Is Lucha Libre popular in Mexico?

Every now and then I’ll come across ‘Lucha Libre’ on one of the Spanish channels. I love watching this, it reminds me of the pro wrestling I watched back in the 1980s.

How popular are these matches in Mexico? Do they ever have cards in the United States or right on the US/Mexican border?

It is insanely popular in Mexico. Most matches are in Mexico City, although some are held in Tijuana (not far at all from San Diego, CA). While pro wrestling in the U.S. is dominated by the WWE (with upstart Orlando-based federation TNA trying to carve out their own part of the market), most of the lucha libre shown on Galavision is part of either the CMLL or AAA federations.

If you look at the audiences on these broadcasts, you will see a wide age range cheering: little kids, grandparents, multi-generational families, plenty of women along with all the men. The most popular star of lucha libre, El Santo (“The Saint”), was something of a folk hero in Mexico – he starred in movies (always in his trademark silver mask) as well as dominating the ring, and his image was licensed for all kinds of merchandise. Think of Hulk Hogan at the peak of his '80s popularity crossed with Elvis Presley to get some kind of idea of the El Santo phenomenon.

From Parts Unknown, a fan site for lucha libre and masked wrestlers in popular culture, has plenty of lucha information and interesting links:

There was also a character based on him in Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, Santo Enmascarado de Plata.

Incidentally, you know Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is a quality film when one of the cast members is billed as “Screaming Lesbian” :smiley:

The Santo character has appeared in most of the Odessa Filmworks movies - Starting, IIRC, with Harry Knuckles and the Aztec Mummy.

A character based on El Santo also appeared in the Turkish flick 3 Dev Adam, where he and Captain America fought Spider-Man.

(I wonder if the real El Santo’s movies are as cracktastic as the flicks he gets inserted into…)

They are pretty “cracktastic,” as you say. Here’s a guide to all of his films:


Looks like the fine folks at Odessa Filmworks were just following in the real Santo’s footsteps with his appearances in their movies.

(The people who made 3 Dev Adam, however, are still clearly the victims of some heavy drug use and a practical joke. <_< )

What I want to know is how they’re able to type with boxing gloves on.

I’m sorry, it was nesecary…