In the ring, they were gods. Now the coronavirus pandemic is forcing Mexican lucha libre stars to sell street food. Even the best-known wrestlers were never paid very well. With no matches save a few televised or broadcast online contests, superstars and up-and-comers alike have had to rely on starting their own businesses.

Posters announcing lucha libre matches pasted on the walls of Arena Mexico, the "cathedral of lucha libre,” have all been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Doctores neighborhood in Mexico City.

Posters announcing lucha libre matches pasted on the walls of Arena Mexico, the "cathedral of lucha libre,” have all been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Doctores neighborhood in Mexico City.

Semi-professional and novice luchadores, of the Escuela de Lucha Libre de Promociones Corsario Negro, train at the Centro Civico in the Tulpetlac neighborhood in Ecatepec, State of Mexico.

Semi-professional and novice luchadores, of the Escuela de Lucha Libre de Promociones Corsario Negro, train at the Centro Civico in the Tulpetlac neighborhood in Ecatepec, State of Mexico.

Wrestlers hone their craft into the evening at the school.

Wrestlers hone their craft into the evening at the school.

Customers order crepes at Crepas El Maná in La Lagunilla neighborhood in Mexico City. In the spring, as it became clear that matches would not resume for months, Mexican luchador Joel Bernal Galicia, 54, known as “Olímpico

Customers order crepes at Crepas El Maná in La Lagunilla neighborhood in Mexico City. In the spring, as it became clear that matches would not resume for months, Mexican luchador Joel Bernal Galicia, 54, known as “Olímpico,” began working with his wife Leticia Vazquez Rojano, at the small crepes stand.

“At first I thought, ‘How can Olímpico go and accept a handout?’” he said. “But then I lost my ego. I realized: I’m a person who also needs help, and I have a body that also needs rest.” With crepe sales not enough to pay the

“At first I thought, ‘How can Olímpico go and accept a handout?’” he said. “But then I lost my ego. I realized: I’m a person who also needs help, and I have a body that also needs rest.” With crepe sales not enough to pay the bills, the couple have also relied on charity donations.

Jessica Juarez, 12, and her grandfather Refugio Larios, 63, wait for their order at Crepas El Maná.

Jessica Juarez, 12, and her grandfather Refugio Larios, 63, wait for their order at Crepas El Maná.

Olímpico and his wife of 14-years Leticia at their crepes stand they started over eight years ago.

Olímpico and his wife of 14-years Leticia at their crepes stand they started over eight years ago.

A mural of lucha libre wrestler Darth Maul holding the mask of Aníbal at a parking lot across the street from Arena Mexico, the "cathedral of lucha libre”, in the Doctores neighborhood in Mexico City.

A mural of lucha libre wrestler Darth Maul holding the mask of Aníbal at a parking lot across the street from Arena Mexico, the "cathedral of lucha libre”, in Mexico City.

A small social distancing crowd looks on while Katalan launches himself from the top rope onto Mr. Jack and Maldad while they battle it out in a lucha libre event that was broadcast online but closed to the public at the Cent
A small social distancing crowd looks on while Katalan launches himself from the top rope onto Mr. Jack and Maldad while they battle it out in a lucha libre event that was broadcast online but closed to the public at the Centro Civico in the Tulpetlac neighborhood in Ecatepec, State of Mexico.
Referee Furcio sprays disinfectant on Stigma while his partner Azteka Negro stands ready before the match.

Referee Furcio sprays disinfectant on Stigma while his partner Azteka Negro stands ready before the match.

Black Lesbon receives a kick from Tazosomok while they battle it out at the Centro Civico.

Black Lesbon receives a kick from Tazosomok while they battle it out at the Centro Civico.

Before getting back into the ring, Maldad banters with super fan Pascual Galindo.
Before getting back into the ring, Maldad banters with super fan Pascual Galindo.
Gran Toro chokes Azteka Negro with a chain as referee Furcio tries to separate Stigma and Infierno Negro.

Gran Toro chokes Azteka Negro with a chain as referee Furcio tries to separate Stigma and Infierno Negro.

Professional wrestler José Gutierrez Hernandez, 48, “Último Guerrero,” checks in on step-daughter Tabata Negrete, and daughter Paola Gutierrez, at De Otro Nivel food truck in the El Risco CTM neighborhood on Saturday, Aug. 15

Professional wrestler José Gutierrez Hernandez, 48, “Último Guerrero,” checks in on step-daughter Tabata Negrete, and daughter Paola Gutierrez, at De Otro Nivel food truck in the El Risco CTM neighborhood, in Mexico City. Último Guerrero, wrestling for 30 years, opened the food truck in late March, selling; hamburgers, french fries, wings and nachos, to earn a living for his family after the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown wrestling matches.

Último Guerrero helps with the cooking, while guests Cuauhtemoc Reyes, 7, enjoys a hamburger with Natalia Restrepo, and Guillermo Cordero.

Último Guerrero helps with the cooking, while guests Cuauhtemoc Reyes, 7, enjoys a hamburger with Natalia Restrepo, and Guillermo Cordero.

De Otro Nivel food truck in the El Risco CTM neighborhood in Mexico City.

De Otro Nivel food truck in the El Risco CTM neighborhood in Mexico City.

​Monserat Mejia, of Mexico City, brings her nephew Damian Robles, 3, wearing Caristico’s lucha libra mask and cape, to eat and meet El Ultimo Guerrero. Read the story at https://lat.ms/32V4wYg

Monserat Mejia, of Mexico City, brings her nephew Damian Robles, 3, wearing Caristico’s lucha libra mask and cape, to eat and meet El Ultimo Guerrero. Read the story at https://lat.ms/32V4wYg

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