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– by Tim Jousma

Lucha Underground brought us the latest episode of the season, titled “Sudden Death”. The show began with the resumption of the match between Johnny Mundo, the Lucha Underground Champion, facing off against The Mack. Would we see The Mack gain the momentum he needed to win the championship, or would Johnny Mundo find a way to prevail?

The match between Mundo and The Mack was more of the same. That’s not a bad thing, because these two certainly brought it in the ring. While I will stay on record as not being a fan of Iron Man Matches, seeing this one end with a definitive winner was good to see.

I have to say though, I was shocked Johnny Mundo ended up winning the match. They’ve set up this match for months, which usually leans an average wrestling fan into thinking the challenger would end up winning the championship. Having Mundo win the match was not necessarily a bad thing, but I have to ask where that leaves The Mack. To truly see whether he gains from this match, or goes back down the card, only time will tell.

What I see them doing relates to the big news coming out of this episode. Dario Cueto announced the inaugural Cueto Cup tournament. The tournament will be held starting next week, leading to the finals happening during the season finale, the Ultima Lucha episode. The winner of the Cueto Cup will face the Lucha Underground Champion at a future date. With the hype they’ve given The Mack to date, I expect them to book Prince Puma vs The Mack in the finals with The Mack prevailing.

The other big news relates to a championship match set up by Dario Cueto for Ultima Luca Tres. Johnny Mundo will face off against Rey Mysterio for the Lucha Underground Championship. This to me is the big reason why The Mack lost his match against Mundo. Johnny Mundo and Rey Mysterio both have name value. When that match occurs, more people are going to be interested in seeing how these two perform in the ring compared to The Mack facing Mysterio. The Mack is an amazing performer in the ring, yet for the casual viewer he still has work to do in order to be on the same level as Mundo, or Mysterio. Winning the Cueto Cup will give him the prestige he needs to be Lucha Underground Champion.

Overall, I really enjoyed the episode. While I would have preferred to have the Johnny Mundo vs The Mack match resolved last week, seeing the direction the show is going for the rest of the third season makes me excited as a viewer. This episode did more to set up plot lines for the rest of the season than the first episode did. The MVP of the episode was Johnny Mundo. One criticism I had of his work in the WWE was that when he got on the mic, he was horrible. The fact that when he left the WWE and took acting and improv classes tells me that he realized he had a lot of work to do when talking. He has improved leaps and bounds compared to where he once was. While he won’t go down as the greatest talker on the mic, when he had a chance to speak in this episode, I believed in his character. When he talked about being nervous about facing Rey Mysterio, I believed every word. Johnny Mundo is doing the best work of his career in Lucha Underground.

Lucha Underground is available on the El Rey Network every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

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