Pull quote: “Lucha Vavoom” is the wildest mix of hot naked girls and senseless violence that one can possibly have without going to Tijuana, paying a dominatrix, or actually being the Marquis de Sade. Like a cocaine-whiskey cannonball without the hangover.
The recipe couldn’t be more simple or more flagrantly—and deliciously Los Angeleno: take equal parts burlesque performance and Lucha Libre—Mexican masked wrestling—add a couple hundred screaming drunks, and let the whole fiasco loose on a (formerly) respectable hall. In this case, it was Webster Hall (Sunday, May 9, 2010), the drunks were mostly hipsters, the burlesque performers were mostly locals, and the wrestlers were decidedly not. All I can really say about “Lucha Vavoom” is that it’s—
—fucking awesome. Lucky enough to get access to the upstairs balcony, I had a bitchin’ view of the gathering masses below as the tension and anxiety generally reserved for a big rock show mounted in the room. A full-size wrestling ring was mounted on the stage, with a thrust coming out into the crowd, and the photogs clustered up as close as they could get. By the time the lights came up blindingly and the beanpole calling himself “Harry Potter”—but let’s just call him Blaine Capatch—took the stage, the place was packed, loud, and ornery. Potter got heckled almost immediately, and parried like a pro, backed up by comedian Todd Barry. Capatch is bona-fide hilarious, and how much of his patter was planned and how much was off the cuff was impossible to determine, only further proving his chops. Looking out over the crowd, he said that there were “so many hipster mustaches here it’s like they’re filming an ‘Ok Go’ video.” And how the hell he got onto Axe Body Spray I can’t fathom, but Capatch declared that Axe is “like Ed Hardy for blind people—even the blind know where the asshole with the frosted tips is.” Brutal. Me likey.
But fuck it, we came for sex and violence, and the mustached hipsters went Axe Body Spray apeshit as Ursulina stalked the stage in a corseted wedding dress, all lithe, thin, platinum blonde and angry, riding the Iggy & the Stooges’ “I Need Somebody” with a bent purpose. Ditch the wig—for a short shag cut, still platinum—nix the dress—for silver pants, pasties and dog collar—and freak the fuck out to the Stooges’ “Raw Power,” climbing onto the ropes of the ring. High energy awesomeness, and you wouldn’t think the crowd would be that drunk yet.
For our further viewing pleasure, local ring girls Jen Minsky and Gal Friday looked devastating—seriously, check out that ridic outfit Gal was rockin’.
But what about the violence? For the first bout, Joey Ryan entered to his theme, “The Pina Colada Song,” in an aloha shirt and smoking a cigarette. The heel, Ryan is big slice of vanilla beefcake, in deep contrast to the face of this bout, Chocolate Caliente, whose name says it all. The two gladiators did a little dance-off before getting down to business, flinging each other from one side of the ring to the other, bouncing off the ropes, Chocolate jumping vertically as Ryan ducked under his legs. When Chocolate gained an advantage, he celebrated by busting the Macarena. After a flip move, Chocolate pulls down Ryan’s pants. This is all expert showmanship, and if you want to whine about the fact that the outcome is rigged you’re strictly on your own. Is it real? Well, when Chocolate stands on the ropes and executes a spinning dive to land on Ryan—and misses, landing on the floor of the ring with a deadening thud—yeah, I think that’s real. Joey Ryan takes advantage of the miss and pins Chocolate. The heel wins, to maddening boos from the crowd.
So you get the idea. Lucha Vavoom’s creed: “Sexo y violencia.” Hotness. Rumbling. Shuffle. Repeat.
We got to see Perle Noir’s banana-belt act again, even more scathing than it was when I saw it six hours before, and Chicagoan Michelle L’amour was in town (cue J.D. biting the inside of his palm Happy Days-style) wearing that fantastic diamond-pattered dress that I remember so vividly from the NYBF two years back—and yes, this is the act, the backwards rumbling ass shaking that seems to go on for a bout a half an hour to the drum solo, in this case sideways backwards, up and down the thrust stage—the crowd reduced to howling apes. And that trick of turning your glove inside-out as you drag your arm up against your leg…? Snap, Michelle. I know the term’s dated but—fucking snap.
My favorite bout of the evening was the disgusting—and aptly named—Dirty Sanchez, paired with El Jimador—El Jimador tequila was one of the sponsors of the evening, but I’m not sure if the wrestler is the tequila poster boy or if it’s only a mild coincidence. Regardless, the team was matched up against the Crazy Chickens, two thin lunatics in chicken costumes running around like—well, like headless chickens—to a high-energy techno theme song, with strobe lights. Big audience favorites. Luchara! Chicken backflips over Jimador—Jimador kicks a chicken in the balls. Do chickens have balls? Tag—the other chicken does a high-flying landing onto Jimador. The action flies out of the ring, onto the thrust stage, and the chickens are flying into the audience to land on Jimadorand Sanchez. The hipster mustaches wag. El Jimador comes back out with a King Kong-sized bottle of Jimador tequila and batters a chicken with it. (Cooking pun intentional; I wonder if that would be tasty?) the chicken gets the upper hand. (Pretty sure that’s the first time that sentence has ever been written.) Dirty Sanchez takes a rough landing and shits himself. Seriously. Wipes his ass with his wife beater. The crowd prays it’s not real poop. Sanchez chases the chickens with the poop shirt, they dodge, and Jimador gets shit in his face. The chickens get the pin, and Sanchez, a furious, dissatisfied heel, goes after our announcer and referee, Raoul, and rubs shit in his face. High brow stuff, and we were loving every second of it.
Time for more sex? Cue the Wau Wau sisters, decked out in chaps, mustaches, and cowboy hats trimmed with the dangling fuzzy balls that you see trimming the headliner of low riders. The set-up leaves them with lassos, so they’re able to catch the trapeze hanging over the crowd and use the ropes to climb up. Totally impressive—if you’ve ever tried to climb up a thing piece of rope, you know how hard it is. But the show here is the doubles trap routine set to Ennio Morricone spaghetti Western music. Where have these incredible girls been? Why don’t I see more of them? Their aerial work is not only flawless, it’s elegant, imaginative, and downright scary. Look, not to be a buzz kill, but back in my circus days a girl died by falling less than 10 feet from a static trap. These girls are doing complex holds at least that far up, with a crowded audience everywhere around them except directly below. The drunk-on-booze-and-violence crowd may not have realized, but from my vantage point on the balcony it was clear to me that what these death-defying ladies were doing was exactly that: effing dangerous. They seem partial to squeeze holds, where one lady will squeeze an appendage of the other—a wrist, an ankle—between her legs, using this pressure alone to support the weight of the performer being held. I shouldn’t have to explain how athletically impressive this is, let alone how fundamentally hot—serious squeeze power? Oh, mama. In one particularly jaw-dropping hold, the holder sat on the trap with legs extended out below her. One foot supported the other girl’s head, the other foot was wedged in between the girl’s legs; the performer being supported was held aloft only by a neck resting on an arched foot and by squeezing an ankle between her legs for dear life. Wow and Wow.
More violence, featuring Chupacabrita—little chupacabra. We’re supposed to say “little people,” aren’t we? Like, “midget” is out, but the Lucha Vavoom website just calls them “minis,” and I can’t bring myself to call a dude a “little person” when he’s completely torqued and could easily beat the crap out of me. And PC or no, watching midgets flying up and over a wrestling ring is just goddamned fun. Makes you wish you were that small and that aerodynamic. And if you weren’t already beginning to question everything that you thought was hard-wired about yourself, check out this tall, thin, lithe, sexy, dominating sexpot of the stage who comes out grinding to “Get Yr Freak On” and gives the entire crowd an erection as she spins a hula hoop fast, slow, and in seeming slow motion. And taste the tangible disbelief in the crowd as she disrobes and reveals herself to be—that’s right—a boy. “Lick my pussy and my crack,” the speakers bleed, and the crowd is screaming out for blood. Clarice wields the hoop above his head like a wrestling belt and SLAP!s it on the stage, demanding applause before kicking it back up fast across the body. Fucking electric.
And if the evening didn’t quite have a little bit of everything for you already, our MC has a little social commentary to take home and chew on: “Gay marriage is against the Lord. And the Lord is not real.”
This shit is fatal. Lucha Vavoom is constantly on tour, and while I’m seeking a patron to send me to L.A. to see the big show, those of you who can’t wait are in luck: Lucha Vavoom returns to Webster Hall Tuesday, November 9, 2010, featuring—rumor has it—rumor, in this case, being Facebook—New York’s very own Peekaboo Pointe. Stop making excuses and go get you some tickets.