Let's Get Ready to Rumble, Cholita!
· by wendy
In college, toward my Senior year, I developed a strange obsession thanks to my friend Austin. Every Monday, Thursday and occasional Sunday I had to watch me some WWE. Raw, Smackdown…it was the best drama and athleticism plus a little gymnastics. And let’s not forget The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin! It hasn’t been the same since.
My obsession may have been reignited thanks to my Mom, of all people! It’s not like she is into wrestling, but she did tip me off about two things she came across while doing her own research on La Paz. The first, the Witches Market. The second….midget wrestling! All she had to say was midget, I mean wrestling. On Sunday night, we headed out to catch some Cholitas Wrestling. On our way out of the hostel, we noticed a large group of people waiting for something. Turns out a Cholitas bus was picking up all of the gringos from our hostel for the fight. Yes!
Not only did our ticket include the bus ride, we were lucky enough to secure front row seats! It turns out there weren’t any midgets, but the show would not disappoint. The place was a riot! The ring was surrounded by gringos on the lower level, I’m assuming because we’ll pay more, and locals in the benches behind. Thanks to one of the locals during the first “act”, we learned that it was acceptable to throw things at the wrestlers. It began with popcorn and ended with cups of Coke and bottles of water. The wrestlers handled it like professionals. One even batted a juice box away without seeming to see it coming. Another wrestler grabbed a gringo’s giant bottle of water, took a swig and then swung it our way drenching us. Everyone in the “arena” got involved, many of us dressing up for the occasion!
Oh, did I mention that some of the wrestlers were women? I’m not talking the sexy ones that grace the WWE stage. We’re talking regular Bolivian women with their big hips, big skirts and long black braids. They kicked some ass. Check it out!
You can see more pictures in the La Paz gallery at Flickr