Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Sins of the WWE -- Writer's Poke #308




Early in 2011, WWE held a press conference in Mexico City to announce the signing of one of Mexico’s most popular professional wrestlers, Mistico. When WWE signs wrestling talent, it’s not unusual for that talent to be “rebranded,” and at the press conference, it was announced that Mistico would perform under the name Sin Cara.

The Lucha Libre style is much different from the American style, and apparently Mistico never adapted to expectations of WWE. The Internet Wrestling Community commented weekly on how many in-ring moves Mistico “botched,” as well as when WWE would reshoot entire matches due to Mistico’s mistakes.

Over the summer, Mistico was suspended for 30 days for failing WWE’s talent wellness policy. Mistico immediately went public to explain that his WWE-sanctioned doctors had given him a legal substance, and it was this substance that had registered on the test.  The suspension itself was never acknowledged formally, and WWE explained Sin Cara’s absence as due to injury.

When Sin Cara made his in-ring return, Mistico was no longer the wrestler under the mask. WWE gave the role to Hunico, a wrestler, ironically, that had at one time used the ring name of Mistico in Mexico. WWE made no mention that Hunico had permanently assumed the character of Sin Cara, and the match announcers simply indicated that Sin Cara had “put on some muscle” and “developed new moves” while out on injured reserve.

Mistico, although not officially released, is apparently no longer performing for WWE. The character of Sin Cara, however, lives on.

When professional wrestlers portray a character, is it the same as actors playing a part? In other words, is it unethical for WWE to continue the continuity of Sin Cara by dumping Mistico and using Hunico under the same character’s mask?

“All sins are attempts to fill voids.” – Simone Weil

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