A new brand of lucha libre will be unveiled in 2022, Sports Illustrated has learned.
Court Bauer’s Major League Wrestling will premiere its new standalone mini-series, MLW Azteca, on Thursday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. ET on MLW’s YouTube channel and FITE. Viewers will also be able to watch on cable at a later date, with the series making its debut on beIN Sports on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 10 p.m. ET.
“Wrestling in America is on fire, but what’s missing is more representation from Mexico,” says Bauer, who is MLW’s CEO. “Enter MLW Azteca and the masked world of authentic Mexican lucha libre.”
Though officially unconnected, the show is the spiritual successor to Lucha Underground. That was the cutting-edge cinematic presentation of storytelling and compelling characters in a wrestling-centric universe. A key role on MLW Azecta will be played by actor Luis Fernandez-Gil, who achieved acclaim in wrestling as nefarious Lucha Underground boss Dario Cueto. His new role is as MLW matchmaker Cesar Duran, and he will oversee a collection of stars in the world of MLW Azteca.
Filmed in Mexico, the show will feature a collection of the top luchadores in the world. This includes El Hijo del Vikingo, who just won the mega championship on Saturday at AAA’s TripleManía Regia in Mexico. Viewers will also get the chance to see Aero Star, Pagano, Octagón Jr., the iconic Psycho Clown, King Muertes and Karlee Perez. An emphasis will be placed on bringing in characters the MLW audience is familiar with, and MLW champion Hammerstone will play an integral role.
Bauer worked directly with wrestling great Konnan, who is also AAA’s head of creative, on the project. Konnan will also be featured in an on-screen role.
“This is a precursor to an emerging world built around the Azteca lucha brand,” Bauer says. “There will be a distinct identity that delivers an entirely different experience for the viewer.”
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