Whore Next Door: Wrestling With Porn

Rikishi, the Big Booty Bad Man, is a pretty decent guy.

(Courtesy of Siouxsie Q)

Porn fans were losing their minds at the Adult Entertainment Expo. There were, of course, rows and rows of webcam girls, porn starlets, and every kind of sex toy under the sun — but for two days last week, I saw how fans reacted to the 450-pound Samoan man who the world knows as World Wrestling Entertainment Hall-of-Famer, Rikishi.

It seemed like an odd pairing when his manager reached out to the organization I work for, the Free Speech Coalition — which advocates for and defends the rights of adult industry and its workers — to ask if the wrestler could join us at this year’s trade show. After testing the waters at two similar events earlier in the year, Rikishi and his team had already found a significant crossover between the fan bases of professional wrestling and adult entertainment.

Stoic next to me in the small booth, Rikishi sat with his massive WWE championship belt, signing autographs and posing for selfies with the fans. Most were shocked to see him there, asking what a guy like Rikishi was doing at in a place like this.

Mainstream and adult industry news sources alike went out of their way to ask Rikishi his motivations for coming to the expo. Each time, he replied, “Why not?” from beneath his mirrored sunglasses, which blocked the hotel ballroom’s bright florescent lights.

Rikishi’s character, often referred to as the “Big Booty Bad Man,” broke the mold by wearing a thong as part of his costume and sitting on his opponents’ faces as his secret weapon. (That move is called the “Stinkface.”)

As the show wore on, I realized that though we may have seemed an unlikely pairing, Rikishi and I had more in common than I had thought.

The second day into our adventure, we discovered we both have Bay Area roots. (He hails from Daly City.) He also loves his mom, and believes strongly in free speech.

Every time he posed with a fan or signed an autograph, he also made sure to give out one of my organization’s brochures, encouraging folks to support our efforts.

Press and fans alike were surprised and elated to see Rikishi at such an event, and even though the booth was stacked with top adult talent — including the legendary Buck Angel, and two AVN award nominees — it was the wrestler who was the hot commodity.

Most people were sincere, wanting to share stories of childhood hero worship, but the AEE takes all types. At one point during the second day, a man in a suit came by and started schmoozing with Rikishi’s manager. When the manager asked what he did, the man replied, “I make money, and I fuck bitches.”

Charming.

Rikishi slowly turned his head toward me and, in a low and certain tone, said, “I don’t like it when men call women bitches,” and the man in the suit was sent away without an autograph.

Later, a reporter asked him, yet again, what on earth he was doing at an adult entertainment expo. With only the softest hint of exasperation, he replied, “What better wrestler to be here than the 450-pound Samoan guy who shakes his booty onstage for money?”

Rikishi and I hit it off, not only because of our shared love for lumpia from Daly City, but because we understand our work as not being so different.

Though WWE is considered far more PG and mainstream than the type of media I create, he and I both use our bodies to excite and entertain. We’ve both created larger-than life characters that contain amplified elements of our true selves, in order to tell a story and capture the imagination of consumers.

We both charge $20 for photo ops and sit on people’s faces to let them know we mean business.

Rikishi is semi-retired now, and focuses his efforts on giving back to the next generation of wrestlers through an academy that teaches newcomers how to create a character and perform safely.

But don’t be surprised if you see more and more of the Big Booty Bad Man at a porn convention near you. He plans on continuing his new tradition of turning heads at adult industry trade shows and beyond.

Siouxsie Q has been writing “The Whore Next Door” since 2014.

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