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Lucha libre wrestling tags into Bremerton

Ron Sutherland, known as El Gringo Loco, is held by professional wrestler Raven at a match in Poulsbo last August. Sutherland won the match, describing it as the biggest win of his career, and he returns to the ring Thursday in Bremerton to help celebrate Cinco de Mayo. La Poblanita will host lucha libre at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free for the event. - courtesy photo
Ron Sutherland, known as El Gringo Loco, is held by professional wrestler Raven at a match in Poulsbo last August. Sutherland won the match, describing it as the biggest win of his career, and he returns to the ring Thursday in Bremerton to help celebrate Cinco de Mayo. La Poblanita will host lucha libre at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free for the event.
— image credit: courtesy photo

Saul Vargas couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than to host lucha libre wrestling in the parking lot of his Bremerton grocery store.

Vargas has hosted dances and other festivities at La Poblanita, which also doubles as a Mexican restaurant, but Thursday marks the first time the latin wrestling circuit takes place at the corner market.

“We love having a big party,” said Vargas, who opened La Poblanita four years ago.

The matches start at 5:30 p.m., but Vargas encourages people to arrive at 3:30 p.m. for food, drinks and a raffle. All ages are welcome.

There will be ice cream, barbecued meals and Mexican dishes on hand. Alcohol will also be available. Admission is free.

All donations at the nonprofit event benefit the Kitsap Seventh Day Adventist School in Bremerton. Any attendee who donates will qualify for raffles that include a variety of prizes.

Vargas got the idea to host lucha libre from his friend and promoter, Ron Sutherland, the talent booker at the Suquamish Tribal Center. Sutherland runs a pro wrestling league, which features monthly matches at the center.

When the crowd is made up of mostly adults, the fighters may use chairs and other items, but Sutherland said Thursday’s fights will be “clean,” meaning wrestlers won’t shed blood or use profane language.

“The point is to have a fun show on a great holiday for everyone to see,” Sutherland said. “It’s an important part of the culture so we want to put on a great show.”

The main event is a Lumberjack-Mexican match between El Vagabundo and Juvi 775. In addition, Sutherland, filling in for Mr. Pink, will wrestle as his alter-ego El Gringo Loco versus Angel Azul. Mr. Pink suffered an injury and will miss the Cinco de Mayo fight, Sutherland said.

The field of wrestlers will include four from Mexico and others from Western Washington, he added.

For more information, contact Vargas at (360) 373-7522.

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