The Travel Diaries: Lucho Libre in Puebla, Mexico

Monday night is wrestling night in the Mexican city of Puebla.

A bunch of our tour group headed over to the stadium for what was promised to be an entertaining show, and he went along, so here he is to tell you all about it.

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Lucho Libre is best described as pantomime wrestling.  It’s completely choreographed, almost slapstick,  complete with heroes and villains which sections of the crowd cheer or boo at their whim.  It may be difficult for an outsider to understand the subtlety of the piece, because if it was there I completely missed it; it had all the drama and production value of soap opera plus the exaggerated, tongue in cheek humour of pantomime.

Aside from the over the top introductions, lamentable dancing girls, gaudy costumes and confused characterisations, the entertainment wasn’t in short supply. I was amazed by the variety of snacks on offer from the sellers circulating the seating and the fans in the crowd with their colourful wrestling masks and soccer style chanting (which turned out to be ‘friendly’ banter between the cheap and even cheaper seats of the arena).  Alongside my beer I had the choice of candy floss, pork rind, tortillas, doughnuts, fruit with chilli, popcorn or even huge shrimp!

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When the wrestling itself got started there seemed to be a lot of slapping going on, of both each other and themselves, but as the evening progressed the moves became increasingly athletic and dynamic, with the big men bouncing and flipping off the ropes in spectacular style, much to the appreciation of the locals.

The whole thing was bemusing, fascinating and funny.  One particular member of our group loved it so much he had one of the wrestlers sign his chest – I wouldn’t say I loved it that much, but I was thoroughly entertained.

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