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MEN IN TIGHTS WCW FANS HITTING LONG BEACH TONIGHT.

Byline: Joe Stevens Staff Writer

Grown men in tights and makeup will infiltrate the Long Beach Arena tonight. These men will yell at each other and roll on the ground together.

Prepare for half nelsons, full nelsons and sleeper holds. World Championship Wrestling is coming to Long Beach to tape the cable TV show ``WCW Thunder,'' which will air at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on TBS.

The WCW is one of the two most popular wrestling circuits. The World Wrestling Federation is the other. Among the most popular shows on cable, the WCW draws more than 33 million U.S. viewers each week. On average, the WCW tapes a dozen events each month in arenas throughout the nation.

The athletic drama at the Long Beach Arena will have twists, turns, subplots and outrages before a sizable, and maybe even sell-out, crowd. Behind every muscle man pounding the mat (or seemingly pounding another muscle man), there is a story.

And we're here to tell them. Here is a roundup of the top ``athletes'' in the WCW and a few of their many quirks.

The WCW also did not confirm the event's lineup of wrestlers. However, the organization's publicity department released a statement that said, ``WCW superstars scheduled to appear include Sting, Konnan, Booker T., Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash and the Flying Luchadores. Scheduled lineup may be subject to change without notice.''

The following mini-bios feature wrestlers in the WCW - their quirks, their records, their oddest nicknames. Behold the hulking, glistening men in tights:

BOOKER T.: Although the WCW World Heavyweight Title changes more often than Dennis Rodman's hair color, Booker T. has the belt (as of press time). Booker T. is known for his suave look and slick apparel.

Booker T's brother, Stevie Ray, was his tag-team partner in the duo Harlem Heat. They became one of the top tag teams in WCW history, but broke up after a heated family dispute.

VAMPIRO: Nowadays, Vampiro is remembered for setting the wrestler Sting on fire and implementing his special move called ``Nail in the Coffin.'' But the real story with Vampiro is his tough life since leaving Ontario, Canada, at 16 to pursue his dream of professional wrestling.

Vampiro spent time homeless, living on Hollywood Boulevard. Eventually, he got on his feet and became a bodyguard for the Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses and Milli Vanilli. He's changed to become a ``bona fide celebrity in Mexico with an Elvis-like following,'' according to the WCW. He also has 60 tattoos and was voted ``Gothic heartthrob'' by WCW Magazine.

GOLDBERG: The WCW calls Goldberg ``pro wrestling's greatest gladiator.'' He's breaking religious boundaries in his sport as a rare Jewish wrestler. His mother, Ethel, is a classical violinist. His father, Jed, went to Harvard and is an obstetrician-gynecologist.

Goldberg used to play football with the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons.

KEVIN NASH: Also known as the ``Big Sexy,'' Nash is listed as 7-foot-1 and 370 pounds. He grappled with the nicknames ``Diesel,'' ``Vinnie Vegas'' and ``Oz'' before finally settling on ``Big Sexy.''

STING: This Sting has nothing to do with the songs ``Roxanne,'' ``Message in a Bottle'' and ``Every Breath You Take.'' He has to do with the Scorpion Death Lock, Harley-Davidsons and his trademark yell, ``Ooooooow!'' He's a native of Venice Beach and signed autographs at the Long Beach Arena when tickets for this event went on sale. Unfortunately, he wasn't in character and didn't have his face painted white. Rats!

BILLY KIDMAN: With a Wild West motif, Kidman lists the following three things as his loves: Grandma's lasagna, sleeping and entertaining the masses. He's come a long way from one of his early jobs as a bank teller.

JEFF JARRETT: Not exactly certain what this means, but the WCW calls Jarrett the ``Pete Townshend of pro wrestling.'' Jarrett has a trusty, lethal guitar and refers to his opponents as ``slapnuts.''

KONNAN: A former Mexican soap-opera actor, Konnan is known for his partying lifestyle and his signature move, the ``Tequila Sunrise.'' Also known as K-Dogg, he spouts the signature phrase, ``Viva La Raza!'' That means ``Long Live the 'Hood!''

SCOTT STEINER: By comparison, Steiner sounds a tad boring. He's typically surrounded by a mob of women when he enters the ring. The names of his moves are the ``Steiner Recliner'' and ``Frankensteiner.''

HULK HOGAN: The world-famous, perpetually balding grappler is a wrestler in the WCW and continually reinvents himself. One of the WCW's tactics is to pit celebrities in the ring. Recenty, it's been trying to get ``Survivor'' arch enemies Kelly Wiglesworth and Susan Hawk on the mats. So anyway, Hogan has found himself in similar celebrity-based matches. He and Dennis Rodman once took on Karl Malone and Jay Leno.

Man, when you hear about matches like that, it makes you wish all of these sweaty spectacles weren't scripted.

``WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING''

Where: Long Beach Arena, 300 E. Ocean Blvd.

When: 7 tonight.

How much: $15 to $35 ($25 or $35 are available).

Information: (562) 436-3661.
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Title Annotation:L.A. Life
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 3, 2000
Words:836
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