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Lucha Underground recap & reactions (Sept. 7, 2016): Wheel of Misfortune

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Season three of Lucha Underground premiered with two title matches and a superstar main event. They wasted no time in picking right up where they left us.

Click here to get full results with the live blog.

Dario Cueto's prison release

Season three starts off with a glorious shot of Dario Cueto doing pullups. Cueto is looking lean and mean in a white tank top. All 120 pounds of him. (Side note: What is that style of shirt called these days? The top two names in my vocabulary are no longer socially acceptable.)

Cueto goes to the guy that hands over personal belongings. Guess who it is? The freaking Honky Tonk Man. Cueto collects his goods; one money clip stacked with cash, one cell phone, one gold watch, and one giant key.

Cueto gets in a limo, which already contains Reno Raines and the master lord. Mr. ML threatens, "Waster my time again and your next sentence will be death."

Fantastic opening scene. I hope we get various surprise cameos from wrestling legends throughout the season. It was a funny juxtaposition of Dario Cueto's skinny frame being in peak physical condition. I shouldn't be surprised though. He needs his strength when bashing in brains with his red bull.

Dario's Dial of Doom

The Chimpz play us into the Temple. Vampiro washes his hands of the Pentagon situation. He only wants to be an announcer. I'm not certain, but the symbol in the center of the ring looks different. Or maybe it got a fresh coat of paint.

Dario Cueto is in the ring to announce the main event. Rey Mysterio against, "a man that tried to break my arm at Ultima Lucha Dos. A man I would fire if he hadn't redeemed himself in my eyes by bringing the most violence I have ever seen in this ring when he bled Vampiro like a pig. Oink, oink, oink." Eleven total swine noises.

Dario introduces his new concept, Dario's Dial of Doom. Spin the wheel, and the winning name gets a title match. There is no mention of how often Dario's Dial of Doom will be put into use this season. Son of Havoc is the first to reap the reward.

Dario is absolutely killing it so far in this episode. He reaffirmed that he is the best thing about this show. As for the Dial of Doom concept, I like it. It will give us lots of fresh matchups without having to burn through stories of luchadores earning number one contendership.

Thumbs up for giving us Dario's rationale for keeping Pentagon DARK in the Temple. It tied up loose ends and gave us a glimpse into the type of person Dario is. Anyone who has watched multiple episodes with Dario already knows this, but it is good for those who chose to jump in for the first time by watching the season three premiere.

Lucha Underground Championship: Matanza defeated Son of Havoc via Wrath of the Gods

Son of Havoc used quickness and agility to produce offense, while Matanza displayed power. It was a lot more back and forth than I, and Dario Cueto, expected. Havoc did his usual awesome flippy stuff and used submissions to create suspense that he might become victorious. In the end, Matanza countered to hit his finisher for the win.

This was a pretty good match, but I never got sucked in enough to believe Havoc was going to win on any of his pinfall attempts. I think Matanza needs a dominant victory against his next opponent. He is losing that aura of invincibility. Pentagon DARK beat him from pillar to post at Ultima Lucha Dos, and Havoc controlled most of this match.

An interesting note on commentary. Vampiro openly mentioned how Matanza has been locked in a cage. I believe that is the first time they broke that wall. I wonder if it will become the norm. I kind of hope not. I enjoy how everything backstage stays backstage.

Worldwide Underground in Dario Cueto's office

Johnny Mundo is clamoring for a title match. He calls Son of Havoc a d-bag loser, which makes PJ Black repeat d-bag and laugh. Dario is sticking to his wheel, "Maybe a fortunous spin..." Mundo retorts, "I make my own fortune. GIVEMEMYTITLEMATCH!" Cueto brings up how they lost the Trios titles. They blame it on Angelico. "We took care of him." The foursome then starts cackling with laughter.

We get a flashback scene for the night of Ultima Lucha Dos. Worldwide Underground ambushed Angelico, beat him bloody, then slammed a car door on his leg. "Welcome to Slamtown, you pasty string bean." Oh, I would be remiss to not mention Johnny Mundo was wearing a scarf with no shirt. He is the essence of chingonsisimo.

Back to the present in Cueto's office and we see Dario dying with laughter about the story he was just told. Great story but still no title shot. Mundo wants Sexy Star with the Gift of the Gods on the line. No dice, since he lost his last match. Taya won at Ultima Lucha Dos, so she gets the shot.

Any time we get Worldwide Underground on screen is a good time. I like PJ Black's role of repeating stuff Johnny Mundo says. Poor Angelico. I was looking forward to seeing him battle Mundo. I enjoy how after all this time Dario still treats the members of Team Havoc with no respect.

Ivelisse vs Catrina set for Ultima Lucha Tres

Ivelisse was in the ring talking trash and throwing down the challenge. Lights out, lights on. Catrina was up in a corner for her reply. "Bring it on, bitch."

This was a nice short scene with fire, but it felt real weird to be setting up a match for a show that is 40 weeks away. It wasn't until after the show that I recalled rumors about Ivelisse and Angelico both being injured in real life. Now, this scene makes sense. I don't know how long she was out for. They had a condensed taping schedule, so it is tough to guess when she would have returned. It will be a real shame if we have to go pretty much the entire season without Ivelisse.

Gift of the Gods Championship: Sexy Star defeated Taya via rollup after botched interference from Johnny Mundo

Hey, Melissa Santos. What's with giving Taya the side eye during her introduction?

Okay match. Nothing bad. Nothing cool either. It started with mat-based maneuvers then progressed to their style of brawling inside the ring. The high point was them slapping each other once apiece. The sound of each slap popped. The finish came as Worldwide Underground entered ringside, even though Taya was in control. Mundo held down Sexy, but Sexy escaped and Taya crashed into Mundo. Rollup victory for Sexy Star.

After the match, they put the boots to Sexy Star. Out came the Trios champs to even the odds. It looks like we'll get a four-on-four bout real soon.

I'm happy there is no dissension among Worldwide Underground after blowing Taya's match. It is too soon to show any cracks in their unity. They are a perfect pairing for entertainment. I hope they stick together for a very long time.

With that said, it did seem curious that Taya didn't care at all about losing. I'm not sure the character is all there upstairs. In most of her matches, it feels like she's just there to throw blows. In her match with Cage, her strategy was to go toe-to-toe with him. As a valet/manager, she cares about the victory. As a wrestler, I'm not so sure.

Marty Martinez in Dario Cueto's office

Marty sent presents to Dario in prison. Cueto appreciated it but doesn't want anyone talking about his "vacation" ever again. A match gets set for next week between Marty and Killshot. A weapons of mass destruction match. Marty laughs maniacally, while Cueto realizes Marty is insane.

I hope this match gets enough time. It could be a great action match. Both men go all out against each other and the blood is very bad between the two. I wonder if it will main event. I think it is worthy, but I don't think it is a needle mover.

Rey Mysterio defeated Pentagon DARK via sunset flip powerbomb

Rey came out with two masks. The top one has a cotton candy mohawk. The underneath one has a Tong Po ponytail. I wonder if Rey was inspired by hiss buddy Batista in the Kickboxer remake.

A very solid match with Rey on full display. The story was Pentagon not being fully focused on winning. On occasion, he would waste time by playing up to the crowd, which Vampiro criticized. In a key moment, Pentagon had a lazy pin cover. Pentagon then left the ring to confront Vampiro for whatever reason. This allowed Rey to recover, set up the 619, and win with a sunset flip powerbomb.

After the match, Pentagon tried to break Rey's arm. Thankfully, El Dragon Azteca Jr. intervened in the nick of time to chase off Pentagon.

I have to say that I'm kind of done with Pentagon for the time being. I'll enjoy him when he is on the screen, but I'm not invested in the character right now. The character just doesn't have what it takes mentally to become champ. The arm-breaker shtick is played out. It has gotten to the point when I'm asking how come the whole locker room doesn't come out to give him the Chavo beat down treatment. Chavo is a culero, but Pentagon is worse since he puts people out of action by breaking arms.

Rey Mysterio looked good. I wonder who he battles next. Dario made mention that he is not on the wheel, since Matanza pinned him in Aztec Warfare II. Pentagon looks to be battling El Dragon Azteca Jr. The show's last scene takes Mil Muertes off the table. That leaves King Cuerno, which will be a delight, or other good guys.

Vampiro and Prince Puma conversing in the locker room

Prince Puma is deep in contemplation with flashbacks of his loss to Rey Mysterio. Vampiro idles by to share advice. Touching piano music plays. Vampiro noticed how Puma hasn't been the same since his loss to Mil Muertes and tells him to take out Mil in order to get back to being Prince Puma. Puma responds, "I'm surprised you're not asking me to take out Pentagon for you." Vampiro laughs. "Hey, brother. This ain't about me. This is all about you."

Sign me up for more Mil Muertes vs Prince Puma. Those will be fantastic matches. I hope we get to see a bit of interaction between Catrina and Vampiro. It was a bonkers moment when she slapped him at Aztec Warfare II.

Vampiro's motives are interesting. Is he Vampiro trying to sucker in Puma to do his dirty work or is he Ian trying to lend a helping hand to a fellow wrestler? Only time will tell.

Grade: B

Based on being compared to other Lucha Underground episodes, I'm going to give the wrestling a C and all the rest an A. The matches were fun, but I didn't feel sucked into any of them. The storylines drove this episode, as did Dario Cueto giving yet another tremendous performance.

How do you grade the episode? Share your thoughts and theories about the goings-on in the Temple.

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