Step into the electrifying world of Lucha Fantastica, where Mexican culture meets the thrilling spectacle of Lucha Libre wrestling right here in Melbourne. From vibrant Latin parties to mesmerizing wrestling showdowns, Lucha Fantastica has been igniting the city’s entertainment scene for over a decade. At IFAS Group we’ve had the privilege of working closely with the company on some of Melbourne’s most exciting events, and Lucha Fantastica holds a special place as one of our favourite clients. In this exclusive interview with the visionary behind it all, Victor Diaz, we delve into the origins of this fusion of music, tradition, and high-flying athleticism, and discover what makes Lucha Fantastica an unmissable experience for locals and visitors alike.

Can you share the backstory of how Lucha Fantastica originated and its mission to promote Mexican culture through events like wrestling, Day of the Dead, and Mexican Festivals?

We started doing events about 13 or 15 years ago, I started with Latin parties and back in those days I also used to import Mexican handicrafts. Amongst those handicrafts, I brought some Mexican wrestling masks and I used to sell them at the Summer Night Market (at Queen Vic Market). I was surprised on how many people knew about them as they had travelled to Mexico, and people who didn’t know, were thrilled by it when I told them about it. One night while I was at the market, I thought it would be great to have a Latin party with the DJ’s and mariachis combined with a Mexican Wrestling show and that was it… Lucha Fantastica was created! Our first show was 11 years ago and luckily people loved it since then. 

Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Where in Mexico did you originate from, and how long have you been in Melbourne? Also, do you often find the opportunity to reconnect with your roots by visiting friends and family back in Mexico?

I am from Mexico City and have been living in Australia about 20 years now, I was married to an Aussie chick and that’s how I arrived here. I lived in Brisbane for about 2 years, after living in Melbourne for also 2 years, but we decided to move to Melbourne as we have a lot of friends here. I am very lucky as I get the chance to travel a lot, specially to Mexico, I go once a year and there has been times when I even travel twice, I think we Mexicans are very close to our family members and therefore, travelling there to visit them is important to me. I also think I am very lucky in doing something I really enjoy, and also have the chance to share my country’s traditions and culture to all Australia and also to other countries. 

How has Lucha Fantastica evolved since its establishment, and what positive impact has it made on the Mexican and Spanish-speaking communities in Melbourne?

Looking back, I never imagined I would be doing Mexican Wrestling as a living and doing it full time, I always loved it since I was little. I remember watching it on TV and even going to the arenas when I was a kid, but as I grew up, I thought I would end up doing a more “serious” job”, but I never liked worked at an office so it doesn’t surprise me now. We only started with 4 shows a year in Melbourne and then slowly we have been adding more cities. We now have a presence in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Geelong. Additionally, we have even been to China (2016) and Singapore (2014) and it always makes me so happy to hear people at the end of the shows, how much they laughed and how much they enjoyed the event, especially now that we are doing the family shows, I get a lot of satisfaction from the kids’ faces. They look so happy and so into their favourite characters and breaking the piñatas. Some Mexican parents come sometimes at the end of the show and thank us for reminding them on Mexican traditions and now they are able to share them with their kids. It has been a fun 11 years!  

Organising events that celebrate Mexican culture and entertainment surely presents its own set of challenges and rewards. Could you elaborate on some notable ones you’ve encountered while managing Lucha Fantastica?

Love this question, there are always challenges yes. The main one is sometimes finding people saying to us “this is cultural appropriation” and I laugh so much with this one. How can I do appropriation of my own culture? We are really and genuinely Mexicans doing a Mexican event. We do have performers from all over the world though, yes, but the main essence of the event, the main performers, the food, the drinks and the show are absolutely Mexican. I do spend a good amount of time trying to figure out ways to take you on a trip to Mexico as soon as you arrive to the Lucha Fantastica events. Sometimes people say, “Mexicans won’t agree or tolerate this.” I really find it strange how other cultures and people are very protective of Mexican culture, I appreciate it but everyone out there, I think you need to experience our events so you can have a good laugh and a good time. If you have been to Mexico, bring back those memories you have from when you visited and if you haven’t been, I can guarantee you will have a great time and hope I can make you itchy to go to the main source and visit Mexico! 

Are there any particularly memorable stories or moments from your experiences with Lucha Fantastica that stand out to you?

One of the most memorable moments I have so far with Lucha Fantastica was going to Singapore in 2014 for a show at the Hublot Gala presentation in Asia! It was only 3 years after we started Lucha Fantastica. We were very new in the entertainment business, and we got hired to do this show in front of a small but very rich and influential crowd. Amongst the public was Donnie Yen (Hong Kong actor, filmmaker, martial artist, and action director, regarded as one of Hong Kong’s top action stars), I was wondering what he thinks about Mexican Wrestling. I saw him with a big smile at the show and I think everyone had a great time, but it was a little surreal to perform for him. 

Regarding the wrestling matches, are there any that stand out as particularly memorable for their excitement or significance within the Lucha Fantastica community?

When we were in China in 2016, our very first match was a girl’s match. One of them got her opponent out of the ring and was getting ready to jump out of the ring on top of her but she couldn’t as people were very polite and helpful trying to make the wrestler stand up and helping her to get back in the ring. We kept yelling to them to move out of the way as the other wrestler was about to jump and attack but people didn’t listen. The other wrestler got out of the ring and started punching her in front of everyone. They all got surprised and even offered water to the wrestler who was down. I think they had never seen any type of wrestling before. In the end they all had a great time and loved taking photos with us, but it was hard to keep the action going. It was a hilarious moment really. 

Are there wrestlers or characters involved with the show, besides yourself, that have become fan favourites, receiving enthusiastic support from the crowd?

Oh yes! Chico is definitely the people’s favourite! Everyone loves him. Chico is the character who’s always with me. I am the MC of the show and when we are at the family shows, Chico gives lollies to kids and tequila to the kids over 18. Everyone loves him! 

Looking ahead, what future goals and expansion plans does Lucha Fantastica envision, if any, to further promote Mexican culture and entertainment in and around Melbourne?

The future is looking great, I am hoping that now that Covid is over we can do more international shows. We had great momentum but when Covid hit. All international plans went down. Fingers crossed we can do more international shows in Asia and other continents. In the meantime, we have our biggest tour happening this April and May We will be visiting six cities and doing twelve shows. We are really looking forward to it! 

For individuals or businesses seeking to support and get involved with Lucha Fantastica, what partnership opportunities or avenues of contribution would you suggest?

We are always open to everything. Send us a message, let’s have a chat and let’s have a good time! 

Could you share your experience with IFAS Group providing security for your events, and how it has contributed to the overall success and safety of Lucha Fantastica gatherings?

I honestly can’t imagine doing any shows without IFAS Group, The events always run very smoothly when you guys are in charge of the security. Our biggest shows are in Melbourne, and we always have you guys looking after us. I am very grateful about it!  We are very lucky we never had an incident, but I do remember how helpful you guys are when we break the piñatas with the kids! They become little monsters, so desperate to break the piñatas and then we have so many! It can be a little scary, it is always so good to receive help from IFAS to keep everyone in line and behaving! 

Thanks Victor. The next Lucha Fantastica event in Melbourne will be held at the Collingwood Town Hall on Saturday May the 4th. The kids show starts at 2pm and doors open for the over-18 show at 6pm. For other touring dates and for more information visit See you there…