Posts from 21st February 2004

21
Feb 04

‘Sports Entertainment’

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‘Sports Entertainment’

That’s what they call the wrestling in America now – they’ve abandoned all attempt to position it as real sport. There is a bit of different repositioning going on just now. As ILE’s expert Dom Passantino points out, the promotion of Eddie Guerrero to a main event star, after years at the second tier on a good night, is about recognising that the Hispanic minority is a very big and important one in America, and wrestling has been colossal for generations in Mexico, and that its wrestlers are regarded very highly by many.

Nonetheless, despite the no doubt cynical motives behind this development, my liberal sensibilities were delighted by the reception Eddie got on the first regular Smackdown show after he won the WWE title. He is a terrific and charismatic performer, and it’s good to see a mostly white crowd cheering a Mexican star so much. He still has to be Mexican all the time, it has to define his character to a degree almost unseen in the American wrestlers, and this is still true of all other nationalities (with the one exception of Canadians, unless they are French Canadians that is). I obviously wouldn’t set the WWE up as any kind of liberal showcase (I’ve not even touched on its attitude to women!), but it’s still pretty good to see a Mexican at the top of a generally all-American pile.