top of page

Sombras de la Lucha Libre

Huracán Ramírez

My first memory of Lucha Libre was on a summer vacation in Ajijic when I was una pequeñita morra ( little kid), tagging along with my hermano to go to el cine with los primos. Mami would take us to the motherland every year as soon as school let out for the semester.

El cine was a tiny black room with upright seats and a sticky floor tucked into a corner of la plaza, the heart of el pueblo. The only films I recall seeing there were Kung Fu movies and glorious Lucha Libre in ColoRama. I remember El Santo in his silver hot shorts and glistening bare chest, or, when he was off ring, in a casual beige turtleneck and matching beige poly slacks, but Never, Ever, without his signature mascara plateada.

The National Day of Lucha Libre is September 21st. The date was chosen to honor what was largely regarded as the first Lucha Libre show held in CDMX 90 years ago today. In 2016, the Mexican Senate voted to make September 21st the National Day of Lucha Libre.

Místico, La Sombra, and Volador Jr., photograph by Diego Gallegos

Lucha Libre is the second most popular sport in Mexico after futbol.

Lucha Libre is a fast-moving, colorful style of wrestling that originated in Mexico. The sport became famous in the 1950s thanks to the rise of professional wrestling legends like El Santo, Blue Demon, and El Rayo de Jalisco. These wrestlers became celebrities and broke into the national film industry.

Inspired by Greco-Roman style battle, the wrestlers engage in hand-to-hand combat without using weapons or protection. Each match has a storyline and a predetermined winner. A typical storyline is the “técnicos” versus the “rudos”, or the good guys versus the bad guys.

Lucha Libre is a uniquely Mexican style of wrestling that is full of cultural symbolism and is a metaphor for life.

The masks that the wrestlers wear are designed to incorporate their family traditions, beliefs, and fears turning each character into a mystical superhero. The masks draw from Mexican history where Mayans and Aztecs warriors would paint their faces to symbolize the warrior. The jaw-dropping costumes and athleticism of lucha libre allow each wrestler's inner warrior to emerge inside the ring.

Through the 70’s and 80’s Lucha Libre started becoming more inclusive, empowering magnificent women luchadoras, powerful “minis” and LGBTQ “exoticos” that bring a glamorous vibe to the ring. Lucha Libre battles have even merged with pinup culture to create burlesque events like Lucha VaVOOM, now with a residency in Las Vegas.

Lucha inspired entertainment is in constant supply, recently giving us a telenovela style series, “Contra las Cuerdas” (Against the Ropes) and “Cassandro” dropping just in time for Hispanic Heritage month.

Supporters in Mexico are currently working to provide luchadores with state funded medical care and retirement services. Lucha Libre was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mexico City on July 21, 2018.

“It is an activity that takes place on the border between fantasy and reality, it is a rough and crude craft, an art of fine execution; Lucha Libre is color, imagination, myth; “It is a practice that has survived the passage of time and the advent of modernity, and that in this evolution constitutes a legacy of popular culture in Mexico City”.

Our "Los Luchadores" sweater is a loving tribute to our mystical superheroes, emerging from vibrant tropical foliage.

4 views0 comments


bottom of page