Monday, July 13, 2015

Well, El Rey Wants Lucha Underground Back

More of this action will happen if El Rey has its way
Photo Credit:
The biggest question mark in professional wrestling right now is the future of Lucha Underground. The show's first season has been an unquestioned critical success, and Ultima Lucha, the finale, has all the buzz of a big pay-per-view event (maybe not WrestleMania or Money in the Bank '11, but it's up there). However, the future of the show has been cloudy at best. The slick production and importing of big stars like Alberto el Patron, Johnny Mundo, and even lucha veterans like Blue Demon, Jr. have put a big pricetag on the show, one that might not be able to be covered with the revenue that El Rey Network and Unimas can bring in. The talent has been told to take other bookings (although now they're being told tapings might happen now so don't make ironclad bookings), and no official announcement of renewal has been made.

Well, if LU doesn't come back for a second season, it won't be from lack of enthusiasm or desire from its English language distribution. According to one of those shows many, many executive producers, Eric van Wagenen, on an appearance on the Steve Austin Podcast El Rey Network is busting at the seams to get the second season on its airwaves. You can read the full transcript of what van Wagenen had to say via @luchablog right here. The problem is, El Rey can't give the funding needed to make LU what it is.

The linchpin is, and always has been, Spanish language distribution. The money in having it air on Unimas compared to having it on the Univision is substantial in its difference. But people recognize how good it is and how much its continuation would mean to the wrestling and television worlds. van Wagenen said that other avenues like Netflix and iTunes were on the table. If that happened, it would deliver on the original promise of the Wrestling Retribution Project, which at present time, still has no output and no sign of refunding its crowdsourced money.

But either way, the wheels are moving. While I wouldn't be surprised if Ultima Lucha ended up as the finale, I'm growing more and more hopeful by the day that a second season will happen. Either way, things are moving, so an announcement either way will happen sooner rather than later.