Mexicanwrestling is characterized by colorful masks, rapid sequences of holds and maneuvers, as well as "high-flying" maneuvers, some of which have been adopted in the United States. The wearing of masks hasdeveloped special significance, and matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached. Tag team wrestling isespecially prevalent in lucha libre, particularly matches with three-member teams, called trios.
Lucha libre has also transcended the language barrier to some extent as evidenced by works such as LosLuchadores, ¡Mucha Lucha!, and Nacho Libre. Lucha libre wrestlers are known as luchadores (singular luchador) ("fighter(s)").The rules of lucha libre are similar to American singles matches. Matches canbe won by pinning the opponent to the mat for the count of three, making him submit, knocking him out of the ring for a predetermined count (generally twenty) or by disqualification. Using the ropesfor leverage is illegal, and once a luchador is on the ropes, his opponent must release any holds and he will not be able to pin him.
Disqualifications occur when an opponent uses an illegal hold,move (such as the piledriver, which is an illegal move in lucha libre and grounds for immediate disqualification, though some variations are legal in certain promotions), or weapon, hits his opponentin the groin (faul), uses outside interference, attacks the referee, or rips his opponent's mask completely off. Most matches are two out of three falls (dos de tres caídas), which had been abandonedfor title bouts in North America and Japan in the 1970s.
A rule unique to lucha libre applies during tag team matches, which is when the legal wrestler of a team touches the floor outside the...