Just a few months ago we were praising the Aztec Gods for the announced fourth season of Lucha Underground, and now we’re able to share with you some exclusive news about what’s going down and, maybe more importantly, where it’s going down.
Ultima Lucha Tres left Dario Cueto, Cueto’s Temple in Boyle Heights and the show’s entire universe in turmoil. The first bit of news I can tell you is that ticket reservations for season 4 tapings go up tomorrow, so go follow @LuchaElRey for the official announcement and instructions. If you live within … let’s say an entire country of Los Angeles, you should try to get to a Lucha taping. I’ve never had more fun at a wrestling show, and how many times can you say you attended a live, supernatural telenovela about lucha libre?
If you’ve been to the Saturday/Sunday tapings for past seasons, here’s another bit of info: for the first time, the show will be taping on Fridays as well as Saturdays and Sundays. So now you’ve got an extra shot at seeing the show live, and it’s probably a safer, healthier and happier setup for the talent. You know, especially when you talent leaves pieces of their body lying around after matches.
And here’s the most fun news: The Temple is dead. Long live The Temple.
The new Temple is part of Union Central Cold Storage on Industrial in downtown Los Angeles, and I was lucky enough to be invited in as the first non-crew member to see what they’ve put together so far. You could even call it a “unique opportunity.” Below are some exclusive photos from the official Lucha Underground photographer, Louis, to give you a look at the new set in its infancy.
Leave the memories alone, Prince Puma.
There’s a bit of a “cold” motif happening this season, since they’re wrestling in a warehouse that formerly served as cold storage, so you’ll notice that color palate. Also, check out that catwalk that goes all the way around! That’ll allow for even more fans in the building, as the band platform has been moved over to the other side. Showing you a complete look at that side would be pretty strong spoilers, so just know you’ll see it soon.
I sat down with producers Eric van Wagenen and Chris DeJoseph in one of those chairs (eep) and talked to them about taking Lucha from such an iconic locale as The Temple in Boyle Heights, and the challenges in establishing that same kind of mood in the new building.
“I think when you have to make your set a character, and that was one thing we were really good about doing with the temple, is that the temple became a character,” van Wagenen told me. “This was a legitimate cold storage building for 67 years. It’s now been repurposed for a set. But if you look around you see that this was a place where they kept things cold and where they made ice. So if you start with that, and then build outward I think it makes everything much easier. And it feels authentic, and just walking around this place sets a certain mood.”
I asked them if this means Glacier is showing up, but they would neither confirm nor deny.
“I think the universe will definitely branch out to different places and maybe some new locations that you’ll get to see this season,” DeJoseph added. “And that’s a super exciting part about the show, and being able to go somewhere different and there’s all different new places to play around in here. I mean, where is Mantanza going to live? What’s he going to do? I think little things like that are going to be special and make the show different in good way. More toys, more fun, and also it gives us a chance to put a little bit of a fresh coat of paint on the show … I think we always embrace the old history. But I think its cool to have a nice fresh coat of paint on something and have something new. We did pretty much everything we could at the old building.”
Season 4 is going to be leaner, but not any less meaner.
“I think one of the things we’ve been challenged with this season is how to make this show more efficient. When you have three swings at something, you get a good sense of how to do that. A lot of our talent will be staying here for the run of the show. This will be home base. Not only will we be shooting vignettes during the week, and wrestling tapings on the weekends, guys will be coming here and spending a lot of time here. And if I know our cast, I know that they will all be constantly trying to one up each other, and constantly be looking for the angles and the cool spots and the things that are going to blow people away. They’re very competitive. We’ve just sort of cleaned off the table and said okay let’s start over and you guys do what you want to do … We also have to keep an eye on safety and we built it with that in mind as well. Certainly, unlike four years ago when we started building at The Temple, we know what they’re going to try to do. We had no idea what they were going to try to do 4 years ago, but now we know our cast well, and so we have to plan accordingly.”
I’m an admitted Lucha Underground fan boy, but I can tell you with complete sincerity that stepping into the new Temple, even at this stage in its development, felt like the right combination of remembering the past and moving forward. Going to Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights could really make it feel like a TV show, but the new environment has so many natural quirks and bursts of personality that I described the walk from the doors to where the ring’s going to be as like “waiting in line at Disneyland.” It all comes together in one good, good Lucha thing.
We’re going to keep you updated with all the Lucha news you’ll need this season, but seriously, go follow @LuchaElRey on Twitter and check TOMORROW for your first chance at tickets for the new season. Miss this at your peril. Knowing Lucha Underground, your actual, literal peril.