Lucha Underground will kick off their mid-season premiere May 31st at 8pm ET on the El Rey network with a huge match between former WWE star Johnny Mundo and The Mack.
Willie Mack, a former WWE signee and independent star, joined us to talk about his time in the business, lack of black world champions and what Lucha offers that the WWE can't.
When asked how he first got into the business, Mack revealed how a high school history teacher and a yahoo search paved the way for his wrestling career.
"Well, I was always watching wrestling as a kid and one of my teachers said, Willie, you might be good at this since you like it so much and watch it so much. He said he went on Google and found a ... Not google, a yahoo search, and found a wrestling school in the valley and I went and checked it out. Yeah, I was 14 when that happened and then I came back later on. I said I'm gonna stop and come back when I get my diploma. So, four years later I graduate with my diploma and showed up the next day for wrestling training and that was in 2005."
"He was teaching American History. We always talked about wrestling, because he liked ECW and XCW at the time and all the other companies. We always would have conversation. He was like Willy, you're big enough and you like it so much you seem like you'd be good at it, so here. Have shot. I was like, "all right".
Mack signed with the WWE in 2014 but was released before he ever had the chance to get to Orlando.
"I never actually got to go ... Because I was signed for six months. Before I was supposed to report to Orlando, they never even gave me a chance. They was like, "Oh, don't plan on coming down". They were like, "Oh, the doctor didn't like how your blood pressure was, so I'm like all right, show me my medical stuff so I can see what's wrong. And they called me on a Friday and told me about that Saturday, there should be my release in the mail. It's been three years and do you think I got that medical paperwork yet?
"It came down to, pretty much, somebody else had a tryout the month after I did. So it was like, he's got the body, he's got the moves and stuff we like but he's got the body we like, and I'm pretty sure you know who it is."
Based on time and description, we assumed he might be referring to Apollo Crews. Mack would only respond, "maybe."
A life long wrestling fan, Mack discussed what it is that Lucha Underground offers fans that WWE doesn't.
"Wrestling. The stories, the product, the production, that's like a lot of stuff that's missing. In wrestling will look for in the old blood and guts glory stuff and Lucha gives that to them so they're loving us for it right now."
During his time in Lucha, The Mack has yet to become a champion, but we asked him why he felt there weren't more Black World Champions in wrestling history. We brought up The Rock as the only Black WWE Champion (not counting World Championships, of course), but Mack wasn't quite ready to hand him that title.
"Yeah, I wouldn't really count that fool."
"As a kid you always wonder ... Me as a black kid, I always used to ask my mama, "Why the black guy don't have the belt yet?" She said they're gonna get it one day, but she knew she was just messing around and that wasn't gonna happen. But there's been a couple of us. A couple of the companies have more faith in black folks, like TNA had two black world champions."
On the May 31st premiere of Lucha Underground, The Mack will get a chance to do something he's never done before. He discussed how he felt about facing off with former WWE star Johnny Morrison.
"This is actually our first time ever doing anything and I'm happy for it because I never got to do in the ring with a former WWE champion-like dude so it makes me feel good to know that they had the confidence enough to put me in there with him."