Friday, November 18, 2016

Motherfuckin' Lucha Underground! (Aztec Warfare III)

AZTEC WARFARE! The first of Lucha Underground's two big events each season. Twenty luchadors enter, one leaves with the Lucha Underground belt. This year, in a move of sheer hubris, The Monster Matanza Cueto defends his title from the #1 spot.

Johnny Mundo confronts Dario backstage before Aztec Warfare begins, and his smacktalk gets him bumped from #12 to #2.

Matanza manhandles Johnny Mundo for a bit until #3 shows up, and it's Son of Havoc! Mundo tries to keep Matanza busy with Havoc until #4 shows up, Jeremiah Crane. Everyone kicks Matanza in the head like three or four times to send him outside and give us a Matanza break.

At #5 is Pentagon Dark. Matanza is still taking a powder, but Pentagon's dominance goads Matanza back into the fray, and #6, PJ Black, makes his way to the ring. Worldwide Underground double-teaming keeps everyone at bay while Pentagon and Matanza brawl on the outside and Mariposa enters at #7. eats a finisher from Crane without getting pinned, and Matanza murders Crane with a lifting German for his first elimination, then chokeslams Mariposa for the second, making room for Rey Mysterio at #8. Everyone leaves the ring to Rey and Pentagon, but then Dr. Wagner shows up at #9 to make it two on one against Rey.

Wagner beats on Rey for a bit, but Marty comes in at #10 and Matanza retakes the ring and starts clearing house. Marty gets some offense in on Matanza, but then Jack Evans shows up at #11 and the Worldwide Underground is complete. They triple-team Son of Havoc and eliminate him as Sexy Star enters at #12.

Action continues and we have our first serious jobber at #13, Ricky Mandel. He eats a Package Piledriver from Pentagon right away, but before he can score the pin, Black Lotus and three other black-clad ladies interfere, hit Pentagon with a Mexican Destroyer, and Mundo pins both Pentagon and Mandel.

At #14 is Mascarita Sagrada, and he's immediately murdered by Matanza with a double-spin Wrath of the Gods. Famous B is #15, as the jobber parade continues. He tries to sign Rey as a client, and gets 619'd and eliminated for his trouble. After a bit of business, Rey botchspikes Marty with a reverse rana and eliminates him in time for The Mack to enter at #16. #16 is Joey Ryan, who repeats his handcuff trick from last year, only this time to the steel steair banister.

The entrances are fast and furious, and #18 is Mil Muertes. He rips Joey Ryan's handcuffs off, and Flatlines him in the ring just as Matanza Wraths Dr. Wagner Jr. for a double elimination, and now Matanza and MIl are in the center of the ring, going at it as Kobra Moon enters at #19. We know Drago is #20, and they have a story that's been playing out.

WIth just about everyone out, it's time to start clearing things. Mack hits Stunners on PJ Black and Jack Evans to eliminate both of them. Drago's out, and he and Kobra MOon immediately start going at it. They end up in the ring, Kobra Moon barely manages to take Drago's pin correctly, then Matanza eliminates Drago. Damn.

Next sequence is Matanza and Rey. Matanza gets the better of him, and suddenly people start ganging up on Matanza. He takes shots from everyone, the ring clears, and Mysterio hits a 619, a dropkick, but a second 619 gets caught. THey tussle, but Rey Mysterio hits a Destroyer on Matanza and gets the three count! Cueto is FURIOUS as we go to yet another commercial.

Matanza is out of the match, but he's not done. He destroys Mysterio for Johnny Mundo to pin, then, when Cueto tries to regain control, shoves Cueto down and leaves. The final four are Mundo, Sexy Star, Mil Muertes, and The Mack. While Rey gets stretchered out, Evans and Black return to triple-team Sexy Star. Suddenly, Angelico appears! He's on the office roof and does his roof leap to take out all of Worldwide Underground! Star pins Mundo!

Mack and Star team up to try to take out Muertes. Mil flatlines Mack right on the top of his head, and we have a final two I never would have expected. Mil toys with Sexy and pulls out a table, telegraphing the ending. Mil grabs a chair, goes to flatline Star on it, she reversees to a DDT on the chair, but four chairs to the head don't get her a pin, a rollup after Mil goes through the table doesn't get the pin, and Star eats a punch to the face from Mil before Mil grabs another table. He tries to hit the top-rope Flatliner through it, but she pushes him off, he goes through the table, she hits the top rope double stomp, and SEXY STAR IS THE NEW CHAMPION.

Overall, not a bad Aztec Warfare. It lacked the novelty of the first one and the surprise of Matanza debuting in the second one. It had some pacing problems in the early and middle parts because of all the entrances and commercial breaks, but the point of Aztec Warfare is to set up the next batch of stories, and it did a hell of a job there.

We have Pentagon Dark vs. the Black Lotus Lady Ninjas. We have Angelico's return and a possible feud with Worldwide Underground. We have Matanza's defeat at the hands of Rey, Rey's injury at the hands of Matanza, and we have our new champion, who will likely face her first challenge next week in Johnny Mundo.

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