Johnny Mundo & Prince Puma vs. Cortez Castro and Cisco from Lucha Underground 2014
Post by Aaron Bentley:
At the end of Episode 1, three of Dario Cueto’s henchmen laid out Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo, our presumptive heroes. That bit of traditional wrestling storytelling had me hooked for Episode 2. Luckily, it begins with the henchmen in the ring with a microphone. They introduce themselves to the audience: Cortez Castro, Cisco, and their leader, Big Ryck (Ezekiel Jackson). For a fantastic flourish, though perhaps in violation of a number of laws, Big Ryck puffs on a cigar throughout the segment.
As the trio explains their motivations, which consist of beating people up and taking their money, Johnny Mundo sprints from the back to exact some measure of revenge. Though Mundo chases them out of the ring, Castro and Cisco begin to circle like vultures. By this point, Ryck has already made his way to the steps that lead the way out of The Temple and become an onlooker. With Mundo outmanned, Prince Puma enters the ring to balance the odds. Suddenly, Dario Cueto emerges and announces that if there’s going to be a fight, it might as well be an official one.
The first third of the match features Puma and Mundo in near complete control. That control is only reversed by a double team behind the referee’s back. Having gained the advantage, Castro and Cisco spend the second third of the match attacking Mundo. This segment is impressive in that it is culled from southern style wrestling but maintains a pace only slightly below the rest of the contest. When Prince Puma takes the hot tag and ratchets up the pace for the final third of the bout, the increase in pace is palpable but not so much that any segment of the match is out of place.
After regaining control, Puma and Mundo take the opportunity to show off more of the athletic feats they teased in Episode 1. Despite their clear advantage in showmanship, the match never lets us believe that Castro and Cisco are pushovers. Instead, the four competitors beautifully get over the idea that the teams have totally different styles but both can be effective. Ultimately, stereo 450 splashes from Puma and Mundo are more than Castro and Cisco can take. And though they lost cleanly, you can’t help but feel that we haven’t seen the last of Castro and Cisco.
Puma and Mundo celebrate together, establishing that regardless of their fight on Episode 1, they are both guys you can cheer for. However, throughout both Puma matches thus far, Vampiro, who is on commentary with Matt Striker, has emphasized that the negative influence of Konnan will eventually poison Puma. That idea is further explored in a backstage segment after the match where Konnan reminds Puma that Johnny Mundo is not his friend.
For his part, Big Ryck slowly stalks up The Temple’s steps, clearly plotting how he’ll better serve his master, Dario Cueto, and succeed in taking out Prince Puma and Johnny Mundo. (***1/4)
Aaron Bentley is on Twitter (@AaronBentleyVoW) and has written extensively for VoicesofWrestling.com. His VoW archive can be found here. This post is part of a series reviewing all the freely available matches from Lucha Underground Season 1. You can find the rest of that series here.