Before he enters the boxing ring, masked luchador El Mariachi has already won over the Lucha Xtreme fans.
It's a live taping of the weekly series Lucha Xtreme wrestling entertainment at Pro Wrestling Training Center, where at least five bouts will be featured this Saturday afternoon in June.
Moments before his fight, El Mariachi, who keeps his real identity a secret, sported a sombrero and greeted fans, young and old, who nestled around the ring.
He's one of the featured wrestlers alongside JR Kratos, "Raging Bull" Manny Fernández, the tag-team duo called Suburban Commandos and Brian Cage - all make regular appearances on Lucha Xtreme.
The show airs on local cable television Saturdays at 8 p.m. on Comcast channel 13/713 HD. Dish, Directv and AT&T U-Verse 53 also televise the bouts. The shows are taped before a live audience at the Pro Wrestling Training Center, which is located at 56 N. Van Ness Ave, Fresno.
El Mariachi is a 24-year-old full-time luchador from Jalisco, Guadalajara, México, an athlete and entertainer in the industry. Every couple of months, he makes his way back to the Central Valley to face challengers in the Lucha Xtreme circuit.
The name El Mariachi comes from his love of music and a family tradition.
"My grandfather, Genaro Prado, a guitarist, started the tradition of mariachi within the family back in Jalisco," he said.
He broke the family tradition, moved the states 10 years ago, and took up being a luchador.
"As a kid, I used to enjoy watching the lucha on TV in México. Back in Guadalajara, they had it every Friday night, but I come from a family of musicians, which is where my mariachi name comes from," said El Mariachi .
Competiting at venues in the Bay Area, Oklahoma, Texas and Los Ángeles, and a couple times a year, in Monterrey and Tijuana, leaves little time throughout the year at this San José home.
The shows in the United States attract anywhere from 100 to 2,000 fans. Events in México City are much larger attractions, which is due to the longstanding presence of luchadores.
El Mariachi wanted to be a part of the heritage, and deliver it to the U.S., but he said telling his parents was not easy.
"At first they didn't like it, but eventually, they came to like it. My mom, she didn't, especially when I would come home hurt. It's one of those things where they don't want to see you get hurt, but they still love to see what you do," he said.
The next taping is Aug. 11. Fans wanting to be a part of the live audience must arrive by Noon. The schedule will be announced the week of the show.
For more information, visiti luchaxtreme.com.
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