21 Sep: The Birth of Mexican Wrestling

El Santo, masks, spandex suits… all were yet to be conceived when Salvador Lutteroth González launched Mexico’s first ever national pro wrestling promotion, on 21st September 1933.

‘Lucha Libre’ – basically translated as ‘freestyle wrestling’ – has its roots in folklore, carnival sideshows and Greco-Roman traditions; but it was only after matches began to be televised in the 1950s that the events truly took flight.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider the authenticity of this scripted sport; reveal the surprising source of production finances that enabled the expansion of the promotion; and discuss the luchador who doesn’t even fight, except in union disputes…

Further Reading:

• ‘The Marvel of Mexican Wrestling: A Brief History’ (The Daily Iowan, 2021): https://dailyiowan.com/2021/07/27/the-marvel-of-mexican-wrestling-a-brief-history/

• ‘Lucha libre – an introduction to Mexican wrestling’ (Lonely Planet, 2015): https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/lucha-libre-an-introduction-to-mexican-wrestling

• ‘El Santo vs. las Mujeres Vampiro’ (1962):