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He’s Super Crazy: Fake stunts and real pain in lucha libre

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Careful, he’s Super Crazy.

This weekend Primm will turn into a border town when Mexican lucha libre fighters join boxers and mixed martial arts fighters for three days of blood, sweat and full contact action at Battle At the Border I.

The triple header kicks off Friday, April 17 at the Star of the Desert Arena with Cuban fighter Yuriokis Gamboa taking on Jose Rojas in the World Boxing Association Featherweight World Title bout. Saturday belongs to MMA with eight bouts in four weight divisions rounding out the second installment of Worlds Collide. And finally, Sunday brings 24 lucha libre fighters into the ring to battle it out bare-faced or from behind masks. The lineup includes 10 minis, or midget wrestlers, female fighters and legendary wrestlers Super Crazy and Super Parka competing in the tag team main event.

From his home in Hidalgo, Mexico, 35-year-old wrestler Super Crazy spoke to the Weekly in Spanish about real injuries versus in-ring acting, the movie The Wrestler and the difference between Mexican and American fans.

How did you first learn lucha libre wrestling?

I have a brother in Mexico, and he was the one who taught me the first moves. Ten minutes from our house there was a boxing and lucha libre gym.

What was the hardest of learning to fight?

The hardest part is when they put you in a submission hold. People say it’s fake, but when they put you in a submission hold the truth is you have to give up or you’ll break something.

When you’re fighting, how much of what we see is acting?

Of course, some of it is acting. I need the fans to get up around the ring and to feel what I’m feeling. It’s incredible. It’s not something that can be learned in one year, it takes some time.

Why would a handsome guy like this wear a mask?

Calendar

Boxing at the Border
April 17, 6:30 p.m., $20-$100.
Star of the Desert Arena at Buffalo Bill's Resort and Casino
Worlds Collide MMA
April 18, 7 p.m., $20-$100.
Star of the Desert Arena at Buffalo Bill's Resort and Casino
Lucha Libre Wrestling in Primm
April 19, 2 p.m., $20-$60.
Star of the Desert Arena at Buffalo Bill's Resort and Casino

You’ll be going against Super Parka in this weekend’s match in Primm. Have you fought against him before?

I fought against him in Mexico City, but in the middle he fouled me and they disqualified him, so it wasn’t the kind of fight I want to have in Las Vegas. I want him to fight cleanly, so we can put on a good show for Las Vegas.

How are the fans different in Mexico than in the U.S.?

Here in Mexico, when the fans come to a lucha they scream and they curse. It’s kind of letting off steam. In the U.S. it’s not the same. Here they really shout what they’re feeling. They’re more super crazy in Mexico.

What’s been the worst injury that you’ve had wrestling?

I broke a hand in Tokyo in 2004. I threw myself onto a Japanese wrestler, but by mistake I fell with my hand on my head, and I broke the hand. As a good Mexican, I couldn’t quit. I had to keep fighting. All of us fighters have something with our knees, our elbows or our shoulders, and a lot of people think it’s fake, but they don’t know what’s happening inside. In this career over the years, if you don’t pay for it … well, really, you have to pay for it. I’ve seen it.

Do you ever think about retiring because of all the injuries?

I do. I think in three or four years maximum I’ll stop and just stay here. Like all wrestlers, I go all over the world, and I don’t get to be with my family very much. But I wanted to be a wrestler and here I am.

You don’t wear a mask. Why?

No, I don’t wear a mask, because when I went to the U.S. I saw that nobody wore masks and I wanted to take mine off, too. I’m handsome, too. (Laughs) The truth is, I don’t like the masks. They fall off when I’m going off the ropes or when I hit the corner. They just get in my way.

What does your family think about your wrestling? Do they come to your fights?

I have a son who’s seven years old and lucha libre fascinates him, but I want him to study. But he’ll decide what he wants to do and, of course, he has all my support.

Have you seen the movie The Wrestler? What did you think of it?

Yes, I saw it. It hurt me a little. I see the reality, and that stuff happens to us. They exaggerated a bit, because it’s a movie, but that stuff really happens. You have to have limits, so you know how far to go and so you only go as far as you want. You need limits.

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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