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‘Lucha Libre’ Goes Unscripted at Mexicanal

Get out your máscaras.

Pay TV network Mexicanal has debuted a 13-episode unscripted series focused on one of Mexico’s biggest stars of lucha libre.

El Rayo de la Vida, which follows the life of wrestler, promoter and family man Juan Padron Luna -- a.k.a. “Rayo de Plata” -- bowed May 4 at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. The 30-minute show is set in the city of San Luis Potosi, where Mexican-style pro wrestling is the only sport not surpassed in popularity by soccer.

According to a network representative, El Rayo Vida de Lucha “showcases the strong ties and oftentimes blurred lines in the relationships and rapport” the protagonist has with family, employees and other wrestlers, as he manages an arena and family dynasty of fighters.

“As much as lucha libre is an important part of Mexican heritage, so too are the wrestling families that bring the sport to fans, enmeshing it in the popular culture generation after generation,” Luis Torres-Bohl, president of Mexicanal and parent company Castalia Communications, said. “That’s why we endeavored to create this series, which will connect our viewership of Mexicans in the U.S. with one of lucha libre’s beloved stars in a way they never could before -- behind the scenes.”

Mexicanal, a joint venture of Castalia Communications and Mexico’s Cablecom, was launched in 2004 and features a combination of news, entertainment and sports programming from a number of affiliates representing regions all across Mexico, as well as its own originally produced shows.

It recently expanded its distribution to include AT&T U-verse TV subscribers.