In my quest to discover more wrestling branded food to review I stumbled across the art of Betty Turbo and couldn’t be happier. Betty was kind enough to take the time to speak with us about what drew her to draw wrestlers in such a delicious light.
A.V: How did you get into wrestling fandom and what about it resonates with you the most?
BETTY: Several years back a friend asked me create a custom work of art for her partner for a holiday gift and the only clues she gave me were that he liked Ric Flair and giant squids. I had to do a little research about who this Ric Flair chap was. I got so many comments from people on my Ric Flair drawing, I was urged to illustrated more wrestlers, and I was really unprepared for how enthusiastic wrestling fans were! As someone with a background in theatre, and someone who utilizes an art persona in my professional life, I connected with the dramatic angle and performative storytelling aspect, as well as the notion of characters and alter egos. The more reading I did the more I got sucked in to the world of wrestling! Through the magic of the internet I connected with Natalie Slater of Bake and Destroy, who is also a big proponent of wrestling and baked goods, and she connected me to a lot of contemporary wrestling fans and later invited me to illustrate her cookbook.
A.V: What inspired you to combine wrestling and delicious baked goods in an art form?
BETTY: When I started the Ric Flair piece, it was such a foreign subject matter to me, that I tried to filter the content through a lens in which could bring my own enthusiasm and expertise more directly. I have always been a dessert fan, and I was working as a cake decorator at the time, so I decided Ric Flair and the giant squid were battling for the last slice of chocolate cake. Next I drew Jake the Snake and replaced his trademark gimmick with cupcakes. While it started as a joke, as I developed more drawings it became a very compelling tool to play with.
One aspect of fascination for me in looking at pop culture is: who are our examples of excellence? Wrestlers battle it out to win this or that championship title, and devote themselves (to varying degrees) to becoming these top specimens of physical strength. What if they put all that work into winning a blue ribbon in a baking contest? Are certain categories of excellence reserved for only men or only women? Who do we model ourselves after and how can we cross-pollinate some of these arenas that feel largely divided by gender roles?
Another fun intersection of pop culture and dessert I always come back to is the idea of consumption and “guilty pleasures.” How we consume media for entertainment and our attitudes towards food have a lot in common, you know? Some of it is considered good for you. Some of it is considered junk. Some folks want to make you feel bad for enjoying anything “low brow” or assume that if you are interested in wrestling, or reality TV, you have only poor taste and low standards. Or you couldn’t possibly be a foodie if you also enjoy ranch dressing made from a packet. And healthy people definitely never eat a double scoop ice cream cone. But I do think it is in fact possible to enjoy some junk food, physically and mentally, and still be a thoughtful, intelligent human being!
A.V: If you could have your own food inspired wrestling persona, what would it be? Do you have any moves that you would incorporate?
BETTY: Oooh! I would have to come up with something ice cream related, because it would be so good to play with visually, and I could also tie in the cold aspect, as if being born in snowy Alaska created my frozen persona. I could go iiiiiice coooold when I needed to be a heel. Gosh I’m ashamed I haven’t already developed this further in my mind!
A.V: I noticed that you have the Beth Phoenix design and was wondering if you had any plans to do a focus on any other female wrestlers in this art series?
BETTY: I would LOVE to draw more l lady wrestlers. I haven’t actually added anything to this series in a while, I’m not sure in what fashion it will continue. Beth Phoenix was vastly more interesting to me than the rest of what I observed of WWE Divas (As a casual fan! No disrespect intended!) but the more that I meet people from independent wrestling promotions the more I am interested in new ways. I did a little painting inspired by The Fabulous Moolah for a recent show and I would definitely love to go back and spend more time learning about women wrestlers of years past as well. Of course if any lady wrestlers are listening and need a weirdo illustrator to create some merch for them, I’m available!!
A.V: Favourite baked good?
BETTY: Pie! Filled with sour things like plums and rhubarb.
A.V: Favourite wrestler?
BETTY: I really love Mick Foley and reading his books was what really got me on board as a wrestling fan. He seems like a pretty outstanding human being. I just want to give that guy a hug!
A.V: Do you have a favourite match or a dream match that you would book in an ideal world?
BETTY: My dream match is the one in which I’m drawn as a lady wrestler in a Hernandez bros comic book!
Don’t think we’ve forgotten about you. Betty was kind enough to donate one of her wrestling prints as a prize to our loyal readers.
To enter the contest you need to be following us on twitter, facebook, tumblr . You will get an entry from each social media interaction.
Tweet us @femmezuigiri with a link to the contest and your dream wrestler + food combo
Tag Femmezuigiri on Facebook and comment on the page with which food you think it’d be most fun to wrestle in a pile of
Reblog the contest entry on tumblr and add in the comments a food related pun for a wrestling move
Win a dessert themed wrestler print from Betty Turbo
Hard Femme. I am nothing without baby doll dresses, leggings, docs and red lipstick. I started Wrestling With Makeup simply because I needed more ways to involve wrestling into my wardrobe aside from shirts. Even if no one else knows what I’m doing, I feel a little more badass inside.
How did you become a wrestling fan?
I was about 7 or 8 years old when I first remember watching WCW. My sister and I would stay with our uncle & grandmother after school until my parents could get off work, and my uncle loved wrestling. We would stay there Monday nights to watch Nitro, then he’d tape Raw for us to watch the next day or vice versa. We still have our first pieces of Wrestling memorabilia: mine was a DDP brawling buddy and my sister had a NWO Macho Man.
It’s nice that wrestling is a family thing in our house. Our uncle got us into it and remains a huge fan, my mom watches it semi-regularly and has hilarious opinions as a casual viewer and my dad used to dress up as wrestlers for Halloween to amuse us. My sister and I have a really great bond, we’re best friends, and a lot of that connection was built on our mutual love of performance, traveling, and watching men beat each other up at our feet.
Kenny Omega & Chris Hero
It changes often, but right now I’m hugely into PWG and New Japan on repeat.
Omega Driver, Cattle Mutilation, & One Winged Angel.
Impossible question. I have a YouTube playlist of matches I watch because they’re amazing, and one of guilty pleasure matches that make my insides fill with glee. Here are some:
Chris Hero vs. Bryan Danielson from PWG Guerre Sans Frontieres
One thing I love in life more than wrestling is a perfectly executed groan worthy pun, bonus points if it’s a cheesy plan on a pop culture reference. Regular Show has always hit the spot when it comes to the over the top schlocky eighties nostalgia, and they knock it out of the park with “Really Real Wrestling”.
The episode starts with a crime show on TV where the detective removes his sunglasses and says “The cream always rises… to the COP!” Sold. Make a reference to my favourite Macho Man Randy Savage promo of all time and I’m 3/4 of the way there. Not only are they doing an episode based entirely around pro wrestling, they’re also peppering in little gold nuggets for die hard fans to mark out over. It’s time for a commercial break, so why not have it be an ad for a local sold out wrestling show: RRW Wrassle Frassle 7.
Mordecai and Rigby didn’t get tickets, but that’s not going to stop them from having fun and slacking off on the job. Enter: Mysterious Mister R and Mad Man Mordo and a series of chair shots and chops in homemade wrestling outfits. A persona with an excellent name and flashy costume are two of the more important things in the realm of wrestling.
Pops shows up and gets really excited revealing to the guys that he used to be a wrestler. He joins in and hurts Rigby’s arm. Rigby and Mordecai get all circle jerky over the fact that wrestling is FAKE and you’re not actually supposed to hurt anyone.
There are a lot of things that you should, and have every right to, criticize pro wrestling for:
Huge and often unnecessarily bodily risk
Loopholes to aid it’s avoidance in being labelled a sport
Invalid reason to criticize pro wrestling:
Get off your high horse and let us enjoy our entertainment. It’s the era of reality in wrestling, there isn’t much of an attempt to fully maintain kayfabe anymore, but that doesn’t mean you need to shit on the fans who are trying to enjoy it. Most every other show and media that you consume is fake or scripted or pre determined in some way, wrestling is no different, so stop pointing out the obvious and let me have my fun.
But back to our regularly scheduled programming, Mad Man Mordo and Mysterious Mister R go over the top and injure Pops. Cue Benson showing up to threaten to fire the guys. Instead, he forbids them all from going to the show. In true television caper fashion, Mordecai and Rigby sneak out of the house, and Pops has left a stuffed animal in his bed to deceive the others into thinking he was still sleeping.
Back row seats at RRW Wrassle Frassle VII, so close to the action. And honestly, from having attended many a house show in my time, the seats at the back aren’t that bad and you can still enjoy the show. I’d say 3/4 of the enjoyment comes from the atmosphere of just attending. Sadly, 3/4 of the irritation also comes from your surroundings since I normally have to deal with sexist smarks on all sides. Mordecai and Rigby arrive at the show just in time for the main event: the ladder match. Complete with punny wrestlers: Four Armageddon, Hissyfit (the snake), and the Fire Marshall. They’re set to fight Huge Head, who is making his debut.
In Regular Show fashion, Pops’ car flies out of the sky and lands on Huge Head outside the venue. But Pops, having a huge head himself, is mistaken for said wrestler and is carried into the venue for his grand entrance. Mordecai and Rigby recognize Pops and rush down to save him and we hear that phrase again “wrestling is fake”. This upsets the wrestlers, as it should, and they vow to prove that it’s really REAL wrestling. Executing a series of excellent headscissors, suplexes, body slams, and even a moonsault, a brawl ensues where the only way out is in a body bag or with the title. Pops comes to and shows them how it’s done before climbing the ladder and taking the title for himself.
I, like Benson, felt the heart and hard work rate the guys put in and couldn’t bear to fire them. Instead, I’ll let them keep their ladder match title and live to work another day. Hopefully, we’ll see another wrestling episode from them soon.
It’s not so often that you get blacklisted by a company for 20 years only to be honoured and inducted into their Hall of Fame afterwards. But, then again, it’s not so often that we come across wrestlers that are the calibre of Madusa.
Madusa, short for Made in the USA, has held 6 separate titles around the world, including the WWF Women’s Championship on three separate occasions. That title is the one that Madusa would later trash live on WCW Monday Nitro stating that this is what she thinks of the WWF Women’s Championship belt. This was an extra huge deal considering that she was brought in to the WWF to help revive the women’s division since that title had been vacant for the three years leading up to her debut. She debuted under the name Alundra Blayze, however, because she had trademarked the name Madusa, which Mr. McMahon didn’t want to pay the license fees for. In other milestones, Madusa also fought Leilani Kai for the title at Wrestlemania X, marking the first women’s match at Wrestlemania since the first one ever.
In addition to all these titles held around the world, Madusa was the first woman ever to be awarded with Pro Wrestling Insider’s “Rookie of the Year” title and was the first foreign wrestler to sign a contract with All Japan Pro Wrestling. Ultimately, Madusa retired from pro wrestling around the time that it was rumoured WCW was going to be bought out by the WWF. The other reason was that she didn’t like the direction that women’s wrestling was headed in being less about actual wrestling and more geared towards strip matches.
One of the strongest matches Madusa ever held was a series of matches in her feud against Bull Nakano. These matches took place in both the USA and Japan, and she actually lost the WWF Women’s Championship Belt to Bull Nakano while in Japan. Her ability to fluidly move from heel to baby face has always impressed me; a lot of what factored in the response to Madusa herself was where the match was taking place in the world. Her style was very fast paced and using finishers that required great agility such as a bridging German suplex or a hurricanarana.
Outside of the ring, Madusa also acted as a manager to several great wrestlers including, my personal favourite, The Macho Man Randy Savage. Here’s to hoping that her induction into the WWE Hall of Fame will help light the fire under their asses they need to build up the women’s division once more. Sadly, they haven’t learned their lesson yet and we aren’t slated to see a title match at Wrestlemania XXXI on Sunday.