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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Chicagoland Ladies of Arm Wrestling

I am a wrestling fan. Stone Cold, the Rock, Rob Van Dam, Mick Foley, and many others have put themselves in harm’s way several times for my entertainment, and I respect them for that. I don’t watch WWE every week so studiously that it could be considered church, but I’m a fan who appreciates a good, loud, funny, raunchy good time. The Chicagoland Ladies of Arm Wrestling (CLLAW) are just that. Produced by Sideshow Theater Company, this cast of colorful, over the top athletes (and make no mistake, they ARE athletes) yell and scream, spit and taunt, strut and preen all over the stage to give their fans a great time.

CLLAW X, the latest bout pitting warrior princess against warrior princess, was at the fabulous sports bar Joe’s on Weed. This place is friggin’ huge. My companion and I showed up, and my first reaction was, hell yeah. You are transported into a wrestling event, a la’ a pay per view event like No Way Out or Summer Slam. The excitement and estrogen in the air is palpable. The arm wrestling ring, a table secured to a floating platform in the middle of the room, is the centerpiece of the event. This positioning is absolutely key in order to allow the crowd to surround the ring and see all the action. The host of the event, dressed as Wonder Woman, directed the action from the stage, along with a guy with no pants on. We were introduced to the competitors, each complete with their own entourage. There was a fierce white trash fighter Arm-kansas, along with her baby mama; the sweet but not innocent fairy tale heroine Snow Blight; and Arm-ageddon, the harbinger of doom, who’s pretty hot, by the way.

The event was judged by Molly Brennan, who rules, and because she takes on all those girls. Oh, I’m sorry, did I just issue a challenge?!? The other judges were a dude in drag (who went to school with my buddy) and Joe Janes. You know…that guy.

The single elimination tournament was ready to start. The competitors went down, one after the other. Now, we all know that wrestling is “fake” (those guys kill themselves to sell a match, make no mistake about that!), but these girls sell out. They are fighting each other up there. They try to psych each other out. They play to the crowd, and give a good show. I was yelling and screaming the whole night. I was also really happy, because I don’t think there are very many better ways to spend a Saturday night. The judges even through obstacles against the wrestlers, pouring syrup over the arms, or pies in the face on pin falls. Stupid fun.

The final pair, the Killer Bee (you can imagine what her deal is) and Arm-ageddon faced off in a twisted match, literally. They were struggling so hard against each other that a part of the metal table base was twisted and broken off. They are fighting, ya’ll! After a time out for technical difficulties, the match resumed. In a close call, Killer Bee came out on top, seizing the belt from previous champ, monster criminal Connie Vict. After the show, my buddy knocked a drink out of a dude’s hand and got kicked out, so our night ended poetically.

Overall, you have got to see this show. You don’t have to enjoy wrestling to have a good time at this event. The crowd is loud, the action swift, and the beer flows. Be sure to check out CLLAW XI. Information is available on their blog: http://cllaw.wordpress.com/

-John Moran

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