Lucha libre, which means “free wrestling”, is a form of professional wrestling that was popularised in Mexico and subsequently the US. Now it’s in Britain, and the entertainment sport is taking London by storm.
Wrestlers in colourful spandex costumes, masks, and engineered story lines are battling underneath the capital’s railway arches at night. The monthly events are sell-out attractions.
Business Insider just HAD to see what the fuss was all about. And guess what? Watching a “Lucha Britannia” is epic.
'Lucha Libre' - Mexican wrestling - is the second most popular sport in Mexico after football and is now becoming massive in the UK.
Lucha Libre ('free wrestling' in Spanish) is characterised by colourful costumes and mysterious fighters famous for their masks.
In the UK, Lucha Britannia is a mix of Mexican wrestling and US, British and Japanese martial disciplines.
Housed underneath the railway arches in a grotty end of Bethnal Green, Lucha Britannia trains would-be wrestlers and hosts events that attract hundreds each night.
It's amazing how up close to the action you can get. You can literally rest yourself against the ring.
The compère is just as important as the wrestlers in keeping the magic of the characters alive and in getting the audience excited about the storylines.
It's not just about throwing each other round, the 'heroes' and 'villains' stay in character throughout the whole performance and even on social media.
Effectively, they're stunt men and women who spend hours each week to doing a combination of cardio, strength, weights, wrestling and martial arts.
They interact a lot with the audience. But sometimes there are inadvertent injuries. We saw a man get his tooth knocked out!
The biggest pay off is seeing the ultimate 'luchador' defend his title. In this case, it's El Mercurio.
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