WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff shared on the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast about the interest he had in working with Lucha Underground as an Executive Producer. The former WCW President mentioned why he ultimately didn’t take on the role, citing that he wasn’t the right person for the job and didn’t have enough of a feel for the Lucha culture.
“I talked to them, I talked to the folks at Lucha Underground early on before the show launched. I met with them twice, actually,” Bischoff said. “I met with the folks with AAA who were also part of it and the executives who were a part of it, and there was a moment that I was actually thinking about becoming the Executive Producer of that show along with Mark Burnett. But it just didn’t feel right to me and I wasn’t the right person for that job, I just wasn’t. I didn’t have enough of a feel for the Lucha culture and experience to be able to do the kind of job that the format needed. We had early discussions, I had worked with Mark Burnett before.”
Continuing to talk about Lucha Underground, Eric Bischoff also mentioned why he believes the company could still be a success and work in 2022, but doesn’t believe it could ever hit the heights of a WWE or even AEW. The former WCW President said it could be viable as a niche product and explained why.
“Lucha Underground was a really interesting experience,” Bischoff said. “Lucha Underground, I love the experiment and the way the backstage segments evolved and told the story, but I think it was a little too much and too radically different from what the wrestling audience had experienced. Do I think something like that would work today with some modification? Yes. By the way, it was really expensive to produce, but yeah.
“Wrestling is, if you’re not AEW or WWE, on a high profile upper-tier cable platform, it’s a niche of a niche. Wrestling is still a niche product, it’s a big niche, but it’s a niche. Lucha would be a niche of a niche. Could it work on certain platforms? Sure. It could be viable and financially successful but on a very small scale. It couldn’t possibly be something that could compete with AEW or with WWE. That will never happen, but it still can be financially viable.”
It was rumored just last year that Lucha Underground was looking to make a comeback, but those rumors ultimately went unfulfilled. Vampiro also stated two years ago that Lucha Underground is over and done with, given that most of their talent is working in either AEW or WWE now. Eric Bischoff mentioned the key challenge that Lucha Underground faced and why they needed to figure out how to make the show feel live when they didn’t.
“The challenge with Lucha was that you want to make, even if you’re doing live-to-tape, meaning you’re taping a show but making it feel live, if you can achieve that, then you can overcome the fact that you’re not live,” Bischoff said. “You’re producing in such a way that makes it feel live. I don’t think that giving away the finishes and spoiler alerts and all of that is the biggest challenge, I think the biggest challenge is convincing people that are watching it that it is live when it isn’t. That’s where Lucha had a problem because they took a very cinematic approach to a lot of the backstage scenes. It was just so different than what the audience was accustomed to that it took them out of that live feeling. Even though it wasn’t a live show, the matches were produced live-to-tape.
“You couldn’t tell by watching the matches whether they were live or not but the minute you took the audience backstage to that cinematic version of a backstage scene, you jolted the audience out of the experience. You took them from one experience into another experience. Those two experiences were so drastically different from each other that the audience at home just felt disconnected from it. That was the challenge with that type of format. I think if you produced it live-to-tape and you produced your backstage segments so they felt live even though they weren’t, I think you’d be fine. It was a clash of formats. Is this a drama series or is this a wrestling show?”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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