E.A. Roadster

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I'm making this multi-part thread to flex my Lucha boner, prove I'm the coolest hipster mark of them all and hope to convince others to start watching or keeping up with Lucha.
 
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E.A. Roadster

The Authentic
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Pt. 1 | Lucha Guide: The Basics

Luicha Libre is major business in Mexico. Popularity fluctuates, but it's a staple of Mexico similar to in the US and Japan. Unlike US and Japan, Mexican wrestling is much more heavily regulated. There is local wrestling commissions, and a wrestlers union. Wrestlers are social figures as well as wrestlers, and a lot of them can be seen participating in big social projects in conjunction with local governments. Commissions have been known to step in to settle title disputes, and even have sanctioned their own belts. There's a catch though, these commissions are very corrupt and are usually in the pocket of a promotion (usually CMLL).

Lucha Libre has some different rules to more traditional wrestling seen in the US, Japan, and Europe. The foundational match in Lucha is tag team, and specifically 3v3 trio, matches. Like singles matches in the US,. these are the bulk of most shows. Unlike 3v3 matches in Japan, these are not intended to be filler matches. Singles matches in lucha libre, whilst not rare, are seen as a big occasion. Most Lucha cards have singles matches sprinkled in, but still most are largely filled with tag team matches. In these matches, tags are not always required. The rule is, anybody that leaves the ring, their tag partner has to jump in to replace them immediately. Lucha, until very recently, was 2/3 falls by default. CMLL still has every match be 2/3 falls and single fall matches are known as "Lightning" matches. AAA has 1 fall matches, but they used to do 2/3 falls before too.

Lucha is known for really on-the-nose colorful characters. There isn't any shooter type characters, and when there is, it's heavily played up. Everything in lucha is always amped up by 100. It can be extremely cheesy and dumb, but also great. Lucha Libre openly distinguishes between heel (rudo) and face (tecnico). You'll see promotional packages, graphics, posters clearly advertise which is which. Commentators will refer to tis openly as well. There is very little tweener action in Lucha Libre. The few times a tweener has popped up, they tends to be faces who tend to beat up comedy face characters along the way.
 
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Pt. 2 | Lucha Guide: The Nitty Gritty

Lucha Libre is heavy on family mantles. Essentially, a lot of wrestling families that are multi-generational, most of which share similar masks. Most families can have dozens of active wrestlers who use the name. Common name variation is "El Hijo de", "Jr" or a general continuation (fake Diesel style) but it's written with a roman numeral to indicate which incarnation this is. An example of this would be the Villano brothers, seen in WCW, where there was a total of V to distinguish from the original. A famous example of the family mantel business is Rey Mysterio. I'm sure most people know that Rey Mysterio used to go by Rey Mysterio Jr, that's because he was trained by Rey Mysterio Sr, his uncle. The Mysterio mantle does not belong just to Rey and Dominik however, there's literally dozens of Rey Mysterio Jr's cousins and extended family members that use a variation of Rey Mysterio as their name. There's some famous ones like Misterioso who is a big star in CMLL. He was the original Rey Misterio mantle-carrier and was given the name in the 80s before WWE's Rey Mysterio was given it by virtue of his blood relationship to the original.

In Lucha Libre, mini (midgets) and women wrestling is presented as serious divisions. There's plenty of comedy characters in the mini divisions, but they're treated very well as far as how they're booked. They are very athletic, and many have their own divisional titles. Womens wresting in Lucha is presented more as a special attraction, but they too are presented very well. I'd say it's a more cartoony version of Joshi wrestling. Mixed tag matches are also big attractions, and you'll see most promotions, including the CMLL/AAA, have mixed tag titles.

Luchas de apuestas or wager matches are the absolute biggest thing in Lucha. These are the mask v. mask, hair v. hair matches sometimes seen in the US. Your status as a legend or fool depends largely on your record in these matches. These matches are never taken lightly, they come with great fanfare, the matches are always presented in a very emotional way and you'll rarely see either a face or heel refuse to accept their loss. There's always tears, pyro and confetti during these matches. They will always headline PPVs.

With that said, it should be known that titles in Lucha don't matter. Obviously anyone with a title is presented as a big deal, but they're like Slammys or the King of the Ring where it's just bragging rights. You'll see champions in both companies hold the title for like 2-3 years at a time because really there's no pressing need to have title changes. You'll also notice that CMLL has literally dozens of belts, regional, national, global, and some even commissioned by the Mexico wrestling commission. AAA used to have a lot more but they've reduced their amount. AAA presents titles more seriously, but still they aren't as important as the wager record.
 

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