Lucha Crítica: Lucha Underground Week of June 17

Welcome to the Lucha Crítica, where I look at this week’s Lucha Underground. Find out what happened, who had the edge, and how far Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo will go in a match that lasts “All Night Long”.

LUCHA UNDERGROUND MAIN EVENT
LUCHA UNDERGROUND CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
“ALL NIGHT LONG”
JOHNNY MUNDO VS. PRINCE PUMA (c) 

As soon as this match was announced I knew it was going to be something special for the fans. Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo have wrestled a few times in Lucha Underground and they never disappoint. Actually, that’s an understatement, their matches are stellar, and seem to keep getting better. This has become an epic rivalry. Puma vs. Mundo is to Lucha Underground fans what Rock vs. Austin or Hart vs. Michaels to WWE fans. Admittedly those are lofty comparisons, but that is what it is like for me watching these two face one another. They may not have the emotional investment of a long-standing feud, but they have a chemistry in the ring together that is unmatched. I could watch these two wrestle all day, and luckily, this week, I got my wish, for one hour at least, as they tangle in a no count out, no disqualification Iron Man match.

The Feeling Out Process

The match began with a show of sportsmanship as Puma extended his hand to Mundo. Johnny accepted the handshake and surprisingly didn’t go for a cheap shot, however he did get in Puma’s face a little, showing that cocky attitude of his. The action started off with some chain wrestling, both competitors pacing themselves, knowing full well the long night that lay ahead of them.

It didn’t take too long though for Prince Puma to gain a bit of an advantage, avoiding a corkscrew plancha from Mundo, then successfully delivering one of his own.

First Blood

As the pace began to quicken it was Puma who got the first pinfall, catching Johnny with a modified victory roll. It was a quick roll and Mundo might have taken a nasty bump had he been a split second slower.

Mundo, clearly frustrated that Puma took the lead began showing his newly aggressive side, pounding Puma to the mat, repeatedly introducing his forearm to Puma’s face. Mundo also started working on an arm, possibly in the hopes of slowing Prince Puma down, or maybe getting a submission victory. As the match wore on the pin attempts became more and more frequent and Mundo did far less showboating than we are used to seeing. Johnny kept his eye on the prize, and referee Marty Elias, because when he rolled Up Puma, he was able to hold the ropes without Elias seeing, enabling the pinfall to tie the score at one a piece.

Violence Is Golden

While each combatant tried to keep the other at bay, both men took a tumble from the corner to the outside. Mundo, while seemingly trying to escape from Puma under the ring, found some toys. It would seemingly backfire though as Prince Puma would hit Johnny with a sit out Death Valley Driver through a wooden crate. Before Puma could capitalize though, Mundo hit him in the gut with a crowbar and followed it up by cracking Puma across the skull with it, bending the crowbar around his head. After that it was simply a matter of getting Puma in the ring and covering him, giving Johnny Mundo a 2- 1 lead.

Mundo, knowing what’s at stake, wasted little time and before Puma could get to his feet, Johnny hit him with the Moonlight Drive, securing another pinfall making it 3 – 1. Following that Mundo hit the champ with a springboard kick to the face followed by The End Of The World gaining yet another pinfall, making the score 4 – 1 in favour of Johnny Mundo and putting Prince Puma’s title reign in jeopardy.

Hardcore

Johnny Mundo’s cocky attitude may be his downfall, taking a break and getting some water Mundo allowed Puma a chance to recuperate. Mundo also set up two tables which ate up some time, adding precious minutes to Puma’s recovery.

As the two titans spilled into the audience Puma would gain the upperhand, suplexing Johnny on the floor of the stands. With Mundo down, but too far from the ring to get a pinfall, Puma chose to set up two more tables on top of the two already put in place by Mundo. Although, much like Mundo, setting up the tables gave Puma’s opponent a chance to recover, allowing Johnny to superkick Prince Puma off the stands to the floor below. Sensing victory in his grasp, Mundo ascended a ladder to the bandstand where Mexican Dubwiser had been performing earlier in the night. Johnny would attempt to waste time and let the clock run down, demanding that the band play, but Prince Puma’s never say die attitude was kicking in and he began climbing the ladder to get to the fresher Johnny Mundo.

Attempting to cut Puma off Johnny swung a 2×4 at the champion, but Puma caught the piece of lumber and hit Johnny with it. Following that, upon reaching the top of the bandstand, Puma would channel his inner Honky Tonk Man by smashing a guitar over Mundo’s head. Puma wasn’t done however, as he charged the challenger sending them both crashing 15 feet down through the four tables they had set up, much to the shock and awe of the believers in the temple.

Revenge of El Patron

Despite the punishment that Prince Puma had taken up to this point, he was the first one to stir after the plunge through the tables, and he managed to get Johnny Mundo into the ring and cover him, shortening the gap between the two. (4 – 2 in favour of Mundo) As time ticked down the two combatants began exchanging blows, back and forth until Puma connected with a well placed kick and a sit down slam, bringing the score to 4 – 3 for Mundo.

Johnny sensing his victory starting to slip away, chose to run down the clock, literally, avoiding Prince Puma at all costs. Not bringing Konnan now looked to be a mistake. The chase was on as Puma followed Mundo through the stands and back to the ring. Johnny seemed to have his escape well in hand standing triumphant at the top of the stairs, until he was blindsided by a returning Alberto El Patron. El Patron hasn’t been seen in the Temple since Johnny Mundo put him through the window of Dario Cueto’s office, and he had revenge on his mind, kicking Mundo down the stairs, throwing him into the barricades, and delivering a DDT onto the floor. Puma would take advantage, hitting a 450 splash tying the score at 4 apiece.

Three Minutes To Shine

The last three minutes of the match were insane, with no less than seven pin attempts. Both men needed a victory and were pulling out all of the stops, Mundo hit a Standing Spanish Fly, Puma hitting a dropkick sending Johnny halfway across the ring, but it wasn’t until Puma hit the 630 Senton that his victory was secured, with only seven seconds left. The winner and still Lucha Underground Champion, Prince Puma.

Edge: This may seem like a cop out, but I can’t give an edge to one man over the other here. I’m calling it a tie. Both men worked their asses off in this match, which is sure to be a Match Of The Year candidate in any wrestling circles. This was as good if not better than any match these two have had in the past, it was phenomenal. Do yourself a favour, go watch this match.

Until next week, keep your mask on!