Author’s Note: Two weeks ago, I got some feedback from a reader that my reports read more like a recap than a review. That was fair bit of criticism and I haven’t felt right about calling this a review since then. My goal with these reports is to do a ‘thematic narration’ of what happens every week in the Temple, but to accommodate readers that may want a more traditional review I will include a section of analysis after each match in italics.

Before the dawn of recorded history, Man struggled to survive in a world dominated by larger, fiercer creatures. Then, Man learned learned to make tools; Man learned to hunt and soon Man began his ascendance to the top of the food chain.

Soon, Man began to record history and learn from it. Man became civilized and yearned to leave its thirst for blood in the misty past. The hunt was no longer celebrated, especially in the modern age due to the exploits of a new kind of hunter, one who chased game not to survive, but to embrace the instincts that society as a whole has struggled to forget.

But, in the Temple the better parts of mankind are often ignored and this week within its confines the ancient bloodsport would live again—the hunt would be on.

Lucha Underground
February 10, 2015
“The Hunt is On”

Kobra Moon vs. Bengala

The serpent armed with its twin sabers of deception and quickness  is one of the deadliest hunters on Earth. Debuting luchador Kobra Moon came to the Temple shrouded in not only mystery, but in overt sexuality as well. She appeared more likely to enchant her opponent, Bengala, instead of engaging him in combat.

Of course, any pretensions the old tiger had of an easy meal were dispelled in the opening minutes of the match when Kobra Moon struck first. The serpent bested the tiger until a swat of his mighty paw finally sent her to the canvass, but despite Bengala’s best efforts he could not subdue her.

Though she was wounded, Kobra Moon slithered her way out the tiger’s grasp and wrapped herself around him until she had a dragon sleeper locked in. She constricted Bengala’s windpipe so soon that the abrupt end of the lucha surprised even the official was surprised.

This match didn’t need to anything special. All it needed to do was establish Kobra Moon’s character and her ability to spring surprise submissions, which it did beautifully. **

The Temple’s dark mistress, Catrina, felt a tingle of excitement. Fenix had come to her office. He wanted only one thing: a lucha with the man who’d taken his Gift of the Gods, King Cuerno. After that, he vowed to finally vanquish Catrina and Mil Muertes from the Temple for good.

In the ancient past, before Cortes made Montezuma bow, the Aztech were a proud people but they were also at war. Their battles with each other clouded their ability to see even greater battles on the horizon. The only way for the Seven Tribes to survive was to unite with themselves and with the Gods, yet the Gods were not to return for over a thousand years. One would seemingly have to travel to the future to bring them back; only one man could, Aero Star, and he was time travelling back to the Temple.

The hunter’s pride is his greatest downfall. King Cuerno was proud of himself for wounding the phoenix and taking his prized gift from the Gods. However, his benefactor Catrina was not impressed. She confronted King Cuerno with the accusation that he only wounded the phoenix and had not killed the sacred bird. Cuerno retorted he’d done what she asked. Catrina replied that even a hunter as skilled as him would never be able to bag Mil Muertes. Her stab at Cuerno’s ego was generous and his common sense spilled out of the wound; Catrina had his attention and offered him a mission: finally ground Fenix in his speciality lucha, Last Luchador Standing.

Jack Evans vs. Drago

Western mythology is full of tales chronicling the exploits of dragon slayers. Usually, the knights who battled the beasts were shining examples of chivalry and they dueled the proud creature with honor. Jack Evans, an aspiring dragon slayer, never offered any indication he’d heard those stories; he was going to conquer Drago his way.

To be fair, Evans fought fairly…until Drago got the upper hand. In a first for the legendary trope, the slayer bit the dragon. Of course, Evans had no way of knowing (well he would have if he paid attention to the stories) that dragons are proud creatures as well—even if they are half-human. Drago fought with the ferocity of befitting his namesake and appeared to have the modern-day slayer down for the count until Evans rolled him up and got the 1-2-3 with assistance from his trusty weapon, the ring ropes.

Evans was not content with just a victory, he had to proclaim it loudly for all to hear. He gave himself the title of dragon slayer and completed the insult to honorable warriors from centuries long gone.

This was the first Jack Evans match I’d watched in almost ten years. The guy hasn’t missed a beat and is still one of the most impressive high flyers I’ve ever seen in a wrestling ring. Neither Evans or Dragon tried to reinvent the wheel; they put on a back and forth high flying match where it looked like Evans was out of his league. So he cheated to win and ended the match with a logical finish. I couldn’t ask for more than that. ***¼

Texano is a proud man,  a hard working man and a Mexican patriot. He loves the simple things and to take that home spun serenity away from him is a foolish gamble. Chavo Guerrero and Blue Demon Jr. did just that during season 1. Next week, Texano said he is coming for revenge.

The Good Book advises its followers to never betray their benefactor. Prince Puma is a praying, which God he prays to is unknown, but he seems to know the Book’s lesson well. Puma’s pride led to the destruction of his mentor, Konan. However, his guilt is obvious to many in the Temple, even its dark mistress. Catrina, compelled by unknown motives, stoked the guilt within Puma and encouraged him to use it as motivation to beat Pentagon Jr. next week and make an offering in Konan’s memory.

Last Luchador Standing Match
King Cuerno vs. Fenix

How can a phoenix survive against the craftiest hunter of all, Man? Despite the hundred millenia reign of Man over the planet, he has gone soft. The comforts of modern society has dulled his instinct to survive. That very instinct drove Fenix against King Cuerno.

His will to live and fight another day propelled him to get up when Cuerno threw him into a pile of chairs; it motivated him to get up after he crashed badly on a dive attempt; it evolved into courage when Fenix needed it to put the hunter down.

Fenix had the guts to lure the hunter into a trap; one that required him to be high in the air with a table waiting below. Sure enough, as Fenix climbed to the Temple rafters, aided by a ladder, King Cuerno gave chase, and just when it appeared that Cuerno has Fenix in his grasp, Fenix kicked the ladder and sent Cuerno plunging below to his eventual defeat.

Whether it was due to Fenix’s courage or Cuerno’s arrogance, one thing is certain: the prey reversed roles with the hunter and lived.

What a main event! King Cuerno and Fenix put themselves at risk with numerous reckless dives to the outside which was a break from the usual stunt show found in the WWE. Each wrestler exhausted most everything in their arsenal before looking out the toys and when did they built up to just one crazy spot, and by doing so they gave it and the stipulation meaning. ***¾

A good undercover cop never gets caught up in the craziness around him and focuses on getting his man. Officer Ricky Reyes got in too deep with his mission to bring down Dario Cueto and so his captain assigned him a partner, one with a distinct mustache and a love of Blowpops that was coming to the Temple with him.