Okay, okay, I realize that I have taken a short break from my promised regular blog updates… My apologies to all my faithful readers (both of you??), and I will try to get things back in gear!! I figured what better way to do that, than via a post about LUCHA LIBRE!!! For those of you not familiar, Lucha Libre is basically the Mexican version of pro wrestling, only perhaps a bit more acrobatic. AND, the majority of the wrestlers (luchadores) wear masks (mascaras) that cover their entire head.
Attending a fight was definitely on my “Mexico City To-Do List”, but to be honest, I hadn’t made it a top priority. Luckily, one of our friends in our apartment building, Mark, is a die-hard fan (and by “die-hard”, I mean, “knew several luchador names & could identify their mascaras“). Last night Mark convinced us that instead of sitting at home without functioning TV or internet & hating Cablevision (our TV/internet provider) with the hatred of a thousand burning flames, a better idea would be to attend a Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre event. Which, for those of you not in the know, is only the world’s oldest existing pro wrestling organization. Durr.
In the spirit of Lucha Libre, we hopped in a libre taxi (our resolve partially strengthened by Mark being a native Spanish speaker & hence hopefully reducing our chances of being tagged as moron gringos waiting to be mugged/express kidnapped) and headed down to the Arena Mexico.
Tickets were a mere $10 each for 8th row seats near the ring on a Tuesday (we’d been told close seats are KEY for this). We were dealt a momentary blow when the security folks at the entrance confiscated both Mark & John’s cameras, leaving us unable to photograph the wild times inside. (Note to self: either bring a cell phone with a camera [ok] or hide camera in crotch area or bra; security people did not seem very interested in doing a thorough search.) However, we quickly recovered, found our seats, and were quickly overwhelmed by vendors offering anything from $2.50 cups of beer (apparently beer is a rip at Mexican sporting events too), to popcorn with hot sauce packets, to big bags of chips doused with hot sauce, to what seemed to be fruit cups ala Del Monte, to a variety of foods I couldn’t identify. We stuck with beer & popcorn.
The matches themselves were great/hilarious. Very acrobatic with lots of aerial moves. Brilliant masks and outfits. Even jumps off of the ropes onto the ground outside the ring. A few of the animal-themed highlights were el Tigre Blanco (the White Tiger) with tiger stripes on all his clothes & fur on his mask, and the Blue Panther, whose blue-paw-print speckled tights were vaguely reminiscent of my junior high school mascot (go Barr Bulldogs!!), except for the fact that he seemed to be wearing an adult diaper over them. The other two I found most amusing were Alex Koslov (“The Russian”), who elicited swoons from all the ladies in the crowd because he was the first fighter who looked ripped (i.e. no backfat/beer belly), and Maximo, the “gay luchador”, who came out wearing some sort of one-shouldered leotard number with a fringey skirt. Maximo shrieked whenever he was hit & added the constant threat of kissing/inappropriately touching his opponents. He had the entire crowd chanting “beso, beso” (kiss, kiss). Check out an entertaining video of his antics courtesy blog Blabbeando here or a photo here.
In summary, a Lucha Libre match is definitely worth a visit; the venue felt surprisingly safe, with attendees ranging in age from kids through grandmas, who happened to have some of the funniest/most vulgar chants from the stands. Finally got our cameras back outside the venue, so we stocked up on merchandise & took some key photos of Mark & John looking tough. And as penance for not updating my blog for two weeks, I am even posting one of me in our newly purchased mascara. The things I do for you people.