Chavo Guerrero On Lucha Underground, His WWE Relationship, WWE Creative, More
by PRO WRESTLING – Jan 26, 2016
Lucha Underground’s Chavo Guerrero recently spoke with Sean Ross Sapp of WrestlingInc about the show’s big season 2 premiere this Wednesday, the backstage environment in the company, working as an agent, and much more. The following highlights are below, click here for the entire article.
Lucha Underground has a big season 2 premiere [this Wednesday]. What can fans expect out of Lucha Underground season 2?
“If you saw season 1, you’re going to see more of the same, but better. Now that we’ve actually cut our teeth and know what we’re doing now, we’re going to knock it out of the park. I compare it to the Terminator movies. You see a sequel come out and they’re never as good as the original. Terminator 1 was great, but when Terminator 2 came out it was like ‘Wow, they outdid themselves.’ That’s kind of where we’re out. We have a lot of eyes on us. Not just the people who are following up from season one, but people who are hearing this buzz. We can’t have production values being less than before, or the wrestling less than before. We have to do it, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
How did you feel about the interesting format of the show and how were you approached about that?
“Your feelings are kind of the same as everybody’s. When I first saw it, I was blown away. Everybody says they’re different and nobody actually is. We heard what the fans are saying. By the second episode, fans were saying ‘this is different, I think I like it.’ By the third episode, everybody was hooked. We’re a TV show, that’s what wrestling is. Everybody else is a live event company. TV shows drive you to their live events, PPVs or channel. They’re trying to upsell you to something else. We don’t do that. We’re trying to get you to watch next week, and next week, and next week. That’s what wrestling should be. We’re wrestling in a Breaking Bad show or a Robert Rodriguez movie. I was so glad it was something fresh and not recreating what was on TV already. I say that WWE is the Coca-Cola of wrestling. They’re the brand. Everyone tries to compare themselves to WWE. If you make another brand like WWE, you’re a knockoff, you’re RC Cola. If you make a completely new beverage, you’re making your own thing. That’s what Red Bull did. They made themselves an energy drink. Then Monster and Rockstar came out. I’m glad we redefined wrestling, and I really feel we did that. People will watch other wrestling shows, and if you’re not a wrestling fan, it’s hard to get immersed in that product. If you’re a wrestling fan, it’s a great TV show. If you’re not a wrestling fan, you don’t have to be, but you’ll be a fan of our show because it’s that compelling. We make every character mean something. There’s no throwaway characters or job characters. If they can’t do that, they just won’t be on the show. We have great writers in Chris DeJoseph and our writers. They’re just so good at what they do.”
Do you think WWE has too many cooks in the kitchen?
“They have one cook. That’s the problem. Vince McMahon, maybe Triple H, that’s all they have. These other writers, they take vacations. Freddy Prinze is a friend of mine. He’s an award winning actor-writer who took a hiatus from Hollywood to go take a huge pay cut to write for this show. We quit the exact same day. He knew why I quit. He said ‘I left Hollywood, writing and starring in TV shows because I love wrestling, and all I do is take vacations. We come up with all of these ideas and pitch them, we come in and they get shot down or watered down. The boss wants to do this and we make it work.’ I think that’s the problem. I can talk and talk about it because I’m passionate about it, but our writers aren’t handcuffed. They have range. We can get away with a little more because of El Rey. It’s fun. It makes our show different. Our writers can really show their writing capacity. I told every one of them I didn’t know they were that good at writing because they were never allowed to run. They were held back and tied down. They’re excellent. For us to be on the Emmy radar in the first season, that’s huge. Wrestling has never been like that.”
What were your feelings on feuding with a woman?
“Anything can be done in wrestling if it’s done correctly, and at the right time. One of the biggest compliments was Vince Russo came by. Like him or hate him, he made a huge impact on wrestling. He came by our show and was so happy about wrestling and flipped out when he saw me hit Sexy Star with a chair. He said ‘this is what I wanted to do in WCW and I couldn’t. We couldn’t even touch girls. When I saw you hit Sexy Star, the wrestling world changed.’ People were like what the heck is this show? People were shocked. I have this Luchadora who’s tough as nails, tougher than most of the guys saying ‘You better hit me,’ so I hit her! I hit her good! She got her payback and hit me a bunch of times. If you look back, I don’t say ‘I don’t want to work with this guy.’ I’m not going to prima donna everybody else. I figure if they want me to do it, I’ll do it and we’ll get everybody over to the best of our abilities. That really got Sexy Star over and it got me over. It was a win-win for our TV show.”
Why does wrestling get treated differently?
“If you look at the Attitude era, WWF did that kind of stuff. Now they’ve went after other sponsors and have to be PC. They went after McDonalds and Coca Cola. Money talks. They’re going to water their product down to make money. It’s not going to make everyone happy, but they’re making more money. I definitely see their point. But we wanted to be different. Mark Burnett, our creator, actually said that he’d rather fail being different than succeed being the same. We’re a different product. If you look at our show, we’ve killed people on the show. That character’s gone. You don’t see that on wrestling. You don’t see John Cena getting killed. It’s just a different product.”
“I agree, but the guy has made a lot of money his own way. The way we can even exist is because of what Mr. McMahon did, the progression of wrestling. We just went another way with it. He did it. He took a lot of chances. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if not for Vince McMahon. I say that because I learned so much not only from him teaching me but me watching him. You learn to take chances. He always says that he’s failed much more than he’s succeeded, but when he suceeds, he succeeds big. That’s business, relationships, anything in life. You don’t always hit a home run. Babe Ruth and guys like that were home run kings, but strikeout kings. People sometimes let failures define their life, but life is defined by your successes. I really learned fromVince McMahon that it’s not about how many times you fall. You’re going to fall a lot, but you get back up. Just get up and knock it out of the park.
Are you on good terms with WWE?
“I guess, I haven’t really talked to them since I left. I’m on good terms with my agent and producer friends there. I don’t think I’m on bad terms. You never want to burn a bridge in business. So many people don’t want to piss anyone off so they keep everything PC even when they’re not in the organization. I can’t do that. I tell it the way it is. If that gets you in hot water, it gets you in hot water, but you have to respect it. I’m not living my life thinking I have to keep an opportunity open. That’s something I learned from Vince. If I fail at anything, at least I did it my way.”