Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Lucha Libre, T.J. Style

The Mexican wrestling spectacle goes off Friday nights in Tijuana.

“Did that really just happen?” A lucha libre wrestler had tried to roll into the ring, miscalculated, and slammed down hard on the concrete.

Instantly, the arena erupts in laughter, and the wrestler begins yelling at seemingly every single person in attendance (under a thousand of us). T.J.’s lucha libre has begun to reveal a bit more of its character.

A few years back in Mexico City, I was lucky enough to see my first lucha libre. Loud, louder and louder; jolts of ear-piercing rings and horns accompanied by copious amounts of beer, laughs and mariachi music. That pretty much sums it up. But now I’m in T.J., close to the border. Will it be different?

The first gladiator makes his way to the ring as Bob Marley’s “Stir it Up” plays. Wait, what? That’s gotta be his favorite song. “Dementor” enters the ring next. He proudly exposes his generous love handles along with tights that look to be painfully suffocating. It becomes a two-on-two battle with lucha libre players scrapping all around.

Sometimes they actually look like real hits. Other times, a slap “lands” a clear foot short, yet somehow sends the opponent onto the mat reeling in pain. And I have to give kudos to some insane top-rope swan dives ten feet down to the arena floor.

But now the first waves of boos begin – and not subtly either. There’s a seven-year-old Spiderman sitting with his dad in front of me. I say to dad, “Your son can fight better than these guys.” He loves it, and immediately relays the message to the ring.

I’m not sure what to think of the event, but then I spot a lady selling micheladas. I’m thirsty, and all questions are momentarily answered.

It’s intermission; the $8 michelada is going down smoothly while the air pulsates with “Gangnam Style.” Not just once – one and a half times. It’s a classic tune, so I can’t knock the DJ for the extra half. Here comes fight #2 with the first warrior striding to the ring. Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” begins, and I realize there will be no mariachi tonight. Thank you.

The more I watch, the more I find myself thinking: “Why are these 40-plus-year-old guys jumping around wearing leotard suits like they just lost a dare?” “Did that guy really just adjust his ponytail before acting like he got knocked down?” And so on.

Video

Tijuana's Lucha Libre

The wrestling spectacle that is Tijuana's lucha libre.

The wrestling spectacle that is Tijuana's lucha libre.

But then an understanding arrives – somewhere in between when the vendors run out of beer (seriously) and the last fight an hour later. I feel dense for not getting it at first: we’re having an absolute ball. It’s all about the laughing, pointing, cheering, booing, heckling (just make sure to protect your beer – watch the video), and getting into the lucha libre story. The missed hits and ill-timed tumbles become part of the package. It’s almost as if those mishaps were planned.

Wait a second, did that fighter really mean to miss the ring and slam onto the awaiting arena floor? Man, I might need to spend another night with lucha libre…T.J. Style.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
COMIC CON FANS! Selling my Power Records
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 27, 2020
2014 Suzuki DRZ 400 SM
San Diego Reader Classified ads
February 6, 2020
Metro PCS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 30, 2020
Crypt For Two
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 30, 2020
Fully functional refurbished espresso machine
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 25, 2020
Ad
Previous article

Santee man rescued from Mojave Desert mine

Went to make a bathroom call
Next Article

Mary Lynn Coulson: finding the bigger embrace of God’s love

If people reject God, then what?
Comments
3

At 15 secs play dj tiesto, Welcome to Ibiza. One of my fav songs. Looks like a rad time. Pretty cool whoever it was who told you about the event :)

Feb. 9, 2013

Muchisimas gracias mi muy amigo.

Feb. 22, 2013

Tonight, once again, Lucha Libre en Tijuana !!!

http://www.facebook.com/MVPromotionss

see ya there.

March 1, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

No, this is not one of the wrestlers.
No, this is not one of the wrestlers.

“Did that really just happen?” A lucha libre wrestler had tried to roll into the ring, miscalculated, and slammed down hard on the concrete.

Instantly, the arena erupts in laughter, and the wrestler begins yelling at seemingly every single person in attendance (under a thousand of us). T.J.’s lucha libre has begun to reveal a bit more of its character.

A few years back in Mexico City, I was lucky enough to see my first lucha libre. Loud, louder and louder; jolts of ear-piercing rings and horns accompanied by copious amounts of beer, laughs and mariachi music. That pretty much sums it up. But now I’m in T.J., close to the border. Will it be different?

The first gladiator makes his way to the ring as Bob Marley’s “Stir it Up” plays. Wait, what? That’s gotta be his favorite song. “Dementor” enters the ring next. He proudly exposes his generous love handles along with tights that look to be painfully suffocating. It becomes a two-on-two battle with lucha libre players scrapping all around.

Sometimes they actually look like real hits. Other times, a slap “lands” a clear foot short, yet somehow sends the opponent onto the mat reeling in pain. And I have to give kudos to some insane top-rope swan dives ten feet down to the arena floor.

But now the first waves of boos begin – and not subtly either. There’s a seven-year-old Spiderman sitting with his dad in front of me. I say to dad, “Your son can fight better than these guys.” He loves it, and immediately relays the message to the ring.

I’m not sure what to think of the event, but then I spot a lady selling micheladas. I’m thirsty, and all questions are momentarily answered.

It’s intermission; the $8 michelada is going down smoothly while the air pulsates with “Gangnam Style.” Not just once – one and a half times. It’s a classic tune, so I can’t knock the DJ for the extra half. Here comes fight #2 with the first warrior striding to the ring. Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” begins, and I realize there will be no mariachi tonight. Thank you.

The more I watch, the more I find myself thinking: “Why are these 40-plus-year-old guys jumping around wearing leotard suits like they just lost a dare?” “Did that guy really just adjust his ponytail before acting like he got knocked down?” And so on.

Video

Tijuana's Lucha Libre

The wrestling spectacle that is Tijuana's lucha libre.

The wrestling spectacle that is Tijuana's lucha libre.

But then an understanding arrives – somewhere in between when the vendors run out of beer (seriously) and the last fight an hour later. I feel dense for not getting it at first: we’re having an absolute ball. It’s all about the laughing, pointing, cheering, booing, heckling (just make sure to protect your beer – watch the video), and getting into the lucha libre story. The missed hits and ill-timed tumbles become part of the package. It’s almost as if those mishaps were planned.

Wait a second, did that fighter really mean to miss the ring and slam onto the awaiting arena floor? Man, I might need to spend another night with lucha libre…T.J. Style.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
BEDROOM SET
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Ever thought of opening a coffee shop?
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 27, 2020
PY to PS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 30, 2020
Bass Guitar
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 30, 2020
THE FACTS OF ATHEISM
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Previous article

Closed to dining, some restaurants start selling groceries

Produce and pantry items now part of delivery and curbside pickup orders
Next Article

Walk, Run or Bike in Carlsbad, Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell

Events April 5-April 8, 2020
Comments
3

At 15 secs play dj tiesto, Welcome to Ibiza. One of my fav songs. Looks like a rad time. Pretty cool whoever it was who told you about the event :)

Feb. 9, 2013

Muchisimas gracias mi muy amigo.

Feb. 22, 2013

Tonight, once again, Lucha Libre en Tijuana !!!

http://www.facebook.com/MVPromotionss

see ya there.

March 1, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close