Jose Alaniz has always loved wrestling.
Not the watered-down American wrestling though. While its cartoonish storylines and histrionic characters can be entertaining, it is the frenetic, athletic and often bloody style of lucha libre that truly draws him.
Alaniz is a partner at Rhino Marketing, a print shop in Eastlake, by day. By night he’s the owner of Oddity Wrestling Alliance. OWA puts on regular shows around San Diego with luchadors who come in from Ensenada to Los Angeles.
“Basically, I just created it, I started it, to serve the under served wrestling community — the fans, and the talent as well,” said Alaniz, who started Oddity Wrestling Alliance last August.
“I felt the necessity as a fan to do something for the community, for the talent, for the wrestling community, for the wrestling lifestyle, because nothing good, nothing of quality was being presented.”
Oddity Wrestling Alliance draws a big crowd. A recent show at downtown’s Family Gym was sold out, filled with families that included everyone from small children to grandmothers hoisting sodas and happily screaming obscenities at the wrestlers.
Most of his shows sell out, Alaniz said. The proximity to Mexico, birthplace of lucha libre, as well as its dynamic style and hardcore fans, make San Diego an ideal place for his new wrestling company.
Oddity Wrestling Alliance also contains an anti-bullying component. Luchadors head to local schools and speak out at assemblies against bullying. As improbable as it may seem at first blush, it is a natural fit, said Alaniz.
“Within the rosters, I have all kinds of different stories, from the guy who was taken advantage of because of his size or his height or his skin color or you name it, all kinds of different situations,” Alaniz said.
“And now, after they grew up and overcame all those different odds and they’re professional wrestlers, I see that kids see them as superheroes and role models. I bring them to the schools, to the kids, so they can see that there’s a solution, there’s help for everything.”
Alaniz said Oddity Wrestling Alliance’s one-year anniversary is coming up. He hopes that eventually his company will be known as the hometown lucha promoter.