And you thought all the big news would be coming tomorrow. In a bombshell story broken by Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet, AAA star El Hijo del Fantasma has filed a lawsuit against against the El Rey Network and Baba-G Productions, the network and production company behind Lucha Underground. Fantasma, who has wrestled in LU for four years under the name King Cuerno, is claiming El Rey and Baba-G Productions have illegally restricted him from engaging in his lawful profession and is seeking Actual and Putative Damages, according to the lawsuit.
Lucha Central reached out to Fantasma’s attorney, Andre Verdun (himself a former wrestler who once worked as Youth Suicide) and he had much to say. “Since there is no confidentiality clause in the arbitration agreement or the AAA rules, I don’t mind discussing the matter generally,” Verdun began. “But I am going to avoid discussing specifics to the case and litigation because the matter is on-going.”
When asked why the suit was brought forth now, Verdun hinted that Fantasma was just one of many exploring their options. “The answer is a little complicated,” Verdun said. “I had a hand in attempting to modify some the original terms of the agreement on behalf of some of the wrestlers that asked me to volunteer in assisting them prior to anyone signing for the show’s first season. We got some concessions, but the most worrisome terms from my prospective remained in the contract. I warned the producers for Lucha Underground that the terms in their contract made it subject to legal attack and I felt made them partially, if not completely invalid. They insisted I was wrong and pushed forward with the language that I felt was legally troubling and informed the wrestlers, as it is my understanding, they would not sign wrestlers that were being assisted by my office. That was the end of my involvement until people started to become unhappy in those contracts a few years later. A couple wrestlers approached me since stating they wanted to seek a release and I have used those weak points to get people out of their contracts by threatening litigation. Until now, everyone that I assisted has been released without the need for litigation. Lucha Underground appears to be pushing back in mist of what appears to be a mass exodus by their top stars if they can get their release.”
Verdun was not done. “Specifically to your question, it sounds like the lawsuit you are describing is the one filed by Fantasma against Lucha Underground that seeks damages for preventing him from seeking other opportunities that he was approached with, which I will not discuss specifically. That lawsuit is not a tactic to get his release. It is just a lawsuit saying essentially, “Had you not used this illegal contract to prevent me from taking these other opportunities, I would have made money, and therefore you should compensate me”. I have circulated that lawsuit to other wrestlers for them to understand the lawsuit claims to see if they believed they had similar claims. I assume that is how it made it to the public eye. But, there is actually another lawsuit my office filed as a class action to invalidate certain portions of their contracts that we believe are illegal. There are several wrestlers that have signed onto that lawsuit, others that have reached out requesting to join, so that lawsuit actually seeks to do what it I saw reported that Fantasma’s lawsuit is attempting to accomplish. I am sure it was reported that way because so many people have been searching for help in getting released. The short answer might simply be that up until now, at least as to the people I have assisted, there has never been the need for a lawsuit until now.”
There is no word yet on who these potential other Lucha Underground talents could be involved with the second lawsuit, though Lucha Central is investigating. As for Fantasma, this would be the second occurrence of him trying to get out of his LU deal; his first attempt was in 2016 in an attempt to jump to WWE for the Cruiserweight Classic. It’s unknown if WWE, the newly formed All Elite Wrestling or another promotion would be interested in Fantasma at this time. The bigger question is what does this mean for Fantasma in AAA; the second generation luchador is arguably the top rudo of the promotion and just recently competed in the main event of Triplemania XXVI, where he lost his mask to LA Park. Fantasma is scheduled to wrestle for AAA Friday in Mazatlan, teaming with Los Mercenario teammate La Máscara and Blue Demon Jr. to face Dr. Wagner Jr., Laredo Kid and Puma King. AAA has also been hinting at a Fantasma-Fenix match for the AAA Mega Championship, an ironic twist considering Fenix’s issues with AAA just a few years ago. Lucha Central has reached out to AAA for comment and will update this article when/if we receive one.
This is a developing story and Lucha Central will continue to provide updates as they come.