Cheap Pops - Wrestling News & Views - July 26, 2015

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by Chris Delloiacono, Mike Maillaro and Jeff Ritter

This week we sound off on Hulk Hogan and Sunny talking out of orifices other than their mouths, WWE Battlegrounds, NXT and Lucha Underground! Let’s get right to it!

Hulk Hogan No Longer Exists!

Mike: It’s been all over the news all week, but apparently while Hulk Hogan is suing to prevent his sex tape from getting out there, it came out that eight years ago he went on a bit of a psychotically racist rant about the very idea that his daughter was dating a black man.  The n-word was used about as often as Hogan used the word “Brother” during his promos.

The WWE went into overdrive to protect their image.  They not only fired Hogan, they removed all evidence of him from their website including all his merchandise. This has led to some hilarious memes, including:

I have also seen pictures of the NWO with Hogan blacked out of the picture.  

Chris: That meme is pretty hilarious but it's also pretty damn sad.  This is a highly sensitive world we live in and companies guard themselves from scandal vociferously.  I can't fault WWE for the firing, but the wiping of Hogan from the record is a bit silly.

Jeff: Sigh...Internet memes. The visual Twitter of snark. Look, Hulk Hogan has been a self-serving ass for decades. He juiced like a Breville in the 80’s and early 90’s, and then most likely perjured himself in the 1994 trial of Vince McMahon where he turned on the prosecution, if you’ll pardon the term, by claiming Vince never told him to do steroids. Maybe Vince didn’t but Hogan knew a lot more then he let on. He was the prototype of the Rafael Palmeros of the sports world. He was the first IWGP Champion on an “accident” -- his “Axe Bomber” clothesline knocked Antonio Inoki through the ropes, and he was knocked unconscious upon impact with the floor. I have never believed that was entirely circumstantial. Hogan reportedly had a sexual relationship with one of his daughter Brooke’s friends who was 33 at the the time but that’s just creepy, sleeping with your daughter’s pals. He definitely slept with the wife of someone who was supposedly one of his good friends, radio personality Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem. And now he’s the Paula Deen of pro wrestling. Between this and Bill Cosby, my cherished memories of those halcyon days of my youth are eternally tarnished.   

It just proves my theory: The Macho Man was right about him all along.

Mike: Personally, I think what Hogan said was pretty was something said in the privacy of his own home.  I kind of think that should be off limits to a certain extent.  Granted, he opened up this can of worms, but I still don’t feel 100% comfortable about the rush to blacklist him because of it.  I also felt the same way about Donald Sterling.  They are both horrible people that I would not associate myself with...but what’s said in private should remain that way.  The need to record this stuff to play “gotcha” later is just messed up.

Chris: People should almost have no expectation of privacy anymore.  Cell phones and video cameras can be anywhere, so your vilest moments could someday come out even years later!  

Much like the Bill Cosby depositions and Jason Pierre Paul's blown off finger this stuff was bound to slip out. I just don't understand why Hogan would pursue his lawsuit against Gawker with the knowledge of what was contained in those tapes.

Mike: I also think that the WWE’s attempts to distance themselves from Hogan is a huge part of why this got flamed up so quickly.  Hogan seems to have gotten Benoit’d!  And to me that is just as big a story as the fact that he made vile racist comments.  Hogan is pretty much the biggest star in WWF/WWE history.  It’s virtually impossible to get rid of all evidence that he ever existed.  I suspect once the heat has cooled down some, WWE will slowly sneak him back onto their website.  And they should.

Chris: Benoit is the lowest form of scum this world has known.  The man sickens me to no end.  I hate everything about him.  I despise when people talk about his fantastic ring work or those that think he belongs in the Hall of Fame.  There are few topics that drive me to such a passionate response anymore, but with vile, animalistic actions he murdered his wife and child.  His actions were subhuman and he should be forgotten FOREVER.  In fact, everything he did in life should be eradicated.

Jeff: I certainly can’t fault you for having your opinion, Chris, but I think it’s terribly short-sighted of the WWE whenever they pull this revisionist history crap. Benoit wrestled in brilliant matches all over the world. He was pound-for-pound one of the best wrestlers to ever set foot in the ring. He also suffered from intense psychological problems as a side effect of a ridiculous steroid regimen that likely would have killed not much further down the line from when he killed himself. If that was all, we’d have fond memories of him, but he took his wife, Nancy and their son Daniel before doing himself in. For that we label him a monster, and perhaps rightly so, though I think the people like Dr. Phil Astin, who prescribed the steroids for Benoit, are the monsters. He loaded Chris like a gun, a living gun with severe dementia brought on by years of concussions and the wear and tear of the wrestling life. I know it looks like first degree murder on the surface, but I can’t see a prosecution winning that verdict if this had somehow gone to trial.

Aaron Hernandez, former tight end of the New England Patriots, is apparently a professional hitman or a pure psychopath. I don’t know what his concussion history is but I suspect he’s more of a willing, cold-blooded psychopath than Benoit ever could be. I’m not excusing Benoit--Nancy and Daniel should be here among the living today--but I’m pointing out the psychological difference between two athletes who committed homicide.

Now lets bring it back to the revisionism. Terry Bolea didn’t kill anyone real. He killed Hulk Hogan, his stage persona, by using one of the ugliest, most divisive words in the English language. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances of it’s use was. The General Lee and the Confederate Flag are less offensive than the use of that word (not by much, though the car should be left alone--it was a TV show, Robin Hood in the South...but I digress...). But does the punishment fit the crime? Certainly Vince has every right to terminate hogan’s contract, and remove him from the pre-show intro montage. They can cut off production of any Hulk Hogan merchandise, at least what is licensed through the WWE. Removing Hogan from the Hall of Fame? Well, I guess that’s Vince’s right too, but the NFL hasn’t unelected O..J. Simpson from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he’s as nuts and as violent as Benoit at the very least, likely for similar reasons. After the BEnoit tragedy, the WWE went excessively out of their way to excise references to Benoit. His name was skipped over in DVD commentary tracks, and his matches skipped altogether. Why? His opponents, the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho certainly put in high effort for their part in those matches. Don’t they deserve to be seen, regardless of whether or not Benoit is in the shot?

No, revisionist programming is akin to the old phrase “History will teach us nothing.” If we ignore history, we’re doomed to repeat it. We don’t have to induct Benoit into the WWE Hall of Fame. We don’t need to bring up Hogan body-slamming Andre the Giant at every Wrestlemania. But it’s asinine to pretend it never happened. Benoit happened. Hogan happened. If you choose not to watch reruns of their matches on the WWE Network, that’s entirely up to you. It should not be entirely up to Vince McMahon to prevent you from having the opportunity to watch those matches if you so choose. Hogan was an ass then, and he’s an ass now. The only difference is that now everyone knows it. It doesn’t make me enjoy watching the Rock carry him to an exciting match at Wrestlemania 18 any less. The name of the game today is branding. The WWE is protecting their brand, but they shouldn’t ignore their history. Hogan just killed his brand. Stupidity isn’t a crime. If it was, we wouldn’t have a government.  

Mike:  WWE didn’t get rid of Benoit because of his actions...which were horrible. They got rid of him because there is definitely a lot of reason to believe that the abuse he took in the ring damaged his brain to the point of dementia.  They are practicing damage control, not good taste.  It’s the WWE...I think they are basically incapable of good taste...

So I don’t feel right about calling him subhuman or vile animal.  He was a mentally ill man who likely had very little control over what he did.   A horrible tragedy all around.  

Chris: I see your point too, and I'm happy the family donated Benoit's brain to help medicine.  I also don't trust the motives of the WWE.  I don't want to throw stones, but far too much racism and death have come from in and around that organization.  Simply, they are a publicly traded company distancing themselves from trouble.  

I also buy that Benoit's brain was ravaged, but I don't believe he could have had dementia to the point that's being said.  That's spin from the other side, so I just don't buy that.  The man lost his temper and murdered his wife in a rage then waited and killed his son in a cold calculated way.  I'm sure he was ill, but how many people with dementia have murdered their family?  He was definitely sick, and it contributed, but he doesn't deserve any kind of pass.  He could still wrestle, be relatively normal with his friends, travel around the country, have the presence of mind to call out of the PPV...  and he didn't understand he was pressing a pillow down on his son's face?  Injuries or not, I just can't blame it all on brain trauma caused by wrestling.

This is a very sore topic with me.  It makes me very emotional and depressed.  In fact, I'm upset the conversation even went in this direction.  There never will be an answer, and I can't explore Benoit anymore.

All that aside, Hulk Hogan's comments were hateful, awful, and backward.  He deserved to lose his job and feel public shame.  He doesn't deserve to be Benoit'd.

Battleground Results

- Battle for The Crown: King Barrett def. R-Truth

- Randy Orton def. Sheamus

- WWE Tag Team Title Match: The Prime Time Players def. The New Day

- Bray Wyatt def. Roman Reigns after Luke Harper interferes in match

- Charlotte def. Sasha Banks and Brie Bella in a triple threat match

- WWE United States Title Match: John Cena made Kevin Owens tap out

- Miz comes out to cut a promo on Big Show and Ryback.  Big Show comes out and knocks him out with the WMD

- WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins.  Rollins wins via DQ when Undertaker shows up to attack Brock

Mike: This was a bit of a forgettable PPV.  There were some highlights.  The women’s match was great.  The Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns match was solid, though the ending was kind of blah.  I actually thought it was Batista that attacked Reigns...but when the hood came off and it was revealed to be Luke Harper, I was disappointed.  I like unpredictable.  I do think bringing the Wyatt Family back together will help Bray though.

Chris: With the hooded figure, for a moment, I thought CM Punk had returned.  Luke Harper is fun to watch so a Wyatt reunion will at least get him some screen time. Of course, it was just another largely forgettable moment from a lousy PPV.

Jeff: I was actually there live that night, and I really enjoyed the show. I haven’t watched the broadcast yet, but other than a useless pre-show match, a tedious opening bout and another annoying John Cena victory that serves no purpose for the product, I thought it was a really fun card. I was ecstatic that Bray won, and I like that they’re putting the Family back together. I hope it includes Bo Dallas this time.

Mike: Cena and Owens was a good match...but I hated that they had Owens tap out.  The odd part to me is that I’ve seen a lot of WWE defenders supporting this decision.  Their argument usually boils down to “Wins and losses don’t matter.  Owens fought a great match.”  Uhm...if that is true, they why can’t Cena ever lose more than one match in a feud?  Owens has now lost four big matches this month.  Pinned by Cena.  Pinned by Balor in a tag match.  Pinned by Balor to lose the NXT title.  Tapped out to Cena.  That is basically a nail in his very young WWE career to me.

And now on top of that, it looks like Cena will be moving back into another program with Rollins.  I think it’s very likely Cena will end up with another WWE Title reign before the end of the year.  I am not really against that, as I like Cena more than most people, but I still think the WWE is being real short sighted. They need to build up more people on the roster to be legitimate main eventers.  Constantly falling back to the “John Cena Can’t Lose” show just isn’t going to do anything to ensure there will be any WWE left when Cena retires.

Chris: I simply can't abide this booking.  Owen's tapping put the nail in any real interest in WWE programming for a while.  KO is going to be another dude trading wins/losses with everyone else stuck in the morass of WWE's mid card scene.  I'm excited to see his coming matches with Cesaro, but we all know nothing meaningful will come of the feud, and it's going to get minimal TV time.

Jeff: Regarding the booking, I was really hoping they’d move the US title to the NXT Program, at least for a little while. Once again the WWE Creative team is failing to capitalize on the potential of an “Invasion” storyline. They butchered it when they bought WCW. They could work a big story where the upstarts in their farm system are beating the main roster at their own game, and are usurping the secondary titles from the cable shows. Sure, you could argue that it would make RAW and Smackdown look weak. I would argue it’s true--they are weak. They have the same few stars in the same few spots and the glass ceiling is still present when Bray Wyatt, Damien Sandow and Wade Barrett can’t get a sniff of the WWE Title. So yes, I didn’t like that Cena won, again.

But I really disliked the finish because John Cena’s STF is utter shit. Lou Thesz’s sainted grandmother could do a better STF than John Cena. She had a better leg drop than Who Will Not Be Named. There is no weaker looking submission in wrestling, and that includes the Spinning Toe Hold, Solomon Crowe’s “Crowbar” or a Standing Wrist Lock. In fact, it might, just might, be more lazily performed than Rob Van Dam’s weak-ass punches. Nobody should ever have to sell the Cena STF. Especially someone like Owens, who I don’t particularly like but at least has demonstrated some ability and the fortitude to not tap to crap like Cena’s lousy submission.

Mike: Other than the divas match, the only other match I liked unconditionally was New Day vs the Prime Time Players.    Both teams have found their footing lately. Xavier Woods’ constant loud remarks were hilarious.  Next time, give him a mike...though he didn’t really need one to make sure he was heard.  

Chris: The Divas was the one match that didn't disappoint me in the least.  It was well booked, engaging, and the wrestling spots were enjoyable.  The tag match was fun too, but it was too short and the finish came out of nowhere.  PTP need a real team finisher instead of two solo moves.

Jeff: Both matches we’re good. I thought the New Day and PTP were just really finding their stride when the bell rang. Too bad. Both teams showed some innovative spots and not just rehash their same spots ad nauseum as happens so often (see Orton v Sheamus).

The Divas Match was tremendous. I absolutely love Sasha Banks but every part of the match worked for me. The Divas are not so quietly becoming the most compelling parts of WWE TV. I wonder who’s booking it now? The last time it was good, when Trish Stratus and Mickie James were around, Fit Finley had a big part backstage.

Mike: What about the main event?  13 suplexes...this whole Suplex City thing is so dumb to me.  I would rather see a competitive match with variety of moves than Brock doing a one-sided manhandling of his opponent.  I also thought having Undertaker attack Brock at that moment seemed off.  Brock beat him fair and clean at Wrestlemania 30.  Taker should have let Brock win and then challenge him for the WWE title at Summerslam.  This was just a screwjob finish for the sake of a screwjob finish.

Chris: Why people enjoy Brock, well I just don't get it.  In a real fight I'd love to watch him, but in fake wrestling there's not much to see.  Simply, he does absolutely nothing to earn his money.  He doesn't talk, do anything of merit in the ring, or work engaging matches.  It's all build with no payoff.  Why are people excited to see an old Undertaker, who can't do much, against Brock, who won't do anything?  Just because the two guys have a great look?  This illustrates WWE's inability to make newer stars that anyone cares about.  

So the top two matches at SS will be Cena/Rollins, which we've seen 7,000 times this year and two guys that don't do much.  Great show!  Thankfully I'll be at Disney World while that mess is happening.  Seriously, I could easily have dropped money to see this travesty live. The top of this card is not worthy of the second biggest show of the year. 

Jeff: I like watching Brock throw people around like that old gorilla in the 1970’s Samsonite luggage ads. But, the problem with this match is that it made the Champion--who came out first, I might add, and that should never happen--look incredibly weak. It also made the WWE look stupid, because the referee and the Champ bolted when the lights went down. The match should have been a DQ victory for Lesnar since Undertaker’s interference should have been seen as an act on Rollins’ behalf. What it sets up is rather useless--there’s no need for Undertaker to “get his heat back” nor is there any reason for Brock to beat him again. Still, seeing Undertaker show up was fun. The reaction of the lights going out and the bells tolling is still something to witness.

Mike: I also thought it was odd that the show ended 15 minutes early.  Seems like they could have slipped in an extra match.  I really was not sure the show ended...just seemed like an oddly placed commercial.

Jeff: They didn’t replace Ryback’s match with some slap-dash match for no reason. I didn’t realize it ended early, but they tend to feel a little overlong to me anyway.

Chris: ...for just $9.99!  You get what you pay for!

Bitter Former Diva criticizes “The Revolution”

Mike: I kind of dragged my feet trying to decide if I wanted to comment on this story.  Personally, I didn’t want to give the person who said it more publicity.  But since I want to argue against her ignorant comments, I will post them here and then comment without using her name.  But I’m sure you can find her on Skype begging people to set up chat sessions so she can keep feeding her drug and drinking habit.

“OK.......who else thinks the 2 new red/purple/orange heads in the diva divisions are buttafaces??? and Charlotte (Ashley) really has in ring talent???"

"You guys don't get what a diva should be.  I’ve never been a fan of womens wrestling.. leave it to the men. And my opinion of how someone looks is my opinion... as if no one has ever judged me??"

I think it’s kind of sad that this pathetic creature would rather be known for her looks than actually contributing something of value to the ring.  Especially since her looks haven’t exactly held up thanks to all the drugs and drinking.   Looking down on women who want to do more than be eye candy is just a new low for someone who keeps finding a new way to shatter the basement floor.   

Charlotte, Becky, and Sasha have headlined shows, which is definitely more than Skype-Me-Maybe has ever done.  Crawl back into the bottle and go away.

Chris: So beautifully said!  You should look up the types of Skype sessions this HOF level talent offers.  For about the price of a few months of the WWE Network she will show you parts of her body that gravity has NOT forgotten.  She also likes to insert digits into orifices to the delight of her fan.  Of course a "lady" like this would denigrate women that do their work in the ring.  If stories are to be believed, she liked to work the showers with the main event talent while her lower card boyfriend (God rest his soul) was in the ring.  This creature infuriates me!

All I keep hearing in my head: ______ is a FDDBBFTBH*!  

*Filthy, dirty, disgusting,brutal, bottom-feeding, trash-bag ho!

Special thanks to Chris Jericho for the word assist.

Jeff: For clarity’s sake, I assume you two are talking about Sunny, former valet and girlfriend of the late Chris Candido? If we’re gonna talk about this, then let’s be clear. This is why I don’t follow Twitter. Sunny’s entitled to her opinion, just Like Donald Trump can think whatever he wants about Latinos. Hell, Hogan can be as racist as he wants to be for that matter--It’s America. You have the right to believe whatever your little hearts desire. It doesn’t mean anyone, including myself, is right, and everyone is welcome to keep their stupid comments to themselves.

I’d happily date any of the WWE Divas who haven’t slept with Cena. I have heard people put down Charlotte for her looks and her talent, but I think she has an abundance of both. And that’s the bottom line, because I just said so. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  

NXT RESULTS - July 22, 2015

- Show starts with the new NXT Champ Finn Balor coming out dressed in a suit.  Crowd goes nuts for him.  Just a note: Finn in a suit looks like a supervillain…  Finn talks about wrestling for 15 years all over the world.  Lots of sacrifices and hard choices, including whether to come to NXT.  When he won the title, all of it proved worth it.  Rematch is scheduled for NXT Takeover Brooklyn.  Contract signing later tonight.  Finn talks up Owers and lists his accomplishments in NXT and WWE, but points out that Owens could not beat Finn in Tokyo.  Finn says he will be leaving the Barclay Center still the champion.

- Eva Marie hypes her in-ring return.  She thanks Regal for the opportunity.  She says she’s been putting in blood, sweat, and tears to get better.  Promises the NXT universe will like what they will see.

- Eva Marie def. Cassie with “Sliced Red” (The Brian Kendrick’s finisher)

- Regal walks into his office and finds Tyler Breeze lying on his desk.  Tyler wants to know what Regal has for him at Takeover.  Regal says he’s working on it and it will be something good.

- Baron Corbin def. Unnamed Jobber with End of Days. (Jeff: He had a name but it doesn’t matter...although actually calling himself “The Unnamed Jobber” would be the kind of gimmick that might actually work in NXT. You know, like Blue Pants!)

- Samoa Joe def. Mike Rallis with the Muscle Buster

- Emma and Dana Brooke are backstage making fun of Bayley.

- Bayley def. Emma with Bayley to Belly Suplex.  After the match, Bayley said it was great to be back, but she’s setting her sights on the NXT Woman’s title.  In order to prove she deserves a shot at it, she wants to fight the best.  She challenges Charlotte to a match.

- Charlotte is backstage,  She accepts Bayley’s challenge.  Dana Brooke arrives and says she wants to make a statement by beating Charlotte.  Charlotte accepts her challenge, saying Bayley can wait.

- The Vaudevillians def Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton with the Whirling Dervish.

- Blake, Murphy, and Alexa Bliss are in the back.  They have a match next week with the Vaudevillians.  Alexa promises that she will ensure a win for her team.

- Regal is in the ring for the contract signing for main event of NXT Takeover Brooklyn.  Kevin Owens and Finn Balor come down.  Finn goes to sign, Owens interrupts him.  He asks “How does it feel to be the NXT champ?  How does it feel to be a part of the biggest main event in NXT history?”  He then calls Finn the underdog in this match.  In Brooklyn, he’s going to show Finn that his win in Japan was just a fluke.  Owens will be the first-ever two-time NXT champion.  And he will take Finn out for good!

Finn says that Owens likes to talk.  Finn promises to shove Owens’ words down his throat.  Finn signs.  Owens signs.  Owens throws the table at Finn and clobbers Regal.  He tries to go after Balor, but Balor takes him out of the ring with a drop kick.  Owens runs off.

Mike: I thought it was hilarious that the crowd booed every time someone talked about NXT Takeover Brooklyn.  Get over it, Full Sail.  A few places online said the crowd reaction was so bad it had to be edited heavily.

Jeff: I thought that was funny as well. It’s almost like NXT is WCW reincarnated with their contempt of the home territory in New York. I wish they wouldn’t edit it though. In my living room, I boo whenever anyone talks. SHADDUP AND FIGHT!

Mike: There was definitely a lot of improvement for Eva Marie in the ring, though she is still real slow and needs to be a little more fluid.  But credit where credit is due.  She clearly is working hard to improve, and I give her some props for that.   I still want to see a lot more from the new NXT women, especially with Becky Lynch, Sasha, and Charlotte going to the main roster.  There is a huge opportunity for women to move up the card, but when you give a new NXT wrestler like Cassie a jobber entrance and just let her throw a few kicks, you aren’t giving them any opportunity to win the crowd over.

Jeff: Well said, Mike! I don’t get all the fan hate for Eve, but I confess I’d never seen her work before. She’s got room to improve for sure, and I don’t think Sliced Bread #2 is the right finisher for her. She’s being trained by THE Brian Kendrick. Hopefully he’s only training her on wrestling and not herbalism.

Mike: I think the main problem people have with Eva Marie is that she got a huge push in TOTAL DIVAS without doing anything in the ring.  I don’t have any real issue with her, to be honest.  But you can tell the crowd does.  Yikes.

A lot of squash matches AGAIN. Baron’s match was so short they never even bothered naming his opponent.  I hate squash matches.

Jeff: Yeah, these matches aren’t doing Baron any favors either. Your match should never be shorter than your ring entrance.

Mike: The only real good match was Bayley Vs Emma.  Emma played the hell angle real well attacking Bayley’s broken hand.  These was great storytelling in this one.  Again, the women of NXT steal the show.

I did like the creative offense the Vaudevillians showed during their match.  They seem to always add clever new moves to their routine, which helps to keep it fresh.

Jeff: Ditto on both counts, though I’m less sold on the Vaudevillains than I once was. I dislike that they’re getting a push over Enzo & Cass, who have earned a tag championship run in my opinion.

Mike: It always bothers me when a wrestler becomes an authority figure and someone loses all of their “power.”  Regal going down to a punch from Owens really bugged me.  Regal is just about the biggest badass in the WWE, and it’s real hard to sell for me that one punch would take him out for good.  They are doing a great job selling this Owens Vs Balor rematch...but since Owens has no chance of winning it, it sort of puts a damper in my excitement.  Even though I love Balor, so it could be far worse.

Jeff: There are few things I have more contempt for than John Cena’s STF, but these insipid contract signing segments are so dull and predictable. Isn’t that the WWE’s problem these days in a nutshell?

Lucha Underground 7/22/2015

- Big Ryck is in Dario Cueto’s office.  Dario wants to help Big Ryck get back on track.  He asks him in Big Ryck wants money or power.  Ryck wants both.  Dario gives him the last Aztec medallion and a stack of cash.  Ryck says that they are both seeing eye to eye again.

- Texano def. Johnny Mundo via DQ when The Crew attacks Texano.  Alberto El Patron comes down and chases off The Crew.  Alberto and Texano have a stare down.

- Hernandez is in Dario’s office. Dario sets Drago Vs Hernandez for Ultima Lucha.  He makes it a Believer’s Backlash match.  Fans will be at ringside armed with leather belts.  Any wrestler leaves the ring, the fans can do to town on him.  Hernandez says that Dario’s insurance better be paid up because amy fan hits him, he’s kicking their ass.

- The Mack def. Cage in a very short match with a sunset flip off the ropes.  They fight afterwards.  Security tries to break them up, but fail.  Finally Dario comes out and offers them a Falls Count Anywhere, No DQ match at Ultima Lucha...which is now starting a week early and will be a two part show.

- Dario comes down to the ring to explain the medallions.  The medallions will be placed in a belt called “The Gift of the Gods.”  Whoever holds that belt can claim a Lucha Underground title shot whenever they want.  BUT, they have to give Dario at least a week to promote the match,  He mocks Money in the Bank a bit.  The Gift of the Gods title itself can be won by another luchador if the holder takes too long to cash it in.  Once it is cashed in, the medallions will be removed, and the whole process starts over.

-At Lucha Underground, there will be a seven way match to decide who gets the Gift of the Gods Title for the current medallion holders.  He calls them down.  Jack Evans, Aerostar, King Cuerno, Bengala, Sexy Star, and Big Ryck.  They medals are placed into the belt.  

Dario has the last medal which had been won by Fenix, but since Fenix was wrecked by Mil Muertes, Dario reclaimed it.  The last medal will be decided by a Battle Royal.  Last two men in the ring will fight a regular match for the medal.  Fenix comes down.  Dario puts him in the Battle Royal.


- Fenix and Marty the Moth win the Battle Royal over Famous B, Ricky Mandel, Delavar Daivari, Argenis, Killshot, Super Fly Vinny Massaro and Mascarita Sagrata.

- Fenix def. Marty the Moth to claim the last medal.  Marty went for a tilt a whirl, which Fenix was able to turn into a pinfall. He places it into the belt.  Dario is not happy about this.

- With Konnan out of commission, Prince Puma was supposed to speak for himself. In fact, they hyped that all night.  But, Mil and Catrina came out.  Mil is dressed to kill.  He even beat out Finn Balor in the “looks most like a supervillain contest.” Puma drops the mike and signals for them to come down to the ring.  He’s attacked from behind by the Disciples of Death.  Puma fights them off.  Mil comes down.  Puma takes him own, and hits the 630 on Mil.  Puma then does an incredible springboard backflip landing dead center of the Aztec logo.

Mike: Texano and Johnny Mundo was a solid match.  I loved Johnny’s hanging neckbreaker off the apron.  And Texano really knows how to work a crowd.  He is a surprisingly good face, and I hope Lucha Underground continues to use him that way.  

Obviously it will be gimmicked to make sure the wrestlers and actual audience members are protected, but Beliver’s Backlash is one of the craziest ideas for a match I’ve ever heard. Sounds like something from the heyday of ECW.  I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

Was expecting another great match from Cage and The Mack since they match up so well, but felt kind of cheated. At least they are getting a match at Ultima Lucha. Can’t wait for that one.  It is shaping up to be a real stacked season finale.

The Gift of the Gods title really was done it true Lucha Underground style.  It felt so grandiose and the ceremonial aspect of the medallions being placed into the belt was brilliant.  It definitely helped it stand out from the very similar Money in the Bank.  It was great to see Fenix back!  I missed him.

The Battle Royal was kind of short, but there were still a lot of decent spots in it.  Fenix and Marty the Moth are an odd match-up, but I actually do kind of like Marty. Fenix always puts on a hell of a show, and this was no exception.

Since they are starting Ultima Lucha next week, we will probably post up some kind of predictions Wednesday morning.