Monday, 22 October 2007

Cholita Wrestling

On our last night in La Paz a couple of weeks ago, we upped the sophistication levels and went along to some highbrow Bolivian entertainment - Cholita Wrestling! This is the local version of professional wrestling/WWF, and features a whole raft of different characters, including some 'Cholitas' or women in traditional costumes.

While not quite on the same monetary level as the WWF (the matches we saw where in a high-school gym), Cholita Wrestling more than makes up for this is sheer craziness. If you've seen 'Nacho Libre', then you get the idea... Here's a bit more info on this particularly latin-american cultural experience!

We got to see six matches, which started out loco and got progressively worse :) The first match was between a TMNT and some sort of fish:

There were various managers/referees who also got involved in this match - I couldn't tell you who won, the important thing was crowd participation:

The second match was between an Indian chief and... some other guy:

The ref didn't get too much respect in this match:

The third match:

By this time the crowd was getting nicely drunk enthused, and started throwing stuff at the wrestlers. Chicken bones seemed a popular option:

We also spotted a couple of women by the judge's table doing their knitting:

The 4th match featured some sort of dancing skeleton, who certainly busted out all the moves, but it still wasn't enough for him to win:

Then in the 5th match came what we'd all be waiting for - the Cholitas! This was a 4 person match, with two male/female teams:

With 4 people in the ring, the action got predictably crazy:

One of the males got knocked out after being thrown into the crowd, and had to be carried off:

We had ring-side seats for all the action, but this has it's downside as well - we got pretty wet about 10 seconds after this shot:

The 6th and final match was where society broke down completely. This was a two-on-one match, unfair on paper except that the 'one' was a werewolf:

This guy apparently has a fairly bad reputation, the ref was very reluctant to get in the ring for this one:

The action was fast and furious:

I couldn't tell you who won - I think the match was officially over when the judge's table got smashed, but the fighting continued on into the stands:

Crazy stuff!


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