America,  Around the world,  Mexico,  TDM

Discovery of the fights of Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) in Oaxaca

If you wish to discover Lucha Libre in Mexico City without having to manage the logistics of tickets and travel, Viator offers several turnkey excursions. See the Viator excursions.

During our travels, I try to attend popular sports events in the country where I am.

In Mexico there is obviously soccer (I’ll try to attend a game in Mexico City) and just behind it is the Lucha Libre.

Unknown in France, Lucha Libre is the equivalent of American wrestling. Mexicans are fans of it!

In Mexico City, Lucha Libre’s performances can be played in arenas of several thousand people.

In Oaxaca, although very popular, it is still quite homemade, I haven’t found any official websites but there are 3 Facebook pages announcing the performances :

Two performances took place during our stay in Oaxaca, and I decided to attend one of them

Without going on Facebook, you can find out about an approaching fight thanks to vehicles of this type circulating in the city.

Impossible to book directly online. After discussion on Facebook with the organizer of the page, he proposed me to :

  • Pay by going to an Oxxo store and pick up my ticket on the spot the same evening.
  • Or go to a store where I can buy my ticket directly.

Not knowing the payment system via Oxxo, I went to the store in question.

There are 3 price ranges:

  • The places primera fila: 350 pesos
  • The seconda fila places: 300 pesos
  • General tickets: 200 pesos for adults, 100 pesos for children

The primera and seconda fila places are numbered while the general places are in free placement. First come, first served.

Wanting to make the most of the experience I took a primera fila place but a general place would have done very well.

Funny detail, nothing is computerized, the sales assistant has a floor plan of the room and bars the seats sold as they are sold. I got the seat numbered 69.

Arrived on the spot, there is already an important queue. Those who are in general place come in advance to be able to benefit from a good place.

Vendors sell the characteristic masks that most wrestlers wear. Many will also wear them in public, children and adults alike. A few tourists are present but it is a real local experience, most of the spectators are locals.

While the start was announced at 5:30 pm, the show will not start until a good 40 minutes later. I take advantage of the wait to learn about the rules.

In the end, they are quite simple. You can win:

  • By blocking the opponent’s shoulders on the ground for 3 seconds
  • By subduing the opponent via a choke or an arm lock
  • If the opponent stays out of the ring for 20 seconds

Fights can be 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 and even 3 vs 3. Usually with a team of “good guys” who are favoured by the public and a team of “bad guys” who are copiously insulted

If you don’t know anything about wrestling, these rules are just a pretext for the show. Everything is rigged, scripted and cheating with the complicity of the referee is fully part of the entertainment

Although everything is scripted, the sports performance is no less impressive. The fights are very aerial, the falls are impressive and one can well imagine all the work necessary to prepare these “choreographies”

We are clearly in entertainment, everything is exaggerated. Fighters use a lot the ropes in the ring to propel themselves or to jump… out of the ring. And the fights sometimes continue in the middle of the audience!

That’s what lucha libre is all about, and the public wants more

An evening of Lucha Libre is composed of several fights. 6 that evening

Honestly, the fights are still quite repetitive. I was surely missing the suspense and uncertainty of a real fight like in Thailand. So I left in the middle of the 4th fight. Perhaps a mistake because the most impressive fights are probably scheduled for late evening. I will try to attend another evening in a bigger arena in Mexico City.

To immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a Lucha Libre party in Oaxaca, you can watch this video that I took there.

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