Lucha Libre comes to London

It’s a regular Tuesday night at the Lucha Libre in downtown Mexico City’s Arena Coliseo

It’s a regular Tuesday night at the Lucha Libre in downtown Mexico City’s Arena Coliseo

For those of my readers in London, this is for you.

If you’ve enjoyed the coverage you’ve seen here on the Lucha Libre over the last year, now’s your chance to see the real thing in the flesh because the Lucha Libre is coming to London this weekend, and this weekend only!

Lucha Libre London presents sixteen of the best of the best of Mexico’s luchadores including El Hijo del Santo (the greatest living luchador and son of the all time great El Santo), Blue Demon Jnr (the man in the blue mask), Ramses (fighting star of Jack Black’s Nacho Libre) in a full-on struggle for the soul of Mexico.

It might be too late to buy tickets, but if you can get hold of them I can’t recommend the gig enough and would be curious to here from anyone who goes how the fights go down with the audience.

Check out the details here on the Roundhouse web site.

For all things Lucha Libre on, click here and see my Lucha Libre photo gallery here on Flickr.

Knifepoint on Valentine’s Day

La Marquesa is a sprawling national park and forest out in the mountains between Mexico City and Toluca, and seemed like the perfect place for me and my man to get some time alone today, the day for lovers. As it turns out, it wasn’t such nice place to be alone.
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Arena de Mexico Mascara-Seller makes nearly $1000 dollars on a good night

Mascaras for Sales, Arena de MexicoJosé Carmelo is 33 years old and has been working outside the Arena de Mexico selling mascaras for 20 years. He got into this line of work thought his brothers, who used to have another shop outside another lucha venue – el Toreo de Cuatro Caminos. Click on the picture for more photos.

Ringo Mendoza Portrait

Lucha Libre fighter and Maestro Ringo Mendoza

This is Ringo Mendoza, the Lucha Libre fighter and Maestro interviewed by some weeks ago. The photo is courtesy of Luz Montero.

See here for the interview.

Lucha Libre Highlights from Arena Coliseo

First it was Leono (the Lion), Metalico and Tigre Blanco (the White Tiger) up against Loco Max (Crazy Max), ArkAngel and Doctor X. Then Blue Panther, Heavy Metal and El Sagrado (the Scared) had it out with Hijo de Lizmark (son of Lizmark), Averno and Mephisto. All insults form the crowd involved a combination of the fighters’ mothers and female prostitutes and the array of ostentatious Lycra outfits was jaw-dropping.It’s a regular Tuesday night at the Lucha Libre in downtown Mexico City’s Arena Coliseo, where for the price of an expensive pint of beer in London you can watch the country’s favourite Lucha Trios fight it out, Mexico-style.

As I prepare my equipment next to me, a man straps the mask of Metalico, his favourite fighter, to the head of his two year old daughter. He then jumps up out of his seat and holds her aloft towards the fighters preparing to do battle in the ring. She, in turn, extends her middle finger on his command and raises her arm. Priceless.

Lucha Libre Glamour

It’s a regular Tuesday night at the Lucha Libre in downtown Mexico City’s Arena Coliseo

Conversation with a Lucha Libre fighter

Whilst lurking around the parking lot of Arena Mexico waiting for the press pass that we’ve been promised, NewCorrespondent noticed that sitting around chatting to the attendant was Ringo Mendoza, a well known Lucha Libre fighter. Now over 60 years old, he is still getting in the ring, and also teaches at the Lucha Libre school.

We HAD to speak to him, and he was only too happy to talk. Apologies for the poor quality of the photographs – there’s not much light in underground parking lots.

Click here for the roar of the Lucha Crowd and here for a sense of what it’s like.
He pulls back his hair to show NewCorrespondent the bite scars on his forehead

Ringo Mendoza RG
NewCorrespondent: NC

RM: My name is Genaro Jacobo Contreras, but in the world of the spectacular Lucha Libre, for 39 years of professional fighting and 8 years of amateur fighting, I’ve always used the name Ringo Mendoza – here in Mexico, as well as Japan, Spain, and France. I’ve always been Ringo Mendoza.

NC: How many championships have you won?

RM: I started by winning a Middleweight championship in the West of the country, afterwards I returned to go to Guadalajara and I won the next stage up, but not quite the heavyweight. After four or five years I went up a category and won the worldwide middleweight championship, the world championship for the next stage up, and after that the world doubles championship, the national trio championship and the world championship for the NWA [US tournament], and the world championship of the Lucha Libre Council. In total, I’ve been fighting in world championships for 28 years.

NC: How many times have you shaved the heads of other fighters? [when a fighter wins in the Lucha Libra, he takes the ‘caballera’ of his opponent, meaning he shaves the head of the man he has beaten]

RM: In 39 years of fighting I’ve done it more than 80 times.

NC: And how many masks have you taken? [It is also common for the winner to damask his opponent if he is victorious].

RM: Masks? Only one, from the Texas Ranger, which I got here in Arena Mexico. After I won it from the Texas Ranger the Dog Aguayo [another fighter] was annoyed with me and he and I faced each other in a fight, and here in the Arena Mexico I shaved the head of Dog Aguayo.

NC: What are your most important victories?

RM: The Dog Aguayo, El Faraon, Sangre Chicana, Tony Salazar, Rubi Rubalcaba, el Angel Blanco (padre), Fabuloso Blondie, El Scorpio, Masacre, MS 1, Los Misioneros de la Muerte.

NC: What do you think of the lucha libre now compared to ten years ago?

RM: The Lucha has to be made up of set moves and responses, the techniques – if you make a move he makes another. The Lucha is never going to stop being so, if you watch the films of the Greeks, in these films you can see clearly how they use moves of the fight, what’s more is they use a lot of oil on the body so they can’t get a hold of each other.

Actually, the Lucha has changed a lot because there are many jumps now, they fight in the air, everything is going to evolve but the true Lucha Libre will never be lost – the moves and the responding moves.

NC: Why did you want to be a fighter when you were young?

RM: I didn’t want to be a fighter but my parents separated when I was five or six years old, and so I had to sell newspapers, load baskets, sell pens and ice-cream, shine shoes. During this time I met my teacher, Diablo Velazco – the teacher of the Mil Mascaras (thousand masks), de Alfonso Dantes, de Franco Colombo, del Faraon, del Solitario, del Satanico, de Alberto Munoz, de Atlantis, and many fighters from the school in Guadalajara. He passed on his teachings to me and I inherited all of his knowledge – all the movements and responses.

I’m not angry with the new fighters that do a lot of acrobatics – at the moment that’s the fashion. When that passes they’ll come to feel that – at the moment they can do those jumps but eventually they’ll hurt themselves and then they can’t do it – because of that the fighters don’t last as long as me – I’ve been a professional for 39 years.

NC: Can you show us the scars that you have on your head?

RM: Yes of course – these are bites from other fighters.