On January 27th 2016 the El Rey Network will premier the second season of Lucha Underground – Break for applause – Lucha Underground revolutionised Pro-Wrestling in 2014/15 with its Hollywood style vignettes, video game style introductions, over-the-top characters, and phenomenal in-ring action. It was new, it was fresh, it was different and it was most watch TV. But what made it the most exciting and innovative wrestling show of last year? Everything.
When I was told that there was a new wrestling show, executively produced by and on a network ran by renegade movie director Robert Rodriguez, I was instantly intrigued. He has revolutionised every genre he has stepped into, be it Vampires in From Dusk Til Dawn, Zombies in Planet Terror and Mariachis in Desperado. And he was about to do the same with wrestling, Grindhouse + wrestling = Lucha Underground.
Taking place at a Boyle Heights warehouse known as “The Temple” it is rough and ready but shot and cut like a high budget TV show, which it essentially is. Because it is produced in a TV show format it relies on thought out and progressive storylines, which are shared out equally to the roster, making all of the wrestlers seem important and relevant despite its one hour show length. Black Lotus’s long running storyline with Dario and his mysterious brother saw her train Kill Bill style in backstage movie vignettes rather than action in the ring added a Grindhouse, vintage Kung-Fu cool that made Lucha Underground a truly innovative and refreshing product. Lucha Underground is wrestling done right. The layers of Lucha Underground go beyond the babyface/heel dynamics by creating a wrestling show that dares to challenge its audience, giving them a product that is both amazing and crazy, often at the same time.
Right from the get go you knew Lucha Underground was something special it took former stars like Johnny Mundo and made him one of the major players. He was involved many great matches and many great storylines. His ‘His‘One Match One Show’ ’versus Prince Puma was an awesome show of ability and excitement. Mundo and Puma really were standout performers their matches were constantly excellent and it is clear that all performers have the freedom to shine in the ring.
This allowed the product to keep pushing the boundaries of excitement both in and out of the ring since its inception with Angelico being involved in many of its highlights, his two death-defying dives from the balcony instantly come to mind. Both equally draw dropping spectacles you will never tire of watching. The season finale Ultima Lucha was
One great thing with Lucha is the female representatives being on par with the male competitors. These matches have put inter-gender wrestling in the spotlight by tearing away the perception of inequality because of performers like Sexy Star’s and Ivillisse’s ability to go toe-to-toe with male opponents.
Lucha Underground features an array of interesting and fantastic characters and Drago is one of the best. In a time where wrestling kayfabe is perceived as dead Lucha Underground is able to suspend the fans belief when watching a guy with dragon wings, a black lizard tongue and leaves in a blaze of fire. Other characters such as Mil Muertes who is dead, Aerostar who is from space all take the wrestling back to a time when wrestling featured interesting and above all fun characters.
Unlike many wrestling promotions LU has a break because of the seasonal television format and there were major doubts regarding its future toward the end of season one. According to reports concerns of its budget over the filming schedule and difficulty in turning a profit because of the lack of a live gate and touring ticket sales. However due its popularity and viewing figures the I’s have been dotted and the T’s crossed and more importantly the funding was available to thankfully confirm a second series.
Judging by the trailer there is much more Lucha madness on the way.
My friends wrestling is about to get fun again.