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Lucha Underground Power Rankings: Cueto Cup Edition

Last week, the Temple's genius proprietor, Dario Cueto, announced his latest imaginative concept. The Cueto Cup will be a 32 luchador single-elimination tournament. Lucha Underground champion Johnny Mundo will square off against the legendary Rey Mysterio at a later date. Every other luchador on the roster, and perhaps some that haven't debuted yet, is a candidate to participate in the Cueto Cup. Let's take a look at how they stack up.

Missing in Action: Bengala, Daga, El Mariachi Loco, King Cuerno, Pimpinela Escarlata, Super Fly

None of these competitors have appeared on screen for season three, but they are known names that can up the excitement level in the ring if spots need to be filled. Aside from El Mariachi Loco, I wouldn't be surprised to see any of them pull out a first round victory.

The biggest pop would be a surprise return from King Cuerno. He would be as good a pick as any for a sleeper to win the whole shebang. I believe he had back surgery, but I'm not sure on the timeline or if he will actually be present at any point in season three. In the meantime, soothe your cravings with a match between the chocolate champ and Fenix in AAA. Oh la la.

39. Vinny Massaro

38. Famous B

37. Ricky Mandel

36. Mascarita Sagrada

35. Cortez Castro

34. Veneno

33. Argenis

I anticipate 4 matches each week for the duration of the first round. Due to time constraints, that means some luchadores will be getting squashed. These seven are prime candidates for the squash list.

Vinny has spent more time in the bathroom than the ring. Famous B is mostly in manager mode, but he did try to take a run at gold in Aztec Warfare 3. Rey Mysterio cut him short with a 423-619. Cortez Castro might be persona non grata in the Temple, but his undercover alter ego, Veneno, could get a match. I don't expect much success for Veneno, unless he faces that stooge Joey Ryan. The opportunity for payback might be enough to fuel his adrenaline meter for first round victory.

32. Kobra Moon

31. Black Lotus

30. Saltador

29. Mala Suerte

28. Paul London

27. Taya

Toughness and drugs. The ladies are full of the first, while the Rabbit Tribe are full of the second. In both cases, whopping doses can be a detriment to their own good.

26. Joey Ryan

25. Jack Evans

24. Mariposa

23. PJ Black

22. Aerostar

21. Drago

20. Jeremiah Crane

19. Dr. Wagner Jr.

Feel free to shuffle this group in any order. I can see any one of them beating any other on any given day.

Jeremiah Crane is intriguing to consider. He won a semi-final match in the Battle of the Bulls Tournament. However, he kind of get roughhoused by Mil Muertes in their match, even though Crane was victorious via Prince Puma shenanigans. Crane has proven skill, but does he have enough skill when facing off against the upper echelon?

18. Ivelisse

17. Angelico

16. El Dragon Azteca Jr.

Welcome to the infirmary unit. Each one has the potential to be go far, but they have been hampered by injuries.

Ivelisse broke her ankle/foot. Angelico finally made his long awaited return for vengeance on Johnny Mundo, only to have a freak upper body injury that put him back on the shelf. Who knows the status of El Dragon Azteca Jr., who was chokeslammed through the bleachers in a death match against Matanza. While it occurred before the mid-season break in our world, I don't think there was a break in their world. That means Azteca's body was shattered only three weeks ago.

15. Pindar

14. Vibora

13. Marty Martinez

A trio of beefers. The upper limit of these three is unknown.

Pindar and Vibora have looked impressive in trios matches and powder room skirmishes. They are fresh to the Temple, but don't overlook their experience in destruction dealing. Pindar has been a general in the Snake Tribe army for 1,000 years.

Marty was kidnapped by his sister, Mariposa, and may break out of his cocoon more formidable than before. His wings might be stronger to fly higher. If Marty can beat Bowser, he should have no trouble with Pindar and Vibora.

12. Killshot

11. Dante Fox

Two peas in a pod. Military trained soldiers. Dante Fox was victorious in their only one-on-one encounter, so he gets the nod over Killshot in the rankings. I'll be keeping an eye on these two for a potential star-making breakout performance.

10. Son of Havoc

9. Fenix

8. Texano

7. Sexy Star

I consider this group to be the dark horses with a legit shot at winning. Son of Havoc won the Tournament 4 a Unique Opportunity at Ultima Lucha Dos. Fenix is the first triple crown champ. Texano was the AAA Mega champ for a record reign of 735 days. Sexy Star is a former Lucha Underground champion. They have each shown the necessary grit and resolve that it takes to endure and prosper in a tournament of this nature.

6. Pentagon DARK

5. Mil Muertes

4. Cage

3. Mack

2. Prince Puma

1. Matanza

The top 6 are the front runners.

While Pentagon DARK's success has yet to match his ego, signs point to it one day being the case. Winning this tournament would be a splendid step on a path to super stardom. I'm curious if Pentagon will still be breaking arms after matches. At some point, Pentagon needs to expand his character and move beyond that shtick. Besides, Dario Cueto might have to put the kibosh on the arm breaking if Pentagon snaps too many so that Cueto is unable fill the card for Ultima Lucha Tres.

Mil Muertes is a force to be reckoned with. Matchmaking will be key to his path. If Mil can manage to avoid his nemeses in Fenix and Prince Puma, he should have a steady ride to the finals. One match I really hope we get is Mil vs Cage. That is one hoss fight du jour that has eluded us thus far.

The biggest question for this tournament is what effect will the Ultimate Opportunity gauntlet have on Cage. We have already seen him boost in power. However, we have also seen Cage with an unhealthy possessive streak towards the glove. Could that be his downfall before the god-like transition is complete?

Despite not defeating Johnny Mundo for the Lucha Underground championship, Mack is on a run. Winning the Battle of the Bulls and coming within one second from being champ should provide Mack with a boost in confidence. He always had swagger. Now he has experience to back it up.

Prince Puma is pumping in momentum after beating Mil Muertes in a Boyle Heights street fight, even if he did have timely assistance from Vampiro. But guess what? Vampiro will be at ringside anyway performing his commentary duties. There is nothing preventing him from providing welcome or unwelcome assistance.

Matanza is still the toughest to defeat. With Rey Mysterio not partaking in the Cueto Cup, that removes Matanza's biggest threat. Rey has been the only one to pin Matanza for a full three count. Now, I'm not entirely certain Matanza will be in the tournament. I recall rumors of Matanza Goldberging his hand in a bout with El Dragon Azteca Jr. The story of Dario being upset about Matanza bringing shame to the Cueto family might be window dressing while Matanza healed in real life. It will be interesting to see if that was a throwaway line from Dario or it gets developed deeper as the weeks pass.

Who do you think will win the Cueto Cup? What are your picks for the final four? Who are you rooting for to win and be in the final four? Who is your sleeper pick? Share any other thoughts you have brewing while your pants are still on. Because much like Johnny Mundo, the Believers will have no time for pants once the Cueto Cup commences.

Lucha! Lucha! Lucha!

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