FMLL: Lucha Libre at the local Sherwood Hall in Salinas!!!
Professional Wrestling in Mexico has a number of structural and cultural differences from the United States version of “Sports Entertainment” seen every Monday night. There is a greater emphasis on the tag team match, the pin-falls often run two out of three, and then there are the beautiful masks worn by a majority of the stars appearing throughout the country. I won’t get into the differences with ring psychology, the defining characteristics dividing the “technico” (face) and “rudo” (Heel) factions, or the different move-styles. I’ll leave it with the information that the styles are different and you have to be prepared for that before attending the event. Even with my own sizeable knowledge on all things pro-wrestling related, I was still taken by a bit of a surprise with some of the cultural differences and that’s not at all a complaint.
This was my sons’ first wrestling event and I wanted it to be special. I put aside some money to take along with us, so we could pick up a mask and maybe get something to drink. We arrived a little late and took a seat in the stands of Sherwood Hall where the performance was taking place… and let me just congratulate the promoters on a truly imaginative use of the space available. Utilizing the stage, the VIP ticket holders were allowed to sit amongst several rows surrounding three sides of the ring located in the center of the stage some ten or fifteen feet back from the ledge. General Admittance tickets allowed the fans to fill in the normal stage seating which were packed a fair decent amount. The atmosphere was family friendly with a strong focus on catering to the children, allowing them to press up against the stage at various points and even allowing them to stand in the ring during the break.
The in-ring action was constant in the traditional high-flying lucha style, with plenty of head-scissors and armdrag takedowns. Stars included El Hijo Del Rey Misterio (Son of Rey Misterio), Atlantis, Lucifer, La Parka, Blue Demon Jr., and Super Porky. All the matches were tag team cybernetico contests and filled out the nearly three hour show beautifully. I ran into some friends who had tickets in the VIP area, where I also saw them receive some rudo interaction for an added “kick” to what I’m sure was a blast for them. My son got into the action and we walked away some happy campers with a pair of masks.