Lucha Underground has, since its inception captured the hearts of wrestling fans. The overall creative and production tone, the wrestling based commentary team not plugging anything like sleazy car salesmen and the spots the talents do are just amazing to watch. What was once seen as a lucha style roster now also has instances of hardcore, American, technical and Japanese strong styles as well. Ultima Lucha was a must see two-part event. But the company does have some short comings, and is it just too much of a niche wrestling product to hit mainstream popularity?
Lucha Underground vs other televised promotions, it’s really up to the thoughts of wrestling fans. Some people like WWE’s “sports desk” style during PPV pre-shows and backstage interviews. Some may like Lucha Underground’s more “television action-drama” appeal. Plus there are people out there who just don’t like lucha libre. The small on-location setting they use for TV tapings is great, it really fits the programs image. But maybe to market further then the Southwestern United States, they could do some live events a bit further out. Not many and not all of the time, but sometimes. They’re still fresh in business and maybe want more income coming in before they do that. Plus maybe they need a larger reaching cable network for more exposure first, before they embark on that route also.
The company is not confirmed for a second season yet, even with the ratings and online reviews in support of the product, being in that kind of “what if” purgatory is a scary place to be. There’s no question the roster is solid, the commentary team is spot-on most of the time (more credit should go to Striker), the companies got a great production company behind them too. Surely a man of Mark Burnett’s stature in the industry should be able to find a network that will spread the infectious popularity of his brand.
Fenix, Pentagon Jr., Alberto El Patron, Johnny Mundo, and Sexy Star all some top names in the company, all of them plus the rest of the roster have done a great job keeping the audience engaged. But in many other such cases, it’s not always the roster. The show runners at LU, have done a decent job with the product, but they need to keep it fresh, innovative and get the attention of mainstream media and their outlets. The niche with LU, is it’s just that a lucha libre television product. It has its top demographic and a few others picking up the odds and ends. Though aspects are showcased of other wrestling styles it’s still predominately lucha libre. Not everyone is a fan of lucha libre! I love the story and history of the genre, and La Parka, Super Crazy, La Sombra, Mistico, and Damian 666 are some of my favorite luchadors. But that’s my point I like it and you may like it, but not everyone does. This is why it is a niche market product.
Though it may be a niche product, that doesn’t mean the company can’t grow and be more successful. It doesn’t mean niche’s also can’t enter into a mainstream market place. But as good as the product is and as entertaining as it is, it lacks national exposure. It focuses mostly on one style and its ancient traditions, and without a guarantee of renewal the hype of this great program may go south of the border. Something no one wants to see, lucha is meant to be seen around the world, not just in Mexico.
Until next time!