By Lavell Garner
Masked men are creating mayhem in Berwyn with flying armbars, suplexes, and powerbombs.
But have no fear, these men are luchadors – traditional Mexican wrestlers – and they keep the action inside the wrestling ring.
Galli Lucha Libre has been promoting this traditional Mexican sport in Berwyn in recent years.
Galli’s wrestlers are known for their fast-paced, flying through the air, in your face action.
Galli owner and promoter Carlos Robles took a round-about way to the wrestling ring.
“I basically went from being a Realtor to becoming Gym owner and Lucha Libre Promoter,” Robles said. “I handle hiring the wrestlers, finding sponsors and promoting the shows.”
Galli is actually an acronym for “Gladiadores Aztecas Lucha Libre Internacional,” which translates to Aztec Gladiators of International Lucha Libre. Robles said the organization came together almost accidentally.
“I opened a boxing gym, inside a mall in Villa Park, Illinois. The ring we used was an older ring,” he said. “One day a veteran wrestler from Mexico whose ring name was Mascara de Jade walked by and saw the ring. He asked if I would allow him and some students to train. Within a month the gym was filled with wrestlers.”
From then on, Robles has been promoting shows without a backward glance.
“[They] asked if I would consider promoting a show with them on it,” Robles said. “I was always a fan as a kid, so I was excited. I ran one show with them that went pretty good and after that we ran the next shows.”
The entertainers who perform for Galli Lucha Libre are not your traditional “Superstars” you may be used to seeing on WWE television. Here in Galli, the talent are known as “Luchadors”.
Galli promotes a number of wrestlers. Currently a popular “luchador” is known simply as “Noriega”.
“I would say the most popular guy right now is Noriega from Puerto Rico,” said Robles. “Bandolero and Rey Fuego are very close in popularity.”
Galli promotes shows throughout the area. Robles tries to stage several shows a year in Berwyn, usually at Berwyn Eagles Club, at 6309 26th St.
“As far as business in Berwyn, it’s kind of seasonal. The winter months are the best for business in Berwyn,” Robles said.
Unlike most local wrestling companies, Galli Lucha Libre is fun for all ages. So parents shouldn’t be afraid to bring their children to a Galli Lucha Libre event.
“Our target audiences are families,” said Robles. “Our shows are enjoyed by all ages starting around the age of four.”
Rickey Greer, a local wrestling fan describes Galli Lucha Libre as something “fresh” to hit the local Chicagoland wrestling scene.
“I thoroughly enjoy local independent wrestling to the stuff you see on TV nowadays,” said Greer. “When I found about [them] having a show in Berwyn, I went and really enjoyed the Mexican and American styles of wrestling mixed together.”
Greer was also surprised to see that this particular independent wrestling company had storylines.
“Usually when you go to any other local show, all you see is match after match without any story on why these matches were set up,” said Greer. “[This] company actually had storylines, good ones at that, even though sometimes I couldn’t understand because I really cannot understand Spanish.”
Robles states storylines are a key element in having a great wrestling show.
“Like most companies, stories are a big part,” said Robles. “The biggest one going right now is Noriega vs a group called La Corporacion consisting of Emperador Azteca, Funebre, Dark Scorpion, Traidor and Calvin Beckham. They recently bloodied Noriega and shaved his head,” said Robles.
More information on the Galli and upcoming events can be found at