Lucha Underground in 2017: Boom or Bust?

Nick Paglino
lucha underground

(Francine Orr/ LA Times via Getty Images)

We are midway through the third season of Lucha Underground, the wrestling promotion famous for its high-flying style of combat. It began in 2014 in the USA in collaboration with the Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion, one of the biggest wrestling promotions in Mexico. The lucha libre style has been gaining popularity throughout the world, and Lucha Underground is a breeding ground for talented, masked talents on the independent circuit.

The show, unsurprisingly, has a big following among Mexican wrestling fans, and the Hispanic American population. Hardcore wrestling fans who go beyond watching just the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and follow the independent scene closely, are regulars in front of the television every Wednesday on the El Rey Network. Lucha Underground however, cannot compete with the WWE financially. The latter has, in the past, housed the best Latino talent, in the form of Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio and the late great Eddie Guerrero. Mysterio, along with Eddie’s nephew, Chavo Guerrero Jr., a former WWE and WCW star, is on the current Lucha roster.

However, the influx of more established and accomplished stars will be imperative. Despite its popularity, wrestling is not as big an attraction as football in Mexico, the most popular sport in the country. Mexico has hosted two FIFA World Cups in the past, and the national team has qualified for fifteen of them. They are by far the most outstanding international football team in Northern and Central America and easy betting favorites in most matches with bookmakers like Betway who offer massive signup bonuses for new customers.

But while Mexico enjoy dominance in football over their northern neighbors, it’s not the same in wrestling, where the USA territory dwarfs every other country and competition is fierce. In North America, apart from the WWE, promotions like Ring of Honor and TNA are more popular than Lucha Underground. In a country with so much competition from other companies, it is going to be a gargantuan task for Lucha to rise up the pecking order.

Lucha Underground have reportedly delayed their tapings for the fourth season. The current season began in September, 2016. However, according to this report on 411 Mania, the fourth edition of the show will only start taping in October this year before airing at the start of 2018. This would mean going several months between seasons. It is unclear whether this is a strategic move, or one that has been forced on the makers.

The show for now seems safe, in the current season. Looking forward though, it will be interesting to see the direction in which things turn. 2017 will be a very important year for Lucha Underground, and audiences for the remainder of the third season will be vital to any decisions regarding the future of the promotion.

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