Gringo Nacho Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre 2 - from cell phone

Last weekend I scratched off one item from my Mexico City “bucket list.” I was somewhat curious about lucha libre wrestling. If you don’t know, it is a stylized version of “WWE” wrestling and is popular in Mexico, Japan, and predominantly-Hispanic regions of the U.S. In lucha libre, wrestlers commonly wear masks. Years ago, the masks were simple, one-or-two-color affairs worn basically to help spectators identify who was who. “Blue Demon” wore a light blue mask and faced off against “El Santo” (“The Saint”), who wore a white mask. Culturally, the masks caught on, and today are worn not just by the wrestlers but by their fans as well. Many masks remain simple in design, yet others are more ornate, and can resemble serpents, gods, or other mythical warrior figures, often borrowed from Aztec culture.

Research revealed that matches take place every Friday night at the Arena México, and I figured it could be a fun Friday event if I could gather a few friends. My buddy Mario – a life-long Chilango who, like me, had never been to a match – was up for it, and we were joined by my friend Sofía as well as by three of her friends. We consulted an arena map before buying, and the prices seemed reasonable for all but the most expensive of tiers. We chose a section slightly right-of-center, and on match night, I couldn’t believe how close the seats really were. A bargain!

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