lucha TV preview for weekend of August 8th

  • adios, Lucha Underground
  • No real idea what’s airing on AAA this week. Cage & Alberto seems like it should, but that doesn’t mean it will. Flamita/Fireball will make TV at some point, because they don’t really have enough TV to do otherwise. This week’s TV would figure to be mostly promos for TripleMania anyway, but they do need to announce a next taping at some point.
  • and of course TripleMania is on PPV on Sunday, though it’s not listed up there.
  • 52MX has been very strange of late. I think there’s a new pattern. I don’t know what the pattern is.
  • I’ll be at Friday’s Arena Mexico show, so it’s unlikely I’ll be recording any of it.
  • I’m going to try to record the normal stuff, but we’ll see what happened.

attempting to answer your Lucha Underground Season 2 status questions

(Information is taken from the Wrestling Observer, media appearances by various people, and other sources. Drop more questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Last updated August 6.)

Will there be a Lucha Underground Season 2?

We’re not sure. No season 2 has been officially announced, but people involved with the show say it’s still being working on.

Every group involved in Season 1 wants there to be a season 2. El Rey wants to bring them back and hoped to have them back on the air in October. Unimas is said to be happy with the show. AAA remains happy with the show. The luchadors were said to be signed to as long as seven year deals, so they’re all on board

The hold up is a funding gap. Lucha Underground’s main revenue stream is TV rights fees, and El Rey & Unimas alone aren’t enough to cover the expense of a season 2. Season 1 was more expensive than originally expected, the goal is to return for a second season without cutting back on any aspect of the show.

How expensive was Lucha Underground? Why was the show so expensive? What’s could be done to bridge the funding gap?

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has repeatedly reported season one cost $20 million (or $500,000 per hour.) Lucha Underground personnel have disputed that number.

It’s not clear why the expenses were so high. It’s possible the cost of filming in Los Angeles and the level of production simply was more than they were expecting. Lucha Underground was filmed and produced more like a traditional TV show than a wrestling promotion, which meant a bigger and more expensive day of filming staff. Season one seemed to have a bigger special effects budget too. The trademark vignettes might also be a source of the unexpected costs. The original plan was for only the opening vignette with Dragon Azteca to be ‘movie style’, but the people in charge loved it so much that everything going forward was to be filmed that way (and early scenes were scrapped and refilmed to fit the new look.)

There have been speculation Lucha Undeground might cut back at production or move to a cheaper location to save money. The finale of the show indicated Season 2 would take place at a different location, and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has said Texas is the most likely possibility, throwing out San Antonio and Austin as possibilities.

Moving may create more problems. Many of the production people took less than the normal because they were able to stay in their home of Los Angeles and film rather than relocating; those people would either look for a raise or may choose another project. (In his interview with Steve Austin, Eric Van Wagenen brought up those points; in the context of the season finale, it sounds like he was making the case against a move.)

Everyone involved has said they’d prefer to keep the quality of the show as is and are more focused on finding funding than cutting back on the show. They’re only really doing interested in doing season two of Lucha Underground if they can do the same or better as season one.

What are they looking to do to bridge their funding gap?

They’re looking at all options.

The most persistent rumor is a deal with Mexico’s Televisa. The giant network would pay for the show, which would begin airing along side AAA in Mexico, and would provide the funding for a second season. A deal between Lucha Underground and Televisa has been talked about for about the entirety of 2015, but nothing has ever been offiically said by Televisa.

Another frequently brought up possibility is Lucha Underground’s US Spanish broadcast moving from UniMas to big brother Univision. Univision would bring greater clearance in addition to a higher rights fee.

The problem appears to be ratings for the show haven’t been strong enough to draw enough interest. The English version is said to be doing around at most 100K viewers (PWTorch), good for a network the size of El Rey but not comparable to WWE or even the smaller wrestling promotions. The Unimas viewership is about 300K viewers, but the total current viewership hasn’t yet be enough to convince people to put more in. There’s clearly a significant viewership watching the show outside of traditional methods, but they don’t seem to count.

Beyond that, there’s been talk about literally every possibility: getting onto one of the internet based networks (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc), selling the merchandise rights, or whatever other deal is out there. Lucha Underground hasn’t quite gotten to the Kickstarter level, but they seem to be exploring everything else.

(It’s unknown exactly how much they need.)

Is there any chance they’ll just go back on the air and figure out the finances later?

Nah. Mark Burnett, one of the people at the very top of the Lucha Underground pyramid and man in charge of dozens of shows, noted any show can run forever as long as it’s making money. They’ll do Lucha Underground as long as they can make money on it and, if they can’t, they won’t do it.

The people in charge essentially tried the “do it and figure out how to make money on it” for one season. It’s hard to expect the same for a second season.

When would a second season start? When do we know if there’s a second season? When do we know if there’s not?

The original plan was to run 39 episodes, take 12-13 weeks off, and come back for season 3 sometime in October. The start of the season one was delayed three weeks, so perhaps the ideal return date would now be November. It appears to take about three weeks to go from taping an episode to airing, which means tapings would need to resume in late September or early October. However, no tapings have been announced and wrestlers have been taking bookings in September and October.

It appears everything Lucha Underground related will roll directly back into action the moment the funding gap is closed. Everything will go from quiet to very busy in no time. The problem is no one has any idea when that gap might be closed, when the deal they need will be made. It could happen today. It could happen at TripleMania. It could happen on some random Thursday in September. It could never happen.

There is not a public drop dead date for the show either. People involved with Lucha Underground have floated the idea that it might be a longer than expected break between seasons, but one which wouldn’t necessarily mean the show is canceled. Lucha Underground appears to have long term deals with most of it’s wrestlers and AAA, so it’s possible the Lucha Underground machine could be restarted even after a prolonged slumber.

(This could set up a dreadful situation where wrestlers are tied to a show in near-permanent limbo, unable to move onto another group with television. The Hernandez situation displayed Lucha Underground would enforce their contracts, but also implied they’d be willing to let people out of them assuming they wait to get a full release and aren’t on competing television while Lucha Underground is airing. The latter wouldn’t seem to be a problem if LU is off the air.)

One more time: will Lucha Underground be back for a second season? What do you think?

My instinct says we’d know Season 2 is happening by the end of Season 1. The only reason you’re reading this post is because that didn’t happen. That’s not a great sign.

TripleMania (08/09) feels like the realistic endpoint for any major news. AAA’s on a kick of emphasizing it’s international aspirations and it’s be fitting for them to either announce a new show airing in Mexico or any new partnership as part of TripleMania. It’s a dismal sign if there’s nothing new to report after this weekend and Lucha Underground has so far only come up in passing as one of a number of AAA projects.

I would not believe there’s a chance of season 2 at this point if Lucha Underground people involved weren’t so relentlessly positive. The continued presence on social media and the media rounds prior to the finale also indicate it’s still alive, not abandoned. I’ve also been wrongly pessimistic on this project. In my head, this is a show holding out for a last minute miracle, but maybe I’d believe it was close to carrying on if I knew what others knew. I don’t want to say no because I would’ve lost my house if I bet on no before, but there needs to be some sign of action and there hasn’t been much.

AAA trios match now a cage match, Maximo/Casas, Dorada return date

site note

I’m heading to Mexico City tomorrow morning for TripleMania. Normal updates may not appear for the next few days and the Tuesday video update may not come out on schedule. Other types of content may turn up; check back here and on Twitter.

results

CMLL (TUE) 08/04/2015 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [CMLL]
1) Évola & Furia Roja b Metatrón & Neutrón
2) Flyer, Magnum, Magnus b Artillero, Joker, Súper Comando
3) Canelo Casas, Metálico, Virus b Esfinge, Omar Brunetti, Stigma
4) Atlantis, Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr. DQ Kráneo, Olímpico, Ripper
Ripper fouled Atlantis.
5) Negro Casas, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero b Marco Corleone, Máximo, Super Porky
Original rudo side was Shocker (?, pulled off all shows), Mr. Niebla (probable suspension) and Thunder (?), with Niebla Roja, Ultimo Guerrero and Negro Casas all in as replacements. Maximo and Casas feuded, with Casas sneaking in a foul.

Is Thunder injured? He didn’t seem hurt on CMLL Informa, but he’s missed two shows in a row. He can’t be suspended, because he still got involved with the finish on Friday and appeared on the YouTube show. It’s a strange situation, given his feud with Ultimo Guerrero is the only one going on right now. Friday will be interesting.

The show here on Sunday is not an Liga Elite show – but done with help from Liga Elite and CMLL. CMLL seems to be disavowing the show by not even listing it on their website.

IWRG FILL (WED) 08/05/2015 Arena Naucalpan [The Gladiatores]
1) Vampiro Metálico & Vardeus b Blue Metal & Voltar
2) Alfa & Omega b Adrenalina & Guerrero 2000
Adrenalina lasted one fall, got hurt, and was replaced by Power Bull in the second fall. Straight fall win.
3) Blue Monsther, Fiero, Hijo del Alebrije b Araña de Plata, Magnum 44, Power Bull
4) Aeroman, Dragón Fly, Kanon b Atomic Star, Matrix Jr., Rey Terco Jr.
Kanon beat Rey Terco with a leglock and Matrix wiht a suplex.
5) Alas de Acero, Aramis, Eterno b Espada De Plata, Keiser Drago, Oficial 911
FILL (Eterno) versus Gym Zeuz (911). Team Eterno took 2/3, the last when Eterno beat Keiser with a martinete. Ofical AK47 ran out to help his friend and attack Eterno. Kanon, Arana de Plata and Atomic Star ran out to save Eterno.

Secret sources at the show tell me Fiero/Fierro is a pretty good flyer. He’s not the Oficial, but a young guy who’s also appeared on Toryumon Mexico shows.

notes

AAA held a press conference with Paramount Pictures to promote the Mission Impossible tie in for Sunday. They also went over the card order: the Psycho Circus/Villanos match will be second, trios title third, Blue Demon Anniversary match fourth, and everything else is just about where you’d expect it. The big news is the trios title match is the cage match. I’m sure everyone will try very hard and people will do spots off the cage, but that stipulation hurts the match much more than it helps it. It limits the type of match they can do and restricts the amount of space they have in a nine man match. The best multi-matches AAA has done have people hanging outside the ring to stay out of the way of the complicated spots, and they just took that option away.

AAA believes they need a cage match on every TripleMania but rarely do anything to build a cage match, so they always end up in a situation like this. A cage is thrown onto a match where it doesn’t help and often hurts. I’m not sure a single person would miss the cage if it wasn’t there – even now! – but it’ll probably be there and it’ll probably be annoying.

AAA said Perro Aguayo Jr. and Hector Garza would be added to their Hall of Fame. At the press conference, but not mentioned elsewhere, it was said Irma Osorno would also be added. She’s the woman who died in the bus accident the week of Rey de Reyes.

CMLL Informa confirmed the Anniversary lineup will be out Wednesday. The 09/04 CMLL Anniversary date was also announced as the minis anniversary, so they stand a chance of making the show. They haven’t been on an Anniversary show since 2009, and only twice since 2005.

Mascara Dorada told a fan he’s not returning to Arena Mexico until January 2016. That would mean the current CMLL Welterweight champion will not be taking part in the CMLL Universal tournament, expected to begin any moment now. The silliness of that is one subject, but a more crucial one is it means CMLL currently has sixteen champions and does not require a current champion (like Mephisto) to win an extra belt (like the national trios titles) to make the numbers work for their annual tournament. Dorada not coming back to Mexico this year means Reyes del Atlantida go from probably losing their title belts on Sunday to probably keeping them. CMLL posted their own preview of that match here.

CMLL Informa had the Hijos del Infierno arguing they would win. It’s just tough to imagine CMLL doing a lot with Luciferno or Ephesto given their level of performance. They also had the contract signing for Pequeno Violencia versus Aereo.

Cara Lucha announced Polvora is the mystery CMLL luchador to face Jinzo and Toxin Boy in a three way. Cavernario will replace Dragon Lee in the main event on the CMLL team. Ultimo Guerrero, Hechicero and Cavernario face Familia de Tijuana, who have a promo and a blooper reel.

Myzteziz says he’ll humiliate Rey Mysterio.

CMLL already announced there’s a boxing event in Arena Coliseo on Saturday replacing Sabado Retros for a week, but it also reads like there’s one in Arena Mexico too.

Mascara Purpura will appear as part of CHIKARA’s King of Trios weekend in their Rey de Volador tournament. Matt Cross (Son of Havoc) was also advertised. It’s possible Fenix, Aerostar and/or Drago would end up in that tournament if they fall out of the trios tournament early. Purpura, an ex-CMLL guy who returned to Monterrey when his career wasn’t going anywhere, is a strange inclusion. CHIKARA listed him as an IWRG guy, where hasn’t been since 2014 and hasn’t really been a full time. Purpura doesn’t seem to have wrestled much this year – just listed for about five matches back in May, and then no other ones before or after this year. The best guess is he’s working low level US shows outside of the usual lucha sphere, and he has shown up a few times in Oklahoma of all places.

Ricky Cruz will be be defending the IWRG Rey de Reyes title in Puerto Rico’s WWL on their next show.

A quick interview of Satillo’s Indio Kikapoo.

Mano a Mano interviewed Principe Condor.

Lucha Libre in Japan

08/05 NOAH: Bengala defeated Super Crazy [GJHL]
Both end up with the usual lucha libre results: same amount as wins and losses, middle of the table. There’s a junior tag team tournament coming up here in September, seems likely they might team up once again. Bengala getting this spot makes some more sense given AAA being busy promoting TripleMania and sending people to Colombia this week, even besides the weirdess of all the different promotional agreements.

08/06 Dragon Gate: The Millennials were forced to disband after losing a three way match to Mad Blankey and The Jimmyz when YAMATO defeated T-Hawk.

A recent trend on Dragon Gate shows has been CIMA and others ripping the Millennials (usually specifically T-Hawk and Eita) for not working hard enough. Losing, kind of proving the comments correct, suggests it may be more than a storyline. This is not the end of Flamita in Dragon Gate; he’s said to be there thru November. (I wrongly said December this morning.)

+LuchaTV has many new videos, including a clip of Flamita, Violento Jack, Ciclope and Draztick Boy saying hello from Japan. Draztick is there because he’s headed into to Dragon Gate, also there thru November. He’s currently not listed on any upcoming cards. If this is Flamita’s last trip, there’s a chance here for Draztick Boy to take over his role, but it’s tough to believe Flamita going full time to AAA until it actually happens.

Lineups

CMLL (TUE) 08/11/2015 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Divino & Virgo vs Ráfaga & Thunder Boy
2) Hombre Bala Jr., Omar Brunetti, Súper Halcón Jr. vs Canelo Casas, Disturbio, Metálico
3) Blue Panther, Stuka Jr., Super Porky vs Misterioso Jr., Pierroth, Sagrado
4) Atlantis, Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Kráneo, Olímpico, Ripper
5) Máximo vs Negro Casas

Would they have done Maximo versus Mr. Niebla? Or maybe Maximo versus Shocker.

Reyes del Atlantida starting a feud with the Invasors is another data point towards Atlantis and crew keeping the trios titles.