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Mask-Wearing and Lycra-Clad Luchadores Will Give You the Time of Your Life in Mexico City

Mexico City Culture
by Matador Creators Aug 31, 2023

When it comes to sport, just about every country in the world has its idiosyncrasy. India’s got Kabaddi, Australia has footy, Ireland’s got hurling, and Mexico has lucha libre, a form of wrestling that’s deeply ingrained in popular culture and a lot of fun to watch. And it’s not hard to catch a fight if you know where to look: Mexico City.

What is lucha libre?

A display of colorful lucha libre masks

Photo: username/Shutterstock

Lucha libre is a form of professional wrestling originating from Mexico. It’s characterized by its high-flying maneuvers, acrobatic moves, and its distinctive, colorful masks (and tight Lycra pants) worn by the wrestlers, known as luchadores.

Lucha libre is not merely a sport; it is a cultural phenomenon that encompasses performance, spectacle, and a sense of national identity. While Lucha Libre bears resemblance to WWE fighting, it is unique in its blend of athleticism and theatricality.

Lucha libre’s impact extends beyond Mexico. Its popularity has exploded in the United States, partly due to the TV show “Mucha Lucha”, an animated television series for children.

What does lucha libre mean?

Lucha libre is a Spanish term that translates to “freestyle wrestling” in English. It’s used to describe a form of professional wrestling that originated in Mexico, characterized by colorful masks, and fast and acrobatic moves.

Is lucha libre staged?

Lucha libre fights are indeed staged. Much like with WWE, the aim is to provide an entertaining performance for the audience rather than to conduct a genuine competitive wrestling match. However, this doesn’t detract from the athleticism and skills of the athletes involved. Although the storylines and outcomes are pre-determined, the physical feats executed by the wrestlers are real.

That being said, not all matches are strictly scripted. Some luchadores have a degree of freedom in their performances. So, while the overarching narrative may be planned, the specific actions and interactions between wrestlers can vary.

Where to watch lucha libre in Mexico city?

There are two extremely famous venues in Mexico City where you can watch lucha libre fights:

  • Arena México: Opened since 1956, it is the most celebrated lucha libre venue — it is even nicknamed the “Cathedral of Lucha Libre.” The arena can hold 13,700 spectators. There are fights every Tuesday at 7:30 PM, Friday at 8:30 PM, Sunday at 5 PM. Arena Mexico is located in the Colonia Doctores neighborhood.
  • Arena Coliseo: Opened since 1943, it is the city’s original venue for lucha libre fights. It can seat 6,863 guests. There are fights every Saturday at 7:30 PM. Arena Coliseo is located in the city’s Historic District

How to buy lucha libre tickets Mexico city?

If you want to catch a lucha libre fight in Mexico City, more specifically at Arena Mexico or Arena Coliseo, you can purchase your ticket at the ticket office at the entrance of the arena. You can also buy your ticket via Ticketmaster but you’ll pay significant service charges and the whole process is a bit of a hassle. Do not buy tickets from scalpers outside the venue.

Do they serve beer at lucha libre fights in Mexico City?

There are food and drinks vendors going through the venue during the fights. You can purchase beer, candy floss, donuts, popcorn, hot dogs, hamburgers, tostilocos, and more.

What are some of the big names in lucha libre?

Some of the most famous luchadores of all times are:

  • El Santo (Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta): Perhaps the most iconic figure in the world of lucha ibre, El Santo’s career spanned nearly five decades from 1942 to 1982. He was famous for wearing a silver-color mask and appeared in movies and comic books. His son also became a luchador, whose lucha libre name is El Hijo del Santo, of course. Like his father, he wears his silver mask in the ring. (El Santo was buried with his mask.)
  • Blue Demon (Alejandro Muñoz Moreno): Blue Demon is another legendary figure in lucha libre and a contemporary of El Santo. He is known for his rivalry with El Santo. Blue Demon’s real name and face were hidden to the public until his death. He was buried with his mask
  • Mil Mascaras (Aaron Rodríguez): Mil Mascaras, which translates to “A Thousand Masks,” is known for his aerial moves and his wide array of colorful masks.

Where to stay in Mexico City

If you’re looking for a rental, check out Matador’s selection of beautiful Airbnbs in Mexico City’s trendiest neighborhoods.

We hope you love the hotels we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Hotels near Arena México

Hotels near Arena Coliseo

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