Am I the last person in Southern California to know about Lucha Libre Wrestling? In the US we have WWF wrestling and this is similar with one huge difference– masks. Wrestlers wear handmade, colorful masks to hide their identities.
Lucha Libre wrestling is a freestyle wrestling popular in Mexico. According to Wikipedia:
Wrestlers specialize in rapid sequences of holds and maneuvers. The wearing of masks has developed special significance, and matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached. Tag team wrestling is especially prevalent in Lucha libre, particularly matches with three-member teams, called trios.
On my day trip to Tijuana with Travel Massive, we visited the Museo del Coleccionista. The Lucha Libre exhibit took over the entire top floor and is filled with a wrestling ring, a wall of miniature mask replicas, multiple Lucha Libre action figures and more.
Our tour guide, a professional wrestler, told us about when he was a teenager, telling his mother he was going to the gym, but really going to train to be a Lucha Libre wrestler. He talked passionately about traveling around the country and into Southern California for wrestling bouts.
Then he put on his mask. We were very lucky since removing your mask is against wrestling tradition for Luchadores. They must keep themselves anonymous.