There I was sports fans, hand on my Playstation 4 controller, navigating Spider-Man through an endless array of New York skyscrapers and thinking to myself “man I cannot wait to review tonight’s Lucha Underground episode.” And then it hit me; how could I do a normal review of the show when the whole show is being taken up by a Seven to Survive match for the Gift of the Gods?! I mean you could do it, but it have to be under a totally different format. It was in that moment that I realized that I hadn’t done a running diary for a lucha show in awhile. In fact, I think the last one I did was for Aztec Warfare IV at the start of the season. What better time than now to break it out right before Ultima Lucha Cuatro kicks off next week? And so with that sports fans, allow me to welcome you to Lucha Central’s Running Diary of LU’s Seven to Survive match. Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be that quote Bette Davis used in that classic movie I’ve never seen. Was it All About Eve? I think it was All About Eve.
8:03: We’re live! Three minutes later than I would’ve wanted but that’s what promoting will do for you. All we’ve missed is a rundown of the last few episodes (with the gauntlet being brought up a lot) and Striker and Vamp announced Killshot vs. Son of Havoc is headlining next week. Cool. Everyone in the Seven to Survive match is being announced as we speak.
8:06: I’m not sure if this is a good sign for Dante Fox but this match has started off with him hotter than Fahrenheit 450. Double cutters, dives, great athleticism; you name it. Has me worried he’s getting the boot soon! By the by, Striker and Vampiro have reaffirmed that the winner of this match can cash in the Gift of the Gods at any time. Something to keep in mind.
8:07: IT WASN’T A BAD SIGN FOR FOX! He got paired with Hernandez and managed to catch him with a backslide for our first elimination. Seeing as Hernandez was arguably the weakest performer in this match I’d say this bodes well for everything else. And now for our first commercial.
8:12: Man, no commercials of interest thus far! This better change; I want to mock some ads before the night is over. We’re back by the way.
8:13: A hockey reference by Vampiro. Can’t blame him; did you see that Oilers-Penguins game last night? I’d be name dropping the NHL any moment I could too after that. Lot’s of brawling in the seats by the way, with Aerostar topping it all with a rana from out of the seats and to the floor.
8:14: WHAT A POWERBOMB INTO THE WALL BY STRONG ON FOX! Vamp then goes full Kevin Harlan by saying Jake Strong “has no regard for human life!” Big night for Vamp early on. Meanwhile, Famous B (who is Big Bad Steve’s client by the way) distracts PJ Black and hands him a wrench. Steve then goes nuts on Black and Cuerno with it, while Strong wisely runs away.
8:15: Steve now wailing Aerostar with the wrench as the crowd chants “STEVE!” during every hit. You gotta love the Temple. Steve then makes the mistake of playing to the crowd, allowing Black to come back in with a low blow. Strong is back in and we get a WWE throwback with Black and Strong going back and forth, with PJ getting the edge thanks to another low blow.
8:16: Great Lionsault by Black for a near fall. He then gets another near fall on Strong via a Sunset Flip and OH MY STRONG ROLLED OUT OF IT FOR AN ANKLE LOCK! Black taps, Strong keeps it on and that ankle just broke like a Kit Kat.
8:18: And with that we’ll be right back after these messages!
8:19: Apparently the General commercials have graduated to a man riding to work on a pig. I have it ranked between the Bigfoot Pizza Hut commercials and that Sunkist commercial that only exists in my head as one of the best ever. Just kidding. Or am I?
8:20: WE’RE BACK! And it’s a Big Bad Man vs. a Big Strong Man. Naturally this leads to “STRONG!” and “STEVE!” chants with each strike.
8:21: Cuerno and Fox come in; Cuerno fairs better as he sends Strong out of the ring, but Fox ends up tweaking his leg and gets powned by Steve. Aerostar comes in and quickly gets double teamed by Steve and Cuerno. Is this a Big Bad Hunting alliance? Did I just say that out loud?
8:22: That cutter by Big Bad Steve. MONEY! The alliance has ended as Steve and Cuerno are now having a dramatic showdown. Not good for Steve; does he not remember Cuerno stood toe to toe with Mil in a fist fight earlier this season?
8:24: Cuerno has had two chops in the last two minutes that were so good I can’t decide between them. It’s like choosing between your favorite bottle of Sunkist.
8:25: Wait…is that a forklift? Wait…is that Drago with a hard helmet?! Wait…IS AEROSTAR GETTING ON THAT AND IT’S GETTING HIGHER AND HIGHER AND HIGHER!
8:26: OH! MY! GOODNESS!
8:27: So Aerostar was just raised up some fifteen feet on a forklift by Drago and proceeded to jump off it onto Steve and Cuerno! This was an all time moment simply for Drago dressing like Xander Harris; the jump may have put it into top five LU tier! Aerostar then pinned Big Bad Steve to eliminate him and it’s a good thing we’re going to break because I need a moment!
8:30: We’re back! Strong, Aerostar, Cuerno and Fox remain and Strong is currently pulverizing Aerostar. Frankly it doesn’t matter what happens to Aerostar now; he’s already won for that dive. The only thing that could top it is if he traveled back in time and did it again.
8:31: Strong is now working over Cuerno while Fox watches from outside. Remember Fox tweaked his leg and Strong loves to work legs. Not good for the one man army! Strong gets a near fall on a slam by the way.
8:33: Just found this picture on Twitter. If this ain’t worth documenting then I don’t know what is.
8:34: It was a good run Aerostar but it must come to an end. Strong caught him going for a dive and put him in the Ankle Lock, causing a tap out. There will be no break though as King Cuerno gets in and forces Strong to break the hold. INTERESTING! This is now the second time Aerostar has escaped having his ankle broken from Strong, and the guy who helped him just so happens to be the man who has a certain backstage scene with Aerostar we haven’t see yet. Stuff to ponder as we got to commercial.
8:39: And we’re back for the home stretch! Cuerno just helped Aerostar to the back and pointed to Aerostar in the mist as a sign of respect. Great visual. Fox is now crawling to Strong in the ring but can’t make it, while Cuerno takes a long, LONG time to get back into the ring.
8:40: HERE! WE! GO! Cuerno with some stiff strikes to both men, but he soon gets caught in the Ankle Lock by Strong. Cuerno rolls out and sends Strong to the floor, then sends Fox to the floor. A limping Cuerno lets loose the bow and there’s the Arrow from the Depths of Hell!
8:42: Fox is now going into the seats…UH OH! He’s up on a platform, the spotlight is on him and OH MY GENTLE JESUS!
8:43: Alright so Fox basically did a flip dive off a platform and to the floor because why the hell not right?! Fox then hits a 450 on Cuerno, but Strong breaks up the pin…I’m not sure about that move Jake! Strong fights him off on the floor, then runs into several Cuerno knees and gets hit with a Thrill of the Hunt. NO DICE! Fox just kicks out. Between him and Aerostar there’s been some all time LU performances here.
8:45: Cuerno with a Modified Romero Special on Fox. Describing this doesn’t do it justice; this is a painful Octopus. Fox survives it though, so Cuerno sends him to the corner for some more great Cuerno slaps. Cuerno charges and misses the knee, leaving him prone for a Vader Splash by Strong for a near fall.
8:46: Holy shit Dante Fox! He jumped over Strong, hit a running senton on Cuerno, then an awesome Springboard Cutter on Strong for a near fall. I was almost convinced he had Strong.
8:47: Swanton attempt by Fox and WHAT A BLOCK BY STRONG! My Grodd that looked like it hurt. Both Strong and Fox limp up and soon all three men are down after exchanging strikes. This is fantastic.
8:48: All three men are up and they are going back and forth with the strikes. Three way strike battle. A Mexican standoff if you will!
8:49: Strong rolls out of the ring for a reprieve, so it’s now Cuerno and Fox again. Back and forth until Cuerno is caught on the second rope and IT’S LOW MEIN PEIN! Did I spell that right? Who cares; Fox follows it with a Fox Catcher and Cuerno is out. Just like the Battle Royal last week it’s down to Dante Fox and Jake Strong. Crowd is torn.
8:51: Some outstanding, athletic counter wrestling from both men leads to Fox doing a painful looking dropkick off the apron and onto the floor. This is off the page!
8:52: Both men get back in the ring and WHAT A SUPERKICK BY FOX! Only a near fall. I’m getting the sense Strong will just pull this out here. Fox sets him up on the second rope…Strong countered Low Mein Pein, nearly gets an Ankle Lock, Fox gets out, back and forth, THERE IT IS! Fox is in the Ankle Lock! Can he get out again?
8:54: He cannot! Fox fought and fought and fought but it was finally a bit much and Jake Strong gets the submission for the victory. To say the crowd did not like this would be an understatement; MASSIVE heat for Strong here.
8:56: Strong isn’t done! He then snaps Fox’s ankle about fifteen different times to even more boos, then plays to the crowd for more boos. Pretty great rudo work from Strong there. Striker and Vamp mention the new Gift of the Gods rule again and boy, I’d be worried if I were Pentagon or Marty right now.
8:57: And that’s the show…OR IS IT?! We see Johnny Mundo on the roof of the Temple and BY GRODD THERE’S AEROSTAR! He’s telling Johnny no amount of training will have him ready for Matanza. Johnny says Matanza has to pay for what he’s done to him (he did ruin the wedding and all), but Aerostar warns him it’ll be no use; he’ll be another Sacrifice to the Gods. Johnny says judging by Aerostar’s performance tonight Aerostar will be no help so he’ll need no partner.
8:58: Drago has flown in…AND HE’S GOT THE GAUNTLET! Aerostar reminds Johnny he saved Drago (CONTINUITY!) and thus he will do him a favor…he’ll give him the glove! Johnny is at first reluctant, but Aerostar talks him into wearing it. Johnny puts it on and he immediately feels like a god, launching into a Johnny Mundo wearing the power glove scene that only Johnny Mundo could pull off.
9:00: Drago and Aerostar watch all this and Drago, perhaps the smartest man in the room, asks Aerostar if this is a good idea. Aerostar can only respond by saying “time will tell”, which tells me this is going to go down alongside “Justice League will be fine with two competing visions” as one of the worst decisions ever. I look forward to Aerostar shaking his head in disgust once Strong gets the power glove (which, by the way, remains so very, very bad!) in a week or two and Drago telling him “I told you this was a bad idea!” It’ll be funnier than Drago in the hard helmet and Strong doing a Hulk Hogan taunt as the Temple all but threw tomatoes at him.
WHAT AN EPISODE! Last week’s LU episode was a bit of a downer for me (outside of the Strong-Mundo match) but this week was on par with the two before that. Frankly I think it may have been better. This was a sensation Seven to Survive match, at least on par with the one from season two and frankly I think it may have been better. Remember, that match was a good match for 40 minutes and then an unbelievable one for 20. This was pretty much unbelievable from the start, minus Hernandez’ brief appearance. Big Bad Steve did some great work, both with a wrench and with his wrestling. PJ Black was solid. Aerostar’s dive will be talked about for quite awhile (both for how spectacular and silly it was). And my Grodd, what performances from Dante Fox, King Cuerno and Jake Strong. It was easily the best performance of the season for all three men, which makes sense for Fox considering he came back last week. You could tell how much he was missed; this was a completely different kind of performance than the Hell of War match and yet was absolutely spectacular in every way. Cuerno meanwhile looked far more composed and vicious than I’ve seen him in awhile (his character worker with Aerostar was strong too) and the more he shows vulnerability and weakness, the better Jake Strong has looked. It doesn’t hurt either that LU has finally revealed his role either, which has given him more purpose than what he had earlier in the season. Just an awesome match with so many great performances, followed by a show closing angle that sets up a new wrinkle for the Mundo-Matanza match, the overarching LU arch and Strong himself; we still have a scene with him holding the glove to get too! I don’t know if LU could’ve asked for a better episode to head into Ultima Lucha IV with. Just great, great stuff.
That’ll do it sports fans. I’m off to prepare for the feast of St. Crispin. Oh, and a CMLL preview tomorrow as well. TILL THEN!
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