Lucha Underground is an American professional wrestling promotion and serial drama television series owned and produced by United Artists Media Group. The weekly series aired 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. AAA also owns a percentage of Lucha Underground.
|Developed by||One Three Media|
|Starring||Lucha Underground roster|
|Narrated by||Matt Striker|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||127 (as of November 7, 2018(list of episodes))|
|Executive producer(s)||Mark Burnett|
Eric van Wagenen
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
|Production location(s)||The Temple|
Boyle Heights, California (2014–2017)
The Ice Temple
Downtown Los Angeles, California (2018–present)
|Camera setup||Multicamera setup|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||United Artists Media Group|
|Original network||El Rey Network|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||October 29, 2014 –|
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 Netflix on March 15, 2017 and remained available until November 15, 2018, at which time they were pulled from the service. Season 4 aired from June 13 to November 7, 2018.
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). In July 2014, the show was tentatively called Lucha: Uprising. 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.
The series premiered on October 29, 2014, on the El Rey Network where it airs on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET, and in Spanish on November 1, 2014, on UniMás where it aired on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. ET. 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. 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. 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). On September 21, 2015, it was announced that Lucha Underground would be returning for a second season. The first tapings for season 2 took place on November 14, 2015, and began airing on January 27, 2016.
Prior to the taping of the last show for season 2, the producer announced to the cast that after airing just one episode of season 2, the show had been renewed for a third season. El Rey made the official announcement on February 1, 2016.
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.
On November 10, 2017, it was announced that Lucha Underground was renewed for a fourth season set to premiere in 2018. 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. 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 live on Twitch. During the co-promoted event with Impact Wrestling, a commercial aired announcing that the fourth season would begin airing on June 13, 2018. 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."
|Championship||Current champion(s)||Reign||Date won||Days
|Lucha Underground Championship||Jake Strong||1||March 18, 2018||609+||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||618+||Boyle Heights, Los Angeles||Defeated The Mack, Killshot, and Son of Havoc in a trios tornado match.|
|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|
Lucha Underground was well received by critics and fans. On IMDb, the first season received 9 out of 10. John Moore, from ProWrestling.net, praised the show for "[knowing] their identity and [weaving] together an amazing universe". Lucha Underground has also gained praise from media sites like Uproxx, which said Lucha Underground had two of the top ten matches of 2015. In 2015, the show was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter 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.
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".
|France||La Chaine Action|
|Germany||Tele 5 and TNT Serie|
|Japan||Fighting TV Samurai|
|United States||El Rey Network|
Lawsuit by King Cuerno and othersEdit
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. Alcantar's stated that this usually is less than $1,000 per appearance, with some of the LU cast earning only about $4,000 a year from the show. 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. Other wrestlers Ivelisse Vélez, Joey Ryan and Melissa Cervantes joined him in the class action lawsuit, looking to invalidate their contracts. As of March 26, 2019, all lawsuits had been settled in the wrestlers' favor and they were free from their LU contracts.
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- 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.
- Collins, Elle (March 26, 2019). "The Lucha Underground Lawsuits Are Settled, Freeing Several Wrestlers from Contracts". Uproxx. Retrieved October 6, 2019.