While people in North America know professional wrestling as the arena for muscled grapplers like Hulk Hogan and the Rock, the simulated competition has a different flavor in Mexico. There, it’s known as lucha libre, and luchador athletes often take to the ring wearing masks to honor the traditions of the sport. Now, one lucha libre wrestler is using skills honed on costumes to contribute to coronavirus efforts.
According to NPR, a wrestler known as El Hijo del Soberano—luchadores often protect their identities—is using the downtime owing to shuttered wrestling arenas by turning his talents to protective coverings. Both Soberano and his wife Marissa Espinoza Rodríguez had sewing supplies and materials and decided to convert their wrestling-oriented workshop into one that produces face masks.
These are no plain coverings. Owing to Soberano’s involvement in lucha, his masks are designed in part as a tribute to iconic luchadores like El Santo and the Blue Demon, with bright colors that recall the vibrant costumes of in-ring performers.
Soberano, who had been struggling to make ends meet, quickly saw business take off. The masks sell for 150 pesos, or about $6.26, and he’s moving roughly 200 per week. Orders are being fielded via his Facebook page, where Soberano is asking requests to be sent via his WhatsApp account. It’s not clear whether he’s shipping to the United States, but either way, business appears to be booming.