Meet Xtreme Mexican Wrestling, the gory side of an already risky sport – where blood and hospital visits are so common they’re practically expected. Melding the spectacle of Lucha Libre with the clandestine vibe of Fight Club, XMW matches feel something like the videos of backyard fights that abound on YouTube – except at a much bigger scale.
Despite its bourgeoning popularity, you may have never heard of XMW. That’s because the matches aren’t televised like their more popular and by the book counterparts, Triple A. In fact, the whole thing goes down semi-secretly in the outskirts of Mexico City. And with reason; unlike the real Fight Club, which had a set of 8 rules, XMW has only a simple motto you can read on a Facebook page full of typos: “We are XMW we aren’t stars but we like to beat the shit out of each other in the ring so every fan gets their money’s worth.”
The wrestlers rely on drawing blood and injuring their opponents as part of the show. In order to rile the audience up, barriers between spectators and the ring are practically nonexistent. Chairs and wrestlers fly alike for the delight of the fans, and the modern day gladiators have an arsenal of dangerous objects that they hurl at each other.
In an interview with Mexican sports journal Record, Mexico City’s Lucha Libre Commission President stated that they don’t consider recognize XMW as Lucha Libre, calling it “street fighting” and noting that it doesn’t comply with the league’s rules, like having medical services on the premises.
XMW advertises every event on Facebook, but there is still something sketchy about the whole thing. Even XMW’s legal advisor refused to give his name in an interview with Record.
The legality of the whole thing might be dubious, but given that their venue is in the poor outskirts of Ecatepec in Estado de Mexico, a state known for corrupt and inept governments (Peña Nieto was governor of the Estado de México in the period 2005-2011), it’s unlikely that the sport will be regulated.
While the whole idea of XMW might seem thrilling in an old-school kind of way, we can’t forget the risks that these sports entail. After all, it’s been less than three months since El hijo del Perro Aguayo died in a Lucha Libre match that was far more regulated than what’s going down in the XMW rings.
Still, it looks like the hype might be spreading. Although most of XMW functions take place at a small venue called Salon Citlali in Estado de Mexico, their Facebook page shows an upcoming function in Houston in September. We’ll just have to wait and see whether it goes down, and what U.S. authorities might have to say about this.
The popularity of boxing and UFC today proves that people like to see blood (from others, of course), so maybe these types of luchas are on the verge of expanding to the northern side of the border. Then again, I don’t want to sound like Donald Trump talking about Mexico’s violence spilling into the USA.
So here’s a video instead: