Friday, September 14th, Lucha Libre Volcanica is making its way to the South Sound to Alma Mater Tacoma’s Fawcett Hall, bringing top rope action and high-flying theatrics to the 253. It doesn’t really matter how old you are when you first experience Lucha Libre: you’ll be screaming like the 10-year-old kid inside of you regardless.
Lucha Libre Volcanica came to be in 2010 through the efforts of Jose and Luis Gomez, who initially premiered as Luchadores Independientes de Washington but shifted in identity to Volcanica for broader community appeal (I mean, it is a bit more badass). With a goal in mind to shirk the somewhat unfavorable social reputation that pro wrestling carries, wrestler Ave Rex shared with me that part of their mission has been to differentiate Lucha Libre from some of the pro wrestling you see on tv. “I’ve had a number of people come up to me after [a] show and say ‘Oh, it’s kind of like [that] wrestling’, and I’m like ‘No it is pro wrestling. It’s all the same language, it’s just a different dialect’. As their brand grows, their success is becoming more and more evident – as I witnessed firsthand just a couple months ago.
When I first entered EVOLV Fitness of Seattle in First Hill (the location Lucha Libre Volcanica would be performing in that evening), I genuine. My buddies had been talking up this night for weeks - how we needed to get there early to get enough seats (we were a group of 10 that night), to get the best view of the action, and obviously to have the quickest, easiest access to the bar. Once the show got underway, it took no time at all for the crowd to get engaged. From young to old, that gym was packed with every kind of person, each losing their minds with excitement the kind of way you’d expect a teenager to.
Especially when you watch an extremely athletic Luchador fly off the top rope at his opponent and knock an inattentive crowd member into next Tuesday. (Pro-tip: stay off your freakin’ phones and watch the show, y'all).
Ave Rex attributes a great deal of that kind of community involvement, good marketing, and just pure luck to their success. “At the end of the day, Lucha Libre is a family. We’ve always had a real strong sense of family in the gym, and you have to have that kind of trust with each other because you’re literally entrusting your bodies to someone else when you [step into the ring].” When it starts with family, it ends with family, and this truly is a family affair. So bring your partner, your grandma (if her heart can handle it), and your weird cousin who’s visiting from out of town.
Preceding all the Lucha Libre events will be a benefit dance for the Northwest Immigration Rights Project,with Smokey Wonder spinning a mix of bachata, salsa, cumbia, merengue, reggaeton, Brazilian baile, Latin-trap, hip hop, funk, and more. Come early and support a great cause, then stay for the excitement afterwards!
Buy your tickets now to ensure you don’t miss out on what I know for a fact to be the best use of your time. For real, you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss this.