boyle Heights, three goofballs are driving around looking for an underground fighting club called the Temple. They run into Black Lotus of all people, who says they need to follow her.


Lucha Underground Championship Match: Mil Muertes (c) def. Ivelisse

Stray observances: Nice to see that her teammates are staying in Ivelisse's corner as she prepares for her title match. FRIENDSHIP. Muertes makes the long, slow descent from his throne, but of course it isn't going to be a fair fight. The Disciples of Death hit the ring, attacking the Trio and carrying away Angélico and Havoc. It's Ivelisse all by herself against the man of 1,000 deaths.

The story of this match was Ivelisse attempting to evade Muertes' overwhelming power and lock in submission holds. She managed to hit a massive tornado DDT, but Muertes got the shoulder up before three. Catrina got in the ring and held the magical stone up, but got hit by an accidental Muertes spear. Ivelisse grabbed a roll-up and got a near fall that had the Temple crowd absolutely losing their minds. Muertes recovered and hit a flatliner for the win. Catrina teased going for the Lick of Death on Ivelisse, but apparently deemed her unworthy of the humiliation. She told Muertes to pick her up and hit another chokeslam, but PRINCE PUMA shows up out of nowhere to superkick Muertes and escort Ivelisse to safety.

As Muertes jawed at Puma, who else but PENTAGÓN JUNIOR should appear? He hit a lungblower on Muertes and then BROKE HIS DANG ARM. Well, that probably triggered Vampiro a WHOLE bunch.

What we learned: OH HOLY CRAP. We learned that Ivelisse is a force to be reckoned with and that Catrina and Mil won't play fair and love flaunting their newfound power. We now know that there is a spectacularly intriguing main event scene shaping up, as both Puma and Pentagón Jr. will be gunning for Muertes' title ... although the broken arm may cause some problems there.


Back in the desert, Black Lotus brings the three yokels to a building where ... Dario Cueto is waiting. Dario warns them that things can get pretty violent inside. After one of the doofuses (doofii?) gets punched for casual sexism, they say they love violence. Cueto charges them 20 bucks each and opens the door. As they walk inside, they ask who's fighting tonight. Cueto grins and says they are. He closes the door and counts his money as we hear the sounds of what can only be Matanza tearing these three yahoos limb from limb.

What we learned: Dario continues to be an evil mastermind, setting up shop far from the Temple and paying suckers for the right to be literally eaten alive. He's clearly trying to get back to a position where he can grab his power back. I'm choosing to believe he doesn't even need the money; he's just powering up his demon brother AND making some whiskey and coke money on the side.

It was a long wait,but definitely worth it. Lucha Underground hasn't lost a step. Bring on Episode 2.

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