Lucha Underground wrapped up their fourth season and there is said to be a stalemate over season five. As El Rey Network figures out to logistics of how much a fifth season of the show is going to cost, they still have a roster of talent under contract and they don’t plan on letting that talent go anywhere.
Shane Strickland was able to miraculously get out of his LU deal and is now a free agent. Others aren’t so lucky and the term being thrown around is that Lucha Underground is holding their roster hostage. As it turns out, that’s pretty much what is going on in a manner of speaking.
Bodyslam.net reports that Lucha Underground stars have very restrictive deals. They are not allowed to work for another top promotion for nine months after the final episode of the season airs. This is not only three-times longer than WWE’s no-compete clause, but it is actually even longer. Which impacts a wrestlers career if trying to sign with another promotion.
If you consider the fact that Lucha Underground is a television show taped six to nine months before the season even kicks off then Lucha Underground stars are bound to their deals for around an extra eighteen months.
A professional wrestling career is lucky to see a decade in the business and most Lucha Underground stars already have established names around the world. This is also a terrible time to be held to a contract where you can’t do anything during this giant booming period in professional wrestling now that All Elite Wrestling has began recruiting wrestlers from around the globe.
El Rey Network looks at Lucha Underground more like a television show than a professional wrestling company. They have different and obviously much more binding contracts. There is also said to be “no hurry to even begin filming the potential upcoming fifth season of the series.”
Wrestlers are signed to deals per season and not per year. Since Lucha Underground has this luxury, they can take their time in producing a new season because they know that the talent will have to wait for them. Only time will tell if making these specifics known to the public will change their minds and encourage them to let some talents go early who have much better opportunities elsewhere.