Talking with Konnan is like getting a history lesson in lucha libre. The man has seen and done it all.
“Lucha used to be almost entirely a Hispanic thing,” Konnan told SLAM! Wrestling. “It was kind of similar to hip hop in that it had a very specific audience. Now, just like hip hop, lucha is popular with everyone.”
Konnan can be credited as one of the architects of the current popularity of lucha libre. He was responsible for introducing lucha libre to the mainstream American audience via World Championship Wrestling.
“I helped to bring luchadores like Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrara to WCW and Nitro,” stated Konnan. “We were used to those guys tearing down the house and stealing the show.”
More recently, Konnan cites another project that helped to raise the profile of lucha. “When Lucha Underground first started, it had a great cinematic quality about it. It was done by people who weren’t directly in the field of wrestling and I think that helped. The end result really resonated with fans.”
It would seem fitting that Konnan is involved with a wrestling promotion that has enjoyed a rebirth by leaning heavily on lucha libre. Impact Wrestling has used Mexican luchadores Fenix and Pentagon Jr. prominently in its storylines. The show also recently did a number of Impact tv tapings in Mexico City.
Konnan is optimistic about the future of the promotion. “For a long while it seemed like TNA (Impact) was really good at shooting themselves in the foot. It was basically WWE lite and it was like the same guys in creative were just being recycled. With the emergence of guys like Scott D’Amore and Sonjay Dutt, it has brought new life to the promotion. Also, it was a smart move to film in Mexico City to help expand the brand.”
Konnan has also returned to the wrestling promotion that he helped found, Triple AAA Wrestling. “I came back this past April to Triple AAA,” stated Konnan. “Right now, we are looking at restructuring and keeping an eye out for new talent.”
Even though Konnan has been in the wrestling game for over 30 years, you won’t find him harping about the good old days. “You have to let the young guys run with it. They are the ones bringing the energy and excitement to the sport. Also, the world of social media has changed how pro wrestling is promoted and viewed.”
Konnan has kept up with the times hosting his own podcast even though he didn’t really understand the medium when he first started.
“I was approached by Court Bauer of MLW to do a weekly podcast. At first, I thought it was a radio program,” he said. “When we first started, the only guys doing it were Colt Cabana and Dave Meltzer. We were one of the first ones to not just talk about pro wrestling but also politics and pop culture. Now, I am hosting my own podcast, Keepin it 100. I recently was at Starrcast and was blown away by how many podcasts there were. Just like anything, the best ones will rise to the top.”
Konnan will be working with Court Bauer and MLW again when he is scheduled to appear at an MLW: Fusion TV taping on October 4th. Konnan is excited for the show. “We are taping in Queens (New York) so it will be a rabid crowd. They can also be quick to turn if they don’t like what they are seeing.” With talent scheduled to appear like Lo Ki, Daga, Sami Callihan and PCO amongst others, the crowd is guaranteed to be hot all night.
To purchase tickets for MLW’s return to Queens, New York, visit its Eventbrite page.