Of all the things I’d wanted to do in Mexico, there was one thing I never expected to see: Las Luchas! Mexican wrestling from its finest. I didn’t even know it existed until my friend told me about it. On one of those few overcast days we were experiencing, she shook her head and said: “You know that the Luchas are only on Tuesdays, right? I think we should try to go see a match before you leave!”
Luchas, really? The day before her cousin had made fun of us for being among one of the few females who will have macho comments thrown at them when they stand up and want to walk to the toilet. “Yes, it can be brutal,” he exclaimed, “but moreover you will have a great time!” Not without smirking and leaving the rest up to our imaginations.
So on the Martes de Luchas (Luchas Tuesday) we were on our way to Guadalajara, already stuck in a traffic jam. We were supposed to get to a bar right no time, and from there a bus was scheduled to take us to the Arena Coliseo. After arriving a bit late, we were able to relax because thanks to a rain downpour (one of those sudden storms that happen in a subtropical climate) we ended up being on time when catching the bus. Santos Diablitos offers Martes de Luchas every week. We paid the bar 150 pesos in total ($11), which is a true bargain considering the price included the transportation to the match, the match itself, and then a free drink at the end of the night.
Our bus was jam packed with mostly Mexican adventurous chicas and chicos and even three German guys (who seemed completely out of place). A DJ was mixing some music and everyone was in an excellent mood, dancing while we were taking with every curve possible. We were able to get a few shots of Tequila for the expensive price of almost ten bucks before the bus arrived at our destination. There, one of our friends bought a Luchas mask (in pink, since she is a girl) and we took turns posing in that mask for some badass pictures.
Then the most absurd game I’ve ever seen started: The Luchas! I don’t know too much about wrestling, frankly. But the Luchas were one of a kind.
We saw 4 different matches, and it started off with 2 teams which must have counted towards the lightweight class. Luchadores come in groups of 2 – 4 I believe, and in this round there were teams of 2 luchadores each. The wrestlers came up, were introduced and started beating each other up almost immediately. One of them performed some great aerial moves, which involved climbing up on top of the ring and jumping onto his opponent’s back. Once one luchador went down, he left the ring and his team member took over. The bizarre part was that the good team always seemed to lose in the beginning. Then they were beat up and made fun of by the bad team. Oh yes, there are players who are considered good and then players who are considered bad. The audience was given enough opportunity to loudly booh the losers. But pretty much out of nowhere the losing team made a thrilling comeback and beat the bad ones – at the end of the match.
The third team involved women luchadores, about 3 girls on each team. One team had a particularly chubby woman and she was mocked by the winning team until somehow she managed to pull out and get her confidence back. So basically the two fighters are wrestling, as soon as someone slips out of the ring, another team member takes over. If someone is losing, the entire team gets to that person, and you can see up to three people beating the one “loser”.
The last match involved a few older guys. I would say one was around 60 and their opponents must have been 40 years and up. This one remained inconclusive, as the bad guys ended up winning (which only happened once over the course of the evening). The good guys were pissed and followed the bad guys out, not sure if further fighting went on behind the scenes.
A few times during the match, the luchadores were hauled out of the ring and right into the audience. I feel sorry for the couple they always landed on but I guess if you sit in the front row you have to expect these things to happen. I cannot tell you how much of the Luchas was good acting and how much was actual wrestling. To me it seemed like an absurd showcase of guys (and girls) who were trying to give the audience the best show possible.
The Luchas masks and the different colors of it are an important component of the game. The losers had to take theirs off; this was seen as humiliation and verification of their loss.
Of course hot chicas were an important part, too. They were the ones holding up signs with the wrestlers names once a match was announced. The cameraman made sure to include many takes of scarcely dressed s
tripper-like show girls. But the highlight was certainly a lost-looking Chinese Mexican guy who kept flicking the players off. He was simply standing next to the ring, beneath the showgirls, and showing some agitated behavior. At some point the entire audience was making fun of him. Maybe he was on drugs, perhaps he was only drunk. Either way, a sight not to be forgotten.
Yes, the Luchas were a lot of fun. And even though another girl and I had to use the restroom at some point, we managed to sneak past almost every guy without him yelling a few obscenities at us.
Then, the bus ride back: A full 1 ½ hours of dancing and listening to music while everyone started wondering why it took us so long for a 20 minute ride. Turns out that the bus was simply riding in circles through the entire city because that was part of their program: Providing a party for us. How nice! After 20 minutes most of us were exhausted and a bit tired of the constant beats ringing in our ears. I managed to sit for most of the time but my friends were shaken through every time we turned a corner. Not too stable, those buses.
We redeemed our one free drink at the bar afterwards and made sure to get the heck out of there. Las Luchas – an experience of a kind!