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…I’m assuming, or at least I think, in kindergarten.

I know I was four when we met because Andy was at my fifth birthday party.

Here’s a photo of Andy at my first-ever friends’ birthday party in September 1981. Andy is in the background with the dark hair, peeking out from the left side of my super-excited face.

September 1981: 1703 W. Bolivar Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

After the gifts were opened, the party moved to Showbiz Pizza. Andy is on the far right side holding a red balloon.

September 1981: 1703 W. Bolivar Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I previously posted about this party here.

Anyway, sometime soon after this party happened, Andy stopped going to the same school. I’m assuming he moved to a different neighborhood or something, though the exact details are lost on me. I mean, it was almost 40 years ago.

One year, Andy was there. The next, Andy wasn’t. That’s just childhood for you.

Decades passed. I went off to college in Ohio, then moved back to Milwaukee, then moved to Los Angeles, Chicago, and on and on and on. I became a husband, a father. I lost my hair. That’s just adulthood for you.

But then, out of the blue, my good friend Milan mentioned to me that an independent wrestling circuit called Mondo Lucha had started up in Milwaukee. It was run by this awesome guy named Andy Gorzalski. Yep, that Andy Gorzalski.

Milan (an old college friend of mine) and Andy (an old elementary school friend of mine) had become friends independently of me. That’s just Milwaukee for you.

Mondo Lucha only puts on one show a year (occasionally, a second show), and not living in Milwaukee has always made it tough for me to attend. But this past September 7th, KB, Ciappa, and I headed to Milwaukee to join our good friends Milan, Dori, and Jodi and celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mondo Lucha.

A surprise appearance from “Mean” Gene Okerlund kicked off the night…

"Mean" Gene Okerlund!

…and the fans in the audience were just as colorful as the wrestlers in the ring.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

A robot wrestled…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…as did a Space Monkey. Literally, his name is Space Monkey.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

Zach Gowen made a return appearance at Mondo Lucha…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…to prove that, with only one leg, he’s still in better shape than I am with two.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

A trash-talking manager in a hot pink outfit…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…leapt off the top ropes and brought everyone in the ring crashing to the mat.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

That guy in hot pink? Andy Gorzalski…

Andy!

…37 (or so) years after that day at Showbiz Pizza.

In addition to Mondo Lucha, Andy has done some amazing things for the city of Milwaukee. For example, check out this ESPN 30 for 30 short doc they did on Andy called MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous.

Then, learn more about Mondo Lucha here.

Hopefully, it won’t be another four decades before we see each other again. At the very least, I know I’ll see him next year when I take in another amazing night of independent wrestling. And old friends.

Andy aged much better than I did,

-Shady

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How will you be celebrating Cinco de Mayo tomorrow? Me? I’ll be eating cheeseburgers and drinking beer while watching “┬íThree Amigos!”

I’m not kidding.

But if you live in or around Chicago (Milwaukee is officially “around” Chicago) be sure to check out the insanity that will be Cinco de Mondo.

What is Cinco de Mondo? It’s the lucha libre-fueled variety show of Milwaukee’s own Mondo Lucha! It’s the fleshy fantasy act of Lola van Ella and her Burlesque Army! It’s the swinging sounds of Chicago’s own Del Morroccos! It’s the comedic stylings of Dash Bravado! And it’s only $20 ($15 if you get your tickets today)!

Who will be there? Dwellephant! How do I know? Because he told me! And because he did the official poster for the event! Check it out!

Cinco de Mondo starts at 7PM (doors at 6PM) at Congress Theater. Click here to get your tickets today!

Cinco… de Mayo’s… on Tuesday,

-Shady

Old Poop!

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