Most fans know that lucha libre is quite distinct when it’s compared to the American style of wrestling.
But in an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, former NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar explained just how different lucha libre and American wrestling are from each other. He compared transitioning from lucha libre to American wrestling to driving on the other side of the road. This change can be daunting for many drivers, and based on Escobar’s description, it’s easy to imagine the difficulties involved in this shift.
“Lucha is a different style in and of itself,” said Escobar. “Mexican lucha libre works with the right side. That’s the first thing to note. American wrestling works on the left.”
“It’s like in the U.K., the way the cars run on the other side of the road….American wrestling works on the left side, the left side of your body. All the maneuvers and the movements come from your left arm.
“In Mexico, it comes from the right. That’s a very important difference.”
Escobar stated that wrestlers moving from the American style to lucha libre have to reorient their in-ring skills to follow this disparity. Likewise, performers who learn the lucha libre style must adapt and focus on the left side when they travel to America. He emphasized the significance of this change as one of the major hurdles wrestlers face when they shift from working in America to wrestling in Mexico, and vice versa.