After reading Serrato’s piece in Steel Chair to the Head and watching the match between Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle I was left with two conflicting impressions. Reading and watching something take place are two completely different experiences. When I was reading the piece on Latino wrestlers, it seemed like there was such a negative connotation in their performances. This is something that isn’t as apparent in watching Latino wrestlers perform during a show.
Eddie had fun with his character and even comments that he knows people from his hometown, El Paso, who act the way his character does and serve as a basis for his character. It’s meant to parody a stereotype that already exists in society. Eddie comments that it’s stupid that some people read too much into the character and it’s only meant to be funny. As a Mexican, I think that I was rarely offended by some of Eddie’s antics inside the ring. I thought that most things he did were pretty funny, even the time he rode into the arena in a lawnmower. His trickster character was also fun to watch. I thought it did more than just show how lying, cheating and stealing can get you to the top. It showed how brains can conquer braun. Eddie used his intelligence to have an edge over the opponent in a way that was rarely illegal. I think that the audience had the same type of attitude toward Eddie Guerrero. The way he was received by the fans shows that he was able to convey that his character was meant to be funny.
As an outsider watching or reading about wrestling, it may appear that Eddie Guerrero is giving Latinos a bad name by being glorified for lying, cheating, and stealing. The piece made it seem like the fans were laughing at Eddie and other Latino wrestlers instead of with them. WCW and WWE were then used these stereotypes as a way of keeping these wrestlers down in the business. I don’t know if I believe that the formation of the NWO was a direct result of Latinos gaining more popularity than the big white wrestlers. It seemed like a series of coincidences that were made into an argument. I do agree with the odds being against the Latino wrestlers to win the Heavyweight Championship and being the central figures in wrestling. This article was written, however, before Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio both won the Championship and became big parts of the WWE. I guess it’s only natural that a Latino wrestler won it since Latinos make up one of the largest fan bases.
I think that it is important to experience both forms of communication. I was able to obtain very different perspectives on an important issue in wrestling from reading another person’s views and making my own directly. Reading about some of the historical aspects allows you to make a more complete analysis on some of the more controversial issues in wrestling. I think the best bet would be to make your own judgment after you have more than just a first person point of view.