The weird and wonderful world of lucha libre will soon cross the border into the United States, where Americans will almost definitely be fascinated and confused by the high-flying, masked Mexican wrestlers. In fact, it's going worldwide. Boutique entertainment incubator FactoryMade just inked a deal with Lucha Libre AAA, Mexico's top wrestling league and the inspiration for Jack Black's questionable 2006 comedy Nacho Libre, to bring the Lucha Libre AAA brand and over 250 characters to the rest of the world. That means big venue matches, pay-per-view opportunities and possibly a spot on the new male-centric El Rey Spanish-language channel.
Some people will find this news odd, not necessarily because lucha libre is a bit of an odd fascination at first glance but also because it's not uncommon to see Mexican-style wrestling in gymnasiums across the land. In Mexico, the past time of lucha libre — a phrase that refers to the style of wrestling, not the league which was founded in 1992 — has been around for nearly a century. But it's been an up-and-coming amateur sport in the States for a few years now, much like the more monster truck-heavy American version of professional wrestling used to be, well, before the monster trucks got involved. If you've seen luche libre wresting in the U.S. chances are it was in some tiny venue that smelled like popcorn and sweat and did not involve national television crews. That or you saw the short-lived MTV series, Luche Libre USA — which is still available on Hulu, by the way.
That's all about to change. While luche libre is already big business in Mexico, it will enter a ripe but competitive market in the U.S. Given the fact that the WWE pulls in over $600 million in revenue a year, it's obvious why some enterprising entertainment types would want in on the action. The Mexican wrestlers and lucha libre style will undeniably add some new vigor and allure to the sport. We're pretty sure it's still going to be staged, though.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.