Uno, dos, tres, FIGHT!
Colorful masks, tight spandex, and wrestling rings- you know what we’re talking about… woah, no not that! Luchadores! We’ve all seen these strong, masked wrestlers who use fancy maneuvers to beat their opponent in the ring, but what exactly is the story behind the luchadores? Although it may surprise you, it has absolutely nothing to do with Jack Black.
Lucha libre began in Mexico in the early 1900’s during the Revolution against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. However, some note the trend to starting even earlier. The people needed a distraction, something to take their mind off the negatives of war – so they created their own fights! With lucha libre literally translating to “free fight,” it’s no surprise that it quickly gained popularity among the people and a tradition was born.
In 1933, the father of this new movement, Salvador Lutteroth González, set up the Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre which is now known as the World Wrestling Council. As the leader of the lucha libre movement he began organizing and promoting fights all over Mexico. Starting in the 40s the “Golden Age” of lucha libre began Most likely spurred on by El Santo, one of the most famous Mexican wrestlers to date. When he passed in 1984, he was buried with his famous silver mask.
These masks are no joke! Mexican wrestling is often a family tradition and masks and titles are passed down from generation to generation. Most luchadores kept their identities a secret and being unmasked was even worse than losing.
With time, lucha libre has developed into a unique form of wrestling often characterized by flamboyant masks and “high-flying maneuvers.” The rules of lucha libre remain the same however and they are simple: beat your opponent and bring glory to your name! According to Culture Trip, actual monetary reward in still quite sparse in the sport with only the very top wrestlers taking home sums of $25,000 per fight.
Since it’s introduction to the United States, lucha libre has become no small part of our culture appearing in movies (Anaconda squeeze!), shows, and advertisements. Naturally, it’s a big part of our culture at Tacos A Go Go.
Next time you’re in store be sure to check out all of our luchador and lucha libre memorabilia! There may even be a few masks for you to try on…