Lucha Underground 4×22: Ultima Lucha Cuatro – Part II

Penta (also all my GIFs came out weird today)


Fenix beat Dragon Azteca Jr. in a best of three falls match
(13:45, good)

2:20: Black Fire Driver
1:41: DDTJ
9:45: Black Fire Driver

the Mack beat Mil Muertes in a death match
(12:51, brick to the head + stunner, great)

Johnny Mundo beat Matanza in a sacrifice match
(11:55, Gauntlet punch, good)

Pentagon Dark beat Marty the Moth to win the Lucha Underground Championship
(12:26, package piledriver thru chairs, excellent)

Jake Strong beat Pentagon Dark to win the Lucha Underground Championship
(0:35, anklelock, n/r)

The final death total for the season is 17.


DDTJ on the floor

It was both a dark ending for Lucha Underground season 4 and a literal Dark ending. There were positive moments for the odd troupe of luchadors who fought in this temple, but even those usually turned bad later on. Things took a turn for the worse at the end, with the only hope coming from an unlikely source.

The big news first: Marty the Moth isn’t Lucha Underground Champion. Neither is Pentagon Dark, though he was champion for about 6 minutes. Season 4 concludes with Jake Strong holding the Lucha Underground championship. Marty and Pentagon’s Cero Miedo was as hellacious as anticipated. Marty was bleeding in moments, Pentagon wasn’t far behind, and the amount of blood from both men was high. Marty was eventually sent thru a glass pane, then given a package piledriver thru chairs for the win. Penta went to break Marty’s arm, and that’s where things started to spiral.

Reklusa made the save for her man, only for Vampiro to walk in the ring to scare her away. Reklusa helped Marty away while Vampiro made a show of giving his old protege the belt. Vampiro then punched Pentagon in the face, which seemed a bit rude. The two people who fought in the first Cero Miedo match fought again in the wreckage of the second. Penta started to get the best of Vamp, despite the battle he just had, only for a masked man to run in and catch him with a chair. He removed to remove one mask to reveal one that looked inspired by Penta’s mask. (It also had a hexagon on it – LU trademarks have a Hexagon Black, though that name was never actually said aloud.) Vampiro declared this man was his secret mentor, as teased long ago. Vampiro helped hold Penta for a Hexagon shooting star press off the balcony, and then a Red Arrow from the corner.

Jake Strong then came out to cash in the Gift of the Gods, with Vamprio and Hexagon leaving. (Vampiro was directing Hexagon here.) Pentagon got in no offense, with Strong quickly putting on the anklelock. The match lasted only as long as it did because Pentagon would not give up, even with his ankle broken, and it only ended with the referee stopping the match. That was not the end of the story for Jake Strong, but we’ll pick up that thread later.

Mack stopped

Each match had their own dramatics. The Mack & Mil Muertes had the least, but it was still a pretty meaningful ending. Mil Muertes brought caskets with “DEATH MATCH” spraypainted on them and had one of them filled with the same sort of weapons from their cage match. The Mack was unafraid of Mil this time, and battled much more evenly. It was a brick, a reoccurring weapon in Mack matches, that gave him the edge over Mil. A few stunners later, Mack pinned Muertes. Mack rolled Muertes into a casket, drunk some beers, and closed the casket. That’s happened to Mil before, but he’s always had Catrina around to bring him back. Catrina isn’t around now.

Melissa also wasn’t around after the opener. She inadvertently cost Dragon Azteca Jr. the three falls match by pleading for peace between them. Azteca paused from hitting to Fenix with a chair to look at her. Fenix did not pause, hit Azteca with a chair, and hit him with the Black Fire Driver for the win. A distraught Melissa walked out of the Temple, not even really bothering to announce the finish. The way it was done, there’s at least a chance that Melissa’s distraction wasn’t that accidental, but it would require an explanation of why she’s doing it.

(Striker made sure to note Fenix is undefeated at Ultima Lucha, while Mil lost for the first time at this event.)

The rest of the show required a ring announcer. Antonio Cueto announced he’d actually be working for months on signing someone, and he happened to have just finished the deal. Shaul Guerrero, the daughter of Eddie & Vicki Guerrero, made her debut in the promotion as the replacement ring announcer. That drew the ire of usual replacement ring announcer Famous B, who claimed not to know who this woman was. Shaul introduced herself and her family, and her uncle Chavo Jr. returned to help take out Famous B. Shaul did three amigo suplexes and Chavo added the frog splash.

Johnny Mundo didn’t have any personal backup – he had asked Taya to assist with Matanza, but she turned out to be otherwise occupied. Mundo instead had the Gauntlet. Antonio seemed frightened when Mundo appeared with it, and (new gear) Matanza immediately identified it as a problem. The match became a battle over control of the glove, with Matanza trying to keep it off Johnny’s wrist. Matanza tossed it to the floor early, Mundo later evaded Matanza and got to the gauntlet again, but Matanza knocked him down before he could put it on. Matanza tossed the glove to a high place in the Temple, on top of the entrance doors, and Mundo fought and leaped and used Matanza’s shoulders to get up there. Matanza climbed up after Mundo, chokeslamming him thru the roof just as Mundo got the glove back on. That glove made a difference. While everyone believed the match to be over, Mundo appeared from behind the entrance doors with the glove in hand. Matanza wasn’t able to get the glove off this time, and Mundo battered him around with super powered punches to finish him off. Johnny Mundo wasn’t sacrified to the Gods this night. Neither really was Matanza. Not that it would end too well for him.

Things got hairy from there. Aerostar was able to convince Mundo to give the gauntlet back. Aerostar explained that Mundo’s body would be taken over by a god if he held to the gaunelet, and Mundo had worked too hard for that body to give it up. Mundo instead went to celebrate with Taya, where he probably could’ve used that gauntlet. He found Taya, but Taya wasn’t home. Taya had been amazed that Rosa (Ricky’s doll) was talking on it’s own, and got sucked into looking at it. That was a bad call. Rosa apparently was another God all along, and escaped the doll’s body to take over Taya’s. The possessed Taya attacked Johnny, leaving him laying after a big choke to end their portion of this season.

(There’s an implication here that the doll could’ve possessed Ricky at any time, and decided he wasn’t strong enough.)

Aerostar didn’t have the gauntlet long. He met King Cuerno and Dragon Azteca. Cuerno seemed to want to put it back in hiding, while Dragon Azteca was insistent they needed to strike now before the Gods got stronger. Aerostar reluctancly gave the glove to Azteca, telling him to make it quick. Azteca said, “she meant to”. She was the returning Black Lotus! She confronted Matanza somewhere dark inside the Temple, still looking for revenge over Matanza killing her parents before the series began. Lotus killed Matanza, using the power of the glove to literally pull Matanza’s heart out of his body. I don’t think he’s coming back from that one. Black Lotus thanked Dragon Azteca and left him with the bloody guauntlet, vanishing. He didn’t have a moment to act before he was knocked down from behind by Jake Strong. Strong, wearing the Lucha Underground belt, broke Dragon Azteca’s ankle and used the gauntlet to do a bloody version of his usual pose.

Strong was next seen enterting the limo – yes, the limo which hasn’t been seen this season. Antonio Cueto was there. Agent Winter was there. Hexagon Black was there. Winter revealed the all of the Gods were now in human form. We know now that Taya has a god, Strong might have had one too, and Hexagon had a weird enough voice that he may be one as well. This is where Strong got in. Winter asked about the blood, and Strong revealed it was Matanza. Antonio was sadder than you’d think, given his behavior, but an unseen voice said Matanza would be honored for his sacrifice for the Order, but they’d need a new host for that God now. That voice was the Limo Guy, who revealed himself to be ex-WWE’s Wade Barrett, who checked if there was any more bad news. He got none, and declared it was now time to take over the wrold.

One segment remained, a flash back to episode one of the season. Antonio closed the casket on Dario Cueto and limped away. A moment and a flash later, Aerostar appeared. With the Amulet. Aerostar put it on Dario’s neck and said: “come with me.” The last moment of the show was Dario Cueto muttering “Aerostar”, then sitting up in his own casket yelping “what the f-” as the season ended.


Dragon Azecta and Fenix

Wow. This was not the strongest Ultima Lucha from an in-ring point. One match was good while still being a little disappointing, one was great more for being a spectacle, and one match worked from the they’re telling but would seem preposterous to anyone watching it out of context. The vignettes at the end were the best they’ve done of those, bringing together story points from this season and ones that seemed to have been abandoned. (Still wondering where Mysterio is though.) The peak of it was finding a way to bring back Dario Cueto in a way that did not walk back his death – he really died, Antonio is not Dario in a bad disguise – while also keeping true to the mythology of the series. They’d been starting the plot mechanisms to get Dario back alive from episode 2, from as soon as Catrina goes on her own quest of rebirth and loses her half of the amulet along the way. It’s complete sci-fi silliness, but it made sense in the story they told. It also, not so accidentally, sets up Dario Cueto to be the real hero of Lucha Underground in season 5, Dario Cueto saving the world. When I wrote about Lucha Underground this morning, I wasn’t skeptical they had any stories left I’d really be interesting in seeing play out. I’d really like to see Dario go for revenge against the people who murdered him and betrayed him.

The matches ended up being kind of secondary. None were bad, all were good, it didn’t rank up with the high standards of Ultima Lucha 1 & 3. The Shaul Guerrero thing sort of annoyed me in the moment. The segment was executed well and she did a great job of ring announcing (Melissa ought-to-be-worried level of great.) They gave her introduction a lot of time right after a three fall match where there first two falls seemed likely edited for time. Shaul Guerrero isn’t as important to this season or this episode as getting to see the Fenix/Azecta story play out, and I’d rather see the time being allocated differently.

With the editing, Fenix/Azteca was not the fast moving action match I anticipated. The first two falls were akin to a CMLL match in their briefness. They might have been selling unseen damage for those two falls to cause them to slow down in the third fall, but it became a little too much about setting up huge table breaking spots once Antonio added the falls count anywhere stipulation. Those big table spots looked impressive, even when the tables didn’t coopoerate, but I wanted something a little bit more complete.

This version of Mil Muertes/Mack was a lot more competitive match than their last meaning, which gave it something closer to completeness I was missing in the previous match. LU could’ve done to more explain why it was suddenly a closer battle – all we got was Mack staying he wasn’t scared anymore – but at least it wasn’t two versions of Taya vs Ricky. The weapons and blood help cover up Mil’s current weakness. He also just didn’t look as limited in this match, maybe just having a better laid out match for what he can do here than he usually gets in Mexico. Mack worked hard and pushed himself – the corner to corner dropkick wasn’t perfect but the effort was great, and he’s made the Flatliner looked great. I really wasn’t expected Mack to win, and that shock took the match up for it.

I’ll miss the slams

Mundo/Matanza was a storyline driven match which is probably not all that great out of content and worked perfectly within the story they told. The gauntlet chase threatened to overpower the match, but they mixed in enough other action to keep it going. Matanza narrowly beat out Melissa Santos for best Ultima Lucha gear. There’s matches on this show I’ve liked more than this, but he played a slightly different role than usual pretty well. It seemed as if the big parkour spot didn’t work as they expected, but they still had the drama. The first kickout of the Wraith of the Gods feels like it should’ve been a bigger deal than how it played out as just another sign of the gauntlet’s power. The gauntlet itself worked, so maybe it didn’t need to be more.

Pentagon Dark & Marty the Moth may have been the most brutal match they’ve done. Marty just kills himself in every one of these big matches. He bled a tremendous amount and took the sort of chair shots that no one’s really doing anymore. Probably for good reason. Killshot/Fox was a more insane match, but this wone seemed equal in destroying the people involved. Arez is no longer the person who took the worst beating Pentagon had to offer. It was a match to be amazed by if not exactly admired.

The post match seemed rushed to get where they needed to get at the end of the season while keeping Pentagon strong. Jake Strong as champion is not exactly an entertaining prospect given his performances this season. It’s at least slightly mitigated understanding the visual they wanted at the end – the Order has the gauntlet, the title, all the power – but I wish it was being done with someone more compelling than Jake Strong. Hexagon’s flips looked impressive but he looked so much smaller than Vampiro, Pentagon, and Strong that it hurt the first impression. He probably needed to do something ugly too, not just some flips.

They did get me with this story. I thought I was going to be ok letting this all go after this season. I kind of get the sense how it’s going to play out if they want to do a big resolution in Season 5, but they got me to the point where I actually want to see it happen. I’m not sure this season was a success, but the ending was.

Caveman new champion, same Cuatrero champ, Niebla Roja/Rey Bucanero hair match feud, Lucha Capital

they accidentally? let us see the dance number on the stream

CMLL (TUE) 11/06/2018 Arena México [CMLL, Lucha Central]
Rudos took 2/3.
2) Amapola, Metálica, Reyna Isis b Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, Princesa Sugehit LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudas took 2/3.
3) Kawato San, Okumura, Tiger b Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3.
3rd defense, first not against Angel de Oro. Cuatrero took 1/3 to keep his title.
5) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Soberano Jr. b Dark Magic, Rey Bucanero, Shocker LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Straight falls, Niebla Roja using the ropes to win? Hair match challenges followed.
6) Diamante Azul, Místico, Stuka Jr. b Mephisto, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3

I was distracted during portions of the fourth match, but it seemed very good. The finish especially looked good (and it’s helpful that both Cuatrero and Sanson have a couple of different finishes.) Cuatrero talked about his defense.

Niebla Roja versus Rey Bucanero is indeed a hair match feud. Niebla Roja and Rey Bucanero talked it up in promos. Unclear how Bucanero made it to the media room after being dragged to hell. It’s not clear which day of the week it’s happening after moving from Sunday to Tuesday, but it’s happening.

This is the final Dia de Muerto show this year. Catrina promised she’ll be back in 2019.

CMLL (TUE) 11/06/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [CMLL]
1) Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Luminoso b Guerrero de la Muerte, Mr. Trueno, Rey Trueno
Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Disturbio, Furia Roja, Sangre Azteca b Astral, Oro Jr., Pantera Blanca Jr.
Rudos took 1/3.
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. b Ephesto, Luciferno, Universo 2000 Jr.
tecnicos took 1/3.
4) Cavernario b Atlantis © [MEX LH]
Cavernario took 1/3 for the surprise title change (on his 25th birthday.) Atlantis falls on his 7th defense. Cavernario is the 71st champion. He had lost his last 13 title challenges.
5) Carístico, Flyer, Valiente DQ La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible
Flyer replaced Volador. Tecnicos took 2/3, the last when the Ingobernables fouled Caristico.

Cavernario winning the championship made a lot of sense, but it’s still a surprise it happened. The match will air Saturday on the Televisa Guadalajara stream (and also Thursday locally on TV.) Cavernario winning a title doesn’t change the Universal math, but it does add another potential finalist – if the tournament is still happening this year.

Main event appears Volador decided to pass on the plane/bus trip to Guadalajara after getting back from Japan. Or maybe he picked up an injury we haven’t heard about.

Mascara 2000 will be on Informa today. Expect an announcement about his match on the 11/23 Mascara 2000 tribute show. It may not be the main event; the tribute matches haven’t been and the Leyenda de Plata final is scheduled for that day.

Besides Lucha Underground, tonight also has the second episode of Lucha Capital. They’re scheduled to overlap for about a half hour, but it’s AAA so it probably won’t be all that time. (They did get it started quicker than TV tapings; they don’t have a dark match to run.) The matches on today’s show:

  • Laredo Kid vs Drago
  • Hijo del Vikingo vs Killer Kross
  • Lady Shani vs Lady Maravilla
  • Aerostar vs Maximo

It appears Pinche Gringo BBQ is charging for admission this time – but they’re only charging $140 MXP ($7 USD) and you get food and drink with it. This is the greatest value in wrestling and I’m jealous this wasn’t going on when I was in Mexico.

There’s a story behind one of those matches if you’re a weirdo like me. Back in May, Vikingo won a tag team match in Tehuacan. His reward was a beatdown by Killer Kross. It was one of those meaningless attacks they have Kross do to make him seem scary, as if you couldn’t figure out he was supposed to be scary just by looking at him. It was also a thing that never went anywhere because nothing with Kross in AAA ever goes anywhere. Anyway, because it was everyone’s favorite Viking getting beat up, myself and other people were not really happy with that segment. Someone let Kross know, and Kross said he believed Vikingo was the future of lucha libre. And now he gets to face the future of lucha libre.

Mexa Wrestling on 12/08 in Arena San Juan has


IWRG (SUN) 11/11/2018 Arena Naucalpan
1) Biosfera, Noicy Bog, Voltrex vs Cronier, Mardox, Siniestro
2) Canival, Carnicero, Matrix Jr. vs Coyote Azteca, Deirus, Viajero Jr.
3) Águila Oriental, Dinámico, Dranzer vs Antehus, Rosario Negro, Súper Dragons
4) Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Toto vs Leo, Mike, Rafy
5) Cuervo vs Imposible vs Eterno
6) Chef Benito, Chicanito, Diablo Jr., Fireman, Guerrero 2000, Lunatic Xtreme, Puma de Oro, Shadow Boy vs Alas de Acero, Apolo, Chris Stone Jr., Dragón Negro, Iron Kid, Manchitas, Psique, Sairus [cage, mask, hair]
Torneo Fill 75. IWRG (Black Terry) vs Lucha Memes (Chiquilin)

A trainee focused show with a bigger show coming on Thursday.

Diablo Jr. hasn’t been around here as much of late (and hasn’t gotten to do as much in IWRG this year.) It’s too bad he hasn’t ended up in AAA instead of some of the other ELITE wrestlers. He did

CMLL (MON) 11/12/2018 Arena Puebla
1) Arkalis, Asturiano, Rey Samuray vs Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Perverso
2) Lluvia, Marcela, Skadi vs Dalys, La Comandante, Tiffany
3) Drone, Fuego, Pantera Blanca vs Máscara Año 2000, Tyson La Bestia, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Negro Casas vs Ephesto, Fuerza Guerrera, Mephisto
5) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón

The main event is good, but the rest is not so much. Semimain is curious for Negro Casas being on the rudo side and Fuerza Guerrera being around at all. Mascara 2000 being in to work a tercera is also odd.

The women’s match is a rematch. There didn’t seem to be a story to Monday’s match, but Marcela won so maybe it’s time for another Dalys title match.

11/19 is a Mexico holiday, so perhaps all of this is to set up a bigger than usual card next week.

RO (SAT) 11/24/2018 Arena San Juan Pantitlan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México
1) Dalys vs Pequeño AzulHeroniaLa JarochitaLilith DarkSanely [RO WOMEN]
2) Mano Negra Jr., Veneno, Versus vs Akuma, Divo Jr., Killer Croc
3) Halcón Suriano Jr. & Príncipe Diamante vs Hijo de Canis Lupus & Warrior Jr.
4) Dragón Bane vs Súper Nova vs Aramis
5) Negro Casas & Yoruba vs Emperador Azteca & Valiente and Canek & Fresero Jr. and Black Warrior & Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. and Imposible & Mano Negra [Alternativa Indy, tournament]

Main event is the first part of a strange seeming Gran Alternativa style tournament. Semi-main looks good.

Lucha Underground Season 4 Finale tonight – will it be the series finale?

if LU can reuse images, so can I

Tonight is the last episode of Lucha Underground Season 4. It may be the final episode of the series. No one knows for certain if they’ll be back or not. Like many mysteries on this show, it’s continued existence is going may take a lot longer to be resolved.

I’m a bit exhausted with this perilous existence of Lucha Underground. Perhaps some of you are as well. I’ll save the future of the show until the end.

The matches on this two-hour episode

  • Matanza vs Johnny Mundo
  • Fenix vs Dragon Azteca Jr., best of three falls
  • the Mack vs Mil Muertes, in a death match
  • Marty the Moth (c) vs Pentagon Dark, a Cero Miedo match for the Lucha Underground championship.

That’s only four matches, which seems a little light for two hours. It may actually be the other way. On the most recent episode of The MMM Show, which I’m going to “borrow” significantly from here, Lucha Underground Executive Producer Eric Van Wagenen mentioned he actually asked El Rey if they could get a third hour for this episode. They were politely turned down, but it speaks to how much time some of these matches got. Everyone on the show – including the hosts who were in attendance – said it was a long day of filming. It’s not just the matches that’ll air: they revealed there will be another vignette montage to end the season. The idea of those vignettes, and maybe the entire last episode, is Lucha Underground will answer some questions while also opening the door for a lot more questions.

The MMM show had lots of thoughts from Van Wagenen and Lucha Underground writer Chris Roach about how the season was put together and progressed. It is a bit of a distant memory for those involved. This last episode was sent in months ago and filming finished months before that. A common thread about that production is while they’re happy with Lucha Underground Season 4 turned out, they don’t want to film another season like in such a compressed time period. Roach wishes they would’ve been able to get viewer feedback while they were on the air (this comes up in a discussion about Jake Strong), while Van Wagenen pointed at injury problems taking people out for a weekend meant people being off screen for months. Dante Fox missed all but the last tapings because of something that just took a couple weeks to be cleared up. It’s mentioned Fox would’ve probably been in Dezmond X’s spot if he had able to participate at that point, and Dezmond was in for that weekend only because it was the only time he was available. (Sort of the same: Joey Ryan was written out because he wasn’t available the last weekend and Sammy Guevera was.)

The visa issues come up again but Roach is careful to point out a lot of the big ideas they wanted to do in Season 4 did come off as planned. They wanted the Taya/Johnny wedding, the Johnny/Matanza Ultima Lucha match, and the Son of Havoc/Killshot mask match. That last one is interesting because it came off on screen as if it was something improvised only because Fox wasn’t around. Penta/Marty seems like it was also a planned destination, though Roach mentions they would’ve had Penta hold the championship longer if they had more than 22 episodes this season. He also noted that there were complaints Pentagon was booked too weak in Season 3, and then complaints he was booked too strong in Season 4, as pointing out there’s always going to be some complaints.

Speaking of complaints: Jake Strong! Chris Roach seemed aware while confused about the negative reaction to him. To me, it was people reacting similar as they did to Matanza early on – the vocal portion of the audience doesn’t like to see established characters look non-competitive against new wrestlers they haven’t embraced. It didn’t really turn around for Matanza until the story allowed him to win over fans by having good competitive matches, and Strong hasn’t had a chance to have many of those either. (They kind of acknowledged they’re saving up the first big win over Strong similarly as they did Matanza – we’re waiting a while for it because they want it to mean a lot when it happens.)  Strong coming into LU as a blank slate, essentially unchanged from xenophobic WWE character, hasn’t helped. Everyone noted Strong was a likable guy in real life, and Roach confirmed this role was always designed for Strong (and not something being saved for Kross and had Strong thrown in when Kross was doing a WWE tryout.) They noted Strong’s win over Drago & Aerostar was in part to play off a plot point – Aerostar saved a mind-controlled Drago from a Pentagon armbreak last season, so Drago did the same to save Aerostar from an ankle break this season.

Overall, this season was meant to be sort of “the Empire Strikes Back” season, where things go badly for the heroes. Strong winning is part of it. Where they go back is a question. Van Wagenen mentions the idea of a “major reboot” for Season 5 early on, but then he and Roach talk later about Season 5 kind of being the endpoint for stories they told in Season 1. (At one point, that seemed to me like the idea for Season 7.) “You can only see the same stuff with the same people” for so long.

They didn’t commit to different people coming or going for Season 5, because they don’t know if they have a Season 5. It’s not said on the podcast, to avoid spoilers, but there are obviously some people who are going to finish up with LU or already have. But I guess finishing is relative – if wrestlers are free to work on other TV shows, and the schedules match up, LU seems amenable to let people come in for short periods of time if they’re available only that way.

Some random trivia

  • This is not part of the podcast, but there’s a great Aerostar story at the end of this article on The Wrap about the vignettes on this show.
  • Big Bad Steve’s name was decided late. Like, late enough that he might have not known that was his name until they announced it on the way to the ring.
  • Reklusa was asked to dye her hair dark to fit the character better. They thought she was great.
  • There was an attempt to bring back Sexy Star this season. Sexy Star turned them down. Judging from how she’s doing a lot more wrestling lately, I’m guessing she’ll be back in Season 5 if the offer still stands.
  • The original plan was for Drago to drive the forklift, but the union said no to that.
  • The Rabbit Tribe was penciled in as winning the Trios titles the morning of Ultima Lucha taping. They changed it to the Reptile Tribe, feeling there was more they could do with the belts, the trios titles changing hands on every Ultima Lucha was being too predictable, and it would be the best way to give all three teams some sort of story.
  • Rich Swann was confirmed as being backstage at Lucha Underground at least one weekend and nearly signed to come on the show. It wasn’t Swann’s first LU connection. He tagged along with Ricochet back when he was brought to the original Temple before they started filming Season 1 to convince Ricochet to sign a deal. That finally did it for Ricochet – and it also convinced Swann, who strongly wanted to be on the show after seeing the setup. (It didn’t work out because he was under contract to someone else – WWN?)
  • The budget didn’t allow it, but Roach had an idea of a vignette for Catrina & Detective Vazquez to fill in the hinted at backstory. They’d be in the Old West, Catrina would get stabbed, Vazquez would give her half the amulet to keep her alive – and since he’s a time traveler, Aerostar would be watching from the crowd. They have a lot of Aerostar time traveler ideas.

Will they get to use those ideas? Now we’re to the not fun part.

It’s pretty clear the Lucha Underground staff sees it as a proud accomplishment to have taped the entire season within a week month. They also see it as something they’re not willing to do again. This season was about as cheap as possible because of the compressed taping schedule, so they’d need more money – from El Rey or from other investors – to do it at more measured pace. Van Wagenen talks about trying to bring in different partners, which suggests he does not expect El Rey to contribute additional money. The issue with getting more investors is trying to do that is what led to the long delay between Season 3 and Season 4 – and even then, it didn’t work out and they were left with the short taping schedule.

Neither Van Wagenen nor Roach had any recent conversations with the people higher up in the food chain about this show. Both work on other projects and only get information about the show when it’s in production or – for Van Wagenen – when they’re working on renewal. They got some information about Season 3 last year because they went to ComicCon, but that hasn’t happened this time around. That also means they’ve definitely not yet talked to the new El Rey Head of Programming, just announced in that position to today. The plan is for more original hours of programming on the network in new genres. Van Wagenen mentioned the show can survive as long as El Rey survives. Someone that takes El Rey into a different direction could harm that survival.

Van Wagenen always struck me as pretty optimistic about the chances of survival after Season 1 and Season 3. Some of those situations look now like they were a little bit bleaker than he let on. This time, Van Wagenen kept a neutral tone on the future. “I got no answers for you […] Good shows sometimes get canceled for business reasons. Sometimes shitty shows go on for years and years.”

It may be a while before there’s a decision. Van Wagenen mentions talks about a next season usually doesn’t start happening until about a month after they’re off the year. That’s complicated by the timing: not much is going to get done in December due to the holidays, and due to budgets for 2019 not being set until early that year. Everyone expects El Rey to have money for Lucha Underground, but they can’t act on until they have a number set. It may take even longer to find that additional investment money they’re looking for. On top of all that, they don’t want the same problem with work visa delays as this past season. They want to give themselves at least 24 weeks for the visas to get done, which is a big block of time to wait. If you add all that time up, Season 5 tapings would start in late summer at the earliest. If tonight’s not the last Lucha Underground episodes, it’s very possible it could nearly a year before you see the next one.

This is about the exact opposite of any scenario I want. I’d like Lucha Underground to have another season, especially one that sounds heavy on conclusions. I really hate the idea of another long break between seasons. I think I dislike the idea of a medium sized time where the future is left uncertain even more. At this point, I might even be willing to trade not getting any closure on the storylines for getting closure on series. I know uncertainty is not what anyone involved wants, but I’m also not sure if there’s a point to coming back if it’s going to take that long. There’s a lot of people who’ve found other ways to use their time during the previous hiatus. This season’s ratings suggests more are dropping while they’re on the air. I understand Lucha Underground is going to exist as long as enough people can make money doing it, but I’m not sure how many people will actually be waiting for Lucha Underground if tonight’s the last anyone hears about it for months.