Thursday, September 28, 2023

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Lucha Underground expands its reach by announcing intentions to tour

[media-credit name=”Lucha Underground” align=”alignnone” width=”620″]rsz_catrina-lu[/media-credit]

Lucha Underground has been the most consistent wrestling show on television since its inception and now they get to take the show on the road as reports are stating that the brand is expanding with an upcoming tour and new distribution deal with Samuari TV in Japan.

Though still finding its footing in the wrestling world, the show, which mixes lucha libre, wrestling, and other combat fighting with campy, telenovela, fantastical, story telling, is beginning to find success with lovers of sci-fi, fantasy, and drama, television. They take their female competitors as serious and their male talent and the show is produced by some of the most beloved directors in reality and genre tv and film with Robert Rodriguez and Mark Burnett.

New York Comic Con 2016 held a panel featuring Rey Mysterio, Catrina, Ivelesse, and Taya along with Executive Producers Skip Chaisson, Dorian Roldan, and Eric Van Wagenen.

They mentioned plans to expand the brand by touring, talked about the importance of women’s wrestling and equality, discussed how the show is filmed, and much more.

Highlights include:

  • On touring: The plan is to film for the first five months of the 2017 year and then do some spread-out touring over the following seven months in areas that would be into it. The big problem is that the Temple itself is such a part of the show, so how can you tour when the arena itself is a character in itself? But they have big news coming soon, so stay tuned.
  • On casting LU as a dramatic television show first and wrestling promotion second:  Certain characters were written into detail before being cast, such as Prince Puma and Mil Muertes. They figured out the IPs (ie. the logos and general aesthetic) before even writing any of the story. Then they found the right people for the specific characters and at times tested them out with dark matches before seeing whether or not to pull the trigger and make them part of the show. Everything is planned and wrestlers take it from there to make it a reality. Bookers/writers such as Chris DeJoseph keeps their eyes on the indies for wrestlers that would be a good fit for the show.
  • On men and women working together: Taya responded by saying it’s an honor to represent what a “luchadora” is and not what a “diva” is. They push the envelope all the time and they have elevated the bar for women in wrestling. Intergender bouts should be the norm and she said she’s thankful for LU giving her and her fellow competitors the recognition and ability to be in strong positions.
  • On Catrina’s character and falling back in love with wrestling: Catrina says the “lick of death” was her brainchild. On day one, she was matched up with Mil Mand given a paragraph detailing her character. She latched onto a Poison Ivy-type fem fatale who would have a kiss of death and figured she would go a step further, deciding, “What if I lick ‘em?” She also said she got into wrestling for acting and LU is what reinvigorated her passion after leaving WWE. She felt like the role was “meant to be” and character aspect has been lacking for so long in this industry and she’s very happy to do provide that while getting physical when the story calls for it.
  • On launching the show: Ivelisse admitted that after 12 years of wrestling and bad experiences, she was definitely skeptical of joining the show. However, she had experience working with Eric Van Wagenen on Tough Enough and that gave her enough faith to see it through.

Listen to the whole panel on Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast here. 

In addition to the touring news, LU recently inked a deal with Samauri TV in Japan. Season one starts airing tomorrow in Japan!

Lucha Underground Season 3 is currently underway, airing on the El Rey network on Wednesdays at 8 pm ET. Episodes can also be purchased on itunes.

Excited about LU’s plans for touring and expansion? What do you want to see for the rest of this season? Sound off in the comments below.

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