[adinserter block=”2″]In America, the professional wrestling craze has died down a bit since its popularity in the late 90’s. I recall busting my professional wrestling cherry in 1997 and being a diehard fan of it ever since. I was drawn to the drama, the pageantry, the athleticism, and most of all the stories being told in the ring every Monday and Thursday night. As I got older and wrestling promotions popular with fans went the way of the dodo, less and less people showed interest in wrestling and put it on the shelf as if it was an old toy.
In Mexico the fans have never left the side of professional wrestling as it is a staple of the Mexican people. Every week fans from all over the country travel far and wide to witness masked grapples battle it out in the fight between good and evil. Good being the Technicos and Evil being the Rudos. Carlos Avila’s film Tales of Masked Men: A Journey through Lucha Libre educates the viewer on the history of Lucha Libre in Mexico and profiles three of its stars.
The first being the legendary El Santo, who is one of the godfathers of Lucha Libre, The vertically challenged superstars known as the mini’s, and Lucha Libre veteran Solar who still travels the world to ply his craft and prove that he is one of the best.
The film is as visually pleasing to the eyes as it is just as vibrant as the wrestlers themselves. This documentary catches the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of the Lucha Libre scene, while giving a history lesson to those interested in the culture of “Free Fight.” (The English translation of Lucha Libre) This documentary proves that professional wrestling is an art form and that its spectators are a culture within itself. No matter the differences in the fans attending the event, these fans from all types of social classes and backgrounds can come together and enjoy this body slamming spectacle.
Lucha Libre’s early beginnings are explained in further detail by Avila and interviews many different sociological experts and historians. The rise of Lucha Libre was due in part to the revolution in Mexico during the 1930s and a search for a form of entertainment to get minds off the negative. As a spectator for Lucha Libre you are able to live through these larger than life characters and go on their epic journey to victory with them. From then on, it grew and the phenomenon took Mexico by storm, creating a tradition that has more eyes on it then Soccer.
[adinserter block=”2″]There is no off season in Lucha Libre and there are many different promotions in Mexico to watch these wrestlers perform. These men train for hours every day just so their timing is right and their characters are developed enough to entertain the masses. Many current famous professional wrestlers have come through Mexico and stay true to their Lucha Libre roots by wearing the mask and by stunning audiences with death defying moves. Current mainstream wrestlers like Rey Misterio, Sin Cara Chavo Guerrero, and Alberto Del Rio carry the Lucha Libre Tradition on their back when they wrestle in front of millions of American fans. They use their training as luchadores to do things that are not seen on a common scale in American wrestling.
If you are a fan of professional wrestling, Mexican history, or just want to immerse yourself in the Lucha Libre culture, this documentary is for you. This historical account of the Lucha Libre experience is an interesting journey.
[amazon_link id=”B009B0L5L8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Tales of Masked Men: A Journey Through Lucha Libre[/amazon_link]
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