One of the most memorable experiences I had on my recent trip to the Bay Area was Hoodslam, a monthly underground professional wrestling event in Oakland. It’s hosted at the Oakland Metro Opera House and features a dozen or so wrestlers performing theater on stage. It is incredibly self-aware and entertaining. Here’s the flyer from the event that I went to on March 6th, with video and photos further below:
Highlights from Hoodslam
- The local hero is a wrestler named Drugs Bunny, a Prohibition-era gangster wearing a bunny mask who does fistfuls of cocaine on stage. The crowd chants “Drugs, drugs, drugs” to show support for Drugs Bunny.
- A wrestling match between The Predator and a wrestler playing Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Arnold character comes out first amidst ambient music, red lights, and helicopter sound effects, as he creeps into the ring with a giant gun. As he gazes into the crowd, the Predator emerges silently behind him and sits poised atop the edge of the ring as the crowd goes nuts.
- A bowtie-wearing referee chain smoking joints in the ring
- Link of Hyrule (Legend of Zelda) versus Obese Gamer, a 300-lb shirtless slob. Obese gamer is invulnerable to Link because he pulls out a golden Zelda cartridge with a Game Genie plugged into it. Link overcomes this obstacle by throwing the stoned referee at Obese Gamer, which stuns him.
- Scorpion Junior wrestling against Mexican Batman. Scorpion Junior is a pregnant adult male wearing a Scorpion mask (Junior is a 1994 film wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger gets pregnant). During the fight, as fans chant “Miscarriage” Scorpion Junior gives birth on stage and throws a tiny Scorpion at Mexican Batman with a rope attached while yelling Get over here!. Scorpion Junior becomes the first wrestler in Hoodslam history to be disqualified for breaking the only rule of Hoodslam: “Don’t bring your f’ing kids”. This is a slogan that appears on some of their apparel.
- Ken from Street Fighter wrestling against Juice Lee, or Bruce Lee on steroids. Other events have featured Ken & Ryu from Street Fighter as a tag team duo.
- The band featured at the event, called Arnold Corps, features a lead singer that looks and sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The band is described on the flyer as “Pioneers of Austrian Action Adventure Rock ‘n Roll”.
- Hoodslam is promoting an upcoming show called EnterTania
The entire production is ridiculous and a real joy. It’s filled with references to 1990’s American pop culture. If you are in the Bay Area or you visit there, I recommend you check this out. Here’s a link to their official website: BirdsWillFall.com
Below is a video I found on Youtube describing Hoodslam and featuring its founder, a Persian American wrestler named Dark Sheik.
And finally some of my photos from the March event, which are part of the San Francisco 2015 set: