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Tope 10: Lucha Underground (June 15, 2016)

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Each and every episode of Lucha Underground features maneuvers, quotes, outfits, props, scenes, and stories that deserve recognition. That is where the Tope 10 come in. This list shows appreciation for the moments which are more exciting than a flying tope.

If you are new to the Lucha Underground scene, you can catch it Wednesdays at 8pm ET/PT on the El Rey Network or buy season one and season two on iTunes. See if El Rey is available in your area. If you haven't had a chance to watch this week's episode yet, then check out the double 6ing preview, live blog & open thread, recap, highlight package, and the final two squaring off in the Six to Survive main event featuring Fenix, Ivelisse, Johnny Mundo, King Cuerno, Pentagon Jr., and Taya.

10. Voodoo Glow Skulls

I want to give a shout out to the Voodoo Glow Skulls for their performances the past few weeks. Their wild, wacky style with the jumbo googly-eyed monster and the masked man with a skeleton staff is a perfect fit in the Temple. I share the same sentiment as Vampiro, "Thank you very much for once again schooling it."

9. Melissa Santos' introduction of Pentagon Jr.

Santos gave a sassy look and snarled, "And from Xalapa, Veracuz, Mexico." There was also disdain in her voice when announcing the winner. For those that missed it or don't remember, Pentagon tried to break Melissa's arm in season one just because he is a jerkface. Time has not healed that emotional wound. It's good to see that little touch of continuity.

8. Fenix and King Cuerno tossing Ivelisse

Equal parts funny and cool. It was funny how Fenix and King Cuerno threw Ivelisse out of the ring. It was cool how her body was turned over to execute an aerial attack.

7. Fenix flying

After seeing it numerous times by now, that move still excites me. It probably always will. So many revolutions.

6. Submission duel

Pentagon struck first with the House of Pain, which is the featured GIF for this spot. I don't think I've ever seen the House of Pain submission before. It looks like a doozy.

Fenix retaliated with a cloverleaf style submission. Pentagon got another turn with some kind of standing 69 pretzel leg submission. Fenix got the last laugh of this duel by hitting a cutter then rolling into a dragon sleeper.

5. Johnny Mundo has been eliminated

That was a neat way to eliminate Mundo. I like how the pin appeared to be more unexpected circumstance than intention.

4. The return of Mil Muertes

Mil rushed out like a bull. A spear, ground and pummel attack, and a powerbomb was what it took to dismantle King Cuerno. Mil's blood red eyes are dope.

Unfortunately, that moment didn't get the raucous crowd reaction it deserved. That is one negative to taping so many shows beforehand. The crowd most likely were not aware of the story of Mil breaking out of the glass case in King Cuerno's trophy room.

Credit to Johnny Mundo for making that portion even more entertaining. I love how he scrams at the sight of Mil. Plus, his smug shrug before hitting the End of the World to pin King Cuerno made me laugh. Mundo makes everything better when he's on screen. Chingonsisimo!

3. Taya's Northern Lights suplex/Berzerker stomp combo

Sadly, the GIF only shows the stomp portion of that combo.

For me, Taya stole the show in Six to Survive. Her best action was against Ivelisse. She comically baited Ivelisse into a kick from Johnny Mundo then did a Chong Li celebration. Taya also attempted a moonsault.  Even though she missed, it still looked pretty sweet. I had no idea Taya was athletic enough to perform that maneuver.

I'm loving the mini-feud between Taya and Ivelisse. A showdown between those two was one of the things I was looking forward to in this match, which they delivered to full satisfaction. I hope they get a one-on-one contest at Ultima Lucha Dos.

2. Pentagon's piledrivers

Pentagon was jacking necks all match long. He had the reverse flipping piledriver. Mexican Destroyers outside and inside the ring. (Side note: I am a fan of how Fenix lied dead after impact on the outside Mexican Destroyer.) And brutal package piledrivers to Taya and Fenix, the last of which earned him the right to face Matanza at Ultima Lucha Dos.

1. Chop fest

When down to the final three, the tired fighters went crazy delivering chops in the center of the ring. 18 chops total.

Part two took place outside the ring with Fenix and Pentagon Jr. 16 total chops. Props to the commentary duo for their insight. Matt Striker explained, "These fighters choose open hand strikes because they don't want to break their hands throwing punches." Vampiro followed with, "Well, from a guy who teaches people Krav Maga, I can tell you right now a palm strike will do more damage any time. A fist, you might even break your hand if you hit him wrong. A palm strike causes more damage." Lines like that make the action feel more like a strategic sport than a silly spectacle.

Part three came near the end with Fenix and Pentagon on their knees throwing strikes. 26 total blows. This part was more a mix of chops and slaps. Effectively rousing nonetheless.

I'll always stand up and cheer when competitors slug it out. I especially enjoyed the increasing intensity of the chop fests as the competitors became more worn down and used the ferocity as an adrenaline boost. Woo!

In last week's poll, 73% of 214 votes were rooting for Pentagon Jr. to win Six to Survive. Johnny Mundo was a distant second with 9%. Ivelisse had one vote more than King Cuerno to come in third with 7%.

How does this week's Tope 10 stack up to your list? Any favorites not included? If you were late to the viewing party, feel free to share your thoughts about anything in the episode. While waiting for next week, enjoy pictures of Jack Evans on a wanted poster and Dario Cueto as Master in the Master Blaster combo from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Lucha! Lucha! Lucha!

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