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September 13, 2014 / Aaron

Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Drago from Lucha Underground 2014

Post by Aaron Bentley:

An early criticism of Lucha Underground was that there were hardly any luchadores. The show is affiliated with Mexican promotion AAA, yet the first two episodes were largely built around a guy from Kentucky who was passed off as Mexican. The rumor was that the AAA talents who were intended to compete in The Temple had issues getting to Boyle Heights, California due to visa-related issues. The product certainly ran the risk of stalling out if it had to rely on Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Blue Demon Jr. in big spots or even if it was forced to overexpose Prince Puma.

To address those potential concerns, Episode 3 begins with Konnan in Dario Cueto’s office. The conversation comes off as slightly bizarre since Konnan is aligned with Prince Puma, after whom Cueto sent his henchmen last week. However, Cueto previously made it clear that he wanted to teach Johnny Mundo a lesson in humility. Perhaps Konnan appreciates that his charge was only collateral damage. Regardless, they have reached some sort of understanding because Konnan assures Cueto that he has secured three of Mexico’s best luchadores to compete in The Temple: Fenix, Pentagon Jr., and Drago. In a nod to the immigration issues, Cueto asks, “so, the rumors of the visa problems are not true?” Konnan responds simply that he handled the issues that arose at the border. Satisfied with that answer, Cueto suggests that the three new luchadores compete in a triple threat match in the episode’s main event. Cueto and Konnan give each other a knowing smile before our access to their discussion is discontinued.

As Drago, Pentagon Jr., and Fenix begin the match, that shared smile starts to take on a different meaning than the interpretation I originally assigned to it. Within 20 seconds of the bell ringing, Pentagon delivers a superkick and a tope con hilo. That quick, intense burst of action sets the stage for the rest of the match, which essentially amounted a bell-to-bell exhibition consisting of one competitor taking a powder while the other two take turns highlighting their aerial prowess. Each had their chance to wow the crowd and clearly succeeded in that task.  The bout would have made more sense on Episode 2, as the show’s brain trust attempted to lure an audience to something new and also train them to accept things they weren’t used to seeing on televised wrestling.

The climax comes when Fenix disappears up the stairs (dubbed “The Walk of Faith” by Matt Striker) while Pentagon and Drago clearly slow down the action to allow Fenix the time he needs. Suddenly, the camera pans to the right and Fenix is on a platform high above the ring. The commentators estimate the height at approximately 30 feet; regardless, Fenix dives off and hits both of his opponents with a crossbody. No one really sells the impact but the finish comes quickly thereafter. Pentagon hits a Package Piledriver on Drago but then finds himself the target of a reverse spike hurricanrana from Fenix. Pentagon is unable to recover in time and Fenix wins his debut match in Lucha Underground.

The short history of the series made me anticipate shenanigans after this match but there were none to be found. Instead, Fenix celebrates his newly established high positioning in the promotion while the knowing smile between Konnan and Cueto is, for now, nothing more. (***)

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.

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