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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Guilty pleasures (1)

There are two things that I am not too ashamed to accept I enjoy and they are professional wrestling and reading gossip blogs. I know, they're completely unrelated; so I will just elaborate on the first one today...

I love pro wrestling. Of course I know it's fake. Well, I shouldn't say that. It's not 'fake', it's scripted; this means, both performers (or more if it's a tag team match, for example) know who's going to win and who's going to lose. But the blows are pretty real. Many times, you will see them getting injured, and in some cases they're career-ending injuries, like what happened to Bret Hart.

Shelton Benjamin and Carlito (Image courtesy of www.xbox.com)I've been a fan of pro wrestling since I was a kid and watched "Titanes en el Ring" on Argentine TV. (I will write about this show later on).

But it's hard for me to call 'fake' something that requires lots of training, an excellent physical condition and the ability to perform breathtaking stunts (think Shawn Michaels or Jeff Hardy). In most cases, you also have to bring some terrific speaking skills in order to deliver convincing promos (Ric Flair is an absolute master here, but I will also name Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock).

Even if the fights are scripted, I just love watching some of the fights, due to the athleticism and skills of the performers; I particularly enjoy watching cruiserweight wrestlers like Chavo Guerrero, Jimmy Yang or Paul London. These last two were involved in a series of fights last year that almost made me clap at the end.

Other wrestlers are a little more limited in their in-ring skills but make up by having memorable gimmicks (like The Hurricane or The Boogeyman) or a physical presence that blows the crowd away (like Triple H or especially the Undertaker, my brother's favourite). The Hurricane (Gregory Helms) not only had a great gimmick, but he's also a very -VERY- gifted wrestler. He was involved in one of the funniest sketches I remember, with the Rock.






My favourite ones are Kane, Shelton Benjamin and John Cena.

But nothing of this is what I love most about professional wrestling! It's the 'behind the scenes' action, all those little comedy numbers that go on in between fights. I just love watching two 300-pound guys having 'realistic' dialogs like:

Wrestler "A": - You suck!
Wrestler "B": - Oh, no, you suck!
Wrestler "A": - Oh, I'm so insulted; I'll go see the manager so we can have a match and then you will see that you suck. I know punching you here would be much easier, but that's how I do things.

I love it! :-)

I watch WWE only, and I find very unusual -and funny- that the owner is the butt of all the jokes. Really, you will see Vince McMahon get humiliated by his employees -or his family- almost every week. He's a millionaire and a very successful businessman, yet he gets stunned, kicked, mocked, ridiculed and abused on TV all the time.

Vince McMahon getting his head shaved by Donald Trump. Also in the pictur, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bobby Lashley (from wwedaily.com)

Watching WWE Raw on Monday nights is almost mandatory; and I watch Smackdown! most of the times. If for whatever reason I can't watch the shows, I will make sure I go to NoDQ or Beyond Wrestling to see how the show went and more importantly, if there were any news on the ongoing storylines. It's very important to know who turned face or heel.

Say what you want, but I'd rather watch this than 'sports' like hockey or box (and the same goes for my kids). In wrestling there is no intention of injuring the others; if it happens, it's an accident.

Hay dos cosas de las que no me avergüenzo en decir que disfruto y esas son la lucha profesional y leer blogs de chismes. Ya sé que no tienen nada que ver entre sí; es por eso que voy a hablar del primero hoy...

Me encanta la lucha profesional. Por supuesto que se que no es de verdad. Bueno, no debería decir eso. No es que sea falsa, sino que es guionada; esto significa que ambos ejecutantes (o más si es una pelea de parejas) saben de antemano quien va a ganar y quien no. Pero los golpes son de verdad. Muchas veces, uno ve cómo se lesionan, y en algunos casos son lesiones que ponen punto final a sus carreras, como le pasó a Bret Hart.

He sido un fan del pro wrestling desde que era chico y miraba "Titanes en el Ring" en la TV de Argentina. (Ya voy a escribir sobre esto más adelante).

CM Punk and some other wrestler flying off a ladder - Courtesy of http://nomas-nyc.com Pero es difícil para mí llamar 'falso' algo que requiere un montón de entrenamiento, una condición física excelente y la habilidad de ejecutar proezas acrobáticas (como Shawn Michaels o Jeff Hardy). En la mayoría de los casos, también es necesario tener muy buenas condiciones para hablar en público, para poder hacer 'promos' convincentes (Ric Flair es un maestro absoluto en el área, pero también cabe mencionar a Stone Cold Steve Austin y the Rock).

Incluso considerando que las peleas son guionadas, me encanta mirar algunas de ellas, debido al atleticismo y habilidad de los luchadores; me gustan particularmente los peso crucero como Chavo Guerrero, Jimmy Yang o Paul London. Estos dos últimos tuvieron una serie de peleas el año pasado que me hacían pararme para aplaudir al final.

Otros luchadores son un poco más limitados en sus condiciones sobre el ring, pero compensan con personajes (gimmicks) memorables (como The Hurricane o The Boogeyman) o con una presencia física capaz de volver loca a una multitud (como Triple H o especialmente the Undertaker, el favorito de mi hermano). The Hurricane (Gregory Helms) no sólo tenía un gran 'gimmick', sino que también es un muy -MUY- talentoso luchador. Fue parte de una serie de sketches con The Rock, que recuerdo como una de las cosas más divertidas que he visto.






Mis favoritos son Kane, Shelton Benjamin y John Cena.

Pero nada de esto es lo que más me gusta del pro wrestling! Es la acción 'detrás de escena', donde hacen todos esos pequeños números de comedia que se ven entre peleas. Me encanta ver a dos tipos de 300 libras teniendo 'diálogos' 'realistas' como:

Luchador "A": - Apestas!
Luchador "B": - Oh, no, tú apestas!
Luchador "A": - Oh, me siento tan insultado; ahora me voy a ver al gerente así podemos tener una pelea en la que verás que tú eres el que apestas. Ya sé que sería más fácil golpearte aquí, pero yo no hago las cosas así.

Me encanta! :-)

Sólo miro WWE, y me parece muy inusual -y divertido- que el dueño sea el blanco de todas las bromas. Veremos a Vince McMahon ser humillado por sus empleados -y familia- casi todas las semanas. Es un millonario y un exitoso hombre de negocios, y sin embargo es golpeado, pateado, burlado, ridiculizado y abusado en TV todo el tiempo.

Mirar WWE Raw los lunes por la noche es casi mandatorio; también miro Smackdown! Y si no puedo mirar los shows, me aseguro de ir a NoDQ o Beyond Wrestling para chequear cómo salieron las peleas, pero lo más importante, si hubo alguna novedad en las historias actuales. Es muy importante saber si alguien se convirtió en un 'héroe' (face) o en un 'canalla' (heel).

Digan lo que quieran, prefiero mil veces mirar -y que mis hijos miren- esto antes que otros 'deportes' como el hockey sobre hielo o el boxeo. Aquí, al menos, no tienen la intención de lesionar al otro. Si pasa, es un accidente.

4 comments:

  1. Hi there, I enjoy pro wrestling too...and I like your list... ;)

    There was even a time I cheered for Chris Benoit...may God bless his soul and his family...

    I live Rey Mysterio too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris Benoit was one of the best wrestlers I have ever seen. His skills were just amazing.

    What he did in the final days of his life was due to dementia and/or drug abuse, and should not be used as an excuse to hide what a great wrestler he was (like WWE does).

    I know it's not the same, but please indulge me here: Maradona is without a doubt one of the best soccer players I have ever seen, and one of the worst persons I know. And he's a convicted criminal too (drugs, shot some reporters, tax evasion..., add more to the list if you want). He's also a drug addict; and he has children he refuses to recognize or support. He befriends people like Castro or Chavez, and now the president of Iran!

    Should all this be more important to me than the fact that he was -in my opinion- the second biggest soccer player in history? Don't think so. He was just a great soccer player and a mediocre coach, not a role model or a patriot.

    Oh, by the way, and before you ask: to me, the biggest soccer player in history is Alfredo Di Stéfano, of course.

    Pele?

    Who is 'Pele'?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Los Ziegler en CanadaJan 3, 2008, 11:53:00 AM

    Pero por favor! Grandulones!
    Habrase visto!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gran Gran articulo de como se puede ser un fan del wrestling y saber seguirlo como una novela y disfrutar del espectaculo deportivo. me a encantado leerte q sido extraño pero gratificante ver un blog tan bueno y bilingue jejeje


    Saludos desde España :D

    ReplyDelete

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