Arena Reports 5/28 Lucha Libre USA TV taping: SPOILER results for Season 2 episodes of MTV2 show - Lethal debuts, Petey, new commentators, double-turns
May 30, 2011 - 12:33:21 AM
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Lucha Libre USA: Masked Warriors
Season Two Tapings
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. at the Hard Rock Casino
Report by Alex Roberts, PWTorch Review Specialist
Lucha Libre USA returned to the Hard Rock Casino for its first set of tapings in over two months for an upcoming second season that, according to LLUSA’s Facebook page, should have a premier date announced by mid-summer or so.
The promotion appeared to take a month off to redouble efforts in marketing to get a larger crowd to come out for the TV taping. It seemed to work, as the crowd was large and enthusiastic.
The show started with ring announcer Leticia Castro and cross-dressing luchador Chi Chi bringing some audience members into the ring for a cartwheel contest and a few other goofy gimmicks to get the crowd excited and cheering. Unfortunately, technical problems still seemed to plague the proceedings - mics and entrance music would cease to function, and an intro video projected onto the sides of the showroom started to glitch halfway through and was promptly aborted.
(1) Nikki Corleone beat Chrissy Cialis. In a return to the bad habits of March’s show, this match started off with planted fan interference by a pair of irate female fans (it was unclear what exactly they were irate about). After a scuffle that lasted way longer than it needed to, Nikki and Chrissy had a fine match that lasted a few minutes. It ended with Nikki scoring the pin after a nifty move that transitioned a bearhug into a sort of seated spinebuster.
After the match, R.J. Brewer and his Right stablemates entered the ring. R.J. complained that he was the last man eliminated in the Lucha Roulette match (at March’s show); as Charly Malice had failed to capture the Lucha Libre Championship, Brewer felt he should now be #1 contender. This prompted Marco Corleone to enter and argue his case for fighting the champ. Finally, Lucha Libre champion Lizmark Jr. came out with stablemate, Sydistiko, and mocked both men, but said he would choose opponents for them; if they could win their matches, he said he would consider giving them a match.
Sydistiko then flaunted a picture of Shane Helms in the hospital after his recent motorcycle accident. Marco then attacked him to start a match.
(2) Marco Corleone and Sydistiko fought to a double count-out. Given how many matches these two have had over the past several months, it feels like they could put together a solid, exciting match in their sleep. This was no exception. Both men did great work and the crowd was behind each move in the match. The two finally fought outside and up the entrance ramp for a double count-out. The ending was slightly disappointing but did not seem to effect Marco’s chances of getting a title match opportunity.
Next, the color commentary team was introduced for the first time at any of Lucha Libre USA’s shows. The commentary team consisted of Ring of Honor’s Kevin Kelly and former WWE and TNA wrestler Stevie Richards. Kelly explained some of the ongoing feuds. This segment worked well and felt sorely needed after March’s often-confusing show (the audience learned, for instance, that Mascarita Dorada had apparently abducted The Right’s valet Lizzy Valentine).
(3) For the night’s third match, minis Vladamiro and Mascarita Dorada came to the ring. However, before the match could begin, Right member Jon Rekon marched into the ring. Vladamiro humorously fled the ring while Rekon took out Dorada and minis Octagoncito and Mini Park who had come out to help. In one of several scary spots throughout the night, Rekon literally tossed Dorada by his neck, and the mini landed on his side after spinning two or three times through the air. After Rekon left, Vladamiro jumped in and got a cheap three count on Dorada that the referee bizarrely had no scruples about making. Octagoncito and Mini Park continued to sell Rekon’s beating in the ring as Chrissy Cialis and Tigressa Caliente (formerly Rhaka Khan in TNA) ran to the ring to start a tag match with the minis. Again, the referee seemed to see nothing wrong with this and motioned to ring the bell.
(4) Chrissy Cialis & Tigressa Caliente beat Octagoncito & Mini Park in a minis/chicas tag team match. Chrissy and Tigressa dominated from the start, and finally finished off Park with a tag team double chokeslam. The match was questionable to say the least, and continued to drive home that there seems to be no plans to give the company’s mini and woman wrestlers any real storylines or feuds.
Richards and Kelly then spoke to the audience again, and explained that the Lucha Libre Tag Team Championship would be on the line in the next match.
(5) Hooded Mystery Team “Sol” beat El Oriental to earn the Lucha Libre Tag Team Championship. Richards informed the audience that the black hooded figures who have been causing trouble over the last few shows are known as “Sol.” It became clear that El Oriental’s tag team partner, Tinieblas Jr., was not present, so the match became a handicap match. Oriental nevertheless managed to pull off some inventive offense to keep the two hooded figures at bay. In what is easily the scariest live moment I’ve witnessed at a wrestling show, Oriental attempted a suicide dive on a Sol member outside the ring. However, Oriental’s feet seemed to get caught for a moment on the top rope, causing him to land seemingly directly on his head with a loud thud on the thinly-carpeted floor. Miraculously, Oriental was soon moving and was able to finish the match unphased. Sol finally gained the pinfall.
After the match, Sol continued to beat up Oriental, causing Aguila (who wrestled for WWE for a time in the late '90s) to come out and make the save. The two luchadors finally ripped off the black mask of one of Sol, revealing a second mask… that of Tinieblas Jr. Oriental sold disbelief at this betrayal as the show went to intermission.
After the intermission, the audience was told Tinieblas and Sol were stripped of the tag team titles because of winning them in a handicap match, and that a series of matches would determine the teams to face off for the vacant titles.
(6) Rocky Romero and Supernova beat the PR Flyers in a tag team match. As usual, these four put on an athletic, terrifically fast-paced match. In one memorable spot, a suicide dive to the outside by one of the Latin Liberators was followed by a moonsault and topped off by a huge top rope corkscrew by San Juan Kid. Supernova finally earned the pin after an impressive lucha libre-style DDT.
Rebecca Reyes came to the ring and told a strange story about being drugged by Tigressa Caliente and forced to marry mini luchador Pequeño Halloween. This brought out Halloween in a wheelchair accompanied by Tigressa and Chrissy Cialis. The three women then turned on Halloween, claiming the whole thing was a set up so Reyes could divorce him and take half of his money. This brought out Chi Chi, who claimed that in reality Halloween had signed no such agreement, and in fact had put a restraining order on Reyes. Reyes was dragged off by security to end one of the most confusing, boring segments Lucha Libre USA has offered. The crowd was entirely dead except for Chi Chi’s final declaration that he was “Born This Way.”
Petey Williams and Jon Rekon then took the ring, followed by masked luchador, Magno. Magno. Magno said that because his Latin Liberator stablemates had already wrestled, he needed to find a new partner. Thankfully, he was able to find someone who Petey “can’t stand...you’ve fought him all over the world, and he’s definitely more Macho than you.” Out came “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal, decked out in his terrific Randy Savage gear and robe, to start the next match.
(7) Petey Williams & Jon Rekon beat Magno & Jay Lethal. Lethal did not get a lot of in-ring time during this match, though the time he did have was full of some terrific high energy offense. I thought it was a bit disappointing that he wasn’t given more time to pay tribute to Savage after Savage's death last week - I was expecting a top-rope elbow drop or something similar. After some scuffles outside the ring, Rekon finally caught Magno with his Samoan Drop finisher and allowed Petey to make the pin.
After the match, there was yet more planted fan interference. This was thankfully brief, as a front row fan shoved Petey and was immediately dragged off by security. Just like at March’s show, this felt utterly unneeded - The Right continues to garner tremendous heat without any gimmickry.
(8) R.J. Brewer beat Psicosis. Psicosis came out wearing his signature mask. After a solid 5-10-minute match, Psicosis hit his signature top rope leg drop. R.J.’s stablemates came out to interfere, though, and allowed R.J. to hit his fireman’s carry-into-cutter finisher for the pin.
Rocky Romero came out for the next match. He cut a promo questioning Lizmark Jr.’s masculinity, and demanded a title shot. Lizmark came out and accepted.
(9) Lizmark Jr. beat Rocky Romero to retain the Lucha Libre Championship. Despite the lack of buildup or backstory, this was a pretty terrific match that held the crowd from start to finish. Both wrestlers played their parts wonderfully - Rocky with his speed and tecnico charisma, and Lizmark with his thuggish rudo tactics. After 10-15-minutes of back-and-forth action, Lizmark attempted his Lizmark Bomb. Rocky escaped this and attempted his Cuban Cutter finisher, which Lizmark then countered into a beautifully executed superkick for the win. This match was both a joy to watch and succeeded in establishing Lizmark as a strong champion going into next month’s show and presumed title matches against R.J. and Marco. As the main event, it definitely sent fans home happy.
Flyers were passed out after the show advertising LLUSA’s next show, “Masked Warfare,” that will be on June 18.
Overall, Lucha Libre USA’s two-month absence helped to magnify both the strengths and weaknesses of the company. On the positive side, the main feuds and matches continue to be extremely compelling and exciting. Both tecnicos and rudos are really connecting with the audience, and the build-up to an eventual big title match between Lizmark and Marco Corleone continues to be tremendous (I for one can’t wait to see Marco get his hands on the dastardly champ).
However, other aspects of the show continue to be something of a mess. Technical problems keep sprouting up, while the mini and women wrestling continues to be a mess without reason or rhyme. It makes sense for a promotion like this to try and offer “something for everything,” but even casual fans have responded best to the matches that are solidly booked and worked and have a clear storyline behind them. It remains to be seen whether the minis and women will be given the type of program that their in-ring work deserves; as it is, though, Lucha Libre USA continues to offer lots of great action that feels like it will translate well into a weekly TV show when it premieres later this year.
Questions? Comments? Just want to talk wrestling? Feel free to send me a tweet at twitter.com/roqnrollmartian!
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