PARK SLOPE — Two professional wrestling stars will cheer on competitors in the first-ever Artichoke Basille's pizza eating contest this weekend — awarding the winner with a free slice every day for a year.
WWE wrestlers Big Show and Alicia Fox will be on hand to encourage nine contestants who will have 10 minutes to stuff as much Artichoke Basille's as they can into their gullets.
The pie smackdown will take place outside Artichoke Basille's Park Slope location at 59 Fifth Ave. (between Bergen Street and St. Mark's Avenue) at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 20.
Big Show, who tips the scales at 441 pounds and Fox, who is smaller in stature but a big presence in the ring, won't be eating in the contest because they're performing the next day at the WWE SummerSlam at the Barclays Center, said a spokeswoman for the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, which helped organize the eat-a-thon.
Though Artichoke Basille's is known for thick, creamy artichoke-topped pies, the contest competitors will eat smaller-than-usual "margarita" pizza slices, said Artichoke Basille's co-owner Francis Garcia, who founded the mini chain with his cousin, Sal Basille, in 2008.
"We want it to be exciting, but we want people to be able to eat a lot of it," Garcia said.
More than 60 people signed up for a chance to enter the contest and Garcia and Basille whittled the list down to nine finalists who "seem sincere," Garcia said. None of the entrants is a professional competitive eater.
Whoever prevails will get a custom-made pizza paddle trophy, and a free slice every day for a year at Artichoke Basille's Park Slope location. The winner's photo will hang in a place of honor in the restaurant, Garcia said.
The victor will also get some supplies that could come in handy post-contest.
"We're going to give them a couple of rolls of double-quilted Charmin toilet paper, the good stuff, because they’re going to need that," Garcia said.
His advice to the competitors?
"Loosen your belt and maybe consult a physician before you come out," Garcia joked. "Maybe take some baby aspirin and watch the movie 'Stand By Me,'" he said with a laugh, referring to the 1986 flick featuring an epic blueberry pie eating contest scene.
"There will be a bucket next to each contestant just in case there’s any accidents," Garcia said.
The contest is part of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District's North Slope Summer Stroll, a street festival that will also feature a bounce house and face painting.