I was never really into pro wrestling (or “rasslin’,” to use the proper term) as a little kid. I imagine a lot of this stems from the fact my family never had cable, so I missed out on the era of Hulk Hogan and company. I went through a brief stint in high school where I was kind of into Smackdown, though (Mankind is the best), where I learned a little bit of the lingo from “smarks” and so on, but wrestling’s still a bit of a geekdom I’m only passingly familiar with. Still, there’s something to be said for big muscley dudes jumping off of things and hitting each other with chairs. Pretty easy to appreciate, y’know?
Easy to appreciate, but ridiculous. And that’s where Doomsday Wrestling comes in.
Doomsday Wrestling has been around for a couple of years now, but I only managed to see it for the first time last night (which is my own damn fault, really). It’s amateur wrestling with a DIY aesthetic and all the subtlety of a Saturday morning cartoon. Doomsday Wrestling embraces the ridiculousness of Professional Wrestling, and turns it up to 11. Each wrestler has their own gimmick- there’s the cowboy wrestler, the butcher wrestler, the tag-team guys who dress up like rabbits, the cat wrestler, the communist Russians, and…whatever Precious Jules is.
One of the best things about a Doomsday Wrestling show is the crowd participation- you’re encouraged to cheer the good guys, boo the bad guys, and otherwise create a ruckus. If I were feeling pretentious, I’d say something about how having clearly delineated heroes and villains is a refreshing change from the vagaries. of modern society, allowing for the appropriate catharsis. But since I don’t feel like citing anything, I’ll just say it’s fun to throw cheesy poofs at the bad guys.
While it’s easy to goof on how silly professional wrestling is, Doomsday Wrestling delivers on the rasslin’ aspect too. And while the wrestlers aren’t roided-out hulks, the Doomsday Wrestlers are still really good, really physical performers. Their work is well rehearsed, well performed, and must require a lot of conditioning. (Mr. Cuddles, the cat guy, was particularly acrobatic). The best satire works perfectly as the very thing it’s satire-ing, and Doomsday Wrestling is no exception.
In any case, Doomsday Wrestling is definitely worth checking out, should you be in Houston next time they do a show! Unfortunately, I’ve got no idea when or where their next show will be, but I’m gonna be there all the same. My voice will probably have recovered from all the yelling by then.