It's been an open secret - the man most famously known as Alberto Del Rio in WWE was openly talking about it before he came to terms with his former employer which leave him free and clear to work with any company in any country - but it became official tonight.
Lucha Underground, the hour-long pro wrestling/grindhouse action flick hybrid produced by Robert Rodriguez and Mark Burnett for the former's El Rey Network in conjunction with Mexico's AAA promotion, has signed Alberto El Patron. He wrestled his first match for the company today at their taping in Los Angeles.
Here's the press release:
‘LUCHA UNDERGROUND' SIGNS AAA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION ALBERTO EL PATRÓN
January 17, 2015, Los Angeles - Lucha Underground" has signed AAA World Heavyweight Champion Alberto El Patrón it was announced today by "Lucha Underground" the new Lucha Libre wrestling franchise from Emmy Award®-winning producer Mark Burnett, United Artists Media Group, Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures. The Mexican professional wrestler and mixed martial artist competed in his first match in Los Angeles today, January 17th. "Lucha Underground" airs Wednesday nights at 8:00pm on El Rey Network and on Saturdays at 4:00 pm in Spanish on UniMás.
"We are thrilled to have Alberto El Patrón join ‘Lucha Underground'" said Executive Producer and Showrunner Eric Van Wagenen. "He is a bold and exciting luchador who delivers attitude and skill. He is a very welcome addition to our roster."
LU has attracted a small but passionate fan base in its few months on the air. Rumors have already circulated that the show was in danger of cancellation due to high production costs and low ratings, but a move like this one seems to indicate that El Rey and partners will be staying the course and giving it time to find its feet.
The former WWE champ has also been working with Ring of Honor (ROH) and his first bout with that company airs on the latest episode of their syndicated television show (which will be available for streaming next week). He currently holds the title for AAA and Puerto Rico's WWL, and is rumored to be talking to several mixed martial arts promotions.
Excited for more opportunities to watch El Patron? Will his presence make you more likely to seek out El Rey and Lucha Underground?