Wrestling in Weird Places

When you think of wrestling, what is the first venue that comes to your mind? Maybe your someone who got in during New Japan’s peak and think of Korakuen Hall or the Tokyo Dome. Maybe you got lucha pilled early in your fandom and think of Arena Mexico. Maybe you have been a fan forever here in the states and think of Madison Square Garden. All of these are some of the most famous venues in the world, and any wrestling fan would be lucky to get to visit all of these in their lifetime. However, when I think pro wrestling, I think the non-traditional venues is where my love lies.

So much of my love for pro wrestling comes from when they break out of the sports mentality and run somewhere outside the box. Some of the most fun matches over recent (well, like a decade at this point, gross) involve matches at outdoor music festivals or in the parking lot of a Golden Corral in Alabama (by the way you should read Sam’s “What is a Hoot?” Piece, phenomenal work and may be my favorite wrestling writing of the year so far). I ask the question, where can’t you do pro wrestling? I’ve seen wrestling in breweries, anime conventions, churches, outdoor farmer markets, and this is just where I’ve seen it live!

That’s the magic of pro wrestling right there to me. Seeing a show while enjoying a $16.99 all you can eat buffet sounds like an all timer experience, right? Pro wrestling can exist in any space where you can make it happen, you just need a little imagination. Even the birth of the “no ring” shows taking place at clubs and bars around the country (as well as Baka Gaijin in Japan) it’s just people doing wrestling! If you have watched the David Arquette doc YOU CANNOT KILL DAVID ARQUETTE (highly recommend) you see that he did some of his training in Mexico in the middle of the road during stop lights!

So while wrestling is ultimately a “spectator sport”, it ultimately boils down to a “sport for the spectator” meaning you don’t need thousands, hundreds or even dozens in attendance to create magic. As long as you have a couple of wrestlers, maybe a ref, and one person trying to find a portapotty at a music festival, well that my friends, is pro wrestling.

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Co-founder of Violent People, co-founder of All You Can Hear, cohost of Muscle Orchestra, all around neat guy.