...color me surprised.
art, lucha libre, Mexican wrestling, performance, Performance Art, school, school of lucha libre, Seattle, Washington

All Politics Is Local – Freeing Lucha Libre in Washington State

As some of you may have noticed on Facebook, both myself and Lucha Volcánica recently expressed support for Washington State HB 2573, which would help to lower the initial costs to host a lucha libre show—for that matter any type of professional wrestling show—in Washington State.

I am in no way a deregulation mongerer, but the rigor of the State’s requirements is as such that opening and maintaining a professional wrestling promotion—both financially and logistically—is nearly impossible. Based upon the requirements, here’s a rough breakdown of expenses a wrestling promotion incurs for a single event:

  • A promoter’s license: $500
  • 6% of the gross receipts paid for admission must be paid to the state
  • …plus $1 per ticket sold
  • Protective guardrail around the ring: $100-$170
  • An ambulance plus 2 EMTs must be onsite for the entirety of the event (usually 2-3 hours): $110 per hour, plus a minimum charge of one hour of drive time.
  • “Adequate” (definition unclear) security staffing, but clearly this could create additional costs.

This of course, is all before the promoter pays any space rental fee, and pays her performers, the emcee, ring announcers, DJs, and so on.

Additionally when a promoter intends to have an event, he or she is required to have an inspection by a state licensed inspector. The DOL site lists only three inspectors: two of whom have expired licenses and one of whom is “pending documentation.” The latter of which illustrates that even if a promoter wants to eat all of the costs to have an event, odds are she would have trouble doing so legally by the State by the sheer inaccessibility of an inspector.

It’s also worth noting that each individual wrestler must be licensed. This Combative Sports License must be renewed and paid for annually by the performer, and requires:

  • a physical examination
  • an STD blood panel
  • a urine test
  • a $25 fee to the state

In my experience, the full cost of this exam is roughly $150-$200 to the performer.

A priori these costs alone appear crippling to a small company. This is perhaps best illustrated by the Washington Department of Licensing’s numbers. Of the 27 promoters licenses for the state, only 2—WWE and TNA—are active. Similarly only two Pacific Northwest announces are licensed, with the remaining 10 or so licenses belonging to WWE announcers. Further, of the 200 viewable wrestling licenses listed, the only active licensed belong to WWE wrestlers°. This lacking diversity within the licensure illustrates a system that prevents small companies from flourishing, or pushes them underground often forcing performers to wrestle in less than ideal conditions. In either case the State is not benefitting financially, and the potential for a lucha libre or pro wrestling scene—and all of the business therein—is being squandered. The net gain for performers, local business, and the State alike ultimately lies in changing the current regulations, which are proving to keep lucha libre and pro wrestling in a perpetual chokehold.

News footage: Seattle-area performers talk about problems with Washington State’s regulation of wrestling.

° Only A-D portions of the alphabet are viewable on the DOL website.

Sources:
Licensing statistics: WA State Department of Licensing: http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/athletics/prowrestler.html

EMT & Ambulance Pricing Quote: American Medical Response: http://www.amr.net/Locations/Operations/Washington/Tacoma—-Pierce-County.aspx

Guardrail rental quote: National Barricade Co. 6518 Ravenna Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115

interview, lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Mexican wrestling, mexico, performance, school of lucha libre, Seattle, Shows, training, travel, wrestling school

The “End of the Year” Post: Onward Towards 2014

In the spirit of expected tradition, I spent some time over the past few days reflecting on 2013. However because I am not one to dwell on retrospective, I almost immediately shifted my thoughts to the coming year, as in the future lies only potentiality.

Continue reading “The “End of the Year” Post: Onward Towards 2014″

escuela, lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Mexican wrestling, performance, Performance Art, school of lucha libre, Seattle, South Park Seattle, wrestling school

Not the Name Your Parents Gave You

What’s in a name? My colleague and sister at Lucha Libre Volcánica speaks about the process of selecting a stage name.

"Jump Higher!"

Author’s note: With my two-year anniversary with Lucha Libre Volcánica upon me, I find myself thinking back on some of the more memorable experiences I’ve had there. This is the story of one such moment. Short of attending practice for the first time, or finally reaching my debut, it was probably the greatest defining moment in my lucha career. Its something you really can’t forget. Curious? Read on.

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We ordered 6 beers 1 hour before the show. Yep.
arena mexico, exercise, lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Mexican wrestling, mexico, performance, Photograhy, school of lucha libre, Seattle, Shows

Back in the States: Photos and a Lucha Volcánica Anniversary Show

I’ve officially been back in the states for a week now, and despite traveling for a little over two weeks, it was actually a pretty quiet trip. I previously talked about the AAA tryouts in San Jose, and I spent the subsequent week in Austin before going to Mexico City for a little over a week. Continue reading “Back in the States: Photos and a Lucha Volcánica Anniversary Show”

art, Cultural Studies, lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Mexican wrestling, performance, Performance Art, school of lucha libre, Seattle, Shows, South Park Seattle, strength, wrestling school

The Show Must (and will) Go On: Some Pre-Show Thoughts

Two weeks before Lucha Libre in the Park 2013 my famed opponent and Lucha Libre Volcánica Champion, X-Man, had to return to his hometown in Mexico due to a family emergency.

Four days before the show, I bruised my coccyx when I unintentionally landed on my ass from the third rope while at practice. The following day I could barely walk and thus had to abstain from my standard cardio regiment, although I was fortunately still able to partake in some weight training.

These are the conditions under which tomorrow’s annual show will take place. Continue reading “The Show Must (and will) Go On: Some Pre-Show Thoughts”

art, lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Mexican wrestling, performance, Performance Art, Photograhy, Photos, Seattle, streets, Uncategorized

A New Round of Photos from Jimmy Bazan

…who is kind of awesome. Make sure to check out his other work, which includes subjects such as El Vez and Macklemore! LLV_SET_ONE_WEB-30 LLV_SET_ONE_WEB-7 Continue reading “A New Round of Photos from Jimmy Bazan”

lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Mexican wrestling, performance, Seattle, Shows, South Park Seattle, streets

Lucha Libre Volcánica Returns to Seattle on August 17th!

Late Friday night we received confirmation that we will in fact be performing our 3rd annual show in South Park, Seattle! I’ll share more info here as soon as I have more!