YouTube can present a lot of fun stuff when you least expect it. Last Sunday I was able to check out MTV True Life – I Am a Pro Wrestler on my cellar phone, this week I’ve had this particular show pop up. Kind of a contrast piece to the famous Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends wrestling episode, Anglo-American actress and broadcaster Ruby Wax spends some time in the company of Madusa, Leilani Kai, Strawberry Fields and Angel Amoroso. As far as I’m aware this is the first time it’s been uploaded in years other than in clip form on Ruby’s YouTube channel, so let’s see how long it lasts.
Starting off, we’re at a Monday Nitro in Minneapolis, with the Nitro Girls and Miss Hancock a part of the show. A very spurious claim that over thirty million people a week watch it, which I think could maybe be true if worldwide, but a stretch then. Ruby does mess about and says it’s all scripted and a show. She’s with Madusa and they recap the storyline she had with Evan Karagias, although they show her wrestling Buzzkill/Brad Armstrong.
Madusa looks a lot different with her hair tied back and no makeup on in a sparse and shoddy bathroom that’s doubling up as her dressing room. Into a cubicle and out in her best red, white and blue gear for some stretching. She’s got a good sense of humour playing along with Ruby’s question. Ruby then heads to the audience to interview oddballs who lost out in the genetic jackpot. It’s a bit uncomfortable because these are people caught completely off guard and no presence or awareness.
Quickly down to North Carolina, “the birthplace of wrestling”, and the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling School, where Strawberry Fields, an older, low rent version of Madusa practices with veteran Leilani Kai. Strawberry says she can take the pain but gets a tingle in her left nipple of all places. She’s a bit coy about totally confessing it’s a fixed business, but gives up the game with some pushing that it’s about making money.
Strawberry and Leilani rehearse a little angle and crash into Ruby, letting her feel a little bit of pain in her left breast too. Leilani then talks to Ruby about hunting hogs and boars in the Everglades, where she lives, and how she prepares it for a meal, although not for herself – she’s a vegetarian! She shows off her massive hands, which are capable of pummelling a hog. She gives up that she’s a gimmick Hawaiian, unable to talk any of the native language but can dance that style.
Back to Strawberry, who talks about her addiction to morphine, siphoned off her sick father. That led to even more stuff, such as fighting and jail. She almost stabbed a girl to death and has shot up a few cars with people in it. She takes her jacket off, dropping her big bad boys out, which she tested out before having them implanted by throwing on the floor and stomping so that they didn’t rupture during a match. They’d come in useful before as a successful stripper. The secret to success as a stripper: eye contact. She can also flex them like Lex Luger does.
In the ring, the girls await Ruby, who comes out wrapped in bubble wrap for protection ahead of their “match”, having to be rolled into the ring. They give her a few light moves like a double slam and a few bulldogs.
Strawberry talks about a spiritual awakening where she gave up drink, drugs and anger and went to rehab. She wrote down a lot of things that annoyed her first and put them in her “God box”. That’s been replaced with prayer. This transitions into a prayer at her rather nice home, where she prays that “the bitch who pisses her” gets blessed as well. She’s not so far removed from the violence as there’s a loaded gun on her boyfriend’s side of the bed. In her drawers are a range of toys, and I’m not talking about action figures. She’s also got more shoes and boots than Imelda Marcos. Slim, her boyfriend, a strip club owner, doesn’t really look as you’d expect, a tall, balding man, but he likes his “hoochie mama” and is a “whore dog”. But he’s a successful businessman who has funded his lady’s wrestling career, including a touring bus.
The bus takes Strawberry, Leilani and Ruby to a strip club Strawberry and Slim own. Leilani feigns fear going in and Ruby plays up to the much younger strippers than Strawberry. Strawberry shows her own moves off, including putting a birthday candle in each of her pierced nipples, which another stripper lights a cigarette off.
One more trip, to hardcore wrestling, played as a death club. Angel Amoroso, clad in urban camouflage, is shown seriously taping up and spreading pins on the mat. She’s wrestling a man and plans on beating him up. Hatred apparently flows through her, whether it’s towards opponents or fans. She breaks a little to laugh about entertaining herself and nobody else. The male opponent says he’s going to hit her as hard as possible because if she had a knife she’d use it. They go through a hardcore match, filmed in edgy fashion with lots of cutting and punctuated by swearing. Ruby winces and walks away from it. After the match, Angel does another interview wearing a crimson mask and that’s the show.
The meltdown: Too short to really be worth anything. The Madusa and Angel bits are too short to be anything, but the Leilani and Strawberry bits are fun. Whether they would’ve carried an hour is something else, but it’s worth a look.