Mr. Ramble and I grew up during the peak of All-Star Wrestling with Hulk Hogan, Jesse The Bod, Jerry Blackwell, The Crusher, Verne and Greg Gagne, MadDog and many others. During our teenage years, we attended a couple of the shows. And during a college spring break long ago with my friend Kari and a couple other girlfriends, we also went to a lucha libre show in Puerto Vallarta and found it very entertaining.
During our first week in La Paz, we saw this advertisement poster on every street pole in the city. We figured when in Mexico, do as the Mexicans do. And it was scheduled for the night before the Super Bowl, so why not make it a weekend of sporting events.
Lucha Libre is the name of Mexican All-Star Wrestling (or freestyle wrestling) except they typically always wear the dramatic, colorful head masks and also seem much more acrobatic and dramatic. This style of wrestling was pretty much invented in Mexico and is why it’s such a strong part of their culture. Maybe you saw the movie Nacho Libre with Jack Black from 10 years ago.
We located the arena a few days prior to the big event. Earlier in the evening on event day, we went to purchase our general admission tickets. We didn’t really know what to expect and thought as gringos we would fly under the radar, otherwise, we would have purchased ring side tickets.
The arena was a smallish, homemade outdoor arena on a residential block behind a salvage car yard built completely out of concrete including the bleachers without any stairs. There were only about 5-6 levels of bleachers surrounding the VIP floor seating rows made up of stackable plastic chairs. So simple, yet effective.
After buying the tickets, we went a few blocks down to the boardwalk for dinner. Then after dinner on the boardwalk, we headed back to the arena to find a place in the general admission seating bleachers. We sat on the top level, again to be low radar audience members. This is mostly a very family type of entertainment where there were a lot of kids. The kids love to get the masks from the vendors too.
They were cooking up a lot of hot dogs for sale that smelled great. We kind of wished we had just had dinner there, but again we didn’t know what to expect. There was a live rock band that started playing at 8PM in the entrance end on a stage area with an announcer area on a level above them. We recognized a lot of the songs even with the Spanish singing. They helped build up the excitement and anticipation for at least a half hour.
Then there were a few rounds of single wrestlers. Then the tag team rounds started getting more and more acrobatic and aerial-flying. And more chairs were getting involved getting thrown over backs and heads. We were thankful we sat in the bleachers and out of the way because there was a lot of action outside of the ring when the wrestlers were flying onto each other ringside. It was very fun and entertaining getting to see this event live!
This wrestler was giving an interview and commentary about their performance and opponents on our way out of the arena.
The next day on Super Bowl Sunday, we went down to the malecon (boardwalk) with friends of ours from our RV Park. We found the perfect Sushi Restaurant with an outdoor, large TV playing the English version of the Super Bowl. A front row table for us was the perfect spot to plant ourselves for the next 4 hours.
We ordered delicious food from the menu as well as margaritas and rounds of cerveza. It was fun to have the passersby interact with us to get the update on the game. Plus we’re in the mountain time zone, so it was sunny during almost all of the game. What could be better than 80 degrees, sunshine, margaritas, friends, and delicious food while watching the big game?
It was a really fun weekend while watching these sporting events Mexican style!
Have you ever attended and been entertained at one of these types of wrestling matches?
C'mon, we want you to RAMBLE Along with us!
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