The State of Lucha Libre in Mexico During the Pandemic
Wrestling in Mexico has found it hard during the pandemic. Just last week, Hechicero told ESPN that many Luchadors could not live off wrestling.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), even with its contact with the government, has not opened their historic arena in Mexico City.
AAA had to move AAA TripleMania XXVIII, probably to 20201. Moreover, they will now try a new way of wrestling, called Auto Luchas (wrestling through a car).
The independent wrestling scene in Mexico has tried various ingenious moves. DTU did a match in a private pool that featured Stucka Jr. For its part, Mas Lucha had an All-Female Tournament behind closed doors that was streamed.
Lucha Blog is reporting on the current future for the business:
Maybe this is a good time to summarize where the bigger promotions are as far as running shows
AAA: will run outdoor shows at Six Flags Mexico, where fans will attend by driving in and sitting in their cars. Shows will likely be recorded and streamed/aired on TV, but details still to be worked out. Have asked for formal approval to start shows, but start date dependent on government health approval.
CMLL: have not officially announced anything, but discussions on CMLL Informa have implied they’ll be running empty arena shows at Arena Mexico, not waiting all the way until fans can attend. It’s unclear if CMLL will run empty arena shows at the other venues. Have asked for formal approval to start shows, but start date dependent on government health approval.
IWRG: Will run empty arena shows, beginning with 2020 Rey del Ring Part 2 and a Gran Hamada tribute show, as soon as possible. Have asked for formal approval to start shows, but start date dependent on government health approval.
Can you pick up the pattern? Everyone’s going to run empty arena shows, everyone is waiting for government health approval. El Fantasma’s public stance is no shows will be approved until Mexico City gets to the yellow health light. Mexico State’s commission suggested the same. The adjacent Mexico City and Mexico State are likely to change lights at the same time – it’d be confusing if one side of the street had vastly different rules than the other. We’re likely to see these promotions all come back at the same time if they come back the way they’re planning. It is always possible Fantasma or the local governments change their rules about running, but it’s all we have to go on for a moment.
That means the earliest we’ll see any of these promotions right now is probably Friday, August 7th. Mexico is now updating those health lights every other week, and the next update should be July 31st. Every group will probably need a few days to get the final governmental approval to restart and to get a lineup together; running a week later is if everything goes smoothly. If there’s no yellow light on August 7th, then everyone waits until August 21st, then September 4th, and then AAA definitely and perhaps the other groups start to look around elsewhere in Mexico if they still can’t run in Mexico City.
Promotions that are based in an area that aren’t as strictly regulated, are under the radar of local government, or are running in non-traditional locations will likely continue to go on. Promotions like AAA, CMLL and even IWRG are too well known to get away with something like that. It would endanger their existing relationships; CMLL particularly has benefited from working with Mexico’s tourism department and wouldn’t want to mess that up. The uncertain portion is if the individual wrestlers are allowed to work those smaller shows. IWRG doesn’t seem to have contracts, so everyone there is free to do what they want. AAA seems to have definitely said no for anyone under contract (though not everyone who’s been on AAA TV is under AAA contract.) CMLL is unclear – either everyone’s free to work with they want but only Ultimo Guerrero and other Laguna wrestlers have gotten interest or CMLL’s said no to outside work but UG and friends have special permission.