If the spectacle of beefy, sweaty men in skimpy tights and brightly colored masks throwing each other to the ground makes you think of gay fetish porn, then you have a lot to learn about the world of Mexican wrestling. But fear not, Detroiters will have a rare chance to bone up on throwing down when Revolucha 3 rolls into town on May 6, featuring an action-packed show of famous names and emergent grapplers ready to bash one another's brains into tapioca pudding.
Lucha libre, which in English means "free fighting," is the fanatical south-of-the-border cousin of American pro wrestling, with all the same testosterone-nourished drama but with a pageantry and heart-stopping acrobatic style all its own. It too has bad guys and good guys, but down Mexico way they are called "rudos" and "técnicos." Most of the wrestlers wear masks, not to hide their identities but as a near-sacred badge of honor that recalls the headdresses of ancient Aztec warriors, with great shame for the poor chump who loses his mask in defeat by a rival. The masks (or other gimmicks) are multigenerational, handed down like precious family heirlooms. Two shining examples are the storied Dr. Wagner Jr., who carries on the evil medical practice of his father, and the venerable Rey Misterio Sr., whose celebrated nephew is currently a major star in the American WWE.
At this week's event, Black Tiger and the legendary Mil Mascaras are on the bill. The latter is a star who has been knocking the guac' out of the competition since the late '60s, both in the ring and on the silver screen, where he used to bitch-slap vampires and werewolves alongside the original lucha idol, El Santo. The other can't-miss combatant is the Ultimo Dragon, an amazing high-flying hero in Japan, Mexico and United States, who will be clashing with TNA (Total Nonstop Action) star Christopher "Fallen Angel" Daniels in what's being billed as "an international dream match." Also joining the mayhem are Detroit's own punk rock wrestling team the Bump-N-Uglies, and hardcore superstar Sabu.
With a global lineup intact, Revolucha 3 is a chance for a variety of cultures to meet and "exchange" ideas, build bridges and break tables, one bruised elbow at a time.
7 p.m., Saturday, May 6, at Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980.
Corey Hall is a freelance writer. Send comments to [email protected]