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Lucha Underground recap & review (Sep. 26, 2018): Rest in peace, #%@*&!

The sixteenth episode of season four (Sept. 26) for Lucha Underground featured a Trios Championship bout, the White Rabbit, a nunchuck fight, a new number one contender for Ultima Lucha Cuatro, and the making of a Death Match.

The two week streak of no dead people was broken. The most unexpected sacrifice to date took place.

El Conjunto Nueva Ola played us into the Temple.

Matt Striker read a letter from Antonio Cueto. It recapped the events of last week and set up a number one contender match between El Dragon Azteca Jr., Mil Muertes, King Cuerno, and Pentagon DARK. The winner will main event Ultima Lucha Cuatro against Marty Martinez.

That letter certainly did not sound like it was written by Antonio Cueto. I’ve never heard him speak like that or use words of such a nature. I’m not saying there will be letter shenanigans, just that it wasn’t written to match the character.

Sacrifice to the Gods: Jack Evans vs Matanza

Jack Evans was in the ring for a scheduled match, but he refused to fight for a promotion that allows a dastardly XO Lishus to compete. Evans also had to worry about Johnny Mundo’s wedding. “Had I been there, I would have ripped Matanza’s head off.” Jack Evans went on to flap his gums and quit Lucha Underground.

Antonio Cueto was watching off to the side. “Yack! Nobody likes quitters. However, I’m a compassionate boss who hears your complaints. Let me be clear. You WILL fight tonight. If you win, you can walk out that door. If you lose though, you will never walk out of the Temple ever again, because you have been chosen to be the next SACRIFICE TO THE GODS!!!”

Jack frantically proposed, “Wait, wait, wait. I’m so sorry. Hey, hey hey, old man that looks and sounds like Satan, may I make you a counteroffer...” Jack dropped the mic and ran away. Up the stairs, he couldn’t open the door. Jack turned around to shush the crowd who was chanting, “Sacrifice!” The doors opened behind him and out came Matanza.

Jack prayed, turned around, and was met with Matanza’s hand trying to chokeslam him. Jack escaped, ran down the stairs, but was tripped by Antonio sticking out his cane.

Matt Striker nonchalantly said, “We have not seen or heard from the other fighters that have been sacrificed in the past.” Dude! Has he not been paying attention that luchadores have been vanishing into thin air right before his eyes?

Matanza beat on Jack for a bit. Matanza grabbed Jack around the waist from behind near the corner. Jack accidentally ripped off the turnbuckle trying to hold onto anything to prevent more pain. Still in the waist lock position, Matanza dragged Jack to the center of the ring. Jack used all his force to run back toward the corner and luckily smash Matanza’s head into the exposed turnbuckle.

Jack connected on a springboard kick to the face. He went up top for an aerial attack. Cannonball 630 success. Pin across the chest. At two, Matanza arose with Evans in his arms. Wrath of the Gods.

Jack Evans has been sacrificed.

Trios Championship: The Reptile Tribe vs Ivelisse, XO Lishus, & Joey Ryan

Before the match, Paul London entered atop the stairs. He introduced El Bunny and the White Rabbit. They watched the match from above. Striker with the insider line, “That white rabbit looks a little cross (Kross).”

Ding. Joey Ryan held out his red lollipop to mesmerize Jeremiah Snake. Jeremiah chomped down on the sucker. Kick to the face of Ryan.

In an evenly matched bout, highlights include Ivelisse with a sunset flip powerbomb, XO Lishus with buttock-based head smashes, and Ivelisse with a cannonball to the outside followed by XO Lishus with a rope-assisted crossbody to the outside.

Back in the ring for the finish, Ryan pulled out a green lollipop from inside his trunks. Into Jeremiah’s mouth and a kick to the face to send Jeremiah crashing onto three others. Daga took advantage of Ryan’s lack of focus to roll him up in a unique arm/shoulder submission. Ryan tapped.

The Reptile Tribe retained the Trios Championships.

After the fight, Paul London and El Bunny attacked the losers. Dropkicks aplenty from El Bunny. London lined them up, heads across the bottom rope. The White Rabbit waved his timepiece saying, “Tick, tock.” Striker questioned if Joey Ryan was the marked man. Striker closed the segment with a pun, “Are we looking at the hare apparent to the top of the trios division?”

Nunchuck handicap match: Aerostar & Drago vs Jake Strong

Nunchucks were hanging in various spots throughout the Temple. Matt Striker informed us that Aerostar and Drago are considered professional practitioners of nunchucks, so the California Athletic Commission sanctioned the bout. I don’t know if Striker was serious or joking. Either way, Vampiro jumped on him about it.

Jake Strong was strong early. He caught Drago’s flying crossbody, but Aerostar dropkicked them to the ground. After Strong strongly strong-armed the duo, he had the idea to go up the stairs for nunchucks. Aerostar latched onto Strong’s leg like cement. That allowed Drago to scoot up the stairs for the first pair of nunchucks.

Strong backed away from Drago. Aerostar attacked with a springboard crossbody, but Strong caught him and threw his body at Drago. Strong proceeded to bang the little fellows against walls. Strong charged and banged his knee when Aerostar evaded. Drago hopped on Aerostar’s shoulders. Strong rushed in. GREEN MIST!

With the extra height, Drago snatched the second pair of nunchucks. Nunchuck violence ensued against Strong’s cranium. A blinded Strong took numerous shots in succession.

Strong tossed Drago into fan seats and also tossed Aerostar up a side ladder. Aerostar climbed to the catwalk to retrieve the third pair of nunchucks. Strong disarmed Aerostar and punched him off the side of the catwalk. The was a crunch sound effect. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be through a roof, smashing crates, or the noise of Aerostar’s leg bones exploding to smithereens.

Back down on the ground, Strong confronted Drago and felt more nunchuck violence. Strong beat up Drago and stood tall with two pair of nunchucks. Out of nowhere, Aerostar launched himself off a second story ledge for a flying crossbody at Strong.

A bit of wrestling set up the finish. The little guys hit a huge DDT, then Aerostar splashed Strong. A double cover for the pin. Strong powered up with major strength to send the duo sprawling.

Drago ran at Strong and was eliminated from the ring. That led to a big powerbomb variation on Aerostar and a subsequent ankle submission. Aerostar tapped.

Jake Strong is strong. No luchador can beat a wrestler.

After the bell, Strong was still tweaking Aerostar’s ankle. Drago attacked with nunchucks, but Strong got the upper hand to slap on another ankle submission. CRACK! Drago’s ankle was snapped. Strong took nunchucks as a keepsake.

Number one contender match: Pentagon DARK vs Mil Muertes vs King Cuerno vs El Dragon Azteca Jr.

Mil Muertes began the match by clotheslining everyone multiple times. Each luchador had their moments in a four-way that was under six minutes in duration. Highlights include a DDTJ by El Dragon Azteca Jr. and an Arrow from the Depths of Hell by King Cuerno.

During the bout, Fenix approached Melissa Santos. She tried to mind meld him into remembering. Fenix looked to be soothed, then Melissa ran away. At that moment, Azteca did his patented leap over the ring post to attack Fenix. The two brawled their way out of sight.

Mil Muertes sort of speared both Pentagon DARK and Cuerno through the ropes to the floor. Alone in the ring, Mil had a surprise visitor. The return of the Mack!

Two stunners and multiple middle fingers, then Mack retreated. But, Mil never went down. A dazed Mil wandered into the corner ripe for a Penta Driver by Pentagon flying off the top rope. Cuerno tried to enter the ring only to eat the feet of Pentagon. Pentagon went back to cover Mil. 1, 2, 3.

Pentagon DARK is the number one contender for the Lucha Underground Championship.

After the match, Mack entered the ring with a mic to chat up Mil Muertes. Mack announced that Mil will fight him at Ultima Lucha Cuatro. “I was scared of you, but I ain’t scared no more. After our Haunted House Match, I’m no longer afraid to die. But you should be, because at Ultima Lucha Cuatro, I’m challenging you to a Death Match! Rest in peace, motherf-er.”

Last week, I was less than enthused about the episode. This week, whoa mama. The show was a bundle of fun. The action was exciting and the story points were surprising. Best of all, Ultima Lucha Cuatro now has two fights; Marty Martinez vs Pentagon DARK for the Lucha Underground Championship and Mack vs Mil Muertes in a Death Match.

Finally an appropriate response to being booked as a sacrifice to the gods. I loved Jack Evans’ reaction and attempt to flee. I was very surprised that Evans was booked in such a match. Yes, Evans previously announced that he finished with Lucha Underground, but I didn’t expect him to be written off as a sacrifice. If Jack Evans and Angelico ever return, I do hope they use their tag team name literally, Los Güeros del Cielo.

I don’t have much of an opinion yet about the new Rabbit Tribe. It was neat to see them, and I want more very soon. Does anyone else think El Bunny is not the same performer as Mascarita Sagrada? I believe they move differently and have slightly different body types, but I could be wrong.

The nunchuck fight was dynamite. Green mist, nunchuck barrages, Aerostar flying from above. Sí, sí, sí. I’ve been indifferent about Jake Strong, but now I want to see him again. The crazy gimmick matches might be more up his alley than standard one-on-one contests.

I’m interested to see the direction Jake Strong takes after that big win. Was it the end of the feud or a set up toward a final victory for Aerostar? I suppose they could run the Gift of the Gods, but it would feel a bit rushed and I’m not sure they could do the final at Ultima Lucha Cuatro. There might not be enough people with the trimmed down roster and other scheduled matches. One opponent I would be interested in is Texano. He hasn’t been around all season long, but he could come back for one match at the behest of Famous B. Strong vs Texano would be strong slugging.

I have mixed feelings about the main event. It was tons of fun overall with the side stories, but it was short and the finish was underwhelming. I would have preferred Pentagon DARK winning without outside interference.

The closing promo from Mack was fire. I am so pumped for their Death Match. That has a high chance of being the best match of the event.

Time to update the cumulative injured/dead/sacrificed list: Hernandez, Marty Martinez, Famous B, Big Bad Steve, Fenix, Jeremiah Crane, Mr. Pectacular, Cortez Castro, Mascarita Sagrada, Angelico, Sammy Guevara, Vinnie Massaro, the pizza delivery guy, Vibora, Mala Suerte, Saltador, Father Rick O’Shea, Cage, Benjamin Cook, Cage, Catrina, Joey Wrestling, Jack Evans, and Drago.

Share your thoughts about the episode. Did you shed a tear for Jack Evans? Where should Jake Strong head from here? Are you excited for Pentagon DARK vs Marty Martinez at Ultima Lucha Cuatro? Would you have preferred a different number one contender?

See you next week for an in-ring confrontation with Marty Martinez and Pentagon DARK.

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