As the sun sets on the Arena Coliseo in Mexico City, locals and tourists alike make their way to the home of professional lucha libre. The crowd blows horns, drinks beer from paper cups and tries to flag down the popcorn vendor. The stadium is cool, but there’s a rising warmth generated by too many bodies in one space.
It’s Saturday fight night featuring the luchadoras: powerful masked female fighters competing for a place in an old-school boys’ club. Lights flash, spectators whistle and an anthem blares over the speakers. “Sanely,” a 37-year-old third-generation fighter (with a degree in psychology) strides down the catwalk in knee-high patent-leather boots, a black trench with shiny scales on the arms, blue and black shorts and matching sports bra. Her mask is a combination of the “S” from her name and a tribute to her father, wrestling legend “Mano Negra.” A ripple of excitement passes through the crowd as she climbs into the ring.