By Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff:
(El Paso, Texas, Nov. 16, 2017)
Lucha libre, Mexican-style wrestling, is coming to Fort Bliss from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Mitchell W. Stout Physical Fitness Center, 2930 Cassidy Road.
The Border Impact Group and Fort Bliss are sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public. Attendees will get to watch mask versus hair matches in addition to tag team matches, so come out and see who will lose their mask or hair.
In an interview here Friday, “Maska Lucha” explained some of the history behind the sport.
In the early 1900s, Mexico was in the middle of a revolution against a dictator named Porfirio Díaz, Maska Lucha said. As with many times of war, the public looked for diversions to distract them from the everyday realities of the fighting around them.
Two Italian businessmen, Giovanni Reselevich and Antonio Fournier, began promoting fights in which opponents fought each other hand to hand, without weapons or protection, Maska Lucha said.
These fights were known as lucha libre, or “free fight,” and were notorious for their lack of regulations and the violence inflicted upon the luchadores, or fighters, Maska Lucha said.
While the common belief is that this fighting style was originally introduced by the French during the invasion of 1863, it wasn’t until this time when Reselevich and Fournier were developing a cross-town rivalry between their respective promotion companies that lucha libre began to develop large followings throughout many parts of the country, Maska Lucha said.
It is a custom for luchadores to keep their identities secret, he said.
As Flamarion, a wrestler who will be wrestling at Friday’s event explained, there can be many reasons why a Luchadore might want to keep his identity secret.
“Behind the mask there are doctors, lawyers and other business professionals,” Flamarion said. “Another reason some of us keep our identities secret is because we want to take on our professional persona and become our legends.”
Flamarion has been wrestling for 10 years and said he really gives the sport everything he’s got.
Another wrestler, the Red Mystery, said, “You know wrestling is a mystery, I want to keep that mystery alive.”
For more information, call 588-8247.