First Fall: They will fight two of the three falls without a time limit!
One of my earliest childhood memories is of sitting in front of a small black-and-white television in my parents’ store in a working-class neighborhood in Mexico City. With a bunch of kids my own age, we sprawled out on the floor almost every night to enjoy the movies featuring Santo: the Mexican wrestler and superhero who—through his films—transcended the borders of fiction and reality. An impressionable child, I was afraid to go to sleep right after watching images of vampires and monsters terrorizing populations. Luckily, I would then think of Santo, who always arrived in the nick of time at the end of the movie to get rid of those horrible specters. Then I would drift off to sleep. A short while later, I began to understand that wrestling—lucha libre, the kind of acrobatic fighting that Santo engaged in—was also a sport. Our neighbors were an athletic family that included a wrestler who fought under the electrifying name of 5,000 Volts. He had a worn-out tarpaulin in his patio where my friends and I could practice beginning wrestling moves after school. It was at my neighbor’s house that I discovered the fascinating world of wrestling. Over time, I began to understand that perhaps no other sport in Mexico personified so well the actual lives of Mexicans: their suffering, pain and desperation, but also their enjoyment, happiness and urge to overcome life’s adversities.
Second Fall: The Silver Legend
Third Fall: Wrestling and Lucha Libre!
Gabriel Guzmán is a Mexican musician and music teacher who lives in New York City. He is a performer and songwriter with Radio Jarocho there and lifelong lucha libre aficionado.