The Top 100 Lucha Underground Matches of All Time! 60-41
We have now reached the point where the getting is about to get good in the 100 greatest Lucha Underground matches series. Not that things weren’t good already; some of the bouts 100-61 would be all-timers for other promotions out there. All of which makes it more exciting that we’re going even further down this crazy fun rabbit hole. So let’s not waste time. I mean it; daylight savings time is dropping an hour and I need my sleep so I can get part four to you on time. So yeah, let’s rock!
60. Cage vs. Chavo Guerrero (Season 2, Enter the Mundo)
It’s difficult to sum up the career of Chavo Guerrero Jr. because in many ways, he never really had it made. Whatever talent he had, whatever charisma he possessed has always gone unappreciated, largely because he comes from a wrestling family that features two legends (Gory Guerrero and Chavo’s father, Chavo Sr.) and a bonafide icon in Eddy Guerrero. Luckily there are matches like this one, a Gift of the Gods Championship bout with Cage, that prove Chavo had amazing ability in his own right. I remember going into this match rolling in my eyes; Cage chasing Chavo, who after a brief, early revival during LU’s first season fell back down the ladder, sounded as appealing as mustard on pizza (somewhere, Vinnie Massaro is popping at this). Boy do they prove us all wrong. Cage is Cage and ultimately the story of him ridding the pesky Chavo to get the Gift of the Gods helps make it all the more satisfying. But this doesn’t work without Chavo’s spirited, turn back the clock effort that I’d call one of the best performances of his career (and how about that Tornado DDT?!). It’s a shame this remains one of LU’s most underappreciated classics. Then again, given Chavo’s reputation, it’s kind of fitting.
59. Aerostar vs. Bengala vs. Big Ryck vs. Fenix vs. Jack Evans vs. King Cuerno vs. Sexy Star (Season 1, Ultima Lucha Part Two)
It’s five crazy luchadors, Big Ryck and Sexy Star; what could possibly go wrong? Well if you’re Sexy Star quite a bit, as Big Ryck rock bottoms her so hard at one point that you wonder if that’s the incident that inspired her to just say fuck it and turn into the most loathsome luchadora in the history of the western hemisphere. Other than that spot though this is the kind of out of control chaos that makes so many LU multi-man/woman matches must watch. Aerostar, Bengala (Ricky Marvin edition) and Fenix all do crazy shit, with Aerostar topping everyone with a dive from what might’ve been the Temple ceiling. Big Ryck swats luchadors away from him in glorious fashion. Marty the Moth makes a cameo, in his last joke appearance before turning into the most diabolical hater since the so called Beautiful. And though they don’t show the flash of some of the others, Jack Evans and King Cuerno play key roles, with Jack getting the closest to victory before succumbing to Fenix while Cuerno’s methodical style keeps the match grounded, not to mention his cold stare towards Fenix in the post match that set up their glorious season two rivalry. Dare I say still the best Gift of the Gods seven way match in history? Sorry Night Claw.
58. Angelico vs. Son of Havoc (Season 1, The Art of War)
For all the fuss made about El Patron-Texano and Puma-Cage from The Art of War, neither match is, in my opinion, the best match of the episode! That honor goes to the opener, which at the time looked to be the conclusion of the Angelico-Ivelisse-Son of Havoc storyline. For the whole season, Havoc had been little more than a joke rudo, taking on and mostly losing to lower card acts like Pimpinela Escarlata, Mascarita Sagrada and others. To everyone’s shock, the losing made him sympathetic; well that and the fact that rival Angelico was a cocky son of a gun and Havoc’s then girlfriend Ivelisse treated him like I treat Joker’s henchmen in the Batman: Arkham series. It all crested here with Havoc and Angelico battling in a spirited contest before Havoc finally had the epiphany that Ivelisse was holding him back. One late match breakup later and Havoc leaped over his hurdle and took home his first big victory in Lucha Underground. He hasn’t looked back since. It would turn out to be only the beginning of the adventures these three would have together, but as a storyline concluding match, few are more emotionally satisfying than this one.
57. El Dragon Azteca Jr., Prince Puma, Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Ivelisse & Son of Havoc vs. Cortez Castro, Joey Ryan, Mr. Cisco vs. Fenix, Jack Evans, P.J. Black (Season 2, Cage in a Cage)
If you replaced Joey Ryan with Bael (RIP!) and added Angelico, this match would consist of three of the five greatest LU trios teams ever going against each other. Hell you may have been able to have four of the five if you replaced Fenix with Mundo, or Jack and PJ with Drago and Aerostar. Alas Angelico was hurt, Mundo had just fought Cage (in a cage. GET IT?!), Aerostar and Drago were probably cruising the space time continuum at the time and Bael was/is off fighting in the great Temple in the sky. Even still this near show long elimination style bout is pretty sweet, mostly because the Azteca/Puma/Mysterio team is mystifyingly good and a legendary sequence between Jack Evans and Ivelisse where Jack claims he’s, in fact, the baddest bitch in the building. Hilarity and a righteous owning ensue immediately after.
56. Cage vs. Texano (Season 3, The Gauntlet)
I may be the only person out there who thought the Cage-Texano Best of Five was pretty rad. Sure match one could’ve been better, but then match two was solid, match three was so good it almost made this list and match four…well it was quick and it led to this thrilling series conclusion. I mentioned way, WAY earlier in this series that Texano was a guy who has mostly disappointed in the Temple but, every once in awhile, there’d be a performance where he reminded you of the potential he had. This is one of those times; not only does he hold his own with Cage but at times he dominates, forcing the once indestructible machine to fight from underneath. It works, and the end result is a brutal, engaging brawl that turned even the most ardent critic of the Cage-Texano Best of Five into a believer. Oh, and without this match there is no power glove (Cage’s reward for winning the series). I don’t know about you, but an LU without a power glove just isn’t the same LU, especially since the power glove remains so very, very bad. Yes, even on King Cuerno’s mantle.
55. Dante Fox vs. Killshot (Season 3, Every Woman is Sexy, Every Woman is a Star)
Ah, the Final Fantasy VII to the Hell of War’s Final Fantasy X! It’s not surprising that the second Killshot-Dante Fox match overshadowed this one because hey, have you seen Hell of War recently? But if you go back and watch this match you’ll see it’s pretty great in its own right. A completely different match than the Hell of War, this is basically Fox and Killshot sprinting as if their lives depended on it; big dive after big dive, amazing feats of athleticism and I call conspiracy on anyone who says this match had any sort of rest. When this match gets the green light, it never stops until Fox ends the match to claim his first big win in the Temple. No it’s not the sequel, but hey, neither is Evil Dead 2 to Army of Darkness and we still remember that fondly. There’s no harm in both matches being, what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah; GROOVY! Had to do that once the Evil Dead reference was done.
54. Jeremiah Crane vs. Killshot (Season 3, Macho Madness)
Here is where Jeremiah Crane went from interesting dude who dates Ivelisse but is in love with Catrina and turned into LU’s Raven. It certainly helps that this match is up Crane’s alley; it’s fast paced with some high flying from his opponent, violent (though not baseball bat to the head violent) and eventually evolves into a battle of who can hold out the longest from the other’s offensive onslaught. It also has Dante Fox coming in to prevent Killshot from getting the victory, a move that bothered some at the time but in retrospect helped bring heat back to an angle that had cooled following the abrupt season three hiatus. In the end it helped establish both guys; Killshot went on to do those crazy things with Fox and Crane followed this with his great match against Taya and an even better, more violent match with Mil Muertes.
53. Aerostar vs. Drago (Season 1, Fire in the Cosmos)
If the Cage-Texano Best of Five finale was a culmination of two bruising bulldozers trying to win an unknown prize, the Aerostar-Drago finale was something deeper. Yes they were also trying to win an unknown prize, but where Cage and Texano had no strong connection, Aerostar vs. Drago was the tale of two friends being slowly torn apart in the chase to claim Dario Cueto’s unique opportunity as their own. That, more than the dives and the fast paced action, carries this match and adds some much needed drama that earlier matches didn’t quite have. Of course the dives and the fast paced action do help, so it’s not like you can just totally dismiss them! In retrospect, I think this is one great match Aerostar is happy he didn’t win seeing as it led to Drago eventually getting canned. It’s also proof that Dario’s unique opportunities don’t kill every friendship in Lucha Underground. For that you need ancient lizard queens, Daga and a dinosaur.
52. Big Ryck vs. Johnny Mundo vs. Prince Puma (Season 1, Top of the Ladder)
On the one hand, Dario Cueto hyping this bout by screaming “LADDER MATCH!” in gloriously over the top fashion was better than anything that happened in this match. On the other hand, Dario screaming “LADDER MATCH!” is one of the ten greatest moments in the history of LU, so you can’t really hold it against this classic early in the show’s history. Even with Big Ryck involved Puma and Mundo manage to get some spots in, while Ryck shows off the power and Cortez Castro, Cisco and a debuting Bael (!) get involved in the action with some cool shit of their own. You’ll see matches featuring Big Ryck later in this series but you could argue this was the greatest thing he did in his career. Well aside from the confessions segment he had after The Crew burnt his eye out. Oh yeah, spoilers for newbies; The Crew betrays Big Ryck. It totally works out for them in the end…
51. Matanza vs. Prince Puma (Season 3, The Prince and the Monster)
Hard to believe that this match will go down as the only time Prince Puma and Matanza would collide in the Temple. You wouldn’t know it given how well these men work together. This wasn’t the first time Matanza seemed vulnerable or even beatable; both Cage and Pentagon felt like guys who could’ve slayed the monster in their respective matches. But up to this point no one came as close as Puma. He not only withstands Matanza’s onslaught towards the end is outright in control, and actually appears to have the match won before Mil Muertes interferes with one of the greatest spears ever seen. It’s so good that you can’t even get mad at the interference; how anyone could prefer Puma losing clean over Mil delivering The Last of the Mohicans of spears is beyond me. Anyways, what a shame we aren’t going to get another chance to see this match again huh? Frankly, I think Puma and Matanza could’ve bettered this effort with another go. Guess we’ll now just have to hope Prince Puma Jr. is just as good and pretend him vs. Matanza is the rematch!
50. Hernandez vs. Prince Puma (Season 1, Fight to the Death)
I remember watching Hernandez back when he was first starting in TNA and thinking he could be a huge star if TNA got it right. Naturally they didn’t, fans eventually turned on Hernandez and by the time he was in LU it appeared his best years were behind him. So it’s nice that he got to prove those theories false, both with the Drago match and this exceptional challenge for Puma’s Lucha Underground Championship on an all time great LU episode. At the time (and to this day) fans have given Puma the bulk of the credit and, in fairness, he’s outstanding in this match. What else can you be when you’re bumping like a mad man and doing stuff like corkscrew moonsaults off a railing? But don’t sleep on Hernandez. His smarmy, give no fucks character is at its peak here, and his sneaky athleticism mixed with the power game prove to be a great mix with Puma’s all around brilliance. Your mileage may vary, but I dare say this match is truly Hernandez’ finest hour. It certainly is compared to the one where he gets hit with all the belts.
49. Cage vs. Taya (Season 2, Death Comes in Threes)
So many people bitch and moan about Lucha Underground having new workers lose in their first match that they often miss how well LU does at establishing and elevating talent via loss. Arguably no match illustrates that point more than Cage vs. Taya, a brutal, potentially uncomfortable match for some that’s mostly Cage squashing Taya into oblivion. So why does it work? Because Taya, despite being the ruda to end all rudas, displays bad assery for the ages by taking Cage’s punishment and never, ever quitting. It doesn’t matter what Cage does; she keeps getting back up and manages to give herself a chance to win, in part because of interference from her future husband Johnny Mundo. It’s a terrific performance on her part that instantly established her in the Temple, while also furthering the mystique of Cage as an unstoppable marvel.
48. Aerostar vs. Angelico vs. Argenis vs. Cage (Season 1, Law of the Jungle)
Welcome to the list Argenis! Would you believe this the debut match for all four men? It was, and while the focus going in was all on Cage, by the end of the match all four guys looked like stars. Argenis is indeed the weakest ling but he provides some solid thrills, while Aerostar does crazy shit like only Aerostar can do and Angelico clears the turnbuckle with a crossbody to the floor that would be the highlight of anyone else’s resume. But in the end the story is Cage, who manages to find time to sell while also destroying all three guys with his unbelievable power. You want further proof this match ruled; three of the four guys since have gone onto become at worst cult heroes in the Temple. Hell even Argenis has done alright…if you consider getting your arm broken by Pentagon twice alright. Somewhere, Vinnie Massaro and Famous B are high fiving because Argenis still has them beat in the broken bones department.
47. King Cuerno vs. Mil Muertes (Season 2, Ultima Lucha Dos Part Two)
Season two began with King Cuerno winning the Gift of the Gods Championship as a favor to Mil and Catrina, in order to keep Fenix away from his archrival. Naturally Cuerno couldn’t hold onto the belt long term, which led to Catrina and Mil betraying him, which led to Cuerno kidnapping Mil’s body after Matanza beat him in Graver Consequences. Stuff like that could only lead to one kind of conclusion; a death match. And boy oh boy does it not work out for Cuerno. It’s not exactly a squash and Cuerno does show some fight, but this is a complete and utter Mil Muertes showcase of destruction. Honestly that’s the only way it could’ve been after what Cuerno did, and Mil owning him in every single way makes for captivating theater. I’d say it was a righteous blow off to a decent feud, except Cuerno has now returned from a year off to take the power glove away from Mil, which can only mean we’re about to do this all over again. Memo to Deer Antlers; don’t use the same strategy you did here. It will not work. At all.
46. Famous B vs. Mascarita Sagrada (Season 3, Ready for War)
Without question the funniest match in Lucha Underground history and quite possibly the funniest match in wrestling history that didn’t involve Chuck Taylor or Toru Yano. It would’ve sealed the deal entirely if Sagrada had rolled out in that motorcycle he and Son of Havoc used in their tag match against Famous and Wagner, but that’s a nitpick. Another feud that went on for over a season, this match is all about the underdog Sagrada getting revenge on Famous B for giving up on him as a client, as well as Famous selling the over the top punishment. Thank Grodd Sagrada is a great technico and Famous is an absolutely hilarious rudo, who sells the comedic beating he takes with complete gusto. If you don’t have fun watching this match, you’re probably Jim Cornette. Alright maybe not but come on; how can you not have fun watching a man sending a bowling ball into another dude’s nether regions. That’s family fun for all ages!
45. Mil Muertes vs. Prince Puma (Season 3, Sudden Death)
The conclusion of the Mil Muertes-Prince Puma rivalry is just what you’d expect; epic, awesome…epically awesome! You know some of the story by now; Prince Puma lost to Mil Muertes at Ultima Lucha Uno, then went into a quasi-spiral during season two and, with the help of Vampiro, determined the best way to get his mojo back was to vanquish Muertes, the man who started his freefall. The twist; Puma then failed (more on that later in this series) and only thanks to Vamp and his vampire magic got a second chance to rectify his mistake. This Boyle Heights Street fight his him doing such; to the surprise of no one Puma and Mil lay into each other with ferocity and, in Puma’s case, desperation. It’s the perfect way to close out this feud, and that’s before the finish where Puma finally gets the job done once and for all.
44. Angelico, Ivelisse, Son of Havoc vs. The Crew (Season 1, Shoots and Ladders)
Every time I watch this match, I like it more and more. Sure it’s following the same formula as the first encounter these trios teams had, with the slight difference of Angelico, Ivelisse and Havoc getting a little more offense. But what made the first match special remains; the ruthlessness of The Crew, the fight of the underdog Trios Champions and, of course, a death defying spot from Angelico that’s actually even more ambitious (and dangerous) then his historic first leap. Throw in Mr. Cisco doing an awesome suicide dive out of Dario Cueto’s office and this match is cooler than Mr. Freeze in “Heart of Ice.”
43. Cage vs. The Mack (Season 2, Ultima Lucha Dos Part One)
Cage vs. The Mack in a Falls Count Anywhere match worked so well at Ultima Lucha Uno that someone decided “why not let them do it again?” They did and low and behold it was a complete success again, all while feeling different from the first match. Not that it was an entirely different bout, as both Cage and Mack worked in several callbacks to their epic first encounter. But the energy feels different (probably because this was the first round of the Unique Opportunity tournament, thus raising the stakes), the performers feel more established/well rounded and new awesome spots were added in to liven things up, like Mack’s Frog Splash through a table on the floor. Oh yeah, and then there’s the finish, a minor masterpiece that sees Cage going for the same finish that won him the Ultima Lucha Uno match (curb stomp through a cinder block), only for him to slip on the beer, leading to a Big Willie roll up for the win. I’m still kind of sore that LU didn’t give us a third straight Big Willie-Cage Falls Count Anywhere match at Ultima Lucha Tres just so we could finally decide who the true Falls Count Anywhere king was. Hopefully we get that in season four; they cannot stay tied at 1-1 forever dammit!
42. Big Ryck vs. Drago vs. El Mariachi Loco vs. Fenix vs. King Cuerno vs. Mascarita Sagrada vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Prince Puma vs. Son of Havoc vs. Super Fly (Season 1, A Unique Opportunity)
I touched on it earlier with the Gift of the Gods seven way match from Ultima Lucha Uno, but one of the things that makes LU standout is their love for chaotic, fast paced multi-person matches. The origin of that love comes from this bout, a ten way match for a unique opportunity concerning the first Aztec Warfare (which aired a week after). The best way to describe this is fast paced, nonstop fun. There’s a little something for everyone here, with Fenix, Puma, Drago and even Son of Havoc providing the athleticism, a still developing Pentagon showing some viciousness in the way he utterly wrecks Mascarita Sagrada, Big Ryck being an imposing bully, King Cuerno and Drago continuing to beef; even Super Fly and Mariachi Loco get to have a few good moments. Other multi-person matches would build on this template and get even crazier, but in terms of historical importance, few LU matches are as massive for LU lore as this one. Plus it’s serious fun! That never hurts.
41. Ivelisse vs. Mil Muertes (Season 2, A Much Darker Place)
I adore this match the same way I adore anything starring Kristen Bell (with the exception of You Again. I have to draw the line somewhere). At most it’s five minutes long. At best, Ivelisse gets four offensive moves in, with Mil Muertes otherwise dominating like he’s never dominated before. It doesn’t matter; what carries this match aren’t the moves but some amazing storyline. It would be enough of a great story if LU had just stuck to Ivelisse trying to overcome the indestructible Mil; that she’s also wrestling for the second time that night and trying to become the first woman to win the Lucha Underground Championship puts it over the top. Somehow, despite the long odds, she manages to find an opening in the form of a few submissions, one nice Tornado DDT and a near fall on a school boy (after Mil accidentally speared Catrina) that, to this day, still makes me think that maybe, just maybe, she’s about to blow the roof off the Temple with an all time great upset. All of it is done in a believable way and all of it makes you wish even more that Ivelisse had pulled it off. Maybe one day she will, as I expect she would’ve if she hadn’t gotten hurt prior to Aztec Warfare III (seriously; watch the end of that match and tell me it wasn’t originally planned for Ivelisse instead of Sexy Star). But even if not, she has this, a brilliant, five minute underdog story that makes you believe the tough, bad ass underdog can somehow defeat the monster even when there appears to be little hope. You couldn’t have asked for a stronger main event for LU’s to return to in their second season.
Only forty matches left sports fans! Tomorrow we’ll return to cover matches 40-21. Till then, THIS!
Please change disks to continue...