Chris DeJoseph isn’t talking.
Keeping secrets is part of the fun for the co-executive producer of Lucha Underground. At the end of the first official day of filming for Season 2, and after braving the notorious rush hour traffic in Boyle Heights, DeJoseph was a guest on the Indy Mayhem Show Tuesday night.
“We did some really cool stuff, including a big opening for Season 2…It was good to be back. It was a good vibe. Everything felt like the same vibe we had in Season 1, so everyone’s happy to be back to work.”
Fans have been waiting and hoping for this, and like a lot of them, DeJoseph wasn’t always certain Season 2 would become reality.
“I trusted that it would. It just took a real long time for it to become official. That was the frustrating part, but they figured things out, and we’re back.”
Lucha Underground is back, but not everyone from Season 1 is along for the ride. Big Ryck reportedly informed producers he wouldn’t be returning for Season 2, and Alberto Del Rio made a surprise return to WWE at its Hell In A Cell event.
Other characters are back for Season 2, and none may be more vital to Lucha Underground than Dario Cueto. DeJoseph remembers the casting call, where some 30 would-be Cuetos auditioned for the role. Luis Fernandez-Gil immediately stood out.
“We brought him in two or three more times, and he just kept better and better and better. I just started believing. I’m in the room with this guy we imagined, and he’s right in front of me. Luis just stole the show.”
The show-stealing scenes in Cueto’s office were an instant hit, but getting the actor ready to perform inside a professional wrestling ring took a little more time.
“In the beginning, he had some growing pains. He’d be in the ring and step in front of a wrestler or do something that Johnny (Mundo) didn’t like. It took Luis about two or three episodes to realize how to play it, and not necessarily make the wrestlers look stupid, especially when they’re in the ring. But he adapted quickly. He learned and asked questions and got better and better and better.”
By the way, that moment at the end of “Ultima Lucha” when a frantic and fleeing Cueto returns to his office to grab the red bull from his desk was no accident.
“It was a choice he made to grab it, and there’s a reason he did.”
That’s just one of many unanswered questions fans were left with after Season 1. Another is the fate of Sexy Star. She was last seen being held captive by Marty The Moth during the final moments of “Ultima Lucha”. There was also the revelation that we would be meeting another member of Marty’s family.
“We always knew what the endgame was. We always knew that Marty had a sister. It was just a matter of when we would reveal that.”
Timing is everything, and that’s especially true when talking about Matanza. Viewers finally got a glimpse of Dario Cueto’s monstrous brother at the very end of “Ultima Lucha”, but DeJoseph admits that wasn’t always the plan. In fact, we were supposed to see a lot more of him.
“Originally, Matanza was supposed to get out of the cage on Episode 9. Fortunately, we had a few talents that couldn’t get across the border with their visa issues. We were forced to change our story lines, and go to Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo on the first night. As a result, everything changed.”
Instead of becoming a big in-ring presence during Season 1, Matanza remained a mystery.
“It was a blessing in disguise, and I thank God everyday that it happened because if we’d done some of the things we’d originally thought about doing it wouldn’t have turned out as good.”
So, who was going to portray Matanza?
“We had someone in mind at the beginning, but changed our mind once we decided to keep the monster in the cage.”
Reflecting on some of the stunning plot twists from Season 1, DeJoseph can’t help but laugh.
“I mean, we killed a guy!”
Matanza’s extended incarceration kept the key piece in place for one of Season 1’s most shocking plot twists, when Cueto had The Crew feed their fellow member Bael to the monster. DeJoseph knew killing off a character was a big risk.
“That was one I was a little worried about, but I thought if we can do this one, we can probably do anything.”
DeJoseph was right. As Season 1 went on, viewers learned anything is possible on Lucha Underground.
“Once we had our own little universe that existed, I think it makes it easier as a fan to buy in to some of that stuff because it takes place in this world. It doesn’t take place in an arena in Milwaukee…It exists in its own place.”
There are plenty of questions about Season 2 DeJoseph can’t answer. Who will be on the commentary team? Is there a Season 3 secretly being shot along with Season 2? Will we ever see Lucha Underground on DVD or Netflix? DeJoseph keeps those secrets close to his vest, though he says there may be an option soon for fans who dream of binge watching Season 1.
And if Chris DeJoseph would pluck anyone from the world of professional wrestling and bring him into the Lucha Underground universe?
“Bryan Danielson. That would be a good one for me…I had a brief period working with him in WWE, and I’d love to do it again.”
On that same topic, I felt compelled to ask DeJoseph if Lucha Underground was ever in the running for the Young Bucks, who recently signed a new contract with Ring Of Honor.
“I think we had talked to them a few times, but we never saw eye to eye.”
The next big step in the production of Season 2 of Lucha Underground will be the first in-ring tapings, which begin November 14. DeJoseph is hoping to see the new episodes debut at the very beginning of 2016.
“I think you can look forward to a lot of surprises, more questions, more great wrestling. I hope we continue to be unpredictable. You’re wondering what’s going to happen at the beginning of Season 2, but we take you in a different direction. Hopefully, we keep you on the edge of your seats.”
But first, there’s a lot of work to do.
Waiting for Lucha Underground Season 2 isn’t easy. Here’s some more stuff to help you pass the time. I compiled a list of 25 Moments That Made Lucha Underground Amazing. There’s also a special Mid Week War podcast where we recap Season 1.