Is your calling in the Mexican ring?

Are you tired of sitting in front of a computer all day? Wishing you could break out of your career rut and do something more viscerally satisfying? Why not harness all that pent-up energy, adopt an alter ego (and mask) and begin a new life as a Mexican Luchador? Become a superhero to your kids and millions of Mexican wrestling fans as you Hurricanrana your nemeses. Join the oldest and largest pro wresting league in the world. Here are a few steps to get you started.

Step One: Choose Your Mask

This is very important since the mask is the source of your power. The tradition is based the Aztecs who wore animal masks when going into battle. The jaguar was considered the most powerful, followed by the wolf, the snake, and the eagle. Today masks can also be based on comic book heroes or religious icons or tequila.

Step Two: Are You Good or Bad?

Good Guys are called Tecnicos (technicians) and fight for the rights of farmers, workers, and the poor. Bad guys are called “Rudos”, known for their brawling style and drug cartel-like tactics. Mexican poet Octavio Paz mused that Luchadors mirror the duality of the Mexican soul - whatever that means. Bottom line: if the idea of kicking a man in the huevos excites you, you should probably go Rudo.

Step Three: Choose Your Persona

Mexico has the largest number of professional wrestlers in the world and the oldest pro league in existence. There are lots of different weight classes so you don’t have to be a pituitary case to compete. Lucha Libre is also very tolerant. One group of wrestlers called the Exotics are known for their effeminate gestures, the most famous being El Maximo who kisses his opponents at every opportunity. Female luchadoras, midgets, and obese giants also make popular wrestlers and everybody fights everybody.

Step Four: Choose Your Name

If you have trouble coming up with a name, there are several name generators to help you out:

A sampling of results for “Barack Obama”: El Chile Misterioso, El Gigilo de la Muerte, and Aerodynamic Arm Dragger.

Step Five: Learn the Rules

Matches have two referees – one good and one bad to keep things fair. Tag teams consist of three members including one captain. If the captain is pinned or submits, the match is over. Disqualifications arise from excessive violence (it’s a family event after all) or staying out of the ring for more than 20 seconds. You can also be disqualified for demasking an opponent. Big no-no.

Step Six: Learn the Moves

Mexican wrestling is more high flying and acrobatic than Americana wrestling. A few basic moves:

Tope or "Speed Bump" – A flying head-butt to the chest, usually delivered by diving through the ropes at an opponent outside the ring.
Guillotina or “Guillotine” – A leg drop to the neck.
Sentón Plancha or “Reverse Iron” – An aerial in which the wrestler jumps and lands back-first on an opponent.
Tornillo - A plancha where the diving luchador spins or twists in midair.
Hurricanrana – A back-flip performed while sitting atop the shoulders of an opponent, resulting in the opponent landing on his back. Usually leads to a Rana or frog style pin.

Note: Tossing midgets like flying missiles is also a fan favorite.

Step Seven: Never Take Off the Mask

Never take off the mask ... even when cruising in your Pontiac Firebird convertible. The most famous Mexican wrestler, El Santo, was buried in his mask. To be demasked is considered a grievous insult – even greater than losing. The worst shame of all however, comes after “Hair Matches” when defeated Luchadors have their mullets chopped and heads shaved before all the world. Who can forget the night that Los Gringos Locos -- Art Barr and Eddy Guerrero -- lost their double hair match to Son of Santo and Octagon? Aye que pena!

Step Eight: Merchandize

If you make it big, your masked mug will be on cereal boxes, backpacks, trading cards, amusement park rides, and candy bars. You will star in movies, comic books, and probably even your own porno – though the body may not be yours. If you are really lucky, you may even join the WWF, WWE, or a Japanese league – although many will call you a sell out. Of course, if you’re a gringo in the first place (surprise!), you will get mad respect for being so crafty.