Interviews

RJ Brewer Talks Lucha Libre, His Anti-Immigration Beliefs, Russell Pearce, and His "Mother," Governor Jan Brewer

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Are you the main villain of Lucha Libre USA?
I would say for sure. Not that I'm the only American, there are a few other Americans [in Lucha Libre USA], I am the only American that stands for the opposite of what everybody else stands for. Everybody there is pretty much embracing the lucha libre style and are there to represent that culture and I'm pretty much on the other spectrum so it's definitely a clash there. So I would say I'm the most hated guy in the locker room, no doubt about it.

So why are you battling against Mexican wrestlers?
Basically, it's not me versus them. It's not the U.S. versus Mexico. It's not bad versus good. It's legal versus illegal. There's not a lot of gray areas when it comes to being illegal. If you break the law, you break the law. In [Lucha Libre USA], these guys have masks. I don't know who they are, I don't know where they come from, I don't even know if they're legal to work here to make the money off of the product so for me, I take offense to that and so my goal is to go in there, wrestle these guys, take their masks off, expose them and send them home if they don't belong here.

Do you hate the lucha libre style of wrestling?
Lucha libre has a very rich, long tradition in Mexico. You go to these predominantly Latino cities in the United States and they've got carts of masks for sale, so obviously it's part of their culture. In the United States, there's a much different style of wrestling. I don't think [the American style] is being appreciated as much now that there's lucha libre is becoming more popular. And it's not so much the lucha style of wrestling that bothers me so much and who these Mexican wrestlers are and the fact that they're coming here and they're profiting here.

What do you mean?
These guys come here and I've asked them countless times to show me their IDs, that they're legal to work here, and they don't. And I have no support from management on this issue. I'm kind of a one-man campaign right now trying to change things. I just don't think there is a place for it in the U.S.

And the fans really hate you, right?
Oh, absolutely, that's become the norm for sure. From the very first show we had it's been that way, a large Latino crowd and you've got a guy in the ring who represents the opposite of what they represent, so there's always going to be a big conflict. Let's face it, this is a Latino promotion and a Latino audience.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.