A POW event is a local entertainment spectacle. We’re talking about explosions of athletic prowess packaged with exotic stage makeup, comic costumery, flashing lights, thunderous rock music, and relentless, high drama theatrical antics showcased in a rope-enclosed (or sometimes barbwire-encircled) wrestling ring. POW spectacles play to audiences of several hundred fans. Mister Ooh La La is the principal spokesperson for POW. He talks with a cheesy, pseudo-French accent and prefers that fans and detractors alike refer to him simply as Mister. He is POW’s founder, chief promoter, self-appointed impresario, raconteur, and occasional corner man.
“Eugene is my town!” boasts Mister. He has staged occasional POW shows in Roseburg and Salem over the past couple of years. But clearly, he favors his ties to the University of Oregon, Mac Court, and other local venues. “A lot of other promotions around here are grungy, indie rock, black-and-gray kinds of aesthetics,” he suggests. “I decided to do the 180 of that and make things fun and colorful and long-term. Viewership is the germ of what I’m trying to do.”
Recently, POW has established a regular downtown home for monthly wrestling shows at Whirled Pies pizzeria and performance venue. The events usually feature a half-dozen individual and tag-team matches, including both men and women combatants. The lineup of fighters draws from POW’s hefty roster of Heroes and Rogue’s Gallery favorites: Zicky Dice, Funnybone, Drexll (the vampire), The Hammer Bros, Doctor Kliever, Bambi Hall, Big Ugly, and others.
The star-heavy action sits well with POW’s diverse and growing audience. Fans range in age from screaming teens through sign-waving graybeards. Family groups with grade-schoolers wearing makeup are common. POW also has more than 350,000 subscribers on the internet. In Mister’s words, POW shows fit in the carnival art form. “Even though much of it is built on lies, there’s an emotional honesty to it,” he says. “When we give out a championship belt we’re saying ‘You’re the best! You’re the best person to represent this company! You’re the best wrestler! You’re the best talker! You’re best at engaging people!’”