Hoodslam

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Hoodslam
Founded2010
HeadquartersOakland, California
Founder(s)Sam Khandaghabadi (Dark Sheik)
Sister
  • Guilty Lethal Action Mayhem (GLAM)
  • Sexy Goodtime Wrestle Show
  • Beachslam
Websitewww.birdswillfall.com Edit this at Wikidata

Hoodslam (stylised as HOODSLAM) is a professional wrestling promotion based in Oakland, California. Created in 2010 by Sam Khandaghabadi (known professionally as Dark Sheik) as a regular gathering for wrestlers who wanted to perform edgier acts for adults, Hoodslam quickly became a popular attraction in the Bay Area, attracting over 1,000 attendees at each monthly show. Hoodslam performances combine the athleticism and tropes of professional wrestling with more bizarre, absurd characters, as well as profanity, sexuality, and public consumption of drugs and alcohol, which are not considered appropriate at mainstream professional wrestling events. As a result, entry to Hoodslam shows is restricted to those aged 21 years or older.

History

[edit]
Hoodslam founder Dark Sheik, pictured here in 2024
Drugz Bunny (a parody of Bugs Bunny) kicks out of a pin attempt by "Sub-Zero". Parody characters are a staple of Hoodslam shows.
"Broseph" Joe Brody serves as Hoodslam's MC; at the beginning of each show he distributes shots of Jack Daniel's to ringside fans.
Street Fighter's Cammy and Ken converse before a match.
Otis the Gimp
Hoodslam's masked referee El Sparko

Hoodslam was founded by Sam Khandaghabadi, who had been wrestling since the age of 14. She[a] called together other wrestlers she had met on the West Coast and convinced them to come to the Victory Warehouse in Oakland, a place where underground metal shows were regularly performed. Although 25 wrestlers were invited to perform on the first show, only 14 wrestlers showed up.[2] Khandaghabadi did not charge admission for any of the first five shows held in 2010.

The gathering continued to be held bi-monthly until May 2011, when people who lived at the Victory Warehouse had parties that got out of control and blamed it on the wrestling. However, in June 2011, slam poet Jamie DeWolf invited Khandaghabadi and the other Hoodslam wrestlers to perform as part of his underground variety art show, Tourettes Without Regrets, at a larger warehouse venue in Oakland, the Oakland Metro Opera House.[2] The popularity of their performance ensured them a regular monthly spot at the Oakland Metro – on the same night as Oakland's First Friday art gathering – which continued to attract large crowds.[2]

In October 2014, for the first time, the 1,000-person venue sold out before the show began.[2]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoodslam was forced into a 17-month hiatus and unable to run shows from Spring 2020 until the Summer of 2021.[3]

In 2023 Hoodslam left its traditional home of the Oakland Metro Opera House and moved to the Continental Club, a nightclub venue in the western part of Oakland.[4]

Spin-off brands

[edit]

The eventual success of Hoodslam would lead to the creation of several spin-off brands from 2019 onwards, including the LGBT+ and women-orientated show Guilty Lethal Action Mayhem (GLAM)[5] and the cosplay-based Sexy Goodtime Wrestle Show. Another Hoodslam spinoff is Beachslam, which focuses on providing wrestling events in nearby Santa Cruz and Knightsen, California, featuring many of the same performers and characters as Hoodslam – as well as several new, regional or experimental characters.[6]

Style and characteristics

[edit]

According to Khandaghabadi, Hoodslam, unlike traditional professional wrestling, is a form of performance art: because the wrestlers do not need to appeal to a young audience and do not have to pretend that their act is real, they can unleash their creativity in a more sophisticated way, simultaneously demonstrating their athleticism and poking fun at the absurdity of professional wrestling.[7] Hoodslam wrestler Broseph Joe Brody states that the tagline of the event, "This Is Real", is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the obvious absurdity of the show, which features wrestlers dressed as popular video game characters Ken and Ryu, as well as an "invisible" wrestler, Charlie Chaplin, whom the real wrestlers pretend to battle.[2] Unlike the characters and storylines, however, the physical prowess of the performers is real, and their moves are difficult and dangerous.[7]

As the show unfolds, the performers chant, "fuck the fans", which, according to O.J. Patterson, is a "unifying war chant" that functions as "part reminder not to take things too seriously and part demand for hedonistic excess."[8]

Unlike other professional wrestling shows which play recorded music, Hoodslam frequently features a house band playing live music. Additionally, Hoodslam plays commentary for the matches over the house sound system. While the professional wrestlers take an intermission during the show, it's not unusual for a burlesque act to perform.[7]

In addition to referencing a diverse array of pop-culture characters (besides Ryu and Ken, characters that have featured in Hoodslam include Mortal Kombat's Sub Zero, Johnny "Drinko" Butabi (a reference to the 1998 film A Night at the Roxbury),[3] and Juiced Lee (Bruce Lee)), parodies of other professional wrestlers are frequent in Hoodslam. Hoodslam shows have featured Pooh Jack (A parody of New Jack crossed with Winnie the Pooh), Prawn Cena (John Cena), the tag team of Stoner U (Rick Scott Stoner and Scott Rick Stoner, parodies of the Scott and Rick Steiner, the Steiner Brothers) and Thicc Martel (a parody of "the Model" Rick Martel).

Notable performers

[edit]
Paul London and Brian Kendrick holding the decapitated corpse of Hoodslam's donkey mascot, Butternuts, at a May 2015 event.
Hoodslam alumna and Oakland native Shotzi Blackheart, who began her professional wrestling career as "Missy Highasshit", a Hoodslam parody of Missy Hyatt

Although local talent are the primary focus of Hoodslam shows, many former WWE and ECW wrestlers have made appearances at Hoodslam since 2013; amongst them have been Brian Kendrick, Paul London, Sinn Bodhi, Shelly Martinez, Gangrel, Sonny Onoo, Lita and Mustafa Saed.[9][10][11][12]

Additionally, a number of performers such as Drake Younger and Shotzi Blackheart graduated from working in Hoodslam to advancing their careers into WWE.[13]

Championships

[edit]

Current championships

[edit]

As of July 23, 2024

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days
held
Location Notes Ref.
Best Athlete in the East Bay Championship Kenny K 1 November 3, 2023 263 Oakland, California This is considered the primary championship title in Hoodslam
GLAMionship (GLAM Championship) Hop Daddy 1 August 18, 2023 340 Oakland, California The holder of this championship is considered to be the primary representative of the Guilty Lethal Action Mayhem brand
Hoodslam Champion Ship Championship Mylo 1 January 5, 2024 200 Oakland, California The "Hoodslam Champion Ship Championship" is not represented by a traditional professional wrestling title belt, but by a literal ship (in a bottle).
Hoodslam Golden Gig Championship Vipress 1 July 7, 2023 382 Oakland, California The "Hoodslam Golden Gig Championship" is not represented by a traditional professional wrestling title belt, but by a large replica of a golden razor blade. In professional wrestling terminology, to "gig" is to cut oneself open and bleed to simulate having suffered a wound during the match.
Intergalactic Tag Team Championship The Emo Heads
(Brooke Havok & D-Torch)
1 October 6, 2023 656 Oakland, California

Critical reception

[edit]

Hoodslam has been seen as a highly accessible and inclusive pro wrestling company in California. According to Stacey Leasca of the Los Angeles Times, "It's loose and wild, a homegrown shot of adrenaline that doesn't just appeal to typical wrestling fans".[14] According to John Moore of ProWrestling.net, "Hoodslam dials both the entertainment and in-ring to 11 leaving new and hardcore wrestling fans captivated and wanting more".[15]

See also

[edit]

Notes

[edit]
  1. ^ Khandaghabadi came out publicly as a trans woman during a Hoodslam show in 2019.[1]

References

[edit]
  1. ^ Bien-Kahn, Joseph (17 January 2020). "Oakland's Hoodslam makes room in the ring for a trans wrestler". SF Chronicle. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bien-Kahn, Joseph (4 November 2014). "The Drunken, Bloody Pro Wrestling of Hoodslam Isn't for Kids". vice.com. Vice Media. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b Bartlett, Amanda (30 August 2021). "The wildest underground pro wrestling show, Hoodslam, returns in San Francisco". SFGate. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  4. ^ "List of Hoodslam events". Cagematch.net. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  5. ^ "GLAM Brings Women-Centered Wrestling to the Oakland Metro". The East Bay Monthly. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  6. ^ Johnson, Luke (10 May 2016). "Beachslam opens second season in East County". Contra Costa Herald. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  7. ^ a b c Edwards, Dana (20 October 2013). "A little raunch doesn't throw Hoodslam fans". SFGate. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  8. ^ Patterson, O.J. (3 April 2014). "Oakland's Hoodslam Is Crazy; Go To It". The Bold Italic. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  9. ^ "SHOW RESULTS - 4/5 Hoodslam in Oakland, Calif.: Three-year Anniv. show features Mustafa, A.J. Kirsch, Bodhi, Lethal Lottery Tag Team Tournament Battlebowl Championship". Pro Wrestling Torch. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  10. ^ "SHOW RESULTS - 9/5 Hoodslam in Oakland, Calif.: THE Brian Kendrick, Shelly Martinez part of this month's show". Pro Wrestling Torch. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  11. ^ "SHOW RESULTS - 1/2 Hoodslam in Oakland, Calif.: The Brian Kendrick, Golden Gig Title match, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Lita Makes Surprise Appearance at Hoodslam Wrestling Show". 411 mania. 4 March 2023. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  13. ^ "Oakland's Hoodslam Is Crazy; Go To It". 3 April 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  14. ^ Leasca, Stacey (2014-12-04). "Inside the pro wrestling ring: Up close at Hoodslam". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2024-02-19.
  15. ^ Moore, John (February 14, 2024). "Hoodslam's "Vivisection" Results (2/10): Moore's in-person report from the show featuring former Maximum Male Model Mansoor, Brooke Havok vs. Vipress, James C vs. Emo Rob".
[edit]