“Don’t get hit in the head with a chair” and “Be sure to say your prayers before you go to bed tonight” are the only words of advice I am offered before I venture up the traffic infested 5 freeway to see Lucha VaVOOM at the Mayan Theatre in LA. I don’t quite know what to expect — I’m told chairs fly freely, and sin does as well.
As I pull up to the venue and look around I feel out of place. My dated Toyota is surrounded by black hearses, old limousines, and neon green hot rod convertibles inhabited by the strange celebrities of the dark Mexican world I am about to enter. I glance down and glimpse the tip of my sequin bra — my one attempt at fitting in — and imagine for a second tearing open my flowered silk shirt and dazzling the onlookers with a scary grin complete with the standard gesture of the evening: two middle fingers up in each hand. I swallow hard, decide against it, and speed out of the motorcade to street parking.
Once I grab a cocktail inside, I take to the ring. The show begins and the audience collectively, as a cult, cites the Lucha VaVOOM Vow: “I solemnly swear that I will not believe what I am about to see tonight.”
Two pigtail-adorned school girls (although not really school aged — this isn’t that sort of a show) come out prancing and cute, then rapidly and aggressively undress each other. They’re almost naked and upside down on the trapeze and climbing all over the place. They‘re grabbing one another’s privates while “Highway to Hell” is playing and I’m praying that lightning won’t strike. This is only the beginning.
The announcers declare the first wrestling match: “These guys are hung and ready to fuck your shit up!” The men march down the aisle flanked by their various entourages. El Jimador has a three-foot tall plastic bottle of tequila, and Dirty Sanchez, a patch of brown curls attached to his under carriage. The theatre is thundering, and when El Jimador gets flipped over the railing into an unsuspecting Cuba Gooding Jr. sitting ringside, the place is in hysterics.
The night could just end there — nothing can top that, but then Dirty Sanchez pulls down his sweaty spandex and wipes his dirty bum with a rag, and I swear the screams are so loud I‘m officially going deaf early, but it’s all so disgusting — and worth it.
A fellow appears onstage and the announcers introduce him as a German “all the way from German … I mean Germany.” He is an uptight blonde man accompanied by a beautiful blonde girl dressed as a wind-up doll. They take the stage and he winds her up. She slowly starts spinning in circles, unwinding. The audience holds their breath. Her robotic dancing gets sexier, and after a few turns she’s shedding pieces of her dirndl skirt until there’s nothing left but a pair of bloomers and tassels covering her big fat breasts.
The night goes back and forth between fights and stripping, midgets and stripping, crazy chickens and stripping. Drew Carey joins the panel of judges after intermission. Cassandra, “The Queen of the Ring” annihilates men with thick thighs. Midgets climb walls and jump from high levels into the audience.
Suddenly it gets quiet. People buzz with excitement. We know something big is about to happen, and then: “It is time for the Virgin who is on every candle in every supermarket.” The Virgin Mary emerges. She is the most beautiful of all the ladies thus far. I gulp. Certainly, if The Virgin Mary starts stripping, the Heavens will open and we will all be struck dead. But what can you do? She is beautiful. You absolutely want her to strip.
She is wearing a headdress and tosses it aside. With her back to us, she unbuttons her top. She turns around. She is topless. But … she is a man.
He doesn’t stop for a second. He has a hula-hoop and is swaying and bending and twisting. He is down to only his britches, which are being held up by a gold chastity belt. A key appears. He unlocks it. He’s tugging it down. He’s teasing us. The girl standing next to me mutters under her breath, “What a bitch.” No one can take their eyes off him. He’s the most beautiful man that looks like a woman ever. He’s a Virgin. The show ends. We scream. We are still alive. We haven’t been struck dead.
I go home to pray. And I’ll be back next year for more.