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I have covered some truly strange and unique people over the years, both in
magazines and in newspapers. I have done pieces on a variety of subjects on
the net and encountered all types of people. Even in columns for this page,
we have a variety of pieces dealing with Christians and Antichrists, dead
stars from the past and scarely known indies hoping to make the grade. Yet
out of all the people dealt with on this site, my piece on John Lepantz may
be the most unique.
From his Denver, Colorado homebase, John Lepantz works at the busy Stapleton
Airport during the day, but by night has created a massive cult following
for himself in one of the strangest fields of all. He promotes all-girl
wrestling cards and releases girl wrestling videos. For information on
his products come to http://www.zeusproductionsvideos.com
or drop an email to email@example.com
He is not the first man to do such things. Over the decades there were a
host of "dirty movies", starting with old 8mm and Super 8 films,
depicting women in erotic apartment fights, swimming pools or an occasional
wrestling ring. While most were moonlighting actresses or strippers, an
occasional pro entered the action. At this time, the retired lady wrestler,
Mildred Burke, also got into the act, with a whole line of women videos,
most held in the ring and featuring her trainees. These were seldom erotic,
like her competition, though an occasional bra was lost, yet they sold like
wildfire. Presumedly, she made more off her film business in her years away
from active wrestling, then she ever did as world champion in the pro
After the film craze was replaced by video, then dvd, the business seemed to
slip into seperate patterns and divide itself. Those making erotic videos
went one way, while those appealling to the pro matches went the other,
selling to the ever increasing fans of the big time promotions such as the
WWF or WCW. Lepantz was smart enough to include both worlds.
He ran actual wrestling shows, using established pro women. Some wore
regular trunks and tights, others skimpier outfits. Those with clothing
fetishes went nuts, as did the pure fans of women wrestling who wanted only
action in the ring. In a couple of years, he put together quite a stockpile
of footage to place on the market.
One of his key players was the recognized wrestling star, Sue Sexton, who
also worked in movies such as American Angels, where she played, you guessed
it, a lady wrestler. Ever the pro, her bouts were death serious and
left more than one person wondering just how real the action was. Unlike in
some places, where the fakery was wondered about or even admitted to by the
participants themselves, onlookers wondered if she, herself, was really
beating the hell out of people. No one really gave much information out and
to this day, some fans still wonder.
Lepantz also booked Cheryl Rusa, known as Lightning in the pro ranks. She
was also seen in some films, in cameos, such as one of the women
mudwrestlers attacking Paulie Shore in The InLaws or whatever the hell the
movie was called. The title slips my mind as it was not the greatest of productions. Lightning looks better in the
At the current moment, wrestling itslef seems to be dying off and attendance
is down, even at the big time promotions. With this in mind, Zeus Productions
have been cutting back on live shows and new tapes, but within the next year,
a whole new series of matches may be shot, depending on how things go. While
the owner/producer loves both wrestling and filming, his other job has cut
greatly into his time. Some of the wrestlers have also been seeking other
lines of work, one as a stunt double, another as a psychic reader and still another as a fitness
trainer. Still, wrestlers are people to assemble on a
moment's notice and at any time, more shoots could be scheduled.
He may not be a John Carpenter or a Lucio Fulci. He may not even be
comfortably thrown into this article section with the
directors, actors or
others mentioned here. Still, Lepantz has found a niche for himself and
is resting comfortably on his merits. While he may not be known to film fans
around the world, wrestling enthusiasts recognize his name with ease.
His brand of mild erotica and fast-paced action have caught on, elevating
Lepantz to somewhat peculiar cult status among the faithful. Hopefully, the
bell will sound and the bouts will resume again, with this man right there to
record, promote and sell the action to his growing band of afficionados.