This is one tough gym.
Before the warm-ups and the wrestling, a man in blue tights and red, green, silver and black boots is sweeping up the dust and dried blood in this small garage-turned-gym in Renton.
Most Read Stories
- The coming California megastorm
- Skyrocketing Seattle-area rents leave tenants with no easy choices
- Woman killed by light-rail train at Mount Baker Station
- Vessel carrying 2,600 gallons of fuel, oil sinks near San Juan Island
- Analysis: Where the QB battle stands and four other thoughts after the Seahawks' preseason opener
Half a dozen masked men and one woman are about to practice lucha libre, Mexican wrestling, for two hours under the tutelage of Profesor José Gómez.
El Fenix takes a leg stomp to the midsection from Hero, but in an instant he’s up and engaging his opponent in a Greco-Roman-style hold.
Each luchador (wrestler) has chosen his or her own ring name. There’s El Rey Jaguar, La Avispa, El Viento, El Sonico and Cromo.
Their masks all are from Mexico City, where El Profesor was a wrestler for 27 years.
There are two students, a software engineer, a marketing manager and a construction worker.
El Fenix calls the group a troupe.
Don’t ask if it’s fake like American pro wrestling.
“There’s a suspension of disbelief by the audience,” says El Fenix.
This is about acrobatics, action and stunts and performance not scripted.
To succeed, says El Fenix, “You must disregard your survival instincts.”
El Profesor shows them how to take the falls, punctuating the move with a slap to the canvas.
El Profesor says “it takes persistence, patience and practice.”
The wrestlers conclude practice forming a circle in the ring, arm in arm, giving thanks no one was injured.