Lucha Underground & Univison, Kaguya retirement

Nothing actual news to talk about, so let’s wildly speculate about Lucha Underground’s future.

Tomorrow is Univision’s announcement of shows for next season. There’s been a fueled thought (mostly publicly from the WON, but Meltzer probably is passing along other people’s thoughts here) that Lucha Underground needs to get on Univison to thrive or maybe even live. It’s easy to see why this would be a huge help for Lucha Underground: Univision would be a much bigger network, would mean Lucha Underground would automatically get more eyeballs, and would pay more for the television show. There’d probably be a new group of network people getting involved in the production of the show, but it’d be a fair tradeoff for being secure.

It’s a lot harder to figure out why Univison would want Lucha Underground. It’s a tremendous leap from Unimas and El Rey to one of the biggest entworks in the country, a channel which can easily produce it’s own content and doesn’t need to repurpose shows from other networks. People generally don’t understand how large Univison is now and how unlikely it be for a network that size to pick up lucha. If it was suggested TNA or WWE had to get a weekly show on NBC to survive everyone would scoff, and Univison does better numbers among 18-34s than NBC (and even CBS) some weeks. Lucha Underground is doing OK numbers for Saturday afternoon on a secondary network sandwiched between reruns of decade old action movies, but they’re not exactly at all the numbers which gets a show called up to the bigger network. If Lucha Underground shows up Univison, it’s because they’ve convinced the right person to take a specific and strong interest in the promise of the show, despite not currently having the numbers they need. It’s lottery ticket odds, with the same sort of payoff.

At the same time, I’m not not convinced that it’s Univsion or bust. I think it’s Univison in the US or Televisa in Mexico or a bunch of other networks or some big presenting sponsor or some production cut backs or a combination of all these things or bust. The only requirement is they find some way to turn a profit on this show. Mark Burnett said as much a month ago in an interview about all his TV shows; they’ll keep going forever as long as his production company is making money running them. There’s a lot of ways to do it, they’ve still just got to get one of them to work, and there are glimmers of hope Lucha Underground could make it work. LU has dropped the ball on making money from fans*, but they seem to have improved on making money from other businesses. I figure most of you who are watching the show are finding illegal uploads on YouTube** where the commercials are cut out, but the quality advertisers for the show have greatly improved since the first episode. The shaky hair replacement products are pretty much gone, and the brand name car parts, cell phone and beer commercials are in their place. It’s so much better than the commercials I see on pretty much any other lucha libre show. People are able to sell Lucha Underground as a product, it’s just a matter of being able to sell to (enough of) the right people.

Univison’s already released the new shows they’ll announce tomorrow, for Unimas and Univison. El Rey is mentioned in passing but not for any show notes. Lucha Underground is not mentioned anywhere, but it’s not a new show and so wouldn’t normally come up. The Unimas new shows seem to be moving away from it’s current male/action focus, which doesn’t seem like good news for a wrestling show. Maybe the most distressing thing I’ve read in that is Univison is trying to make the word “billennial” happen. Let’s not do that.

If I had to make a prediction by arbitrarily picking numbers as a way to fake authority, these are the numbers I’d pick

5%: Lucha Underground announced as airing on Univison in some form
35%: mentioned/shown during the presentation in some other way that suggests they’re getting a second season
60%: Lucha Underground not mentioned at all, fate still unknown.

** Hulu and t-shirt sales aren’t generating $20 million, but maybe enough to pay for one production person?

Local paper preview for tonight’s Arena Puebla show thinks Mr. Niebla is still wrestling in the main event. That’s a lot easier to predict – CMLL is willingly advertising someone who they know won’t appear, have probably told him not to show up, have already figured out who’s going to replace him and just aren’t going to tell anyone.

Former AAA luchadora Kaguya retired on Saturday. It’s actually simply the masked Mio Shirai, retiring her short lived Mexican gimmick in a match versus Ayako Hamada as part of a longer retirement tour, but the presentation included a message from Dorian Roldan noting Kaguya was AAA’s first masked luchadora from Japan.

A Mother’s Day interview with Dr. Wagner and Silver King’s mom. Good photo.

Segunda Caida reviews Bracito de Oro, Cicloncito Ramirez, Mascarita Magica vs Damiancito el Guerrero, Fierito, Pierrothito.

Hijo del Fantasma, at an AAA show in Ensenada, said AAA deserves credit for coming up with with new ideas.

Fuego en el Ring had Taya as a guest.

Super Libre talked to Draego and the Truenos.

CMLL has highlights of Friday night’s show.

Lineup

CMLL (SUN) 05/17/2015 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Explosivo & Meteoro vs Guerrero de la Muerte & Relampago
2) Frezzer, Linterna Verde Jr., Star Black vs El Piraña, Gitano, Thunder Boy
3) Hijo del Calavera & Metatrón vs Pitbull I & Pitbull II
4) Esfinge, Gallo, Magnum vs Maléfico, Ráfaga, Sádico
5) Virgo © vs Exterminador [OCCIDENTE MIDDLE]
first defense. This title has changed hands the last five times it’s been defended in this building.

A Sunday Guadalajara show with no new people is about as rare as a successful Occidente title defense.