Cleat Geeks

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 18)

Welcome to the Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground!

The show kicks off with Taya–going by Taya Mundo–demanding Antonio Cueto’s appearance. Antonio appears, and Taya wastes no time with her demand:  she wants Matanza NOW! Antonio acquiesces, making this match another “Sacrifice of the Gods.” This is Matanza’s biggest Sacrifice match, as he has never faced someone like Taya before. As usual, the First Lady of Worldwide Underground brought the fight, but Matanza took control, even thwarting Taya’s attempt at a DDT. Taya got back in it shortly afterwards, and even delivered a moonsault to Matanza, but only for a two count! Just when Taya appeared to be done for, Johnny Mundo appeared and delivered a superkick to Matanza! The former Lucha Underground Champion took down Matanza, getting his own payback from the events of the wedding.

As a result of the happenings, Johnny Mundo and Matanza will face each other at Ultima Lucha Cuatro in a Sacrifice of the Gods match, adding to the already stacked card for the event. Speaking of Ultima Lucha, the next bout has four men who will be involved in the event, as The Mack and Dragon Azteca Jr entered to face the unlikely team of Mil Muertes and Fenix in a Tornados Tag Team Match. The Mack will face off against Mil Muertes in a Deathmatch at Ultima Lucha Cuatro, while the same event will feature Fenix and Azteca going at it in a 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match. In a Tornados Tag Team Match, all participants are allowed to be in the ring, and after the chaos, it was Fenix and Mack going at it in the ring, until Mil entered and faced Mack. Mil sent Mack over the top rope, and he and Fenix worked together to take down Azteca!

Their animosity towards each other was shown a bit, but they still managed to work together against their opponents. Mack delivered Stunners to both opponents; first separately and then simultaneously! Fenix took down Mack, only to be on the receiving end of an amazing DDT from Azteca! Azteca’s pin attempt on Fenix was broken up by Mil, whose own attempt was broken up by Mack. Even the cameraman isn’t safe from this back and forth action, as he ended up an inadvertent recipient of Fenix’s kick, meant for Mack. Fenix delivers a Frankensteiner to Mack, but only for a two count. Mil and Azteca fight in the ring now, with the latter speared by the former. All four are in now, and it ends with Fenix and Mil taking down their opponents simultaneously, and even pinning them for the victory!

Famous B and The Beautiful Brenda are in the ring, with the former talking about the events of the wedding between Johnny Mundo and Taya. Regarding Matanza’s attack, Famous B stated that his life flashed before his eyes, and that he rehabbed his injuries and is coming out of retirement to compete! Ricky Mundo interrupts, and it looks like he is Famous B’s opponent. As we all recall, Ricky was responsible for the chaos that occurred, as he was the one who intentionally released Matanza, allowing that doll of his get in his head. Ricky defeated Famous B in no time, and then took the mic and admitted to being the culprit who released Matanza, stating that Worldwide Underground treated him like a nobody for a long time. He also stated that as long as Taya is around, Johnny will never value him, leading to a challenge towards Taya for Ultima Lucha Cuatro. The deranged Ricky would later use The Beautiful Brenda as an example of what Taya could be in for, as he placed Brenda in a crossface submission.

The main event follows, and it has Reklusa making her Lucha Underground in-ring debut against Pentagon Dark, and Reklusa wasted no time going after the #1 Contender for the Lucha Underground Championship! Despite the manic offense of Reklusa, Pentagon regains control of the match, as he took over and fought his opponent both inside and outside the squared circle. Pentagon’s plan was to send a message to Marty the Moth with his relentless offense, but he ended up on the receiving end of Reklusa’s physical trap. Pentagon fights back and delivers a devastating Jackhammer-esque move, but even then, Reklusa kicks out at two, and kicked out again after another high impact manuever from Pentagon! Reklusa delivers the Canadian Destroyer to Pentagon, but only for a two count! However, Pentagon managed to finish off Reklusa with the piledriver, and after the three count, he has his sights set on the Lucha Underground Championship! Pentagon originally planned on breaking Reklusa’s arm, but instead, he brought out the thumbtacks for more devastation. However, Marty appeared and went after Pentagon with a barbed wire bat, and even more shocking, Marty and Reklusa doused Pentagon with gasoline, appearing that Marty was going to set him on fire, only for Marty to blow out the flame from his lighter! Wow!

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next time!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 19)

Welcome to the Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground!

We start off with Jake Strong, dressed to the nines, in Antonio Cueto’s office. Cueto wants to put Strong in the main event of Ultima Lucha Cuatro, but Strong does not want a free ride, stating that no man will doubt his supremacy. Cueto later offers Strong one of the seven Aztec Medallions, which is a ticket to the Gift of the Gods Championship. Strong stated he better same some of Matanza’s sacrifices for him, while adding that it’s no longer Cueto’s temple, it’s his.

In the temple, Cueto announced that he has awarded the seven Medallions from the Gift of the Gods Championship, usually, combatants have to fight for the medallions. The holders were introduced as follows:  Aerostar, PJ Black, Hernandez, Big Bad Steve, King Cuerno, the aforementioned Jake Strong, and the returning Dante Fox! Cueto announced that six of the seven men will compete for the Gift of the Gods Championship, and that the seven of them will compete in a battle royal for the right to choose who is out of the match. We saw this before regarding the last septet, and it ended up with The Mack winning and taking Mil Muertes out of the match. Big Bad Steve and Hernandez are the first two ousted, and we see Black and Cuerno go at it, only for Strong to send both of them over, but not out. It was Aerostar’s kick that eliminated both men, and his elimination left just Strong and Fox.

Both combatants fought back and forth, hitting each other with everything in their arsenal, but in the end, Strong eliminated Fox and won the battle royal. As for who Strong chose to eliminate, in a strange response, Strong decided not to eliminate anyone, stating that he wanted all of them. Cueto made the match:  a Seven to Survive Elimination Match for the Gift of the Gods Championship. Strong said that he’ll beat ANYONE that Cueto gives him, leading to a match made for later in the program:  Jake Strong vs Johnny Mundo!

We are now treated to a match between former Trios Champions Killshot and The Mack, and this has been a long time coming as well. Mack was not happy with Killshot’s treatment towards their partner, Son of Havoc, and that has led Killshot to believe that Mack turned his back on him. Speaking of Son of Havoc, he was shown up top as an interested viewer. Another interested party was Mil Muertes, as he invaded the ring and went after The Mack, leading to a DQ in Mack’s favor. Son of Havoc’s attempt to help his friend got him taken down by Mil, who later thwarted Mack’s attempt at a Stunner.

Matt Striker interviews Ivelisse and Xo Lishus, with the former stating that they were challenged to face The Rabbit Tribe AND the Reptile Tribe, but Joey Ryan was not cleared after his attack at the hands of the White Rabbit. Xo Lishus introduced their new partner, Sammy Guevara, who was last seen getting his ankle snapped by Jake Strong. However, Famous B showed up and reminded Sammy that he signed a seven-year deal with him, and that he is ordering him to leave with him and partner up with Dr. Wagner and Tejano. Instead, Sammy delivers a Suicide Dive on Famous B and chucks the contract in the trash can, which he placed over Famous B’s head. Wrestlers always did have a way to tender their resignations.

The three team elimination match for the Trios Championship has been made official, and it is also official that Taya and Ricky Mundo will face each other at Ultima Lucha Cuatro, which is two weeks away! We now go to our main event and it’s an epic one:  Jake Strong vs Johnny Mundo in a battle between former ECW Champions! Strong stated that he could take down and defeat anyone, but was clear in this match that Mundo was Strong’s toughest opponent in Lucha Underground. Despite this, Strong had Mundo set up for the Ankle Lock, but Mundo kicks him off and later gets a two count on Strong. The Ankle Lock is applied again, but Mundo delivers a low blow behind Marty Elias’ back to break it up. Despite his offense, Strong puts the Ankle Lock on Mundo again, and this time, Mundo submits!  Strong was set to snap the ankle, but once Matanza appeared, he allowed him to go after his Ultima Lucha opponent. Taya’s attempt to go after Matanza ended with both halves of the couple taken down by the massive monster.

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 17)

Welcome to the Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground!

We see Aerostar and Melissa Santos on the rooftop, and they are discussing Fenix. Aerostar stated that he shouldn’t have brought back Fenix, but he’s his friend, while he was more to Melissa. He adds that Catrina taking his lifeforce caused Fenix’s evil transformation, but Aerostar says that he can save him, because he’s seen the end…of everything.

On to the temple, where Xo Lishus, Joey Ryan, and Ivelisse are in action are facing against the immensely sinister Rabbit Tribe, now consisting of Paul London, El Bunny, and the ominous White Rabbit. These three beat down their opponents last week after they came up short in the Trios Championship contest against the Reptile Tribe, and the action starts with Ivelisse and London in the ring. El Bunny tags himself in, only for Ivelisse to bring in Xo Lishus. The immensely popular Xo receives some lethal offense from El Bunny before London is back in and gets in the fight. The White Rabbit simply watches, meanwhile Ivelisse re-enters and takes down London and El Bunny. Joey Ryan finally gets in, and he and Ivelisse deliver kicks to London for a two count for Ryan. At long last, the White Rabbit makes a tag and he’s legal in this match! Joey’s kicks to the White Rabbit go for naught, and the heavy of the Rabbit Tribe takes down Joey. We see the White Rabbit putting on a white glove and delivering a Mandible Claw to Joey, and that is all she wrote! Even more lethal, Joey’s blood is on that gloved hand. Oh goodness!

The first matches have been announced for Ultima Lucha Cuatro, one of them being a 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match between Fenix and El Dragon Azteca Jr, and of course, the main event:  Pentagon Dark getting his Lucha Underground Championship rematch against Marty the Moth! As for tonight, we will see two-thirds of the former Trios Champions, Killshot and Son of Havoc, facing each other. This all started when Havoc was enlisted as Dante Fox’s replacement as Killshot and The Mack’s Trios Championship partner, news that did not set well with Killshot. Killshot’s anger at both of his partners increased when Killshot was the one pinned in a three way match between the partners for two Aztec Medallions, and after they lost the titles to the Reptile Tribe, Killshot beat down Havoc.

Unsurprisingly, this match has been back and forth, and Havoc goes through the ropes and takes down Killshot outside the ring. Havoc has the fans supporting him, especially with Killshot messing with him for so long, including going for Havoc’s mask. Havoc gets a two count on Killshot, and later on, he goes to the top rope, but Killshot is on his feet, and later delivers a knee to Havoc’s spine before delivering the Kill Stomp. Only a two count comes from that, and Havoc delivers some kicks before receiving one. Havoc is on the receiving end of a submission situation, but he gets out of it and manages to get the three count on Killshot! Killshot is furious as he was defeated by someone he believed was beneath him, and he later beats down Havoc, using the dog tags as a weapon. This is followed by the absolute act of disrespect: removing Havoc’s mask. Antonio Cueto sees this, and decides that at Ultima Lucha Cueto, Killshot and Son of Havoc will face each other in a Mask vs Mask match! The loser must de-mask for good!

We are now introduced to the newly crowned Lucha Underground Champion, Marty “The Moth” Martinez, who states that his journey began when Sexy Star embarrassed his family, and it was there that his associate, Reclusa (Chelsea Green/Impact’s Laurel Van Ness), brought out Sexy Star’s mask. We got a shocking reveal along with that: Reclusa was the one who left the spiders in Sexy’s path, and Marty also stated that Reclusa took out Sexy Star! Marty also stated that he hasn’t forgotten that Pentagon Dark broke his arm, so he took his title. He also thanked his sister, Mariposa, for giving him the drive to become champion, even going as far as announcing that his first title defense will be against his equally deranged sister! Wow!

What I love about this is that these twisted siblings love fighting each other, and it is a No DQ match per Marty’s demand. To no surprise, we have seen Marty really dominate this match and even bust open his own sister in the process. All the while, Reclusa shows immense pleasure over Marty’s handiwork, but we see Mariposa fight back against her brother’s attempt at a chairshot with a low blow. Mariposa later tosses multiple chairs at Marty, a relentless assault that appeared to be never-ending! Mariposa gets a two count on Marty, but she is not done, as she delivers a Samoan Drop on the chair, but THAT only gets a two-count! Reclusa enters and delivers a kick to Mariposa, allowing Marty to deliver Pentagon’s Package Piledriver for the victory! Marty later decides to challenge Pentagon to a Cero Miedo match, stating that he’ll dedicate his victory to Mariposa, whose arm Marty later breaks! Pentagon Dark later appears and accepts Marty’s challenge, and later promises to break Marty’s bones at Ultima Lucha Cuatro!

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 16)

Welcome to the Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground!

Lucha Underground is coming off a wild night that saw Marty the Moth capture the Gift of the Gods Championship, and later turn that in and later defeat Pentagon Dark to become the Lucha Underground Champion! This was mentioned by Matt Striker, who read a letter from Antonio Cueto that ended with the announcement of a four way #1 Contender’s match, pitting Pentagon Dark, Mil Muertes, King Cuerno, and Dragon Azteca Jr against each other, as all four have a claim to that title.

On to business, Jack Evans is in the ring about to compete, but he appears to be protesting, as he refuses to compete as long as Xo Lishus is in Lucha Underground, and he also stated that he would have beaten down Matanza if he was at the wedding between Johnny Mundo and Taya. In other words, Jack quits! However, Antonio stated that he will be in action, and the stipulations are simple. If Jack wins, he can walk out of the ring. If not, he’ll be unable to walk out of anything, as he will face off against Matanza! Jack shows a bit of intelligence and attempts to get out of dodge, but Matanza is behind him. Jack ends up tripped by Antonio, and it’s pretty much all academic from this point, as both combatants are in the ring finally and the opening bell rings. Jack ends up exposing the turnbuckle, with Matanza’s head being struck onto the steel! This was the opening Jack needed, as he delivered a 720 Splash, but only for a two count. Matanza managed to finish off Jack, and he is the latest sacrifice.

Next up, Trios Championship action, as the Reptile Tribe defend their titles against the newly formed team of Joey Ryan, Ivelisse, and Xo Lishus. This odd triumvirate begun when Joey appeared and saved Xo from Jack Evans’ violent wrath, and it was cemented following Ivelisse’s failure to capture the Gift of the Gods Championship from then-champion Dragon Azteca Jr. Xo made the offer to Ivelisse to form the alliance and challenge for the titles, with Ivelisse accepting. However, Paul London later comes out and introduces his new cohorts, El Bunny and the White Rabbit, stemming from weeks ago when London went down the Rabbit Hole. Jeremiah Snake starts things with Joey Ryan, until Kobra Moon is tagged in, but Joey takes down those two as well as Daga before tagging Xo in. Xo goes toe-to-toe with Kobra Moon, who later takes over and tags in Jeremiah. Jeremiah and Daga double team Xo, who takes down Jeremiah and tags in Ivelisse.

Ivelisse, the only member of the team of challengers who has held the Trios Championship, nearly pins Daga before Jeremiah breaks things up, setting up a confrontation between the former lovers. Daga ends up on the receiving end of a triple team, and Joey’s pin attempt is broken up by Kobra Moon. We see a battle of seductive wills between Joey and Kobra, before the latter dumps the former on to her allies. Joey superkicks Jeremiah, but he ends up literally wrestling with Daga, with Daga later placing Joey in a painful submission move, with Joey submitting. The Reptile Tribe retains, while the newly revamped Rabbit Tribe watches. London and El Bunny surround the ring, and the diminutive El Bunny goes after Xo and Joey. Ivelisse enters, but her attempt is intercepted by a kick from London. These two and the White Rabbit clearly mean business.

Next up, Aerostar and Drago align in a 2-on-1 Nunchuck Match against Jake Strong, stemming from weeks of Strong antagonizing both of his opponents in the past. Now it may seem like an advantage for the tag team, but Strong looks like he could fight off teams on his own. However, the pair’s double team was working from the start…until Strong took down both of them. Strong goes for the nunchucks, but Aerostar is held at bay to allow Drago to get the weapon. Despite this, Strong again takes down both of his foes and regains control of the match. We later see Drago on top of Aerostar’s shoulders, spewing the mist and later striking Strong with the nunchucks. Strong takes down both men, but Aerostar grabs the nunchucks, only to be decked by Strong. Strong sent Aerostar over the railing, and at the moment, the only foe left for Strong is Drago. I say “at the moment,” because Aerostar comes out of nowhere and dives on top of Strong! Aerostar and Drago both deliver nunchuck shots to Strong, but Strong attempts to turn this fight into a straight up wrestling match. His offense is thwarted when Aerostar delivers a splash on top of him, with both of them covering Strong, who powers out. Strong later ends up placing Aerostar in the Ankle Lock, and Aerostar submits. Drago strikes Strong with the nunchucks to get him off his compadre, only to have his own ankle snapped. Note that Strong never used the nunchucks in the entire match!

Matt Striker states that on next week’s edition, Marty the Moth will address his opponent for Ultima Lucha Cuatro, who will be determined in this main event. King Cuerno, Mil Muertes, former Gift of the Gods Champion Dragon Azteca Jr., and former Lucha Underground Champion Pentagon Dark all clash for a title opportunity at Ultima Lucha Cuatro. Azteca and Pentagon lost the most between the four of them, as both of them were plagued by Marty last week, and Marty’s cash-in was successful due to Mil and Cuerno wearing down Pentagon in that match. Cuerno takes Mil out of the ring, leaving him with Azteca. His attempt to take down Azteca was stopped by a kick from Pentagon, who ends up on the receiving end of Azteca’s DDT. Mil re-enters, but all of a sudden, Fenix appears and confronts Melissa Santos, who attempts to get through to him. Azteca takes down Fenix, but the two of them end up fighting. Remember, it was Fenix’s attack on Azteca that resulted in the beginning of Marty’s big night. Talk about irony.

Pentagon, Mil, and Cuerno are left fighting, but we later see The Mack enter the ring and deliver not one, but two Stunners to Mil Muertes! Pentagon kicks Cuerno off ringside and pins Mil Muertes to get his title rematch with Marth the Moth at Ultima Lucha Cuatro! The Mack cost Mil Muertes a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship, and Fenix did the same with Azteca for the second time! Mack enters and reminds him of that fact, but states that Mil will fight him at Ultima Lucha Cuatro! He adds that he was once afraid of Mil, but not anymore after the Haunted House match, and this leads to Mack challenging Mil Muertes to a DEATHMATCH!!! Oh my goodness!

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which recaps everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw.

Raw featured a double dose of women’s action, beginning with The Bellas and Natalya on the losing end of a six woman tag team contest against the Riott Squad (much more on that match later). Later on, Nia Jax defeated Alicia Fox in singles action, and on SmackDown the following evening, Asuka and Naomi defeated Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose–with the IIconics on commentary. Later on, SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, coming off attacking Charlotte Flair, defeated Lana after challenging her to a match backstage. Week 2 of the Mixed Match Challenge saw Bobby Lashley and Mickie James defeat Jinder Mahal and Alicia, as well as The Miz and Asuka (the defending champions) defeat R-Truth and Carmella.

On NXT, Lacey Evans antagonized Candice LeRae during Johnny Gargano’s interview, and later on, Kairi Sane defeated Vanessa Borne in non-title action. Kairi was again confronted by Shayna Baszler, who reminded the champion that she has a rematch coming her way. Kairi responded by challenging Shayna at the Evolution event on October 28! The Mae Young Classic’s opening round concluded with Hiroyo Matsumoto, Taynara Conti, Nicole Matthews, and Io Shirai winning their matches and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. On Lucha Underground, Ivelisse’s attempt at the Trios Championship came up short, and on the following evening’s Impact Wrestling, Tessa successfully defended the Knockouts Championship against Faby Apache, only to be challenged to a title bout at Bound For Glory by Taya Valkyrie!

So let’s address the elephant in the room. During Brie Bella’s delivery of the Yes Kicks, one of them legit struck Liv on the head and knocked her loopy. Liv was checked on in the back, with Brie showing immense concern for Liv’s well being. It was later reported that Liv suffered a concussion and is following WWE’s proper protocols regarding such things, which means that there will most likely be changes made to the Super Show-Down match, which has the Bellas and Ronda Rousey teaming up against the Riott Squad. With Liv out, I can see Brie being removed and the match turned into a standard tag pitting Ronda and Nikki against Ruby and Sarah. It can be a near blessing in disguise, because the result could see Ronda and Nikki victorious, which could be followed by Nikki turning heel and attacking Ronda to set up their rumored title contest at Evolution.

Image result for Candice Michelle

Happy birthday to former WWE Women’s Champion Candice Michelle, who celebrated the big 4-0 this Sunday! Candice Michelle was one of many products of the Diva Search years ago, and was later signed by WWE sometime in 2004. After spending a few months on SmackDown, Candice turned heel upon returning to Raw, as she and Torrie Wilson formed Vince’s Devils with Victoria in the summer of 2005, with the alliance ending nearly a year later. She ended up becoming one of the long list of WWE women to be featured on the cover of Playboy in 2006, and it was in 2007 that Candice captured the prestigious Women’s Championship. Candice’s tail end of her WWE career was lagged by clavicle injuries, and she was released from WWE in 2009. On December 2 of last year, Candice competed at House of Hardcore 36, defeating her evil former ally, Lisa Marie “Victoria” Varon, in what was Candice’s retirement match.

In strange, but true, news, Nicole Matthews has been banned from the United States for five years due to work visa issues. Nicole, who is from Canada, received the ban shortly after her Mae Young Classic match aired this past Wednesday, which saw her defeat Isla Dawn. Nicole’s second round match will air either this upcoming Wednesday, or the following week, but the entire bulk of the tournament was taped a month ahead of time. The ban derails a good chunk of Nicole’s wrestling career, as she has competed for SHIMMER Women Athletes for over a decade.

Finally, Tenille Dashwood (the former Emma in WWE) will be sidelined for months as she will undergo surgery on her injured shoulder. Tenille revealed that she has competed with the injury for several months, and she was properly written off at ROH’s Death Before Dishonor PPV in Vegas. The event saw Tenille defeated by Sumie Sakai in a Women of Honor Championship match, and afterwards, Tenille was attacked backstage by an unknown villainess, whose identity was not revealed. I myself am hoping that the attacker ends up being Mandy Leon, as Mandy needs a heel turn in ROH.

A new week begins with the final countdown to Super Show-Down in WWE, as well as the continued countdown to Bound For Glory in Impact! Until next week!

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which recaps everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw.

Raw featured the fallout from Hell In A Cell, which saw Bayley victorious over Dana Brooke in singles action. Ronda Rousey was planning an open challenge, but it was interrupted when The Riott Squad appeared and revealed that they assaulted Ronda’s possible challenger, Natalya. The trio went after Ronda, only to be run off by the Bellas, promoting their upcoming match at WWE Super Show-Down. Later on, Mickie James and Alicia Fox were defeated by Ember Moon and the returning Nia Jax.Image result for Becky Lynch championship coronation

On SmackDown, Asuka defeated Billie Kay, but the main spotlight shone on Becky Lynch, as she received a championship coronation. Charlotte appeared as an invited guest, but this was only done so her former friend could rub in her success, even going as far as to demand that Charlotte call her “Queen.” This led to the two Horsewomen fighting, with Becky on the winning end of the brawl. After SmackDown went off the air, the second season of the Mixed Match Challenge got underway with a pair of matches. First, Braun Strowman and Ember Moon defeated Kevin Owens and Natalya, and secondly, AJ Styles and Charlotte defeated Jimmy Uso and Naomi.

On the following night’s NXT, Deonna Purrazzo appeared on the program and served as Dakota Kai’s partner in the opening tag team match, where they were defeated by Lacey Evans and Aliyah. Following NXT, the Mae Young Classic marched on, with Kaitlyn, Toni Storm, Xia Li, and Mia Yim all advancing to the second round of the tournament. Lucha Underground saw Chelsea Green (the former Laurel Van Ness) debut and help Marty the Moth capture the Lucha Underground Championship, while Impact in Mexico saw legendary wrestler Faby Apache defeat Alisha Edwards, and later challenge Tessa Blanchard after her victory.

Image result for kairi sane nxt championSpeaking of the Mae Young Classic, happy 30th birthday to the first tournament winner and current NXT Women’s Champion Kairi Sane! It was on September 12, 2017 that Kairi Sane defeated Shayna Baszler to win the tournament, and that would jump start a rivalry that would later involve the NXT Women’s Championship, which Shayna won in April of this year. Kairi defeated Shayna at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV last month to capture the title, and her first title defense will take place at Evolution, but an opponent has yet to be officially announced.

Regarding Evolution, Charlotte Flair revealed that she will face Becky Lynch again at the event in five weeks, which would serve as the close of a bitter and personal rivalry. Becky captured the SmackDown Women’s Championship a week prior, and it was already announced even before Hell In A Cell that they would face each other at WWE Super Show-Down on October 6. This is the first title match announced for Evolution, which will feature four championship contests. The NXT and NXT UK Women’s Championships will be decided, and the rumored Raw Women’s Championship match has Ronda Rousey defending against Nikki Bella, with Nikki most likely turning heel to set up their match. Confirmed matches for Evolution are Alexa Bliss vs Trish Stratus and Mickie James vs Lita, as well as the finals of the Mae Young Classic. Another rumored match has Brie Bella facing Maryse, which would perfectly keep Brie in her own angle if/when Nikki begins her villainous pursuit of Ronda and her title.

I mentioned Alexa Bliss; she is Braun Strowman’s original MMC partner, but she is one of two women currently injured. Bliss’ injury was announced before the MMC began, which led to Ember Moon replacing her as Braun’s partner. The other woman currently injured is Sasha Banks, who was originally set to be Bobby Lashley’s partner in the tournament. It was announced that Mickie James will team with Lashley.

A new week begins with Raw, which will see Brie Bella take on Ruby Riott. Also, the opening round of the Mae Young Classic concludes, and the build for Super Show-Down continues! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 15)

Welcome to the Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground!

The action starts in the temple with Fenix facing Aerostar. We had to feel for Melissa Santos during her announcements, as we recall what occurred with Fenix last week. Last week’s episode was titled, “Pet Sematary,” and it was a fitting title, as Fenix became violent, dark, and flat out deranged in his literal return from the dead. Aerostar, his former Trios partner, felt Fenix’s aggression, as well as Melissa, and in this match is no different. The darker and more sinister Fenix made an impression on Aerostar, but Aerostar fights back with a spinning piledriver for a two count! Aerostar’s series of kicks fail to make an effect on Fenix, but a second spinning piledriver doesn’t! After the two count, Fenix placed Aerostar on the top rope corner, and later delivers a modified driver on his opponent, winning the match.

However, winning is not enough, as Fenix pummels his former friend. Melissa pleads with Fenix to get help, saying that this Fenix is not the man she knows and loves. We later see Fenix menacingly approach Fenix, only for El Dragon Azteca to appear just as he did the previous week. This time, Fenix brutally attacked Azteca outside the ring, and as Matt Striker stated, Azteca has a Gift of the Gods Championship defense coming up!

The title match is scheduled to be next, but Antonio Cueto emerges and states that Azteca is in no condition to compete, and even went as far as to declare the match a forfeit and hand the title to Marty the Moth. Azteca wasn’t having it, and despite his condition, he wanted to defend his title against Marty. Out came the challenger, and he wasted no time going after the champion. Much like his sister, Mariposa, Marty paid his way into this championship match, but this bout has seen Azteca fight off what happened and deliver against the intense challenger, picking up near falls on more than one occasion. However, Marty was too much for Azteca, and he managed to defeat Azteca and capture the Gift of the Gods Championship! This is Marty’s first title in Lucha Underground, and it’s a big one; he is holding a golden ticket to the Lucha Underground Championship! As for Azteca, however, his dream of challenging for the Lucha Underground Championship at Ultima Lucha Cuatro are now kaput.

We now see Paul London speaking with the White Rabbit, gleefully boasting about his role in sacrificing his cohorts. The White Rabbit is not impressed, but he has a proposition for London: bring him and El Bunny to the temple. London acquiesces. Wow!

The main event commences! Challengers King Cuerno and Mil Muertes enter the ring first, followed by their opponent, the defending Lucha Underground Champion, Pentagon Dark. This match was made after a #1 Contender’s match between Cuerno and Mil ended without a definitive winner, leading to Antonio Cueto making the three-way match. Pentagon was taken out from the start, but he managed to break up a pin attempt between the challengers. Remember: no champion’s advantage in these matches, the champion can lose the title without being pinned. However, that would not be a problem for Pentagon, as he managed to pin Cuerno after delivering the piledriver. We later see Marty the Moth enter and beat down Pentagon Dark; Marty is the new Gift of the Gods Champion and he has that golden ticket to turn it into a Lucha Underground Championship match, but he must give the champion one week’s notice.

However, Antonio came out and chastised the “one week notice” rule and decided to abolish it, stating that it can be cashed in at any time! Marty does so, and he is now in a Lucha Underground Championship contest! So Gift of the Gods is now literally like Money in the Bank: it can be cashed in when the champion is at his or her (remember, Sexy Star held the title) most vulnerable! Pentagon managed to fight back against Marty, but in a strange moment, Chelsea Green appeared and delivered an attack to Pentagon, and the assault led to Marty capturing the Lucha Underground Championship! The former Laurel Van Ness places Marty’s new prize around his waist, and what a night for Marty. Remember: Marty ended Season 3 on the receiving end of immense embarrassment! Tonight, he entered with nothing, and came out like a bandit!

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which recaps everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw and ending with Hell In A Cell.

On Raw, Nikki Bella defeated Ruby Riott, and later on, Natalya and Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, only for Alexa to go after Ronda’s ribs, which suffered a bit of a beating during the match. On the following evening’s SmackDown, Charlotte defeated Sonya Deville in singles action, and she was greeting several fans following her victory when one of them assaulted her. The “fan” was none other than the evil Becky Lynch in disguise, and the Lass Kicker placed Charlotte in the Dis-Arm-Her on the entrance ramp. What was supposed to be a main event pitting Brie Bella against Maryse ended with both couples brawling, with Brie punching Miz in the face yet again.

On NXT, Shayna Baszler mercilessly defeated her opponent, and the main event saw Bianca BelAir and Nikki Cross compete to a double countout. The second episode of the Mae Young Classic saw Deonna Purrazzo, Zeuxis, Kacy Catanzaro, and Mercedes Martinez all advance to the second round, and on Lucha Underground, Ivelisse came up short in her bid to become Gift of the Gods Champion. On Impact Wrestling, Allie and Tessa had differing opinions regarding the latter being saved from Su Yung, and Alisha Edwards defeated Katarina in no time, mainly due to Katarina being embarrassed again by Joe Hendry and Grado.

Counting the mixed tag, Hell In A Cell featured a triple dose of women’s action, beginning with Becky Lynch defeating Charlotte to capture the SmackDown Women’s Championship for the second time! The victory comes just over two years after Becky became the first SD Women’s Champion, and she refused Charlotte’s show of sportsmanship after the match. Later on, The Miz and Maryse defeated Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella, with Maryse pinning Brie, and Ronda Rousey’s first title defense was a successful one against Alexa Bliss.

There were rumors entering the event that WWE may pull off a double turn between Becky and Charlotte, with Charlotte turning villainous due to fans viewing the Queen as the antagonist in this situation. However, from what was shown on SD and at the PPV, it still appears that Becky is the true villainess of this angle. Charlotte, IMO, is a more natural heel than Becky, but I think a heel Becky would be different, and from what I and others witnessed, it looks like that will be the plan going forward. Becky and Charlotte will face off in a title rematch at WWE Super Show-Down on October 6 in Australia.

Every time I see Ronda and Nattie celebrating, I always think, “When is Nattie turning on Ronda?” There was a plan months ago for Natalya to turn heel against Ronda, but I believe that WWE backed out on it slightly out of respect for Nattie following the loss of her father, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, as it would be in bad taste to portray Natalya as a villainess so soon after the tragedy. The aforementioned Super Show-Down will see Ronda aligned with the Bellas against the Riott Squad, and I suspect that will lead to Ronda’s rumored match against (more likely) an evil Nikki Bella at Evolution. If WWE does turn Natalya, it will most likely be after Evolution–months after–and regarding her motive, the villainous Natalya could express jealousy of Ronda’s rise and popularity, with the claim that she “created” Ronda.

Happy birthday to former WWE talent Audrey Marie, who turns 30 this Monday! Audrey Marie is known for being part of the early stages of the current NXT; back when it was FCW. She reigned as FCW Women’s Champion and was part of the transition to NXT, which saw her on the losing end of a number of matches in 2012. Audrey later turned heel and began her first big angle with Sasha Banks, attacking Sasha and revealing herself as the “secret admirer” who sent her various notes. Audrey’s villainous motivation was jealousy of Sasha, who began rising while Audrey was out injured, leading to Audrey’s victory over Sasha later on. She was released from WWE in mid-2013, and competed at a Queens of Combat event a year later, losing to Heather Patera. It would be her last match to date, as Audrey is enjoying retirement, as well as a marriage to Matt Clement–aka WWE superstar Tyler Breeze.

A new week begins with the aftermath of Hell In A Cell on Raw and SmackDown, as well as Episode 3 of the Mae Young Classic! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 14)

Welcome to the Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground!

We kick things off in the temple, as Ivelisse challenges Dragon Azteca Jr for the Gift of the Gods Championship! Azteca has vowed to be a fighting champion and he has lived up to that promise so far, but he has a viable and worthy challenger in the form of Ivelisse. Ivelisse is looking to move a step closer to becoming the second-ever female Lucha Underground Champion, and the head scissors to Azteca could being her closer to the goal. Azteca re-enters and delivers the fight to the challenger, getting a two count on Ivelisse. Azteca places Ivelisse into a Boston Crab; Ivelisse escapes but is placed in a headlock afterwards. Ivelisse’s punches result in Azteca takign her down, but the challenger finds her second win and goes after Azteca with intense fury. A DDT takes down the champion, but only for a two count! She later places Azteca in a submission situation, Azteca counters and gets a two-count.

The fight is taken out of the ring, but Ivelisse places Azteca in the ring and delivers a 360 Flip, but only for a two-count! Various slaps by the challenger are followed by a kick, but again, another two count by the challenger! Ivelisse goes for a rear-naked choke on Azteca, who fights out of it. The champion’s second wind returns, but Ivelisse goes after Azteca on the top rope. Azteca delivers a top rope leg drop, and that leads to a three count and yet another successful title defense for Dragon Azteca Jr. Azteca plans to hold the title up until Ultima Lucha Cuatro, and he could be on his way to doing just that. As for Ivelisse, she showed frustration for coming up short, but she is later visited by Xo Lishus and Joey Ryan, with the former proposing that they team together and go after the Trios Championship, with Ivelisse agreeing!

King Cuerno in the ring now, and he is interrupted by Antonio Cueto, who reminded him of his actions last week towards Pentagon Dark. Antonio admires Cueto’s drive, but he says there’s another who is worthy of a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship, and Cuerno will face that certain someone in a #1 Contender’s Mach. That certain someone just happened to be Mil Muertes! Oh boy! These two have bitter history and to no surprise, the fight was taken outside the ring. Senior official Marty Elias attempted to restore order and inform both men to enter the ring, only for BOTH of them to shove Elias down–the only thing they could agree on. Elias signaled for the bell, and while Cuerno and Mil continued to fight, it seems the match is being thrown out. However, Antonio rewards violence, and since both men delivered great violence, BOTH of them will face Pentagon for the title next week in a three-way match! Speaking of Pentagon, the Lucha Underground Champion appears, and is enthused with the fight taking place.

The main event is up now, and the Reptile Tribe is defending their Trios Championship against the reunited team of Fenix, Drago, and Aerostar. The three of them were a merry band and were Trios Champions in the past, but Kobra Moon’s seductive manipulation of Drago ended their reign and their alignment. As we recall, last week’s edition saw Fenix revived, but as we’ve seen in this match, he is much different from the Fenix of old, more aggressive than ever. Though Melissa Santos has just been happy to see Fenix back, as she has been shown clapping for her man. Drago fights off Jeremiah Snake and Daga, much to Kobra’s consternation, and he later counters against Jeremiah’s attack. Aerostar, who is responsible for Fenix’s resurrection, dives over on Jeremiah and Daga! Fenix is tagged in, and he helps Drago dive over the top rope and on to his foes. Aerostar cheers on his cohort, but to the shock of everyone in attendance, Fenix delivers a kick to Aerostar! What the what?!

Fenix continues his assault and piledrives Aerostar, and while everyone is shocked, no one is more surprised than Melissa. Jeremiah enters and finishes off Aerostar, and the Reptile Tribe retains their titles. Kobra Moon takes Melissa’s microphone and makes the announcement, as Melissa is still shocked over what has happened. Her attempt to get to Fenix not only falls on deaf ears, it gets her shoved away by the man she loved. Though let’s face it, that man is far gone. Dragon Azteca Jr appears and checks on Melissa, while Fenix simply leaves.

Antonio Cueto is in his office, and is interrupted by Marty the Moth, who is at the door. Marty arrives with a pair of stacks of money, and wants a shot at the Gift of the Gods Championship–the same shot his sister, Mariposa, had. Antonio counts the money and acquiesces; Marty will have his title shot next week. However, Marty hands more money to Antonio, saying that there’s something else he wants. What is it? We’ll have to wait.

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 13)

Welcome to the Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground!

We start things with Catrina, who is not mincing words with Mil Muertes: she is done. She is done being at his beck and call, even going as far as stating that she never loved Mil; the man she truly loved gave her a new life. Just as she walks away, Catrina is confronted by Melissa Santos, leading to a fight between the two women that has been in the works for months–ever since Fenix’s defeat at Grave Consequences. Melissa continued her pursuit of Catrina, and the fight continued on, with neither woman backing down. Catrina mocks Melissa while placing her in a submission situation, while Melissa vows that Catrina will “die for her.” They take the fight to the rooftop, where Catrina wraps Melissa’s pendant around her neck, only for the ring announcer to fight back! Catrina is ends up hanging for life, only for Mil Muertes to appear. He gives her the ancient stone, before dropping Catrina to her death! WOW! Aerostar appears and asks Melissa for the pendant, promising to give her what she desires.

We see a rewind to 10 weeks earlier, where Catrina took Fenix’s life force to empower her. We later see Aerostar, apparently having traveled back to that period, and using Catrina’s power to resurrect Fenix! Back to the present, Aerostar returns with Fenix, much to Melissa’s happiness. Aerostar stated that it would take time for Fenix to return to normal, but Melissa responds and states that they have all of the time in the world. What an opening to Lucha Underground!

After all of that, we are finally in the temple, where Matt Striker states that the previously announced Lucha Underground Championship match between Pentagon Dark and Johnny Mundo will not happen due to what happened during the latter’s wedding to Taya. In the ring, Melissa’s back to work, and it’s Joey Wrestling (the former Joey Mercury) in action looking for a fight. Antonio Cueto appears and gives Joey a chance at revenge, announcing that his opponent is none other than Matanza, another planned “sacrifice.” We’ve been seeing this lately, Matanza’s “Sacrifice to the Gods.” The mark in me couldn’t help but love Striker’s “Mercury rising” comment, as well as him mentioning Melina during last week’s program. But staying on the action, Joey’s on the receiving end of a Matanza bear hug, but the former three-time WWE Tag Team Champion fights out of it, and delivers a Death Valley Driver to the massive monster! Joey becomes the first to really bring the fight to Matanza in a “Sacrifice” match, even delivering two low blows to the monster. Joey channels his inner HHH with a Pedigree, but the monster is not phased, and a Wrath of the Gods seals Joey’s fate.

The action continues now, with Killshot in the ring facing Big Bad Steve, who carried The Beautiful Brenda down the stairs. Killshot quickly targets the band ankle of Steve, and we later see Son of Havoc appear with popcorn and soda, looking to get a good seat to this bout, maybe. As we recall, Havoc, Killshot, and The Mack were the Trios Champions, but Killshot beat down Havoc after they lost the titles to the Reptile Tribe. It had been documented that Killshot did not like Havoc since he became part of the trio, but Havoc–for all intents and purposes–is a fan at ringside. Killshot continues working on Steve, delivering slaps and kicks to his opponent, who is asking for more. He later delivers a double stomp to Steve, and continues the onslaught of kicks. Steve fights back just a bit, but he continues to be dominated by Killshot. However, Steve delivers his own stretch of offense, and nearly gets the win, but Killshot’s foot on the rope breaks the count. Even on one ankle, Steve stays in it, placing Killshot on the top rope with a superplex in mind. Killshot gets out of it and delivers a kick and a double stomp on Steve, and follows it with a second one for the victory.

Just as Killshot walks off, he decides to get in the face of Havoc, swatting away the bucket of popcorn and starting a fight between the two! However, the brawl somehow ended with Havoc removing Killshot’s mask! Killshot hides his face and walks off, leaving Havoc to celebrate while possessing Killshot’s mask.

Pentagon Dark is in the ring fretting over not being able to face Johnny Mundo for his Lucha Underground Championship, so with that, he’s offering an open challenge to ANYONE in the back, putting his title on the line. With that, we see Hernandez come out and accept Pentagon’s challenge, and we have our main event! These powerhouses quickly took the fight outside the ring, which later included Pentagon delivering a vicious chop to Hernandez. However, the man known as Super Mex resorted to high flying to take down Pentagon, and he nearly gets a two count on Pentagon before placing the champion in a submission situation, if only for a brief while. The fight marches on, and Pentagon is knocked off the top rope by Hernandez, who manages another two count. Pentagon manages to finish off Hernandez and the match as a whole with a modified brain buster, and after retaining the title, Pentagon attempts the arm breaking ritual, only for King Cuerno to appear and strike Pentagon with his prize! A piledriver follows, but the message is clear. King Cuerno wants the ultimate trophy: the Lucha Underground Championship.

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

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