The local dynasty

Santiago Barreiro


A sign at the entrance of a local boxing club announces the fights for Saturday night. What is striking is not precisely the names of the fighters (Samurai Jr., Extremo Negro etc.) but rather a small sign that claims: «family atmosphere».It is difficult to think about families and children playing while flying pieces of sheet metal, glass, dumbbells and the odd not so shy stream of blood. Kids think it’s chicken or fantasy (the blood), and it might be, because this discipline doesn’t lack a taste of magical realism.

The Mexican wrestling is a fusion between acrobatic art, theater and contact sport, its antecedents date from 1863, and although it has its rules well stipulated it is difficult to recognize the thin line that divides fantasy from reality, the hard blows of the mere show. Even in the faces of the spectators, who are usually direct relatives of the combatants, there is another struggle between joy and fear. And this is because sometimes things get out of place and the atmosphere gets warmer, but in that doubt lies “the taste” (they say).

For these masked people, the family is everything, up and down the ring. They are parents, children, grandchildren of wrestlers, they call it dynasties, and some fighters will manage to get out of the neighborhood circle, leave the cab, the taco bussines or whatever job to look for a place at a professional level. But most of them will not go after that dream, they will simply wait until next Saturday, where another local arena will find them testing their skills sourranded by their family.

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