Thursday, 27 October 2011

The last 2 days have been pretty intense! I'll pick up where I left off...

I'm not sure I have the literary composition skills necessary to give Mexican wrestling a just description and unfortunately the last time Kaitlyn was there they had a strict rule against cameras so I neglected to bring it with me. The photo opportunity just wasn't worth the confiscation possibility of my brand new camera.

Anyway we caught a cab outside of Kaitlyn's place and took it down into central Guadalajara. When we had been there earlier in the day Kaitlyn had pointed out where we were within the core and where the unsavoury parts were. As the cab passed into the danger zone the cabby rolled up the windows and fastened his seatbelt. Since we had been downtown for awhile I was definitely disconcerted with this change. I looked over at Kaitlyn and she simply said "I told you..." which may have made her feel better but I only got more uncomfortable.

After what seemed like an eternity of driving cautiously though graffiti covered streets and dark alleys we pulled up to the venue. It was quite distinctive due to the large crowd gathered out front and the multitude of wrestling mask stands where various vendors were selling masks ranging from quite plain to outright ridiculous. Again I apologize for leaving the camera at home because some of these facial coverings were pretty impressive in their craftsmanship.

Kaitlyn's friend Alana met us there as she is living here and working at the university.We lined up to get tickets and after paying I remember thinking that this was more expensive than I thought it would be. Not in a serious way, my student ticket was 80 pesos and Kaitlyn's regular ticket was 110, I'm just used to things (especially in places that looked like this) being really cheap in Mexico so the modest price of the tickets surprised me. It became very clear what had happened just a few minutes later...

I will preface my explanation by pointing out that when Kaitlyn first told me about Lucha Libre, one of the most interesting facets of the experience she mentioned was the class divide within the venue. Cheap seats are located on the higher balcony while the more expensive seats are found on the lower level at ringside, and go back approximately 10 rows. The rich Mexicans and tourists that come to Lucha Libre sit in the expensive seats and the lower class, if they can afford to come, buy the cheap tickets. Anyway the plan was to have an "authentic" Mexico experience so we wanted to buy cheap seats so we could sit with the rowdy folks, but alas after we purchased our tickets, on the way in we found out we had bought the wrong kind. We were gonna have to sit with the rich folks :(

After going back and trying to change our tickets to no avail, we resigned ourselves to a slightly less authentic mexican experience, although after getting 2 coronas each (for 50 pesos total) and some chips doused in hot sauce and lime juice, we were feeling much more like legitimate mexicans. We quickly grabbed our seats to enjoy the show which had already begun!

The first act after we sat down featured a women's tag team match. They weren't anything amazing but the obvious crowd favourite was a very large woman in what appeared to be a black cat suit. After 3 very entertaining rounds, Rotunda's team emerged victorious, much to the delight of the crowd. An individual bout followed, with the loser having to shave his head in what I imagine was the consequence of some wager in weeks prior. More coronas were ordered to carry us through the main event of the evening.

The main event was another tag team match which featured 6 men who were not only much more talented than the wrestlers earlier but with much more ridiculous personas (anyone who has watched professional wrestling will know what I'm talking about).  There was the pretty boy, who was tanned, ripped, and never missed an opportunity to show off his guns. The Hulk. Seriously, this guy had a green spandex suit, spikey black hair and ripped jean shorts that would have made Lou Ferrigno proud. There was also a japanese fighter (at least he looked japanese) who had some sweet acrobatic moves, an animalistic fighter with painted on hair whose signature move seemed to be wiping his armpits and then licking his hands (I didn't get it either), a Rick Flair lookalike with an S&M clothing fetish, and a fairy. Now when I say fairy I don't mean the kind of mystical creature that flies through the enchanted forest at night, I mean a 6 foot tall, overweight, hairy man in a pink spandex tutu. As far as personas go this was by far the most ridiculous and it was capped off by his objective which it seemed was to distract or debilitate his opponent long enough to steal a kiss. It was pretty hilarious which of course made him, above all others, the crowd favourite.

In true crowd pandering fashion, Fairy's team won, and some words were exchanged between Rick Flair and Hulk before the event concluded, no doubt some type of storyline drama to be continued next week. The whole experience was unforgettable though, mostly because the wrestling portion was really only half the entertainment. The other half was completely crowd centered. As I mentioned earlier there was a clear class divide between those who purchased cheap tickets and those who paid extra. The cheap seats were not only located in a higher level, almost like a balcony but shorter, but they were also fenced in as if to keep things even more separated than they already were. This created a clear line in the sand, which divided the stadium into two halves; those with money and those with none, and there was some clear animosity between the halves. Now while I'm partially sure this was all done in good fun, periodically throughout the performance insulting chants would begin on one side of the fence or the other. The chants from the rich side were usually to point out the undesirable financial situation of those on the poor side, for example, "the bus is leaving" or "your mother cleans my house". The chants from the poor side I can't really repeat here, just in case this blog finds its way into the view of children. Suffice it to say the chants from the other side of the fence were much less specific, but just as if not more insulting, and used much more... flowery language.

After the performance concluded we all piled into Alana's truck and drove to La Fiesta de America. The bar used by all the athletes competing at the games. There were buses going and coming back from there almost every night so for athletes done competing, there was never an excuse not to be able to party. We ended up staying there for a few hours, after which Kaitlyn's sister Kari joined us for a few libations before heading home. It was a great night and luckily we were able to sleep in the next morning. I'll tell you all about that day tomorrow as this post has taken up too much of my evening already.


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