Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Night at the Lucha Libre Cabaret

'Twas a night of homoerotic theater last Tuesday as the lucha libre came to Arena Querétaro. We certainly aren't the first to make the completely banal observation that there's something kinda, well, you know (not that there's anything wrong with it!) about a bunch of oiled up, shirtless guys in tights grappling with each other all night. (Really, the same is true of all contact sports. Tom Brady may be banging the Victoria's Secret cover girl, but his day job is spooning with guys in tight pants with his hands between their legs demanding balls. Not that there's anything wrong with it!)

Still, there was something almost operatic about the show we saw that night. One of the earlier bouts was a three-on-three involving five luchadors who were pretty obviously dudes, and one woman, La Chica Yeye, who is somewhat less obviously a dude, but after 20 years of living in New York was can pretty much assure you she's a dude. The match was unremarkable except for the remarkable way in which no one involved seemed to take any notice of the that that she was (a) at the very least, a woman, or (b) a transvestite. Again, no that there's anything wrong with it in real life... it just seemed like it would be part of the show. If you go to a movie and one of the lead characters is a tranny, it's usually relevant to the storyline. So let's give the CMLL points for being super-progressive.

Then came one of the featured bouts of the evening, a tag team matchup of Cancerbero and Raziel versus El Rey Escorpion and Máximo. Three pretty straighforwardly straight wrestlers, and Máximo, a short, plump, pink-mohawked, mini-toga clad queen (not that there's anything wrong with it).

Unlike the take-the-tranny-for-granted fight, if Max were any more camp he'd be singing Judy Garland tunes. Though his opponents are usually the superior wrestlers, it only takes one suggestive butt-grind from Max to make them dive out of the ring. He and the Scorpion had a foolproof strategy in which Scorp would wrestle the other guys down and hold them, while Max slithered up and kissed them on the lips. The victims would write in agony as if acid had been thrown in their faces.

Whether this is a cheap laugh at the expense of the gay guy or a very clever commentary on macho attitudes towards homosexuality is hard for us to figure out. What's clear is that Máximo is the crowd favorite by an enormous margin. They may be laughing at his antics, but they're on his side.

But then Max, because he's so uncontrollably gay, decided to put the liplock on his parter, El Rey Escorpion.

And rather than merely writhe on the mat in agony, Scorp joined forces with the other team, and the three of them went all Matthew Shepard on Max's big gay ass.

And machismo lived happily ever after.

An added layer to the whole charade is that Máximo, who comes from a family with several generations of luchadors isn't actually gay. (This is Mrs. Máximo; the interns tell us they would hit that like the fist of an angry god.) So we have a straight guy playing a gay guy who provokes the ire of straight guys by acting all cartoonish-gay-guy on them and gets the crap kicked out of him despite being the crowd favorite.

You didn't think the lucha libre could be so complex and thought-provoking, did you?


el flor said...

What makes uou so sure India Sioux is not a travesti?

Burro Hall said...

Well, the recent birth of her child, for one.

Julie said...

awww Máximo is one of my favorites. Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously though this update.

KeylimeSteve said...

I do enjoy the pageantry of the luchadors, we saw Maximo and it was the same inevitable M-O, delivering the kiss-of-shame. The thing that came to mind at our last outing was the absolute visceral outbursts from the audience. There was one man sitting a few seats away from us, accompanied by his (maybe) 9-year old daughter. The profanity that came from this guys mouth -while daughter played some hand operated electronic game- was astonishing, making reference to mothers and grandmothers and select body parts. At that point, I wondered if this aspect of the arena is the result of living under such a corrupt society, I could imagine this guy yelling and screaming not at the luchadors, but at the government officials.

Burro Hall said...

I'm guessing he yells at the luchadors instead of yelling at government officials.