With Aztec Warfare 2 right around the corner (Wednesday, March 23 at 8pm ET/PT on the El Rey Network), it felt like a good time to revisit the original Aztec Warfare. And what a better way to celebrate it than with a Tope 10. For those unfamiliar with the Tope 10, this list shows appreciation for the moments which are more exciting than a flying tope.
Time for a quick reminder about the rules for Aztec Warfare. 20 participants are involved with 90 seconds between entrants, eliminations are by pinfall or submission, and straight from Dario Cueto himself, "And because I do love violence, ANYTHING GOES!!!"
If you haven't watched season 1 of Lucha Underground yet, you'll notice that some character alignments are different, like Johnny Mundo as a fan favorite. Some characters hadn't fully evolved into what we know about them today, like Mil Muertes in baby blue pants. And if you're wondering why the title belt looks different now, you can thank Cage for that.
10. Chavo's chair shot to Pentagon Jr.
Before Pentagon Jr. was a badass arm-breaker, he was a stooge. At this particular point in time, he was Chavo's stooge. After eliminating Super Fly with a chair shot to the head, Pentagon celebrated then Chavo whacked upon his noggin for another elimination.
9. "I'm sorry, dude. I'm watching the match."
Matt Striker was out of breath after setting the tone for the final two when he said, "Vamp, help me out." Silence. Vampiro then replied, "I'm sorry, dude. I'm watching the match."
Other choice gems from the commentary duo were:
After discussing Johnny Mundo, Vampiro huffed, "I can't believe you just said that. Man, me and you are about to get in that ring, number three and four, if you keep that up."
While mentioning Johnny Mundo's parkour skills, Vampiro questioned, "Why do you always say por favor? I don't understand." Striker inquired, "Who said por favor? I said parkour." Vampiro continued, "Ohhh. Like that? What do you call that when you do a Shooting Star Press and land on your face?"
On entrant 17, Vampiro said, "I don't see anybody... That's why," as Mascarita Sagrada turned the corner to head down the stairs.
8. Prince Puma eliminating Bael
Puma snapped into a Northern Lights suplex rolling over into a vertical suplex then executing a standing Shooting Star Press for the pin. Nice sequence. It was probably payback for being bitten. RIP Bael.
7. Fenix flying
Fenix also lifted off for a pretty sweet floating swanton.
6. The elimination of Mil Muertes
After the incident down below at number 4, Mil had a conniption and Johnny Mundo pleaded that it wasn't his intention. That loss of focus led to Mil's elimination.
The elimination of Big Ryck was also pretty neat. It took in succession an End of World by Johnny Mundo, a running Shooting Star Press by Prince Puma, and a 450 splash from Fenix as Chavo was already on top of Big Ryck for a double cover.
5. Aztec drums
The show opened with Aztec dancers surrounding the ring. Up above in the bandstand were the Aztec drums, which beat during every countdown. This stupendous pageantry really helped set the mood for the match.
4. Johnny Mundo kicking Catrina out cold
Prince Puma was against the ropes when Catrina grabbed his foot. Puma hair-pulled her up to the apron. As Mil Muertes charged, Puma evaded but Mil put on the brakes just in time so as not to plow through Catrina. That's when Mundo chose to strike. The impact sounded like a gunshot.
3. Fenix dropkicking Mascarita Sagrada
No explanation necessary.
2. Big Ryck vs Mascarita Sagrada
The most enjoyable moment of the match for me. 40 seconds of pure fun. Mascarita was elusive and even taunted with a fighting shuffle stance, but it wasn't enough as Ryck connected a demolishing clothesline.
Big Ryck also had a showdown with Mil Muertes. It was brief beef to beef but still memorable. If only Big Ryck didn't cross paths with the Disciples of Death, we could have had that match in season two.
1. The first ever Lucha Underground champion
In a riveting battle between Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo as the final two, a C4 from the top turnbuckle nor a reverse hurricanrana with an End of the World could get the job done. It took busted balls and a 630 splash for Puma to become champion. A fantastic finish to a fantastic match. I can't wait to see what Aztec Warfare 2 has in store for us.
How does the Aztec Warfare Tope 10 stack up to your list? Any favorites not included? See you Wednesday, March 23 at 8pm ET/PT on the El Rey Network for Aztec Warfare 2. And remember, next time you decide to superkick someone, turn it into a sexy dance first.
*Non-Twitter GIFs are courtesy of the Lucha Underground Imgur profile.