Steve’s View #115 – Lucha VaVoom 3, half year awards, and more.

Lucha VaVoom 3 – 26 June 03

This was the third Lucha VaVoom, which started as a film festival, burlesque show, and lucha event at the Mayan in Los Angeles that lasted three days. They dropped the films after the first show and went down to one day.

Lucha VaVoom 2 drew around 1400 people, which was the biggest non-WWE crowd in SoCal in about year, since Azteca drew over 4,000 in early 2002. People sometimes like to dismiss big crowds at lucha shows, saying “lucha always draws big”, which isn’t really true, and still doesn’t take anything away from the fact of how big a crowd the shows actually get. With Lucha VaVoom, their draw is even more impressive as they are drawing a mostly non-Latin crowd. With a write up in Rolling Stone Magazine, and being hyped on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, LVV3 drew at least 1,600, probably more.The crowd wasn’t really a wrestling crowd. Scrub likened Lucha VaVoom to Kaiju, as it draws from a totally different group than the normal wrestling show, though both have cross over appeal, and I’d say Lucha VaVoom’s is much bigger since they put on real wrestling matches with big stars. It’s a pretty amazing feat of promoting that Lucha VaVoom has reached out to the group it has, and has drawn the crowds it has.

Now onto the show itself.

First I’d like to say that the Mayan is one of the coolest venues I’ve ever seen. Not just for wrestling either. If you ever have a chance to check this place out, whether it is a wrestling show, play, disco, whatever, do it. It’s a really cool place.

Los Gallineros (II, III, & IV) over American Wild Child, Angel, & Black Metal
This was a really fun match. The crowd loved Los Gallineros and Angel. The crowd seemed to hate the evil Black Metal equally as much. Desire was in Los Gallinero’s corner for the match also. The match was pretty much back and forth with tons of comedy mixed in. Lots of gay comedy with Angel as one could expect. At one point he even got pants’d and American Wild Child had his face repeatedly rammed into Angel’s bare ass. Los Gallinero’s won the match, and after the match Wild Child raised their hands in a sign of respect.

Elvio Reyes, Rosa Salvaje, & Mariachi Loco over Los Chivos (Kayam & Enigma de Oro) & Lucifer
I can now say I’ve seen everything there is to see in wrestling after seeing Elvis fighting Satan in a match. You know you are watching an insane match when Los Chivos are the most normal wrestlers in the match. Elvio Reyes comes out to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley, which is the greatest entrance music of all time, and dresses like the King during his Vegas years. Mariachi Loco came to the ring with a full mariachi band. You can pretty easily guess what Lucifer’s gimmick is. He even had a pitchfork wielding valet (one of the girls from the Velvet Hammer). This was another really fun match. Elvio and Lucifer looked a little sow in the ring at times, but other than that the match was really smooth. The technico team won, proving once again that Elvis always triumphs over evil.

Next up was the epic battle between Kitten Deville and Kitten Devine. Both of these girls are from the Velvet Hammer and they basically danced, and fought a little, tearing each other’s clothes off. All of the sudden it became a tag match as some French maids jumped in the ring and defeated the Kittens. I guess we will never truly know who is the superior Kitten.

Parkita & Mascara Sagrada over El Torito & Especrito
The announcement of the mini’s match got one of the, if not the loudest pops of the night. The crowd loved their minis. Parkita is a mini of La Parka, who is just as cool as the real La Parka (way cooler than the AAA La Parka). La Parka lost nothing being made into mini form. Actually Parkita is much more athletic than the real Parka, doing flips like crazy. El Torito is a bull, and is almost non-mini in size. He’s much like Super Astro, sort of in the middle of normal sized wrestlers and minis. I like to think that maybe he is an ambassador who understands both worlds and keeps the peace between the normals and the minis. This was a fast paced match, as was to be expected, that really had the crowd going.

Hurican Ramierz came out on crutches between matches and they announced that due to injuries Hurican would not be able to wrestle tonight.

Hijo del Santo, Felino, & Chilango over Blue Panther, Misterioso, & Gringo Loco
Santo turns 40 next month, but you’d never be able to tell. He is still quite godlike. Santo is one of the few legends that you can go to a show that he’s on, and still see why he is a legend. This was a really good match, with everyone in the match looking really good together. There was one crazy lucha submission spot where all the technicos had the rudos in a submission hold, then Santo did one in the middle that came off a little sloppy, but other than that it was a really good match with really good crowd heat. Chilango came off as a big time star in this match also. He is one of the most under rated lucha workers around, and hopefully this gets him a little bit of a rub that he needs, though I hear he should be going to Toryumon soon. It was a fantastic match that was really a great way to end the evening.

If you haven’t been to Lucha VaVoom yet I highly recommend you check it out. It’s completely different than everything else out there, but in a good way.

Half Year Awards

Since the year is half over I figured it’s time to make my picks for the best of 2003 so far.

Wrestler: Babi Slymm – I don’t think there is any wrestler in SoCal that has meant as much to one promotion as Babi Slymm has meant to WCWA. Add that with his improved workrate, and the fact that he’s starting to work more and more promotions, making Slymm my easy pick for wrestler of the year so far. I have always thought the wrestler of the year award is more like an MVP award than an award for best wrestling skills, though wrestling ability should always be part of the criteria, and that is something Slymm has greatly improved in this year.

Match: B-Boy & Super Dragon over Jardi Frantz & Bobby Quance – Without question this was the best match I’ve seen this year in indy wrestling, not just in SoCal. I thought it was better than last year’s MOTY and imagine it will be pretty hard to top this year.

Rookie: Quicksilver – There are so many good rookies in 2003 it’s really hard to narrow it down to one. Since I have to I’ll go with Quicksilver, who has been very consistent for the most part, and has been working a ton of matches, which are two things that put him ahead of the rest of the rookies in my book. The Miz, Chris Bosh, Andrew Hellman, Hook Bomberry, Gallinero IV, Zokre, and Phoenix Star are some of the others to look out for.

Promotion: APW LA – GSCW/APW LA have put on consistently the best shows in SoCal all year, though by only running bi-monthly they are running into the same problem MPW had in 2001, where they are unable to build any real momentum. GSCW/APW LA really benefited from EPIC folding, by getting the Super Dragon versus Bobby Quance match in December of last year, which lead to more APW involvement in the promotion and some of the best matches in SoCal this year. However, while the shows have been good thanks to the matches, the booking has been pretty bad at times. Last year GSCW was doing a better job of building stories, while this year it seems like they are just taking good wrestlers and putting them in matches together with no rhyme or reason at times. Lots of angles in the three shows this year have been pointless and have gone nowhere, and the long promos seemingly between every match get tiresome. GSCW/APW LA has been lucky so far that no one else is putting on constantly good shows. So far in 2003 the wrestlers have carried APW LA. If Lucha VaVoom were to run again and have a show anything like the last one I’d be inclined to vote for them as promotion of the year, just because of what they’ve been able to do and the crowds they’ve drawn. Pro Wrestling Guerrilla is another promotion that has a shot if they can run shows till the end of the year like the one they have scheduled in July.

Tag Team: Hardkore Inc. (Hardkore Kidd & Al Katrazz) – They’ve put on consistently good matches as a team in UPW and AWS, and won the UPW Tag titles. Hardkore Inc. has also worked against a variety of different styled opponents, from lucha guys, to the Ballards, to Super Dragon, and Disco Machine and has managed to have good matches with them all.

Kaos is scheduled to be Hardkore Kidd’s opponent at August 16th’s APW LA show in Newhall.

Speaking of APW LA August 16th show, there’s a good chance Bobby Quance will not be at the show due to commitments with CMLL in Mexico. APW should have an announcement on that soon.

And speaking of wrestlers missing shows, B-Boy will miss all his scheduled SoCal bookings July 19th through 28th as he’ll be on the East Coast the whole time. B-Boy will be on CZW’s July 20th’s and 26th’s show. It’s possible he could show up in a couple more East Coast feds during that time.

I know I said that this column I was going to talk about Inoki’s US plans and how SoCal relates, but I’m still checking on a thing or two involving an established US fed that there is plans for them to be involved. Hopefully I’ll have more on that next week.

I want to give a cheap plug to From Parts Unknown magazine and their new magazine Hood Wink. It’s a mag devoted to “Mexi-Masked Minxes”. If you run across it anywhere I highly recommend picking it up, or get it at www.frompartsunknown.com.

Steve

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