Friday, December 3, 2010

Midget wrestling recap

I was a little cynical going into my second midget wrestling assignment. How much could the Micro Wrestling Federation's show change in six months?

Then, I met The Beast.

He entered the ring while an Ozzy Osbourne tune played in the background. Spectators at Oxygen nightclub wondered if the mini athlete -- a guy who flaunted Spandex, red boots and a major belly -- really weighed 220 pounds.

The answer? Yes.

Sure, other midgets took the ring during the event, held at Oxygen in downtown Columbus on Thursday night.

I cheered for Pitbull and Joe Kidd , athletes who boasted gruff personas and occasionally mouthed rap lyrics during intermission. Then, there was The Kid, a skinny wrestler who at one point was thrown over the wrestling ring's ropes and into the announcer's arms.

Still, I couldn't take my eyes off The Beast.

He eyed the crowd with a rage intensified by bold face paint. He occasionally challenged fans to join him in the ring. Nobody accepted the challenge.

The Beast was likely angriest caged mammal to ever appear at Oxygen, surpassing any girl fights that have occurred in the nightclub's dance cages.

He threatened his opponents with belly flops and somehow managed to wear a unitard without succumbing to a perpetual wedgie.

Starstruck, I caught up with The Beast after the show, wanting nothing more than to confirm the announcer's claim that he weighed 220 pounds.

I waited in line beside fans intent on havingl his name on their chests.

When he wasn't swarmed by groupies, I tapped his exposed shoulder.

He stared at me with an unspoken "huh?"

"Excuse me, I'm a reporter with the newspaper here. How much do you weigh?" I stammered.


I didn't want our conversation to end. Panicked, I blurted out another profound question.

"How tall are you?"

"4-foot-7," he said before walking away to another photo opportunity.

That was that.

I typed The Beast's weight and height into my cell phone, securing not only journalistic accuracy but also a permanent reminder of his rage.

When I drove home Thursday night, my hair smelled like cigarettes and my jeans were still wet from when a party goer inadvertently spilled her drink in a fit of Beast-inspired mania.

Nonetheless, I was strangely satisfied.

It's not every night that a midget with a protruding gut becomes Mr. Big.

(Photo by Mike Haskey)