Pro Wrestling Sheet broke a story earlier today (Feb. 6) which could bring a couple issues with Lucha Underground to a head.
The show seems to again be in limbo, with its fourth season having wrapped up back in November but with no news on when, or even if, a fifth will occur. That has wrestlers who are signed to their notoriously strict contracts in a bind – they need permission from the producers to work elsewhere (which doesn’t seem to be forthcoming in all cases), but they’re not getting any work from Lucha Underground.
The situation’s resulted in a couple of lawsuits aimed at El Rey Network and Baba-G Productions. One was filed on behalf of Jorge Luis Alcantar Bolly, aka El Hijo del Fantasma, who works in Lucha Underground as King Cuerno.
In the filing, Fantasma’s attorneys claim Lucha Underground contracts illegally restrict wrestlers from “engaging in their lawful profession”. They state that even when the show is being produced, most LU stars make less than $4000 per year, as opposed to anywhere for $50K to seven figure annual salaries for those working for other promotions. They also argue the market has fundamentally changed since 2014 when the contracts were written, with more options and money available to wrestlers now than ever before in the business – a market the LU contract is barring the wrestlers from selling their services in.
According to the suit, this has resulted in Fantasma losing thousands of dollars and a contract with another company. He’s asking that El Rey and Baba-G be made to pay punitive and actual damages.
Lucha Central spoke to Fantasma’s lawyer, Andre Verdun, who said they’re also filing “a class action to invalidate certain portions of their contracts that we believe are illegal.” Ivelisse, Joey Ryan and Thunder Rosa (Kobra Moon on LU) ae among the names joining Fantasma in that suit, per another Lucha Central report.
Verdun says the goal is not to get Fantasma released from his contract, but if a since deleted statement from Ivelisse is anything to go by, the performers probably hope that’s an outcome of the suits. There is money to be made out there right now, and for independent wrestlers, being held back from doing so is a life-altering thing.
And, hey. Maybe if fans can find out whether to give up hope on a fifth season at the same time, that would be nice, too.