Lucha Underground is a professional wrestling promotion and serial drama television series owned and produced by the United Artists Media Group. The weekly series airs in English on the El Rey Network and previously aired in Spanish on UniMás and features wrestlers from the American independent circuit and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), one of the biggest wrestling promotions in Mexico. AAA also owns a percentage of Lucha Underground.
The series premiered with its first season on October 29, 2014, that ran for 39 episodes. The second season of Lucha Underground started on January 27, 2016. Prior to the taping of the last Lucha Underground episode for season 2, it was announced that the show had been renewed for a third season which premiered on September 7, 2016. It was also revealed that episodes from the show would be available on iTunes for purchase. On February 1, 2017, it was announced that Lucha Underground had signed a deal with Netflix in the US & Canada. Season 1 and Season 2 of the series would be available on March 15, 2017.
In January 2014, it was announced that producer Mark Burnett of One Three Media would be partnering with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network to launch a weekly hour-long television show in the United States in the second half of the year; the show would be affiliated with Mexico's Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA). In July 2014, the show was tentatively called Lucha: Uprising. In August 2014, the show was renamed as Lucha Underground, and it was announced that five AAA wrestlers would join the show, namely Blue Demon Jr., Sexy Star, Fénix, Drago, and Pentagón Jr. The show would be taped in front of a live audience in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, with the first taping being on September 6, 2014.
The series premiered on October 29, 2014, on the El Rey Network and airs on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. and in Spanish on November 1, 2014, on UniMás where it airs on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. El Rey is available through cable and satellite television companies Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Bright House Networks, Dish Network, and Suddenlink Communications. UniMás is available on DirecTV and Dish Network. Unlike other promotions, matches are typically shown in their entirety without commercials, with the exception of the Aztec Warfare matches, which last the entire length of the program. Video packages highlighting wrestlers or storylines, air throughout each broadcast as well as several interactions between either the wrestlers themselves or with storyline promoter Dario Cueto, who is portrayed as a heel.
Johnny Mundo won the main event of the series's debut episode on October 29, 2014. On January 7, 2015, Prince Puma was crowned the first Lucha Underground Champion when he won the Aztec Warfare match. On April 22, 2015, Angélico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc were crowned the first Lucha Underground Trios Champions when they won the Trios Tournament. On March 25, 2015, it was announced that Lucha Underground would be holding their first major event in early August 2015 entitled Ultima Lucha. Lucha Underground was represented in the 2015 Lucha Libre World Cup by wrestlers Johnny Mundo, Angélico, Alberto El Patrón, El Mesías (Mil Muertes), Brian Cage, and senior official Marty Elias, as well as in the 2016 Lucha Libre World Cup by Johnny Mundo, Brian Cage, and Chavo Guerrero Jr. as "Team Lucha Underground".
During Ultima Lucha, it was established that Lucha Underground would be moving out of the Temple in Boyle Heights to "Find someplace safe" as "a war has been started." Following the "death" of El Dragon Azteca. Dario Cueto took Lotus and his brother and got into an SUV, leaving the Temple and setting up the second season.
On September 21, 2015, it was announced that Lucha Underground would be returning for a second season. The first tapings for season 2 took place on November 14/15, 2015, and began airing on January 27, 2016. In the storyline, Dario Cueto is missing and in his absence Catrina & Mil Muertes are in charge of The Temple. However, it is later revealed that he has been secretly "training" his brother Matanza at another "temple" (actually an underground fight club) hundreds of miles away. At Aztec Warfare II, he returns and, with Matanza's becoming the new Lucha Underground Champion, regains control of The Temple.
Prior to the taping of the last show for season 2, the producer announced to the cast that the show had been renewed for a third season after just airing one episode of the second season. El Rey made the official announcement on February 1, 2016.
The promotion has been featured on ESPN's SportsCenter. In 2016, Lucha Underground held their first live event outside of the Temple called Austin Warfare at the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas, part of the 2016 South by Southwest Festival. Lucha Underground has been featured on media outlets like IGN, Forbes, Uproxx, and Rolling Stone.
Lucha Underground has been very well received by critics and fans. On IMDB, the first season received over 9 out of 10 and a 94% from Rotten Tomatoes John Moore, from ProWrestling.net, praised the show for "[knowing] their identity and [weaving] together an amazing universe". Lucha Underground has also gained praise from media sites like UPROXX, which said Lucha Underground had two of the top ten matches of 2015.
In addition to being broadcast on El Rey Network and UniMás in the United States, the show is also broadcast internationally in the following countries.