BY: Tom Henheffer
“You’d better bring your bulletproof vest, cause I brought my guns,” shouted Bling Bling Blingdra, the surprisingly petite two-time champion, before one match. Wearing tasseled knee-highs and a pink tiger-print tank top, the event’s main villain (and biggest draw) is known for her braggadocio.
“My biceps are bigger than Kanye West’s ego,” she boasted.
The 16-competitor championship, in which all the women have personas and stage names (Faye-Tality, Scarlette O’Terror) and theme music (mostly metal), was first held last July. Steve Rock, a local event promoter, thought it up when he noticed women locking palms on a bar patio. The first event featured six participants and a small crowd of friends. But Saturday’s match, and the ensuing dance party, drew more than 300 people.
All the event proceeds go to Planned Parenthood, but audiences are really there to see the soap-operaesque storylines play out. Scarlette O’Terror, known for her leather outfits and gyrating, heavy-metal entrances, won the first event in July, only to be twice beaten by Blingdra in ensuing matches. Fans came from as far as Ottawa for Saturday’s grudge match between the two, but a first-timer going by Heidi the Tower—a math teacher by day—went undefeated in the early rounds, knocking O’Terror out of the competition. “Growing up with my brothers I always arm-wrestled for fun,” said Heidi.
The bar was sweltering before the final and the crowd, packed into a five-deep circle, burst into opposing chants for the two competitors. Blingdra stood, flexing and holding the championship belt over her head. Heidi looked on, dancing reservedly when the music swelled. But her demureness disappeared once the match began, and she quickly rapped the champs’ knuckles against the velvet pads.
As the crowd filtered out, the smiling newbie stood with the shiny plastic belt on her shoulder.
“My students are gonna go nuts for this,” she said, nodding toward the trophy.