The West

Magno and Cassandro wrestle.

Sex and violence - it's a winning combination but you're unlikely to find it done as successfully or with such feel-good humour as Lucha VaVOOM will manage at the Big Day Out.

This heady mix of Mexican Lucha Libre (free wrestling) wrestling, burlesque and comedy has been an LA institution since its inception in 2002, attracting celebrities such as Jack Black, Robin Williams, Eric Idle and rockers like Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal.

And founder Rita D'Albert, who performs burlesque in the show under the stage name Ursulina, says she won't rest until they've converted everyone to the joys of watching barrel-chested, masked luchadors throwing each other around a ring.

D'Albert, who was a member of Paisley Underground act the Pandoras in the 80s, was herself a convert after a trip to the wrong side of the tracks with co-founder Liz Fairbairn.

"Lucha Libre has always existed in LA but in weird corners and kinda dangerous neighbourhoods," she explains. "So, Liz took me to a show in one of those mad neighbourhoods and I immediately fell in love with it. But because we knew in LA that wrestling was already out there, in order to get them excited about it we decided to put sexy ladies in."

Throw in comedians as commentators and you've got a dynamite diversion from the BDO's live music offering.

Though the Down Under iteration will be a scaled-down version of the original, it will feature most of the troupe's iconic wrestlers such as Cassandro and Chupacabra.

D'Albert hopes the theatrics of Libre will one day see it eclipse the popularity of hyper-violent mixed martial arts and there can be no doubting the world would be a better place if she's right.

While it might be some time before that dream becomes a reality, don't be surprised to see hundreds of freshly purchased luchador masks running around Claremont Showground on Monday. As far as merch goes, it sure beats a stubbie holder, right?

The West Australian

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