What the World is Watching

Karate Master

IMG_6161Karate Master
1973 – 1974

Karate Master was an anime series that aired in Japan about… karate. It also depicted American wrestlers and wrestling fans as xenophobic hate mongers. I have no idea whether or not this was supposed to be aimed at kids or adults at the time it came out, but the adult me definitely appreciated it more than 10-year-old me ever would have.

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Art of Gimmickry

The Assimilated Foreign Wrestler

IMG_1498Oftentimes, a foreign wrestler who has such a strong hatred for America that it could only be remedied by moving to the U.S., joining the WWE, and fighting American wrestlers in American cities, with the occasional tour to other countries where they’re still booed, will sometimes turn babyface once they realize that America isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. Usually, the foreigner’s xenophobic stance on American culture is gradually pacified by an American friend. Or, in the case of Tajiri and Kozlov, someone who speaks English better than they do. More often than not, despite how talented the wrestler is, assimilating to American culture means letting your guard down and becoming the comic relief. Because when we Americans aren’t busy trying to run foreign people out of our country, we’re usually laughing at them.

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Ringside Cinema

Paradise Alley (1978)

Thanks to his Oscar win for writing and starring in Rocky, an untouchable Sylvester Stallone decided to become an auteur of sorts with regards to films about prize fighters and grapplers. Despite going all-out and not only writing, starring, but also directing, and signing the song in the opening credits, Paradise Alley was definitely no Rocky. This film pretty much explains why Stallone milked the hell out of Rocky. He was a one-trick pony. Nonetheless, not many Hollywood studios were lining up to make movies about pro wrestling. So, we can thank Sylvester Stallone for that. Also, thanks to Stallone, it’d be a long time before Hollywood warmed up to making another one. But I don’t want to rag on him too much seeing as he’s sensitive and all.

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