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They kicked hetero butt up and down the state of Chihuahua

The Man Without a Mask, The New Yorker on Cassandro and the role of the exótico within lucha libre.
“It was Baby Sharon who encouraged me to step out of Mister Romano,” Armendáriz said. Baby Sharon was an exótico—a luchador who wrestles in drag. Exóticos have been around since the nineteen-forties. At first, they were dandies, a subset of rudos with capes and valets. They struck glamour-boy poses and threw flowers to the audience. As exóticos got swishier and more flirtatious, and started dressing in drag, the shtick became old-school limp-wristed gay caricature. Crowds loved to hate them, screaming “Maricón!” and “Joto!” (“Faggot!”). The exóticos made a delightful contrast with the super-masculine brutes they met in the ring. Popular exóticos insisted that it was all an act—in real life, they were straight. Baby Sharon was among the first, according to Armendáriz, to publicly say that, no, he was actually gay.
[more inside]
posted by frimble on Sep 4, 2014 - 11 comments

Illegal Weapons Used in Wrestling Death Match

Illegal Weapons Used in Wrestling Death Match (slyt). Not the 'Most Illegal Thing I've Seen in the History of Wrestling', but still good. The pain is visceral. So, so visceral.
posted by Capt. Renault on Aug 26, 2014 - 36 comments

Shades of the Masked Man!

BAH GAWD! (exp.) — A shocked evocation of the deity in order to underscore the gravity of a moment or situation, popularized by announcer Jim Ross. Must be screamed loudly in a pinched Southern tenor. (Related expressions: MAH GAWD!; GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY!; slobberknocker — an unsightly brawl; shades of [wrestler X] — when a wrestler uses a move in a manner reminiscent of a previous wrestler; business has just picked up — an unexpected entrance that raises the stakes in a segment; bowling shoe ugly — a roughneck or plainly (and woefully) uncoordinated match; That’s [wrestler X]’s music! — a surprise appearance by a wrestler, as forewarned by his entrance music playing before he appears in person.)

Feeling overwhelmed by wrestling, sorry, sports entertainment lingo? David Shoemaker at Grantland presents the Grantland Dictionary: Pro Wrestling Edition.
posted by Ghidorah on Aug 13, 2014 - 31 comments

The exploitation of workers in professional wrestling

"Kayfabe is a slinky thing, in what it masks: it’s sheer enough to let us marks in on some of the fun, yet supple enough to obscure most of the human cost." On the disposability of professional wrestlers, by Dan O'Sullivan, aka @Bro_Pair
posted by Greg Nog on Aug 11, 2014 - 40 comments

the statement that stands in for physicality

The cameras faded out and wrestling fans exhaled. It was more than just a promo; it was a virtuoso performance for the ages. It was shocking on several levels: that a monologue could have so much more power than a match; that WWE was launching the promotion of the main event of its second-biggest show of the year without either of its competitors speaking; and, perhaps most surprising, that Paul Heyman was doing the heavy lifting.
David Shoemaker does a close reading of the WWE SummerSlam promo to try and explain the rise of Paul Heyman as the face of WWE.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 30, 2014 - 34 comments

The Other Major Sport Signing Last Week

While everyone was distracted by LeBron James returning to Cleveland, World Wrestling Entertainment pulled off an even bigger coup* by signing seven-time Global Honored Crown champion KENTA. Kenta Kobayashi (he capitalizes his ring name to differentiate himself from his mentor, Kenta Kobashi) was one of the biggest stars of Japan’s Pro Wrestling Noah promotion before resigning in April, leading some to wonder whether he would be returning to the bigger All Japan Pro Wrestling. Instead, Hulk Hogan personally signed Kobayashi to a developmental contract while on a WWE event in Osaka. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Jul 15, 2014 - 28 comments

no other art form does this

What is unique about pro wrestling is this: it is the only creative endeavor where the audience affects the work in real time. A long time ago some smart aleck described pro wrestling as “a LARP where the wrestlers are playing athletes and the audience is playing the audience, and everybody’s in on it.” And that’s exactly true. Now, of course, pro wrestling is still a scripted affair and on a case-by-case basis the audience doesn’t usually change the outcome of a story as it happens – [...] But it’s more than just simply cheering for the guys you like and booing the guys you hate; the crowd is an integral part of wrestling now.
Christopher Bird (aka the Mighty mightygodking) explains why wrestling is the one true performance art.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 20, 2014 - 56 comments

190lbs of Mustache

From Ianyan Magazine and elsewhere comes: The Legend of Ali Baba: The Incredible True Story of Armenian Genocide Survivor and World Wrestling Champ Harry Ekizian [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 27, 2014 - 2 comments

Speak to me, Warriors!

Less than 24 hours after delivering his first promo on Monday Night RAW in years, which came only days after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, WWE is announcing that Warrior, formerly Jim Hellwig, best known as the Ultimate Warrior, has passed away at the age of 54. (And before anybody asks, this appears to be real, rather than of the "ghost Warrior appears in a mirror but only Hulk Hogan can see him" variety.)
posted by mightygodking on Apr 8, 2014 - 55 comments

Bah Gawd, That's Ghostride The Whip's Music!

Legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross adds a flourish to any occasion, even when it's not wrestling. After four decades in wrestling, he's moved on. SBNation takes a look at the man and his career.
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Apr 2, 2014 - 17 comments

The Amazing True Story Of Victor, The Wrestling Bear

"I mean, my God," Chet Coppock said. "We're 35 years removed from this, and I still have people who when I go to Indianapolis will see me and go, 'You know, I still remember the night you wrestled Victor the Bear.'"
posted by Chrysostom on Feb 28, 2014 - 5 comments

Girls Wrestling: Facing the competition

12 portraits of High School Girls Wrestlers by Photographer Aaron Lavinsk of The Daily World
posted by the_artificer on Feb 19, 2014 - 38 comments

The King Of New Orleans

Lost Dog: The Search For A Forgotten New Orleans Superhero
On a recent Friday night in the Harahan Community Center, the master of ceremonies had the capacity crowd’s attention. “This here,” he promised, “this tonight is gonna be some old-school professional wrestling.” All of us cheered. “Some of you may remember– folks my age, a little younger– the kind of old-school wrestling New Orleans was famous for. I’m talking about a certain Bill Watts. I’m talking about the Junkyard Dog.” Some jumped to their feet, howling in approval. “Junkyard Dog!” they shouted. Most just clapped politely. When I spoke to people outside during the show’s intermission, no-one younger than forty had much to say about Junkyard Dog. Of the younger attendees, a few knew he was from here, but to the majority he was just another name, a minor figure from the distant days of Hulk Hogan. Thirty years ago, Junkyard Dog was a New Orleans demigod.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 15, 2014 - 15 comments

What could be better than seeing your favourite wrestlers in comics?

The strange history of WWE wrestling comics.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 22, 2013 - 1 comment

S-A-W-F-T!

At the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, wrestlers-in-training (some of whom perform weekly on WWE's "minor league" show, NXT) learn both the art of working within the ring as well as how to cut a promo and improvise in-character. The WWE developmental system has promoted numerous successful young talents to the WWE's main touring roster, most recently Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family. Recently, the WWE uploaded a number of "performance evaluations" - promo practice routines by wrestlers in developmental - to Youtube in an account that was meant to be private. Unfortunately, they uploaded them publicly, and before they could close the account to the public, the videos had leaked across wrestling internet fandom. [more inside]
posted by mightygodking on Sep 20, 2013 - 24 comments

WWE- Conversations during matches

WWE- Conversations during matches
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 15, 2013 - 48 comments

Darren Young: gay and happy

Professional wrestling's relationship with homosexuality and non-heteronormative presentation has long been downright hostile: from Gorgeous George in the 1950s, to "Pretty Boy" Pat Patterson in the 1970s, "Adorable" Adrian Adonis in the 1980s, Golddust in the 1990s, the infamous Billy and Chuck in the 2000s, and even Orlando Jordan in the 2010s, wrestlers who present as effeminate or who "might be gay" have always been portrayed as heels, drawing boos from the crowd. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the suggestion of female homosexuality has been called upon only to titillate. And although former performers like Patterson and the late Chris Kanyon publicly acknowledged their homosexuality after their active careers had ended, and though the WWE recently hired openly-gay retired professional golfer Jane Geddes as VP of Talent Relations, there hasn't been an active, out WWE Superstar until now, when Darren Young, asked if he thought there was a place for a gay wrestler, told TMZ that he's "gay ... and happy."
posted by uncleozzy on Aug 15, 2013 - 40 comments

He is not literally a piece of excrement.

WWE wrestler CM Punk wants to help you improve your grammar. Some language NSFW.
posted by Shepherd on Aug 9, 2013 - 39 comments

Diamond Dallas Page's Next Act

Former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page has recently emerged as a health guru of sorts, with an exercise routine based on Yoga. He's also reaching out to former wrestlers who are battling addiction problems, Scott Hall and Jake Roberts. via [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Jul 24, 2013 - 17 comments

Devon, GET THE TABLE.

A 45 minute interview with pro wrestler Bully Ray. Also known as Bubba Ray Dudley of the Dudley Boys. [more inside]
posted by vrakatar on Jul 19, 2013 - 13 comments

"And then he shot you twice for flinching."

Dave Shumka's account of being shot after a comedy show is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. (Starts at 4:25) [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Jul 11, 2013 - 28 comments

"The one with no legs, being carried by the one who could not see."

In 2009, ESPN producer Lisa Fenn worked on a story about two high-school wrestlers, Leroy Sutton and Dartanyon Crockett. Sutton was hit by a train when he was a child and had both his legs amputated; Crockett is legally blind. After the story aired, Fenn stayed in Sutton and Crockett's lives, and the three formed a surprising, enduring bond. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein on Jul 9, 2013 - 26 comments

Absolutely No Words

"We heard them yell, shout and scream. But, who ever pays attention when they take that deep breath before they shout it out? Nobody does except for me. Have fun." Professional wrestling frequently leaves the audience breathless, and this video is no exception.
posted by codacorolla on Jun 28, 2013 - 12 comments

Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free?

The cruel tragedy of The Iron Sheik is a heartbreaking story about the wrestler, Howard Stern guest and Internet joke The Iron Sheik. Vice also has a hilarious interview with him.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jun 24, 2013 - 19 comments

CHIKARMAGEDDON: Is this the end for CHIKARA Pro?!

On the eve of their 4th internet pay-per-view extravaganza, rumours abound of a cataclysmic denouement for the unique independent wrestling company. With wrestlers prone to accidental time-travel, dimensional warping and mind-control by ancient, cursed artifacts (not to mention outbreaks of goblins vs balloons and international games of duck-duck-goose whenever Osaka Pro come to visit), the Chikara workplace is stressful enough, but under the power-crazed directorship of Wink Vavasseur, and purported backstage strife, the promotion has been hemorrhaging talent for several months... [more inside]
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee on May 30, 2013 - 24 comments

"He had his life. And he did not yield."

The Final Days of 'Macho Man' Randy Savage [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 24, 2013 - 28 comments

The Author of Pro Wrestling's Weekly Bible

Frank Deford, a 50-year veteran of Sports Illustrated, once labeled Meltzer the most accomplished reporter in sports journalism. “You could cover the Vatican or State Department,” Deford said recently, “and not do as good a job as Dave Meltzer does on wrestling.”
For nearly 30 years, Dave Meltzer has published the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, featuring weekly behind the locker room door insight into the business of professional wrestling. How far reaching has Meltzer's impact been? In one famous incident, Hulk Hogan, frustrated by what he perceived as consistently negative coverage in the publication, burned a copy of the newsletter during a live Pay-Per-View event.
posted by The Gooch on May 15, 2013 - 14 comments

How American wrestling is more honest than American politics

"Professional wrestling fans, we who are "smart marks" especially, are in many ways more sophisticated than the political junkies who populate political blogs and web sites (what are really fan boy and fan girl mark hangouts) like the Free Republic or The Daily Kos.
They know that professional wrestling is a work and a game.
Do the Obamabots, Tea Party zealots, and true believers on either the Right or the Left realize that politics is much the same thing?"
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 20, 2013 - 84 comments

Grappling for survival

Wrestling Out Of The Olympics - The Gods Must Be Crazy Mad
The whole lucrative sham of it all was exposed once again this week when the executive board of the IOC — Informal Motto: "Me Some Too, Yes?" — recommended that wrestling be dropped as an Olympic sport in the 2020 Summer Games, which are supposed to be held in Istanbul, Tokyo, or Madrid, depending on whose checks clear first, I believe. According to the board, wrestling is no longer a "core sport" in the Olympics and it will have to petition for inclusion in 2020 along with, and I am not making this up, sport climbing and wakeboarding. This is terrific. Why don't we just hold the Olympics in an REI outlet store somewhere?
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 19, 2013 - 94 comments

In Memory of Paul Bearer

Bill Moody, best known as professional wrestling manager Paul Bearer, passed away Tuesday at the age of 58. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy on Mar 7, 2013 - 27 comments

"Six little tiny shoes, all at one time!"

CHIKARA Pro Wrestling is notable, in the wrestling world, for taking the position that intergender tag matches should just happen whenever men and women want to fake-fight one another - but perhaps this is just part of CHIKARA's particular worldview, which is one that includes a time-traveling knight from medieval times who came to the present day and then formed a tag team with another version of himself from three weeks later who also traveled in time to the present day and the Super Smash Bros., who are very defensive of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. At this year's King of Trios three-day super-event, two all-female teams competed, including the Sendai Girls from Sendai Girls' Pro Wrestling. The Sendai Girls made it to the semifinals where they competed against Team Ring of Honor in what was subsequently deemed by many wrestling fans to be the best intergender match yet wrestled in North America. This week, Chikara put the match up free on Youtube.
posted by mightygodking on Jan 16, 2013 - 17 comments

Simulation and Slamulacrum

"Video Game Character Wrestling is a Twitch channel run by a guy named Bazza. He said earlier how when he first ran it like a month ago, he 'was happy he got 50 viewers, maybe he could get 50 the next time too', and it just fucking exploded, with an average of 2000-3000 viewers in recent matches," (Via this Something Awful thread). Video Game Character Wrestling is an improbable live-action machinima spectacle which pits AI controlled versions of major game characters (and some real-ish personalities) against one another in a brawl for it all. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Dec 17, 2012 - 11 comments

Not pictured: Bastion Booger.

In response to WWE.com posting a not-really-that-accurate list of the 50 Most Beautiful People In WWE History (warning: awful slideshow), Brandon Stroud of Withleather assembled an all-star cast of beauty/wrestling experts, including Grantland.com's David Shoemaker, Clark Duke of Hot Tub Time Machine and professional Batmanologist Chris Sims, and with science has composed a a more accurate response list.
posted by mightygodking on Nov 29, 2012 - 36 comments

"This never happens during MY matches."

Some folks in CHIKARA Pro were having a wrestling match, and a baseball game broke out.
posted by mightygodking on Oct 27, 2012 - 20 comments

Thiiiiiiiiis iiiiiiiiiiis aaaaaaaaaawwwwwwesooooooooooommme

A Very Serious Wrestling Match. Courtesy of the fine athletes of CHIKARA Pro.
posted by mightygodking on Sep 14, 2012 - 17 comments

'Giant Size'

'By most accounts, Bill Walton stands well over seven feet tall. But during his NBA career, Walton always insisted that he was 6'11" because he didn't want to be considered a freak. When I read that fun fact in David Halberstam's The Breaks of the Game, it hit a chord. I've been doing the exact same thing as Walton for my entire adult life. I'm not as tall as Walton. I'm not even one of the less-than-70 seven-footers in my age bracket in the U.S. But I'm close. Another quarter-inch, and I'd pass the seven-foot barrier. But anytime anyone asks my height, I say that I'm 6'11". I don't mention the extra three quarters of an inch. People don't need to know about that. In any case, I'm still pretty fucking tall. And being pretty fucking tall is a weird thing to wrap your head around.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 17, 2012 - 121 comments

The Physics of physicality

WIRED has been running a fascinating series: Olympic Physics: Can Runners Benefit From Drafting?, Scoring the Decathlon, New [Swimming] Platform Is No Chip Off The Old Block [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 13, 2012 - 16 comments

Come over here, Pink Shirt Boy!

WWE vs. UFC (feat. Bas Rutten) [SLYT]
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee on Jul 26, 2012 - 12 comments

The wrestling stars of tomorrow, today?

Last night at TNA iMPACT Wrestling's annual Destination X pay-per-view, Austin Aries defeated Bobby Roode to win the TNA Heavyweight Title. Meanwhile, in the WWE, CM Punk (previously on the blue) is currently the WWE champion and feuding with Daniel Bryan (seen here wrestling Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Title prior to his feud with Punk). And wrestling news sites today were abuzz with the news that the WWE has offered a developmental contract to Sara Del Rey, the "Queen of Wrestling," who has made a name for herself by wrestling men on equal terms. What do Aries, Punk, Bryan and Del Rey all have in common? They're all alumni of Ring of Honor. [more inside]
posted by mightygodking on Jul 9, 2012 - 53 comments

It's still real to me, dammit!

Secrets of Pro Wrestling (1987) What happens when these two wrestlers get a raw deal from their chosen profession? They don't get mad, the get even! (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, Trailer) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 29, 2012 - 19 comments

WrestleMania III

25 years ago today, the professional wrestling boom sparked by the Captain Lou Albano/Cyndi Lauper "Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection" reached its zenith with WrestleMania III - whose attendance record of 93,173 for a live indoor "sporting" event in North America stood until 2010. The match between "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat is prized by aficionados as one of the greatest in wrestling history. Look into the videoscope! [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 29, 2012 - 73 comments

It's like the love child of Ace Frehley and Rondo Hatton!

Lucha: VAVOOM! [more inside]
posted by ShutterBun on Feb 22, 2012 - 4 comments

Gee, Mr. Scalli

Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 may remember Racket Girls as a sleazy little Poverty Row crime drama featuring wooden lady-wrestler acting and inexplicable overdubbed audience shrieking. You may not be aware, however, that Racket Girls was one of three movies starring Timothy Farrell as the oily Umberto Scalli, and that Dance Hall Racket (1953) was written by, and costars, Lenny Bruce. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 21, 2012 - 7 comments

Wrestling promo botches

Any shortlist of the top wrestling promo botches in history would include Lex Luger's t-shirt and the debut of the Shockmaster. But it is unlikely that anything will ever surpass Hulk Hogan setting up his Wrestlemania XIX feud with Vince McMahon.
posted by Trurl on Jan 29, 2012 - 20 comments

Is Professional Wrestling Legend Ric Flair Becoming a Real-Life Randy the Ram?

While Hulk Hogan may have been professional wrestling's biggest box office star of the past generation, from a critical standpoint, Ric Flair is widely regarded as the most talented wrestler of the modern era in terms of actual in-ring ability, as well as being known as one of the best promo men (the ability to give entertaining interviews promoting upcoming matches) in the history of the business. In recent years, however, Flair's legacy has been tarnished, with his name more likely to be making news for any number of embarrassing out of the ring incidents and dire financial situation as for his in-ring exploits, to the point where comparisons to Randy “The Ram” Robinson are not out of place. Grantland explores Ric Flair's fall from grace in "The Wrestler in Real Life".
posted by The Gooch on Aug 26, 2011 - 39 comments

British wrestling posters

British Wresting Posters: a Flickr set. See also British wrestling photos, and the British wrestling archive. (Via everlasting blort)
posted by OmieWise on Jul 21, 2011 - 24 comments

The Summer of Punk, The Future of Wrestling (Trending and Tumbling)

The recent passing of Randy Savage stirred nostalgia in wrestling fans from the '80s. Then WWE wrestler CM Punk garnered mainstream media coverage with a blistering promo that ran roughshod over the corporate image that the WWE had been carefully cultivating for the last decade. The unprecedented use of social media in his feud with John Cena (he sent both indie wrestler (and close friend) Colt Cabana and WWE ice cream bars trending on Twitter) has not only given wrestling the biggest mainstream boost since the Attitude Era, it has also shined a light on writers who love the fake fighting but aren't the stereotype of a wrestling fan -- The Masked Man (now unmasked) has been writing excellent pieces for a while, but The Dugout's Brandon Stroud now posts The Best and Worst of Raw, and a host of Tumblrs (such as Styles Clash) follow the sport (with Fair to Flair as an example of a collaborative blog). [more inside]
posted by solistrato on Jul 14, 2011 - 40 comments

Toe Wrestling Is Like Arm Wrestling, But With Toes

Toe Wrestling Is Like Arm Wrestling, But With Toes
posted by Confess, Fletch on Jul 9, 2011 - 18 comments

Jamie makes you feel you’ve witnessed a violent crime

"Punk-artist-anthropologist Cameron Jamie has made three documentaries on violence; I’ve read about them all and seen just this one." The author speaks of "Kranky Klaus," LA-born artist Jamie's peek into the Austrian folkloric character Krampus, a sort of photo-negative of Santa Claus who comes on Christmas to punish bad children. [more inside]
posted by Astro Zombie on Jun 18, 2011 - 12 comments

Recquisat in pace, noble warrior.

"Macho Man" Randy Savage passed away today at the age of 58, when he was struck with a heart attack while driving. [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon on May 20, 2011 - 172 comments

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