By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
The main match featured Paul Aguirre a.k.a. Xsanity versus a preppy-looking Latino kid called Schizo. “It’s Aaron ‰ Carter!” one fan screamed as Schizo entered the ring. Eric told me that a lot of the kids have their hopes pinned on Aguirre. He is lanky, strong and athletic. To use some wrestling lingo, he knows how to take his bumps (particularly climactic falls) and he is able to get over (really connect to the crowd). Aguirre drove to tonight’s match in a brand-new Infiniti Q45, and rumor has it the car belongs to his 35-year-old sugar mama. Everyone thinks he’s going to make it into a real fed one day, probably as a “jobber,” a journeyman wrestler who breaks into the business by losing to more famous wrestlers and making his opponents look good. Still, he has a chance of wrestling for real. For real.
At one point in the match, Schizo knocked Xsanity out of the ring with a metal chair and tried to finish him off with a backflip. But Xsanity shifted and Schizo crashed hard into the concrete. A minute later, hundreds of thumbtacks were strewn onto the floor and the two of them rolled around in the mess of spikes until Schizo bulldogged Xsanity into the tacks. (Bulldogging: to put your opponent into a headlock and ram his head into the ground.)
And then it became clear that the match up to this point had been a prelude to the real action: As Xsanity pulled a thumbtack from his head, Chris stood up, cocked his head, removed a pair of sunglasses from his pullover pouch and suavely slid them on. A smile spread wide across his face. He removed the pullover, and there, in black vinyl shorts, black-and-white-striped soccer socks and a pair of Pokémon sneakers, stood Mr. Fantastic.
“Look, it’s a twig,” said someone in the audience.
Undeterred, Mr. Fantastic shot toward the ring, jumped onto the apron and spat in Schizo’s face, providing just enough of a distraction for Xsanity to lay his finishing move, a complicated twisting headlock maneuver that appeared to (but didn’t) break Schizo’s neck. Xsanity and Mr. Fantastic then exited the ring to cheers and jeers. That’s when the ref counted Xsanity out, giving Schizo an unjust win and setting the stage for the next match. Whether scripted this way, or whether they simply couldn’t wait for the next match, I don’t know, but Mr. Fantastic and Xsanity then proceeded to re-enter the ring and beat up both Schizo and the ref.
Mr. Fantastic was, well, pretty fantastic. When I talked to Chris about the match later, he said, “Make sure you print this: ‘I brought new meaning to the word bitch slap as I gave Schizo five across the eye.’”
MR. FANTASTIC’S BIG HEART
More than most backyarders, Chris has a big heart. Metaphorically speaking, of course, he loves the things he loves with a passionate, hypergeek intensity. Literally speaking, Chris’ heart is enlarged due to a medical condition. He claims not to know the name for it exactly, though he says the term has more letters in it than the alphabet. As a child, Chris had to take growth hormones to get him up to 5 feet tall and 90 pounds.
“What other effects does the condition have on you?” I asked.
“It kills me,” he answered, deadpan.
“Oh,” I said.
“You’re not going to put that in there, are you?”
“C’mon, it makes your story poignant. Don’t you want Tobey Maguire to play you in the TV Movie of the Week?”
“I want to play myself.”
He’s not kidding. On one of my visits, Chris pointed out the Grove Theater in Upland’s two-block-long downtown, the sort of contribution that makes up the cultural bedrock of a place like this. It’s owned by Bill Kinison (brother of the late comic Sam) and his wife, Sherry, who discovered Chris in one of Upland High School’s drama-club productions. They were impressed — mostly due to the fact that he was an 18-year-old who could pass for 12 — and agented him for a while. Chris recalled his closest brush with success, a callback for a national commercial. He and his mother drove to Los Angeles for the final round of auditions, but got stuck in traffic and missed it. They took this as a sign that he wasn’t meant for the screen trade.
More recently, Chris met with the famed art photographer Larry Clark, director of Kids and Bully, controversial films that chronicle sex, drugs and violence in the lives of contemporary teenagers. Clark’s casting director was interested in putting him in his new film, Ken Park. They offered him $1,000 a week for four weeks of work, but he had doubts about the role.
“My feelings were mixed,” Chris said. “He wanted part of my balls to be showing, and I was supposed to get molested in the film. But later on, I would get straddled by a girl and get to feel her up. It was a tossup.” Finally he decided against taking the part, rejecting the $4,000 payday. “As far as Larry Clark is concerned,” he said, “I want to expose my talent, not my testicles.”