Rey Mysterio Jr is Aro Lucha.
On Sunday June 18th, Aro Lucha was live at the Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee. Fightful Wrestling had a correspondent at the event as I attended out of pure curiosity. The listeners of Fightful Wrestling's flagship podcast The List and Ya Boy should know that this website invested over $200 dollars to become investors in the company. A wrestling promotion using crowd funding as a stream of revenue fueled my curiosity because it seems like a very 2018 thing to happen in professional wrestling but I also wanted to be able to see on what Fightful had spent money.
I used a ride-sharing app to reach the fairgrounds because moving my car while in Nashville was not an option during the weekend. My driver told me the city had added one hundred citizen per day over the last seven years and paying my hotel to house my car for two days seemed like the easiest and cheapest option. My driver dropped me off at the fairgrounds which had several buildings with very little signage. I saw three men in referee shirts with a Aro Lucha logo in the parking lot and asked them for directions to the show.
Demographically, I knew Nashville had a growing Hispanic population as it was mentioned in some Aro Lucha press releases this year but I still noticed there were more people speaking fluent Spanish waiting in line compared to the other independent wrestling shows I have visited in the midwest. There were at least one dozen people wearing the jersey of the National Mexican Soccer team reflecting the World Cup game earlier that day where Mexico upset Germany.
Before the matches started, Aro Lucha had some crowd interactions including a "Mexican scream" contest between children in the ring. The two men with microphones gave away masks and t-shirts and each time they spoke they seemed to repeat their words in Spanish. Rey Mysterio was mentioned several times before the event started and the crowd cheered louder each time.
The rules of the matches were designed for high-paced action. All matches were one fall to a finish and tag team matches required no tags which would play out later in the main event. The first match consisted of three wrestlers I have seen before at Rockstar Pro Wrestling in Dayton, Ohio. They were Myron Reed, Nate Wings, and Trey Miguel.
I was aware that Miguel was going to be at the show but the other two wrestlers were surprises and Wings was wearing a mask which I hadn't seen him do outside of wrestling as "Spider Monkey." The three young wrestlers had the crowd standing and chanting "this is awesome" for most of the match.
Another surprise to me was seeing WWN Champion Austin Theory in a match where he defeated Septimo Dragon. One of the matches which was a highlight of the night was a comedy match between the teams of Thunder Rosa and Mascarita Dorada and the team of Demus and Kylie Rae. Thunder Rosa was often leading chants for Dorada which were the loudest chants besides the "619" chants to come later.
The main event could not have been more electric with this type of crowd as it seemed every person was waiting for Rey Mysterio Jr. While Sammy Guevara, Shane Strickland, Willie Mack, and Fenix all had warm receptions, Rey Mysterio's reaction was categorically louder.
The crowd began to chant "619" from the second he came from behind the curtain to when the match started and the entire match was built around Mysterio trying to hit the 619 on Strickland who thwarted it twice. The good-guys won the match and afterwards Mysterio was able to hit another 619.
My takeaways from the event were that I met three fans in my section who were investors in the promotion and none of them had heard anything about receiving the rewards promised for investing including the mask for which Fightful founder Jimmy Van has been waiting. I saw a lot of impressive athletic feats from the likes of Fenix, Sammy Guevara, Puma King, and the three young wrestlers in the opening match.
Aro Lucha is a place which celebrates Lucha Libre for what it is which is a crowd pleasing, exciting, and athletic event with a lot of crowd interaction. Once the show started, the longest fans had to wait for another match was the ten minute intermission.
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