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Lucha Underground recap & review (Oct. 24, 2018): Strong survivor

The twentieth episode of season four (Oct. 24) for Lucha Underground featured a new Gift of the Gods champion in Seven to Survive and a return of the gauntlet in the final show before Ultima Lucha Cuatro.

No deaths this week. Yay! Two broken ankles. Boo!

El 43 played us into the Temple.

Seven to Survive

The participants in the seven-way elimination bout were King Cuerno, Big Bad Steve, Hernandez, Aerostar, PJ Black, Jake Strong, and Dante Fox. The winner earned the Gift of the Gods Championship. Of note, Matt Striker mentioned that the one week advance notice rule to cash in has officially been tossed.

Dante Fox fired first with a bicycle kick to knock Jake Strong out of the ring. He continued booting fools and finished with a double cutter to PJ Black and King Cuerno. A backward cannonball off the top onto all other six outside completed that series of action. Despite all those bodies, it looked like no one caught Fox and his back crashed onto the floor.

Fox and Hernandez had some back and forth in the ring. Hernandez hoisted Fox up in the Razor’s Edge position, but Fox escaped and successfully attempted a back slide for a three count.

Hernandez has been eliminated.

The remaining six paired off to brawl across the Temple; Jake Strong and Dante Fox, Big Bad Steve and PJ Black, and Aerostar and King Cuerno. Highlights include a fireman’s carry slam onto chairs to Aerostar by Cuerno, Aerostar jumping off the fan barrier for a hurricanrana to Cuerno, and a big wall smash by Strong to Fox.

Famous B got involved when PJ rolled Steve into the ring. B distracted PJ to slyly hand a huge wrench to Steve. PJ kicked B in the balls, Steve whacked PJ with the wrench, then PJ fell to headbutt B in the balls. Double ball hit for B. Steve cleaned house with the wrench until PJ kicked him in the cojones as well.

PJ and Strong went toe-to-toe for a bit. PJ did a sunset flip for a two count. Strong kicked out and transitioned directly into an ankle lock. PJ tapped, then Strong snapped. Crack!

PJ Black has been eliminated.

The action commenced with Steve standing out on moves such as a mean suplex to Fox and a pop-up cutter to Aerostar. Cuerno and Steve had extended one-on-one time until a weird surprise entered the Temple.

Drago, dressed in a yellow hard hat and yellow construction vest, ushered in a forklift. The hat had holes for Drago’s horns to stick through. Aerostar hopped on and up he went. The forklift pallet rose above the highest fan area. I would guess over 20 feet high. Maybe 30 feet. I’m not good at measurements by eye. Aerostar went off for a huge flying crossbody down to the ring.

Aerostar crawled to cover Big Bad Steve. 1, 2, 3. The crowd chanted, “Git,” at Famous B.

Big Bad Steve has been eliminated.

Four to go. Strong controlled the action. He slapped on an ankle lock to Cuerno, but Aerostar saved Cuerno’s day with a springboard double knee strike. Aerostar landed a trust fall attack from the top turnbuckle. Two count. A pop-up ankle lock ended Aerostar’s day. Tap, tap, tap.

Cuerno intervened before Strong could snap that ankle. Cuerno escorted Aerostar to safety.

Aerostar has been eliminated.

Final three. Cuerno, Fox, and Strong. Triangle showdown. After an Arrow from the Depths of Hell by Cuerno, Fox made his way to the upper level. Huge air leap down to the ground.

Upon impact, it appeared Fox’s tailbone took the brunt. Get those ice packs ready.

More highlights include a 630 splash by Fox to Cuerno, Thrill of the Hunt by Cuerno to Fox, a bow and arrow submission from Cuerno to Fox, a Swagger bomb by Strong to Cuerno, a rolling back splash by Fox onto Cuerno, Strong getting his knees up on a Swanton by Fox, and a three-way slugfest over the ring’s center decoration.

King Cuerno was the next casualty after a Spanish Fly from the top and a Fox Catcher to finish the hunter. Dante Fox pinned Cuerno for three.

King Cuerno has been eliminated.

The next Gift of the Gods champion will be either Jake Strong or Dante Fox. After a few minutes of tense one-on-one, Strong snatched Fox’s leg off a kick. Ankle lock time.

Fox slowly inched toward the ropes, but Strong yanked him back to center ring. Fox tried to roll up, but Strong was too strong. Back to proper ankle lock positioning and Fox tapped.

Dante Fox has been eliminated. Jake Strong survived.

After the match, the Believers chanted, “This is bullshit.” Strong then snapped Fox’s ankle.

Johnny Mundo rooftop segment

Johnny Mundo was working up a sweat with fight/dance moves on the roof.

After a ground fist pound, Mundo turned his head toward a flash of light signaling the arrival of Aerostar. The spaceman gave a sort of ‘you can’t win’ speech about Mundo fighting Matanza. “If you face him alone, it will be your funeral.” Mundo shot back by insulting Aerostar’s loss tonight.

Aerostar laughed then did a two finger whistle. Zoom. Drago flew in with a gift. The gauntlet!

Mundo put the glove on and tasted the power. “I feel LIKE A GOD.” Electricity waves fluttered in his eyes. “This is INCREDIBLE!!!” Mundo proceeded to get funky with his new toy.

Drago asked Aerostar, “Are you sure this is a good idea?” Aerostar answered, “Only time will tell.”

Seven to Survive was probably as good a match as could have happened with those seven luchadores. The action was entertaining. The flow was fairly constant. Plenty of big moves made me go, “Ooh!” No weak spots jump out at me.

The forklift was hokey yet a good silly. Drago’s outfit was funny. Aerostar’s leap created a worthwhile moment, even if the forklift made no sense.

Did King Cuerno have a slight face turn? There was no real reason for him to save Aerostar from a broken ankle. Escorting Aerostar to the back and the finger point salute showed that Cuerno might have turned over a new leaf. Perhaps it will be a sign of things to come, especially if you remember the season four trailer.

Dante Fox was awesome, as he usually is inside the Temple. He was the show-stealer of the match. I’m glad Fox had a showcase after being missing in action for much of the season. It is too bad that he most likely will not be at Ultima Lucha Cuatro.

Jake Strong was strong in victory. He was the strong favorite and rarely seemed to be in serious danger of losing. If I have to nitpick a downside to Seven to Survive, it would be that I was never given any instances to believe Strong could be pinned. There were no close two counts on Strong that sucked me in.

With the way commentary mentioned the cash-in rule, it seems like Strong’s season will not be over. Don’t be surprised if he challenges the winner of Marty Martinez and Pentagon DARK. Although, that wouldn’t seem to fit his motivation from last week about wanting to prove his superiority. Facing an opponent after a Cero Mideo match seems like easy pickings.

What was up with the chant of, “This is bullshit,” after Jake Strong’s victory? He won fair and square. There was nothing bullshit about it. Did they edit out some shenanigans of a dirty finish? I hope it wasn’t a cynical smark attitude about Jake Strong (aka Jack Swagger) bleeding over into the Lucha Underground realm. The Believers do a very good job of just beings fans and not being the negative stereotype of smarks that WWE has to deal with.

That was one heck of a final segment for maximum pumpage toward Ultima Lucha Cuatro. Johnny Mundo getting funky, Aerostar flashing, and Drago flying. Best of all, Mundo now has the gauntlet in his possession. Talk about a great neutralizer in his match against Matanza. The Sacrifice to the Gods bout is going to be a doozy.

See you next week for Part One of Ultima Lucha Cuatro. Lucha! Lucha! Lucha!

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