The Last Estate

I Met Felino Jr. Motherfuckers – The Last Estate

I Met Felino Jr. Motherfuckers

If you asked me if I knew anything at all about professional wrestling, I would only be able to tell you about my memories of WWF as a second grader: the earnest kids in rattails and denim cutoffs stating their fathers’ opinions about whether Hulk Hogan really fucked The Iron Horseman’s fiancee, the time Hulk had his back broken on a dirty play refereed by a dirty ref, the appearance of younger fighters who upstaged the twilit heroes of 1989—or if it was all lies.


All lies, imagine.


Only after ensconcing myself in the warm, beery confines of the Arena México in Mexico City, Mexico (in America), and watching 140 minutes of glutey, hammy men bashing each other against very firm ropes and a blue trampoline surface—often without any pretense of acting vulnerable, just giving themselves up with little fairy waves of their meaty hands—could I pretend to tell you who was who and whether El Sagrado had turned his back on his best friend Niebla Roja in an act of treason, or if Niebla Roja had had it coming.


I had not done my research, and still have not done it, because learning the language of Mexican Lucha Libre would be like learning Swahili: rough, exciting when you realize there are three ways to formulate the first person plural, and then completely useless for talking with anyone whatsoever.


As we exited the Arena México—after a satisfying evening of watching gentlemen dominate their peers by slamming, verbally abusing, and grabbing ears, twisting and wrenching—wanting more, astonished that they could ever call an end to this evening of atrocious beatings, we stumbled across Felino Jr., dressed in his monogrammed tan jacket and street mask, taking photographs with fans as they staggered out, beery breathed, into the starlit expanse of real time, real life Mexico City. We had to stop and imagine where he was going, this god of an underground venue that throbs realer than Popocatépetl in the veins of one of Latin America’s largest metropolises. As his girlfriend or date shrunk from the mad press of our fanatic bodies, Felino Jr. (we had no choice but to accept that it was Felino Jr. himself) crushed several of us in his grasp and made us immortal. Only afterwards did we realize that Felino Jr. never once smiled, only held his signature four clawed fingers up at the camera, ready for a tumble at any moment.


I have lived in Mexico for more than 14 years and Lucha Libre is as real a thread in the fabric of life for Mexicans as the tortilla, or air. There it is, every Friday on the TV; it switches on after the telenovela. The men who engage in these bestial acts are anonymous, masked even after the event as they stroll to their underground garages with their dates or wives, even as they ask foreigners in perfect English how it was, the match, did we like.


Fine, I will regurgitate the known information. This could be from wikipedia.


The taxi driver to the Arena México was impressed that we were going to the event, and asked us if we were for the rudos or the técnicos, and my partner answered astutely Soy técnica: I am a technician, NOT a rude. Los rudos are tricky jokers, who defile the sport and its rules, while the técnicos are the lovely, law-abiding luchadores, who by their own honesty are often tricked and beaten, a sad state of affairs.


I think I would be a rudo if given a choice, but maybe that is why I have a date with a técnica.


This literally from wikipedia:


La lucha libre profesional (Pro Wrestling en inglés o Catch en España) ​ es un deporte en forma de performance que combina disciplinas de combate y artes escénicas, basándose en ellas para representar combates cuerpo a cuerpo, por lo general con historias y rivalidades que enfrentan a los heel (o rudos) y a los face (o técnicos), siendo los primeros quienes representan al villano/a, y los segundos al héroe/heroína. De ella surgen personajes míticos de la cultura popular, como El Santo…


That is, and now you see my real skill as a translator, Pro Lucha Libre is a performance art/sport that combines martial and performance art, basing itself on the aforementioned to represent mano a mano combat, generally speaking featuring a history of rivalry that pits the heels against the face, the former being the villains and the latter the heroes. The Santo is an example of one character of mythic proportions to arise from the smoke of this battle…


The crowd in the Arena México are Mexico City people: men with that slightly greasy careworn look, laborers with haggarding jobs, and tons of young tourists straight out of the youth hostels mingling with the old local guys with beards, honest-to-god canes, and unlit cigars. They are one thousand percent engaged in the narrative. A good portion of the entertainment comes from the luchadores riling up the crowd as they stand, balancing their portly weights on the ropes, while the rudo has the face by his hair, asking (in a throwback to the Romans) whether to show mercy or to slam the motherfucker, and invariably the crowd chants to slam, slam, slam.


The wrestlers come down the ramp and are introduced individually and the rudos begin scrapping immediately, tripping up the referee, wedgying their opponents, roughousing their teammates. They come down in packs of half a dozen and yes, there is a dwarf, and yes there is a [known epithet for a male homosexual], and the [known epithet for a male homosexual] invariably gets the toughest guy’s face between his legs, and the crowd jeers and loves it when the [known epithet for male homosexual] gets the macho dude on his hands and knees and leads him around the ring on an invisible leash. The dynamic shifts from one on one to gangbangs (KILL KILL KILL, BAM WHAM) featuring three, four, seven on one, and the crowd caws for blood, yet the tables always turn so that perfect justice can be served and the gangbangers get banged.


Felino Jr. turned to me after I had snapped a shot of him and asked me in English where I was from, and my dumb mouth opened and said, America, and Felino Jr.’s eyes got small and mean because you are not supposed to say America, before that night I had never in my life said I was from America outside of the United States, because America is a continent, and Felino Jr. knows this, and I know it, yet I said the wrong thing to the person I admired.


I thought I was about to get my face scratched off. How could I be so stupid in my loneliest only moment of fame and insult a man who had worked so hard, tag-teaming Atlantis, El Mesías, Yota, Rey Bucanero, and Villano III in a show that was better in fact than Top Gun?


I said, From the United States, gulping down a hard knot in my throat, and Felino Jr. (if it was the man himself) asked if I wanted a photo with him or what, and my partner said, Yes he does, he is a técnico.


I still know nothing about this bizarre, beautiful, fan-crazed sport. I love it. Derek, loping past the Estate barn door in just a mankini, loves it. I will go back. I wish Felino Jr. (or whoever that was behind the mask) a long and lucrative career banging dudes off a trampoline. It was the most redneck thing I have ever done. I need more brainless things like Lucha Libre in my life.


¡Viva la Lucha!


Colin Gee

Colin Gee (@ColinMGee) is founder and editor of The Gorko Gazette (@GorkoThe), a daily that publishes fake news, cartoons, reviews, and poetry. Fiction in Terror House, Misery Tourism, Expat Press, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Bear Creek Gazette, Exacting Clam, and elsewhere. Poetry chapbook fear of sleep forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press.