Lucha Underground (originally named Lucha Uprising) is a new professional wrestling series produced by United Artists Media (Mark Burnett – Survivor) and it every Wednesday for one hour on the newer El Rey Network.
This new Mexican pro wrestling style based series debuted at the end of October and features for World Wrestling Entertainment and the defunct World Championship Wrestling stars like Chavo Guerrero, Konnan, Jr. John Morrison (Wrestling in Lucha Underground as Johnny Mundo) and Big Ryck (formally Ezekiel Jackson in WWE and Rycklon in his short run in Impact Wrestling).
Behind the announce table you have former WWE interviewer Matt Stryker and former WCW wrestler Vampiro. Lucha Underground also features some of the best wrestlers from Mexico and the independent scene. The first series of television tapings were filmed in Boyle Heights, CA in what is called The Temple. From what I read, the fans in attendance were “extras” told how to cheer and when to cheer. When watching the crowd you can tell this might very well be the case.
Despite the low ratings, sometimes rookie type announcing, cheesy back stage skits that look like a cheap Spanish soap opera, it’s the in ring product itself that I am impressed with and refreshing to watch wrestling talent that I have never heard of before. Although, the commentary doesn’t feel force scripted like WWE or TNA. Overall Stryker and Vampiro are a unique team.
Some of the production quality I do like is the showing scenes of the city and the outside of the building before taking the fans inside The Temple – Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling take notice as it is the little things such as this that can add improvement to the opening of your shows and adds a more of a big league feel to the show. For some, this may not matter all that much, but for me it makes the show look and feel like I’m watching a big time NFL game. However, I do like the above the ring shots which TNA has done, but the Lucha Underground production crew over exposes and over uses the above the ring shots way too much, so after just a few weeks, it doesn’t feel different anymore.
For a wrestling show that is produced by a reality television series group, the production overall isn’t bad, and with Chavo Guerrero on the production crew, the production part of the show one would hope would continue to see improvement overall in time as the show progresses.
If you are used to the WWE, Impact Wrestling, and/or ROH style of wrestling, or if you are looking for something unique and different, and you are able to get the El Rey network with the your cable or satellite provider, I would encourage you to give Lucha Underground a chance.
Yes, Lucha Underground a lot at times feels low budget – like a cheap 1980’s Spanish bad guy vs. good guy movie, but with wrestling in the mix, however, if you have been turned off by the current boring WWE product, don’t have a Sinclair station in your market and may not have Destination America as a part of your cable or satellite package and you have the El Rey network, I would encourage you to give Lucha Underground a try.
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