We were quite early and the place was deserted. We took our seats, about 10 rows back from the ring, and waited for something to happen.
We were told that Friday is one of the ‘big nights’ but it seemed to us a bit of a lie at that stage. Slowly hawkers starting circling around with cardboard boxes of crisps, ice creams and popcorn. People were dribbling in as they sound-checked and tested the lights.
Two giant beers in hand and the atmosphere was starting to build around us. We were sitting next to a father and son. The stuff being peddled in the aisles got more extravagant. Glowing wrestling rings, wrestling figures, noise-makers, bandanas. Dad bought his son a blue shiny cape and wrestling mask. Once they were donned, the little boy became the Blue Demon.
Girls in tiny bikinis came out and began swinging their hips and the announcer welcomed the still growing crowd in that classic booming voice – Señores y señoras bienvenidos a la Arena Ciudad de Mexico!!!!
Well, I don’t know much about wrestling but it was interesting to see them do their stuff. It is acrobatics really. With masks, body oil and masses of posturing. The second bout involved six pint-sized wrestlers. Generally people in Mexico are fairly short but these guys were genuine little people. They chucked each other around for a bit and then the fake referee decided who had won. The audience threw peso coins at the ring and the wrestlers scuttled around scooping them up.
It was all building up to the final bout – with Mistico, Atlantis and Maximo versus The Mask, Valiente and The Shadow. Well ladies and gentlemen, I was on the edge of my seat. That is, I was working out how to get to the exit asap.
The crowd was really out of control by now. Cheering, whistling and chanting Mistico’s name (he was obviously everyone’s favourite for some reason) and booing, screaming and swearing at the baddies. The two children behind us were blowing on these horn things right in our ears so we got out of there.
Best bit was when the guy sitting in front of us put on his wrestling mask and then his spectacles over the top. Once the eye holes matched up to his glasses he took his shirt off and screamed obscenities at one of the judges..