On our shows we transform venues into Mexican Arenas, transporting audiences to a time when legendary stars such as El Santo, Mil Mascaras, Cavernario Galindo, Black Shadow and Gory Guerrero starred in epic live confrontations of Good vs. Evil.
SO, WHAT IS LUCHA LIBRE?
Lucha Libre, which translates as “free fighting”, is a Mexican style of wrestling where fighters enter the ring in flamboyant capes and outlandish suits, wear mythical and colourful masks, perform acrobatic moves and fly from spectacular heights. These are not regular wrestlers, these are the iconic legends and superheroes of Mexico and they are coming to London to perform in “The Greatest Spectacle of Lucha Libre”.
MEXICO'S GREATEST LUCHADOR
The silver-masked phenomenon of El Santo, “The Saint”, heralded in Mexico and beyond as a contemporary folk hero, helped to promote and popularise Lucha Libre to a mass audience, in the ring and through comic books and films, in a career lasting nearly fifty years. This year we welcome back to London his son, El Hijo del Santo, “The Son of the Saint”, who carries his legacy and is now himself regarded as Mexico’s most famous luchador.
Luchadores are traditionally represented by two categories. Rudos, the bad guys or “heels”, who do all to win by using underhanded tactics or by breaking the rules, and técnicos, the good guys or “faces”, literally “technicians”, who play by the rule book, use more complex and spectacular moves.
Popular luchadores are always heroes admired by the fans. They may represent Aztec warriors, Christian saints or comic book superheroes. Most luchadores take their lucha libre identity outside the ring, keeping the mask on when out in public. Some families pass their ring identities on to successive generations, with a son taking over the same name and mask as his father.
Masks have been used since the dawn of lucha libre in the early part of the 20th century, and have a historical significance to Mexico in general, dating back to the days of the Aztecs. Early masks were very simple with basic colours to distinguish the wrestler. In modern lucha libre, masks are colourfully designed to evoke the images of animals, gods, ancient heroes, and other archetypes, whose identity the luchador takes on during a performance. The mask is considered “sacred” to a degree; so much so that fully removing an opponent’s mask during a match is ground for disqualification.
During their careers, masked luchadores will often be seen in public wearing their masks and keeping up the culture of Lucha Libre, they will still go to great lengths to conceal their true identities; in effect, the mask is synonymous with the luchador.
The rules are very similar to American pro wrestling. In single matches (mano a mano), there are four basic ways to win: pinning the opponent to the mat for a count of three, knocking him out of the ring for a count of 20, making him submit (which he signals by either waving his hands or telling the referee, or by disqualification. Performing an illegal move and removing an opponent’s mask are just two ways to get disqualified. There’s also an “excessive violence” (exceso de rudezas) rule, in which the referee can stop the fight and award the win to a luchador if he’s clearly giving his opponent a beating.
In two on two tag team matches, or parejas, both team members must be eliminated to win. Actual “tags” aren’t necessary in any of the tag team matches; when a luchador falls outside of the ring, his partner can immediately enter the ring. Because of this, lucha libre tag team matches often go much faster than American pro wrestling ones.
In the three on three-tag team match, also called trios matches or Relevos Australianos, each team appoints a captain. To win, two out of the three luchadores must be pinned, or the other team must score a pin-fall against the captain. This is the main type of lucha libre match, and there are usually two referees (often one tecnico and one rudo) to call the action. There are also four on four atomicos matches and five on five matches (like the WWF “Survivor Series”). In the latter, the goal is to pin the team captain.
DO Shout out loud
DO choose a side 'RUDO or TECNICO'
DO learn some basic rules
DO bring friends for extra action
DO ask Mexicans for some great words to use
DO enjoy the experience, food, drinks and have FUN.
DON'T stay quiet, make some noise
DON'T arrive late, you don't want to miss the action
DON'T annoy the people seating near you
DON'T drink too much! Drink sensibly.
DON'T disrespect the Luchadores
DON'T try any of their moves at home or with friends and family