Fighting

PRO WRESTLING: AAA, Lucha Underground’s Dorian Roldan Peña discusses Lucha Libre World Cup pay-per-view

The Dream Team in the Lucha World Cup is made up of Alberto El Patrón (formerly Alberto Del Rio), Myzteziz (formerly Sin Cara and Mistico) and Rey Mysterio Jr.
The Dream Team in the Lucha World Cup is made up of Alberto El Patrón (formerly Alberto Del Rio), Myzteziz (formerly Sin Cara and Mistico) and Rey Mysterio Jr. Photo Courtesy AAA

In 1994, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración hosted the “When Worlds Collide” pay-per-view, which introduced an entire new audience to lucha libre.

More than 20 years later, the genre of professional wrestling has evolved in an exciting way with AAA and its parent promotion Lucha Underground on El Rey Network.

AAA, along with Victoria Cervezas, now marks another milestone with the inaugural Lucha Libre World Cup 6 p.m. EST Sunday, May 24 live on Internet pay-per-view from Mexico City’s Pacio de los Deportes. This marks the first PPV for Rey Mysterio Jr. since leaving WWE.

Dorian Roldan Peña, executive vice president of business development for AAA and executive producer for Lucha Underground, can’t wait to showcase the athletes from various corners of the globe.

“Every kind of sport has a World Cup,” he said. “We didn’t really have one. So we started this initiative with some sponsors to do a World Cup. We started to make a connection with many of the major companies. We were trying to find talent from around the world to make it happen. Right now, this is the moment.”

Participants in this three-man team or trios’ tournament come from not only AAA and Lucha Underground, but companies like TNA, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Noah and All Japan.

“I think with all these companies, they wanted to be part of it,” Peña said. “There was some complication with having previous commitments, but they were really helpful and willing to participate with us on this project. To put everybody together was not so complicated. They are working with us and want to have a representation of the promotions here because in Mexico lucha is almost like a religion. It’s part of our culture. It’s part of our roots. We are really happy to make all this happen.”

Peña, the 27-year-old nephew of the late AAA founder Antonio Peña, is proud of his family heritage. He sees the Lucha World Cup and the creation of Lucha Underground on El Rey Network as another step in fulfilling his uncle’s dream of putting the Mexican-style wrestling on the biggest stage possible.

Mexican wrestlers were treated like super heroes,” Peña said. “They are always surrounded by people in the streets. When we did the research about the Latinos in the United States there are no real heroes like it. There are no super heroes. So the first thing we wanted to do with Lucha Underground and wanted to create was have Latino heroes for all these populations.

“We wanted to recreate the trademark of lucha libre. That’s one of the things we are starting to develop with Lucha Underground. We have people behind the product like Robert Rodriguez, the director. He is one of the most passionate fans we have of lucha. When we presented the product to him he said, ‘Lucha libre is amazing, but we need to recreate lucha.’ We were trying to do that with Lucha Underground with the best talent, the best roster from all around the world.

“We are hiring new people from all around the world to create a new property. We don’t want to be only a wrestling show. We want to be more like the new ‘Mortal Kombat’ or ‘Power Rangers.’ We are trying to create a new movement. I don’t want to sound smug, but something like a Latino Marvel. We want Lucha Underground to become a global product.”

He believes AAA and Lucha Underground can exist and thrive as independent properties. Peña hints at some “big announcements” in the coming weeks as it relates to the future. There was talk of international distribution for Lucha Underground, as well as a second season for the critically-acclaimed Wednesday night program. Another thing the businessman is anticipating is the possibilities for Mysterio, as Peña revealed the popular masked former WWE superstar had signed a deal with AAA.

“He has been on an emotional rollercoaster,” Peña said. “He knows he can reach new levels right now. In WWE, he was a major star. However, right now Rey Mysterio in the Latino market, we are going to be doing major stuff. We want to put Rey Mysterio on the next level. We can put Rey Mysterio in a position to do movies, an animated series and something different. I know he is doing great. After the tragedy with Perro Aguayo Jr., he had some reservations. He was telling the media if he wins the Lucha World Cup he is going to dedicate the win to Perro Aguayo Jr.”

- AAA, along with Victoria Cervezas, host the inaugural Lucha Libre World Cup 6 p.m. EST Sunday, May 24 live on Internet pay-per-view from Mexico City’s Pacio de los Deportes.

Lucha Libre World Cup Teams

Dream Team: Alberto El Patrón (formerly Alberto Del Rio), Myzteziz (formerly Sin Cara and Mistico) & Rey Mysterio Jr.

Team Mexico No.1: El Hijo del Fantasma, El Texano Jr. & Psycho Clown

Team MexLeyendas: Blue Demon Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr. & Solar I

Team Rest of the World: Drew Galloway, Angélico & El Mesías (Ricky Banderas/Judas Mesias)

Team TNA/Lucha Underground: Matt Hardy, Mr. Anderson & Johnny Mundo (formerly John Morrison)

Team ROH/Lucha Underground: Moose, ACH & Brian Cage

Team Pro Wrestling NOAH: Taiji Ishimori, Yoshihiro Takayama & Atsushi Kotoge

Team AJPW: Kenzo Suzuki, Tiger Mask III (Koji Kanemoto) & Masamune

The event will feature an English feed with Matt Striker and Vampiro calling the action.

Order and watch exclusively at

http://luchaworldcup.com (click the American flag).

- Catch Lucha Underground 8 p.m. EST Wednesdays on El Rey Network.

- Follow Dorian Roldan Peña on Twitter @DorianRoldan

- Follow AAA @LuchaLibreAAA

- Follow Lucha Underground @LuchaElRey

- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN

- Pro Wrestling On the Web

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

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