Before we get anything this week, we get a title card dedicating the episode to Hayabusa. Aw, man. Fitting, given everything that happens in this week's episode, but definitely sad.
We get some long slow pans of the backstage areas of the Temple before we meet up with Fénix in the locker room, looking at the Gift of the Gods and mentally preparing for his title match. The lights go out and Catrina appears. She says she's tried everything to destroy him and she wishes there was a way for her to take his power so she could have life again.
She wonders if she made the wrong choice by not staying with him. They could have ruled the Temple together. She kisses him and says it's their final kiss. Tonight, Mil Muertes will destroy him once and for all ... and that will bring her back from the dead.
Then she GHOSTS OUT. Fénix is definitely conflicted about all this.
Lucha Underground Trios Championship Loser Leaves Town Match: The Unlikely Trio (Ivelisse, Son of Havoc & Angélico) def. The Disciples of Death (Barrio Negro, Trece & El Siniestro de la Muerte) (c)
Stray observations: Before Matt Striker and Vampiro can even welcome us to the Temple, we're off and running with the ring introductions for the first of two massive title matches tonight.
After the ring introductions, Melissa drops the "loser leaves town" stipulation on the live crowd and the reaction of the Faithful sort of prove the value of the crowd not being privy to any of the non-match vignettes.
This is a real fun match, with Angélico bumping around like a maniac and Ivelisse playing a wonderful face in peril. I just love the Unlikely Trio and it's purely a function of how effective their storyline has been.
There's a real good false finish after Catrina gets involved and the Disciples pull what Striker calls out as "the old Killer Bees trick," but Son of Havoc hits the shooting star press and the Trio regains the titles. I was a little surprised to see this match go less than 10 minutes, but given the rest of the stuff on the show, it makes sense.
What we learned: The Trio is back, baby! This was just the first step in Catrina losing her grip on the Temple. More dominoes are falling later in the evening, but this is certainly important. I love the idea of the Disciples and they're a good piece of the Catrina story, but having The Unlikely Trio be the champs is absolutely the right move. Those belts should be with people the fans care about, defending against other worthy challengers.
Johnny Mundo finds Prince Puma hitting the heavy bag and says, "'Sup, amigo?" There's actually a fantastic interaction here as Mundo is maximum annoying, while Puma is just trying to work out. Mundo says he's going to "take him the slam town" next week. Then he says it isn't Puma's town ... it's his. Then he leaves. Then Puma puts his fist through the heavy bag in anger.
Over in UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, Rey Mysterio is pouring a couple glasses of tequila. El Dragón Azteca pulls up a piece of floor and Rey reveals he's received an invitation ... to the Temple. El Dragón asks if Rey is coming with him. Rey reveals he's received his own invitation. HELL YES THEY'RE BOTH GONNA BE IN AZTEC WARFARE LET'S DO THE DAMN THING.
Bullrope Match: Texano def. Chavo Guerrero
Stray observations: Chavito and Texano already start in the ring, tethered together, while Melissa makes the ring introductions.
Oh, hey! Right off the bat, the Crew abandons Chavo in what seems like a clear separation from him. This is a nice touch, but also hey Officer Ricky Reyes, maybe you are the worst at being an undercover cop.
This was the best possible version of a Bullrope Match, in that it was a normal match with a bullrope involved, rather than that dumb "touch the corners" stipulation. It was a short, decent brawl, but Texano dodged a Frog Splash and hit a sitout powerbomb for the win. Then he whipped Chavo a bit with his own, magical bullrope.
What we learned: Hey, this feud is over! One hopes. One can only assume, at least. That will be welcome news to a whole lot of Lucha Underground fans, if Twitter and the rest of the Internet is any indication.
Backstage, Mil Muertes is FLIPPING THE HELL OUT and beating the stuffing out of the Disciples in the locker room. Trece has the temerity to land a punch, which causes Mil to start strangling him while his eyes glow. Catrina orders him to stop the beatdown (because they're already dead). They head to the ring together.
Meanwhile, 375 MILES FROM THE TEMPLE, Dario Cueto and Black Lotus are standing by while we hear Matanza murdering some more marks.
Dario says it's probably time to roll. Black Lotus asks where to. He says they should take back his Temple. He removes the key from around his neck and unlocks the door ... AND WE FINALLY SEE A BLOOD-SOAKED MATANZA.
IT HAS NEVER BEEN MORE ON THAN IT IS AT THIS MOMENT.
Matt and Vampiro remind us that next week is Aztec Warfare and it's going to be entirely off the chain and bursting with out-of-bounds flavor town, but SHUT UP BECAUSE IT'S MAIN EVENT TIME.
Lucha Underground Championship Match: Fénix def. Mil Muertes (c)
Stray observations: Fénix, the only man to definitively have beaten Muertes, goes right for the champ and gets a kick in the gut for his troubles. He attempts to use his speed and agility to take an advantage, but Mil just pounds on him for a while.
Fénix is great at hope spots and working from underneath, but Muertes had some pretty stuff in his own right, including catching Fénix's with a big cutter coming off of one of those famous rope-straddle springboards.
This also had some great callbacks to the already-classic Grave Consequences casket match, including Muertes tearing open Fénix's mask and busting him open ... and then DRINKING FÉNIX'S BLOOD HOLY LORD. In an absolutely perfect touch, Vampiro gets uncomfortably triggered by that.
The two mortal enemies once again brawl into the crowd in perhaps an even crazier brawl than their last epic showdown. Crazy dives, Muertes bashing a dude's head into the announce desk ... truly something for everyone in this match.
In a wonderful escalation, Fénix rips MUERTES' mask open. Muertes goes bananas and beats the hell out of Fénix in retaliation. As an aside: Muertes has a simply LOVELY head of hair. Muertes tries to bring a chair into things to finish the job, but Fénix suckers Muertes into punching the chair, then bashes him with it a few times, busting the dead man open. IF IT BLEEDS, WE CAN KILL IT.
Muertes kicks out of a springboard 450 in a great false finish. Muertes hits the most massive spinning uranage I've ever seen, but Fénix survives. They both just start throwing bombs as we get close to the endgame. Muertes goes for the flatliner, but Fénix reverses it and rolls up Muertes for the pin ... and the title!
Catrina grabs the microphone and says Fénix should celebrate while he can. Because next week's Aztec Warfare will be for the Lucha Underground title. What's more, Fénix will enter at No. 1, while Muertes will enter at No. 20.
What we learned: Unexpected and wonderful. Absolutely one of the best matches Lucha Underground has ever done, right up there with Grave Consequences.
Catrina's hold on the Temple is fading fast, but she's got one last deck-stacking trick up her sleeve. Can Fénix survive with the title next week? Who will debut? What if neither he nor Muertes walks away from Aztec Warfare with the belt?
MAN SO MUCH IS HAPPENING NEXT WEEK I CAN'T EVEN.
Wow, what an episode. Definitely didn't expect BOTH titles to change hands on this episode. The landscape changed forever on Wednesday and it's about to change even more next week, with Rey making his debut along with probably Matanza and god knows who else.
Absolutely cannot wait. AND WE DIDN'T EVEN GET A FAMOUS B COMMERCIAL THIS WEEK.