I'll admit it...I used to get a kick out of watching American wrestling when I was 18 or so. I thought it was fun. That was until the WCW came to town during freshman year of college. We all know it's fake. But seeing it in person? Woof. It was so ridiculous that I decided then and there to stop rotting my brain with such nonsense.
That was, of course, many years ago, and while I have kept my promise of no longer watching American wrestling, a sick curiosity has pervaded my consciousness since the day we arrived in Mexico. I have been dying to see Lucha Libre. And last Tuesday, I finally did.
Lucha Libre (translation: free fighting/wrestling) is a form of professional wrestling in Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries that utilizes various mock combat theatrics to entertain the audience while simulating an authentic wrestling match.
Basically, it's like the WWF, WCW and ECW in the US...but with colorful masks and even more grandiose costumes. Oh, and the occasional curse word thrown from one audience member to another, for good measure. Poor TJ made the mistake of wearing a pink sweater to the event, and was branded "puta en la rosa" for the duration. Audience members siting ringside will sporadically turn to face those sitting in the cheap seats and berate them with chants of "Pobres, Pobres," followed by a colorful suggestion of what they can do with their mothers.
The great thing about Luchadores is that they don't weigh the action down with nonsensical telenovela-style drama like the wrestlers in the US. They hop in the ring, get introduced, and then lay the smack down. Nobody cares who holds the title belt, who has formed an alliance with who, or whether or not the mysterious disguised stranger is actually a well-known wrestler out for a comeback or revenge or whatever.
Or maybe they do. I'm still working on my Spanish comprehension.
What I do know is that there isn't a lot of talking and bellyaching. When you go see a fight, you definitely see a fight, choreographed though it may be. But you know what? The outfits, the environment, the fans...it's all so charmingly absurd that it doesn't matter if it's real or not.
Perhaps there are a few wrestling organizations in the US that could take a page from this book.
For those of you in the USA interested in Lucha Libre, I suggest checking out this site for local listings, merchandise, and tour information.
As for me...I'll definitely be going again soon. This, I can rot my brain with.