Most of us are probably familiar with the WWE, whether you used to be a fan or still are but there’s an entire other world of wrestling south of the border in Mexico that is fully of crazily passionate fans and equally dedicated luchadors, many of whom are spotlighted in the new documentary, Lucha Mexico.
Following some of the biggest names in Lucha Libre, including Shocker, Jon “Strongman” Anderson, Fabian “El Gitano”, Blue Demon Jr (above) and many more. The documentary crew seems to have gotten pretty much unlimited access to the luchadors, especially Shocker, who you see inside and outside of the ring as he travels to the various events in Mexico and the US but also dealing with a devastating knee injury, running his taco restaraunt and spending time with his family. You get lots of fascinating insights into why these men (and women) became wrestlers and the amount of dedication it takes to become a superstar in the world of Lucha Libre. It’s brought up multiple times when the documentary visits training gyms but most of young wrestlers who try to make it big fail and it takes an insane level of dedication, especially if you are a masked luchador like Blue Demon Jr, who describes how he usually spends 18 hours out of a 24 hour day with his mask on and it becomes almost impossible for him to go out without being mobbed by fans.
If you’ve never heard of Lucha Libre before, the documentary does a great job of showing how it’s different from American wrestling like the WWE. Wrestlers in Lucha Libre are designated either a “Tecnico”, which would be like the “face” wrestlers, or a “Rudo” who are like the traditional “heel” wrestlers. It’s based on your temperament during training and that designation also determines your style, as Tecnicos are more top rope, high flying wrestlers. One of the luchadors interviewed is the late Hijo Del Perro Aguayo, who formed a more hardcore league with mostly Rudo wrestlers and made them even more popular than the Tecnicos to some fans. I would have liked to see some more history about how Lucha Libre got started and grew, the documentary is focused mostly on how things are right now in Mexico. I would have loved to see more classic matches or footage from some of the more legendary luchadors, like Blue Demon Sr, who starred in wonderfully cheesy exploitation movies that you get all too quick a glimpse of in the documentary. There’s plenty of modern footage of matches though and I don’t think any of them were just a simple 1 v 1 match, as there’s usually at least 6 wrestlers on each side, with someone usually jumping into all three members of the rival team or everyone in the ring at the same time battling it out.
If you are a fan of wrestling, Lucha Mexico is a fascinating and entertaining look into a world that most wrestling fans in America have probably never heard of but after seeing this documentary, you’ll be wanting to plan a trip to Arena Mexico.