So I got something to share. It’s something I’ve wanted to write about on this site or elsewhere for a few months now. It’s something in regards to arguably the best wrestling weekly program out there today.
I live in Los Angeles. I’ve lived out here for going on 8 years and freelance in the tv/film world. I’ve been a wrestling fan for 25 years. I’ve been going to PWG shows in Reseda, CA since the summer of 2009 when Daniel Bryan went 40 minutes against Chris Hero in the main event. I proudly subscribe to the WWE network. Along with those 2 promotions, I keep up with the goings on in New Japan. I still own several wrestling buddies and have a couple dozen WWF action figures stored away in a box somewhere. Some of my fondest memories of high school were playing WCW Revenge and WWF WrestleMania 2000 on the N64 with friends.
On March 3, 2011, I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of holding the WWE title. I was working on a USA promo shoot and Cena and Miz (champ at the time) were there to promote RAW. They’re both lovely guys by the way. Also got to be around Stone Cold who was promoting Tough Enough but sadly never got a chance to share a word with him.
So why am I telling you all this? I just want everyone to know my history with pro wrestling and my love for the product over the years. I want to give a little context for everything to follow.
Beginning October 2014, I had the pleasure of working on Lucha Underground in a backstage capacity. Now these days, when I work on a show, it’s usually in a coordinator role. Typically I work with talent on various reality style competition shows. To work on this show, I had to be willing to accept a demotion since my usual position was already claimed. Though for the first time in awhile, I can say that the money and the title didn’t matter. I had the opportunity to work on a wrestling program for the first time.
Now while I would love to give out a bunch of backstage stories, it’s not really my place to do so. But what I can say is that, even though I was a fan already, I gained such an additional appreciation for wrestlers and what they do for their craft. People use the term “family” a lot to describe wrestling promotions but no term better describes Lucha Underground. Day in and day out it was guys saying that, “man, this is such a great experience.” Cause wrestlers are used to being treated like shit by promoters. But since Lucha Underground was a tv show first and wrestling promotion second, guys never had to worry about checks bouncing our having to book their own hotels.
Now being around wrestlers for 12 hours a day as a fan was a bit of a tight rope walk cause I wanted to pick their brains but I also had a job to do. In general if I’m being paid to do something I do it to the best of my abilities (as I’m sure most people would). But I was surprised how open and receptive most of the guys were when I did bring up the business. There was a lot of, “oh, you’re a fan? That’s cool.” I guess I always figured there’d be more, “get this mark outta my face.”
I’m sure a lot of people here remember the day Perro Aguayo Jr passed away. Whether you follow AAA or not, it was a tragic day for the wrestling community. His match against Rey Mysterio took place on Friday March 20th, and he was pronounced dead hours later on the morning of the 21st. That same weekend, we held four TV tapings (two Saturday, two Sunday). Like I said before, it’s not my place to go into detail but I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say that it was a tough day. A lot of these men and women had just lost a brother. There was a gravity that came with the news of a follow wrestler dying in the ring. Konnan, in particular, had just had a friend and someone he had helped bring up in the business die in his arms. But in each other and in the fans they found a bit of peace and, at least for a little bit, were able to lose themselves in their craft.
I’ll never forget my experiences working on Lucha Underground. It was an incredible few weeks (working off and on through mid April when we tapped Ultima Lucha). From the AAA guys whom I spoke to in fragments since most of them didn’t know English and I couldn’t speak Spanish to guys like Brian Cage and Willie Mack who I had been watching on the indies for years, I couldn’t imagine working with a better bunch. I highly recommend anyone and everyone who hasn’t given it a look to check it out on youtube.
Here’s to season 2.