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El Desperado: Love, Death and Flamboyance

12 months ago

El Desperado: Love, Death and Flamboyance

By: R. Faliani

Pro-Wrestling is an art and a sport that has told a lot of stories. Stories of love, hate, life and death. They bring people to the shows and make them fall in love with their favorite wrestlers. The stories that have transcended time and space, and have earned a place in the never-ending discussion of what wrestling is. In this world, where we’re exposed to a lot of different interpretations and ways to tell said stories, one wrestler stands above all. His name is El Desperado.

Photo: Masahiro Kubota (@_MasahiroKubota)

We’ve already covered El Desperado’s epic first bout with Deathmatch legend Jun Kasai and its profound meaning, but we never had the chance to talk about El Desperado’s performance from a different point of view. Inspired by his upcoming matches against the likes of Jon Moxley and Homicide, the idea of Junior heavyweight El Desperado being able to perform with such top talents is interesting because in these matches we see his true nature, and his true fighting spirit shine through. It’s in these hardcore matches that we get to know the other side of Despy’s style.

La Distancia Para Un Duelo

Of course, El Desperado is one of the most prolific Juniors in Japan today, but we can’t stop but think about what’s hidden behind his charismatic presence. The idea of El Desperado as a wrestler is almost a contradiction in its own right. This charismatic and well-dressed masked Japanese wrestler coming out to the tune of his own Flamenco-type song is willing to go to dark places to get what he wants and needs the most. El Desperado’s attitude contradicts the way he wrestles and the way he brings the most violent and dangerous offensive to the table. Such a daring performer has the right to be positioned as one of the best in the world right now, but it’s this idea of El Desperado that encapsulates his whole performance.

Photo c/o: @taigaPhoto_pw

Seeing El Desperado is like seeing a Spanish knight battle, because he has a violent and elegant offense. We have seen this with his matches against Hiromu Takahashi, another charismatic fellow. The chemistry between the two men is not only solid proof of their athleticism, but the way they both see pro wrestling as an art. El Desperado has the aura of a masked swordsman, calculating his attacks at the rhythm of his own heartbeats. Such a dangerous wrestler must be accustomed to the idea of death, and as we have seen before on his match with Kasai, El Desperado likes to defy the Grim Reaper. And this idea of “defying death”, while controversial for some people, is what positions El Desperado to be the best wrestler in the world, and what inspires thousands of fans. The audience has learned to love El Desperado.

No Need to Welcome Death

There’s not a single shadow of a doubt that El Desperado’s performance changed the second Kasai told him not to chase death, and that change can be seen in today’s El Desperado matches in the Best of Super Juniors. The bad-boy tactics of Desperado are those of a villain you love to hate, but he’s not a villain by any means, just a man willing to do anything to stay with his sword in hand. The crowd is always in El Desperado’s corner, because they not only respect him, but even see him as a hero. It’s this severely underrated aspect of El Desperado what makes him so special. He’s a cocky, talented and charismatic individual. We can’t deny Despy’s skill.

Photo c/o: @taigaPhoto_pw

Tony Khan might try and book him on the undercard, but in underestimating El Desperado he’s shown us time and again that he’s a top performer in the world of pro-wrestling. And as the masked wrestler laughs on our faces, his Flamenco-style song keeps playing in every venue, with the sound of the crowd clapping along. Desperado knows his flamboyant performance and his understanding of pro wrestling connects with the crowd on a personal level, as they see a part of them reflected in the actions of such a special wrestler. El Desperado’s philosophy has changed. Before his match with Kasai, Desperado chased death at every turn, but now, a more mature Despy has learned to dance Flamenco with his own Shinigami, and embrace the virtues of living to inspire generations to come. His fighting spirit will shine through thick and thin, and he will live on to become a bigger legend than he already is.

“We can either laugh in the face of death or die trying not to.” -James Grippando

Written by:

Hello, I'm from Argentina. I see wrestling with a different perspective thanks to the many content creators in my community. Everything changed when I first watched Go Shiozaki vs Kazuyuki Fujita in 2020. The unsettling nature of the match clicked with me, and it inspired my first video essay. That match made me understand something: I was a content creator –Gyro - and I want to broadcast different ideas: the battles of wrestling ideologies, the importance of Joshi & Puroresu and the dramatic stories surrounding it. I love Puroresu with such passion, I love how it gives me an empty canvas and tells me to draw my idea about it. I have not yet finished high school as a 17-year-old, but am currently preparing to venture into college. I actually learned English by watching wrestling and talking to different people over the years. I am still perfecting the language, and these experiences will help me even more.