Into the Darkness, Out from the Ashes: Fenix v Pentagon Jr (Lucha Underground, 6/15/16)

Into the Darkness, Out from the Ashes: Fenix v Pentagon Jr (Lucha Underground, 6/15/16)

Exposition

This match is the result of the Six to Survive elimination match, wherein Pentagon Jr. and Fenix are the last two left of the original six. The winner of the match gets a title shot against the Lucha Underground champion Matanza at Ultima Lucha Dos. It took nearly an hour for the six luchadors to drop to two.

The Players

One of the strongest and most memorable aspects of Lucha Underground is its dramatized environment which allows for incredibly rich characterization. They’re not just in an arena, they’re in a temple; the people in attendance aren’t just fans, they’re believers. The show’s language, combined with its stage decor and lighting, gives the audience the feeling that they are witnessing something larger than life. This makes it the perfect stage to showcase the rivalry between Fenix and Pentagon Jr. 

As brothers, Pentagon and Fenix already have strong, natural chemistry. What makes their dynamic especially fascinating is that their characters are polar opposites of each other. Pentagon, a student of the Dark Arts, embraces all things evil and deadly. Fenix on the other hand is the embodiment of light. Fenix is the Man of a Thousand Lives, the Bird of War, who shines the brightest when he’s in the darkest places. Pentagon manifests darkness. The pair make the perfect rivals for each other. Matt Striker remarks that “these two embody the 21st century luchador,” and I wholeheartedly agree. Between Pentagon and Fenix, we see the whole spectrum of what Lucha Libre has to offer, both in terms of in-ring style and characterization. 

Act One

The match starts slowly, as both luchadors catch their breath before this last showdown. Pentagon is more amped up. He tries to aggravate Fenix into attacking with trash talk, and he’s successful rather quickly (with an insult to Fenix’s mother, which is kind of funny, considering…). 

The first action in this match is a bit out of nowhere for both competitors; Pentagon gets Fenix to the mat and traps him in a painful, bow-and-arrow-like submission hold, attacking Fenix’s legs and lower back. Fenix counters with a submission of his own, and the two then trade holds back and forth. Neither Pentagon nor Fenix are technical style wrestlers, so their decision to try to tap each other out is very intriguing. Perhaps they do it because they know how to precisely target each other’s weaknesses (for Pentagon, it’s the back of his neck, and for Fenix, his legs). Still, being on the ground gives the advantage to Pentagon. Fenix, finding himself unable to tap his brother out, realizes he’s not in his element. He grabs Pentagon’s hand in a wrist lock and walks to the top rope for a hurricanrana. Pentagon rolls out of the ring to recover, only to be chased by his younger brother, who hits him with a twisting tornado from over the top rope. 

Pentagon’s strategy shifts; he realizes his needs to shoot this Bird of War out of the sky. He throws Fenix into the corner, and before Fenix is able to find his footing Pentagon sweeps his leg out from under him, leaving him sprawled across the top ropes. Pentagon then delivers a devastating kick to Fenix’s stomach, launching him into the air before he crashes to the canvas. Pentagon quickly follows up with a Mexican destroyer, and goes for a cover. Fenix kicks out at two. 

Pentagon then makes a devastating mistake; he enters Fenix’s territory. As Pentagon perches on top of the turnbuckle. Fenix takes a second to assess this opportunity. He gives a battle cry, “ánimo!” and catapults Pentagon back down to earth with a hurricanrana. 

The older Lucha Brother seems to realize his mistake, and attacks Fenix with a series of ground-based maneuvers before sending him to the outside. Then, Pentagon jumps and delivers the second Mexican destroyer of the match, leaving both luchadors breathless on the mats outside the ring. The two take a moment to recollect themselves, and then Pentagon picks up his brother and rolls him back into the ring. He’s looking to finish the job, and sets up for a third Mexican destroyer. Fenix, though, brings himself back from the ashes and stops Pentagon’s momentum dead in its tracks to deliver a reverse piledriver. However, he’s too spent to cover Pentagon properly, and only manages to drape one arm over his older brother’s chest. Pentagon kicks out at two.  

Act Two

The luchadors take a moment to recover on the mat, as Matt Striker remarks,“You have to start to question. They’re human, what do they need to do to one another? What is left inside the hearts of these men?”

Vampiro replies to this,  “I don’t think either one of these two guys are human. Maybe they were once. That’s long gone.”

Pentagon and Fenix sit up, and trade brutal chops that quickly devolve into slaps across the face. They move to stand, and with one particularly hard chop, Pentagon drops Fenix to the canvas. Fenix is quick to rise, though, and gives one last ditch effort at offense in the form of a superkick to Pentagon’s jaw. It’s the last offense he gets in the match, as Pentagon delivers a superkick right back, delivers a third Mexican destroyer, and finishes his little brother off with a package piledriver. 

Conclusion

This match perfectly encapsulates the difference between Fenix and Pentagon Jr. Fenix, the Bird of War, is known for his incredible balance, agility, and speed. He breathes life into any venue he enters. Pentagon, on the other hand, is a brutal, sadistic student of the Dark Arts who strikes fear into all of his opponents. They balance each other out perfectly. It’s rare that a tag team is as perfect for each other as rivals as they are partners. 

Given the recent tension between the Lucha Brothers in AEW, maybe there’s a chance that we’ll see them in a singles match again in the future. In my opinion, AEW would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to give Pentagon Jr and Fenix a feud against each other. Given the same careful attention to long term storytelling that AEW is giving the Elite, I think Pentagon Jr and Rey Fenix can put on a MOTY at a future PPV.

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