Monday, February 18, 2008

Most of My Heroes Don't Appear On No Stamps

If this were an academic journal, I'd probably title this post something like "Grappling on the Down-Low: Homoeroticism and Machismo in the Context of the Mexican 'Lucha Libre'." But it's not, so let's just say that we spent five hours at the bullring Saturday night watching buff, oiled, half-naked men in tights picking each other up by the genitals. Fun for the whole family.

We've been to a few luchas before at the Arena Querétaro - a cavernous old gym that looks like it may have been used for the execution of political prisoners, and where the crowd is of a very specific socio-economic level. Saturday's event, billed as "Luchamania I," is part of an effort to appeal to a slightly ritzier market, and as such it had all (okay, some) of the trappings of a WWF extravaganza. I think I prefer the old school, but it was still a lot of laughs.

Mexicans are notoriously late - like, hours late - for just about everything, so we figured we could saunter in at about 8:25 and grab five front-row seats for this 8:30 event. Our friend Alejandra, who's Mexican and therefore smarter than us, got there at 5:30, and called us soon thereafter to say that the parking lot was filling up already, so we'd better get moving. Another stereotype amended: Mexicans are late for everything except the lucha, for which they arrive three hours early.

The wrestling was pretty standard stuff, and hopefully we'll get around to uploading some video later. Mistico, the headliner, pussed out for reasons that were never explained, leading to some last minute substitutions. I wonder: why couldn't someone else put on the mask and appear as Mistico? Who would know? When the guy who wears the Micky Mouse suit calls in sick, they don't close Disneyland, right?

The midgets - excuse me, the "little giants" - were, with one exception, not what I'd call midgets, but more like "short even by Mexican standards." And by appearing with a genuine midget, Suki, who was about three feet tall, they appeared larger than life. The three-on-three ladies action (how disappointing that this is the first time that phrase has appeared on this blog, by the way) featured a team made up of two Japanese chicks and a hulking blonde in army fatigues known, charmingly, as "La Nazi." The whole Axis-Powers backstory, plus the fact that La Nazi is from Argentina and, therefore, quite possibly descended from actual Nazis, gave the match a level of historical verisimilitude I really hadn't been expecting.

The crowd was enthusiastic bordering on rabid, and the trash talk, from the wrestlers, the MC and the audience, leaned heavily on a standard Mexicanismo best translated as "go rape your mother," which would explain why they checked everyone for weapons at the gate. Working the edges of the crowd were scantily-clad models tossing out free, sponsor-labeled trinkets such as lollipops, wrestling masks and plastic frisbees. Try to guess which one of these turned out, with the benefit of hindsight, not to be such a good idea.


Anonymous said...

Mexicans are late to all work related, travel related and special ocassions (weddings, baptisims, etc.) but never for concerts, shows, lucha or football (soccer) for those we (mexicans) arrive excesivly early.

Anonymous said...

Los Ebrio Irlandes?