THIS IS REAL: A photo essay of Hoodslam

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Anya Schultz/Senior Staff

More than 1,000 fans crowded around a wrestling ring in the packed Oakland Metro Opera House on March 7. Hoodslam, a monthly night of staged wrestling, is rowdy. It’s rough, sweaty, loud and, at times, unbelievable. But the dedication of the wrestlers, combined with the absolute thrill in the eyes of the fans, makes this a competition not to be missed.
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Wrestlers become performers at Hoodslam.

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Bodies fly through the air.

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Occasionally, to the crowd’s delight and shock, wrestlers get thrown out of the ring.

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Fans stand right next to the ring.

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Although these matches are staged, the pain is real.

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Wrestlers Manimal and Soundwave prepare for their match.

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Hoodslam has “slam” in its name for a reason.

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Soundwave looks at Manimal’s bone as he prepares to fight.

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One of the Stoner Brothers looks out at the fans.

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About 1,040 people paid for admission to this event.

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Drugz Bunny looks out at the crowd, making the air taste like powdered sugar.

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Drugz Bunny stands on the ring as the crowd chants his name.

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“Ultragirl” Brittany Wonder fought against Drugz Bunny.

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“Broseph” Joe Brody poses before the matches. He provided live commentary with the mayor of Hoodslam, El Flaco Loco.

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This is real.

Click here for a Cal TV video covering the same night.