Lucha Underground star recently filed a dispute against El Rey Network over his contract.

Feb 7, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

Lucha Underground star recently filed a dispute against El Rey Network over his contract.

Lawyers for King Cuerno aka El Hijo del Fantasma (real name Jorge Luis Alcantar Bolly) filed the documents in Los Angeles against El Rey Network and Lucha Underground’s production Baba-G Productions asking for arbitration “in accordance with the American Arbitration Association’s National Rules for the Resolutions of Employment Disputes.”

The document states:

Plaintiff brings this action seeking to invalidate illegal provisions of a contract between himself and Defendants. Defendants is enforcing contracts with Plaintiff which are illusory, in that they require Plaintiffs to stop engaging in their lawful trade, while Defendants have no obligation to provide work to Plaintiffs, and only have an obligation to pay Plaintiffs if they are provided work on their show. This contract also violations California Business and Professions code 16600 and California public policy as they restrain Plaintiffs from working in their lawful profession.

Cuerno’s lawyer goes on to explain how Lucha Underground, LLC has the the authority to “illegally restrict” wrestlers from engaging in their profession in violation of California law:

Lucha Underground launched in 2014, a time when there was not a lot of options in the United States in the professional wrestling industry.

Though it is a violation of California law, all of the contracts offered by Defendants contained restrictions that prohibited the professional wrestlers from engaging in their lawful profession.

Since the creation of Lucha Underground, the professional wrestling has improved, and legitimate professional wrestling organizations started offering competitive contracts that did not exist when Lucha Underground was launching.

Specifically, Ring of Honor (ROH) wrestling is offering better contracts than where being offered in 2014. Ring of Honor is a highly respected legitimate wrestling company owed by Sinclair broadcasting. Contracts offered by ROH allow wrestlers to make a living wage.

A new wrestling company, All Elite Wrestling, is owned by a billionaire businessmen Shahid Khan and Tony Khan. They are offering top dollar contracts that allow wrestlers to make a good living working on a full time basis as professional wrestlers and attracting top talent – including talent from the WWE.

WWE is the king of the wrestling industry, and has been for decades. They have shown heightened interest in wrestlers currently working with Lucha Underground, partly due to the new competition posed by All Elite Wrestling and some of their biggest stars looking to jump from WWE to All Elite Wrestling. WWE wrestlers are well paid.

Finally, Impact Wrestling, often considered the #2 company over the last decade, recently was purchased by a Canadian company. The change in ownership has opened up opportunities that did not exist in 2014. Impact Wrestling wrestlers are well paid.

The docs go on to detail the drastic difference for wrestlers locked down to a contract with Lucha Underground:

By contrast, Lucha Underground broadcasts between 22 and 40 television episodes per year, with no live events like the other described wrestling promotions. If a wrestler appears on a show, it is usually just a couple. The payment per episode is usually less than $1,000.
The current contract that wrestlers signed with Lucha Underground require that wrestlers not perform services for other wrestling companies anywhere in the world without Defendants permission, but does not require Defendants to use Plaintiffs in their wrestling-theme television show.

While Plaintiffs are obligated to restrict their trade under the contract (which is illegal), Defendants are not required to use or pay Plaintiffs. Defendants have the option to use Plaintiffs, and IF Defendants use Plaintiffs, Defendants will pay Plaintiffs. IF Defendants chose not to use Plaintiffs, Plaintiffs are prohibited for working for years, are not paid, but still under the restrictive contract until it expires.

Most wrestlers under a Lucha Underground contract make less than $4,000 a year. Wrestlers working for other wrestling promotions make a living wage, usually starting around $50,000 a year and entering either 6 or 7 figures.

Cuerno claims he’s lost out on thousands of dollars because of this — as well as talks falling through with a company because of his contract — so he wants El Rey and Baba-G to pay up for putative and actual damages.


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