Mexican Masks: The masks behind Nacho Libre

This isn’t a review of the movie Nacho Libre (2006), a film you either love or hate, depending how in touch you are with your inner teenage boy. However the film and its star Jack Black did much to bring Lucha Libre to the attention of the world outside Mexico and North America.

Mask for Nacho from the movie Nacho Libre

Mask for Nacho from the movie Nacho Libre

The film’s plot is (very) loosely based on the real life story of a Mexican catholic priest who as his alter ego Fray Tormenta had a 23 year career as a luchador, to raise money for his orphanage. Jack Black’s character, Ignacio the priest, similarly fights incognito as Nacho (it’s not a film known for its subtly).

His hero-turned-nemesis is Ramses, a champion luchador. All comes good in the end for our hero but not before he is humiliated and unmasked by the bad guy, Ramses.

The mask of luchador Ramses

The mask of luchador Ramses

In the real world of lucha libre Ramses is played by César Cuauhtémoc González Barrón, better known as Silver King. Like many luchadors he comes from a family of masked wrestlers, his father was Dr Wagner, his brother is Dr Wagner Jr. In 1987 Silver King was unmasked by El Hijo del Santo and his identity revealed. González continued to wrestle under different masks, then in a break with tradition in 2007 returned, remasked as Silver King.

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