Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dispatch from Monday Night Wrestling

By Susanna Porter

Monday night wrestling took on a whole new meaning at The Viaduct Theater in Roscoe Village on March 21st. The extremely entertaining, all-girl Mud Queens of Chicago took over the stage with a rowdy, dirty and overtly sexy demonstration. The Mud Queens are the brainchild of Meg Bell, aka The Folsom Prison Manhandler, who, after a night of absinthe-drinking, decided she needed to spice up the city of Chicago. One of the original queens, Rainbow Bite, said they were inspired after watching the Jello Wrestling at the finale of a local carnival, and in 2004, the Mud Queens were born. The group started with doing warehouse parties and, with Meg’s connections with local venues, are now are doing 3 or 4 shows a year in Chicago.

Each girl has a stage persona that includes a nickname along with an ostentatious and frequently skimpy costume. Rainbow Bites “rival” Judy Jinx, a fairly new member of the Queens (who found the group online and contacted Meg), clad in a ripped-t-shirt bikini and decked in tattoos and piercings, said the experience is “amazing” and is very excited to be a part of the team; this was Judy’s second match. Another newer member, Killer Cupcake, aka Jenna Crile, met Meg while working at a bar that Meg was promoting at. She says it has been sold out at every show and indeed, an hour before the show began the doorman was turning away crowds of people begging to get in. Monday night was the big comeback for one of the original members, Cassandra Romanelli, aka Lugnut Lucy, who took a few moments with her trainer, Renee (a former wrestler with a black belt) to get pumped up before the show. Renee informed me that Lucy is 9 and 0 for wrestling matches and it is her first match since coming back to the city after three years in London.

Each match has three one minute rounds, each round marked by the scantily clad “Black Widow” and accompanied by the music of the Bad Knights, the band that plays with the girls at each match. Each girl (Annie Anthrax, Savage and Trampzilla were just some of the few that wrestled Monday night) faces each other, on their knees and when the whistle blows, they get down and dirty in the mud. The match referee, Kelly, enforces the rules (no hair pulling, choking, standing, etc) while getting just as dirty as the girls. Their emcee, the humorous and engaging Forest, announces every show and was flown in from Atlanta for Monday night to get the crowd riled up. Not that the queens don’t do this on their own. The aggressiveness, nudity (Twisted Fister ripped off her top in the second round) and gyrating across the stage kept the audience mesmerized. Even the with the rules, the girls do not hold anything back, doing whatever they can to pin their opponent.

As well as being sexy, the girls are tough and one negative jeer and you might find yourself with mud flung in your face. Those standing within 5 feet of the ring were completely covered by the end of the show! But the crowd loves them. Both the men and women are completely into the sport. One woman watching the show, Angela, was there cheering on her friend, Pippi Jawstomping and was in the front line of the ring, pounding on the ring and cheering with the rest of the rowdies. One of the male attendees, Ken, was there rooting for his coworker, Bruise Lee, who is trained in Jujitsu. He said outside of the show, the girls were all “really close” and hung out together all the time. Ken had gone to his first show and was hooked from then on. When asked what the appeal was, he said laughing “I mean its girls mud wrestling.”

All in all, the Mud Queens of Chicago are well worth the $15 ticket. They are entertaining, lively and fun as well as most of their proceeds goes to charity. The group of guys watching behind me summed up the experience in one statement “That’s the hottest thing I’ve seen in awhile.”

-Susanna Porter