Chikara Rasslin’

Went to see Chikara Wrestling at the Alhambra Center on Sunday. Texted a bunch of friends to see who wanted to go, and April Annie was the only one tasteful enough to accept (What is wrong with you people? Seriously? You can’t even get excited about live wrestling?) So we headed down there and truth be told, we both acknowledged that it was one of the highlights of our collective lives.
The inspiration came a few weeks ago, when we got dinner at Distrito and saw all of the wrestling masks on the wall. I looked up Lucha Libre Philadelphia online and this was as close as it got. Most of the wrestlers wore masks. The wrestling was surprisingly well done. In fact, there were several moves that simply had to hurt, real or not. There was a lot of outside the ring action, with bodyslams and aerial moves on the concrete. There was even a female wrestler, Sara Del Rey, who fought the men. April cheered loudly for her and her teammate, Bobby Dempsey (above). I rooted equally hard for their opponents, the Fabulous Two, who wore feather boas and long gowns, a la my hero, Ric Flair.
The scene was much more Sci-fi convention than meathead. The wrestlers apparently inspire their fans to draw little comics and make paintings, which they then present to the wrestlers after the event is over. After the final event, the two largest wrestlers (Brodie Lee and Claudio Castognoli) started going at it, and the next thing you know a full scale riot involving every wrestler there had broken out. Finally, the Commisioner of the League had to come out to try to calm things down. There was a Chikara regular sitting next to me who kept giving me the backstory to all the wrestlers, and when the Commissioner came out and said “There is only one way to settle this,” the guy turned to me and mouthed the words “cage match.” Moments later, his hunch proved correct, as the Commissioner said, “We’re going to need to have our first ever cage match right here on September 7th.” I am so going to be there.

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