Like you could resist ‘vicious rock ’n’ roll’ and ‘hot wrestling action.’
THE WHOLE SCENE sounded appealing.
If not unusual.
There would be two bands and wrestling behind Randy’s Restaurant in South Seattle … at the Backyard Bunkhouse BBQ Brawl and Rock ’n’ Wrestling Rager 2!!!
Called the “Thrilla in Tukwila,” it felt like the other end of the spectrum of that most famous prizefight, the Thrilla in Manila, with Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
The poster promised “vicious rock ’n’ roll” and “hot wrestling action.” And this cast of characters on the playbill: the Eh Team from Canada, Danika Della Rouge, Guerrero de Neón, “Mansome” Mannie Rioz and the Vegan Delight.
Who are they? I don’t really know, beyond their wrestling personas.
It was unseasonably hot, and the blacktop held the heat well. People huddled under the coverings over the improvised bar that sold Pabst Blue Ribbon and shots of tequila. Hay bales and bleachers provided seating for a couple hundred fans. This was affordable entertainment, with $20 tickets and $5 beer.
Bodies flew at each other, and occasionally through the ropes and onto the pavement. The villains quickly established themselves before the matches, with taunts, or their behavior. It’s OK to boo, loudly.
The matches started late. Some of the wrestlers were en route from a previous event.
I’d never covered a pro wrestling event. It’s not high school or college competition. It’s more histrionics and performance, even dance, with a vocal audience.
No teeth were dislodged or bones broken. But you could see welts developing.
The more time invested, the more the need to wait. Part of what a photographer does is take you to places you’re not likely go to. That’s what I did.
It was fun.