(TMU) — As Mexico enters the most serious phase of the coronavirus pandemic, many of the country’s activities have ground to a halt. From the country’s museums to its white-sand beaches and open-air artisan markets, Mexico—like many other countries hoping the bend the curve of infections—has hit the pause button on normal life.
Among the myriad entertainment activities that have been suspended by authorities are professional combat sports—including Mexican professional wrestling, or Lucha Libre.
And with the arenas shuttered, the sport’s most popular luchadores or fighters have been deprived of their incomes and the ability to continue practicing their spectacular jump-kicks and flips from the top ropes of the wrestling ring.
So to keep busy and help society in the meantime, a pair of Mexican wrestlers are now making a unique contribution to a different sort of fight by sewing face masks inspired by the great competitors of the traditional sport.
El Hijo del Soberano (the Son of the Sovereign), who belongs to a wrestling dynasty but has faced the loss of his job due to the lockdown, said that the idea was borne of necessity and his family’s loss of a crucial source of revenue.
However, he told ESPN that the idea didn’t come to him until his wife asked him: “Why don’t we make face masks?”
Continuing, El Hijo del Soberano explained:
“So we made some, but using the material we had for the costumes. We use the lycra and the fabrics that are used in the wrestling suit makings. They have double stitching, fabric reinforcement.”
The masks include the motifs and designs typically associated with the most popular wrestlers in the sport, including Blue Demon, El Santo, and others. At $150 Mexican pesos ($6 USD), the masks are a bit more expensive than typical cotton masks, which go for around $20 pesos ($.80 USD) each, but they quickly became popular among wrestling fans and began to ship to various parts of the country.
El Profesor Gato Gris además de confeccionar equipos de lucha libre, también elabora cubrebocas de luchadores famosos.
Si estás interesado en comprar o en cotizar deseños propios, comunícate a su cel. 222 526 329 y así apoyamos la economía local #GrandeGatoGris #TalentoPoblano pic.twitter.com/o5LgVHZVmP
— Carolina Morales (@carolamora75) April 16, 2020
El Hijo del Soberano was eventually joined by retired wrestler Isaías Huerta, formerly known as El Gato Gris (Grey Cat), who used to run a wrestling costume workshop in Puebla. However, the government’s March 30 order that all non-essential businesses must shut down forced Huerta to halt his main job.
Huerta then began making protective masks only for his family before he decided to expand his operations and become an “essential” business by making masks adorned with the designs of such Lucha Libre legends as La Parka, Black Taurus, and Dr. Wagner.
— Tere AB (@Tere_Brit) April 22, 2020
Huerta told EFE news agency:
“I’ve always loved talking about wrestling, so much so that I started sewing costumes for my teammates, and now it led me to come up with the idea of wrestler masks.”
On Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose in Mexico by over 1,000 in a single day, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 10,544 and signaling that the curve in infections is rapidly rising, Deputy Healh Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told reporters.
Mexico has faced criticism over what some claim is a lax approach to managing the pandemic, including a failure to test the population sufficiently and an initial lack of urgency in halting mass activities such as concerts and events at large venues.
Durante años, Moisés Calderón fue un luchador mexicano.
Ahora, durante la epidemia de COVID-19, elabora cubrebocas a partir de máscaras de lucha libre. pic.twitter.com/57aJSIpUWd
— AJ+Español (@ajplusespanol) April 23, 2020
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