Lights, action! Mexican wrestling, a mask theatre that transcends borders

Do you know which Latin American countries have adopted this traditional sports show? Find out here

Lights, action! Mexican wrestling, a mask theatre that transcends borders

"¡Lucharán de dos a tres caídas, sin límite de tiempo!" ("They will fight two to three falls, with no time limit!") With these words, one of the most emblematic shows of Mexican pop culture begins: lucha libre. As old and as important as boxing, wrestling has become a traditional sport among Mexicans. Its main home, Arena Mexico, is as mythical as the Estadio Azteca.

Leer en español: ¡Luces, acción! Lucha libre, un teatro de máscaras que trasciende fronteras

The fight is part of the popular life in the neighborhoods of Mexico City, the wrestlers have become authentic heroes under the historical leadership of Blue Demon and El Santo, as important for the Mexican culture as Batman and Superman are for the Americans.

In addition to the sporting part that characterizes it, there is a culture around it: the colorful masks, the theatricality, the characters and the interaction with the public. Because of its enormous value, the capital of the Aztec country named Mexican wrestling as Intangible Cultural Heritage, according to the magazine Proceso. With that strength it has become an export product.

In this regard, La Parka, an emblematic fighter, commented to Proceso: "Today we can proudly shout that we are part of Mexican culture, and we do this with love, some of us go abroad and there they recognize us the art of fighting, I feel very happy, to say that wrestling is culture are no longer words but a fact. "

Here we present other Latin American countries that have adopted and modified this traditional sports show.


In this Andean country a spectacular fight takes place, but those who carry it out do not wear masks or costumes, they are indigenous women from El Alto, in the state of La Paz. The fight of Cholitas, as it is known, tries to vindicate the role of the indigenous woman in the society, changing the discriminatory character of the term chola, to turn it into a symbol of respect.

It has a clear influence of the Mexican struggle, in the performance as a show with a solid sports base that requires training. Bolivian entrepreneurs have created the Cholitas Wrestling brand to promote tourism in the area, in addition to giving profits to the wrestlers, according to the Mexican newspaper Diario Rotativo.


Wrestling schools have been established in Peru, among which the Leader Wrestling Association (LWA) stands out, dedicated to promoting shows and at the same time being a training center, according to the official website of the Peruvian company. Also, Perú21 reports that the company has brought to this nation international stars and narrators that give prestige to the country.

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The Colombians are no strangers to wrestling. The legend The Colombian Tiger made history inside and outside his country, his preparation in box, Greco-Roman wrestling and other disciplines gave him a unique style. He himself told El Espectador that during his stay in Mexico, businessmen considered him the best foreigner who had come to Mexican wrestling in his time and who did not get used to wearing a mask, which did not prevent him from succeeding.

This year, in addition to the festival "Más allá del Parnaso" ("Beyond the Parnassus") that was held in June, there will be a performance at the Movistar Arena in Bogotá with characters from the Triple AAA that will take place on November 16, according to Un Minuto Radio.


Although it was banned for years, wrestling went ahead in Venezuela. The reason for its prohibition was exaggerated, the government considered that children and young people imitated the fighters putting themselves at risk, says plastic artist Carlos Zerpa in an interview with El Universal de Venezuela.

However, this was not an impediment to the birth of the legend of the Dragón Chino (Chinese Dragon), a fighter from the side of the rudos that the artist puts at the same level as El Santo for Mexicans. The Dragón Chino gave the Venezuelan struggle its own identity that has transcended in time. When thinking about the struggle, Zerpa thinks about all Latin American figures alike, regardless of their nationality.

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

Translated from "¡Luces, acción! Lucha libre, un teatro de máscaras que trasciende fronteras

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