Former WWE Writer Talks Stress of Writing for WWE versus Lucha Underground

Jun 12, 2018 - by James Walsh

Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Chris DeJoseph
Date: 06/10/18

Your Host: James Walsh
All right, Believers! Our time is now! We’re within a week until Season 4 of El Rey Network’s hit wrestling series Lucha Underground premiers! To celebrate, we welcome one of the show’s Executive Producers and head writers Chris DeJoseph to the show to prepare us for the changes ahead in Season 4!
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On what fans can expect from Lucha Underground Season 4:
“One thing’s for sure. You can expect a new Temple. Due to storyline and everything like that, Lucha Underground has re-located to a new Temple. It is kind of this really cool old ice house. It creates a really good backdrop for this season and gives us cool new places to explore. The other thing you can expect is for Lucha Underground to be Lucha Underground. It is the craziest, wildest show about wrestling or wrestling show, whatever you want to call it on television.”


On what draws fans to Lucha Underground:
“First of all, it is fun! But, also, I don’t think we take ourselves too overly seriously but almost by taking ourselves too seriously, we don’t take ourselves seriously – If that makes any sense! Also, I think we offer a lot of really cool characters especially for kids. To see Drago, a man-dragon! These characters are super heroes! It is equivalent to watching a Marvel movie or any kind of cool action movie and it has created a lot of characters fans can really get behind. It is like watching a comic book, really.”


On the show ever extending to 2 hours or more:
“That’s another thing. People only have so much time in their day. If you’re going to invest (time_ into something, you want it to be good and compelling and it not to take up too much of your day. There’s so much going on, there’s so much other programming. But, if you can get lost in our world for an hour then I think that’s a good thing.”


On getting hired by WWE:
“When I first got out of school, I wanted to be an actor until I found out that was a difficult route to go about it. (laughs) I had this talk with my family, they said “You have to figure out something to do. You need something that is going to pay the bills. What do you like?” I said I wanted to be involved in professional wrestling. My first goal is I want to work for WWE, my second goal was to become important in WWE in some facet. My third goal was to learn all that I could and then go do something with all those things that I learned. In a way, I achieved all three! I started with WWE as an intern, I got coffee everyday and tried to take in all that I could. Then I worked in production, cutting TV… Then I had the opportunity to join the creative team. I started as an assistant and worked my way all the way to the top to where I was meeting with Vince McMahon everyday. After my time ended there, I came to California. I worked on other productions and was doing reality TV. Just by some chance, the greatest reality TV producer in the world, Mark Burnett, wanted to do a Lucha Libre show with Robert Rodriguez and boom, it kind of fell in my lap in a way. I’m super excited and it has been one hell of a ride!”


On the differences in writing for Lucha Underground than WWE:
“With Lucha Underground, I don’t need to go through so many people. With WWE, you sit there, you write a show, then you’ve got to go pitch it to Vince. After you pitch it to Vince, you make your changes. Then you’ve got to go get on an airplane. On that airplane, people have other ideas and things change again. Then you get to the arena and you have a meeting with all the agents and producers and they have their input. By the end of the day, what you started with no longer really exists too much! (laughs) In this process (Lucha Underground), obviously we have some planning done in advance but obviously we have to make some changes on the fly. There are injuries in wrestling. There are things that aren’t working that you have to make a change. We get to present what we’re doing creatively, any tweaks are made then. Then, we move on and we know exactly what we have. There is a lot of trust between everybody. Everybody is on the same page on what we’re making. We try to make Lucha Underground in the image of Robert Rodriguez – How he would do it everyday. Obviously, he can’t be there everyday. He’s a busy man! Everyday we work on the show, we think “What would Robert do?” and we try to make that happen.”


On how hands on Robert Rodriguez is:
“I think very hands on! He watches everything. He loves certain characters. He’s a very important part of the show. It is great to get his feedback especially when he likes something!”


On celebrities who he knows are closet Lucha fans:
“Matt Eisman from Ninja Warrior, he comes to the Temple. Vanilla Ice came to the Temple! He just sat in the seats, I was like, “Holy Cow, Vanilla Ice is here?” He didn’t ask for any special treatment. He just came to watch Lucha Underground! Some of the LA Lakers are fans. Some of the guys in Metallica! It is nuts how many people have watched Lucha Underground and are into it! Oh, David Arquette! He sat in our crowd!”


On the unexpected hiatus in Season 3:
“Oh Gosh, I did not know that was going to happen when we originally wrote it. IT is what it is. We’re partners in making this thing happen. It was a decision from the (El Rey) Network. They had some other programming about to come out. I think it made sense for them. Would I have liked it to have aired all 40 episodes in a row? Sure! It worked out OK. I think we picked the perfect spot to take the mid-season break. And, to be honest, I don’t think we lost anybody.”


On Lucha stars appearing for Impact, MLW, and other TV wrestling shows:
“The way we’ve always looked at Lucha Underground is Lucha Underground is its own universe, its own world. I think Impact and WWE takes place in the real world and not Lucha Underground world. We still mention some of the things that are happening in the real world but I think Lucha Underground takes place in its own universe.”

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