clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lucha Underground recap & reactions (Sept. 27, 2017): The Hell of War

Lucha Underground returned (Sep. 27) from the Temple of Boyle Heights with the first installment of the four week Ultima Lucha Tres. Texano vs Famous B and Killshot vs Dante Fox were the bouts to kick things off.

I’m going to switch up the format from here on out. Since I assume feuds will be wrapped up by season's end, there probably won't be much that we've learned or have yet to learn. This week will be the more straightforward style of match recap accompanied by reactions.

Mariachi El Bronx was the featured band this week. I'm not sure if they have previously graced the Temple with their presence, but the name does sound familiar. I hope they stay for all four weeks. It feels fitting for mariachi music to be the last band of the season and possibly the series.

During the announcer introduction, a graphic was shown for Killshot vs Dante Fox. It had the grindhouse grainy footage effect. This episode is off to a cool start.

Let's luchaaaaaaaaa!!!

Texano vs Famous B

If Famous B wins, Texano will sign a contract with B's agency Infamous Incorporated.

Famous B made some phone calls. Dario Cueto will allow B to have a partner to make it a real handicap match. Enter Dr. Wagner Jr. Wagner was wearing his mask since this was taped far in advance prior to losing his mask in Mexico recently. He better be careful using the Too Sweet hand signal unless he wants to get sued by WWE.

The handicap match was tag rules, not a 2-on-1 open brawl. It was fairly quick at about 5 minutes in length.

Highlights include a big air monkey flip by Texano to Wagner, Texano high flying over the top rope to the outside, and Texano tossing Famous B down the stairs.

The finish came about after Texano pinned Wagner on a sitout powerbomb. Unfortunately, Wagner was not the legal man. Texano was setting up B for the same fate when Brenda popped up onto the ring apron. She seduced Texano into a lip lock. “Aye, papá!” Famous B took advantage to roll Texano up for victory. Texano was not pleased and did not seem to accept his new working relationship with Famous B.

Famous B defeated Texano via rollup.

This was a good warm up for The Hell of War main event. It was relatively fast-paced and had a few cool spots. The finish wasn’t necessarily satisfying. Distraction rollups usually aren’t. However, it was enjoyable overall. A pleasant start to Ultima Lucha Tres.

I would have liked a little more time after the bell to take in Texano's reaction. It feels like they've cut to commercial quickly after every post-match scene with Texano and Famous B. I've never gotten to observe what’s going through their heads.

Even though Dr. Wagner Jr.’s appearance seemed likely, I popped for his return. I became a fan after he lost his mask at Triplemania XXV to Psycho Clown. I'm not sure why. It's just one of those things. Well, maybe it is because he sounds like Cookie Monster. Bien, bien, bien.

Matt Striker and Vampiro ran down the full card for Ultima Lucha Tres. Next week's matches were revealed. Catrina vs Ivelisse, the main event of Fenix vs Marty Martinez in mask vs hair, and the freshly announced Unique Opportunity Battle Royal. "The winner of the match wins the prize, but it comes with a twist."

Participants include Paul London, Saltador, Mala Suerte, Argenis, Cortez Castro, Son of Madness, Vinnie Massaro, Mack, Joey Ryan, Ricky Mundo, PJ Black, Mascarita Sagrada, and Pimpinela Escarlata. Hey, the return of Pimpi!

Time for the main event best-of-three, THE HELL OF WAR.

Primera Sangre: Killshot vs Dante Fox

Matt Striker brings up an interesting point about Killshot wearing a mask. How can the referee tell if Killshot is bleeding from the forehead?

Stage one lasted about 12 minutes. The start of the match displayed how well Killshot and Dante Fox knew the other since they've had the same training alongside each other in the military. It was back and forth dodging with neither connecting.

Killshot was the first to amp up the attitude. He swung wild chairshots to no avail as Fox was too quick. In a game of whack-a-mole, Fox stuck his head up through the rungs of a steel ladder draped from the apron to the fan barrier. Swing and a miss. Fox now had the chair after shoving the ladder into Killshot. Fox threw the chair back into Killshot's face. That was the beginning of Fox taking control for the majority of stage one.

Highlights include Fox running up the ring post for a moonsault onto the draped ladder, Killshot dropkicking Fox in the butt with the momentum sending Fox's head into a chair, and a flying leg drop from the fan barrier down across to the ring apron with Killshot sandwiched between chairs.

Fox went to the back to bring out a very large plate glass window. He threatened the ref, "You're gonna help me or you gonna bleed." They placed the glass to be held up by chairs. This setup wouldn't be used until later.

More highlights include a Rock Bottom onto the apron edge by Killshot and a flipping slam maneuver (Spanish Fly?) by Fox off the top rope.

Now, to the finish. The plate glass chair setup was reconstructed inside the ring. The two soldiers battled on the corner ring post. Killshot had butterfly hooks, but Fox powered through with a back body drop. Killshot crashed down through the glass. Blood trickled from his back. Stage one winner was Dante Fox.

Dante Fox made Killshot bleed first via back body drop through glass.

Hot damn, what a start. The first stage of The Hell of War was fought at a more deliberate pace. The action was wild, but it wasn't high octane. The key was the tension of unpredictability. Knowing their ring styles, skill sets, and that these two want to kill each other, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The reward for watching patiently was a variety of huge, crazy moves. While the glass maneuver was intense, Fox's huge leg drop received my biggest outburst of enthusiasm.

No DQ: Killshot vs Dante Fox

After commercial break, the blood was flowing from Killshot's back to provide a nice visual. Shattered glass was still all over the ring.

Whoa, the second stage was an intense six minutes of action. Fox had the early momentum. Big moves include a springboard Spanish Fly onto an open chair then a 360 splash onto a horizontal ladder. Poor Killshot. Two count, kick out.

Killshot struck back with a thrust kick and rope-assisted DDT. Killshot pulled out a barb wire wooden board. During Killshot's second wind, he attacked with three consecutive running jump kicks then a flying stomp off the top turnbuckle. It looked like KIllshot would win stage two as he went for the cover. Not so fast, my friend.

Fox kicked out at the one count. Both men hulked up with intensity. In the words of Vampiro, "This is adrenaline and hatred. This is I am not going to give in to you, motherf'er, ever!"

The end came after Killshot kicked Fox in the face. Killshot executed a running powerbomb toss into the barb wire board.

A cradle driver onto broken glass was enough for Killshot to win and even the series at one apiece.

Killshot defeated Dante Fox via cradle driver.

Hot damn, again. I'm not a fan of barb wire in wrestling. Aside from that, their second battle was a doozy. Killshot's trio of face kicks to set up the double stomp is a perfect example of the high energy offense I love from these two. Dante Fox's kick out after the double stomp made me want to run around the house.

Medical Evac match: Killshot vs Dante Fox

Two soldiers in fatigues stood by a gurney with a salute. Dante Fox's bloody back looked like he was lashed as a prisoner of war.

Stage three took approximately 9 minutes to reach the conclusion. It began with both men on their knees throwing punches. It didn't take long to make my eyes wide. Killshot suplexed Fox out of the ring but Fox held on for a reversal suplex tumble to the floor.

Other big maneuvers include Killshot leaping over the length of the gurney for a dropkick and fireman's carry drop onto the gurney from the top turnbuckle by Killshot.

Killshot strapped Fox into the gurney and began wheeling him to the ambulance. Fox kicked Killshot away and unstrapped himself. Killshot decided to climb up to the bleachers then jumped down to deliver a double stomp with Fox still on the gurney. Fox revived quicker, entered the ring, then leaped back out onto Killshot.

There is some kind of structure built in front of the ambulance. It has a wooden frame supported up on chairs.

The two luchadores climbed the stairs to enter the bandstand. Fox choked Killshot with a thick guitar cord until Killshot blasted him in the head with a glass bottle. A woozy Fox fell off the bandstand through a pane of glass in that wooden structure.

Killshot hoisted Fox over his shoulder and placed him into the ambulance. Killshot closed the door to win The Hell of War.

Killshot defeated Dante Fox via death fall.

Hot damn, for the third time. The third stage was mostly high spots, and they certainly achieved the desired effect of rooting and a tooting from the Believers. Applause to Killshot and Dante Fox for destroying their bodies for our entertainment. Job well done, good sirs.

I have mixed feelings about the finish. Sure, it was a startling visual and caused me to make a weird face in awe. However, I don’t feel satiated. I’m not referring to the violence. That was more than enough. The finish to their feud doesn’t feel complete. Killshot kind of won by circumstance. He didn’t push Fox off the bandstand. Fox fell off on his own. After all that punishment, I still can’t declare who is the better luchador.

A terrific start to Ultima Lucha Tres. We had one decent affair to open the show and then an epic confrontation to fill the rest of the episode. Tons of great action to make me feel drained as a fan. Good thing we have a full week to cool down. I’m going to need it.

The Hell of War between Killshot and Dante Fox was outstanding. I would call it the sports entertainment match of the year in Lucha Underground to date. As far as overall wrestling match of the year, it is definitely on the short list. I think it comes down to personal preference. I could have done without the barb wire, and the closing bandstand fall was a spot for the sake of a spot. But that’s nitpicking. I certainly wouldn’t argue with anyone who does choose it as match of the year. Off the top of my head, I might go with Prince Puma vs Dante Fox in the Cueto Cup.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Where does The Hell of War rank on your list of best matches? Feel free to share any funny reaction stories to the crazy maneuvers by Killshot and Dante Fox. See you next week for the second helping of Ultima Lucha Tres with Ivelisse vs Catrina, the Unique Opportunity Battle Royal, and Fenix vs Marty Martinez.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats