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Dedicated young Pros revolutionize California scene
by Marty Goldstein on 2001-09-13

While covering the May 25/01 XPW Redemption card, I met the young "lucha guys" who did the opening tag, a high flying risk/spotfest that certainly got attention, and was a little less than appreciated by some in the back. I felt it was a bit much for an opener, but I kind of figured it was OK in the environment in L.A. where there are Lucha fans everywhere. These were not XPW workers, but regulars from Revolution Pro. (

They were very nice and curious young men, very interested in the scene in Canada and very eager to learn about my tape library. We swapped all sorts of ideas of tapes and styles and eras to check out. I would add that I was struck by how young and, well, undermuscled they seemed, which made them aerodynamically sounder than myself but out of their gimmicks, no one would think they were wrestlers, and even I have been mistaken for one from time to time. A sign of the times, I thought.

Another sign of the times was the open approach of the front office of the promotion that supplied them to XPW. I got into a long conversation with their PR attache, and she initiated an ongoing exchange of calls and connections. Unlike many promotions, they are experienced in media and want to help open doors. The background of these people is impressive.

Alexandra is a former writer for Playboy in Moscow,and worked for the company that produced KONNAN's WCW music videos. Head trainer and CEO RON RIVERA works on the series NIKKI on WB. Yet here they were, likeable and talented young people in their mid-20's, slogging in an indy environment just like every other, everywhere I have been. A small gym, no showers, tough looking ring, wooden table for gate and gimmicks, no lighting, a small crowd, "huh, huh, a lotta kidss, huh" as Al Tomko would say.

But this is where you learn timing and how to work a crowd, and if you don't, all the juice in the world won't make you last on top in the big time. The styles here, under Rivera's quiet leadership, are right on the poster -"Lucha Libre\Puroresu\Wrestling." Wrestlers go to and from Japan from here, which truly internationalizes the product.

Rev Pro has booked in The Blue Meanie with Jasmine, Juventud Guererra, Georgeous Michelle Starr and SuperBoy on recent cards. It is an ambitious and enterprising undertaking in a huge market. Ron works his ass off. And this indy has to build itself like this, starting in front of 150 people, no different than Winnipeg, Vancouver or anywhere else. Here is a brief profile of 4 of their young guys with a dream, in the hot Califonia sun.


The Expert MATT SINISTER (Matt Obbema, 6'2", 280 lbs) is an interesting character, as it is little known that he is an Orange County guy who trained with Bruce and Ross Hart in 1995. He prefers doing strong-style bouts and admires Chris Benoit's ability to tell a story with strong drama.

"When I was a kid, I knew I was going to be a wrestler. I met a friend of Bruce's at a WCW show, and went to Calgary for training... My dad was OK with it but he quickly changed his mind, he doesn't get the paying your dues part of this business.

I worked some indy shows for Alex Knight, and I knew Ron from the gym for years before I started training with him.

Two years ago I took time off for a back injury to heal. I went up to 350 lbs but I have gotten back in shape. The worst part of this bsuiness is people don't realize how hard this is, we're working for nothing, and working a hard style, but still that means I also work as a bouncer, and have to train and diet. RevPro is a dedicated group."

EXCALIBUR (Marc Letzmann, black and white mask, Detroit)- Much of my family lives in Windsor, Ont. across the river from Detroit so we spoke about the area and the wrestling scene there for awhile.

"When I was a kid I saw shows with Sweet Daddy Malcolm Monroe and Bobo Brazil Jr and guys like that, I went to see an indy in Brighton, Michigan about getting trained but they weren't interested. I flew out for 3- 3 week training sessions with Super Dragon and by the time I was done, I moved out here to wrestle and work on the website.

I'm a million times better off here, it's so diverse, with the Lucha, Japanese, Rick Bassman's UPW, I worked the FMLL show in Compton last night. There's a stigma cause of our size and style to make us out to be backyarders but we aren't, we are all students of the game here."

RISING SON (Jimmy Itow, red and white mask, SoCal) is not very big but is very fast. He is another of the guys who are quite normal and ended up in the business almost by accident. He's in college and says he's a "MARTIAL"-arts bum.

"I was a high school baseball player and wanted to try wrestling. I knew Ron from 1994, and that's when I started training. I wanted to go to Las Vegas to train, but Ron called and said he'd do it. My idols were Liger and Hayabusa. The environment here is great, I got to work a tour in Japan with 2 Cold Scorpio and Psychosis, I learned a lot."

DISCO MACHINE (Mike Mondragon, a self described "handsome boy next door, Phoenix) definately ended up in the ring by accident, but he has a natural aptitude for it. His gimmick a little like a Disco Fury but more like Magnum Tokyo.

"I do the website, I'm not sure how the rest of it happened. Actually I was a professional soccer player (I correctly guessed goalie) in Arizona. I broke in a little later than most- but I look young - and I knew what risk was, but this is a lot more fun."

Mike tells a great Tom Zenk story that I am withholding until I interview Zenk to see if he remembers. Stay tuned.

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Quotes from the boys: Moondog Manson says "Leatherface is by far the sickest man I have ever met in the ring, the moment he hits you in the head with that steal chair you here a creepy laugh come from under that hood.".
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