On Stage

Cupid's Clash

Guts and glory on the mat

Attend

What: Cupid's Clash

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When: {calendar:event_start_date format="%g"} {calendar:event_start_date format='%a %D., %M. %j'}

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Where: Eagles Hall, 1125 N. Forest St.

Cost: $20-$35

Info: http://www.5ccwrestling.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

I’m not what you’d call a stereotypical pro-wrestling fan. I’m a theater nerd teacher/physical comedian in my mid-40s and a Jewish woman whose parents discouraged any kind of physical risk from the cradle onward.

Nonetheless, I was getting my Mallard ice cream last summer and I saw a poster for 5CC Wrestling’s first Bellingham show, “A Star is Born.” The poster was utterly sure of itself, with colorful wrestlers glowering at the camera, seemingly from outer space. A pro-wrestling show was coming to Bellingham? I called my comedy friends. We went, we lost our minds, and I left utterly convinced this was the best show I’d ever seen.

Since 5CC’s smash success in September, there was “Cornercopia” in November, “War of the Winter” in January, and this Saturday night brings “Cupid’s Clash.” If you are reading this, you should probably go.

A lot of things make these shows special. First off, the rare intimate feel: The audience maxes out at 200, so all the seats are terrific. And by terrific I also mean sometimes we are so close to the action that a bouncer will need to evacuate our row for a moment so a wrestler can throw his opponent into our seats. The crowds themselves have been a delightfully diverse mix, all focused, energized and ready for fun.

Another thing that makes 5CC special is its producer, Logan Price, who is 20 years old. I asked him how a 20-year-old managed to be more productive in five months than I have in years.

“It’s always been my dream to get something of this magnitude up and running,” he told me. Price means business, and he studies it at Skagit Valley College. An aspiring pro-wrestler and devoted fan of the craft, Price started his career as a producer in high school, choreographing and putting on matches with his friends in his backyard.

He’s also been to hundreds of independent wrestling shows. I gotta say, Price has talent. 5CC events are as smooth as the mats upon which the wrestlers hurl each other’s sweaty, leotarded bodies. The Fraternal Order of the Eagles is the perfect venue, and the five-sided ring (a 5CC trademark) makes for a satisfying in-the-round experience.

The wrestlers are mostly regional: most come from within 90 miles (Seattle, Tacoma, BC), and a few crowd-pleasers are flown in—like Zicky Dice, one of my mulleted heroes from California. Other mulleted wrestlers I love are Four Minutes of Heat, a duo of tanned, hilarious arrogance from Portland.

All of the wrestlers Price brings in are talented, skilled and strong as heck, but some of them are also brilliant actor/comedians, giving performances with their whole bodies in a way that is unquestionably worth experiencing.

Price agrees with me. “If you like theater or sports, or neither, pro-wrestling is so different from any other form of entertainment,” he says. “Everyone needs to experience a live pro-wrestling show to decide for yourself if you like it or not.”

Deanna Fleysher is a teacher and comedian who performs regularly at the Upfront Theatre and Cirque Lab, and as her alto ego Butt Kapinski. She has taken exactly one bump in a ring, and expects to take no more.

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