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TLN to air lucha libre
By GREG OLIVER - Co-Producer, SLAM! Wrestling


Canadian fans finally have a weekly option on TV other than the WWE, but it's not TNA. It's CMLL, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, which will begin airing on TLN on September 10th.

The Spanish-language wrestling show will air every week at midnight on Fridays and 4:30 pm Saturday afternoons (all times Eastern). TLN is seen on 3. 7 million Canadian television sets, and available through both Bell ExpressVu and StarChoice, and airs programming in Italian, Spanish and English.

"This is something that we've been working on for a while, because we're always looking for the best in Hispanic programming around the world to bring to our audience here in Canada," said Agatha Pezzi, Director of Communications at TLN. "This could be something that our audience could really sink their teeth in to."

"It's actually blowing up in the States, it's actually quite popular," said TLN publicist Christian Darbyshire.

CMLL features names familiar to Canadian and American audiences like La Park, Hector Garza, Ultimo Dragon, Canek and Super Crazy, along with Mexican mainstays like Dr. Wagner, Rayo de Jalisco, Negro Casas. It aired previously on TLN from 1995 to 1998.

"Mexican wrestling is totally different, different from the WWE stuff. It's more slapstick, more acrobatic, more colorful, more fun, more family-oriented," said Pezzi, adding that it's a "throwback to the old style of wrestling."

To the uninitiated, lucha libre can be a bit harrowing. Masks abound, the rules are different than those in the WWE and history and heritage are key elements of storylines (again, something the WWE never worries about).

The CMLL shows on TLN are the same ones broadcast on Telivisa in Mexico, and there are no plans at this time for subtitles. The first few episodes airing on TLN will be from July, but the hope is that once it's on the air, TLN will receive the CMLL show via satellite and airing the show just a week behind.

As for the future, TLN hasn't ruled out the possibility of helping CMLL run occasional shows in Canada, following successful lucha shows in non-traditional markets like Portland, Oregon and Chicago over the past few years. "It's part of the plan. We don't have anything confirmed right now," said Pezzi about live shows. "We're hoping that the audience will really take to the programming."


Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • See the best in Lucha Libre in 2003!
    Order Lucha-rific Vol. 1 Double DVD-R

    RELATED LINKS

  • CMLL's English language site
  • TLN's official site

    Greg Oliver founded SLAM! Wrestling with John Powell way back in 1996, and has been writing about pro wrestling since 1985. He is the author of the recently published book The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians from ECW Press. Order it from the SLAM! Wrestling Store. He can be emailed at goliver845@gmail.com.