For some reason, I've suddenly started seeing a lot of Mad Man Pondo fans in various places. In particular, any time I've mentioned seeing a JCW show, I generally get asked if he was there. I've also seen a couple of people stating that they wanted to get Backyard Wrestling because he was in it.
So um... what's the deal? He mentioned being in the USWA when I saw him wrestle in JCW (in a pretty sick hardcore match) but other than that, I don't really know anything about him. Doesn't seem like the type of guy that would have a cult following. Any explanation or this? Or at least some history about his time in the USWA or anything else?
I became a fan for life after seeing him at last year's Gathering. In addition to a couple of sick matches (including a spot with NecroButcher where he went off the top rope into a trashcan full of flourescent lights on top of a table) he held wrestling seminars where he would demonstrate moves then invite people from the crowd in where they would be subsequebtly destroyed. Of course the highlight was the end of each when he'd piledrive or powerbomb a nekkid chick through a table (nsfw pics linked below. Sorry for the quality, they only let us use those shitty box cameras), but even beyond that, he's an absolute psycho with no regard for his own safety but a very well-spoken and genuinely funny guy who really loves being a professional wrestler.
Kind of like a poor man's Mick Foley, but meant a lot nicer than it sounds. Plus, his Asian girlfriend was very hot.
I thought it might have been a bit of a Mick Foley type appeal. He definitely got a big pop when he and his oppontent (Fat Fuck Barrel Boy) were battling out in the crowd and he suddenly popped up on the stage, ripping his shirt off to reveal a Superman t-shirt underneath, before he proceeded to climb the balcony and dive through a table.
I think it was the part where they were taking turns stapling dollar bills to each other's faces that made it hard for me to figure out all the love. I can see where the naked women could counteract that, however.
in my review of "No Blood no Guts" show my take on Pondo cult.
"MAD MAN PONDO vs. NECRO BUTCHER Holy shit Man Man Pondo is wearing a pair of JAMS. JAMS!!! Where can you still buy a pair of JAMS shorts these days? Iím disappointed he isnít wearing Ponys with them. He finds a pair of Ajs and heís my favorite wrestler. Necro Butcher looks more and more like a Don Martin cartoon character every time I see him. The bloodier he gets the more he looks like he should be in a MAD magazine gag strip (you fold the swimming pool in half and ďhey thatís Necroís faceĒ).
Beyond the JAMS, Iím slowly learning to appreciate Pondo. If Dean hadnít met Angie, I could kind of see him getting an art degree from VCU and doing performance based instillation art that would eventually end mutate into what Pondo does.
Dean would sit there drunkenly proclaiming some bull shit about how itsí not the piece of architecture that you create that matters but itís the process. The TRUTH is not in the text but rather in the process of writing. The ART isnít in the framed painting on the wall. The true ART is in the ACT of painting. Itís the ACT thatís MANLY AND WHIP-ASS~!
Pondoís instillations are all about the impermanence of architecture and shit, he puts all this care into construction of sculptural creations that will inevitably be destroyed. Its about the effort and care that goes into temporary structures. Pondo creates objects meant to fall apart: temporary structures made of fragile materials. Pondo instillations tell us that you must put care into these fragile structures. One canít help but reflect that humanity, we ourselves, are fragile structures created of impermanent materials designed to dieÖPondo says that we should not let this scare us, we cannot be paralyzed by this knowledge but we must take care in making our lives artful.
Itís kind of like those Tibetan Mandala paintings. The paintings must be understood by watching them getting made. The art is connected to the time and effort that the monks put into laying out the sand into patterns, but to truly appreciate them you need to watch the monks dis-mandala them (they just rub their hands through it undoing the sand paintings. I think the Dalai Llama would dig the fuck out of Mad Man Pondoís visionary architecture. I could see Samuel Mockbee digging it too.
So Iíve learned to kind of enjoy Pondo as dirt bag avant-garde episode of Trading Spaces. The problem of course is actually building a wrestling match around an episode of Trading Spaces. Home decorating is fascinating on its own but the ďname on the marquee is wrestlingĒ and all that.
Pondo comes into the ring and checks that all the light tubes are lined up symmetrically. Drago comes out as Pondoís intern, and most of match is spent with Pondo building structures and advising Draygo how to better lay out light tubes to capture empty space. You can hum the Trading Spaces theme tune if you want.
Necro Butcher looks Job-like fighting for his humanity by embracing death. They try to make an actual match out of this by doing a really fun little face/heel thing at beginning and through Necroís selling. Necro sells his right arm through most of the match. Necro struggles with his right arm, struggles to straighten himself and fight on one armed. This gives Pondo more and more time to build more elaborate constructions.
Its like Hawkwind used to sing about. Neon totem poles stacked up into human zoos/a suicide machine. Necro Butcher is a starfish of human blood clutching his right arm. But he can fight like a sabotage rebel and tosses Pondo headfirst into a metal trashcan filled with light tubes. Its an impressive spot that Pondo does in Japan as well but it looks so much better here. The whole inside of the trashcan is painted a dark hue of red. Draygo moves a ligh tube or too to help capture the negative space. Wow not just one dark hue of red, but a whole range of reds against the metallic silver. Necro continues with the Job style selling, till heís a flypaper stuck with human life allowing Pondo to construct the ultimate stacked up suicide machine high rise.
Up and up and up were going and up and up and higher.
Does that smoke that comes out of broken light tubes make noise, because I swear I can almost make out Nik Turners flute about this point in the match.
In the end Necro goes through this most elaborate construction and legit tears straight through his left arm. Itís a frighteningly nasty visual. Pondo gets the pin, an ambulance is called and the audience is hurried out.
And old man Charlie watched on, and hurriedly left to go to a wrestling show in Heaven. Them angels gonna have a hard time topping this.
I watched it with my 15 year old nephew, who isn't in to wrestling and who wanted to play Xbox 360 when it came on. He sat and watched the whole show waiting to see "who would win" before turning on the Xbox.