Monday, July 02, 2007

Lucha VaVOOM! (Los Angeles)

When the 15-year-old girl turned out to be an 18-year old boy in fringe panties twirling a hula-hoop... that was when it became clear what kind of night was in store for us.


Not that standing on line watching extravagantly dressed lucha libre wrestlers and girls in hotpants roll up to the Mayan Theatre on noisy, mini-hot rods was less, er um, entertaining.

Or that the assemblage of downtown hipsters-cum-EastAztlan-cholo promised an evening with the bridge club.

But that was supposed to be a 15-year-old up there in the long white and frilly dress, backed by four other girls of varying youth and innocence in the same gown. It was a “quinceañera” to celebrate the fifteenth edition of the Lucha VaVOOM.

The evening’s program promised “sexo y violencia,” and the Mayan is not on any short list for next year’s Latin Grammy’s, so we knew what we were in for...


It was just a matter of time before the erstwhile 15-year old’s clothes were coming off and, you know, that’s always a little hard to not get excited about. And the dress was dropped as the Deejay took things up a notch, or five, and sure enough, it was happening.

Then the top came down and the roof on the Mayan nearly blown off. That’s no girl and what's (s)he doing with the hoola hoop...that ain’t workin’, even if it was terribly impressive in a Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not kind of way.

There was a buzz goin’. The EmCee, who had led us willingly into the pleasant duping, Blaine, came back to set up the first wrasslin’ match of the night, pointed the microphone at his mouth and said, "Lucha!"

“VaVOOM!” the in-the-know crowd leapt to its feet cheering, whooping.

“Lucha...!” “VaVOOM!”

The girls, including “Cry Baby,” “Nikki” and two identical sisters billed as the Poubelle Twins took to the stage, er um ring, and wrung one another out. There was violence, sure, but of a mocking kind; fake kicks and punches and nicely choreographed tumbles and bumbles that brought more cheers of delight from a crowd constantly being prodded to buy more El Jimador (the evening’s tequila sponsor) and a waitress too inviting to permit any resistance to the call.

Blaine, joined by a tuxedo-wearing Dana Gould, ostensibly commented on what was happening in the world, although anything in American culture was fair game.

“This referee is about as useful as Nancy Pelosi,” one of them (it was hard to tell which after a while) remarked. And that was about the least offensive thing fired from their scattershot, machine-gun mouths all night.

Unfortunately, the sexy Poubelle (“trash can” in French) twins lost the match to somebody else; it was a little confusing what with all those girls in bikinis flying into and around and all over one another.

Most of the violencia may have been faked, but the sexo... Let’s just say there are things that happen when people are wearing, you know, underwear while they roll around positioning their butts in each other’s faces and..."Lucha!"


Before the defeat of the black-vinyl clad siblings could sink in, Lucy Fur came out and danced and took off almost all of her clothes, leaving a little to what little was left of our imaginations and then some more wrestlers came out.

These were guys including somebody named “Dirty Sanchez” (don’t ask). He lost, but it was hard to feel sorry for him, because he was laughing as hard as everyone else in the place.

The El Jimador was kicking in pretty good at this point so it’s a little hard to remember who Dirty Sanchez lost to, but that’s okay because then another stripper, Lola La Cereza (the cherry) came out and took her clothes off, wrapped up (unwrapped?) in a routine featuring a hanging banana, a big baggy of white dust, and a mock straw the size of a plumbing pipe.

Use your imagination.

The lucha libre began to grow more serious in the level of acrobatics and narrative when “El Chilango” and “El Chupacabras,” “El Misterioso,” and others took to the stage.

These are real figures of the Mexican wrestling world with well-developed personae and fans to match them and just one more reason why we endure the overheated real estate market and overpriced rents.

Chilango, despite, all the hype, lost, but it really didn’t matter because a stripper “from Chicago” named Michelle L’Amour came out and helped us all forget his bitter defeat.

Then a midget chicken was born out of an egg under the spotlights, to the “Theme from 2001.” The world being what it is, a very unpleasant trio, one being another midget, dressed in black leather, sporting Coyote masks, tried to violate the newborn’s innocence.

Blaine had warned those seated up-close earlier in the night to, “pay attention or you’re going to get midget all over you.”

Not to worry because out came “The Crazy Chickens” to the rescue, riding into the room on an earthshaking House music bass beat. After an unfortunate beginning, and more unfortunate commentary from the EmCees, the Crazy Chickens vanquished the vile Coyotes, which meant we could finally get onto the next stripper.

(If this sounds monotonous, it wasn’t).

The name escapes (if the presentation doesn’t) and finally we were treated to a finale of lucha libre icons including Cassandro.

For those of you unschooled in Spanish grammar, it should be noted that an “a” at the end of something usually denotes the feminine gender, an “o” the masculine.

Which makes Cassandro a kind of middle-aged mentor to the 15-year-old quinceañer(o) with the hula hoop, if you follow..."Lucha!"


The choreography and flips and everything were much advanced in this group, which also included “El Psicodelico” wearing a mask spangled with concentric circles.

The big running joke was that whenever the bigger, more threatening, opponents had Cassandro in trouble (s)he would smack someone’s lips with a kiss and send them screaming for the exits in a homophobic tizzy.

Maybe it’s not so funny without the El Jimador, but with it...

Cassandro won and that was good because then a quartet of most worthy strippers known as the Ungawas came out and did a cowgirl routine that included a return of the quinceañer(o) with the hula hoop.

From there to the ending was just the usual total breakdown of order managed beautifully by those inciting it (no security visible) throughout the room, echoing with the deafening and racuous chant, “Lucha!”


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