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Mondo Lucha Holiday Show @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Nov. 27, 2009

Dec. 1, 2009
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“Ever see the Andy Williams Christmas specials? Did he have stuff like this? No!” Jay Gilkay, MC and Mondo Lucha co-founder, said as he paced the inside of a wrestling ring. The acrobatic pole-dancing duo Gravity Plays Favorites had just wheeled out their pole, covered in a candy-cane swirl, and began grappling and swinging on it to Marilyn Manson’s “Dope Hat.”

It’s hard to imagine any other holiday specials that would have Santa Claus body slammed by a buff giant named Skullcrusher. Skullcrusher was one of the night’s many wrestlers, some of which wore masks and costumes in the Mexican luchador tradition. Santa was tossing WMSE T-shirts and CDs to the crowd when he was put down for a long winter’s nap. Later in the show, a giant gingerbread man met a similar fate.

The Monda Lucha show started with a short set by rapper Kid Millions. He performed songs off his new album, Recession Proof Rap, while the Super Force break-dancing crew busted a move in the ring.

In between the mat-thumping bouts, burlesque dancers dressed in festive negligees and garters performed numbers definitely on the “naughty” list. After a number featuring Lola Van Ella and her “burlesque army,” a stagehand jumped in the ring and swept out feathers molted from the burlesque dancers’ boas while The Scarring Party played up on the stage.

The group’s tinny vocals and accordion, tuba, banjo and drum combo made them sound like the house band for a speakeasy, and they were dressed like Dickensian orphans. The strange combination of Kid Millions and The Scarring Party as music guests is a signature of Mondo Lucha’s eclectic nature.

The crowd was having a blast as they wolf-whistled the dancers, cheered on the Brewcity Bruisers during their rematch against the K.G. Beast, and booed bad guys like wrestler Mickey McCoy, who called the audience “beer-drinking Milwaukee idiots.”

The crowd also got a surprise when a pharaoh-themed luchador was tossed into the audience. It was moments like that which made Mondo Lucha an unlikely holiday classic for its devoted fan base.

Photo by Cj Foeckler


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