Here's mud in your eye--and in your hair, on your sweater and everywhere else -- if you sit too close to the ring at Sam's Crab House just across the Prince George's County line in downtown Clinton.

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, you can chug beer and tap your feet to the sounds of Willie Nelson or Tanya Tucker while you ogle the hottest new sport east of the Beltway: lady mud wrestling.

It has to be seen to be believed. For $3 you can enter the smoky recesses of Sam's and watch leotard-clad women, most of them in their 20s, rolling each other around in an 8-by-8-foot vat of potting soil and water.

Referee (and Sam's nephew) John Genua directs the contestants as, arms, legs and mud flailing, the women slip and slide, covered in muck from head to toe.

"It looks easy till you get in the ring," says restaurant owner Sam Habib, who was born and raised in the District. He says his wife saw mud wrestling on television several months ago and told him about it. He was intrigued with the idea, traced the TV show to Chapel Hill, N.C., and made a trip there with Genua to see it first hand before deciding to put on matches at his club.

Why do the women do it?

"It's fun," they say. Vickie McCan, 18, the undefeated madame of mire, gyrates her hips and rolls her eyes. "It feels good," she adds, as her friends squeal with laughter.

The winner of each match gets $20; the loser $15.