Not all wrestlers are in favor, saying protocols to avoid the spread of the coronavirus are not being followed.
At least 30 Mexican wrestlers lost their lives to COVID-19 in May and June, according to the Boxing and Wrestling Commission.
” I do not concur with those underground battles,” stated El Fantasma. “I do not believe they have sufficient steps put in place.”.
Reporting by Diego Ore; Additional reporting by Alberto Fajardo; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Rosalba OBrien.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexicos legendary masked wrestlers have actually been economically body-slammed by the coronavirus pandemic, with some resorting to food parcels and even underground fights to make it through a ban on sporting events.
Slideshow (4 Images).
A masked wrestler “Fantasma,” (R) President of the Mexico City Lucha Libre Commission and fellow masked wrestlers are imagined before they receive food parcels donated by a regional grocery store to wrestlers who are dealing with difficult times as the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) break out continues in Mexico City August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Numerous months into the pandemic, the arenas that would normally draw thousands of rowdy spectators watching the nations free-style wrestling, known as Lucha Libre, have actually stayed closed.
Lucha Libre is among Mexicos most popular sports and a tourist magnet, featuring masked fighters who record the general publics imagination with their mystical identities and eccentric efficiencies.
The sport employs in between 5,000 and 7,000 wrestlers, many of whom do not have medical insurance or a pension, according to associations that represent them.
Other sports like soccer resumed last month without live audiences. But Lucha Libre produces the majority of its earnings from box workplace sales.
” Its struck us since all rings, health clubs and arenas, whatever has closed,” stated 59-year-old veteran fighter Octagon, dressed in his hallmark black kimono and mask.
” If we do not battle, we dont make,” he said. “We thought this was going to last three or four weeks, and weve been here for almost four months.”
SHOT OF AID
In June, Octagon, who founded and heads the National Association of Independent Professional Wrestlers, introduced a Shot of Aid project. Utilizing earnings from the auction of wrestlers masks, clothes and other items, the program supplies out-of-work wrestlers and fighters with food packed with provisions.
Another popular masked wrestler, El Fantasma – a character inspired by U.S. adventure cartoon “The Phantom” – stated the Mexico City Boxing and Wrestling Commission he heads has distributed more than 1,000 food boxes to jobless associates.
Sandra Gonzalez, a 50-year-old wrestler otherwise understood as Lady Apache, said such handouts were inadequate.
” We dont require a food shipment, we need … a loan,” she said.
More than a lots wrestlers informed Reuters they were seeing their savings diminish.
” Fortunately I had cost savings, but not any longer,” stated wrestler Super Elektra, who likewise works as a dental service technician but has been not able to return to either of his jobs.
World Wrestling Council and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, which promote and run the sport, have actually said experts will continue to be paid. The wrestlers that Reuters talked to stated such payments did not reach everyone.
Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide plans to launch a format that would enable viewers to enjoy from their cars and trucks, comparable to a drive-in film theater.
In the meantime, anguish has led some wrestlers to arrange matches without a live audience that are broadcast over the internet for a donation of 30 pesos ($ 1.30) per viewer.