Lucha Mexico Documentary
July 17, 2016
Review by: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
In 2016, Lucha Libre is at its peak in terms of international popularity. Lucha has been much bigger in the past in Mexico but right now more international fans watch lucha than ever before with the popularity of Lucha Underground and the ease of accessibility of Mexican promotions with the internet. In 2011 and 2012 filmmaker Ian Markiewicz and Mexican-American filmmaker Alex Hammond set out to film the lives of some of the top luchadors in Mexico. The result of that effort is the new documentary “Lucha Mexico.”
“Lucha Mexico” follows the lives of several of Mexico’s biggest stars but primarily focuses on current or former CMLL stars Shocker, Ultimo Guerrero, Fabian el Gitano, Jon “Strongman” Anderson, and Arkangel de la Muerte as well as the legendary Blue Demon Jr. and former and current AAA stars Perro Aguayo Jr., Faby Apache and Sexy Star. Shocker is obviously the biggest star and the biggest focus on the documentary. He takes us into his everyday life from working out to training and his interactions with the fans. He also talks about his early career, his father, and his time wearing a mask which he seems to remember fondly. He talks about the severe knee injury he suffered a few years ago and how he started his very popular restaurant during his recovery time as a backup plan if something like that happened again and he couldn’t wrestle anymore.
There is a lot of focus on AAA’s Sexy Star and Faby Apache as well with Dorian Roldan calling Faby the “greatest female wrestler in the world.” Sexy Star actually reveals that when she started wrestling she was facing a lot of depression and contemplated suicide many times and that lucha saved her life. Considering the more recent things going on in her life and her retirement from the ring (at least in Mexico) that is very interesting to look back on now.
The documentary really gives a wonderful look into the lives of these great warriors and the price they pay for the risks they take in the ring. It will make you cringe as Shocker works out rehabbing his destroyed knee and will certainly make you look away when Damian 666 shows off his various scars and injuries from all of the extreme matches he has done his career. Strongman even shows how he worked through a match with a torn bicep.
The story of Fabian el Gitano is one of the more heart wrenching stories in “Lucha Mexico” as it starts out with Fabian talking about his love for wrestling and the fact that he opened his gym (which many AAA and CMLL stars frequented) at a time when he was unable to wrestle and goes through to the night he lost his mask in what was probably the best match of his career. His brother makes note that Fabian wanted to be a masked luchador his entire life and that it was actually hard for him to deal with not being masked anymore. In 2011, while they were still filming for this documentary, Fabian passed away in Mexico. His death was surrounded in a lot of confusion as the first reports of his death claimed he was shot to death and then others started to come out that he had liver failure. In the documentary Shocker reveals that he simply passed away after either drinking too much or taking too many pills to ease the pain from injuries in wrestling.
Another heartbreaking aspect of the documentary is the scenes that feature the late Perro Aguayo Jr. in which he speaks of his love for lucha libre and his father. The follow quote from Perrito was the most intriguing and almost prophetic one:
“I’d like to always be working in lucha libre. My father had an injury that left him paralyzed for over a year so I am very conscious. It could be my arm or leg, or it could be my spine (that gets injured). A wrestlers career can be very long, or it can be very short.”
Despite the sadness in some of the documentary it is one of the better documentaries that I have gotten a chance to see as it shows the passion and the dedication that these incredible athletes have for their craft. From the pain and injuries the luchadors suffer to the training sequences featuring Tony Salazar and Arkangel de la Muerte’s schools or the fame that the luchadors gain in one of Mexico’s most popular forms of sports or entertainment there are very few better chances to see the behind scenes life of a luchador than “Lucha Mexico.”
“Lucha Mexico” is currently available for purchase on iTunes and in select theaters. For more information on the documentary visit their website: www.luchamexicofilm.com.