The Enormous Success that was Lucha VaVoom

The evening of August 28th saw the Mayan Theatre (aka Club Mayan) host the first ever hybrid of authentic lucha libre and retro-styled burlesque. The FORMAT was the star here, a blend of mostly one-fall matches alternated with 2-3 minute striptease numbers (down to pasties and g-strings) by the renowned Velvet Hammer burlesque troupe.

Attendence was difficult to gague, due to the layout of the venue, and the fact that being a bar/club there’s lots of tucked-away spots, a balcony, some tables, lots of standing room, etc. However, the place was packed, the crowd was hot, and everyone came away happy.

The crowd was primarily anglo, in the 20’s to mid 30’s range, a crowd more typical to Velvet Hammer shows than lucha, but then that’s the idea here isn’t it – expose a new audience to the magic that is Mexican wrestling. I would estimate that at least 2/3 of the crowd was seeing their first ever lucha show or the first live wrestling in years. The program book was a great help, giving photo and editorial run-downs of the personalities involved. Such programs are standard fare for the VH, but are something any outward-reaching wrestling promotion should really consider doing, especially to promotoe local talent.

The evening began with luchadores arriving via hot rods from a local car club. The Mayan, which is done up like a Mesoamerican temple throughout and an amazing visual to set an event like this in, had a standard ring at its center, with a raised t-shaped platform connected to it acting as a stage for the dancers.

The rundown went like so:

First match: local stars from WPW. Silver Tiger & R2K d. Infernal & Lil Cholo. Lil Cholo was the rudo star here, and really played the crowd.

VH’s Usulina then did a nice number as “La Reina Tropical”

Second match: Rosa Salvaje, Chilango & Mariachi Loco were defeated by Los Chivos & Gringo Loco This was the only 2/3 falls match of the night, perhaps should have only been one. The crowd loved the characters all around. Chilango laid the charm on, Mariachi had the ladies dancing, and oddly enough Gringo was instantly over huge as a total heel. Now, “exotico” gimmicks don’t work very well in the States (anglo crowds in the too-PC era?), so Rosa didn’t get monster over, but all in all a good match and the crowd stayed hot.

VH’s Summer Peaches shook her thang right after, and knocked everyone on the asses.

Third match was a special VH presentation, as two of their dancers, with some crash course training, put on a match. La Reina de la Selva d. Mariposa Negra cleanly, then all hell broke loose and they tore each other costumes apart down to pasties and panties. Seven million times sexier than any mysoginistic crap the WWE has put on national cable in the past five years.

The next number was by the amazing Bobby Pinz, the VH’s own mini-marvel. She got a huge pop for her cap pistol-packing routine. Things went nuts when an evil mad scientist character stormed the stage and kidnapped her. Meanwhile, the rudo mini team of Piratita Morgan and Pierothito entered, and all three proceeded to pick on the defensless mostly naked dancer. Luckily, Mascarita Sagrada and Octagoncito came to her rescue, and flowed right into the fourth match. The minis BLEW THE CROWD AWAY! Many first timers, top-shelf minis, amazing acrobatics, and the high drama of strippers and mad doctors to boot. HUGE!

Next number was by Maya O’Migh, which flowed into another VH-staged catfight. After each number, the dancer’s discarded wardrobes were retrieved by two sexy twins in Franch maids outfits (Fifi and Bibi Poubelle). Over the course of the night, these two stopped getting along so well, and at this point it boiled over in the ring. BONUS GRRL BRAWL!

VH’s ‘main event’ number followed with the astounding Kitten Deville (who shakes it ‘coast to coast with taters and toast’).

Main event match saw Hijo del Santo, Mil Mascaras and WPW’s Cholo d. Misterioso, Ice King, and WPW’s Maldad. The two locals were last minute additions. Crowd was confused by Cholo, who is an older, bigger version of the hot rudo from the first match, but this time he’s partnered with the two biggest icons of justice in Mexican ring, film and comic book history. Santo and especially Mil got HUGE pops upon their entrances. Good match, and the night ended before midnight for all of those working the next morning.

For a first-time event, in an unproven format, in an unproven building, and on a Wednesday night, the evening went over just great. A LOT of new lucha fans were baptised tonight, and that’s a great thing. To toot my own horn just a smidge, this was the first time in years I’ve managed to gather a full “From Parts Unknown” crew out in public, with myself, El Evil, La Reina Arana, Nathan Long (the Armando Silvestre of FPU) and Dave Buscemi (the Paul Blaisdell of FPU) with Rafael Navarro along as well, so maybe everyone’s favorite mag is on the comeback trail?

Finally, congrats go out to Lucha VaVOOM producers Liz Fairbairn, Michelle Carr and Rita D’Albert on a grand experiment, suberb promotions, and tremendous results!!!

From Parts Unknown