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Lucha Underground recap & reactions (Sep. 13, 2017): Party pooper

Lucha Underground returned (Sep. 13) from the Temple of Boyle Heights with Pentagon DARK vs El Dragon Azteca Jr. for an Aztec medallion, Johnny Mundo and Prince Puma in atomicos action, and the main event of Rey Mysterio vs Matanza. Here’s what happened and what we learned in episode 100.

What Happened: Ricky Mandel legally changed his name to Ricky Mundo.

Worldwide Underground, sans its leader, were congregating in the locker room. They passed around a driver's license that made everyone chuckle. Jack Evans wrote, "Ha ha ha," on his whiteboard. Taya warned them that Johnny was not going to like it.

Upon hearing his name, Johnny shuffled on screen. It turns out Ricky legally changed his last name to Mundo as an homage to Johnny. Johnny was not as excited about it as Ricky was. There is only one Mundo in Worldwide Underground, and somehow Ricky took that to mean he's now an official member. PJ Black had to separate the unwanted hug between Mundos.

Back to important business. Like in episode 1, Mundo will be taking Prince Puma to Slamtown in episode 100. Slamtown!

What We Learned:

Ricky Mandel is now Ricky Mundo. Aside from that, I'm not sure what learned.

What We’ve Yet to Learn:

Will Ricky change back to Mandel? Is Ricky Mundo officially in Worldwide Underground now? It didn't seem like it, but maybe Johnny will reconsider Ricky's membership.

Will the name change have more meaning down the line? Lucha Underground generally doesn't do those types of scenes without a payoff. If it was simple comedy, I'm okay with that. It had the intended effect of making me laugh. If there is a deeper purpose, I have no idea what it be. I’m curious to find out.

What Happened: Johnny Mundo pinned Prince Puma via End of the World.

Prince Puma's partners were Sexy Star, Fenix, and Cage.

Melissa Santos introduced Ricky with the surname of Mandel, not Mundo. I guess she didn't get the memo. Ricky took a mic and announced himself as Ricky Mundo. Johnny didn't appreciate it, since Ricky never got permission to change his name. Johnny sent Ricky to the sidelines to sit this match out as punishment.

Johnny has a replacement partner, Marty Martinez!

Marty is wearing a bandana, and his hair is styled like the other Worldwide Underground members. He then pulled the bandana over his face to reveal eye holes. Marty looked like Hamburglar, except he probably steals lucha libre masks instead of burgers. When the match began, his mask was back up as a regular bandana.

The atomicos bout was what you would expect. Tomfoolery and chaos. Highlights include Taya vs Cage, Marty flapping his arms during the Worldwide Underground pinwheel handshake, Fenix taking flight, and Puma cleaning house.

The finish came after PJ Black and Johnny Mundo double-teamed Puma for several consecutive maneuvers. Mundo hit End of the World for victory.

During the match, Jeremiah Crane stole Cage's gauntlet. Cage pursued and was gone for the rest of the fight.

After the match, Marty creeped on Melissa. She she-hulked up with furious slaps to Marty's face. Fenix then superkicked him into oblivion.

What We Learned:

Johnny Mundo has the momentum heading into Ultima Lucha Tres.

Cage is a little more comfortable wrestling without the gauntlet. He lost his last match by punching the ref after refusing to remove the gauntlet. Cage began the atomicos match on the apron by staring at his gloved hand. When it was time to fight inside the ring, he reluctantly removed his power source. That didn’t turn out too well though, since Jeremiah Crane swooped in for thievery. It will be intresting to observe Cage’s reaction to the gauntlet next time he wrestles.

What We’ve Yet to Learn:

Could this be the beginning of a loose partnership between Worldwide Underground and the Moth Tribe? In a goofy kind of way, Marty fit right in. He was a better version of the Ricky Mundo character; a dude that wants to belong but doesn’t.

What Happened: Gauntlet fight!

It seems Jeremiah Crane was asked to snatch the gauntlet. He delivered it to Catrina in exchange for a smooch session. Mil Muertes attacked out of nowhere as we heard humorous action grunt sounds offscreen.

Catrina picked up the gauntlet, then Cage appeared out of nowhere to grab her by the goozle. She tried to ghost out but couldn't. Cage explained that the gauntlet is more powerful than she'll ever be. Catrina dropped the gauntlet then vanished. As Cage bent over to pick up his precious, Mil smashed him. Crane joined for a three-way fracas.

Like a rat to cheese, Dario Cueto walked up and left with the gauntlet as the other three were occupied.

What We Learned:

Catrina still has Crane wrapped around her finger. Being beat up by Cage and Mil Muertes doesn’t feel like a fair trade-off to kiss Catrina. Whenever Ivelisse returns, this love triangle will only add more fire to her feud with Catrina.

What We’ve Yet to Learn:

Will this lead to a three-way at Ultima Lucha Tres? On one hand, it should be a feral affair of ferocity. It would get my bet as best match of the event. On the other hand, I really want to see Cage vs Mil Muertes. It has potential to be in the hoss fight hall of fame.

Why did Dario Cueto take the gauntlet? Was it for his own personal gain? Or was it part of a subtle character shift? After Dario’s meeting with the FBI agent a few weeks ago, I’m curious if Dario is rethinking his role in ushering the gods into war.

What Happened: Breaking news.

Matt Striker made an official announcement of Marty and Mariposa against Fenix and Melissa Santos in a tag match next week.

What Happened: Pentagon DARK defeated El Dragon Azteca Jr. via package piledriver to win an Aztec medallion.

A very good match with constant action. The pin came after Pentagon knocked Azteca down from standing on the top rope. Pentagon picked him off the top turnbuckle to execute a package piledriver for the win.

After having a main event feel much of the match, the end felt a little out of place. That was partly because the Believers chanted themselves out. They blew their load early and were silent for the finish.

After the match, Pentagon went to break Azteca's arm. To the surprise of many, the Cueto brothers entered the ring. Pentagon and Matanza stared off before Dario ordered Matanza to pummel Azteca. Rey came for the save. Dario called Matanza back to the corner as we went to commercial before the main event.

What We Learned:

The Believers have a new chant. “Ole, ole ole ole, lucha, lucha.” I like it, but it was slightly overdone. I was thinking at least this is better than playing out, "This is awesome." But then they chanted that too.

Pentagon DARK will be joining Paul London, Saltador, Mala Suerte, Son of Havoc, Drago, and Cortez Castro as holders of Aztec medallions in the Gift of the Gods match. I'd put Pentagon as a 85% favorite. 5% each for Havoc and Drago. 2% for Paul London. 1% each for the other three.

Pentagon is still a fink. Cero miedo is fine and all, but how about you change your tough guy approach with Matanza? It hasn't worked in the past. I was hoping Matanza would have destroyed him on the spot. Somebody needs to put Pentagon in his place for breaking all those arms.

What We’ve Yet to Learn:

Is Pentagon DARK evolving? On commentary, Vampiro made mention about how Pentagon’s kicking technique improved. Vampiro also observed how Pentagon was better at making adjustments and scouting mid-match. He made it sound like Pentagon is learning these things from someone and not just past knowledge handed down from when Vampiro was his master. In my view, Pentagon still has the same empty bravado and bad habit of being distracted.

What Happened: Matanza won via Wrath of the Gods to Rey Mysterio.

Rey ambushed Matanza from behind. Ring the bell!

Speed vs power. Matanza was in control most of the match by smashing Rey's skull and digging into his eyes. Rey scored major damage with a sunset flip powerbomb off the top turnbuckle. It was back and forth after that.

The finish began after Rey hit a 619 chair blast to Matanza. Matanza retaliated by throwing the chair at a springboarding Rey. After several powerful slams, Matanza caught Rey's moonsault to deliver the Wrath of the Gods. Dario pushed Rey's foot off the ropes as the three count finished.

After the fight, Matanza continued the punishment with chair-assisted maneuvers as the crowd chanted, "This is bullshit." The closing image was Matanza carrying Rey to the back like a sack of flour on his shoulder.

What We Learned:

Matanza is unbeatable in one-on-one action. Dario had his brother fully focused on the task. Rey tried hard, but he didn’t put up much of a challenge.

What We’ve Yet to Learn:

What are the Ultima Lucha Tres plans for Rey Mysterio and Matanza? With one more episode until the four week season-ending extravaganza, two of the biggest characters on the show have no official match. I suppose there could be a rematch, but the closing scene does not look like that will be the direction.

Overall thoughts:

The 100th outing was a very good episode. It was back on par with the standard they have set. The wrestling was entertaining and the stories were fantastic.

The atomicos match wasn’t their best multi-luchador outing, but it was chock full of amusement. It was no surprise that it broke down into a mish mash. Atomicos bouts always do. The interactions of the rudo team, the surprise of Marty Martinez, Jeremiah Crane stealing the gauntlet, and the winning teamwork to pummel Prince Puma were all enjoyable.

The subsequent gauntlet scene backstage was outstanding. It had humor, action, intrigue, and the swerve of Dario now possessing the gauntlet.

Pentagon DARK vs El Dragon Azteca Jr. was on point. If I had to show a recent match that exemplified Lucha Underground’s version of lucha libre, this bout would be it. A speedy pace, lots of spinning action, as well as brutal maneuvers to feel their pain.

The main event lived up to being the feature dance of the party. It was a little on the short side, although the story was good. Rey got beat down, but he showed just enough spark to make me think he could win. The Believers were hyped all night until Matanza ended the fiesta by clobbering their hero. Party pooped.

Which was your favorite match this week? Thoughts about next week’s tag match of the Moths against Fenix and Melissa Santos? Do you prefer Mil Muertes vs Cage one-on-one or a triple threat with Jeremiah Crane? Would you legally change your last name to Mundo? Share your opinions about episode 100 in the comments.

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