Keystone State Wrestling Alliance

About 500 or so people showed up. This is a rough estimate. The crowd could have been 500, it could have been 300 or 800 for all I know. I’m bad a gaging large groups of people; I’m also terrible at guessing how many pennies are in a jar.

But I digress! We (MFA fiends) showed up right at 7:30 to find no seat available in the house. The Keystone State Wrestling Alliance’s monthly show at the Moose Lodge (that’s right, I said Moose Lodge) was standing-room only. As it should have been. For about three hours we watched men in singlets fake-pound the crap out of each other with ladders, chairs, straps, trashcan lids, a keyboard, bamboo rods, and (yes!) cookie sheets. Fantastic. Fabulous. Incredible. Etc.

Because I can do the show no justice, I will instead post comically out-of-focus pictures of the evening for your enjoyment.

The Best Robe Award goes to Mike Malachi. That glittery red robe, which this photo from my Treo could never render as majestically, clung to his body like gift-wrap. The man oozed the sexy, and the ladies loved him—several ran up to him as he paraded around the ring before the match; children asked him to sign their arms and old men stuck out there hands for high-fives. Yes, Mike Malachi was a god last night, a god of the plastic ring.

The plot lines are epic. One man will emerge from the white, plastic tent thing in the corner (usually to a Black Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses, or AC/DC jam) and stand on stage triumphantly. He will tell of his victories, and he will be lauded or booed depending on how ridiculously he is attired. Then another Bon Jovi, Limp Bizkit, or Daddy Yankee (there was a Puerto Rican guy, alright!) song will play, usually cutting off the first guy in mid bravado. A second Sultan of the Singlet will be birthed into the arena, and he will claim this territory as his (although not by urinating on the stage). Drama will ensue: they double-cross left and right, commit purportedly disqualifying moves that never actually seem to disqualify anyone, manage props that appear from the ether and use them for more smashing, pound the springs on the stage  threatening to give out, and they climb on the rope and stand triumphantly, surveying the domain.

The audience mocks the wrestlers (calling The King “Burger King” or “Dairy Queen,” asserting that Frank Durso “wears diapers,” exclaiming that Dr. Devastation clearly got his PhD from the University of Weak ), the audience loves the wrestlers (a grossly obese woman wearing a t-shirt lauding Mr. 8×10, a child sporting a luchador mask to support the “Mexican” wrestler La Lucha, a drunk Mexican girl screaming “You’re a Mex-i-CAN”), the audience drinks $2 beer.

And my favorite part: At the end of the match, after a 12-year-old volunteer rings the bell on the referee’s signal following the three-count, the defeated warrior will be paraded once more around the stage, the ring—held up by a friend, a coach, a supporter, a lover, or a referee. He is walked around at least once. This is a walk of shame, of defeat, of honor. The audience boos, mocks, praises, and buys another round of beer.

I had a great time.