ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – With colorful costumes and bright masks, the Chaparittos are the small but dangerous Mexican Luchadores of the Extreme Dwarfanators Wrestling Company.
The art of Lucha Libre, or freestyle wrestling, dates back to the 1800s in Mexico, but it was in the 1930s and 1940s that the style of wrestling we know today from the Luchadores began to gain popularity throughout the country. Something wrestler Guerrerito saw firsthand growing up.
“Well, there in my neighborhood… now in Gomez Palacios, better known as trenches, there is the El Ranchero gym, and that’s where we started doing our first ropes,” Guerrerito shared.
Rey Sable, also known as King Sable, had a similar start to Guerrerito in his wrestling career. However, he didn’t have the support of his family at first.
“It was my dream since I was a child. I was the only one in my house who liked this sport, and it was difficult for me to start because of my short height. I was not allowed in my house, but once I got it was very pleasant for me,” Sable recalled.
Traditional masks are a vital part of Mexican wrestling, often colorful and sometimes sparkling and others with wigs. Something that’s sure to attract the audience’s attention from the top rope.
“Well, it has a very great meaning – it is something that Mexican wrestlers tend to contribute a lot to, which is the mask, and well, it means a lot to me since this mask is from a dynasty that is the Lagunero warriors and well it is something very special for me,” Guerrerito said.
“My mask is a fusion of a design that I made inspired by the masks that Rey Mistero Jr. used, with his eyes covered… and a fusion of the ox who is an active fighter whom I followed a lot. It was a combination of the two that gave me this design,” Sable added.
It was in 2018 that Mexican wrestling was declared an intangible cultural heritage in Mexico. For these Luchadores, it’s about introducing their culture to the United States.
“Wrestling has always been a cultural tradition in Mexico… if you realize, you go to the stadiums, you are involved in soccer and baseball, everywhere you go and see masks there. I think it is something to promote something good about Mexican culture and why not for all Latin American culture as well,” said wrestler ‘Espectrito Segundo.’
As wrestling continues to evolve, there’s confidence that there will be a place for Mexican Luchadores moving forward.
“What we’re seeing right now in companies like WWE, there are a lot more Hispanic wrestlers. There will always be an opportunity for Hispanic wrestlers,” Segundo said.
The Lunchadores added that their favorite part of what they get to do is portray Mexico and its culture.