Lucha Underground

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Lucha Underground
Lucha Underground Logo.jpg
GenreAction
Drama
Lucha libre
Professional wrestling
Developed byOne Three Media
StarringLucha Underground roster
Narrated byMatt Striker
Vampiro
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes127 (as of November 7, 2018 (2018-11-07)) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Mark Burnett
Robert Rodriguez
Eric van Wagenen
Anthony Jensen
Chris DeJoseph
Producer(s)Matthew Stollman
Chris Roach
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Sue Vial
Barry Murphy
Ryan Hermosura
Nick Staller
Production location(s)The Temple
Boyle Heights, California (2014–2017)
The Ice Temple
Downtown Los Angeles, California (2018–present)[1]
Camera setupMulticamera setup
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)United Artists Media Group
MGM Television
Release
Original networkEl Rey Network
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseOctober 29, 2014 (2014-10-29) –
present
External links
Website

Lucha Underground is an American professional wrestling promotion and serial drama television series owned and produced by United Artists Media Group. The weekly series airs in English on the El Rey Network and previously aired in Spanish on UniMás. The series features wrestlers from the American independent circuit and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA), one of the biggest wrestling promotions in Mexico.[2] AAA also owns a percentage of Lucha Underground.[3]

The series premiered with its first season on October 29, 2014, that ran for 39 episodes. The second season of Lucha Underground started on January 27, 2016. Prior to the taping of the last Lucha Underground episode for season 2, the show was renewed for a third season which premiered on September 7, 2016. It was also revealed that episodes from the show would be available for purchase on iTunes. On February 1, 2017, Lucha Underground signed a deal with Netflix in the United States and Canada; the first two seasons of the series became available for streaming on the service on March 15, 2017. Season 4 premiered on June 13, 2018.

History[edit]

In January 2014, it was announced that producer Mark Burnett of One Three Media would be partnering with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network to launch a weekly hour-long television show in the United States in the second half of the year; the show would be affiliated with Mexico's Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA).[4] In July 2014, the show was tentatively called Lucha: Uprising.[5] In August 2014, the show was renamed as Lucha Underground, and it was announced that five AAA wrestlers would join the show, namely Blue Demon Jr., Sexy Star, Fénix, Drago and Pentagón Jr. The show would be taped in front of a live audience in Boyle Heights, California, with the first taping being on September 6, 2014.[6][7]

The series premiered on October 29, 2014, on the El Rey Network where it airs on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET,[8] and in Spanish on November 1, 2014, on UniMás where it aired on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. ET.[9] Unlike other promotions, matches are typically shown in their entirety without commercials, with the exception of the Aztec Warfare matches, which last the entire length of the program.

Johnny Mundo won the main event of the program's debut episode on October 29, 2014. On January 7, 2015, Prince Puma was crowned the first Lucha Underground Champion when he won the inaugural Aztec Warfare match.[10] On April 22, 2015, Angélico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc were crowned the first Lucha Underground Trios Champions when they won the Trios Tournament. On March 25, 2015, it was announced that Lucha Underground would be holding their first major event in early August 2015 entitled Ultima Lucha.[11] Lucha Underground was represented in the 2015 Lucha Libre World Cup by wrestlers Johnny Mundo and Brian Cage as part of "Team TNA/Lucha Underground" and "Team ROH/Lucha Underground", in the 2016 Lucha Libre World Cup by Johnny Mundo, Brian Cage, and Chavo Guerrero Jr. as "Team Lucha Underground" and in the 2017 Lucha Libre World Cup by Aero Star, Drago, Marty Martinez, and Son of Havoc as part of "Team Mexico Lucha Underground" and "Team USA Lucha Underground".

On July 4, 2015, Lucha Underground announced a partnership with the Canada-based International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS).[12][13] On September 21, 2015, it was announced that Lucha Underground would be returning for a second season.[14] The first tapings for season 2 took place on November 14, 2015, and began airing on January 27, 2016.[15]

Prior to the taping of the last show for season 2, the producer announced to the cast that the show had been renewed for a third season after just airing one episode of the second season.[16] El Rey made the official announcement on February 1, 2016.[17]

In 2016, Lucha Underground held their first live event outside of the Boyle Heights' Temple called Austin Warfare at the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas, part of the 2016 South by Southwest Festival.[18]

On November 10, 2017, it was announced that Lucha Underground was renewed for a fourth season set to premiere in 2018.[19] In February 2018, two of the show's producers, Eric van Wagenen and Chris DeJoseph, announced that the Temple would move from its former location in Boyle Heights to Union Central Cold Storage in Downtown Los Angeles.[1] In early 2018, Lucha Underground entered into a working relationship with Impact Wrestling. On April 6, 2018, Lucha Underground held a collaborative event with Impact Wrestling that streamed lived on Twitch.[20] During the co-promoted event with Impact Wrestling, a commercial aired announcing that the fourth season would begin airing on June 13, 2018.[21] After season 4 aired, van Wagenen stated in November 2018 that he was unsure if season 5 would happen, citing budget concerns. He stated "Season 5, if we do it, will be a major reboot. Cast-wise, on a lot of levels we'll be looking to reboot season 5.[22]

Roster[edit]

Current champions[edit]

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days
held
Location Notes
Lucha Underground Championship Jake Strong 1 March 18, 2018 430+ Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Defeated Pentagón Dark at Ultima Lucha Cuatro.
Gift of the Gods Championship Vacant Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Vacated once Jake Strong cashed in at Ultima Lucha Cuatro
Lucha Underground Trios Championship The Reptile Tribe
(Daga, Kobra Moon, and Jeremiah Snake)
1 March 9, 2018 439+ Boyle Heights, Los Angeles Defeated The Mack, Killshot , and Son of Havoc in a trios tornado match.

Other accomplishments[edit]

Accomplishment Last Winner Date Episode
Aztec Warfare Pentagón Dark February 24, 2018 El Jefe
The Cueto Cup Prince Puma June 11, 2016 The Cueto Cup
Battle of the Bulls Tournament The Mack April 23, 2016 The Battle Of The Bulls
Unique Opportunity Tournament Son of Havoc January 30, 2016 Ultima Lucha Dos
Trios Tournament El Dragon Azteca Jr., Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio Jr. January 10, 2016 Cage In A Cage

Reception[edit]

Lucha Underground has been well received by critics and fans. On IMDb, the first season received 9 out of 10.[23] John Moore, from ProWrestling.net, praised the show for "[knowing] their identity and [weaving] together an amazing universe".[24] Lucha Underground has also gained praise from media sites like Uproxx, which said Lucha Underground had two of the top ten matches of 2015.[25] In 2015, the show was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter[26] and won SoCal Uncensored's 2015 Southern California promotion of the year award, ending Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's 12 year streak of winning the award.[27]

In comparison to WWE, Sports Illustrated described the promotion as "vastly different", with the show creating a "cinematic approach with supernatural elements and science fiction that also embeds wrestling psychology and storylines".[19]

Broadcasters[edit]

Country Network
Canada Canada TeleLatino[28]
France France La Chaine Action[29]
Germany Germany Tele 5 and TNT Serie[30][31]
India India DSport[32]
Japan Japan Fighting TV Samurai[33]
Southeast Asia KIX[34]
United States United States El Rey Network[14]

Lawsuit by King Cuerno[edit]

On February 6, 2019 it was reported that Jorge Luis Alcantar, who worked as King Cuerno for Lucha Underground, had filed a lawsuit in California against the El Rey Network and the Baba-G production company behind Lucha Underground. The lawsuit claimed that the LU contract "Illegally restricted" wrestlers from working in their "lawful profession" by being restricted from working for other companies while under contract with LU, which only paid per episode.[35][36] Alcantar's stated that this usually is less then $1,000 per appearance, with some of the LU cast earning only about $4,000 a year from the show.[36] Alcantar's lawyer also revealed that he had filed a class action lawsuit against LU over the contracts that he claims are not legal under California law.[35] Other wrestlers Ivelisse Vélez, Joey Ryan and Melissa Cervantes joined him in the class action lawsuit, looking to invalidate their contracts.[37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stroud, Brandon (February 12, 2018). "Your First Look At The Ice Cold New 'Temple' For Lucha Underground Season 4". Uproxx. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Los Angeles, CA (September 25, 2015) – Lucha Underground, the Lucha Libre wrestling franchise from United Artists Media Group and FactoryMade Ventures".
  3. ^ Johnson, Mike (7 February 2016). "More on issues with Konnan, AAA and others in recent weeks". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  4. ^ de Moraes, Lisa. "TCA: Mark Burnett To Launch Lucha Libre AAA League In U.S. With El Rey Network; 'From Dusk Till Dawn' To Premiere In March". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  5. ^ Caldwell, James (2014-07-10). "AAA news: El Rey announces AAA Lucha Libre show for U.S. TV - timeslot, show title, more details". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2014-09-16.
  6. ^ "El Rey Network announces more details of AAA Lucha Libre project". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  7. ^ Queally, James (April 22, 2015). "Learn to speak lucha: The secret language of the squared circle". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ "Lucha Underground promotion TV debut moved back three weeks". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 2014-09-22. Retrieved 2014-09-23.
  9. ^ Steinberg, Brian. "Univision To Use El Rey Wrestling Show To Bolster UniMas". Variety. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  10. ^ Johnson, Mike (2014-10-05). "Lucha Underground spoiler". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  11. ^ "Big Update on "Ultimo Lucha" TV Special".
  12. ^ "IWS forms partnership with AAA wrestling and Lucha Underground", International Wrestling Syndicate, Retrieved on July 5, 2015.
  13. ^ Laprade, Patric. (2016-03-07) "Mysterio at IWS latest in Montreal-Mexico exchange", SLAM! Wrestling, Retrieved on March 07, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Believers, are you ready? #LuchaUnderground season 2 is coming in 2016!". Lucha Underground. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  15. ^ Peeples, Jeremy (January 27, 2016). "Lucha Underground Results: Season 2 Kicks off with an Intergender word title match". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  16. ^ Thomas, Jeremy (January 31, 2016). "Lucha Underground renewed for Season Three". 411Mania. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  17. ^ "Lucha Underground gets picked up for a third season". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  18. ^ "Lucha Underground wrestlers battle at Austin Music Hall at SXSW - The Daily Texan". www.dailytexanonline.com.
  19. ^ a b Gartland, Dan. "Lucha Underground Will Return for a Fourth Season". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Impact Wrestling Vs. Lucha Underground Event Announced For WrestleMania Weekend". Wrestling Inc. 1 March 2018.
  21. ^ Nieves, Davey (7 April 2018). "No Spandex Saturday: Lucha Underground is coming back".
  22. ^ "Lucha Underground Exec Producer Unsure If Season 5 Will Happen". allwrestling.com.
  23. ^ "Lucha Underground". IMDB.
  24. ^ "5/20 Moore's Lucha Underground Review: The Crew vs. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico in a Ladder Match for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship, Marty The Moth vs. Prince Puma, Daivari vs. Texano". Prowrestling.net. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  25. ^ "The Beast, The Boss, And The Blood: The 10 Best Pro Wrestling Matches Of 2015". 21 December 2015.
  26. ^ "Lucha Underground: A new era in wrestling". ESPN. January 27, 2016. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016.
  27. ^ Cal, Jay (7 March 2016). "2015 SoCal Year End Awards".
  28. ^ "Lucha Underground Secures Canadian Television Deal | Fight Network". Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  29. ^ "Catch " Lucha Underground " saison 3". www.actiontv.fr (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  30. ^ "Lucha Underground". Turner Entertainment (in German). Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  31. ^ "LUCHA UNDERGROUND". www.tele5.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  32. ^ "DSPORT bags exclusive broadcast rights of 'Lucha Underground' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  33. ^ "<Lucha Underground> : 番組情報 : プロレス・格闘技専門ch FIGHTING TV サムライ". www.samurai-tv.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  34. ^ "KIX's Lucha Underground Premiere Wins its Timeslot in the Philippines - CASBAA". CASBAA. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  35. ^ a b Rose, Bryan (February 6, 2019). "Two lawsuits filed over Lucha Underground contract issues". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  36. ^ a b Satin, Ryan (1981-11-19). "Lucha Underground Star Files Dispute Against El Rey Network". Prowrestlingsheet.com. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  37. ^ Mutter, Eric (February 6, 2019). "EXCLUSIVE: EL HIJO DEL FANTASMA, IVELISSE, JOEY RYAN AND THUNDER ROSA FILE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST EL REY NETWORK AND BABA-G PRODUCTIONS". Lucha Central. Retrieved February 6, 2019.

External links[edit]