Lucha libre celebrates Mexican tradition


WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — The masks wrestlers wear during lucha libre matches can be a real showstopper.

They dazzle and mesmerize. The masks are covered with sparkly sequins and are adored by millions of Mexican wrestling fans around the world and in Colorado. They are worn by Mexican lucha libre superheroes.

Now, there’s a move to bring more of that type of colorful, freestyle wrestling to Denver.

FOX31 attended a packed match that took place in Westminster. In the crowd was 10-year-old Jay Noah Lopez. The child wore his mask the whole time, supporting his favorite wrestler, the Red Viper.

“Who do you think is going to come out today, dad? I hope he (Red Viper) comes out first,“ Jay said.

This kid is beyond excited to be at the match. It was like little Jay was meeting a god.

“Aye, yi yi. Wow, mom,” Jay said.

Jay Noah Lopez and his dad at lucha libre match Westminster
Jay Noah Lopez, masked, and his father attend a lucha libre match in Westminster. (KDVR)

In lucha libre wrestling, ‘the mask is everything’

Lucha libre, which is a form of freestyle wrestling, has been a deep part of Latino culture for decades. And those masks wrestlers wear are sacred.

“You will not catch a mascarada (masked wrestler) without a mask because the mask is everything,” professional wrestling manager Hugo Savinovich said.

The masks create an aura of mystery. They can also make the wrestlers seem like warriors and bigger than life.

“The mask is everything. It’s what drives lucha to another level,” Savinovich said.

Red Viper lucha libre wrestler
Lucha libre wrestler Red Viper at a match in Westminster (KDVR)

Savinovich wrestled for 20 years. He’s now trying to make the sport a mainstay in Colorado.

“What I’m trying to do make Denver the place where this lucha culture becomes not just a small success but big success,” Savinovich said.

Lucha libre attracts entire families, including grandmothers and grandfathers. Little Jay loves the thought of more lucha libre coming to Colorado.

“I think it’s great, yeah. It’s perfect,” Jay said.

With kids like Jay, the tradition is sure to stay for at least another generation.

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