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Lucha libre (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlutʃa ˈliβɾe], meaning "Free fight") is a term used in Mexico for a form of professional wrestling developed in the country. Professional wrestling is an athletic form of entertainment based on a portrayal of a combat sport. Although the term today refers exclusively to professional wrestling, it was originally used in the same style as the American and English term "freestyle wrestling", referring to an amateur wrestling style without the restrictions of Greco-Roman wrestling.
Mexican wrestling 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 has developed 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 is especially prevalent in lucha libre, particularly matches with three-member teams, called trios.
Lucha libre wrestlers are known as luchadores (singular luchador) ("wrestler(s)"). They usually come from extended wrestling families who form their own stables. One such line integrated to the United States professional wrestling scene is Los Guerreros.
Lucha libre has also transcended the language barrier to some extent as evidenced by works such as Los Luchadores, ¡Mucha Lucha!, and Nacho Libre. Lucha libre also appears in other pop culture such as mainstream advertising: in Canada, Telus' Koodo Mobile Post Paid cell service uses a cartoon lucha libre wrestler as its spokesperson/mascot.
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