When random things happen while traveling, you should generally jump at the chance. You will get stories that are so absurd, you’ll be impressing friends at cocktail parties for years to come. The biggest surprise I’ve had this week was going to my first Mexican wrestling match at Arena Mexico, total cost ~$6.
Mexican Wrestling Is Way More Bizarre than WWE
Imagine thousands of people packed around an arena for wrestling. Of course, in America this crowd tends to be pretty rowdy and drunk when giant men in tight outfits throw each other around the ring. The Mexican people though are way louder than I’ve ever heard an American wrestling match to be. The matchups are way stranger. There was a giant Afro-Mexican with a huge hairdo that totally dominated everyone, until his hair was his undoing. The characters also included cross dressing man who ended up kicking everyone else’s butts, little Mexican guys that took down a 6 ft 7, 300 pound giant, and little people who would come in and beat up the big wrestlers.
At first I was kind of repulsed that they would have people with a height disability participate in a spectacle like this. However, I realized that in Mexico there aren’t any of the welfare programs that can provide support to such persons. Their only opportunity for supporting themselves and their families is to be in some entertainment show like this. It was a unique cultural reminder that in poor countries people will do whatever they must to survive.
Besides some of the more objectionable stuff that happened, the Lucha Libre match was really comical. Apparently the greatest humiliation a fighter can suffer is to have his mask removed. This generally happened at the end of the fight, when the crowd was almost Roman like in its quest for demasculinization of the poor wrestler who was about to have his identity revealed.
Lucha Libre is Fake like American Wrestling, Just Way More Hilarious
You should have seen this one match where they pretended one of the wrestlers had been hurt. At first I was concerned, until I realized that the doctor on stage was not a real doctor as he wasn’t even checking on the wrestler. Also, during the exam of the guy laying on the floor, his teammate came back for revenge and they were fighting right next to the “medical” team. I half expected the “doctor” to get involved and smack someone down. It’s amusing there’s a guy whose sole job it is to look concerned and pretend he has a medical degree.
For the finale, there were a bunch of wrestlers doing incredible moves. We saw flips, slams, and everything you could ever hope for in a wrestling match. The weird part is at the end, the “white knight” wrestler who had been defeated stood up and gave a rousing speech, which got the crowd on their feet. I was expecting some kind of grand finale where the lone ranger took on all the bad guys and everyone cheered. Instead, he just gave this great speech, the lights turned on, and everyone left. Here’s the video of his speech below.
Thank You Irish Guys for Getting Us to Expand Our Horizons
You never know what will happen on the road off the beaten path. All I know is that you should always keep your ear to the ground for cool happenings. You’ll meet awesome people and will share cross cultural experiences. The Irish guys that invited us are now our traveling partners as we move through Mexico towards the Yucatan. Hopefully, the craziness and hilariousness of this event has convinced you that when two Irish guys invite you to a Mexican wrestling match, say yes.