Multi-platform entertainment company Masked Republic is bringing more lucha libre stars to the United States.
At a time when it has been hard for foreign talent to travel for work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company recently procured a P-3 group visa to bring 50 wrestlers to the United States, a first for any pro wrestling company. Masked Republic successfully applied for and has been granted a Legends of Lucha Libre-Expo Lucha group visa for 50 wrestlers, according to Sports Illustrated.
The list actually features 49 wrestlers now as one of the talents scheduled to receive a visa was Brazo de Plata, formerly known as Super Porky in WWE. He passed away back on July 26. The list includes top Japanese and Mexican wrestlers, including Ultimo Dragon, Tajiri, The Great Sasuke, MLW World Tag Team Champion LA Park, Super Crazy, Lady Apache, Mistico, Damian 666, Baronessa, Aeroboy, Drago, Psycho Clown, Psicosis, Aero Star, Arez, Super Astro Jr., Mr. Iguana, and Hijo de Octagon, among others.
“Masked Republic exists largely for the benefit of luchadores,” said Masked Republic President & COO Kevin Kleinrock. “That includes contract understanding and negotiation, IP exploitation to create streams of revenue and royalties, and making sure the talent can come and work in the United States.”
Masked Republic founder and CEO Ruben Zamora expressed excitement over the P-3 visa and noted that there will be a multitude of lucha stars showcasing their talents in America. Not every wrestler will appear at each show, which will provide a diverse array of wrestlers to be featured at the Expo Lucha shows.
“We’re going to run Expo Lucha more than once a year, and we need a lot of stars to produce something worthy for wrestling fans,” Zamora said. “This will also allow these stars to continue to expand their brand outside of Mexico, and it gives a tremendous talent pool for our Expo Lucha live events in the United States.”
Per the visa, the wrestlers are only allowed to work for Expo Lucha, but that allows them to be featured for an array of promotions in the United States. As long as a promotion works with Masked Republic, potential for working relationships exists with AEW, MLW, Impact Wrestling and ROH, and indie promotions. The next Expo Lucha events will take place on June 11 and June 12, 2022 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
“We are going to have some outstanding lineups for Expo Lucha events,” Zamora says. “We are very excited to be able to bring some of our legends to the U.S. for the first time in a long time, and to bring a number of up-and-coming stars for the first time ever. Our next Expo Lucha is June 11 and 12, 2022, at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.”
Kleinrock added, “Expo Lucha also has deep relationships with wrestling promotions, which we team up with to do events, like Pro Wrestling Revolution in California. There is a Pro Wrestling Revolution show in September that features LA Park, Lady Apache, Baronessa and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. This will be the first time since the pandemic that Apache and Rayo have wrestled in the United States, and the U.S. debut for Baronessa.”
Wrestlers on the P-3 group visa are also signed with Masked Republic for licensing representation.
“It’s been more and more difficult for talent to get visas, and some had visas, but they were delayed or expired because of the pandemic,” Kleinrock said. “We reached a point where a lot of top luchadores and up-and-coming luchadores couldn’t get one, and we wanted to help solve that. Now that this opportunity has presented itself, we’re so excited to further expand lucha libre beyond the borders of Mexico.”