…who is kind of awesome. Make sure to check out his other work, which includes subjects such as El Vez and Macklemore! Continue reading “A New Round of Photos from Jimmy Bazan”
This blog has generally been dedicated to the sharing of various events in my life as a luchador, from shows and publicity events to fiestas. For those of you who have read the “about” section of this blog, you may well be aware that my intent was also to have a sort of cultural studies bend to this blog as well, which—prompted through some recent readings—I now feel prepared to begin undertaking. Continue reading “A Brief and Unnecessary Defense of Lucha Libre as Art – Part I”
Late Friday night we received confirmation that we will in fact be performing our 3rd annual show in South Park, Seattle! I’ll share more info here as soon as I have more!
We had the pleasure last week of doing a photo session with Los Angeles-based photographer Jimmy Bazan. Continue reading “Photos with Jimmy: Outtakes and Behind the Scenes”
Yes, a prison.
No, this was not a gimmick match.
I actually wrestled in a Mexican federal prison. In front of resident prisoners. Against a resident prisoner.
How did this happen? Apparently funciónes de lucha libre are a regular occurrence in some non-maximum security prisons in D.F.—at least this one particular prison has a history of lucha events. Beyond the yards and yards of razor wire, and packs of strangely nondescript, free-roaming (guard?) dogs, the El Reclusorio Oriente Varonil features sports facilities, a theatre, and classrooms. Despite the setting, everyone we met was exceptionally nice, including every resident, and stone-faced, M16-equipped prison guard.
I witnessed two accidents, which are both the first from any event in which I have participated. One luchador separated his shoulder after landing a plancha incorrectly; another luchador accidentally split his head open, covering himself and all of his opponents in blood. Both of these accidents happened right before my match, which is—as one may have guessed—not at all nerve wracking. In the main event, I teamed up with a luchador dressed as Jack and one other luchador, against Sepulcro, Sepultura Jr., and Sepultura, the latter of whom is a resident of ROV.
On a very different note: the following weekend we descended upon a birthday party for the son of a fellow luchador.
The card featured a two-hour show, during which I teamed up with another luchador to face-off against Mimo Fantasia and Destino in the semifinals.
For our efforts we were rewarded with an appreciative crowd, tequila, and tacos al pastor. The party had roughly 100 people, and although I have wrestled in front of much larger crowds, the level of audience interaction at this event was almost unparalleled. In part, this may have been because of the close proximity to the crowd, wherein audience members had to move when we took the fight outside of the ring. It also may have been due to the prevalence of tequila and mezcal at the event. In any case, good times were had by all.
Then came the day after…
Above? Antibiotics. The doctor I saw three days later blamed the tacos al pastor, but either way I ended up missing an entire week of life—let alone training—due to los tacos. At least it was not as bad as other cases I have heard of, and it afforded me the time to catch up on all the sleep that I have missed since high school.
Fortunately I had mostly recovered by the following Saturday for the Desfile Alebrijes parade!
We were invited to the annual parade, which features a procession of artists, musicians, and—most importantly—huge paper maché beasts. The Museo de Arte Popular hosts a display of the pieces for a month on both ends of the parade before facilitating the epic march through downtown.
We were later tricked into briefly dancing to Gangnam Style in the street with a troupe of 15 year-olds. Fortunately no photos or videos have surfaced.
Until next week…
Authors note: cameras were not allowed in the federal prison, thus the first three photos have been borrowed from other websites and are not my intellectual property. Clicking the images will direct you to the respective original web pages of each image.
This week will mark the end of my first month in Mexico City. The myriad experiences thus far are many: from the excitement of training in the birthplace of Lucha Libre Mexicana, the fear of a new country, the frustration of lacking communication, the anguish of a terrible performance, to delivering a great performance on the same card as Hurican Ramirez. In lieu of attempting to–and undoubtedly failing to–capture my experience in prose, I have elected to share some photos.
More to come. Other photos can be found on my Instagram @ luchadorfenix.
It is the end of my first week here in Distrito Federal, Mexico. Despite feeling overwhelmed for the first 3 days, I have begun to settle in. My friend and the designer of my gear–Miguel–has managed to already schedule a fight for me on September 15th, which may be followed by a fight against Sepulcro the following Tuesday. I am a tad bit nervous, but confident.
I have been training at the Guerrero Gym, which is the home to luchadors such as Rush and Astral. I have had the pleasure and honor of training with Sepulcro, Hurrican Ramirez, and Pierroth–all three in one day, in fact. Although the original plan was to try to get me into CMLL’s training school, this seems a bit of a stretch after some of the talent that I have seen.
Now, for some (very) surface observations.
The differences between the US and Mexico and vast and are far too great in number to enumerate here, but I will explicate a few notable differences, some of which may be specific to my region/barrio:
I would not use the phrase “culture shock”, but it has been an adventure thus far. Next week: Guerrero Gym: photos and a comparison of Lucha Libre Mexicana and lucha libre in the US.