In today’s SoCal News & Notes we have info on trouble at Lucha Underground, the NWA Women’s World Championship making a rare Southern California appearance, nominations for the Southern California Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame, updates to the next Baja Stars USA event, and more. Click for today’s update.
Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet had a story today on King Cuerno / El Hijo del Fantasma (real name Jorge Luis Alcantar Bolly) filing a request for arbitration against El Rey Network and Lucha Underground’s production Baba-G Productions. That was then followed up by Eric Mutter of LuchaCentral.com reporting that King Cuerno, Ivelisse, Joey Ryan, and Kobra Moon (Thunder Rosa) have a class action lawsuit against the production company in the works.
Legal action against Lucha Underground in regards to the contracts has been a long time coming. It is no secret that a number of wrestlers have been unhappy with the contracts and a number have flat out asked for their release and been told no or have been ignored. This comes after the company publicly stated prior to the last season that any wrestler who asked for their release would be let go.
The wrestling landscape has changed since that time, with multiple companies competing for talent driving up salaries and offering better exposure than what Lucha Underground was able to provide. There are some wrestlers signed to contracts with the company that feel that the reason they are not being let out of the contracts is that Dorian Roldan, Lucha Underground GM and AAA owner, doesn’t want to release talent with the fear that they will no longer be available for AAA events.
The seven season contracts a lot of the talent signed give Lucha Underground nine months from the date of the last airing to re-up the wrestlers for another season, which could put the wrestlers in limbo until August. Additionally, we are told the Lucha Underground contracts pay poorly and most of the wrestlers would make more money working on independent shows over what they get while the show is filming. Coupled with the shows declining viewership there is little benefit to a lot of the wrestlers under contract.
The attorney representing the wrestlers in their dispute with Lucha Underground is Andre Verdun, who wrestled in UEW as Youth Suicide.
The NWA Women’s World Championship will be making a rare Southern California appearance at the February 10 Championship Wrestling from Hollywood tapings in Port Hueneme. Jazz will be defending the title against Heather Monroe. This will be the first match in Southern California for Jazz since May 2004 with WWE.
The NWA Women’s World Championship was last defended in Southern California on July 27, 2015 at an AWS event when then champion Santana Garrett went to a no-contest with Christina Von Eerie. Before that, Amazing Kong defended the title a few times in the area in 2007 and 2008. Prior to Amazing Kong’s defenses, the Fabulous Moolah defending the title in the late 1970s was the last time the title had been defended in the area.
Other matches taking place at the February 10 Championship Wrestling from Hollywood tapings includes Andy Brown defending the Hollywood Heritage Title against Joey Ryan, Royce Isaacs defending the Television Title against Ryan Taylor, and Danny Limelight vs. Adrian Quest in a PP3 Cup semi-final match.
Sammy Guevara has been removed from the Baja Stars USA Cruiserweight Championship match against Danny Limelight at the promotion’s third anniversary on February 16 in San Diego. He was unable to make the show due to an AAA television taping in Mexico. The match will now be Danny Limelight against Douglas James and Hammerstone, who will be making his debut for the promotion.
Matt Vandagriff has been added to GCW‘s To Live and Die in LA on March 2 in Los Angeles.
B-Boy will be taking part in this year’s CZW Best of the Best tournament in New Jersey. He has been in seven previous Best of the Bests, winning once and finishing as runner-up twice.
Santinos Bros. will be holding an event called The Good, The Bad and The Dirty on February 22 in Bell Gardens.
Imperial County’s Venue Wrestling Entertainment will be running a show in Stanton on March 15. This will be their first event in Orange County. Scheduled to appear so far are Los Luchas, Lucha Homies (Lil’ Cholo and Mariachi Loco), Andy Brown, Super Beetle, SoCal Crazy, Matt Vandagriff, Legacy, Hip Hop Harry, and Amazing Jr.
Voting will start for the 2019 Southern California Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions next week. Added to this year’s ballot are Melina Perez, Konnan, Lucha VaVoom promoters Liz Fairbairn and Rita D’Albert, wrestling photographer Shane Michael Kidder, and Acero Dorado.
To be inducted a nominee must be listed on 70% of returned ballots. Voters for the post 1989 group may list up to 10 nominees on their ballots. Voters for the pre 1989 group may list up to 5 nominees on their ballots.
Here is the complete list of this year’s nominees:
Ballard Brothers (Shannon & Shane Ballard)
Brian Danielson (American Dragon)
Liz Fairbairn & Rita D’Albert*
Los Chivos (Enigma de Oro & Kayam)
Rey Misterio Jr.
Shane Michael Kidder*
Tech IX (Byron McKinney)
Count Billy Varga
Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello & Roy Heffernan)
*indicates first time nominee.
You can view the Southern California Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame here.
This week’s Southern California pro-wrestling and MMA events: