The Top 100 Lucha Underground Matches of All Time! 80-61
Did you enjoy the first part of my countdown through the 100 greatest Lucha Underground matches ever? Good, cause we’re doing it again today, with matches 80-61 to be covered. There will be no time wasted because, to be honest, CMLL is on in like three hours and I still need to eat dinner in between. As Johnny Mundo would say, no time for long intros. Or pants. And with that, the saga continues!
80. Aerostar vs. Drago (Season 1, Grave Consequences)
You can understand why this match fell through the cracks; it was only followed by the greatest casket match in the history of our sport thirty minutes later. But the third battle in the underrated Best of Five series between Drago and Aerostar is nothing to sneeze at, largely because this is the first match of the series where there are stakes (remember, the first two matches were just random matches before Dario retroactively made them part of the Best of Five). As such the energy level is up, the desperation is up and you can feel the tension starting to appear between the two best friends as they try to inch closer to that mysterious unique opportunity. Every time I turn on the Grave Consequences episode I always wonder if I’ll like this match as much as I hope, and every time it always surprises me. Kind of like CMLL booking, only that’s not in a good way!
79. El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Matanza (Season 3, Gods Among Men)
The big difference between this match and the cage match the two would have at Ultima Lucha Tres is things don’t get bogged down here by a slow middle section where Matanza treats Azteca like he’s an insect in need of squashing. Here the action is nonstop, going from the ring to the top of the Temple stairs before Azteca’s resolve dissolves and Matanza gives him a thousand splinters by sending him through the bleachers. Frankly, if this match only had that it would make the list; A MAN WENT THROUGH BLEACHERS! Have you ever seen that in wrestling before? I didn’t think so. I suppose we can add bonus points for Rey Mysterio appearing to send Matanza through the roof of the Temple closet, but really all you need here is the fun six minutes of brawling and Azteca meeting his maker. Not since The Faculty have bleachers been used this well. In fact the only thing separating this from The Faculty scene is neither Matanza nor Dario going full Elijah Wood and doing his famous “Guaranteed to jack you up!” line. This is why I’m not allowed to book wrestling shows.
78. Cage vs. Jeremiah Crane vs. PJ Black vs. The Mack (Season 3, The Battle of the Bulls)
Stick five more minutes on this bad boy and it’s not only the best match from the underrated Battle of the Bulls tournament but also a borderline LU classic. Alas it’s still pretty damn good, bolstered by an amazing run by Cage to start things off and some nice three way work from Black, Crane and Big Willie before an unusually short run by Black and The Mack takes it home. Bonus points for continuing the criminally underrated Texano-Cage angle with Texano’s interference and for kick starting the Big Willie Mack main event run, which would lead to one of the more legendary matches in LU history.
77. Drago vs. Hernandez (Season 1, Ultima Lucha Part One)
This is a silly match, all coming together after Hernandez “accidentally” costing Drago his career, followed by him later costing Drago a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship at Ultima Lucha Uno. Couple that with Hernandez’ belief that dragons aren’t real (like…come on man!) and naturally this had to lead to a match where a bunch of LU’s biggest fans had the opportunity to whip Hernandez and Drago with leather belts. So yeah, it’s silly…and glorious! There’s so much fun to be had, from Drago breaking out nunchucks in between his acrobatics, fans like the Hot Tub Guy and the Last Real Heels peppering Hernandez with belt shot after belt shot and Hernandez being a complete pro and taking all the punishment. If this were the list of the most satisfying LU matches in history, this would be in the top five.
76. Catrina vs. Ivelisse (Season 3, Ultima Lucha Tres Part Two)
This match is where it is because of the buildup; oddly enough it’s also this low because of it! Lucha Underground isn’t shy about playing the long game but the road to Catrina-Ivelisse takes that a step beyond. The rivalry between these two was built for over two seasons before they collided, with Catrina costing Ivelisse the Trios Titles, the Lucha Underground Title, a match with Taya and then her boyfriend Jeremiah Crane (though Ivelisse was better off). That’s heat, and there would’ve been even more if Ivelisse hadn’t unfortunately gotten hurt early in season three and had to miss everything leading up to this match. It’s that heat that makes this match must watch; it’s great to see Catrina show off some wrestling skills folks didn’t know she had (this match to this point is her only in ring performance during her LU tenure) and it’s even better to see Ivelisse finally get her hands on the woman who’s made her life hell. They brawl, they bleed, they break bottles over each other’s heads and the crowd eats it up like me and a can of Pizza Pringles. There couldn’t be a more fitting conclusion to the Catrina-Ivelisse story if they tried; I just hope we get as fitting an ending to Ivelisse-Jeremiah now that he smashed her ankle with a hammer in the post match.
75. Mil Muertes vs. Prince Puma (Season 3, Payback Time)
Hey, it’s the least of the Prince Puma-Mil Muertes matches. Of course that’s like saying Uncharted 3 is the worst of the Uncharted games; it’s undeniably true, but it’s still better than almost everything else out there. And really, all you need to do is add the stakes of the other three matches into this one and it’s on the same level. As much as we marvel at the chemistry Muertes and Fenix have, Puma and Mil had just as much they have no problem essaying the story of Puma trying to get back to his season one ways by beating the man who took his title at Ultima Lucha Uno. If only the second part of that plan had gone as well!
74. Alberto El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo (Season 1, Ultima Lucha Part Two)
Easily the dirtiest match in Lucha Underground history. I’m serious; did you not see Mundo fling that dirt from under the ring at El Patron? The only thing that can make you want to shower more is that Joey Ryan vs. Marty the Moth King of Sleaze match. After that things kind of settle down into a similar version of their first LU encounter, only this time Patron really wants to beat Mundo because Mundo threw him through a window and Melina is there. Remember when Melina was supposed to be Mundo’s valet, only they replaced her with Taya and now Mundo and Taya are going to live happily ever after? Pepperidge Farm remembers. All in all it makes for a compelling, if not the most exciting, match that surprisingly wound up being Patron’s last match in the Temple. Though seeing what’s happened since, I can’t say I’m disappointed it was his last rodeo.
73. Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. (Season 1, Thrill of the Hunt)
Watching this match gives me the same feeling I have when I watch old school AAA/ECW/WCW lucha matches with guys like Rey and Juvy; you know it’s special when you immediately see it and you know this is just the first of many great battles to come. I think this match does get lost in the shuffle a bit thanks to the great triple threat from a week prior (and rightfully so; that triple threat is one of the most important matches in LU history) but that doesn’t take away from its excellence. Like Fury Road, the action never stops but only relents, which for ten minutes gives us ample time to discover the spellbinding chemistry the Lucha Brothers have with each other, not to mention Fenix’ breathtaking ability and Pentagon’s charisma. The scariest thing about this match; neither guy is where they are now, which means the eventual rematch between these two should make this bout look like Fernando Torres at Chelsea F.C.
72. Cage vs. Prince Puma (Season 1, The Art of War)
After Prince Puma became the first ever Lucha Underground Champion, the question became who would be the right opponent for his first championship program. Enter Cage, a man who calls himself the Machine and it’s a fitting nickname considering all the freakish shit he can do. The two had several solid match ups in the lead up (including one where Puma’s manager Konnan was forced to throw in the towel), but the finale takes the cake, so much so that it overshadowed the impressive El Patron-Texano bull rope match earlier in the show. It tells the simple story of Puma having to use his head and his skills to get past the behemoth of a man before him, and from there the awesome ability of both men do the rest. It doesn’t hurt either that features Puma doing a Shooting Star off the ring post and to the floor, which unbelievably is perhaps the third best dive of his during his LU tenure. For most guys that be at the top of the resume!
71. Big Ryck vs. Prince Puma (Season 1, Boyle Heights Street Fight)
Similar to the Cage match, only if Cage was an immovable bad ass who liked cigars and had Cortez Castro and Mr. Cisco behind him. Puma fights his ass off, Ryck dominates with the help of The Crew and ultimately Johnny Mundo enters via parkour style jump and roll from Dario Cueto’s office, only for it to accidentally lead to him costing Puma the match! It’s a great story on its own right, but it served as an even greater set up for the triple threat ladder match between Ryck, Puma and Mundo just a week later.
70. Dragon Azteca Jr. vs. Prince Puma (Season 2, Phoenix, Dragon and the Spaceman)
If you’re looking for peak singles El Dragon Azteca Jr., this is it. Hell you could argue the first two minutes of this match are peak Lucha Underground; the outstanding reversals and fast paced counter wrestling Puma and Azteca do is among some of the greatest wrestling ever done in the Temple. It settles down from there, but it never stops being well paced and exciting, with Azteca fighting with everything he’s got while Puma, at the time feuding with Rey Mysterio, shows glimpses of the darker, moodier Puma we would see in season three. I hope someone has shown Azteca footage of this match, because it’s proof that with the right energy and motivation, the sky is the limit.
69. Pentagon Jr. vs. Prince Puma (Season 2, Cero Miedo)
Our fourth straight match featuring Puma! He was as hot in LU as that new guy in NXT is right now; I think his name is Ricochet? This was the first of four encounters Puma and Pentagon would have in the Temple and the only criticism you can give to it is that we needed more; a little over eight minutes wasn’t enough! Once more the action never relents, despite not being as much of a high flying showcase as you’d expect. The key however is Pentagon’s new direction; he’s somehow even meaner than he was in season one, but his overconfidence has reached all time highs which keeps him from putting Puma away. It then truly bites him in the ass for good when he forgoes a pin after a Package Piledriver, instead applying a Romero Special which leads to both him and Puma in a pinning predicament that only Puma could kick out of. A spectacular ending to the first match it what would become a defining LU rivalry.
68. Dante Fox vs. Jeremiah Crane vs. Killshot vs. Mariposa (Season 3, En La Sombra)
I’m not sure why I really liked the Battle of the Bulls tournament as much as I did; maybe it’s because it was five matches featuring sixteen really talented performers, maybe it was because it was Rey de Reyes done with some actual oomph. Actually you know what, it was definitely both! In any event, this was the defining Battle of the Bulls match from the first tournament and low key one of the more violent LU matches ever. It’s got beef, specifically between Killshot and Fox who were just getting warmed up in their rivalry. It’s got Jeremiah Crane on the verge of exploding as an out of control psycho. It’s got three guys (Fox, Crane, Killshot) who are all familiar with each other from exploits outside the Temple in an environment they excel at. And, for the first time since No Mas, it has Mariposa coming across as a terrifying ass kicker who not only holds her own but sometimes appears to be the best worker in the match. They don’t get much more intense than this. Well actually in some cases they do, but I couldn’t think of a better line so just go with it!
67. Fenix vs. Prince Puma (Season 1, Law of the Jungle)
One week after becoming the first ever Lucha Underground Champion, Prince Puma’s first defense came against Fenix in a match that couldn’t be any more different than their clash two seasons later. That match was a fight; this one was a sprint, with both men trying to top each other with big moves and bigger dives. It may not be as well rounded as the later bout but what Fenix and Puma do here stands out more and provides far more excitement, while also giving Puma a great first defense to start off his reign and a showcase for Fenix to prove he belongs in the conversation with the champ. Fitting that right after this match both men prospered; Puma had the great feud with Cage and Fenix got to fight Mil Muertes and make out with Catrina. It’s like winning the lottery twice in a row.
66. Johnny Mundo vs. The Mack (Season 3, Sudden Death)
What do you do when a sixty minute (or 45 minute) match isn’t long enough to settle the score? Sudden Death O.T. baby! Hey if it works for the NHL Playoffs and Jean Claude Van Damme, it can work for Lucha Underground. And it did because, unlike their robust epic that was All Night Long II, Big Willie and Mundo treat this match as if it were a Sudden Death situation. As with many great LU matches the action is nonstop, often exhilarating and towards the end becomes brutal once a bunch of chairs get introduced. Much like its predecessor, it also leaves you wanting more for The Mack while loathing Mundo for once again escaping with the gold. Then again that’s the key. Before this Big Willie was a guy who put on great matches but hadn’t been established as someone who could hang with the champion. Not only did All Night Long II and Sudden Death change that, it also left you wanting more than ever for Mack to win that gold, something that’s going to make it so much sweeter when he wins it one of these days.
65. Aerostar, Drago, Fenix vs. Jack Evans, Johnny Mundo, PJ Black (Season 2, Ultima Lucha Dos Part Three)
You look at this match and you’d expect the following; dives, Worldwide Underground trying to cheat to win, more dives, Aerostar star being absolutely ridiculous, even more dives, scene. Guess what? That’s exactly what happened, with the lone twist being Angelico starting his tradition unlike any other; costing the Worldwide Underground a match at Ultima Lucha. Two years running now! Luckily the ending fit as Worldwide Underground was responsible for putting him on the shelf and everything before that was so exciting that even if you wanted to you can’t take that many points off. To me this remains the gold standard for Trios Titles matches on Ultima Lucha, and without question was a huge step up from the solid but uneven Trios Titles match from Ultima Lucha Uno. The key? No Disciples of Death. Always a good decision to leave those guys behind.
64. Matanza vs. Mil Muertes (Season 2, Graver Consequences)
The Uncharted 3 of Grave Consequences matches. Again, not a bad thing! It was always going to be a hard act to follow what Fenix and Mil accomplished in season one and frankly, it was going to be hard to top Mil and Matanza going ass over tea kettle through Dario’s office roof just a few weeks prior. In the end they made the most of it, and the match turned out to be a pretty brutal (if not as heated as expected) encounter that features one amazing spot; Mil, with a non power glove gauntlet on his arm, punching through the coffin in a moment of bad assery that’s not been surpassed. It’s as if someone mixed Fury Road, the Luke Skywalker Lightsaber fight in The Last Jedi, Slipknot’s “Vermillion” and Kevin Conroy’s Batman to create the ultimate example of bad assery. If no one does this with the power glove at some point then really, what’s the point of anything?
63. Aerostar vs. Drago vs. Fenix (Season 3, Payback Time)
At the time of this match Aerostar, Drago and Fenix were at the height of their Trios Titles run, which of course meant Dario Cueto had to stick his nose in by trying to split them apart with this triple threat for a spot in Aztec Warfare III. It didn’t work; what did was the quality of this match, thanks both to some great editing (supposedly the match had issues live) and the great work of all three guys. Helping matters was Fenix getting busted open hard way; while not intended, it added to the urgency of situation and made the match feel like an even bigger deal. The only complaint you can make is that it took both Aerostar and Fenix out of Aztec Warfare, which…come on peeps. Would you do Buffy the Vampire Slayer without Buffy and Angel?
62. Pentagon Dark vs. Prince Puma (Season 3, The Cueto Cup)
You know, for as polarizing an episode as The Cueto Cup was, every match on that show outside of the opener was at worst good and at best tremendous. Nothing however was better than the third Puma-Pentagon encounter, which takes the template of their first season two match, adds the drama of the Cueto Cup and throws some even crazier shit into the mix to create their second best match ever together. The best way I can describe it is that it’s a crazy match that doesn’t feature that much crazy shit; the most incredible spots was an exchange of Canadian Destroyers, and even that was tame considering that and tope con hilos are the most popular moves in lucha libre these days. Regardless it’s molten hot and features great drama, culminating in Prince Puma earning the victory, redemption for his previous failings and a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship at Ultima Lucha Tres.
61. PJ Black vs. Prince Puma (Season 3, Fade to Black)
You may have noticed; Prince Puma was featured A LOT in this section. It’s not shocking though considering Puma’s awe inspiring ability and, much like rival Johnny Mundo, his ability to adapt and work with anyone to produce a great match. When he tangled with PJ Black in this second round match in the Cueto Cup I expected it to be good; after all Puma is Puma and Black to that point had been a solid performer since joining LU in season two. Instead we got an honest to Grodd tour de force and arguably one of the greatest performances of Black’s career. And not because of high flying; both men are capable of it (obviously) and both men showcase it here, but this is more of a titanic fight than a sprint. Big moves are traded, fighting spirit is shown, back and forth sequences rule the day and a match you expected to go one way instead turns into a big fight feel. In a way it’s kind of disappointing this was the best it got for Black in season three because this is the sort of eye opening performance that opens doors (perhaps it will in season four). At least he can say he had one of the best matches in the Cueto Cup…until Prince Puma met Dante Fox a few weeks later and changed the script again because that’s Prince Puma. THAT’S WHAT HE DOES! Man I’m going to miss that man; well at least till they put another guy under the mask. BRING ON PRINCE PUMA JR.!
Forty down, sixty to go. Tune in tomorrow for 60-41, and keep an eye out tonight for my review of CMLL’s Super Viernes! Till then, THIS!
Please change disks to continue...