arena mexico, culture, lucha, lucha libre, mexico, observations, travel

Once Upon a Friday Night In Mexico: Arena Mexico & More!

As some of you already know, I recently moved into a house in Mexico City! It is centrally located near Guerrero Gym, Sepulcro’s tienda, & Miguel’s taller. It is also, unfortunately, situated a mere 50 feet from a panaderia…
The day before I moved in, I was given the house-owner’s keys for the purpose of making myself a copy. Watching the locksmith create the key was an interesting process, as unlike large stores such as Fred Meyer’s in the US, the key was largely made by hand with a file. I remember thinking, “Wow, the craftmanship is impressive.” During the walk back, I noticed that this was a larger theme in Mexico: torillas are made fresh by tortillarias in the streets; there are no ‘farmer’s markets,’ because the food available at the mercado is being sold by the farmers themselves; everything from pipes, to textiles, to clothing bear “Hecho en Mexico”. It is remarkably different from the United States, where we are so divorced from the means of production of goods. “Wow,” was all that I could think in response to this cultural dissonance: just “wow.”
Unfortunately, the first key did not work. The next day, I returned to the same locksmith, and he provided me a new key. This key also did not work. The third time, he closely compared the original key and the second copy, and made minor adjustments with a file, after which he assured me that the key would work.
Well, it sort of worked.
The key went into the lock, and clicked to the right. Twice. Two ‘clicks’, that is. After that, the key would not turn, at all. In either direction. After nearly an hour of jiggling, wiggling, tugging, pushing, and pulling the key, Juan–the son of the house owner–and I, decided to try to turn it with pliers. The result?
My *actual* key was much thicker than this one
…except the broken portion was left inside of the lock. Consequently I spent the night on an inflatable mattress on Sepulcro’s living room floor, as the locksmith could not drill the lock until the following day.
The takeaway? If you are visiting Mexico City, go to Fred Meyer’s if you need to copy a key.
In other news:
Hell. Yes.
It is the end of my second week here in Mexico city, and I have finally made it to a show in the legendary Arena Mexico! The show featured a plethora of luchadores, including a few favorites of mine: Dragon Rojo, Ultimo Guerrero, Rush, and the recently unmasked Rey Cometa. Blue Panther also made an appearance, who is sort of a big deal.
This is pizazz!
Not homoerotic at all.

I was flanked by two of my good friends, Sepulcro and his son Erick–the latter of whom is often my translator. Sepulcro, in case you are not familiar, happens to be a well known luchador in Mexico. Because of this, he was able to leverage us some front row seats.

This is really close.
Literally front row.

The night was filled with excellent lucha action–and a few Coronas, to be sure. The headlining match was a tag match, which featured rivals Rush and Terrible on opposite sides. The previous week, Rush defeated Terrible in a cabellera contra cabellera match, a tension off which they played throughout their entire fight on Friday. While both excellent luchadores, they spent more time building up their rivalry than they did doing anything remarkable.

I was surprised by how empty the arena was–it may have been at 50% capacity. But I suppose when lucha libre is so ingrained in the culture, a trip to Arena Mexico is probably significantly less novel for the locals than it is for me. It is probably not unlike going to a Mariners game in Seattle, only lucha libre is infinitely cooler than baseball.

Not that lucha libre is lacking in obnoxious mascots…

As a luchador in Arena Mexico for the first time, I couldn’t help but notice that despite being a young troupe, some of our luchadores back home are perfectly capable of performing many of the moves that I saw last night–most of the moves, in fact. This is a powerful motivator for my return, despite recent excellent failures in the ring.

Also: another show next Saturday! More info to follow on Facebook!


El Fénix

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