It’s been years since I sat down and watched an entire mainstream pro wrestling match. The over-the-top corporatization and the steady tilt into homophobic and hypermasculine sub-texts finally lost me. One too many sissy jokes, one too many wrestling producers running for Senate as Republicans, a helping too much homoerotic innuendo laced with intense and fearful rage against male-on-male eroticism. I happily peruse the stills that connoisseurs like Joe and Bruno and SP and Wrestling Arsenal share from their continued attentiveness to the genre, relieved to enjoy the beautiful bodies without having to calculate an investment of my time and energy into so much personal ambivalence. But quite recently I think I may have discovered a way to go back to the early days of my infatuation with mainstream pro wrestling: watch it in Spanish.
100% Lucha is apparently an Argentine pro wrestling series. I know about 3 words in Spanish (despite having dated a hunk from the Canary Islands for a short time), so this production could be wildly homophobic and socio-politically even more fucked up than the mainstream pro scene here that turned me off long ago. But the beauty of it all is that I’m none the wiser, either way. I can watch the matches on YouTube and just appreciate the spectacle, the characters, the entrances, the marks hit and missed, the athleticism, the narrative, the climax, the denouement.
I’ve got a few favorites from my initial sampling of 100% Lucha. I think Ron Doxon may own me hardest, though he doesn’t appear to be a serious headliner (at least, there are relatively few matches of his I can find). Even with my ignorance of Spanish I can tell his character is that of a bodyguard-by-day-wrestler-by-night. He’s a little wooden, but sometimes hits his marks so fast that he has to stand around a little and wait for his opponent’s to catch up. He’s drop dead gorgeous, with a beautiful, meaty body. The two things that sell me hardest, though, are that 1) he strips out of his suit every time he climbs into the ring (although the dumbass production typically cuts away when he’s doing it), and 2) he almost always gets that luscious, meaty ass of his absolutely handed to him! Holy shit, the body beautiful, physically dangerous, handsome hunk who’s overcome, handled, and humiliated in front of an audience of screaming fans is a plot that can almost never fail to get my engine revving!
Vicente Viloni appears, by the reaction of the announcer and the crowds, to be the #1 heroic face at 100%. He rides up to ringside on a motorcycle. He wrestles in tights, which is less than satisfying, but he’s got a sweet, pumped, beefy torso that makes my mouth water just a bit. It’s that 80’s glam rock hair that puts me over the top with Vicente, though. All that mane is just asking to get that muscle stud dragged around the ring by his frenetic locks! Sadly, I have not scene this scenario played out in his matches. He appears to lose about as many as he wins, but the smiling, the gear, the coif… it all makes me ache to watch the stud get crushed, brutalized even, as the roaring crowds rise to their feet in gaping, stunned silence to watch their hero destroyed before their eyes.
The final 100% boy that grabs me is Ricky Dragone. Again, not as many available matches of his up, but watching that massive bodybuilder fill the ring with those gargantuan shoulders is golden. I haven’t picked up enough of the context to know what his angle is, but with a name like Ricky Dragone, I’m guessing he’s a face. Which is a shame. Because he’d make an outstanding terminator-esque heel.
Finally, I want to mention my significant crush on 100% Lucha’s tall, dark and handsome announcer. I haven’t understood a word he’s said, but I could watch him shout into that microphone for hours. There’s a missed opportunity as long as no one rips his suit coat and shirt off and drags his gorgeous face into the fray.
I’ve got a hunch that 100% Lucha is no more enlightened or politically palatable than the mainstream wrestling empires in the states. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to learn that they prey off of xenophobia and insecure masculinity every bit as much as my domestic fare. But unless someone who speaks the language disabuses me of my ignorance, the beauty is I don’t need to know. I can relive some of that adrenaline pump and infatuation that owned me as an adolescent, without any sociopolitical complications to spoil the mood.