During a recent interview conducted by Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri, Lucha Underground champion Marty "The Moth" Martinez talks about the creation and evolution of a character that continues to dive deeper into darkness.
"Essentially at first, what they told me is: 'You are Marty 'The Moth' and you are from moth tribe. You're a big kid whose kind of not all there — and go,'" explained the real-life Martin Casaus, a former WWE Tough Enough contestant in season five who was signed to the Mark Burnett and Robert Rodriquez co-creation by both Tough Enough and LU producer Eric van Wagenen.
"The rest we just kind of crafted as we went along. They had no idea what to do with me — just get me on there doing something."
Casaus admitted his character was originally slotted for more comedic purposes, a trait he felt limited his opportunities as a serious contender for a title belt.
"I knew comedic relief could never hold a championship, at least for a time where people felt like this wasn't a transitional champion," he said. "I went and talked to Vampiro about halfway through season one.
"I love doing comedy, but how can I do comedy and still be viable to hold gold around my waist one day. That's where you see at the end of season one the kidnapping and stuff starting and kind of getting darker and darker from there. So credit Vampiro for darkening the guy up so it could be something that could one day be future LU champion."
Casaus, who has an interest in criminal psychology, admits he has drawn on the true lives of serial killers John Wayne Gacy, Ed Gein and Ted Bundy to further shape the story of Marty "The Moth" as the fourth season of LU continues.
"It intrigues me because I'm weird," shared the 33-year-old Utah native. "I always want to evolve a character and you're going to see the rest of this season the Marty 'The Moth' character is evolved from what you saw before. I hope people catch on to that, and that's all coming down to the research I've done into the psychology of serial killers — why they do what they do and just kind of how I believe someone with that kind of psychology would react to the storylines LU gives me."
Before assuming the Marty "The Moth" persona, Casaus debuted as a completely different character, which was actually aired briefly in the inaugural season.
"I was supposed to be there comedic relief," he explained. "There is one episode that shows me as ['Magnificent Martin'] — episode three of season one you see clips of me getting beat up by Mil Muertes and his character. There is a bowtie of me and I was walked out by 'Beautiful Brenda' and I was a magician and I am really glad that didn't work out because Marty 'The Moth' is so much funner to play."
A magician was not the only character Casaus was originally slotted for in the initial season.
"I found out halfway through season two that I was actually supposed to be Mil Muertes," claimed Casaus, referring to the character now played by Puerto Rican wrestler Ricky Banderas. "I am really glad that didn't work out."