WWE wrestling looks to smack down Latin America

Gabriel Miramar-Garcia ©RapidTVNews | 05-03-2012

The pile-driver, WrestleMania, smackdowns and other hallmarks of the professional wrestling powerhouse known as the WWE are setting their sights on points south.
The WWE has just opened a new office in Miami to serve as its headquarters for all operations in Latin America and the phenomenon that brought us such household names as Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan and Hacksaw Jim Duggan is taking its considerable promotional and marketing resources and applying them to the region.
The goal is to grow "significantly" visibility of the sport across all lines of WWE's business, including media distribution, live event touring, consumer products and digital distribution. No Latin American market will be safe.
"WWE has a well-established TV and pay-per-view presence in Latin America, with long-term partnerships in place with such notable broadcasters as Televisa, TV Azteca, DLA and DirecTV Latin America," said Dominic Hayes, senior vice president and managing director of WWE International. "The launch of our Latin America office allows us to build upon our current success and demonstrates our further commitment to continued growth in the region."
Latin America has a proven love of entertainment wrestling, most notably in Mexico, where Mexican wrestling is a well-loved affair involving colourful masks, quick and acrobatic movements, and elaborate protocol rituals. Throughout LatAm however this style-- known as 'lucha libre'--has its rabid fans. Wrestlers involved in the scene often come from whole families whose members, los luchadores, are born into the sport. It remains to be seen whether the WWE, with its uniquely North American characteristics, can compete with the entrenched culture that already exists in the region.