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Lucha Underground Cueto Cup: Analysis and Predictions

Believers across the land got excited when Dario Cueto announced the Cueto Cup. The first round of Group A is in the books, but there is still plenty of analysis to be given about the 32 luchador single-elimination tournament. With that in mind, we assembled members of the Cageside Seats crew on the Lucha Underground beat to provide observations and winners for each group, potential upsets and sleepers to keep an eye on, and finals predictions.

Group A

Manolo Has Pizzazz: I’m pulling for Mack vs Pentagon in the Group A finals. I really want to see that match get the 15 to 20 minute main event experience. For me, Mack is one of the faciest faces and Pentagon is one of the heeliest heels in the Temple, so it would provide great good vs bad drama. Go, Mack, go!

Mack vs Pentagon. Observational logic tells me Pentagon, because the fans love him and he is featured on the marketing material for season three. He has to start rising to the top at some point. However, the fan in me wants Mack. Pick: Mack

Sean Rueter: Having thought “this will be when they push Pentagon!” about eighty times now, I’m going to sidestep that trap (and maybe put the old reverse psychology jinx on ‘em). A guy they do like to put into big situations is Texano, who now has a storyline going with Famous B. And let’s say Drago gets past Senor Dark with the help of his new tribe, giving Penta another faction to war against.

Texano vs. Drago - Not sure what higher power El Jefe answers to, but one of them is AAA. Pick: Texano

Group B

Manolo: Group B appears to be Cage’s opportunity for big things. Fenix never dies though. That would be a very intriguing final for Group B. I’m curious about Marty Martinez. He was abducted for a reason. LU usually doesn’t do story stuff without a purpose. A mothed up Marty against a supercharged Cage could be one heck of a hoss fight.

Cage vs Fenix - I think Fenix will use 672 of his 1,000 lives in that matchup but will prove to be victorious. I don’t think Cage’s transformation will be complete by then. If it is, I would pick Cage. Pick: Fenix

Sean: If seasons one and two taught us anything, it’s don’t bet against a guy with god powers who kills people.

Cage vs. Marty The Moth - Just have a feeling the Cup will be where some of the guys who’ve been useful players for LU get a little shine, and Marty’s one of those guys. His kidnapping and a potential showdown with his “sister” is too good to pass up. The ride ends in the quarterfinals, though. Pick: Cage

Group C

Manolo: Group C seems the easiest for Mil Muertes to emerge. We don’t know how tough Vibora truly is, but I have confidence in Mil. The bottom half of Group C could have a competitive match with Mil, but I don’t see any of them being victorious.

Mil Muertes vs Killshot - I don’t consider the rest of the luchadores in this group to be on Mil’s level. I’m going with Killshot in the group final, because I enjoy him in the ring. Pick: Mil Muertes

Sean: Agree with mi compadre here, and think this bracket telegraphs a win for a guy who’s consistently been central to LU’s stories. But I will continue with my notion the Cup will be used to elevate some folks to new heights.

Mil Muertes vs Jeremiah Crane - Just have a feeling the Cup will be where some of the guys who’ve been useful players for LU get a little shine, and Marty’s one of those guys. His kidnapping and a potential showdown with his “sister” is too good to pass up. The ride ends in the quarterfinals, though. Pick: Mil Muertes

Group D

Manolo: Using my own power rankings (self high-five), Group D looks to be the toughest with 5 of my top 12 plus the mystery man. The mystery man has to at least be upper mid-card or the reveal would be a letdown.

Sexy Star vs the mysterious luchador - There has to be an upset in this tournament, and I think Sexy Star over Prince Puma will be the one. I don’t know how, but I would venture on an outside distraction or perhaps inner distraction in Puma’s mind. I’m predicting the unknown competitor to be a big deal. Getting to the final four would be confirm big deal status. And if that person turns out to be King Cuerno, I would love to see another fight against Fenix in the final four. Pick: ???

Sean: The mystery wrestler throws off here, as Dario could make quite a splash with that entry. Newcomers to the Temple don’t usually start off on massive winning streaks unless their last name is Cueto, however. There aren’t seedings here, but I’m gonna go with what looks like chalk to me...

Prince Puma vs. El Dragon Azteca, Jr. - Need a little guy to go with my hosses from the other regions, and the writing is on the wall in terms of pushing the guy who calls himself King in other promotions. Pick: El Dragon Azteca, Jr.

Upset Special

Manolo: I previously mentioned Sexy Star to defeat Prince Puma. I just have a feeling. As for the first round, Mariposa over Fenix is one to strongly consider. She floats like a butterfly and does indeed sting like a bee. Also, Fenix might not be fully focused after the super friends dragon drama.

Sean: Macarita Sagrada over Pindar. Pop the crowd in round one, fun to watch Cage throw around in round two.

Sleeper to win

Manolo: Is Mack considered a sleeper? If so, then he would be my pick. I do consider him lower on the totem pole than the heavy hitters, such as Pentagon DARK, Mil Muertes, Cage, and Prince Puma. He’s right underneath them though. After the fantastic matches with Johnny Mundo, Mack has a taste for gold which was just outside his grasp.

If you’re looking for a true sleeper, I’m inclined to point to Vibora. The dude is a giant snake, for goodness sake. Plus, he’ll have numbers on his side with Kobra Moon, Drago, and Pindar if the need for assistance arises.

Sean: Marty. Again, The Moth has been a valuable piece of the LU puzzle for years, and this could be a great chance to crown him. Plus, there’s the chance Manolo mentions that Cage isn’t in 100% God Mode yet... or any number of other ways they could put someone over him and still explain it away.

Finals and Winner

Manolo: Mil Muertes vs Fenix in the finals with Mil hoisting up the Cueto Cup in victory. I’m not going to lie. Mil Muertes is my favorite in the Temple. I want him to win the Cueto Cup. I didn’t go in trying to formulate that final, but I would certainly love to see it once again. Another chapter in their epic rivalry. This time Mil would be one step ahead.

Sean: El Dragon Azteca, Jr. takes down Mil to complete the passing of the torch to him as the face of LU (fingers crossed for season four).


Who are you picking to win the Cueto Cup? Any potential upsets that stick out? Which luchadores could be sleepers to breakout? Share your own analysis.

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