Lucha Libre wrestlers capitalize on the controversy of illegal immigration, bringing debate into ring

1:27 PM, Apr 26, 2012   |    comments
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Blue Demon Jr. (Photo credit: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

CNN - Illegal immigration goes beyond debate when two fighters wrestle the issue inside the ring. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez reports how Lucha Libre has capitalized on the topic.

In a warehouse, deep in an industrial part of Los Angeles, this is the world of Lucha Libre, a form of wrestling that started in Mexico back in the 1930s. In these Lucha Libre events, masked fighters perform in front of sell-out crowds.

And on one particular night, the fight about the U.S. immigration debate and the controversy surrounding SB1070, Arizona's tough anti illegal immigration law, being challenged in the Supreme Court, the court battle plays out in the squared circle.

In one corner the popular Blue Demon Jr., a 27-year veteran of Lucha Libre and the son of the legendary Demonio Azul, a beloved wrestler in Mexico.

"I fight for my crowd, for my people, I believe in the free country," Blue Demon Jr. said.

His opponent, R.J. Brewer, takes on the character of Jan Brewer's son, the Arizona governor who signed SB1070 into law two years ago.

"When they see somebody like me coming out and saying you don't belong here show me that you do, you know, they take offense to it," Brewer said.

The insults fly fast and furious as the wrestlers, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Have they struck a raw nerve?

"What I say is truth and what I saw is what I feel. I think it hits home for a lot of these fans because we're wrestling in front of 99 percent Latino fans," Brewer said.

Some might say R.J. Brewer is a racist and anti-Latino.

"I've heard that countless times. I've heard I'm a racist, I'm a bigot, I'm against the Mexican people, but I'm not. I'm simply a proud American who wants our borders secure," he said.

Is it all schtick? Brewer and the Blue Demon assured me they fully believe in what they're fighting for, and gauging from the crowds, they have struck a nerve with their politics, which makes this tour hugely profitable

As opponents go, R.J. says he's the perfect bad guy to the popular masked Blue Demon.

CNN

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