Johnny Mundo Thinks ‘Lucha Underground’ on Netflix Could Be a Game-Changer for the Series
Since Lucha Underground rolled out its first episodes on El Rey Network, Johnny Mundo would hear rumblings of the unique show becoming available on a streaming platform.
Now the star joins the rest of talent and crew of the series in anticipation of March 15. That’s when Seasons 1 and 2 arrive on Netflix, exposing their product to a whole new audience.
“It’s finally happening,” Mundo said. “Netflix never had anything like this because I always looked at Lucha Underground as a hybrid between an episodic TV show and a pro wrestling show. We’ve got a one-hour show, which is different than the traditional two- or three-hour wrestling show. And it moves like a TV show. I felt from day one it would be a perfect fit for Netflix.”
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Mundo, who made his name for himself as John Morrison in WWE, is excited see the deal come to fruition. He sees this opening the door to a wealth of possibilities going forward.
“The subscribers between the United States and Canada alone is immense,” he said. “There have been those out there who have heard about it and seen a match here and there on YouTube, but are not been able to watch the full episodes because they didn’t have El Rey Network. So having all those people watch Lucha Underground for me is awesome because I’m really proud of the work I did during Seasons 1 and 2.
“What it means is purely speculation. Wrestling is about getting eyeballs on the product and putting butts in the seats. At its core, people watch wrestling and entertainment in general to feel an emotion. If people start watching Lucha Underground, which I know they will, they will feel something whether it’s happiness or in awe because of the hard-hitting, acrobatic lucha moves. They will then like Lucha more than any other wrestling show, which I know will happen because I feel it’s the most high quality show out there. It’s going to start claiming the spot of the number one wrestling show in the world. When that is going to happen? I don’t know, but it will.”
As you can tell, the former champion has high hopes for Lucha Underground because there is nothing really like it in the marketplace: a pro wrestling show with vignettes and scenes you would find in a gritty action flick. However, Mundo was a little apprehensive when he initially got the call from Chris DeJoseph, a former WWE creative team member, about a wrestling promotion starting up. Then the Californian drove down to the “Temple,” the site where the show would be filmed in Boyle Heights. He was blown away, further sold when El Rey Network, as well as big-time producers Robert Rodriguez and Mark Burnett, were on board.
“Lucha Underground was a vision that was far out there with larger-than-life mystical characters, sometimes supernatural characters,” Mundo said. “They didn’t shy away from their original vision with regards to the creative content or style [in which] it was filmed. That is what makes it so cool. They followed through and stuck with it, recruiting some of the best wrestlers in the world like Fenix, Pentagon, Puma, Jack Evans, PJ Black, Son of Havoc and Taya. The level of talent they have is world class. The other thing they do is they set talent up for success and let talent do what they do best, and that is wrestle. Nobody knows how to be Rey Mysterio better than Rey Mysterio knows how to be Rey Mysterio. It’s real exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens with the Netflix deal because I’ve been speculating just like everyone else what it’s going to mean for everyone.”
Mundo is grateful to Lucha Underground for providing a platform to challenge himself and showcase his abilities. During the time between his WWE run ended and season one of Lucha Underground was filmed, he did a lot of training in action design, stunt work and choreography.
“A lot of it was for a movie I have coming out called Boone: The Bounty Hunter coming out May 9 on Video On Demand and DVD. That training upgraded my move set and abilities in the ring, too. I’m excited for fans to see my work. There are so many things I’m proud of early on in the series including a ladder match, great matches with Killshot, Angelico, Prince Puma, jumping off of Dario Cueto’s office, matches with Alberto Patron and Rey Mysterio. Then there is the whole concept of Aztec Warfare, which is branded by Lucha Underground. Another example of the company’s innovation.”
Fans will have some time to binge on Lucha Underground and get caught up for when the third season returns on May 31. Mundo believes shooting for Season 4 is tentatively aimed for the end of 2017.
“There are so many things I want to see happen,” he said. “I hope in the future we do some touring, upgrades to the Temple where instead of 500 people there is room for a thousand or 1,500. We could change venues. Touring is exciting. Working with bigger sponsors is exciting. For me, if they change the Temple, they can bring a whole new set of challenges or things for me to jump off of and do parkour and integrate it into matches. The opportunity to do more with vignettes. There is the potential of doing movies about the origins of the stars of Lucha Underground, which has been discussed before by creative. The deal with Netflix can open up so many doors. I’m just really happy to be a part of it.”
Lucha Underground airs Wednesdays 8/7c on El Rey Network.
Catch Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix staring March 15.