The stage is awash in hot-pink light, and the announcer is summoning his deepest, most dramatic voice. It's Friday night in the Arena México -- time for Viernes Espectacular, Mexico City's biggest wrestling event of the week. The crowd is buzzing in the cavernous old arena, children are squirming in the colorful seats and the star exótico of the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) is waiting to enter the ring. He is the Savage Strawberry, Mister Forbidden Love: Maximo.
He emerges in aviator shades and a white leather jacket speckled with rhinestones, collar turned up high. Lately, Maximo has been going for what he calls a gay Elvis look, growing sideburns and a pompadour under his trademark pink mohawk. The crowd shrieks and laughs and loses its mind as he bounds down the steps, past the lines of shimmying ring girls in bikinis. When the short, stocky wrestler leaps over the ropes and into the ring, the skirt on his purple Greco-Roman singlet flutters.