Every time a season of Lucha Underground comes to an end, the same question always arises. Will there be another season? Producers Eric Van Wagenen and Chris Roach joined the podcast Masks, Mat & Mayhem to shed some light on the situation. This was recorded between Part 1 and Part 2 of Ulitma Lucha IV, but the information still stands strong.
The short answer is that there is no news regarding season five, but don’t stop reading there. Van Wagenen provided a deeper look into the business and their mindset.
“We survive as El Rey survives. We need them to be successful, and we need them to be able to afford to do the show. I think we reached the tipping point as far as budget-wise. We’ve gone, I think, as low as we can go. I don’t know that we would try to replicate the business model of season four again, and so it becomes a question of can we find a way to do season five without it being cheaper and faster and, you know, all the other things.”
“I think season five, if we do it, will be a major reboot. I think it will be a reboot in a lot of ways. Cast-wise, I think. On a lot of levels, we’ll be looking to reboot season five in a big way.”
“The truth is that the people who are... MGM is still really happy with it and want to keep doing it. There’s discussions going on at MGM about additional lucha libre related programming and i.p. (intellectual property) and some of us are getting involved in talking about that.”
“I don’t think it’s (season five) going away. I don’t think it’s going to sit in survival mode. Maybe we’ll look to take on another partner that brings something different. Hopefully, there’s still some international stuff that could happen.” ...
“Nobody’s saying it’s dead, but there is not a huge hustle to get it on the air right now. But, that’s normal. That always kind of happens. Once we’re off the air and El Rey starts to miss us, then the talks usually pick up in earnest.”
“That’s a long roundabout way of telling you, I got no answers. ... So, we’re just the hired guns (as freelancers). When they want us to do it, we’ll do it.”
Van Wagenen would later say:
“We went as skinny as we can go, and none of us will do that again. I like the forty episode seasons.”
That’s not really an answer that brings excitement to the Believers, but credit to Van Wagenen for keeping it real. A larger budget and a longer season would be nice, however, I’m not sure it is absolutely necessary from a viewer’s standpoint.
In my opinion, one of the major issues from season four was the chop shop editing whittling many main events down to relatively short matches compared to the time that would be necessary for the ring story to truly develop. That seems like something that could be fixed in season five even if the budget remains the same.
One of the words people will key in on in Van Wagenen’s comments is the idea of a reboot. I think he may have been referring more to a reboot on the production level. Chris Roach brought up how season five could be the big conclusion to the story of war with the Aztec gods.
When asked about characters in a TV show vs a wrestling promotion, Van Wagenen said:
“I think you can only go so far with certain characters and storylines. How many more times can we see the same stuff, the same people? Maybe that’s cynical me saying that, but we also have a device where if someone is gone, are they really gone? Is Karlee (Catrina) really gone? Is Killshot really gone? Is Dario really gone? There’s a lot of things that we purposely leave open-ended.”
“I have no control over season five. What I have thought about, what DJ (Chris DeJoseph) and I have thought about is, and maybe this goes back to the question is this a TV show or a promotion. To me, it’s a TV show. ... In my mind, four is not a wrap-up. We’ve envisioned what five could be and how that could end the series that started in season one. That doesn’t mean the series of Lucha Underground has to end, but all the storylines that were set forth in the very beginning could come to a big conclusion.”
“And, like any TV series, you have characters that sort of play their parts and then... Lucha Underground lives in this weird space between TV show and wrestling promotion. In a wrestling promotion, people like their favorites. They don’t want their favorites to leave. They want certain people to get pushes. In the television space, characters need to have complete arcs. They need to die. They need to ride off into the sunset.”
That helps explain why so many characters were murdered or sacrificed in season four. While the number was large, most of those characters pretty much ran their course.
At this point, I would actually prefer season five to bring closure to the Aztec god overarching story. Heck, I would be ecstatic if they did a movie or mini-series instead. The wrestling is enjoyable, but their storytelling is one of the main hooks to the program.
The podcast touched on a variety of ideas. Here’s some interesting quick tidbits:
- Sammy Guevara replaced Joey Ryan at Ultima Lucha IV, because Ryan had another commitment.
- Captain Vasquez got married and lives in Norway in real life. Her part in the scene with Aerostar was extra footage from previous vignettes. The budget didn’t allow to fly her in.
- They wanted Sexy Star back; could jokingly change her name to Jane Strong to match Jake Strong’s go away heat.
- Night Claw could return. He was played by Flamita, who is making a nice name for himself these days.
- Rich Swann and Kris Wolf are on their radar.
Other topics from Episode 113 of Masks, Mat & Mayhem include Son of Havoc getting over because he was ‘the right amount of shitty’ in a good way, about Swagger being booked strong, union involvement with Drago’s forklift, big stories going as planned, and an Old West fight between Catrina and Vasquez with Aerostar watching in the crowd.
Do you view Lucha Underground more as a TV show or a wrestling promotion? What improvements from season four would you like to see made? How would you set up a post-war world for Lucha Underground?