Lucha Underground just ended its first season on El Rey Network and I have to say I’m impressed with what they did. When I first heard that AAA was trying to bring a television show in the American market I was skeptical. There have been many attempts to try in the past to varying results. The one that sticks out in my mind is the failed experiment that was Lucha Libre USA that aired on MTV 2 a few years ago. It showed that the translation between Mexican wrestling and American-style wrestling is a tricky one to say the least. The masked men were made jokes of in a lot of ways. So when I heard legendary director Robert Rodriguez was behind the project along with reality TV guru Mark Burnett it peaked my interest. This was going to be different. But how different? The news would later come out about interesting contracts being signed that would lock characters down seven years. Then the news of the first taping was chaos and many were skeptical of the television project and its future. Robert Rodriguez El Rey Network began showing videos of these new characters that were being introduced on the show. I saw something similar before, Wrestling Society X tried something similar. Then came October and the premiere episode.

I remember distinctly loving the storytelling done in the episode. They were building universe all their own telling the history of the Aztec Warriors that were doing battle in this makeshift Temple. The only problem was the wrestling itself wasn’t spectacular that was until the main event. Prince Puma a.k.a. Ricochet versus John Hennigan a.k.a. Johnny Mundo set the tone that would follow the series as it played out over 39 weeks. I was not the biggest fan of the Dario evil authority figure gimmick but they were planting the seeds for something much greater and much more ambitious. As more more characters were introduced the storytelling became more and more complex and layered with over-the-top tele-novella style delivery. But it worked. And the craftsmanship showed, Lucha Underground a product that many dismissed including myself became a must-see for the diehard fan. It wasn’t just another wrestling television show. It was a television show with wrestling in it.

Was it perfect? No some storylines really didn’t make any sense in the grand scheme of things. But they were trying something different trying something new. Sometimes when you’re trying to present something differently there are some growing pains to come along with that. I’m anxious to see if there is a season two where they go from here. There’s some debate that there will be a season two of Lucha Underground will get a second series. Producers claim that they are working on getting funding to go into production again.

But even if they don’t look at it this way. AAA got what they wanted. Their stars are now mainstream celebrities in the US with Pentagon Jr., Aerostar and Drago working AAW and Chikara later this year. Not to mention that Triple Mania one of AAA’s biggest event of the year is getting in English language version on traditional pay-per-view for the first time. The Mexican promotion started offering English commentary earlier this year as an experiment and it seems to be successful. So even if Lucha Underground hasn’t been renewed and will not return to the airwaves its effect will be felt for a long time to come.