Forget mud, vegetable oil and Jell-O. In Pittsburgh, the ladies wrestle in pudding.
Ashley Ryon, the woman who invented the sport, is hoping her particular brand of custard-based chaos will take off in Portland.
In this Friday's Portland premiere Pudding Wrestling Massacre, about 10 ladies—"a mix of average people, not just strippers," Ryon assures us—will don costumes and stage names, then battle it out, tournament-style, in a wading pool full of pudding.
Despite the dress-ups and desserts, the wrestling is the real deal, she says, with no WWE-style rehearsed bouts or predetermined winners. Competitors will have to struggle through sweet, creamy sludge and pin their opponent for three seconds to advance to the next round. Proceedings will take place under the highly professional scrutiny of judges Portlandia producer David Cress, beard-about-town Jedediah Aaker and, of course, Voodoo Doughnut's Tres Shannon.
"I have had quite a few arguments with people who find it degrading," Ryon admits. "But it's the opposite. Girls get to have costumes, theme songs, and everyone is paying attention to them having fun. It's empowering. It's like roller derby. Itâs a sportâthey use skill to win.â
So why pudding? "Pudding smells good, tastes good and when it dries, it's easily cleanable. It looks more attractive than ketchup," Ryon says. "We use vanilla—white looks a lot better than chocolate, which suggests something else."
Yup, white goop is way more innocent.
GO: Pudding Wrestling Massacre is at Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., on Friday, March 23. 10 pm. $10. 21+.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21
FRIDAY, MARCH 23
SUNDAY, MARCH 25
MONDAY, MARCH 26
TUESDAY, MARCH 27
[ART] Collective historical organization the Oregon Encyclopedia Project is presenting a series of free events examining the history and culture of our region. Curator and anthropologist Rebecca Dobkins will present "The Masterpieces at Our Doorstep: Columbia River Native American Art History," exploring the traditional iconography of the region and its interpretations in contemporary Native American art.