Lucha Libre, Fight Night of your Life!

2017-04-05


Out there is a rough and tumble subculture of subversive men and women with the uncouth demeanor of neanderthals, appetites for destruction and hearts of stone that want nothing more than to destroy everything in their path in order to become champions. If you’re willing to enter the underground darkness and looming doom of their arena you can see for yourself the place where fierce battle unveils and heartless victories conquer souls.

In this place, there is no room for niceties and politeness. Teammates turn to enemies at the strike of a bell. Unexpected allies unite to take down the weak like predators in the wild, but in the end, it’s every luchador for themselves. There’s no room for friendships here. It’s a dog eats dog mentality. You shut your mouth, you get in the ring, and you get ready to kill or be killed.

It’s time to break the rules. It’s time to break your face. It’s time to thrash and release the inner beast.  It’s time for LUCHA LIBRE!



Upon arrival to the event, outside of the arena one battle has already begun. A brewing storm of impatient buyers and sellers has started building the crowd’s energy for the evening. People push and scalpers pounce trying to pull you from the ticket window. They hiss and move like snakes surrounding you, waiting to strike, promising cheaper, better seats. The vendors, however, stay calm like caged, sedated cats behind their walls of paraphernalia. As long you don’t come too close, they won’t attack. The ticket window is a mysterious two-way mirror. The seller can’t be heard through the glass but the pressure to purchase quickly is piercing. Eventually, you crack and slide whatever money you have in your hand along with your hope through the small slit at the bottom. Low and behold, tickets materialize. A small victory gained. Once inside it’s almost mandatory to indulge in an oversized, delicious michelada. You are justified in ordering one of these massive, refreshing, alcoholic beverages whether it’s to calm the nerves or spike the adrenaline from the chaos experienced outside. The women manning these stands are pros, dumping two beers at once into giant red cups with precise speed and efficiency. The rims are already coated with a tangy chili-salt mix and stacked as high as the ladies can reach. By the looks of it, they’re expecting high sales.



As the large house lights begin to dim, the audience settles into their seats with excited anticipation. A spotlight lands on the center of the elevated performance platform while dramatic music bursts from the speakers. Out of nowhere, heavily made-up and scantily clad women come bouncing down the aisle. Springing from their toes like popcorn, the exaggerated, repetitive choreography is interrupted by the appearance of the first fighter. He lurks in the shadows before slowly parting the perky cheerleaders. Calmly, and with his chest puffed out, he makes his way to the stage. In a swift and sharp single movement, he enters the ring, climbs to the top rope and pumps his fist in the air. The crowd ignites. Flashing strobes and sweeping laser lights illuminate droplets of saliva flying like fireworks from the hungry fighter’s seething mouth. As he shouts with rage, his finger points, waving in staccato, matching his words like a conductor before his orchestra. The audience cheers and chants in perfect time. His (un)trustworthy entourage stands proudly behind, cheering him on while secretly calculating his moment of weakness and their chance to take him down and conquer.



One by one, agitated fighters climb inside the ring. Two becomes three then suddenly six or more pile in. Alliances are quickly made clear. With planned precision, they flip, fly and lunge through a series of dances with their opponents. They exude confidence and skill, they are on top when the dreaded occurs. Without warning, the alfa is now deemed too strong by the rest and has been turned against. The others attack like vultures ripping at the poor loser’s mask, revealing the flesh of his devastated face. The ultimate humiliation has occurred and it’s game over for one sad, sorry luchador.



In this world of hardcore competition, the sum of a wrestler is made up of brightly colored, little undies and tight, glistening spandex. Masks and capes are made of glittery, shimmery sparkles. Plump bellies sucked and tucked into over-worked fabric spill over elastic bands like bags filled with jello. Taut leggings stretched to the limit encase beefy, human legs like sausage links. This is the wardrobe that represents the scary persona of a renowned fighter.

…Wait, really? That’s really what they’re wearing? Because nothing says, “look out, I’m a wild animal that will eat you alive,” quite like color coordinated socks and wristbands, but jokes aside, the costumes are pretty amazing. Nowhere else in the sports world is this kind of attire accepted and embraced with such enthusiasm. No other sports uniform would dare pull off such brazen expression and expect to be taken seriously. And even though it’s pretty common knowledge and rather physically obvious that the acrobatics-filled fights are staged and knockouts are fake, true fans of lucha libra take it very, very seriously!



This wild and wacky sport dates back to the early 1900’s during the French intervention of Mexico. Its continued growth and mass following makes it the second most popular sport after football (soccer) in Mexico. So whether or not wrestling is a thing you’re into, experiencing a night of Lucha libre debauchery is a must when in Mexico. A hundred plus years of entertainment can’t be wrong. Just some plain old good fun!


 

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