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Awesome Lucha Libre magazine covers from the 1970s
09:38 am


Lucha Libre

Admittedly, I don’t know that much about Lucha libre (meaning “free wrestling”) culture. But what I do know is the costumes, colorful masks and buff bodies make for some interesting eye candy. These vintage magazine covers and pages from a Lucha libre glossy, I believe, prove my point nicely.

They sure as hell beat American-style wrestling getups, anyway!



More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Andy Warhol, wrestling fan?


“I’m speechless. I just don’t know what to say.”

At some point during the 1980s, it made sense that MTV would try do something to take advantage of the pop culture juggernaut that was the World Wrestling Federation and some perceived rock/wrestling crossover that probably just boiled down to Cyndi Lauper’s dad being played by Captain Lou Albano in her “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” video and little else.

“The War to Settle the Score” was a series of WWF matches with a storyline that involved Albano, Lauper and her manager David Wolff (I won’t bother to explain it in detail, but Albano was a manager and Wolff and Lauper are trying to steal clients.) “Rowdy” Roddy Piper got pissed off about the whole MTV connection and this brought another “feud” into the storyline, but also in real life.

Piper was disqualified from the championship match against Hulk Hogan and a brawl erupted.  At one point, Cyndi Lauper, who had rushed the ring with Mr. T to support Hogan, was kicked in the head.

Since the event was live, MTV had cameras set up backstage to interview Hogan, Lauper, Mr T and Albano afterwards, but Andy Warhol apparently opened the wrong door and was pulled into an impromptu interview with “Mean Gene” Okerlund.

You’ll notice that Okerlund refers to the Pope of Pop as a “one of the greatest wrestling fans” at the end.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Velvet portraits of wrestling greats
10:23 am


velvet paintings

Hulk Hogan
Velvet paintings and professional wrestling—a veritable chocolate and peanut butter of low culture combos! Artist Bruce White “believes that Elvis and Jesus are not the only icons of the world worthy of being immortalized on a velvety canvas,” and his show “VelvetMania” really captures the personalities of the great wrestling icons of yore. Many of the portraits you see below are for sale, should you be in the market for some fine (and fun) art.

For the unacquainted, professional wrestlers are far more than buff (or even not so buff) actors staging a phony fight—these men are the drag queens of heterosexual masculinity. If you grew up watching wrestling, the appeal is obvious. If you didn’t, I suggest you get right with God and YouTube some classic matches this very minute. If you don’t fall in love with the spectacle, I pity you. But how could you not? The swagger, the bombast, the mullets! The only real question is who to favor? Who will be your champion, and what does it say about you?!?

If you pick Hulk Hogan, you may be attracted to American classics, or you may just be a bore. Jake the Snake and Koko B. Ware (below) may appear to rely on a gimmick of animal companionship, but I assure you, they’re men of great charisma. Then we have Shawn Michaels for the glamor queens, and The Ultimate Warrior—the uber-buff “wrestler’s wrestler.”

You may remember “Rowdy” Roddy Piper from his brilliant performance in John Carpenter’s 1988 dystopic sci-fi classic, They Live, where he ad-libs one of the greatest tough guy lines of all time. Then, for the goth kids, we have The Undertaker—he had great entrances. But I saved my favorite for last—Mick Foley, as his unhinged character, Mankind, and his little friend, Mr. Socko. Fun fact, Mick Foley is a huge Tori Amos fan and does a lot of advocacy for victims of sexual violence. I fucking love Mick Foley, and he’s even a Hoosier, like myself. I’ve included his debut as Mankind at the end—the dude could really put on a show.

Jake the Snake

Koko B. Ware

Shawn Michaels
More of Bruce White’s velvet portraits of wrestlers after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
BIlly Herrington and the Japanese cult of ‘Stylish Gay Wrestling’ (NSFW)

What fresh madness is this? Well, apparently it’s the Japanese version of Rickrolling, “switch and bait” trolling using footage from American gay wrestling porn instead of Rick Astley, and it has been a relatively popular meme over there for the last few years.

As you can imagine from that description, it’s pretty fucking nuts. And very NSFW.

Much of this “wrestling series” stars a guy called Billy Herrington, who has become such a cult figure in Japan that a doll has been made in his honour (above, part of the “panty edition”.) You may have seen some of these kinds of clips before, in particular a 3D computer graphic version of Herrinton riding a clone of himself like a Segway, chasing after a guy on a steamroller, and thought “what the fuck am I watching?” Well, friends, wonder no more, thanks to the folks at Know Your Meme (Herrington also has his own Wiki page with more info.)

Here’s a great example of the wrestling series, an edit of a film called Bayollante, supposedly a parody of Bayonette. Even though this is completely made up, I love this quasi-review-cum-description by YouTube commenter skidreckums:

With a palette of visual effects that would make James Cameron blush and some of the most bone-crunching sound effects to be found outside of a Jell-O factory, Bayollante 4 leaves little to be imagined or desired by anyone lucky enough to stumble across this gem in their local video store’s import bargain bin. Fans of Bart Howard’s 1954 vocal jazz standard, Fly Me to the Moon, will also appreciate the subtle yet fully modern remix heading the otherwise brutal soundtrack. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that SEGAY really has outdone themselves this time. Just writing this review has gotten me wondering if I will ever be able to water my motorcycle with peace of mind again. The great thing about watching Bayollante 4 - Trillion Real Handguns isn’t seeing the beefcakes smack each other down with colorful energy attacks and hard gay magical summons, it’s showing everyone online that I did. It’s official, I’ll never be able to watch anything else again.

Bayollante - Stylish Gay Wrestling (in Japanese) - NSFW:


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Grindhouse, Rocksteady & Andean Women Wrestlers: Oakland Underground Film Fest opens this week

The crew that hooked up the Bay Area premiere of the fantastic blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite returns to put on another wildly diverse Oakland Underground Film Festival for 2010. Screenings run from Sept. 23 through Sept. 26 at the Grand Lake Theater on 3200 Grand Ave. and the Linden Street Brewery on 95 Linden St. Check the Oakland UFF site for details.

The Fest features indie and DIY film, video, and projection-art based in the O, with special emphasis on local filmmakers, social justice, urban life, the environment and non-traditional filmmaking. Films on tap in the 2010 fest include Elijah Drenner’s survey of exploitation film American Grindhouse and Stascha Bader’s Jamaican music doc Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae.

One of the intriguing docs in this year’s lineup is Betty M. Park’s Mamachas Del Ring. It depicts the pressures of hustling in Bolivia’s lucha libre circuit on indigenous champion female wrestler Carmen Rosa and her crew of petticoat-and-bowler-hat-bedecked maulers.

After the jump: trailers for Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae and American Grindhouse

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment