Several months into the pandemic, the arenas that would normally draw thousands of rowdy viewers viewing the countrys free-style fumbling, called Lucha Libre, have stayed closed.
Lucha Libre is one of Mexicos most popular sports and a traveler magnet, including masked fighters who catch the publics imagination with their mysterious identities and eccentric efficiencies.
The sport employs in between 5,000 and 7,000 wrestlers, the majority 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 generates the majority of its earnings from box office sales.
” Its hit us because all arenas, fitness centers and rings, whatever has closed,” stated 59-year-old veteran fighter Octagon, worn his hallmark black kimono and mask.
” If we do not battle, we dont make,” he stated. “We thought this was going to last three or 4 weeks, and weve been here for practically 4 months.”
SHOT OF AID
In June, Octagon, who founded and heads the National Association of Independent Professional Wrestlers, released a Shot of Aid campaign. 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 influenced by U.S. adventure comic strip “The Phantom” – stated the Mexico City Boxing and Wrestling Commission he heads has actually distributed more than 1,000 food boxes to out of work coworkers.
Sandra Gonzalez, a 50-year-old wrestler otherwise known as Lady Apache, said such handouts were insufficient.
” We do not need a food shipment, we require … a loan,” she said.
More than a lots wrestlers told Reuters they were seeing their savings dwindle.
” Fortunately I had cost savings, however not any longer,” stated wrestler Super Elektra, who likewise works as a dental professional however has actually been not able to go back to either of his tasks.
World Wrestling Council and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, which run the sport and promote, have actually said professionals will continue to be paid. The wrestlers that Reuters spoke with said such payments did not reach everybody.
Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide plans to launch a format that would permit spectators to watch from their cars, akin to a drive-in film theater.
In the meantime, misery has led some wrestlers to organize matches without a live audience that are broadcast over the web for a donation of 30 pesos ($ 1.30) per audience.
A masked wrestler” Super Elektra” (L) and fellow wrestler “Rayo Del Bajio” are imagined prior to they receive food parcels contributed by a local grocery store to wrestlers who are dealing with tough times as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) break out continues in Mexico City August 3, 2020. Picture taken August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexicos famous masked wrestlers have been economically body-slammed by the coronavirus pandemic, with some resorting to food parcels or perhaps underground fights to survive a restriction on sporting occasions.
Slideshow (2 Images).
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Not all wrestlers are in favor, stating procedures 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 dont agree with those underground fights,” stated El Fantasma. “I do not believe they have actually appropriate 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.