Professor Poindexter administers the wedgie

Violence is everywhere these days. I’m in Oak Park on Saturday night and two gangs start brawling right in front of me. The Hit Squad approaches the Lucha Libre Mafia with menacing grins. The Lucha Libres yell out, “Chinga tu madre, eh?” They pair off and trade blows. A crowd of observers scream, “Get him! Get him!” The fighters’ shiny tights glisten in the spotlights. Oh, did I forget to mention that this happened in the ring of the Supreme Pro Wrestling New Year’s Riot Show at the Colonial Theatre?

The Supreme Pro Wrestlers are Sacramento’s own independent professional wrestling organization. Wrestlers come from all over the country to compete at SPW’s monthly tournaments at the Colonial Theatre on Stockton Boulevard. Like WWF wrestlers, they wear spandex costumes and masks. There are heroes cheered by the crowd and villains that everyone boos. There are girls in vinyl pants for no reason at all, and there is plenty of belligerent, pre-fight dialogue. Like Smackdown, the antics and shenanigans are more entertaining than the wrestling itself. And like TV, there’s uncertainty as to how much of the show is acting and how much is real fighting.

The evening begins with a Battle Royal. Every 60 seconds, a new wrestler enters the ring. A wrestler is disqualified when he is tossed over the ropes and both feet hit the floor. Wrestler after wrestler bursts through the theater doors and runs down the aisle to the ring. For a time, there are so many participants that it’s impossible to follow the action. A man walks down the aisle with a plate of nachos as the announcer yells, “The Red Scorpion!” Caught in the spotlight, the man holds up his plate and begins to strut. The crowd laughs and cheers, until he is abruptly run over by the real Red Scorpion, charging toward the ring. The Battle Royal waits for no nachos.

Certain wrestlers stand out from the mêlée. Professor Poindexter, dressed in slacks, a button-up shirt and bow tie, perfects the use of “the wedgie” as a wrestling maneuver. Rabia, which means both “rage” and “rabies” in Spanish, twitches uncontrollably in his black leather mask (think Gimp in Pulp Fiction). El Flaco Loco, head of the Lucha Libre Mafia, behaves like a crazed, Mexican Sid Vicious. (Returning from the ring, El Flaco passed this reporter, dutifully scribbling in her notebook, and yelled, “Taking notes, honey? Why don’t you take a picture? It’ll last longer!” and bent over to indicate exactly which part of his anatomy should be photographed.) Less flashy wrestlers like Bulldog Raymond and Big Ugly show their wrestling prowess by tossing their opponents, head over boots, out of the ring.

As the fight wears on, tempers flare and ringside skirmishes ensue. Big Ugly hits Baby Ray with a folding chair. I hear the crack of metal against skull and wonder how that could be faked. At the end of the battle, Bulldog stands alone, the victor.

The matches continue: one on one, tag team and a Heavyweight match-up between Mike Matrixxx and Big Money in which, despite the Lucha Libres’ efforts to bribe the ref, Big Money triumphs. Like a good vaudeville play, the villains are defeated and everyone leaves feeling justice has been served. Until next month …