So we’ve seen these crazy masked wrestlers in cartoons, commercials, movies, shows, music…… where the hell do they come from? Currently the revival in popularity is coming from Mexico (and southwestern U.S.) ,the wrestlers are known as “luchadors” and the wrestling is called Lucha Libre ( Free for all -translated Spanish to English).
The Video shows the more fluid and acrobatic style of Lucha Libre as compared to conventional North American Wrestling as demonstrated by Mil Mascaras (Million Masks)
Of course cool masked wrestling movies! Featuring famous wrestlers of the time in crazy adventures and usually cool surf music backgrounds and a feel of the old American serials of the 1940’s. Some of the movies actually take a “horror” bent- Wrestlers vs Zombies/Witches/Satan or whatever the forces of evil can throw at these valiant warriors! Be sure to check out “From Zombo’s Closet” as he has tons of material on Mexican horror!
Even cartoon show hosts such as Strongbad ,which has its own cult following, is a masked wrestler.
The cast of the kids cartoon Mucha Lucha
So what is the fascination with these luchadors? Short answer is that they are cool and weird, masked hero’s and villains have always struck a chord and lucha libra provides this in spades. The big difference outside of other wrestling is lucha libre has lots of wrestlers flying through the air and doing crazy acrobatics, forget the Olympics these guys can beat up those other tights wearing freaks!
(old pic of Mort Henderson as The Masked Marvel)
However masked wrestling apparently goes back to 1915 and in New York no less at Madison Square Gardens. The mask at that time being worn by wrestler Mort Henderson aka The Masked Marvel (which predates that Hollywood hero of 1940’s fame). I found this interesting site in English that gives a quick history of the Mexican masked wrestling.
So it would seem that the actual “origins” of masked wrestling belong to the world at large. In short masked wrestling is just weird enough to be interesting and cool enough to be loved by millions.
Mal de Miedo (aka Evil von Scary)
aka me in my Luchadore mask!
Gracias por leer, thanks for tuning in- EvS