Wrestler 25 Cent entered the ring with a New York Yankees hat over a white durag. A bulletproof vest covered his chest as he strutted up to the top ropes of the miniature ring.
His name, 25 Cent, is a play on his stature and the fact that he dresses like rapper 50 Cent. He entered the ring to his larger namesake’s song, “In Da Club.”
Over two hours later, he would stand shirtless and sweaty in the final moments of the mania. The winner would claim the championship belt.
“MicroMania Midget Wrestling,” a traveling professional wrestling tour, came to San Luis Obispo’s Fremont Theater on Thursday. The one-night sell-out show drew a mix of college students and locals wearing “Midget Lives Matter” shirts, with beer and popcorn in their hands. The event reclaimed a word largely deemed derogatory.
“I think sometimes as little people, we don’t get people to see us for what we can do as an entertainer, so I think [MicroMania] gives us a really great opportunity to show what we can do,” entertainer and tour referee Bridget the Midget said.
The event started with a musical performance by Bridget. She sang a trio of songs, finishing with “All the Small Things” by Blink-182.
The adult film star has been with MicroMania for seven months as a singer and referee. Previously, she had been a guest on the Howard Stern Show.
Following her performance were three wrestling events, including the winner-take-all finale.
The first matchup was deemed the “Battle of Mexico” between 3-foot-7-inch Tsuki and 4-foot-4-inch Octagoncito.
Both luchadors presented themselves with style. Tsuki, a 30-year veteran from Veracruz, Mexico sported a red wrestling outfit with white accents and a matching mask. He trotted out to “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo.
Opposite him, Octagoncito had a black outfit with a red belt, matching his mask. They both used caution signs, trash can lids and below-the-belt blows to knock each other down. Octagoncito twirled his rival through the air, but the smaller-statured Tsuki came up big with the pin for the victory.
The next bout was between Tiffany Payne, the glamorous “diva” of MicroMania and Central Coast native, and 25 Cent. She ragdolled the rapper parody up the aisle and through the crowd. She then used a plunger to his crotch to finally get him to fall.
After an intermission, all four wrestlers took the ring for a “battle royale” style finale.
Payne hit the other three with her breast and butt early. Yet, three taps by singer-referee Bridget left the only female wrestler watching from outside the ropes.
Payne has been featured on the late talk host Jerry Springer’s show. He was a “huge supporter of MicroMania,” according to the tour’s social media.
Next out in the finale was the smallest wrestler of them all, Tsuki. Winning fashion sense aside, the Veracruz veteran couldn’t compete with the final two wrestlers 25 Cent and Octagoncito, who double-team stomped on him to send him out.
All night long, Octagoncito howled expletives in Spanish to the referee early for not tapping the mat quickly enough.
Now, the 51-year-old masked man, whose birth name is not public, stared down the face of MicroMania, 25 Cent.
While the two worked together earlier to take out Payne and Tsuki, individual glory was the only thing on their minds.
25 Cent bullied Octagoncito around the squared ring as nearly a thousand people, now standing, cheered on. One of Mexico’s greatest wrestlers laid on the ground in pain, unable to move.
The G-Unit wrestler climbed to the top ropes and soared through the air, pounding down on Octagoncito.
Three taps later, 25 Cent bounced back from his earlier loss against Payne and won the championship belt, with his sidekick cheering ringside.
“I couldn’t have done this without my mentor, my trainer, Billy Blade and [all the other wrestlers],” 25 Cent said.
Blade is the man behind the MicroMania machine. A professional wrestler from Santa Maria, he now operates the tour, which he said puts on over 350 shows with an East Coast and West Coast crew.
“He’s the one that helps us with training and he is also there for us, even though some people can be assholes [to us],” 25 Cent said.
He mentioned that MicroMania has become his “road family” and he’s grateful to have everyone around with fans supporting.
After its Central Coast stop, the tour continues with shows in California, South Carolina and Georgia through the rest of May. Other wrestlers include Mini Pacquiao and Chika Chicana.