Libre

Oh yea. The time has come.

Oh yea. It’s time

Crystal Passion minces and flits around the ring in a thong leotard with along white tassels and a blonde wig, and it’s a performance so ridiculous that I think it must be satire—’this is what an ignorant making fun of a cross-dresser would look like.’ The emcee screams, “He’s gay!” Which is a conclusion the alternately laughing and jeering crowd has already come to. Passion is big, muscly, and what looks around two-fifty, and although the suplexes and slaps are there, the main attacks seem to be nonconsensual kisses and a generalized threatening-with-gayness.

Lucha libre 2

This is lucha libre.

It’s my second go-round with Mexican wrestling and I feel as though I’ve enough experience now to think about it. Anyone who’s never seen profession live can’t quite know what it’s about. The then-WWF had a two-hour block on the only English-language channel on the air when I lived in Shanghai. I remember being intrigued—and confused—right up until when my parents told me it was fake. Why watch, then? Among people I’ve known, it falls in with NASCAR as ‘sports’ we don’t much think on.

Lord are we missing something

And Lord are we missing something

But that’s missing the point. Lucha libre matches are morality plays where the good guys almost always win. Formulaic as bullfights—the Rudos take the first, the Técnicos the second, los Rudos the third in a comeback—and chaotic as barfights.[1] Half the fun is the banter and physical insults; I saw a grown man lifted my an atomic wedgie that night and an ‘evil’ referee’s face thrust into another dude’s bare ass. Where else are you gonna get that.

What's he doing? Hypnotizing them

What’s he doing? Hypnotizing them

The other half is ballet. We had a third string set of guys out here, so most of what went on was open-hand slapping and terrible fight choreography. Like dudes stomping the ground several feet from the bodies of the other guys. But the big moves, the dives and throws—they’re art. Huge men doing cooperative acrobatics. Getting the shit beat out of you is straightforward and pretty low-effort. Pretending to beat the shit out of someone is a colossal group effort. All the moreso when the fighters are actually in shape, carrying an extra hundred pounds of muscle around. And the guys in the last fight were beefed up, like the Rock before he became a mountain.

mesias

These guys strolled in, four different musical entrances, and announced they wanted to dance. They called some women from the audience onstage, two of whom could be generously called overweight. The two guys from the Técnicos spent a good minute haranguing the people of Jalpan for the general obesity and ugliness of their women (and added that girls from Mexico City are the best, sure to draw some boos from anywhere outside the capital). That seemed pretty goddamned mean until you realized it was just a setup for the Rudos—”The only fat, ugly, caída women I see in here are your mothers.”

Ice burn

Ice burn

Then the Rudos got down to lapdancing, and our hero El Mesias (the Messiah) proceeded to rub what looked to be a pretty generous dick all over these four women, his capaciousness hemmed in only by a straining leather swaddle. At the end of the performance (set to Like a Virgin), he laid across their laps, and I was beginning to worry about the possibility of heart attacks in these poor women when the two Técnicos kicked the five of them over backwards, the (lucky?) Jalpense women crushed between collapsing chairs and three hundred pounds of oily muscle.

Placeholder

No safety regs in la Lucha

And while there’s something ugly (if entertaining) about a few hundred kids screaming “More blood,” and “Kill him,” it all seemed in good fun. And for all that Crystal Passion was the grossest caricature of a cross dresser, she was a crowd-favorite, and like all the Rudos, won in the end. Jalpan’s got a small-but-mostly-accepted number of transsexuals, and, well, changes in social consciousness work in mysterious ways.

Either way man, que viva la lucha.


 

[1] Like I did for the campaigns post, I’m deliberately not researching any of this. Just what I’ve seen and what my work-buddy Diana can tell me. Apparently the ‘Técnicos’ are named so because they’re supposed to know fighting techniques. While the Rudos (word more or less means what you think it means) just go at it like a brawl. So everybody roots for the Rudos. I can get behind that.

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