It’s hard to believe that Lucha Underground season four has only one day left to live. But it’s the truth; tomorrow Ultima Lucha IV concludes LU’s polarizing fourth season and, if you’re a pessimist, maybe the show for good. I am not a pessimist and while in the past I have been worried about the show’s future following Ultima Lucha, this year…not so much. For whatever reason, it feels LU is destined to continue on after this event and thus I’m less concerned about the future and more about what LU will be giving us tomorrow. And boy does it look good. Last week’s kick off to Ultima Lucha IV was good but this should easily top it, with all four matches having Match of the Year potential. I’m not joking; they could all be that good if LU allows them to be and, with two hours to work with (as is the case with every Ultima Lucha finale) I think that’s exactly what will happen. So what are we waiting for? Let’s preview this bad boy.
Johnny Mundo vs. Matanza
What to Expect: I’ll be saying this a lot in the next 2,000 or so words sports fans…but man there’s a lot going on here! This storyline goes all the way back to the second episode of season four, where Matanza suffered his first singles loss in Lucha Underground to Pentagon Dark (finally avenging his Ultima Lucha Dos defeat). Antonio Cueto reacted the same way I do when I get penalized in NHL 19, with one difference; I don’t destroy the remaining bits of humanity in my loved ones when that happens. That’s what Papa Cueto did though; he removed all ties Matanza had to humanity by destroying Dario Cueto’s old key to Matanza’s cell in the old Temple (I guess it contained his soul the whole time) and unleashed his son on the Temple in a near weekly segment that Antonio called a (and I quote) “SACRIFICE TO THE GAWWWWWWDS!” If you missed it, basically it was, well, Matanza wiping his opponent off the face of the earth and sending them to the great beyond. As such the Temple lost such luminaries as Mr. Pectacular, Cortez Castro, Mala Suerte, Saltador and even Vinnie Massaro! The fact that Argenis escaped this fate still amuses me to no end (thank Grodd for his sake the visas didn’t come through in time, amirite?!). None of this seemed to have anything to do with Johnny Mundo…at least until Mundo and Taya’s wedding, when Matanza was unleashed by a jealous Ricky Mundo and ruined the most important day of Taya and Johnny’s life. Since then Matanza has added two more “SACRIFICES TO THE GAWWWWWDS!” in the form of Worldwide Underground members Joey Wrestling (Joey Mercury) and Jack Evans (NO! ANYONE BUT JACK!) and Mundo has set out to get revenge. And he’ll do it with the assistance of the power glove, given to him by Aerostar as a favor following Johnny’s help in rescuing Drago. And what is the power glove sports fans? Ask Lucas Barton.
And that is the long winding road that is Johnny Mundo vs. Matanza! Good story right? The match should be even better in my estimation. Both Matanza and Mundo are terrific performers under normal circumstances and this time they have a great story to play with; even stripped down this is fascinating stuff, what with the unstoppable locomotive (Matanza) running into one of the few out there that can take him down (Mundo). I’m a little worried LU may keep this match on the shorter side in order to give other bouts more time, but provided they give these two ten minutes and have Matanza dominate a bit before Mundo comes from behind with a great comeback, this should be really something. I expect it’ll be the hot opener to kick off the show, I expect it’ll be a lot of fun and I will be gob smacked more than Spider-Man after Dr. Octavius revealed himself the mastermind of the Sinister Six if Taya, Antonio, the power glove and even Ricky Mundo don’t get involved. There will be a lot going on in this one sports fans.
Winner: This should be relatively easy to predict sports fans. It’s well documented that Jeff Cobb, the man behind Matanza, is out the door once this match ends and my guess is he won’t be getting the send off that Killshot got last week. By glove or gauntlet, Johnny Mundo will defeat him to end Matanza’s reign of terror and from that point it’s just determining whether keeps hold of the glove or Matanza, in a rage, steals it, leading to someone else (a certain “Strong” individual if you will) ending him and taking the glove later in the show.
The Mack vs. Mil Muertes
What to Expect: This sports fans is a tale about fear and overcoming it. Early in season four, The Mack won a Battle Royal to determine which of the seven Aztec Medallion winners would get bumped from the Gift of the Gods Championship match, a new rule designated from Antonio Cueto. Big Willie decided to have Mil Muertes taken out of the match because “he was afraid of Mil.” Big mistake Willie! Mil predictably took this poorly and started targeting Mack, culminating in a Haunted House match (a cage match with decorations) where Mil annihilated Big Willie in a way even Matanza couldn’t have dreamed of. But The Mack wasn’t done, returning a few weeks later to cost Mil a Lucha Underground Championship opportunity and announcing he had conquered his fear of Mil. How would he prove it; by facing Mil at Ultima Lucha in a “Death Match”, the same type of LU match that has seen Fenix powerbombed through a roof, El Dragon Azteca Jr. going through bleachers and King Cuerno getting banged up so badly he went missing for over a year. In other words, Big Willie has to be over his fear if he’s doing this match! Whether he is or not, we’re all the winners. All of the LU death matches have been memorable and this is the type of match up both Mil and Mack’s alley. Frankly I’m just excited about Big Willie getting a chance to continue is streak of great hardcore matches at Ultima Lucha (remember the bouts with Cage at Uno and Dos?!) as I am this match by itself. Unless we get a version of the Mil we’ve seen far too often outside of the Temple, this should be violent, all out madness and another potential show stealer.
Winner: It wouldn’t surprise me either way but, considering the story is all about Big Willie conquering his fears and how he’s been working underneath this whole feud, it feels like this will be his night. He also still hasn’t gotten that “definitive” victory in one on one action over a big LU name and this would be a good place as ever to get it. Thus I’ll go with The Mack over Mil, taking it after a Stunner through some sort of weaponry.
Two Out of Three Falls Match
El Dragón Azteca Jr. vs. Fenix
What to Expect: Once again, there’s a lot going on here sports fans. In fact there may be more going on here than any other match on this show, which is something because we’ve already gotten a match between a man trying to get revenge on the monster that ruined his wedding and one featuring a dude trying to overcome his fear of the zombie that killed his cousin (how did I forget to mention that Mil was responsible for Big Ryck’s death?! In the words of Lugia, I have failed). And yet it’s true. I take you back towards the end of season three when Fenix fell in love with LU ring announcer Melissa Santos during a very heated program with Marty “The Moth” Martinez. Together the two shaved Marty’s head and road out into the sunset after Ultima Lucha Tres; all was well! Then they came back to the Temple and all immediately went to shit, with Fenix coming up short in a Three Way to the Grave involving Jeremiah Crane and long time rival Mil Muertes. As such Fenix perished (in case you forgot, when you go into the coffin in LU you’re done) and then had his life forced drained by Catrina in order to make herself mortal. Are you getting all this down?
With Fenix now gone Melissa was left to mope around the Temple, constantly thinking of ways to bring Fenix back. Eventually she decided to flat out confront Catrina in an opening sequence that will live long in LU lore; in the end the now mortal Catrina wound end up biting the bullet (though that was less Melissa’s doing and more a scorned Mil Muertes letting Catrina fall to her death). With Catrina gone it allowed Aerostar, upon receiving a half of a mysterious amulet that Catrina had given Melissa after Fenix died (in a taunting manner of course), to travel back to the point where Catrina took Fenix’ life force and restore it into him, thus bringing Fenix back to life. All is well right? Well just like Buffy in season six, Fenix apparently came back wrong. Gone was the loveable high flyer and instead was this dude who wore black, drooled, acted like a zombie and did a lot of kicks. It took Fenix just one week to betray Aerostar, Drago and even Melissa, which got El Dragón Azteca Jr., who had comforted Melissa after Fenix died, involved. Fenix didn’t take too well to Azteca getting himself into the situation and thus cost Azteca his Gift of the Gods Championship by attacking him prior to a match with Marty “The Moth” (the irony!). Azteca has been looking for revenge ever since while Melissa, ever the romantic, is still trying to find a way to bring back the Fenix she loves. And that sports fans is how Fenix vs. El Dragón Azteca Jr. came to be.
Now while all of these matches tomorrow are, at least in my opinion, must see, this is the match that I think will go down as both the best match of Ultima Lucha IV and LU’s fourth season. For one, Fenix and Azteca have been money together outside of LU (generally with no story attached to the proceedings) and this really should be no different. Second, they’re getting a lot of time thanks to the two out of three falls stipulation which will give both guys ample opportunity to tear it up. And then there’s all the other factors. The story leading into this match is great. Azteca has finally come into his own as a credible performer in season four. And Fenix, who was one of the best workers in the world when he was just regular “Man of a Thousand Lives” Fenix, is on another level as this evil, possessed destroyer dressed in black. He was arguably the most captivating character in the second half of season four after this change and I don’t see it stopping it what will be the biggest match in his arch to date. Throw in the emotion we’ll get from Melissa at ring side, the talent of both men and everything else…I mean what else is there to say? It should be a classic.
Winner: My head says Fenix, my heart says Fenix; hell even the Canadian Dollar says Fenix. Fenix is winning. He takes it in three falls after nailing Azteca with that Muscle Buster/One Winged Angel hybrid move he does.
Cero Miedo Match for the Lucha Underground Championship
Marty “The Moth” Martinez (c) vs. Pentagon Dark
What to Expect: For the final time…man there’s a lot going on here! At least this story is contained to just season four, beginning at Aztec Warfare IV when Pentagon eliminated Marty last to retain his LU Championship, the first champ to do so in an Aztec Warfare. Oh yeah; he also broke Marty’s arm when he was done. Marty then went back to his mansion to wallow in his misery (he was still getting over Melissa choosing Fenix after all) until Mariposa gave him a swift kick in the ass and motivated him. And so Marty hatched a plan; he went out and found the woman that killed Sexy Star (Reklusa), got himself booked against Azteca for the Gift of the Gods title (which he won thanks to Fenix) and then further paid off Antonio Cueto to give him a Lucha Underground Championship match any time he wanted after winning the GOTG. All of that led to Marty beating a wounded Pentagon to claim the LU Championship; sadly for Marty Pentagon hasn’t forgotten it. LU’s ace immediately won a shot at the title for Ultima Lucha IV and then defeated Reklusa in one of the best matches of the season, prompting Marty to come to the aid of his lover and nearly light Pentagon on fire. If that sounds like something Pentagon almost did to Vampiro, that’s because it was, all part of Marty’s mind games as he and Pentagon head towards the second ever Cero Miedo match. You remember the Cero Miedo match right?
Naturally because this is LU and because every other match has something lurking beneath the surface, this bout (which should be the main event of UL4) has a potential wildcard in the form of Jake Strong. Strong is the Gift of the Gods Champion, the “cash in at any time” rule is still a thing and Strong is destined to play a big role going forward given that he appears to be “the Lord” or at least a follower of him given his scene with Papa Cueto a few weeks ago. It comes down to whether Strong gets himself inserted into the match or if he waits to pick off the winner. My guess is the latter, which means this match will be a violent treat. I mean it would be anyway but one on one is more preferable no? I’m a little concerned this may be a bit too similar to the Mack-Mil match, which will also be hardcore rules, but it’s minimal, largely because Pentagon and Marty looked fantastic together during that Aztec Warfare match and both guys are known for rising to the big moment in matches like this. If anyone can differentiate themselves from a match like Mil and Big Willie will give us, it’s the guy responsible for the first Cero Miedo match and the dude who took the Double Stomp off the ladder to end the WMD match. We’re in good hands sports fans. Fenix-Azteca will be the best match, but this will be the second best and one with a few twists and turns of its own.
Winner: There will be two winners’ sports fans. Pentagon will indeed beat Marty “The Moth” to get his vengeance and reclaim the LU Championship. And then things will go all wrong. In a remake of the Ultima Lucha Tres finish (minus Pentagon being banned forever), Jake Strong will get an LU Title shot and win the title, with either help from Papa Cueto, Vampiro or Vampiro’s master. Oh yes; don’t think LU has forgotten about that just because it hasn’t been mentioned. Nothing LU does is coincidence, and the fact that they trademarked Hexagon Black before this season…it’s telling. Maybe it’ll be telling in the final scene, but my guess is Hexagon will be making an appearance and, along with the gauntlet and the godlike power, it leads to Strong taking the gold as fans do everything but throw tomatoes.
That’s my Ultima Lucha IV breakdown sports fans. We’ll see how it plays out tomorrow at 8 p.m. on El Rey; I’m even thinking of doing a running diary for it. I guess we’ll all find out around show time. TILL THEN!
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