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Word Travels - Getting Inside the Ring by Robin Esrock
Getting Inside the Ring
by Robin Esrock / Published April 8 2009


Esrock the Luche Dore



OK, here is the truth behind my adventures in a Mexican wrestling ring.  The plan was to meet some professional Luchedores to learn more about what they do, and maybe try a couple of the less hardcore moves.   I came up with the idea of the mask and cape mainly as a sight gag for the crew, and because I’m generally an idiot.   So we arrive at the stadium post-fight but there’s nobody there.   It’s a public holiday, and even though things had been set up weeks in advance, suddenly a key component of my story was non-existent.   So our guide scours the parking lot and finds this young kid with his trainer who agrees to show me the ropes.

Now, there might have been some language issues, a possible miscommunication or two, but whatever it was, our young, buff wrestler thought I was a wrestler myself, and wanted to play around a bit.   I mean, look at my bicepts, it’s obvious I’m a wrestler!   So luchedores know how to take the blows, how to fall, how make it look like it hurts without it actually hurting.  I didn’t know shit.   I climbed in the ring, goofing off as is my custom, when Metallio unleashed himself proceeded to beat the living crap out of me.   At first, I just went along with it.  Then he did a flying kick that almost certainly bruised a rib.   Then he tied me up and showed me what my ass in red tights looks like.    The crew were crying they thought it was so funny (there’s a great shot of Paul and Neil peeing themselves), and finally I managed to communicate that I was actually getting squashed and might not survive if he continued in such a manner. At this point, the communication was cleared up, and I carried on with the sequence, even though I was in utter pain and discomfort.   Sometimes, when the camera is rolling, I just go for it and deal with the consequences later.  You see such consequences, in the credits outro, which makes me hurt just watching it.

The pain did go away, with the help of tequila, and lots of it.  After our visit to Jose Cuervo, I have come to appreciate the finer aspects of tequila.  To Mexicans, the idea of shooting back good tequila is the equivalent of the French shooting back a fine Bordeaux.   It was a great story, but the very real hangover you see the next morning was actually the result of a very big night out in Guadalajara, where I ended up on stage at a live band karaoke thing singing Radiohead’s Creep.   Only, I substituted the words to:  “I’m a creeeeeeep……I’m a GRINGOOOOOO…what the hell am I doing here, I don’t belong here.”  To which, it has to be said, I received a standing ovation, many a tequila, and the hell on earth hangover the following morning.
This was the last country we filmed in for the season, and we had a blast.   On my day off (while Julia was out getting her spell on), I ended up getting a new tattoo (to mark yet one more unlikely adventure around the world), and going to a Manu Chao concert with 30,000 people in a rainstorm.    

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