SS: Live underground extreme wrestling: Fight club

Fight club

In the mask: The Green Phantom strikes again

Homegrown monthly extreme wrestling smackdown gains in popularity

A bloody pulled-from-the-socket cow’s leg, a ham, and a chainsaw.

According to The Green Phantom (a.k.a. The Hardcore Hero), one of the psychopathic stars of the International Wrestling Syndicate, these were the most memorable items brought to last year’s "Fans Bring the Weapons" match. So if you’re going to Un F’n Sanctioned, the annual and annually controversial IWS event at Le Medley on June 3, and want to contribute to the FBTW concept, you’ll have to one-up some pretty crazy stuff.

So how the hell can they get away with staging an event like this, legally?

"In Quebec, the athletic commission doesn’t bother our performance," says former IWS commissioner Joseph Fitzmorris, "because they deem it as just that – a performance."

A performance, perhaps, but facts are facts: There’s simply no way to feign pile-driving or body-slamming someone through a table, or onto thumbtacks. The amiable yet physically imposing Fitzmorris, who has suffered concussions, broken ribs, dislocated shoulders and a crushed left testicle for his art, knows full well of the widespread "wrestling is fake" opinion of what he does. And while he does not deny the performance aspect of his craft, he’s just as quick to emphasize – making reference to the patina of scars on his body – just how real it gets. "In order to make shit look real, it has to be a little real. The illusion is just an exaggeration of the truth."

The IWS is a success story that, regardless of your tastes, should be given its due props. Born almost a decade ago, the organization has gone from staging underattended shows in bars to putting on one live show a month. Moreover, they can claim an association (past and present) with profitable, well-known, big business enterprises like the Playboy Channel and pay-per-view. Best of all, most of the wrestlers and brain trust, including Fitzmorris and a character called "PCP Crazy Fucking Manny," the syndicate’s owner, are all local boys – local boys, it should be noted, who have fashioned their wrestling syndicate within our city’s proven predilection for indie grassroots movements of all kinds.

Fitzmorris cautions neophytes not to confuse the IWS and the WWE, an organization whose performers he once saw spending "thousands of dollars a week" on steroids and doing some utterly disgusting things, like "injecting pig fat into their muscles, directly."

"There are no characters [in the WWE] any more, just bodybuilders in tights," he says, with derision in his voice. "Ours is an extreme stunt show. Hardcore wrestling. Some of the moves are way too ‘dangerous’ for them. I think they’re real pussies. And [that's why] their show is fucking boring."

Don’t sugarcoat it, Joe. Tell us how you really feel.

Un F’n Sanctioned
At the Medley, June 3
Tickets at Ticketpro or the Medley box office

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