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Encyclopedia > Lucha libre
One of the most well known Lucha Libre wrestlers (luchadores), Rey Mysterio.
One of the most well known Lucha Libre wrestlers (luchadores), Rey Mysterio.

Lucha Libre (which translates literally as Free Wrestling or Free Fighting) is a term used in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking areas to refer to all forms of professional wrestling. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (544x1036, 87 KB) {{}} [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Oscar Gutierrez ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (544x1036, 87 KB) {{}} [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Oscar Gutierrez ... Rey Mysterio Óscar Gutiérrez Rubio, better known as Rey Misterio, Jr. ... For the video game, see Pro Wrestling (video game). ...


Since Mexico is the largest and most influential Spanish-speaking market for wrestling, in non-Spanish speaking areas the term is more synonymous with the professional wrestling performed in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Starting in the early 1900s this wrestling was mainly a regional phenomenon until Salvador Lutteroth brought wrestlers from the United States to Mexico in the 1930s, giving the sport a national foothold for the first time. Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Salvador Lutteroth (born Salvador Lutteroth Gonzales) was a Mexican professional wrestling promoter of the mid-twentieth century. ... The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known as the World Depression. ...


Mexican wrestling is marked with a lessened emphasis on power moves than in the United States or Canada. Instead, there are rapid sequences of holds and moves, as well as spectacular high-flying moves, many of which have been adopted north of the border. A Lucha Libre perfomer is known as a luchador. Aerial techniques are used in professional wrestling to show off the speed and agility of a wrestler. ...


In Peru the term "cachascán" (from "catch as can") is used. Wrestlers are called cachascanistas. In Argentina, in addition to lucha libre, professional wrestling is also referred to as "catch". [1]

Contents

Rules

The rules of Lucha Libre are very similar to its American predecessor in singles matches. Matches can be won by pinning the opponent to the mat for the count of three, making him submit, knocking him out of the ring for a count of twenty or by disqualification. Using the ropes for leverage is illegal and once a luchador is on the ropes, his opponent must release any holds and he will not be able to pin him. Disqualifications occur when an opponent uses an illegal hold or move, hits his opponent in the groin (faul), uses outside interference, attacks the referee or rips his opponent's mask completely off. Most matches are two out of three falls (Dos de tres caídas)


Masks

The mask of Blue Demon is a good example of a typical lucha libre mask
The mask of Blue Demon is a good example of a typical lucha libre mask

Masks have been used dating back to the beginnings of Lucha Libre and have a historical significance to Mexico dating back to the days of the Aztecs. Early masks were very simple with basic colors to distinguish the wrestler. In modern Lucha Libre, masks are colorfully designed to evoke the images of animals, gods, ancient heroes, and other archetypes, whose identity the Luchador takes on during a performance. Virtually all wrestlers in Mexico will start their careers wearing masks, but over the span of their careers a large part of them will be unmasked. Sometimes, a wrestler slated for retirement will be unmasked in his final bout or at the beginning of a final tour, signifying loss of identity as that character. Sometimes losing the mask signifies the end of a gimmick with the wrestler moving on to a new gimmick and mask. The mask is considered "sacred" to a degree, so much so that fully removing an opponents mask during a match is grounds for disqualification. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (502x695, 64 KB) Summary Representación grafica de la Mascara de Blue Demon. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (502x695, 64 KB) Summary Representación grafica de la Mascara de Blue Demon. ... The Blue Demon (April 24, 1922 – December 16, 2000) was the stage name of the Mexican masked wrestler Alejandro Muñoz Moreno, who was widely considered to be one of the greatest Mexican wrestlers of his time. ... Wrestling masks are most widely used in the Mexican/Latin lucha libre style of wrestling. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Hero (disambiguation). ... Archetype is defined as the first original model of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are merely derivative, copied, patterned, or emulated. ...


During their careers, the masked luchadores will often be seen in public wearing their mask, keeping up the Kayfabe of Lucha Libre; in effect, the mask is synonymous with the luchador. El Santo (English: "The Saint"), Mexico's most famous and well loved luchador, kept his mask until after retirement, revealed his true identity only in old age, and was actually buried wearing his silver mask. In professional wrestling, kayfabe (pronounced KAY-fayb; IPA: ) refers to the portrayal of events within the industry as real, that is the portrayal of professional wrestling as not staged or worked. ... El Santo with Sasha Montenegro in Asesinos de otros mundos Santo is the professional name of Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta (September 23, 1917 - February 5, 1984), more widely known as Santo, El Enmascarado de Plata (Santo, the Silver-Masked Man in English) who was a Mexican wrestler, film actor, and...


More recently, the masks that the luchadores wear have become iconic symbols of Mexican and Mexican-American culture. Contemporary Mexican-American artists like Francisco Delgado and Xavier Garza incorporate wrestler masks in their paintings.


Luchas de Apuestas

With the importance placed on masks in Lucha Libre losing the mask to an opponent is seen as the ultimate insult and can at times seriously hurt the career of the unmasking wrestler. Putting your mask on the line against a hated opponent is a tried and tested tradition in Lucha Libre as a means to settle a heated feud between two or more wrestlers. These battles are called Luchas de Apuestas (English: Matches with Wagers) where the wrestlers involved "wager" something, either their mask or their hair. The "Luchas de Apuestas" match was first presented on July 14, 1940 at Arena México. The rule came about because the defending champion Murchiélago was much lighter than his challenger Octavio that he requested a further condition before he would sign the contract: Octavio would have to put his hair on the line. Octavio won the match and Murchiélago had to unmask after the match giving birth to a tradition in Lucha Libre.[1] In professional wrestling, an angle is a fictional storyline. ... is the 195th day of the year (196th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The most iconic match is máscara contra máscara (English: mask versus mask), where two masked luchadores bet their masks, and the loser is unmasked by the winner and his real name is often revealed as well.


Another well-known type of "Luchas de Apuesta" is máscara contra cabellera (English: mask versus hair), in which one masked wrestler and an unmasked one compete; at times the unmasked one has lost his mask to the masked one in a previous bout. If the masked luchador wins, the unmasked one has to shave his head as a sign of humiliation. If the unmasked luchador is the winner, he keeps his hair and the loser is unmasked.


The third kind of "Luchas de Apuesta" is cabellera contra cabellera (English: hair versus hair), where the loser of the match has his head shaved bald. This can occur both between unmasked wrestlers and masked wrestlers who have to remove their mask enough to be shaved after the match.


Other characteristics

A traditional division of luchadores is rudos (bad guys, or heels, literally "rough" or "rude") and técnicos (the good guys, or faces, literally "technician" or "technical") who always play by the rules, in theory at least. It must be cleared that a "technical" wrestler is the one who has a very depurated combat style, close to greco-roman wrestling and martial arts techniques; the "rudo" is more a brawler than a scientific wrestler. Technical wrestlers playing the "good guy" role, and "rudes" playing always the bad guys is very characteristic of Mexican lucha libre. Compare with United States based wrestling, where many technical wrestlers play the role of heels, and many brawlers play as "faces" (e.g., Stone Cold Steve Austin during the peak of his popularity in the late 1990s). This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In professional wrestling, a face or babyface is a character who is portrayed as heroic relative to the heel wrestlers, who are analagous to villains. ... Steven James Williams (born Steven Anderson on December 18, 1964)[2] better known by his ring name Stone Cold Steve Austin, is an American actor and former professional wrestler. ...

Místico challenges Averno for his NWA World Middleweight title at Arena México

Luchadores, like their foreign counterparts, seek to obtain a campeonato ("Championship") through winning key wrestling matches. Lucha libre uses a more specific weight class system to classify titles. Popular weight classes include; heavyweight, light-heavyweight, welterweight and middleweight. Lightweight and super-lightweight titles are also used. "Cruiserweight" is often associated with Lucha Libre, even though in Mexico, it would be declared light-heavyweight. (The term "cruiserweight" is derived from boxing, where it is a weight between Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight.) Titles can be defended as few as one time per year and wrestlers usually only wear their belts on big shows and when they are defending them. In recent years, weight classes have been mostly nominal and there are occasions where a wrestler will have titles in two different weight classes. Title matches are still major accomplishments and many shows are built around title defenses. Image File history File links Místico, accompanied by Safari, challenges Averno, accompanied by Mephisto, from Los Guerreros del Infierno for his NWA, World Middleweight title. ... Image File history File links Místico, accompanied by Safari, challenges Averno, accompanied by Mephisto, from Los Guerreros del Infierno for his NWA, World Middleweight title. ... Místico (born December 22, 1985) is a Mexican professional wrestler currently working for the lucha libre promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). ... Averno is a Mexican professional wrestler currently performing for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre. ... National Wrestling Alliance logo The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is the largest governing body for a group of independent professional wrestling promotions and sanctions various NWA championships. ... Arena Mexico is an indoor arena in Mexico City, Mexico. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


In recent years, several luchadores have found success in the United States. Notable former luchadores who are thriving in the USA today are Juventud and Rey Mysterio. Juventud Guerrera (Youth Warrior in Spanish) is the son of Mexican legend Fuerza Guerrera (Power Warrior). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


In the media

The bouncing ball animation (below) consists of these 6 frames. ... ¡Mucha Lucha! is the first animated television series created with Macromedia Flash, a program usually used for Internet cartoons. ... Nacho Libre is an American comedy film that was released on June 16, 2006, by Paramount Pictures, though it was released in select theaters earlier. ... Jack Black (born Thomas J. Black, Jr. ... Fray Tormenta (born Sergio Gutierrez Benitez, 1945) is a Mexican priest who supported an orphanage for 23 years by taking up a career in Lucha Libre. ...

References

  1. ^ Lourdes Grobet, Alfonso Morales, Gustavo Fuentes, and Jose Manuel Aurrecoechea (2005). Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Trilce. ISBN 978-1933045054. 
  • Paul Allatson (2007). Key Terms in Latino/a Cultural And Literary Studies[2]. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1405102500.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
LUCHA LIBRE LINKS - compiled by Fwak! Animation, creators of Mucha Lucha (1173 words)
Lucha Libre: Life Behind the Mask is a new documentary set in So Cal featuring local wrestlers.
CMLL and AAA are the largest lucha libre federations in Mexico.
Lucha Mascarada (published in Japan) is a great book with photos of luchadores and masks.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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