Heavy metal pumps from speakers, a spotlight hovers over a ring, and wrestlers emerge from behind a black curtain to the cheers of the crowd.
Tattooed men and women dressed in bright orange leggings enter the ring. They’re draped in flags, sporting coloured masks, and have names like Massive Damage, Cpl. Jack Hammer, and Mascara Diablo.
Sound like something you’d see on television?
In fact, Monster Pro Wrestling takes place the first Saturday of every month at Alberta Avenue Community League.
Entertaining and cathartic, the sport has all the elements of a Greek drama. It is comprised of archetypes. Good versus evil. Heroes and villains. The underdog fighting a consistent winner. The comedian and the guy who plays it straight. Players and the crowd form alliances, and drama unfold month after month.
The crowd is as varied as the wrestlers are. They alternately cheer and boo when their heroes or villains enter the stage. Children wear masks, emulating their heroes and reach out their hands to offer encouragement as the wrestlers greet the crowd before the fight.
Toddlers watch wide-eyed from their parent’s laps.
When Bobby Sharp threatens Kat Von Heez, a grey-haired grandmother stands up to him and yells, “You leave that nice girl alone!”
Athleticism reigns here. There is brute strength when the powerhouses square off. They leap across the mat at each other, clothes lining their opponents. The blue mat thunders when a wrestler throws down a 215-pound man. Flying kicks coordinated between tag teams require agility, strength, and a lot of practice.
Monster Pro Wrestling has been at the Alberta Avenue Community League for 10 years.
Tickets are usually sold out, even on a -30 C night. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.
For show times and updates go to www.monsterprowrestling.com, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
Article first published in the February 2014 issue of the Rat Creek Press.
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