The pure excitement of Lucha Libre in Mexico City

So... It's been over a week since the blog launch and we've already hit 800+ reads! Thank you all so much for that! I hope you all enjoyed my previous write ups and if you haven't read them yet... what are you waiting for? But anyways, it's time for a new post from me and this time I'll be writing about the one of a kind Lucha Libre experience in Mexico City.

Lucha Libre is a kind of professional Mexican wrestling that got really popular thanks to its colourful masks and acrobatic manoeuvers. For a very long time my only knowledge about this sport came from a cartoon called ¡Mucha Lucha! that I used to watch as a kid on Cartoon Network. Little did I know at that time that one day I'll actually get to see it live.

When I was doing some research before embarking on my Mexican adventure, Lucha Libre was one of those things that was constantly being mentioned but wasn't really potrayed in the most appealing way. I'm not gonna lie - I actually didn't plan on going to see Lucha Libre at all. I was sure it wasn't going to be my kind of thing and, oh how wrong I was!

I've started my journey around the beautiful Mexico in its capital. One of the first people I've met there, literally on my first day, was an American-Korean girl who's a volunteer worker in Nicaragua. She was visiting her friends who live in Mexico City and, as we were getting on quite well, she invited me on a Lucha Libre night out with them. At first I wasn't quite sure If I wanted to join because of what I've mentioned before. But then I thought to myself that it would be a sin not to... I was in Mexico after all! And in all honesty, that was one of the best decisions I've made on that trip!

Luchadors on the ring at Mexico City Freedom Arena

It was a Friday night and I was told that the shows, despite being held every weekend, can get extremely packed if a popular luchador (wrestler) was scheduled to perform. We arrived at the Mexico City's Freedom Arena just in time for the show and it was indeed very busy, which was a promising sign! Once we presented the tickets we got taken to our seats, which was another thing I was told happens during the busier shows. Apparently, on the less busy ones you'll usually have to find the seats yourself (which makes sense if I'm honest).

As soon as we sat down the show started and I can't find the right words to explain how hyped the crowd was. I was really surprised to see all kinds of people in the audience, from us - foreigners, to families with kids to quite smart looking fellows. There were plenty of people with cardboard boxes full of snacks and beers for sale walking in between the aisles. And yes, if you want a full Lucha Libre experience, definitely get yourself a beer! Be careful though because asking for one means two bottles of Corona being super skilfully poured into one huge cup (a pretty good deal if you ask me!).

Pouring 2 beers at once? Yes please!

Ok, so here's the real thing - I still have very little idea what was going on and who was fighting who but that didn't affect the whole experience at all. If anything, it just made it even more otherworldly and surreal. Apparently there were two teams competing but I swear that at some point they were all just fighting each other. We named the ones in darker costumes 'The Rude Boys' as they were supposed to be the bad ones. But let's stop to talk about the costumes for a minute... Most of them are just colourful shiny underwear and pretty masks but the other ones are full on full body pieces that look like borrowed from a Marvel superhero's wardrobe. My favourite was 'The Bumblebee' who, judging by the crowd's reaction, was quite popular. Another very obviously popular luchador that performed that night was called Mistico. The crowd was going absolutely mental every time he was on stage. He didn't even have to do much, his presence was enough to make the people scream on top of their lungs.

          

During the more heated bits of the show the crowd would stand up but no one would do anything too rowdy. No crazy beer throwing or fights of any sort. I have to say that it was probably the most 'behaved' audience I have ever sat in and it was very refreshing to see people being genuinely excited, rather than unnecessarily angry. Some of the European football fans could learn a lot from them.

In between the introductions of new luchadors and during the little breaks a group of female dancers in skimpy clothes would suddenly emerge from nowhere to entertain the audience. I found those little dance breaks quite amusing and they reminded me a lot of the race car girls. But what was the most entertaining for me personally about this show was how acrobatically well trained some of the luchadors were. Some of the manoeuvres they were performing were really impressive and at times it was quite hard to believe that they are not really fighting. I also loved how the luchadors would interact with the audience and how our reaction was actually kind of shaping the direction of the show.

Luchador in the spotlight waiting for his applause

On top of being absolutely amazing, the atmosphere in the arena was also very infectious. I found myself enjoying this whole experience way more than I'd expect myself to and next time I visit Mexico I'll definitely go again. So if any of you ever finds themselves in this stunning country - do yourself a favour and try to fit Lucha Libre in your itenaries. It will give you a perfect taste of Mexican festive atmosphere and it's generally a very entertaining one of a kind experience.

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