In 2009, when I first met LIDER wrestlers, the group was managed by Kid Simonini and Jaider Lee, the sons of Medico Loco. They performed in a much smaller arena in the neighborhood of Villa Victoria, a working class area sometimes referred to as Villa Balazos (Bullet Town) given its high crime rates. They did not have a permanent weekly schedule, and the wrestlers often traveled to put on shows in nearby small altiplano towns. They did not market themselves to tourists specifically, and when I attended their shows I was the only visibly non-Bolivian in the audience. However, by the time I left La Paz at the end of 2012, the group was starting to work more like Titanes del Ring with shows every Sunday in the Coloseo 12 de Octubre in El Alto, and several different tour companies helping them to attract foreign tourists to their shows. However, while Titanes del Ring usually garnered between 150-200 foreign tourists per week, LIDER only had about 20.
Lucha Fuerza Extrema (LFX) was another group, started in 2005 by the sons of Sombra Vengadora: Sombra Jr., and Vampiro Uno. During the time of my fieldwork, LFX was a growing group, focused on “extreme” wrestling, in which they used items like chairs, tables, ladders, light bulbs, thumb tacks, and anything else that was breakable or hard enough to hit with. Like the schedule of LIDER when I first began fieldwork, LFX performed sporadically and at different locations around La Paz and El Alto. Roberto attributed their lack of events to internal arguments.
Super Catch is the fourth lucha libre group in La Paz and the one with which I worked most closely. The group was formed in 2010, and I joined them in January of 2012. Between January and November of that year I trained with them a few times a week, appeared on local and national television talk shows about 15 times to promote the group, and wrestled in 5 live events. Much of my dissertation is based on what I learned learned from that experience.
Each of these groups—LIDER, LFX, Super Catch, and Titanes del Ring—perform in the coloseos of La Paz and El Alto, though some more regularly than others. These venues, sometimes called arenas, do not appear like gynasiums of the United States. They are made almost entirely from concrete and are covered by a roof, but there is space between the tops of the walls and roof structure. The buildings are drafty and cold, especially after dark. Audience members who sit along the wall on concrete bleachers or on plastic chairs around the ring, usually wear heavy coats and sometimes bring a blanket to cover their legs.
For most of my time in La Paz Super Catch wrestlers moved around different venues, putting on shows once or twice per month—usually on a Friday night. Some venues, like the Coloseo de Villa Victoria (the same location where most LIDER shows took place from 2009-2011) were quite large and well known, but the group also put on shows in neighborhood parks or recreation centers. At the time I was finishing fieldwork, Super Catch was trying to negotiate for their events to be televised on the local television station, Palenque TV, in weekly shows under the name Tigres del Ring.